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5 Things I Love About Denver (That Most People Hate)

by Tim Wenger Dec 28, 2016

The weather can change on a dime, completely altering plans for the day.

I feel more comfortable in winter attire than summer, and don’t mind keeping a light coat in the back of the Subie in case of a shift in the winds. Quick weather changes have taught me to be prepared when I leave the house and have hardened my ability to deal with the consequences if I’m not. The changing of the seasons and temperamental weather that accompanies is something I’ve learned to embrace and actually look forward to. Call me crazy, but I like snowboarding in June and biking to the liquor store in January. It’s refreshing.

Style is a concept that Denverites just can’t seem to grasp.

I’m as guilty of this as anyone. Full disclosure – I am extremely uncomfortable in classy situations, not because of the social interaction or the setting (I’ll talk your ear off all night about politics or football or investing). I am uncomfortable because of the dress. Walking around Denver, I get the feeling I’m not alone.

Racked ranked us among the 20 worst dressed cities. Distinctions like this are an odd sort of pride here. I like my flannel and punk rock t-shirts. My closet is full of ski town tuxedos, and casual chic is the upper crust my comfort zone. Luckily, I don’t think craft breweries are going to instigate a dress code anytime soon.

The city is still honing in on its identity.

Yes, it is, and I’m proud to be a part of it. The growth of the last decade has brought the city into the modern area and, because of the progressive citizenry and government, Denver is responding quite well. We’re no longer content being a fly-over cow town. I get chills of excitement when I read about new light-rail lines and see dedicated bike lines appearing on major urban thoroughfares, because it confirms my suspicion that Denver is embracing modern trends and putting its best foot forward to greet the cameras and pens of journalists as they step off the A-Line into Union Station looking for that next big story brewing here in the Mile High.

And it’s changing, a lot.

On the cusp, it appears to be out of control. High-rise apartment buildings, increasing congestion, and sky-high rent prices keep a lot of locals on edge. While the growth takes a lot to get used to, I am confident in Denver’s ability to steer it in the right direction. This city may not offer everything that you’ll find in New York or LA, but what we do, we do well. We are on the forefront of everything from pot to beer to coffee to live music to skiing, with our budding entrepreneurship and startup scene is honing those industries (and others), constantly pushing them into new territory. Much like Silicon Valley has its reputation as a tech haven, I think Denver will continue to evolve into a niche city that continues to draw top minds for its specialty industries.

If you’re not into outdoor activities, Denver is boring.

I believe it was the great philosopher Craig Rowley, more commonly known as the marketing director at REI, who said “Let’s lose what’s weighing us down and spend more time doing what we love. Together. Outside.” This statement resonated so profoundly among my wife and I that we ripped the page out of the company’s winter catalog and hung it prominently on our fridge. It got me thinking about how we spend our time.

If I hated ‘outdoor activities,’ I might not like living in Denver, or anywhere in Colorado for that matter. But I’m not one for television, glitz and glamor, or whatever it is about connecting with our beautiful natural landscape that Redditors find so imperative to gripe about. Personally, I wouldn’t ever want to live anywhere that isn’t boring without outdoor recreation. Feel free to head back to the mid-west, where the options for things to do with a roof over your head are as bountiful as the Budweisers ‘round the Canasta table.

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