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Old 04-23-2011, 10:35 AM
 
79 posts, read 99,189 times
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I currently live in Denver and I may, repeat May, be offered a pretty good job in Albq. As I am now unemployed that would be hard to pass up. I like Denver as a city and the incredible outdoors opportunities nearby. I lived in Albq. 30 years ago and wasn't all that wild about it, but on a recent visit noticed a lot of improvements especially downtown and around UNM. I'm single and over 50, so nightlife quality is of very minor importance. Has anyone moved from Denver to Albq. in the past few years, and what do you think of living in Albq.? I appreciate the insights offered.
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Old 04-24-2011, 05:25 PM
 
Location: NM
441 posts, read 540,092 times
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Default Albuquerque vs Denver

My spouse and I are also strongly considering a move to Albuquerque and will be going there for a week to look around. My neighbor lived in Albuquerque for 8 years and had glowing reports about it. She said that there was alot to do and that is my impression also. She said that she would move back in a minute (military). I have gathered information over the past year from different sources, trying to get a clear view of Albuquerque and the positive far outweighs the negative. I have lived in Colorado and Denver is a neat city but you will run into some weather/traffic issues there and it is common for it to get quite cold in the winter and traffic tie-ups around snow time. I think Denver is a much larger city than Albuquerque or at least that's my impression.
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Old 04-24-2011, 06:23 PM
 
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The metro population of Denver is about 3 times that of metro Albuquerque. There is a post today about more people moving in to Colorado than there are jobs being created, and I have found the job hunt here in Denver very discouraging (as it is anywhere) and extremely competitive no matter how many years of experience or how many college degrees. If I get an offer in Albq, I'll go.
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Old 04-27-2011, 12:10 AM
 
24 posts, read 31,225 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cglore View Post
I currently live in Denver and I may, repeat May, be offered a pretty good job in Albq. As I am now unemployed that would be hard to pass up. I like Denver as a city and the incredible outdoors opportunities nearby. I lived in Albq. 30 years ago and wasn't all that wild about it, but on a recent visit noticed a lot of improvements especially downtown and around UNM. I'm single and over 50, so nightlife quality is of very minor importance. Has anyone moved from Denver to Albq. in the past few years, and what do you think of living in Albq.? I appreciate the insights offered.
I lived in Denver for 3 years and grew up in Boulder. I have lived in ABQ for 1 year. ALBQ barely feels like a city compared to Denver. The traffic is quite minimal compared to most of the Denver Metro area. I drive rush hour I 25 all the time here and would never dream of doing so in Denver. You can see open spaces, mountains and nature from just about anywhere, which makes it seem less like a big city to me.

While Denver is ostensibly closer to more outdoor stuff (particularly the mountains) I find ALBQ fulfills my outdoor needs (hiking, rafting, camping) though some of it is farther away. Durango or even the Jemez mtns or around Taos, etc. has real mountain (CO mtn that is) feel, and its all 3 or so hours away.

In addition, getting to the foothills from Denver is not easy at all and it is basically a day long affair to get anywhere in the mountains and back the same day. Then when you get there there's a million people. In ABQ you have more limited options nearby, but it is way less commute time and I can often find places to hike without seeing anyone, even on a weekend.

I lived in SW colorado and everyone was always sketched out by ALBQ, and I have heard it was terrible in the 70's, 80's and early 90's. However, in my (admittedly somewhat brief) experience it really is not bad at all regarding crime. Denver overall, is probably per capita lower crime, but with Arvada, Aurora, etc. in the mix it does not seem that way. I also lived in Baltimore for a short spell, so perhaps that has highly skewed my view on what normal crime is, but to me it feels about the same as Denver. You can walk around most places during most hours without being freaked out. There are lots of new homes, businesses, and buildings. Most of the town does not have too much of a run down feel to it, which is sort of what I always expected when I did not live here. I still like Denver, and would probably move there if I could maitnain my standard of living, but thenagain, I am from there and have a lot of friends of family there, so I'm partial.

So my .02. Good luck with the job!
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Old 04-27-2011, 08:13 AM
 
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Thanks J&T. That helps. I love hiking and snowshoeing but don't ski and of course don't go up I-70 on weekends between November and May. I like Denver a lot too and it will be tough to give up friends here, but the biggest draw of Albq is fewer people! There are hiking websites for the Sandias and Monzanos that talk about hiking on Saturday and seeing no one!
Can you imagine that on the trails above Boulder??
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Old 04-28-2011, 03:52 AM
 
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Albuquerque is waaaay better than Denver. But that's MY OPINION and reflects what I'm about. People in albuquerque are way more down-to-earth, reflective, and diverse than in denver, imo. I grew up in Colorado in and around Denver and suburbs. I could never live in Denver or Colorado ever again. I love NM. I love Albuquerque. But like I said, that's just ME. And definitely is not the same for everyone. Peace.
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Old 04-29-2011, 01:30 PM
 
Location: Metro Milwaukee, WI
3,058 posts, read 8,154,652 times
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I think you have received a lot of good feedback regarding the differences of these two cities, especially J&T's input.

