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Old 03-26-2012, 06:23 PM
 
Location: Prague
1,975 posts, read 2,850,219 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayela View Post
I lived in Denver - brown, brown, brown and sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. SUV's and cookie-cutter housing developments as far up and down the front range as they can get. You see the same strip malls w/the same big box stores over and over for miles and miles until you have no idea which part of the city you're in because it all looks the same. Nice people but I got depressed there (in case you can't tell). The mountains are nearby, but not nearly as accessible and you're certainly not in the middle of two mountain ranges with forests that look like they're straight outta Lord of the Rings. In contrast, Seattle is called the 'Emerald City' and we have bridges that freakkin' float on the water.

OK - so I'm obviously biased, but that's my honest $.02 when it comes to Denver vs Seattle. I was also quite the nomad, but found that the minute I stepped off the train and took my first breath of cool, moist air - heavy with the promise of rain and growing things (and I was downtown to boot), Seattle has been 'home'. It was just something inside that had nothing to do with checkboxes. I wish you the best in finding that for yourself wherever it may be. (even Denver)
I always wondered if I had a long lost sibling. Now I know.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:49 PM
 
Location: Greater Seattle, WA Metro Area
1,938 posts, read 5,643,267 times
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We visited Denver last year after having lived in Seattle for 4 years and not having been to Denver in 10 years. We were underwhelmed by the scenery after having lived in Seattle...it just seemed so brown and so sprawled though the sunsets are beautiful. Now certainly the view from 12,000 feet is still spectacular but that's not everyday living. I would really miss the water if I left Seattle.
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Old 03-26-2012, 07:54 PM
 
7,237 posts, read 12,650,197 times
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Honestly, the OP doesn't sound that quirky to me, LOL.

A couple things that stand out:

Nor'easters.... yea, we don't really have *that* here... we do get some winter windstorms that are just majestic. I like to go to West Seattle and get splashed. Well... sometimes it does suck, it is quite capable of knocking electricity, trees out. I believe we were the only metro that didn't get to watch Bill Clinton's first inaugural because of the windstorms.

You mention those Victorian style homes... hmm, then mentioned North Bend. Are you saying you were looking for those homes in N-B? N-B doesn't really have in the way of those older Seattle neighborhoods. Right now your best bet for those older homes that are bit more affordable... is in Tacoma. Somewhere closer to Seattle would be more... Georgetown, Beacon Hill-- but they're not necessarily Victorian style.

Trains... you'd probably like it here, its very much in use (freight). If you go to the baseball game and hang out (in what used to be the smoking section), you have a perfect view of freight trains at work. People also have the option of using heavy rail Sounder commuter train. Light rail is very developing and will change the region for the better. Plus there is an old train museum in Snoqualmie, very interesting to check out.
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Old 03-26-2012, 08:32 PM
 
239 posts, read 417,356 times
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Both Seattle and Denver are great cities. Neither city is going to satisfy all your criteria and you're going to have to give up some of it unfortunately.

I think Seattle is a better fit, especially for New Englanders in terms of the political climate, forests, and ocean. My biggest beef with Seattle is the weather, I can't stand constant overcast and rainy days. However, I do like how green Seattle is and the Olympia Rainforest is beautiful. I personally like San Diego better than both Seattle and Denver, but their housing is ridiculously overpriced and the economy is probably weaker than both Seattle and Denver. Plus, you asked about only Seattle and Denver so I don't want to get off topic. I'm just saying my two cents.

Btw, I hear you about Arizona because I spent some time there when my cousin was living in Phoenix. Good active lifestyle with a few nice sites like the Grand Canyon and Sedona, but the rest is blah IMO. Mostly chain restaurants and desert settings are usually harsher on the eye. I think many people retire there because of the warm weather and cheap COL in most of Arizona.

I think you're best decision is to visit both cities in person. However, I think you will be happy in either city you choose. Good luck!

Last edited by JCNNY; 03-26-2012 at 08:57 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:15 PM
 
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
9,045 posts, read 17,311,754 times
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By reading through the OP's experience, it wouldn't surprise me if they ended up trying both over a stretch of time and some years, and just simply deciding which one to get to first. Once you land in either city they're most likely still going to have some itch for the other. That's OK, it doesn't seem like he's at that point where he needs to put down solid roots permanently and through his experiences of bouncing around growing up he might not.

I'm one of those New Englanders with deep roots and magnetically drawn back the Massachusetts, yet my soul feels at home in the west. Like the OP says, I need to see the horizons. The whole Eastern US is overgrown with vegetation. The Pacific Northwest can have canopies just as dense but with more surprise views poking out around the bend here and there (like one of the volcanic peaks of the Cascades, they really jump out at you). Also take a ride across one of the passes over the Cascades into Eastern WA and the whole dynamic of the landscape changes entirely from damp with dense vegetation to semi-arid and treeless within a mere few hours. There is no place back east where one can experience that kind of rapid change in topography.

I've spent most of my life in New England but I did spend 5 years in Seattle in my twenties and with my "I'm set in my New England ways" outlook, I did find Seattle a very compatible place to live at the time. I've since moved back, took care of some unfinished business I had left here and I think my hardcore New England ways have softened quite a bit and I'm aching to get back out west again, as I have been for a long while now. I don't think I could take the Seattle climate again, summers are the best, spring and fall are pretty nice too, but there just isn't enough sun there for my liking. Honestly Seattle's climate isn't any better or worse than Boston's. But that's the point, I don't care for the climate here in Boston either.

I'm about to go chase the sun and transplant myself to the seasonal high desert terrain of Great Southwest in Santa Fe, NM. Ironically I had thought about moving to Denver, and I've spent extended amounts of time there but I find the Land of Enchantment to have a bit more soul than Colorado (history, culture, food, traditions). I'm however very fond of Denver though and I'm sure I'll be visiting there often. Best of all, I'm looking to get back out west to have my horizons, wide open spaces, sunsets, and impressive views. They really do make a big difference on your daily outlook in life.
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:37 PM
 
30 posts, read 77,308 times
Reputation: 89
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayela View Post
I lived in Denver - brown, brown, brown and sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. SUV's and cookie-cutter housing developments as far up and down the front range as they can get. You see the same strip malls w/the same big box stores over and over for miles and miles until you have no idea which part of the city you're in because it all looks the same. Nice people but I got depressed there (in case you can't tell). The mountains are nearby, but not nearly as accessible and you're certainly not in the middle of two mountain ranges with forests that look like they're straight outta Lord of the Rings. In contrast, Seattle is called the 'Emerald City' and we have bridges that freakkin' float on the water.

OK - so I'm obviously biased, but that's my honest $.02 when it comes to Denver vs Seattle. I was also quite the nomad, but found that the minute I stepped off the train and took my first breath of cool, moist air - heavy with the promise of rain and growing things (and I was downtown to boot), Seattle has been 'home'. It was just something inside that had nothing to do with checkboxes. I wish you the best in finding that for yourself wherever it may be. (even Denver)
Are you implying that Seattle's city core isn't surrounded by sprawl? Switch brown, brown, brown with green, green, green and you have Seattle. Just because Seattle's sprawl consists of a different shade, rolling hills and many more trees, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Your comments lead me to believe that you didn't live nor spent much time in the actual city of Denver but rather in the surrounding suburb cities within Denver's metro...which is quite different from Denver proper.

Within the actual city of Denver, there are thousands of Victorian homes scattered throughout many walkable and eclectic neighborhoods. Cookie cutter homes in Denver metro? Yeah...in the city of Denver? Not so much. Bottom line, both Seattle and Denver have vibrant, dense city cores surrounded by "endless" sprawl (in quotations because I don't believe either city to be extremely sprawled like Sunbelt cities). As for the mountains, I've personally found that the constant overcast/foggy days hinders the ability to actually see them in the Seattle area.

BTW, I would be depressed if I lived in the suburbs also.

Last edited by R_U_SERIOUS?; 03-26-2012 at 11:07 PM..
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Old 03-26-2012, 10:58 PM
 
Location: US Empire, Pac NW
5,008 posts, read 10,456,149 times
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If the OP is an old fashioned ink on the fingers reporter, he would do well to reconsider Seattle. Yes we have neighborhood papers and people subscribe, and yes we have the free weeklies that are totally paid for by revenue from ads, but the P-I shut down and became internet-only last year. I really do think ink on paper is going the way of the dinosaur. I know for a fact Microsoft is researching with 3M how to make translucent "paper" that displays electronic images in lieu of paper copies. Not to mention Amazon is really killing with the Kindle.

