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Disappointing Denver
Loved Denver up until the passing of the marijuana laws. The taxes were great for the city BUT it's killed the quality of life. Vagrants and hoards of homeless, parks and greenbelts are filled with them. The Broadway Bridge sidewalk between Lincoln & Broadway and 6th and 7th are thick with unslightly heaps of stuff; grocery carts line the Cherry Creek path. 'Travelers" along the 16th St Mall help themselves to diners' food & drink; robberies skyrocketing; people sleeping on walks; hardly a corner without panhandling; walk out of any building along Colfax and you're approached by someone asking for money. Cheap looking highrises renting at exorbitant prices; highrises not including enough parking spaces for # of units/tenants main street parking worse than before (tenants in Cherry Creek began parking at the Cherry Creek Mall to the point the mall added paid parking barriers (1st hour free). I-25 is trash lined. Traffic has become horrible, infrastructure not ready for the masses. A once wonderful, civilized city now disgraceful and grungy, and sad. We want our old Denver back, please.



Update 6 Months Later - I'm Out
I left, but will always be back periodically to visit. Some things that really pushed me over the line:

1. Dating scene continued to be lacking. Not sure if it's because people have less oxygen going to the brain at high altitude or Denver just attracts nut jobs in general. I'm thinking a combination of both. I have several other guy friends who have been taken advantage of my women over the last few months as well.

2. The city is expanding in the most obnoxious ways. 16 wheeler trucks and cement mixers are everywhere. There is constant traffic and nobody seems to want (or care) of how to drive properly. Road lanes are often blocked out for construction of apartment complexes and office buildings. I almost got run over by an Asian lady driving a white Subaru while crossing the street and having the right of way signal - sadly I'm not making this up.

3. Service at bars and restaurants continues to suck. I can't get over this one - don't make me wait 10 minutes for a drink while you converse with your co-workers after getting high in the alleyway. Denver has a very weird slash cliquey service culture. It's extremely unprofessional.

4. Awful pet owners. Seriously, why do owners not put their dogs on leashes? I've been chased by several dogs over the last year and each time the owner was like "it's fine, he's friendly." Really, are you freaking serious? Your dog just chased me. The final straw with this was hearing a dog get run over by a car. It was the most awful sound I ever heard in my life.

5. Terrible apartment complex associations. Maintenance calls were ignored, they didn't take out the trash in the common areas for 3 weeks while they sold the building to another company. It took them 4 days to clean up the laundry room after a homeless person defecated there in the middle of the night. This would all be against California Law BTW, but Denver sure as hell is not going to care.

I'm preserving the good memories, but people need to think twice before relocating here. Denver needs to start conducting "exit interviews" for people that leave on the quick.



refer to Gigi's review
Gigi (below) really nailed it - I subletted there for eight weeks and couldn't believe how awful it was compared to all the good things I'd heard about it - it's essentially LA on the plains with better mountains, there's no THERE there. traffic is insane - driving from the southern end to rocky mountain national is like driving from long beach to the valley - and there are accidents CONSTANTLY because of the aggressive, bullying drivers. Denver pretty much defines sprawl - mile after mile of cheap housing and new condos except for some very nice areas downtown - and while the mountains are nice you'll be fighting traffic to get there, and all the nearby (say within two hour) trails will be crowded. Denver is essentially mile after sprawling mile of cheaply built overpriced housing and new condos, interspersed with tattoo parlors and pot shops -literally the only person I know there who likes it is an ex heroin addict who moved there to get into medical edibles and is trying to hold it together as an aging party girl while living in a house her boyfriend bought two decades ago when it was affordable, everyone else is getting out as soon as they can



Dynamic place to live
In spite of the headaches associated with any large city on the rise, Denver is a wonderful place to live. Besides the obvious draw of the nearby Rocky Mountains and ski town playgrounds, Denver is a cultural hub now with a large, lively downtown, thriving arts, culinary and sports scenes, highly educated populace, colorful and varied neighborhoods, well-preserved historic 1880's architecture in Capitol Hill, beautiful parks gardens and tree-lined streets, and a compact, easy to navigate city with something for everyone. Oh, and the sunny full four-season climate is a fantastic draw for "glass half full" types.



