Some readers didn't appreciate Jef Otte's "O, Barnum! And ode to Denver's least desirable neighborhood," which was intended as a love letter, but Don saw as hate mail:
Hey Pendejo, It's obvious that you are missing something here. I never had a cockroach in my house ever. If you have them it's not Barnum's fault. Get off your lazy ass and spread a little boric acid. Kills em right off. And then keep your house clean cochino. Barnum has a rich cultural heritage that includes not only a Hispanic and Asian influence but also a pretty healthy Eastern European population. We worked hard to get rid of that adult book store, it was a neighborhood disgrace. I don't know what street you live on but my street has very nicely manicured lawns, gorgeous 100 year old trees, and some of the most beautiful architecture in the whole city. Barnum park is one of the most popular parks in Denver. It draws people from all over the city seeking it's lush green lawns and views that make Inspiration Point cringe with jealousy. Ever been around Barnum on the 4th of July? The rich cultural heritage we share is in plain view for all to see. The Hispanic, Asian, and Eastern European people who live in this area take pride in thier heritage, and it is obvious by the diverse nature of the businesses that line Federal Blvd. And EVERYBODY comes to this side of town for Mexican Food, chile by the bushel, delicious Vietnamese baked goods and the best Mexican markets in the whole city. It's easy to go into a neighborhood and point out the bad things that exist. But you really have to have a soul to understand and enjoy this wonderfully diverse and culturally rich neighborhood. So I guess it's probably beyond your comprehension. You talk like you are part of the Barnum neighborhood, but you really don't have a clue. It's all right there in front of you but you are too blind or too pretentious to see it. Barnum is more than just a neighborhood, it's an attitude, a mindset that a shallow minded person like you will never be able to fully appreciate. So...live among us if you want. Make fun of us if you must. But just know that YOU will never really be part of our culture. I could explain why but I'm afraid it would be lost on the likes of you.
But Alisha thinks Don needs to read the piece again:
I live in Barnum, too. 2nd and King. Guess what? The sidewalks are crap, I have cockroaches every summer (even though I've used everything under the sun and an exterminator to get rid of them), and I have never seen anything, from stores to restaurants, to indicate an Eastern European population. As for your other comments, might I suggest you read the damn article? The author calls it "an ode" (look it up, dude), and makes some of the same points you do--including the 4th, the food, the culture. My point is this article is not "pretentious" or "shallow." I thought it was beautiful and sweet. And, I don't know what street you're living on, but this author captures the portrait I experience, too. Oh, and not like it matters, but I'm not a "pendejo." I get so sick of "my people" lashing out at any person who has an opinion not in line with their own by using racial epithets. It's no different than the white racists, man. Doesn't take a white person to see that our streets and sidewalks are neglected and our neighborhood, although charming, is poor. That should piss you off, not that someone recognized it. Write the city of Denver and call them pretentious assholes, because then you would actually be standing for something that matters.
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Does Denver have a poorer -- or prouder -- neighborhood than Barnum? Post your comments below, or join the Barnum brouhaha already under way here.