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Sun Dec 30, 2012, 03:21 PM

Tell me about Colorado

Boulder and Denver, specifically.

What's it like to leave in these places? Are the cities walkable/bikeable? - I know Boulder is... that question was more about Denver.

What about the music scenes? Lots of indie and jazz - how about some good r&b and neo-soul?

What are the big draws? What are the little draws - the fun things to do that aren't on the mainstream map?

What are the other cities outside of the two I mentioned that are worth checking out if someone is relocating west?

36 replies, 3444 views

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Arrow 36 replies Author Time Post
Reply Tell me about Colorado (Original post)
RainDog Dec 2012 OP
Flashmann Dec 2012 #1
RainDog Dec 2012 #2
Flashmann Dec 2012 #3
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #4
RainDog Dec 2012 #27
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #30
locks Dec 2012 #5
RainDog Dec 2012 #6
truebluegreen Dec 2012 #31
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #8
Flashmann Dec 2012 #9
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #12
Flashmann Dec 2012 #15
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #18
RainDog Dec 2012 #28
DavidDvorkin Dec 2012 #29
newfie11 Dec 2012 #7
RainDog Dec 2012 #10
Flashmann Dec 2012 #13
fizzgig Dec 2012 #17
Flashmann Dec 2012 #11
epp033161 Dec 2012 #14
RainDog Dec 2012 #20
locks Dec 2012 #16
RainDog Dec 2012 #21
haydukelives Dec 2012 #19
RainDog Dec 2012 #26
Buddyblazon Dec 2012 #22
fizzgig Dec 2012 #23
RainDog Dec 2012 #24
RainDog Dec 2012 #25
Buddyblazon Jan 2013 #35
bluedigger Jan 2013 #32
likesmountains 52 Jan 2013 #33
bluedigger Jan 2013 #34
randr Jan 2013 #36

Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:26 PM

1. more about Denver

It's been awhile since I lived in Denver,'74-81,but I lived inwestern Coloraado,Montrose area,til 2 years ago....I visited Denver often and we got all the Denver TV channels on the westeern slope,allowing me to watch the "Metro News"..

Like any other big city,there will be areas you don't want to be walking/biking in...I know there is a healthy night life,clubs and such,in what they call Lodo,lower downtown..Metro Denver is made up of other cites surrounding it,which each have their own smaller version downtowns,with more clubs,theaters,etc......A rather constant and steady stream of big name music acts,some at Red Rocks natural ampitheater,great accoustics,BTW......You're within a hours drive and less,in any direction but east,of amazing,awesome scenery,where any number of activities take place,including,even especially biking.....Fishing,hiking,photography opportunities of wildlife.If you can imagine it,you likely can do it.And you'll do it under sunny skies some 330 odd days each year..Low humidity,relatively mild winters in Denver,considering the weather the rest of the state gets.Denver sits in a huge valley right up against the front range.While they do get shithammered with blizzards a few times each winter,much of the time the bad stuff blows over Denver and wreaks havoc east of town,where it's flat and wide open..Tornados even....Boulder,I'm told is a bicyclist haven and is an hour away from mid town.....Southeast metro area,in Aurora,is Cheey Creek Reservoir/State Park..Camping/fishing/boating/hiking,(watch out for the little rattle snakes)water skiing/swimming...

I could probably go on for a couple of pages and not really do it justice....

Oh yeah.....The weeds legal now and Denver is BLUE!!....

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Response to Flashmann (Reply #1)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:35 PM

2. Since Boulder is a college town

I would make a lot of the same assumptions about it as any other college town - lots of free entertainment courtesy of the U. - in the form of speakers and entertainment.

I would wonder about public transportation in Denver but not Boulder, for instance.

Are the two cities comparably priced, I wonder? Or is Denver more expensive if you don't want to be in the burbs?