So what you're looking at with Denver is really living in a mostly brown, open, flat terrain with the mountains in the background. It's very sunny and bright here with very little shade and tree canopy. The temperatures are nice in that there is no humidity and it often cools down at night. Many houses and neighborhoods here are quite drab and cheaply built. I feel that the Denver area is quite unattractive, sore on the eyes, and unenchanting, and there are so many things I miss about back East. Lush greenery, rolling soft mountains, more rain, grey days, tree canopies, large shaded and private yards, and access to the ocean. Everything out here seems overpriced, crowded, wide open, exposed, and yet crammed together. I feel landlocked out here away from other big cities. There's not much diversity and people tend to be kind of aloof, stoic, yet helpful and congenial if you engage them. Skiing is great but you must get up by 5am to beat the traffic. It's an extremely expensive pastime, and the mountains are too rugged for me. I like the more gentle mountains on the East Coast. I'm hoping to make it back to a softer, shadier, greener, gentler terrain back East soon!



Great suburb between Boulder and Denver?
Looking for a nice suburb between Boulder and Denver. Broomfield, Thornton or Westminster? For young couple. Thank you.



A good choice for those willing to work
Jobs are plentiful and most pay quite well about 60K on average. Housing in the city is expensive, but the towns West of Denver are beautiful places to live. There are still some good deals. The schools are good and people are very sociable.



Better city's out there
Denver was really fun when I first moved there from Austin. TX. Immediately I missed the food in Austin, but I did find some nice places in denver. The watercourse Jerusalem Santiago's various taco spots. I missed Austin music scene and I had a better job in austin. Eventually I did get a "good" job in Denver but like the other posters said the wages are low there and the cost of living is high. There aren't very good university's in Colorado. I did an intenship at CU boulder and it's a OK school. Boulder is like a small bubble and it gets old really quick. Denver also seems small it's probably around the same size as Austin. I was tired of struggling so much in Denver I moved with family in NY. I am hoping to get my masters in NYC and see where that leads me. I will always miss denver and who knows maybe I will be back there one day. Cerventes is a cool music venue and laimar st also has some. There obviously a lot more like that in NY and Austin. Looking back denver seems immature compared to NY. It's good for potheads and people who don't know what to do with there life. I guess it can be helpful in figuring it out.



Still Self-Evaluating - Too Much Midwest Influence
I've lived in Denver for a year and moved here for work from CA. I grew up in the NYC-metro area in the NJ suburbs. Let's just say I'm a rare breed and it was a "roll the dice" move on relocating to Denver.

I will say when they say it's the "Queen City of the Plains," It truly is. Despite all the transplants from CA, TX, or the Northeast, the city is molded by Midwesterners. It's "their" town, with their intoxicated passive aggressive rules. It's either fit in or get out. And to me that's a dysfunctional mindset to have.

I honestly go back and fourth. Last month with the exceptionally mild weather was pretty great. But when there are low, man, there are lows.

I echo many of the comments about how professionalism just isn't relevant or cared about out here. I was terminated from my old job for reasons that were unexplained. My bosses were totally aloof and had their heads literally up their a**es. Direct people in the work place are generally frowned upon - thankfully I found a new job with MUCH better and direct people.

The dating scene for a laid back, sarcastic, fun guy is cruel. Girls here are largely damaged and/or seriously dumb upstairs. Many like to take advantage and/or use you. One wrong move on a date (mannerisms, topics of conversation, jokes) and the date is dead on the table.

For a city that's so "chill" I've never met so many single women who aren't. Never have I been in so many heated arguments by pig headed thrill seekers or gold diggers. And good luck defending yourself even if you're right. You'll be berated by lying into how wrong you are. Honestly, I wouldn't consider Denver to be filled with intelligent people by any means.

Other lows include literally the worst drivers in the nation, dryness (always picking my nose,) a local population that is hooked on soft and hard drugs, rising cost of living. Coming from CA, I don't see traffic as too much of a problem.

As for the highs, coming into the fold within the last few months is literally realizing how within a year I've casually met friends, built a small network, and have become reliable. They have literally backed me up in a fight a few months ago. My friend network in CA was pretty dried up, so I'm grateful for them.

Also if you like drinking, Denver is your place. This place has a fun and walkable bar scene, even if the service tends to be slow and terrible (it is.)

I'm happy that I've met some great people, but I'm not convinced if it's enough to stay. Life is too short to be meeting oddball women and feeling drained by it.



Mixed bag to say the least.
Can't give much of an accurate rating of Denver proper, but the metro area can be summed up quite nicely: Overpriced for what you get.

There are some nice aspects. The restaurant scene is fairly good in my opinion. Then again, I'm not a food connoisseur. But since Denver is such a melting pot, you can find decent replications of most cuisines around the country. Most chains usually make it here as well.

