Reader: Denver, Do You Hate California Transplants?

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Many Colorado residents have long been wary of newcomers — witness the "Native" bumperstickers that popped up three decades ago, even though the real natives were in the area 3,000 years ago. But with both rents and traffic increasing, tensions are high today, which prompted Meg to send this letter for us to deliver to Denver :

Dear Denver:

I have lived in your seemingly wonderful city for just five days. My fiance was relocated here for work and we admittedly know no one, which makes this question even more important: Do you hate California transplants?

We were initially greeted to Denver by gloom and bouts of dumping snow, which I appreciated (“300 days of sunshine” said Everyoneandtheirmother). The second thing we were greeted by was our Uber driver, who upon learning we were from California advised us to pretend we are from anywhere else. Anywhere but California, he said. Yes, this really happened. This is not the first time my fiance and I have heard this, and it proved to not be the last either. The maintenance man at our apartment building recommended we say we are from Oregon. The friend of a co-worker literally accused us (after two beers) of being the reason rents were becoming so “ridiculously high.” 

I have to admit, I am confused. The major cities that we have lived in include San Francisco, Seattle, LA, Atlanta and London. Never has there been such a strange response when asked the simple question of “Where did you come from?” Maybe this is coincidence, but I sense it’s something more. Before I put in a mass order of “Californian Lives Matter” custom-made T-shirts, can anyone explain this to me?

Love, Meg

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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