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Response to RainDog (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 04:55 PM

3. Sorry

I can't give an authoritative answer on costs,other than to say either will be less expensive than any mountain towns,like where I last was......As far as public transportation,Metro Denver has a light rail system and busses out the wazoo.....In the 'burbs and around the edge of "town" are "park n rides"..Leave your car in a lot,hop on a bus.......Or train,I guess,at some......One more possible consideration for you.....Last I heard,the states population hovered around 3 million,with some 2 million being in metro Denver,one of the consequeces being the brown cloud in the sky.....If you get towards the east side of town and look back to the mountains,you'll very often see a filmy,brownish smear of a cloud,over the city...The same dynamics that blow lots of weather OVER and beyond the valley,serve to hold and just roll the exhaust fumes and whatever airborne ejecta,over the city.....When it's bad enough alerts are issuedthe worst of which will prohibit you using your fireplace,without scrubbers,and I think even things like charcoal grills,for the duration,usually at most,a few days.....Being on the front range,I wouldn't be at all surprised to find that Boulder has a brown cloud too.....

Oh...The valley/weather thing...When a system blows over from west to east,sometimes they'll somehow roll back and hit town from the east or northeast.....When that happens,and it will,try to be stocked on supplies..It's gonna be a bad one........Those are the ones that dump 2-3 feet of snow at a time in town.......

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Response to RainDog (Reply #2)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:29 PM

4. Denver has some light rail,

it was supposed to be expanded into the Boulder area but cost overruns (let's privatize!) have slowed if not stopped that. There's a good bus system, locally and with links to neighboring cities.

Boulder is beautiful but an expensive place to live. "Open space" requirements around the city have prevented cookie-cutter overdevelopment but have driven up housing costs inside. Purchasing a home can be very challenging; but I don't think the rental gap is as large. I am not as familiar with Denver but there are some nice neighborhoods near downtown and in the Cherry Creek area that appeal to me: older areas with some gentrification. Driving in Denver can be a nightmare; the freeways aren't big enough to accommodate the traffic, but then I spent 25+ years in East Jesus, Idaho so traffic is not something I'm used to.

There are other options, in particular Louisville, located maybe 15? miles from Boulder along the Denver/Boulder Turnpike (hwy 36). In recent years it has been rated among the most livable small towns in the US: a "city center" with cafes and activities and galleries, walkable etc. In general the trail system is extensive throughout Boulder County. BTW, the "open space" is referred to earlier is not designed for recreational use, although there is plenty of that. It was designed to preserve the agricultural nature of the out-lying areas, and to prevent overdevelopment.

I was born and raised in Boulder, left for a long time, returned in '04 for about 5 years and then left again. I'm not really a city person but Boulder is a nice city (so's Denver). It's nice to see healthy people all around, there's plenty to do; it can be a little smug--I mean, SF it is not--but all around a very nice place.

Also one that is currently having some real issues with water. An extreme drought last year, and another relatively dry winter this year...this is trouble. It is dry there to start with (maybe 12-16" per year) and there are a lot of people along the Front Range now. It's hard to say what will happen if this keeps up.

I could go on, if you have more specific questions just PM me. Good luck.

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Response to truebluegreen (Reply #4)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:30 PM

27. Thank you for the mention of Louisville

how do you pronounce it? For me, as a southerner, it's always Luwavul. Can I get away with that there?

also- thank you for offering to discuss via pm. I hope to get to the point of asking more later.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #27)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:06 PM

30. This will make you laugh I think

"Just like it looks"

Louis-ville.

I know, I think it's funny too, given the original.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 05:57 PM

5. best places in america

You won't find better cities than Denver and Boulder (well, maybe Seattle and Portland would not agree BUT they have rain, lots of it). We have 300 days of sunshine a year, but the last few years this means bad wildfires and drought. Very few days of brown cloud as other post mentioned. Not enough snow this year which we badly need for skiing, snowboarding, water for farmers, people, and wild animals. But even that meant many more days for hiking and biking our huge number of trails and beautiful mountains. I came in 1975, unfortunately so did many, many other people so traffic and commuting's a pain and so is getting to the western slope for skiing. Boulder has its own ski slope, it's not Vail or Aspen but pretty good and much cheaper. Rocky Mountain National Park one hour from Denver, state and city parks outstanding. Denver cheaper than Boulder but rents have gone up since so few people can afford to buy. Very few good paying jobs open as is true of most cities; lots of people can only afford to live in the burbs and have to commute to Denver and Boulder.
Excellent restaurants, museums and theater. Great music scene in Denver. (Read Westword weekly paper) Broncos and Rockies big fan teams. CU a great university; good private and community colleges. Boulder home to many Nobel winners at NIST, NOAA, NREL, NCAR and CU.
Best of all lots more liberals than most cities in the west (if you don't count Seattle, Portland and SanFrancisco!)

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Response to locks (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:07 PM

6. Yeah, the 300 days of sunshine caught my eye

in comparison to the Northwest. And SF is just simply too expensive for a middle class someone like me - and sometimes a little too nanny state-ish.

but, yeah, I also wondered (as also mentioned above) about the issue of water. I would assume, again, that Boulder would be the lead on water issues involving sustainability and recycling, etc.

I'm not a skier. But I am in a position to relocate in the near future and I am looking at places that are interesting to me. I'm not wealthy, so I'll still be a working stiff, but if I have a choice, I'd rather live in a state that makes my liberal vote matter.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #6)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:09 PM

31. I was absolutely delighted to arrive in Boulder

just in time to vote in '04...after 25 years in Idaho it WAS a great feeling to have my vote count.

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Response to locks (Reply #5)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:34 PM

8. The "300 days of sunshine" line was made up by the Chamber of Commerce

decades ago and is repeated regularly. It has no basis in fact.

Denver is generally a sunny place, quite hot in the summer but also quite dry.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #8)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:49 PM

9. made up by the Chamber of Commerce

I won't dispute that,but I very distinctly recall different TV weathermen,9News anyway,over the years,make the 300 day remark......Actually the earliest one I remember,was that of MAJOR U.S. cities,Denver was 2nd,behind Honolulu,in average days of sun at 331......Many years ago,when Red Miller coached the Broncos....

But I still always watched the Denver TV news even living on the west slopes...I'd say maybe twice a year,a weather man or lady,would work that tidbit into the broadcast.....I never counted sunny days,but my overall recollection,having lived there,is that 300+ is not an outrageous claim.....

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Response to Flashmann (Reply #9)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:55 PM

12. Yes, the TV weathermen here like to repeat that number, too

There are tables of various kinds available online that show that the 300 number is nonsense. Here's one:

http://www.currentresults.com/Weather-Extremes/US/sunniest-cities.php

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #12)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:10 PM

15. nonsense

Still can't dispute what you say........But again,having lived there I can say with huge confidence that there are way more sunny days,than cloudy ones,even if it's not 300.....But it FELT like 300 wouldbe,could be right......

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Response to Flashmann (Reply #15)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 10:08 PM

18. I've lived in Denver for 41 years.

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Response to DavidDvorkin (Reply #18)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:32 PM

28. maybe they should just say... we're not the northwest!

as far as sunshine goes.

sunshine and cold it better to me than milder and constant dreary skies.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #28)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 05:08 PM

29. We're definitely not the Pacific Northwest!

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:20 PM

7. Check out Ft Collins nt

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Response to newfie11 (Reply #7)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:51 PM

10. well, tell me something about it n/t

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Response to RainDog (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:04 PM

13. Ft.Collins

Is a nice college town,45-60 minutes north of Denver and 30-45 minutes south of Cheyenne,Wyoming...Cheyenne can be a neat place at times,certainly during the "Frontier Days" celebration.....Usually pretty windy up that way.....I know that,because the last 5 years I lived out there I drove a semi,over the road,and was up through there many times.....

There's a nice little reservoir a little west of Ft.Collins,Pinewood,that I used to camp and fish at,back in the 70s and early 80s....The famous Stanley Hotel,also is out that way.....Near the Big Thompson Canyon,where I also used to camp and fish.....In fact back in the mid 70s there was a huge flood in that canyon that wiped the little town of Glenhaven right off the map....Me and 3 friends had been camping right on the banks of that river,when rain sent us home a day early...Had we stayed that last night,we would've been on the river bank when what was decribed as a 50 wall of water,boulders,trees,cars and shit washed through there......Horrible.....But the canyon is awesome....Probably a half hour from Ft.Collins.....

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Response to RainDog (Reply #10)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:49 PM

17. fort collins isn't a bad place to live

i've been here my whole life and can think of much worse places to be.

we're a college town of about 125k an hour north of denver. music scene is no where what you'd seen in denver or boulder, but the arts scene has grown greatly over the last five or so years.

we have a vibrant downtown with plenty of local restaurants and shops. it is very bikeable, but not very walkable and public transportation is a joke unless you're traveling around campus. job market depends on what field you work in, there are still a lot of tech jobs around here and some manufacturing. we have a lot of breweries.

and yes, there is a lot of sunshine, but what people don't realize is that it can be clear, sunny and five degrees. it can get assbiting cold here in the winter.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 06:52 PM

11. By the way

All afternoon,as I followed this thread,and still ongoing,is a thorough schooling of the KC Chiefs by the Broncos.......!!

Home field all the WAYYYYYYY!!!!!

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 07:08 PM

14. Number One US State

It comes without any denial that the people and the beauty of this state is why I am using my Mom's Dolores residency to become a Colorado resident myself. Cool people and beauty, and a chance to lose weight. LOL, I lost 30 pounts the 3 months I was there hiking and being active. Get me the hell out of Alabama where I was forced to return to a few weeks ago. Alabama is a state of fat assholes who take pride in hatred

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Response to epp033161 (Reply #14)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:28 AM

20. my dad said Colorado was the most beautiful state he'd seen

I've been to the Denver airport a few times in the past...

I'm originally from the south. Don't live there now. But I totally get what you're saying.

Good for you on the health thing! One good thing about walkable cities is that you get exercise just by living.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 08:32 PM

16. one more for raindog

One more best thing: Pot's legal in Boulder (if the feds don't decide different) but you can't smoke cigarettes, even at football games or on the Pearl Street Mall. And we really are trying to be environmentally smart, conserving water, cycling, walking, recycling, protecting wildlife and protesting fracking.

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Response to locks (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:34 AM

21. Where I live now is pretty liberal

very liberal, by most American's standards. But it's in the middle of a red state.

You aren't allowed to smoke cigs anywhere but on the street, in your car, or in your home where I live.

Where I live also has some great music. There's a local community radio station in addition to npr, plus a U. radio station, a big school of music with internationally recognized musicians who play in small clubs. That sort of thing. That's what I would miss about where I am now and would not want to live somewhere that doesn't have affordable live music - jazz and "alternative" and "Americana" - but jazz most of all.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Dec 30, 2012, 11:25 PM

19. born and raised in Colorado

I like it better now that we are Blue.
If you don't need to work the Western Slope is a nice place to live. Not a lot of jobs, though the oil business is coming back some.
Best thing about Western Colorado, its close to the red rock dessert of the American West and not Utah. Moab is 2 hours from Grand Junction, Lake Powell, (my favorite place) is only 3.5 hours from G.J. Biggest problem is the west slope is red as Texas.

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Response to haydukelives (Reply #19)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:28 PM

26. Blue tends to make others want to go where it's blue, too.

And, of course, CO does have the distinction of being the home of HST. He wasn't blue... he was... I dunno, a rainbow of weird. but in a good way.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 06:08 AM

22. Colorado is just about as mild as you can get....

and still have all four seasons. We have 2-4 weeks of severely cold weather (10 to -10) around the Stock Show. But I've played golf in every single month of the year here.

The deep blue skies (with the low humidity...it's rare for there to be any haze) and sunshine just kind of make you happy.

Music scene? I actually stage manage/production manage a venue here called The Fillmore. We have had fantastic shows in the 12 years we've been open in this incantation (the building is hundred years old). Dylan, Willy, Iggy, Paul Simon, Pixies, NoFX, Janes Addiction, The Beastie Boys (they called us in 2008 and asked if they could play our venue with Tenacious D the night before the election...it sold out in 17 minutes), and hundreds more.

And we are home to the greatest outdoor venue in the world, Red Rocks Amphitheater. We do shows up there as well. My favorite part from the venues wiki:

"After Pollstar magazine awarded Red Rocks the honor of best small outdoor venue for the 11th time, the leading concert industry magazine decided to name the nationally coveted honor the Red Rocks Award—and remove Red Rocks from the running. It is voted on annually by the magazine's membership."

Red Rocks launched U2...



That video vaulted their career.

(don't let the weather in that video scare you...our rainy season is pretty short)



And all because Berry Fey had them play the Rainbow Room here in Denver, found them as they were loading up their van after the show, and told them, "You guys are going to be huge. You have to come back and play Red Rocks.". They had no idea what "Red Rocks" was. lol They still make time for Berry whenever they're in town.

Denver has a thriving music scene. For Jazz, I would suggest El Chapultapec (No dancing allowed without a dancing permit...no joke...they'll kick you out...unless you've got a permit from the city lol). Tiny and dark...serve great mexican food. Has been there for a very long time. In downtown by Coors field. The neighborhood improved around the bar over the decades.

Dazzle...I think that's the name...down on Lincoln does jazz.

Great town Denver. My family goes back 4 generations in Denver (5 in Colorado). I've left...but the curse...she brings me back.

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Response to Buddyblazon (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 01:35 PM

23. i thought the curse only applied to fort collins

a lot of people leave, but they don't stay gone for long.

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Response to Buddyblazon (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:24 PM

24. Love it!

I know about Red Rocks - it's world famous.

But love to hear about the music scene - esp. smaller venues. I remember when U2 first put out a record - I thought they were the shit then, too. Great story.

I like all kinds of music, but I mention jazz b/c that's the one that has the hardest time keeping a roof over its head, seems to me.

But the information you're giving me is right up my alley, in terms of my own interests.

Glad that CO has the Broncos, etc. but for me, football is the bg noise while I do something else. Not a big sports fan.

So you think Denver is better than Boulder for music fans? Sounds like it's more affordable too.

What about locally owned restaurants that are affordable but good? There are always lots of good places that cost a lot of bucks, but again, that's not my price range.

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Response to Buddyblazon (Reply #22)

Mon Dec 31, 2012, 04:27 PM

25. oh yeah, what kind of dancing requires a permit?!?!

I know how to salsa and merengue but I'm definitely not at the level of "permit dancing" I fear. lol.

I do love afro-cuban music, btw.

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Response to RainDog (Reply #25)

Sun Jan 13, 2013, 11:23 AM

35. At El Chapultapec...

ALL dancing requires a permit.

Though I heard they stopped enforcing it. I don't know when that happened. Because when I was in music school in the late '90's...we went there frequently. And the "dancing by permit only" thing was still enforced.

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 02:27 PM

32. You might look at Durango if you are interested in a college town on the West Slope.

It's a long way from Denver and arena rock acts, but the economy is okay and prices don't carry the cache tag of Boulder, Aspen, Telluride, etc... Close to the Four Corners. All I know about the music there is that they have a bluegrass festival, I think. It really depends how urban you want to be. Durango was too big and too busy for me (after four years in New Orleans ) so I went even smaller and moved to Cortez. But Durango has an active commercial district and nightlife, and is small enough to get around in by bike. It's a pretty cool large town/small city. Great outdoor rec everywhere! It's just on the other side of the San Juan's here:

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Response to bluedigger (Reply #32)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 06:19 PM

33. Shh....

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Response to likesmountains 52 (Reply #33)

Tue Jan 1, 2013, 08:01 PM

34. LOL!

One voter at a time...

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Response to RainDog (Original post)

Sun Jan 20, 2013, 12:52 PM

36. Morrison said it best

The west is the best, get here we'll do the rest.
Spent the 60,s in Boulder and then moved to one of the many small progressive communities abundant across the State of Colorado. Wherever you find a thriving community you will most likely find Boulder alumni.

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