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Denver goes from urban to urbane in a new map poking fun at the city

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Last February we wrote about Trent Gillaspie, a technology manager who created what he calls the Denver Judgmental Map -- basically a map of the city with no-holds-barred labels for different streets, neighborhoods and intersections. The map stirred up a lot of laughs -- and a lot of controversy, since it relies on old tropes and stereotypes in order to get those laughs. "I've lived in a few different areas around Denver, and I've explained neighborhoods to people with stereotypes," Gillaspie told Westword in an interview after the map went viral online.

"So I thought, why not just have a map for it that sort of pokes fun and uses a little humor?," he asked.

We'll let others judge the success of that humor -- but at least Gillaspie has lived in Denver for two decades. The creators of the new "Denver Urbane" map and eight similar projects targeting other big cities all hail from elsewhere.

And although their map is detailed and occasionally funny, much of it doesn't make sense even to people who've lived here all their lives.

For instance, why are Lakewood residents described as "wearing North Face or Patagonia listening to Jack Johnson in their Subarus while driving to a micro-craft beer bar" when that stereotype could pretty much fit 75 percent of the metro area -- except for Lakewood?

There go the neighborhoods.

More from our Lists and Weirdness archive: "Top ten driving tips non-Colorado natives forget at start of their second winter here."

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


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