I lived in Albuquerque from 03-07 and have extensively inlaws/family in Denver and thus visit often, so am quite versed with the two cities.

For myself, my interests, and my lifestyle, Albuquerque is far and away the better town, but that is only because of how desirous I am of ABQ as a town. Denver surely has a multitude of positives as well...its just that for me, I prefer them as a visitor's destination rather than as a resident.

Here are a few notable, off-the-top-of-my-head advantages to ABQ:

WEATHER:
People in, and from, Denver often think that ABQ's weather is much more similar to Denver's than it in actuality is. ABQ, due to its "bowl" geographic setting and more southern latitude tends to be consistently warmer and less prone to severe swings in temperatures. If you enjoy golfing nearly every day of the year, ABQ is your place.

Denver on the other hand is much more prone to say, a glorious stretch of sunny 60s degree weather for a few days in December, and then a major storm off of the Rockies plummeting their highs into the teens or 20s for a few days later.

The pendulum can swing a bit in ABQ, just not nearly as often and not nearly as severe.

ABQ is drier climatically speaking than Denver, which certainly makes its high desert topography much more in-line with the Chihuahuan Desert than that of the semi-arid Denver region.

ABQ cools in the summertime evenings, however, not as significantly as Denver does. Believe it or not though, the hottest of hot days in the summer for highs tend to not be that drastically different in terms of highs between ABQ and Denver.

Spring time (outside of the vastly overrated winds) and fall time in Albuquerque in my opinion is some of the best weather God created on this earth. The seasons start earlier than in Denver and run very lengthily.

Oh, and did I mention that ABQ averages in general at, or lower than, 10 inches of snowfall annually? Unless you love shoveling or snow blowing, ABQ gets high marks for its general lack of snow.

SIZE:
As others mentioned, ABQ metro is roughly a third of Denver's, which continues to evolve into a major metro area.

There are blessings that come with the size of a Denver, which include a vast array of "metropolitan" and entertainment offerings, numerous major hotels and a vast diversity of restaurants. Certainly, Denver's airport has developed into one of the major players in the US for air. Also, with Denver's city size, you certainly get the uniqueness of having NBA, NFL, MLB, etc., sports teams.

However, to me, I prefer the accessibility of a smaller metro. As others have mentioned, traffic is not nearly the problem in ABQ as one encounters in bigger markets such as Denver. To me, life is too short to be sitting in long freeway delays.

Getting to and from the ABQ Sunport for your flight is a breeze, and just being able to "do" stuff easily and freely in a city metro of under a million people tends to make it an ideal size for those that don't necessarily need the distractions of major city size.

In ABQ, you can get from one end of the metro to the other in under a half hour almost all the time, and that just can't be said in bigger places.

...and...to top it off...ABQ has an impressive diversity in dining and entertainment options for a city of its size.

CULTURE / UNIQUENESS:
I used to post a lot in these forums, and as long-time posters who may remember my long, rambling (incoherent?) blatherings would attest to, I feel strongly deep in my heart that ABQ is so unique, along with a very-small handful of other large or mid sized American cities, in maintaining a very unique and distinct vibe and culture.

So many of US cities now seem to all kind of feel the same. Sure, they may have a unique identifier or two (the Arch in St. Louis, gray skies and the Space Needle in Seattle, the "Strip" in Vegas, etc.), however, get plopped down in the middle of most cities and they start to now generally feel "the same" in many regards.

To me, for better or worse, Albuquerque does not feel that way. While residents are proud Americans, Albuquerque feels like a city with its own culture, heritage, and pace of life.

Albuquerque in general is comparatively laid back. Some people don't like that, but to me, I find it very refreshing.

Albuquerque is a blend of very long-time/life-long citizens whose lineage in NM goes several generations back, and Sunbelt relocators. Its a blend of liberal, left-wingers around the University area - an area that very much reminds one that ABQ is a college town - but also a staunch conservative sect of Air Force personnel as well as those that retired in ABQ after the Air Force.

Sure, there are distinct pockets of crime in ABQ - "the bad places" that exist in every major US city - however, in general, much of the city is relatively safe. Unlike many major US cities, one actually desires to live IN most spots of ABQ the city itself, and not just its suburbs (like here in Milwaukee, WI, where most people tend to not desire to live in Milwaukee itself, but rather its many suburbs).

ABQ offers a unique style on cuisine (New Mexican cuisines with green chile) which is so distinctly New Mexican / ABQ. It offers celebrated and cherished events like the ABQ Balloon Fiesta that just seems to be the perfect fit for a town and a people like ABQ. It offers quirky things like the common roadrunner being sighted everywhere.

ABQ's gorgeous Sandia Mountains aren't nearly the size or scope of Northern Rocky Mountains are, however, their beauty is unmatched and their accessibility equally so.

Also, the Rio Grande River offers a unique green lush beauty in central portions of the city as a complete diversion from the high desert composite of the rest of the city.

The thing in ABQ is, is that it seems like folks that relocate to ABQ in general are the ones that largely come loving ABQ for what it is, desiring to meld and to become a part of ABQ's culture - EG: people coming to ABQ look to become a part of *it* (they learn to love green chile on everything and to take their kids to an annual balloon fiesta), rather than trying to make ABQ what their old hometown was.

COST OF LIVING:
Don't forget this...this is big...

ABQ has a much lower cost of living than Denver, however, that comes with a caveat. Obviously the sheer bulk of well-paying jobs is greater in a bigger metro area like Denver, and the quantity of overall professional opportunities is much wider.

Having said that, employers and jobs do exist in ABQ, and if one can find one that brings him-or-her contentment, both professionally as well as fiscally, one can make their dollar stretch much farther in ABQ.

Mortgages and rent tends to be either lower or significantly lower in ABQ. One needs a significant less amount of gas to heat in the winter in ABQ (although admittedly a bit more of energy to cool in the summertime).

Taxes are good in ABQ, although they are good in the Denver area as well. Entertainment venues and options are cheaper in ABQ, although less numerous.

------

I could go on and on. Both are fine cities. Despite their relative geographic proximity though, they are more unalike than alike. If someone were looking for, say, a more mountainous & sunny version of Chicago, they'd be better off in Denver. However, if they were looking for a temperate, livable, friendly, culture-dripping, outdoors-oriented high desert town that does have a remarkable amount of diversity in its entertainment options for a city of its size, it almost doesn't get any better than Albuquerque.

I like to visit Denver (only a 6 hour drive up I-25 from ABQ), however, ABQ is where my heart (and many others) is at home! Viva ABQ!
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Old 04-30-2011, 01:35 AM
 
Location: Albuquerque, New Mexico
112 posts, read 98,407 times
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Don't get EnjoyEP started on the greatness that is Albuquerque.
I think Albuquerque is more comparable to Colorado Springs than it is to Denver. The main difference there would be that CS is more conservative while ABQ is more liberal. If that sort of thing matters to you.
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Old 04-30-2011, 09:08 AM
 
79 posts, read 99,189 times
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All great feedback, thanks! It looks like the job there is pretty likely, although these days its prudent to wait until you have a letter in hand with the offer written on it. Good thoughts on the big city vs. smaller city differences; I really don't need (and don't take advantage of) the big city entertainment venues in Denver now and so wouldn't miss them! The city of Denver is mostly nice architecturally, but thinking about it most of the suburban areas are pretty bland, and though nice could be anywhere in the US! Lots of chain restaurants, tract homes and shopping centers. Not bad, just not very interesting.
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Old 05-02-2011, 02:27 PM
 
Location: New Mexico
7,436 posts, read 8,246,559 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesABQ View Post
Don't get EnjoyEP started on the greatness that is Albuquerque.
I think Albuquerque is more comparable to Colorado Springs than it is to Denver. The main difference there would be that CS is more conservative while ABQ is more liberal. If that sort of thing matters to you.
I don't see any parallels between Albuquerque and Colorado Springs what so ever besides being closer in population and size. In aesthetics, culture, politics, and the roles they play in their states, and the dynamic of the two cities could not be more different. And Albuquerque has so much more to do and a lot more character and history than Colorado Springs could ever hold a candle to. Nob Hill and Old Town alone set Albuqeruque apart.

Denver and Albuquerque may be a bit off balance in terms of comparison but they are both the leading big cities in their respective states and honestly I would say Colorado Springs is even more of an anomaly in comparison. ABQ & COS are worlds apart in so many ways.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 05-02-2011 at 02:37 PM..
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