The amenities expected of a city are all here. You get big-name concerts, a decent art scene, blah blah blah. That said, if you're here for the arts and culture primarily, you'll be disappointed.

The weather is pretty fantastic most of the time. Sunny is the norm, without getting miserably hot or miserably cold for very long at a time. The freak hailstorms are kind of annoying, though. And the snow, though it doesn't come very often, can hit really hard, and then the transplants from the South don't know how to drive, which leads me to the cons...

Whoever designed Denver's road systems wants to watch the world burn. Who decided we needed one main north/south artery for a metro area of 2.8 million?? Predictably, I-25 gets extremely clogged at rush hour, as do most other highways in the metro area. Drivers are not particularly friendly either. They are allergic to letting anyone in their precious lane that belongs solely to them. They also drive really slowly in the fast lane. In short, anything goes when driving in Denver. And it will only get worse as people keep moving here.

Also, I don't know how Denver gets away with promoting itself as America's premiere mountain city. The entire city lies on the Eastern Plains, with a few of the outskirts flirting with the foothills. Sure, you can get to some decent mountain views within half an hour if you live on the western side of the metro, but on a daily basis you only get to look at ugly brown foothills. If you live on the eastern side, you get to see mountains on a daily basis, but then you're 45 minutes to an hour from the foothills even. Then, if you like skiing and live in Denver, have fun battling I-70 into the mountains. You'll be cursing everything while you try to make it up there. Even if you're not into skiing, you're at least two hours from any decent mountains. If you want a city with fantastic mountain views and quick mountain access, Salt Lake is your best bet (though it has problems in other areas).

The Denver metro is spectacularly ugly for most of the year. It is dead, brown, and smoggy. I do have to say that it can be really pretty in the summer when everything is green, but that usually lasts about a month or two and then it goes back to brown. As for downtown, it is dirty, gross, and crime happens way too frequently for me to want to spend much time there. They didn't even design anything to look very pretty. It's big-box skyscrapers.

To cap it all off, living is expensive and the costs are rising. It costs more to get a townhome in many parts of metro Denver than it does to get a nice house in the mountains (though good luck finding any sort of an income out there). Add that to the fact that the city is not all that impressive in many aforementioned areas. The metro area is not unlivable, but to me it is unacceptable to pay so much money for a sub-par living experience.

What really sucks is that Colorado overall is an awesome, beautiful state, but usually a person has to live in this overpriced hellhole to find gainful employment. I honestly do not understand why anyone would want to live here. I would rather move to another state in which I can live in a better area than have to live in Denver in order to stay in Colorado.

Of course, I am not really a city person to begin with, so maybe I'm not the best person to be reviewing a large metro area. The only thing that has kept me sane while I've lived here is the ability to escape into the wilderness. It is extremely depressing to come out of the mountains to see the big, ugly, sprawling mess that is Denver calling out, "Welcome home, back to real life, sucker!" I can't wait to get out of here.

If anyone has read this entire rant, congratulations. I probably wouldn't have read all of this if it was someone else's.



since I cannot reply directly to peope's reviews
I agree with a few other reviewers who complained about the standoffish and unfriendly attitude of Denverites.
I've lived in a few other cities in the USA, and Denver is one of the most insular. Go to any bar on the weekend and you will find it very hard to talk to anyone, and nobody will approach you, whether you are alone at the bar, or with a friend (very approachable situation, normally). Even at outdoor festivals, people stick with their own groups here. It's like they have no interest in meeting other people. They just go out with a friend or 2 or 3, and only talk to those people all night long. It's very hard to get to know people here. In the grocery store, in yoga classes, coffee shops, and other public spaces, it's the same. People will act like nobody else in is in the room/building except themself, and the person or persons they came in with.
It's odd that such a crowded city that is so full of transplants is so standoffish to others. It probably has to do with the majority of residents here being felons, snobby hipsters who only care about their image, drug dealers, and other selfish personality types.



