Developers are getting manic about renaming parts of our booming city, sometimes for easy reference, sometimes to boost property values. Recently, RiNo leaders were startled by a proposal to give Brighton Boulevard a shiny new moniker that will reflect its status as a gateway to the city; they're still trying to put the brakes on that.
In case other parts are interested in joining the acronym club along with such local luminary locales as RiNo, LoDo, LoHi, SoBro, etc., here are some terrible options for ways we could shorthand the rest of Denver.
It's short for Downtown Downtown, which is already what friends of mine who work downtown have to say to people who ask where they work, to differentiate the area from LoDo. Might as well shorten the name already in use, even if the residential options are scant — and seriously, if any place in town deserves the name “DoDo,” it’s the 16th Street Mall.
It’s not just the potential nickname for the northern part of the Mile High City’s historic Cheesman Park neighborhood — it’s a way to approach your diet, too. A whole area of town devoted to an intense and absolute fear of lactose? If not Denver, then where? (Okay, maybe Portland.)
Borrowing from everyone’s favorite dive bar on Champa and 21st, the oft-forgotten southwest Denver neighborhoods of Barnum and Barnum West could band together to create a larger presence with a louder voice in city politics, image and recognition. Real estate might be all about location, location, location, but these neighborhoods, perched conveniently between Federal and Sheridan and just south of 6th Avenue (and boasting one of the best unobstructed views of downtown Denver, to boot) know that it’s also about image and perception. In the hipster paradise of Denver, there’s nothing cooler than the dive bar, right? Might as well roll with it.
There’s really no downside to using “downtown,” at least in city-obsessed Denver, where white flight has reversed and morphed pretty dramatically into gentrification. So the ’burbs might want to get into some of that action, maybe starting with using the term South-South-South-South-Downtown to refer to...Englewood. Plus, they can have Phil Collins sing the jingle.
It’s one of the realities of living in the neighborhood north of MLK and around York: You’re solidly In The Shadow Of the Purina plant. That means that when the wind is up, your back yard is going to smell like Puppy Chow. You get used to it, but as one of the defining characteristics of a neighborhood, residents would probably prefer that the factory produce Twinkies or artisan breads (like the now-closed bakeries in other parts of metro Denver), but then again, puppies have to eat, too.
There are a lot of unfortunate folks who work in the Tech Center but don’t want to spend two hours of their day in I-25 traffic, so this area, South Quebec but North of Tech Center Hell, provides a place for three beds and a bath or two without a commute that will take up a quarter of their daily lives five days out of the week.
West and South of Highland, the property values are not quite as high as in other parts of town, but thanks to the proliferation of dispensaries in the area, the residents themselves can stay as high as they want. And bonus: Lower mortgages mean more money for recreational pot, which isn’t just a solid plan for a Sunday afternoon binging Netflix. It’s also being a good citizen in the new Colorado economy.
It’s pronounced no-stay, as in Not-Stapleton, and marks the areas surrounding Stapleton that don’t have HOAs that will grind you into color-approved dust. Frankly, Montbello (a neighborhood experiencing a renaissance of its own) could probably do pretty well for itself just by mentioning that, hey, we’re not named after a racist Denver mayor, so that’s pretty cool.
There’s a ring around Capitol Hill that desperately wants to be Cap Hill, but doesn’t have the street cred — or the street address, for that matter — to actually pull it off. We might describe that doughnut-shaped neighborhood of jealousy as Wanna-Be In Cap Hill. It’s not just a neighborhood; it’s also what you can say to anyone who whines that the prices in Cap are too high.
North and South of Colfax, meaning…well, pretty much all of Denver. Now everyone lives in an area with a catchy name!