We just published the Best of Denver 2017, our 34th annual celebration of the city. And there's plenty to celebrate: great new restaurants, classic Colorado institutions. The Best of Denver is packed with hundreds of reasons we're high on the Mile High City, but some readers aren't persuaded. Says Jackson:
Okay. I lived here twenty years, just came back after four years of being in other cities. Denver is by far not the best city in America. Unless you drive from another great city or even one that is just a big city, you don't realize Denver is in the middle of nowhere. Seattle and SF have more restaurants and better restaurants. Not that we don't have any, just not as many. Our public transit is twice as expensive as Seattle which offers what we do plus monorail and streetcars. It's not fair to say we don't have water taxis and ferries. NYC and LA both are a little uglier, but by far more dynamic. Downtown needs a redesign.
The 16th Street Mall is 35 years old. It was good then, it is dismal now. Make the Five Points light rail a streetcar and have it go through downtown, so you can get around faster than the slow shuttle buses. Then extend it down Colfax as has been discussed. But I digress... we are good, but far from the best.
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I would urge anyone complaining about the changes that Denver is going through now to think about the types of changes that some born in 1960 in Detroit or St. Louis have seen in their lifetime. Which type of change would you prefer? Cities never stand still; they either grow or decline. Denver is currently in the enviable position of being a city where a lot of people want to live. There is incredible potential for Denver, and yes, some of this potential has so far been squandered on ugly, non-pedestrian-friendly new developments combined with second-rate public transportation. Still, Denver is becoming a real city, and perhaps in a generation it will be one of the top cities in the country.
Look, I get it: As a former Bostonian, I know what it’s like when you feel that your own city has passed you by and that there isn’t a place for you there anymore. Like many have done before me, I left and I went out to try and find the place where I felt comfortable and could afford to live a middle-class lifestyle. The “native” bumper sticker crowd need to get over themselves. There’s a whole world out there. If you don’t like what Denver has become, then find the place you love.
Want some reasons to love Denver? Read our Best of Denver 2017.