I agree with Stephanie.
I have also noticed the dating scene is lackluster, for women. The men are good looking from a distance, but when you come closer, you discover all their tattoos, and sometimes odd piercings. These are not the only poor choices they have made in life so far. Many of them, I have found, are former or current drug addicts. And alcoholics. Few have college degrees or any ambition to do much with their lives beyond maybe working in a grocery store or a restaurant, or a pot shop. Or they're a truck driver, or they have no job. There's a lot of hipsters here so it's often hard to tell which men are gay, or which men are straight.... The straight men even sometimes act effeminate. A lot of people from small towns move to Denver, and Denver is the first city they've ever lived in, so they think they're really "cultured" for living here.



much hyped
Denver is very overcrowded and actually has a lot of crime for being such a small city compared to other American cities.
The traffic is atrocious because the streets are so narrow and the lights have not been timed to improve the flow. The rush hour starts at 2:30 and ends around 9pm. People in Colorado drive very aggressively, run red lights, and speed everywhere, resulting in many accidents.
The cost of living keeps going up, it's basically at the same rates as you would find in large east coast cities, except for NYC. The wages in Denver have not improved in 10 years, according to what locals tell me. It's hard to survive here.
Sure the mountains are nearby, but most people can't afford to go skiing anymore as that is also very expensive, and add in the cost of renting in Denver, and the traffic, it's not easy to visit the mountains. If you took away the mountains, Denver would be like a more criminal version of Kansas City. Denver is full of hipsters who are covered in tattoos. It's nearly impossible to see a person who's between the age of 16-45 who is NOT covered in tattoos. And piercings.
Many people here have criminal records and they move to Colorado so they can sit around and smoke weed all day. There is a good deal of violence and crime here, probably because of all the criminals, and all the unemployed and homeless people everywhere. Good jobs are hard to find here.
The air is very, very dry and in Denver itself it's polluted and smells bad.
The food is not that great here, even the Mexican food is terrible compared to what you could find in Texas. People from Colorado like to think it's the best Mexican food ever, but very few of them have ever been out of the state so they don't know .
There's not much to do if you don't like eating mediocre food, drinking a ton of alcohol all the time, and smoking weed. There's also plenty of heroin and cocaine addicts in Denver. They play ads for alcohol and drug recovery programs on a few of the radio stations, that's how bad of a drug and alcohol problem that Denver has.



Where Dreams Go To Die
Denver seemed to have only certain types of people my age: frat boy type thrill seekers, pot heads, and trustifarians. If you are not any of these things, you'll have a difficult time. People are judgmental, snotty pricks and I believe the reason they're flaky is because they're adrenaline junkies who can't possibly plan ahead and stick to it. These are not the kind of people who like (or need) to think more than 5 minutes ahead. And I still don't know where 80% of the kids I lived around in Capitol Hill neighborhood got enough money for rent, let alone all the alcohol and weed they consumed.

Dating? Forget it. I'm a nerdy, laid back, open-minded-but-realistic woman with a wide range of interests in reading, music, art, film, etc. And I felt like I was constantly going on dates with the high school jock/bully. If you don't live for the mountains and are VERY physically active (even though I run and x-country ski and am fit/average, it didn't seem to be enough) you will be ridiculed for not living the right way. Whatever that means.

The average wages are not enough to live on when you are paying Los Angeles level housing prices. There may be some good job openings but you are competing with the entire world since everyone wants to move there. I got plenty of interviews for real jobs with benefits but was not offered anything worth taking -- there was always someone more (over) qualified or the job did not pay enough. I made just enough to live but not to get ahead due to the cost of living. A lot of screw-you-over contract jobs.

I am from the midwest (as a good portion of the transplants are) but I came to the area over 15 years ago, before this new wave. I've noticed that they brought along the midwestern "nice" which is pleasant to your face and snotty behind your back. I have always hated that special form of passive aggressiveness so ...thanks for bringing it back to me Denver!

Lastly, absolutely DO NOT move to Denver without a dream job already lined up. If you think you're a hot shot (like I did) who will easily get a job equal to the one you had for many years (so you'll just wing it,) you'll be in for a rude and sad awakening. Unless you are a trustifarian, then proceed...your brethren have been waiting for you.

I have lived in more hip, albeit smaller, places in Wyoming and Colorado that are closer to pristine mountain recreation with higher wages, lower rents, and overall better quality of life.

The only good thing to come of Denver was meeting a person who became my best friend *of all time* and got me through the Denver experience. We were both in the same boat of struggle and bonded over it -- like being in the trenches together. He has since moved to L.A. and I have visited. I love L.A. -- a place with some culture, excitement, a variety of people, and freedom of expression. I would like to move out there at some point -- I'm already used to paying that much in rent, so why not enjoy higher wages as well?



Denver is a great city
Watch the best football team in the NFL. Ski on the weekends. Great restaurants and wonderful culture.


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