Anyway, Seattle is a great place to live if you don't mind the wind, rain and gloom of 9 months out of the year. It's heaven to my white pale skin, I burn easily. There really aren't seasonal changes here, unless you happen to live in the mountain foothills you can actually see the trees transition. In the city itself, there's literally this; 3 months of summer glory, 3 months of warm/cool rain, 3 months of cold rain, 2 weeks of snow which shut down the city, and 3 months of warmer than cold but not warm rain. And by rain I mean mist. No thunderstorms.

I really do think SADD is real and affect people differently. There is a reason why Seattle has a "high" suicide rate.

The economy, however, is doing great. Mostly in technology jobs, though. Again the whole print going the route of the dinosaur thing. But it is a quirky city, and you'll find no shortage of quirky things to do.
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Old 03-26-2012, 11:20 PM
 
Location: Aurora, Colorado
5,373 posts, read 7,662,453 times
Reputation: 4328
Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayela View Post
I lived in Denver - brown, brown, brown and sprawl, sprawl, sprawl. SUV's and cookie-cutter housing developments as far up and down the front range as they can get. You see the same strip malls w/the same big box stores over and over for miles and miles until you have no idea which part of the city you're in because it all looks the same. Nice people but I got depressed there (in case you can't tell). The mountains are nearby, but not nearly as accessible and you're certainly not in the middle of two mountain ranges with forests that look like they're straight outta Lord of the Rings. In contrast, Seattle is called the 'Emerald City' and we have bridges that freakkin' float on the water.

OK - so I'm obviously biased, but that's my honest $.02 when it comes to Denver vs Seattle. I was also quite the nomad, but found that the minute I stepped off the train and took my first breath of cool, moist air - heavy with the promise of rain and growing things (and I was downtown to boot), Seattle has been 'home'. It was just something inside that had nothing to do with checkboxes. I wish you the best in finding that for yourself wherever it may be. (even Denver)
Sorry to bust your bubble, but isn't Seattle a sprawled out mess too? Have you even been to the inner city of Denver? Your completely describing the suburbs, which does no justice for the city of Denver at all. When did you live in Denver? Because your post seems to describe the scenery in winter. Look at any picture of Denver in spring and summer and it won't look "brown brown brown"
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:25 AM
 
1,108 posts, read 1,820,023 times
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Just as an FYI, Seattle actually has tons of "cute" houses - neighborhoods like Ballard, Wallingford, and Fremont are filled with great turn of the century craftsman homes. These neighborhoods all also have very nice walkable commercial districts.
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Old 03-27-2012, 01:31 AM
 
1,108 posts, read 1,820,023 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by R_U_SERIOUS? View Post
Are you implying that Seattle's city core isn't surrounded by sprawl? Switch brown, brown, brown with green, green, green and you have Seattle. Just because Seattle's sprawl consists of a different shade, rolling hills and many more trees, doesn't mean it doesn't exist. Your comments lead me to believe that you didn't live nor spent much time in the actual city of Denver but rather in the surrounding suburb cities within Denver's metro...which is quite different from Denver proper.

Within the actual city of Denver, there are thousands of Victorian homes scattered throughout many walkable and eclectic neighborhoods. Cookie cutter homes in Denver metro? Yeah...in the city of Denver? Not so much. Bottom line, both Seattle and Denver have vibrant, dense city cores surrounded by "endless" sprawl (in quotations because I don't believe either city to be extremely sprawled like Sunbelt cities). As for the mountains, I've personally found that the constant overcast/foggy days hinders the ability to actually see them in the Seattle area.

BTW, I would be depressed if I lived in the suburbs also.
I'd argue that, within city limits and outside of downtown and inner neighborhoods (where Seattle has a slight edge), Seattle has denser, more vibrant and pedestrian-oriented outer neighborhoods. Seattle has had an "urban village" development model for decades, and it has helped build on a number of vibrant nodes spread throughout the city. For example, the U District, Ballard, Fremont, Columbia City, Phinney/Greenwood, and many other active, walkable hubs miles from downtown. In that sense, I'd argue that Denver has more sprawl within city limits (although Denver does have a great core and inner neighborhoods as well).

Outside of Denver and Seattle, repsectively, both areas definitely have their share of sprawl-y cities, although I've found more quaint small-town centers near in the Puget Sound region than in Greater Denver.
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