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Old 06-02-2007, 04:46 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324

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Hello,

I currently live in Colorado with my wife and three young children. While we love the Rocky Mountains and a lot of what Colorado has to offer I sometimes miss the coast.

I have been reading closely a very interesting thread on the Denver forum regarding the differences between Denver and Seattle. But I am more interested in being near the beautiful Oregon coast. The main things I am noticing people mention so far speaking of the PNW in general are:
1. The weather: Fewer sunny days, more clouds and rains, generally warmer winter temps with less snow. I am from Calif. originally so am still getting used to the snow. This past winter was the worst in like 30 years.
2. People: ethos/customs/way at looking at the world. Denver is generally more conservative. Some say Denver has friendlier people than the PNW. I have found a lot of friendly people in Colorado after moving here from California. I initially was concerned about the 'anti-California' vibe/stereotype that many smaller/less populated states have. But I am a generally friendly person and haven't encountered any problems. The difference is that in California 'some' people are more 'openly' rude and unfriendly. Here there is a generally more friendly attitude on the surface. But it is a little harder to get beyond that initially friendly exterior and establish real friendships. People tend to keep to themselves more.
3. Job market: As an aerospace software engineer I find there are definately more military contracts in Denver/Colorado Springs than in Portland and Oregon as a whole. I would however consider working for other high tech firms (eg. - Oracle, HP, IBM, etc...).
4. Coast + mountains vs. Rocky Mountains: I like the ability to visit both and I really enjoy the mountains as well as the coast. Also Denver is more isolated from other large cities which can be a positive. We have a lot of mountains to enjoy with not as many visitors as other places like Portland which is a few hours from Seattle, California, etc...

Has anyone lived or spent time in both? What are your impressions of their differences?

Thanks,

Derek

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 06-02-2007 at 06:11 PM..
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:45 AM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
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Anybody who has experienced both places???
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Old 06-05-2007, 09:47 PM
 
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I have! I'm from Denver and am currently in Los Angeles--I'm coming back soon. I've also spent time in PNW.

Denver is hands down a better option, IMHO. It's true that it's a lot more conservative than Portland or Seattle, but the weather is better and I think Denver is better for families (maybe because of the conservative politics?).

Denver's a lot more "hickish" than the West Coast and since it's in the middle of the country, it is definitely more conservative/religious/traditional. It kind of makes people really down-to-earth, though.

Mountains and jobs in both areas. All things considered I'd pick Denver. But if you're really into Democratic politics or the ocean obviously you'd pick the coast.
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Old 06-06-2007, 09:52 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
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Thanks MileHighSigh,

I appreciate your insight. There are a lot of positives living here. I am really glad I am 'far' from LA. That is just a zoo out there. But you did miss the 30 year winter;-P

I don't really care about the politics. But I do like the family friendly attitude out here. In S. California people seem to look at you strange if you actually have a family with children. It seems kind of backwards. Whereas here it is more of the norm.

I do sometimes really miss the ocean and that is my only reason for considering the PNW. I grew up on the Beach (Hermosa Beach) but have always loved the mountains. Maybe I just need to fly out to the coast more for a weekend or something. Next week we are driving to Yellowstone and the Tetons - I can't wait!

- Derek
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Old 06-06-2007, 11:29 PM
 
15 posts, read 35,651 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
Thanks MileHighSigh,

I appreciate your insight. There are a lot of positives living here. I am really glad I am 'far' from LA. That is just a zoo out there. But you did miss the 30 year winter;-P

I don't really care about the politics. But I do like the family friendly attitude out here. In S. California people seem to look at you strange if you actually have a family with children. It seems kind of backwards. Whereas here it is more of the norm.

I do sometimes really miss the ocean and that is my only reason for considering the PNW. I grew up on the Beach (Hermosa Beach) but have always loved the mountains. Maybe I just need to fly out to the coast more for a weekend or something. Next week we are driving to Yellowstone and the Tetons - I can't wait!

- Derek
Yeah. I think you've hit it on the head. The truth is that as great as the ocean is, you would probably be pining for the mountains after a while away from Colorado.

You're especially right about the family values and societal norms in Denver vs. the west coast. Basically, in Colorado you are kind of expected to grow up, get married, have a few kids, go to church, work hard, love your country, and do the right thing. It's the old American dream still kickin' and alive.

