Has Denver gone from Queen City of the Plains to Whore of the Rockies? That's what "grouchy, longtime Denverite" Kelly Fitzpatrick suggested in the essay we published two weeks ago, detailing why he wanted to get out after fifty years in the Mile High City. And readers were quick to respond. Says Alison:
Kelly Fitzpatrick, exactly when did you move to Denver? When I was a kid, it was not "cosmopolitan." Yes we had museums and the zoo, and Cinco de Mayo and the Marade, but one of the main school field trips was the Stock Show, not cultural festivals or excellent restaurants. These are products of people coming here in the last twenty years. Twenty years ago, Denver was a beautiful city in its own ways, but not a cosmopolitan one. I miss how laid back it used to be, but we have a lot of things going on that are positive that we didn't use to have. And these things were brought by people moving here before it was in demand, twenty and thirty years ago. Growth is unsustainable in its current form (mostly due to bad policy re: housing and taxation) but it's not new, and the earlier waves of it are what made thus city one you enjoyed living in.
Some of us natives can appreciate the great food, better nightlife and general improvement of services that new people bring. I agree that the crowding, traffic, and unaffordable housing suck, but growth has done good things. We need to address housing and infrastructure, but our city is not ruined.
I "got the hell out of Dodge!" myself.
I, too, am a native Coloradan born and raised the first twelve years in the mountains of Colorado, then moved back down to the Denver area, and am now ashamed to call myself a Denverite and Coloradan.
Not only is Denver the whore of the Rockies, but the mountain towns are her little whorelets!
I'm glad I moved from that party city and state to Alaska.
And I weep for what Denver and the state have become!
Yes, Denver is getting Californicated. But go live in Chicago, NY or LA, or any other major American city. You'll be desperate to return. Denver has grown up. We have too many stoned slow-driving texting Suburu, Audi driving wannabes.
But it still blows away almost all other cities. Most people here are happy to be here and happy. I've been hearing that negativity and bitterness from natives for twenty years. Evolve already and celebrate the overall greatness that is Denver!
It is just too big. Might as well live in Chicago or New York.
But not Atlanta. Adds Greg:
The guy's got some valid points but almost any desirable metro area across our country has changed in the time span he's mentioned; it's unavoidable!
I've been here for over twenty years and had to move to Atlanta for two years recently for work.... Although much more affordable, try their traffic gridlock for a while and you'll be thankful to move back to Denver!
Good luck to you in your quest to find a better place to live!
It's not a Boomer versus Millennial issue; it is an ideology. Last weekend, my 28-year-old Denver native daughter stunned me. I've lived here forty years. She's married. She and her husband love the West. They're both engineers. And she asked me: Well, Mom, we're tired of fighting for every little thing in Denver, so....where should we all move? Yep. It's come to that.
Alas, everything that lives, laments.
When living in a place for any length of time, changes manifest themselves, some of which are positive, others not. While sharing some of the writer's discontent about the maelstrom of change witnessed in Denver, I'd contrast those with what's transpired in Rust Belt or Midwest cities, which experienced population loss triggering an exodus of jobs and bringing forth the related decline of essential services - educational, medical and the like. Some of Colorado's small towns on the Eastern Plains face the same challenges.
Growth doesn't always live up to our expectations for the "promised land," but we do have to suffer some of its distasteful outcomes in lieu of enduring the alternative.
And Ginger concludes:
Talk about your first-world problems.....
What do you think about what's happened in Denver? Are you ready to leave it — or do you still love it? On March 30 we'll publish our 34th annual Best of Denver issue, full of reasons people should be high on the Mile High City. What are your favorite things about Denver?