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Seven Things That Make People in Cherry Creek Very, Very Mad

Nestled between University and Colorado boulevards to the east and west, and Sixth Avenue and the eponymous Cherry Creek to the north and south, the Cherry Creek neighborhood has gone through big changes in the last few decades. What had been a relatively modest and working-class ’hood began to become “the” place for scrape-and-rebuild projects. Spurred by its proximity to both the outdoor and indoor upscale shopping areas, housing followed suit, being reinvented upward, outward — and more and more expensively.

Cherry Creek is still a peaceful neighborhood — most of the time — that's full of old trees and new construction and coffee shops and restaurants and hoity-toity shopping within an easy walk. So what could upset the residents of this little enclave of invented (and expensive) tranquility? Well, at least these seven things:
7. The Homogenization of Cherry Creek North
When the Tattered Cover left Cherry Creek North, it marked the start of an exodus of independents. A lot of the stores that made the area a unique shopping destination are gone. The toy store Kazoo and Co. went out of business. The weird and wonderful Wizard's Chest moved to Broadway. Many of the restaurants that people loved — Chez Jose, Hops, The Eggshell and way too many others to list — closed their doors and disappointed a lot of stomachs in the process. Although some stalwarts have stayed, it's not easy to find them through the pricy chain stores and construction.
6. The Holdouts
Some people haven’t had the good manners to sell their old homes so that they can be scraped and rebuilt into the stucco McMansions complete with waterfalls at the entryway, huge pillars that are in no way phallic, and landscaping that cost more than the purchase price of the house that used to sit there. Single-story modest homes on a slab are so thirty years ago. If you don’t have three stories, a full basement and a rooftop patio with an outdoor kitchen, then you and your normal-sized structures are standing in the way of progress.

5. Races and Festivals
Cherry Creek is a big draw for festivals and events that leave behind tons of trash for the residents to enjoy. This last Cherry Creek Sneak, we counted four different piles of race-related crap (running bibs, freebie coupons, beer cups) stuffed into residential bushes as we walked back to our car. Add to that headache the general crowds, the parking woes, the noise on what should be a quiet morning, banks of port-a-potties, and the random bands playing on the corners with amps turned up to 11...that’s a lot of mess for a neighborhood that prides itself on tidiness.

Keep reading for more things that make residents of Cherry Creek very, very mad.

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen