Who's Your City?, by Richard Florida
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Denver, the cool city that hates itself

I live in Denver, a lovely city with lots to offer. Lots of young people, parks, amazing mountains and climate, great variety of restaurants, culture, etc. What I can’t figure out is why the media voice in Denver is constantly berating the city. I wish I had a dollar for every time Denver gets called a Cowtown. It’s been a very long time since we resembled anything close to a cowtown, and yet the name remains, and it’s never used fondly.

On the creative side, there’s a site for local “creatives” called The Denver Egotist. Their tagline: Attempting to Help Denver Suck Less Daily. I hear the same kinds of sentiments from people who go snowboarding here all winter, go to tons of great shows in the spring, camp and hike all summer, interspersed with a vibrant downtown, awesome restaurants, lots of counter culture, I could go on and on.

So Denver is cool, at least for now. Its success may end up being its downfall. The city has changed so fast you can barely get a handle on it. Skyrocketing rents have altered the fabric of our coolest neighborhoods, pushing out the mom and pops and forcing out lower income folks, mostly hispanic and asian. The great little breakfast place you could walk to from my house got the boot after 30 years in the same location, told they had to move because the new landlord could now get 3x the rent. Too bad the new guys had terrible food and closed in less than a year. Also pushed out have been the convenience store, the mini grocers, the plant store, the cheap but awesome pizza place, the really great mexican place. Now we have a chocolatier, a parfumier, a mini spa, an exotic tea shop, and cutesy gift shops galore. Gone is the diversity of age and race and income. Now nearly everyone you see walking down the street is white, 25 to 35, and pushing a stroller. Of course all these folks will move to the burbs as soon as the kids are school age, the newest form of transience. Some call it white flight. Is it misguided to also see it, while they’re here, as white blight? Every time I hear of someone wanting to leave Denver, they seem to have the same issues. Can’t say I blame them, either.

Sent by Rigby from Denver

2 Responses to “Denver, the cool city that hates itself”

  1. DeLani Says:

    Unfortunately, jobs won’t hire you unless you already live in Colorado.

  2. delani Says:

    [...] note that the THIRTEEN editorial staff reserves the right to not post comments it deems to be …Who's YOUR city : Who's Your City? by Richard FloridaOne Response to Denver, the cool city that hates itself DeLani Says: August 20th, 2008 at 2:54 pm. [...]

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