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Old 12-16-2011, 06:02 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,136,442 times
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smdensbcs - Not sure exactly what your nirvana looks like, but try this on for size. An area about 2+ hours north of San Francisco, about 1 hour south of the artsy fartsy town of Mendocino on the California Coast. Called The Sea Ranch. Adjacent to a little town (at least it used to be a little town) called Gualala. The Sea Ranch was developed from a large sheep ranch about 50 years ago, with unique and award winning contemporary architecture on large lots with natural vegetation. It's quiet, largely unspoiled, yet just a hop, skip and jump from SF, Big Sur, the wine country, incredible food, yoga retreats, and all of the Pacific NW. It's where we'd live if we were a bit younger and had a bit (ok, more than a bit) more money. Prices are out of sight for blue and white water views, but smaller places in the woods can be had for what mere mortals can afford, and prices are dropping.
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Old 12-17-2011, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
1,037 posts, read 2,643,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post
The real irony is that you get to Denver, glorious Denver, and it turns out that not only is it sans-Trader Joe's, sans haute couture, or sans most of the sorts of things that the crowd that uses words like "sans" really need in a city, but most of it is actually a lot like Colorado Springs. So much for Denver, glorious Denver.

Fortunately, Boulder, glorious Boulder, is only 45 minutes north of Denver, until you realize that you can't afford to spend more than 45 minutes in Boulder before you run out of money and you're back down to Colorado Springs and then the airport, the glorious airport.
What are you talking about?? I don't see how you can compare the culture of Denver and Colorado Springs. While I don't think that COS is an inherently bad place, it truly does lack the cultural offerings, restaurant scene, diversity and urban vibe that Denver has (I'm talking the city of Denver, not the suburbs). I know that as a gay person, I would never choose to live in Colorado Springs, but feel right at home in Denver.
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Old 12-17-2011, 03:33 PM
 
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Comparing Denver to COS is like comparing apples to oranges. Denver is the State capitol, by far the largest city in the region, and is by all measures, the cultural and economic center of the Rocky Mountain region and has been for what, 150 years. COS is a small town that's grown to a mid-size city in the past few decades and appears to still be searching for its identity (Live it Up! Gaack). You're simply not going to find the same degree of big-city life or vibe that you'll find without even looking in Denver. If you're going to compare Denver to a similar city in this part of the country, compare it to Kansas City, San Diego, San Francisco or Seattle, but not COS. COS has its share of cultural offerings, but you have to search them out a bit. The COS symphony is wonderful, especially when compared to symphonies in comparably sized cities (and, it's not bankrupt, unlike Denver's). If you haven't been, do it. Buy a season ticket; for new members, the cost is half price. Try to beat that anywhere. There's the fine arts center (been there lately?). There are a number of small galleries downtown and in Manitou. There are fine independent restaurants and bistros (give Springs Orleans, the Famous, Peppertree, etc. a try) that are locally owned and are not chains. As for chains with good food, how about Ted's Montana Grill and P.F. Changs, and a host of others?. Have you been to Stargazers for live music in a decent small venue? Plus, we have Colorado College that has a number of cultural activities open to the public (Indie film festival, anyone?). Add the AF Academy and UCCS to CC's hockey program and you'll have nationally known college sports to follow. If the PrideFest was any example, there's actually a gay scene here, in spite of the mayor's ambivalence and the local conservative political/social norms. As a new transplant to the region (it's been a year now), I've made a point of searching out as much of the local cultural scene as possible to learn more about the city become better integrated into the fabric of the community, but I keep reading on the forum of the paucity of culture in COS and how badly it compares to Denver. Of course it's going to compare badly with Denver (apples and oranges). But, compared to mid-sized cities elsewhere that exist in the shadow of large metro areas, I think COS measures up pretty well.
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Old 12-17-2011, 09:38 PM
 
704 posts, read 1,442,012 times
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Originally Posted by downtownnola View Post
What are you talking about?? I don't see how you can compare the culture of Denver and Colorado Springs. While I don't think that COS is an inherently bad place, it truly does lack the cultural offerings, restaurant scene, diversity and urban vibe that Denver has (I'm talking the city of Denver, not the suburbs). I know that as a gay person, I would never choose to live in Colorado Springs, but feel right at home in Denver.
Well, I was really talking about the "Denver area," as opposed to just the city of Denver.

Likewise, Manitou Springs is every bit as funky as even the most "progressive" neighborhoods in Denver, perhaps much more so. And there are probably neighborhoods in Colorado Springs itself which are also more politically mixed, like much of Denver.

Like Carrera said, comparing Denver to Colorado Springs is difficult because Denver is three times as large. My point was only that the general cultural, social, and political climate of the Denver area is not that unlike Colorado Springs.
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Old 12-18-2011, 01:52 AM
 
3,493 posts, read 4,712,387 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by downtownnola View Post
What are you talking about?? I don't see how you can compare the culture of Denver and Colorado Springs. While I don't think that COS is an inherently bad place, it truly does lack the cultural offerings, restaurant scene, diversity and urban vibe that Denver has (I'm talking the city of Denver, not the suburbs). I know that as a gay person, I would never choose to live in Colorado Springs, but feel right at home in Denver.
If I were gay, I don't think I'd choose CS as a home either. The churchy vibe would be too much. I certainly would not wish to be close to "focus on the family". Of course, I don't expect CS to have the cultural offerings of a city that has several times more residents. Millions, vs half a million. Of course, I'd rather have light traffic than cultural offerings.
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:13 PM
 
808 posts, read 1,177,541 times
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Originally Posted by Carrera32 View Post
Prices are out of sight for blue and white water views, but smaller places in the woods can be had for what mere mortals can afford, and prices are dropping.
Carrera32, sounds idyllic, but I've "been there done that" with the coastal California culture and, while indeed lovely in certain places, the astronomical cost of living in those places breeds family dysfunction like never-cleaned public restrooms might breed germs. No amount of geographic beauty is worth family dysfunction as the norm rather than the exception. So, thankfully, I'm done with all that and can look with affection at the various "cultural" limitations of a place like Colorado Springs. I can make my own Thai food, thanks. My spouse is a working artist who can fill our house with original art, thanks. My kids can attend the top-performing public school district in the state, thanks. My monthly mortgage payment is so absurdly low (compared to what it would be in Coastal Cali) that I can make professional decisions based not solely on profit-margin but on my own sense of of right/wrong, thanks thanks thanks! I can get to/from work in 10 minutes, super-thanks! I can get to/from parks and trails in less than 5 minutes, thanks. Nobody's forcing me to attend one of the intollerant megachurches that exist both here AND in Denver, thanks (be to God). This is going to sound trite, but when I factor in all the various things truly important to me, my particular neighborhood in Colorado Springs is about as close as I think I'll ever come to a "perfect" place. No place I ever lived in Denver or Coastal Cali even came close to the quality of life achievable here, ALL things considered. That does not mean the quality of life here will jump up and hit you in the head ... one must still work to seek it out and achieve it. But its there for the taking, all in a beautiful, comparatively traffic/stress free environment. I'm glad you've found a great place (ONEN) too!
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Old 12-19-2011, 03:33 PM
 
808 posts, read 1,177,541 times
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Originally Posted by GoneNative View Post
there are probably neighborhoods in Colorado Springs itself which are also more politically mixed, like much of Denver.
There are. I live in one. In fact, we just voted IN FAVOR of a property tax increase to counterbalance the loss of state funding for our local school district. Voluntary tax increases are NOT the norm in El Paso County, but despite popular perceptions "we" are not a monolithic voting block of conformity. There ARE pockets of independent, sensible thought around here (though apparently 2/3 of the county-wide population would disagree with me and keep funding of public schools as low as conceivably possible [image of Grinch fingers snatching up the very last crumb of cookie pops into mind here]). Likewise, there are numerous neighborhoods in greater Denver neither I nor most of our "multicultural" friends would prefer to live, comparable to our most right-leaning neighborhoods in El Paso County. I'm lookin' at you Highlands Ranch, Parker, Centennial, etc. Our moderate-leaning Springs neighborhood is a wonderland of tolerance compared to those Denverish neighborhoods.
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Old 12-19-2011, 04:46 PM
 
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smdensbcs: Which neighborhood do you live in? Always on the lookout for more moderate areas in town.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:17 PM
 
808 posts, read 1,177,541 times
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Originally Posted by Carrera32 View Post
smdensbcs: Which neighborhood do you live in? Always on the lookout for more moderate areas in town.
Skyway. To be precise, "Upper" Skyway - a mostly 1960's built neighborhood a bit down the hill from Skyway "Heights" and "Top of" Skyway. From a non-scienific obsvervation of political signage during various election seasons, I'm guessing the political mix in the neghborhood is roughly 50/50 (50% Republican/50% non-Republican). That's close enough to "moderate" to suit me. Among my family's mix of friends who live in the neighborhood (parents of elementary-age kids), I'd estimate the ratio is close to 30/70 (30% Repub / 70% non). That's about the national average for NPR-listening, farmer's-market going folks with their fancy post-college degrees. I know in theory Colorado Springs leans hard right, but my day-to-day existence sees very little of that. Its all about where you plant your personal flag.
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Old 12-19-2011, 05:56 PM
 
727 posts, read 1,136,442 times
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Skyway was our short list as well as ONEN. Glad you found a place. Seemed to us as well to have the right vibe. We just couldn't find a house that met our needs when we were looking. Everything seemed to be in need of a lot of work. Anyway, that's two neighborhoods in town, plus Manitou, with moderate leanings. Any others out there?
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