Places like LA and Portland have moved beyond that. Apparently, they call it "progress." But you've got a bunch of unhappy, well-sunned, singles who aer all running around searching for that missing something that they won't find because they're looking in all the wrong places.

Forget politics. It's about the basic lifestyle in Denver. Denver's conservative politics probably influence the family values, but there's just a traditionalism--a 1950s black/white Mayberry way of life--in Denver that you won't find on the coast.

I think that's one thing that a lot of folks fail to appreciate about Denver. Everybody talks about the skiiing--but few have ever realized just how "leave it to beaver" Denver really is.
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Old 06-07-2007, 02:02 PM
 
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The Oregon Coast is the kind of place that is nice to visit once every two years. It is very pretty, but also very cold and wet. You cannot go in the water (unless you are insane). Portland is a much better "city" than Denver, but I would rate Denver better for outdoor recreation b/c the rain in Portland is brutal. Depends on what you want, but I disagree that Portland isn't family friendly. It is a very family oriented place.
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Old 06-07-2007, 07:50 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 3,668,047 times
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I couldn't stand Denver when I was there. The only thing I enjoyed was the weather. People appeared very pretentious and distant from each other. It's definitely a republican/conservative city. I guess it's good for some but not my cup of tea. Also, I think people mistake Urban environments as being hostile towards families! That's a huge misconception. You can raise your family in the city and your children can get a solid education. It's all about your outlook and how your kids apply themselves.
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Old 06-07-2007, 09:24 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
739 posts, read 2,675,391 times
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I agree with you Supernova about the more urban atmosphere. I've lived in Central Denver neighborhoods- from the more urban downtown to the more family centric park neighborhoods for the past 8 years. I know that Denver has the perception (particularly on this forum) for being mega church, vanilla, large families and republican/conservative. Being in the city, I don't see that much at all. In fact this year Denver was a major Democratic state, electing both Democratic governor and house and senate. The demographics here are shifting.. maybe not in the entire state but definitely in Denver metro. Take a look at the city itself, you'll probably love it.
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Old 06-08-2007, 09:46 PM
 
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,127 posts, read 11,725,675 times
Reputation: 5324
Interesting comments everyone.

Jakedog, if I were to move to Oregon I wouldn't live on the coast. I would probably live in a suburb of Portland. From there I could drive to the coast or mountains within 1-2 hours. That is the benefit I see for recreational opportunities. I know it rains a lot there. But the rain makes everything really green. So I like that as well. I would also think that if you drive to the mountain areas the weather is different there, maybe more snow and sun kind of like Colorado.

It is true that Denver is great for recreation. I love heading up into Rocky Mountain National Park. Here are some recent shots I took just a couple of weeks ago:
http://derek.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p244281777-4.jpg (broken link)


http://derek.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p487324558-4.jpg (broken link)

And this winter:
http://derek.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p410984440-4.jpg (broken link)

As far as people go, I don't think it is so much whether they are Democrat or Repulican out here that makes the culture different. I think it is more of a mindset/worldview that Coloradans have in general which MileHighSigh described. The idea/ideal of country, family and the American dream is much stronger out here than I ever experienced while living in California. Now that may be somewhat different in the PNW. But in Colorado it is alive and well.

People tend to label the west coast as liberal and the midwest as conservative. And 'some' of that may be true. However I am a conservative from the west coast. I have also noticed that Colorado's politicians are Democrats. At least in California we had old 'Arnold.' LOL... ;-P Seriously though I think it extends far beyond party lines into a way of life.

That being said I wouldn't mind living in a place where people think differently. What I noticed in California was more of an indifference toward America and a general disregard for the family. Of course there are expections to this general rule/attitude.
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Old 06-09-2007, 12:38 AM
 
Location: Shallow alcove hidden from the telescreen
2,798 posts, read 9,703,219 times
Reputation: 1430
Default Someone's makin' babies

Quote:
Originally Posted by MtnSurfer View Post
In S. California people seem to look at you strange if you actually have a family with children.
Sorry to get off topic, but as it did with other posters, MtnSurfer's statement just caught my eye, too. In some circles, maybe it's true that the "fashion" is to stay single or child-less, but I must say, with 20 million people in S CA, and another 6 million on the way by 2020, someone's makin' babies; we're not all transplants.

Nice pics, BTW!
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