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Old 09-09-2010, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
73 posts, read 95,998 times
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So I've been reading these forums for a few years now, and it's about time I posted!

I'm a 26 year old single guy currently living in Brooklyn, NY and working as a Personal Trainer in Manhattan. I've grown up and spent my whole life in NY, and frankly, I need a change. I could think of a million reasons why this area is such an amazing place to live, but also have a list just as long as why I need to relocate.

I'm looking not only to relocate, but also go back to school for my masters degree. There are programs at UC Boulder, UC Denver, and CSU that interest me, so it's sort of scattered throughout the state.

I'm a really active guy, love to be outside, run, hike, explore, I'm also very into music (I've been playing guitar for about a decade). To give you an idea of my personality, I'm definitely not a club type guy...at all. Give me some good food, cold beers and friends and I'm happy. I love hockey and football, especially college football, so sports bars are always fun. Also love coffee shops and mom and pop style cafe's, bookstores. Anything along those lines.

I'm craving more nature, cleaner air, less stress and noise. Some cute girls without a NY attitude wouldn't hurt either

Any info on which areas you guys recommend is much appreciated. Good fit? Big mistake? Other cities/states you recommend?
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Old 09-09-2010, 05:26 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 18,549,078 times
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Any of the communities around those schools will provide you with some of what you want in terms of the music scene and good food and sports.

Keep in mind all these schools are on the Front Range, which is basically prairie grassland/high desert. So you will have a view of the mountains(closer in Boulder) but you will not be living IN the mountains. Also these are urban/suburban areas so there is plenty of air pollution(not as bad as it used to be IMO), stress, noise and all the usual nonsense that goes on in cities. Not to the extent and size as NYC perhaps, but with a metro area of over 2 million people, it exists.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:13 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
73 posts, read 95,998 times
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Thanks for the response!

I'm guessing that Denver would offer the most when it comes to activities, places to go, people to meet, and future job opportunities, and I know it's obviously a sizeable city, but is there a blend there of city and nature? Or does it resemble a concrete jungle that I'm trying to leave.
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Old 09-09-2010, 06:40 PM
 
19,909 posts, read 36,676,164 times
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Yes, Denver will keep you busy. Boulder isn't that far away, and there is express bus service that we hear is very good.
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Old 09-09-2010, 07:57 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 18,549,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyr1129 View Post
Thanks for the response!

I'm guessing that Denver would offer the most when it comes to activities, places to go, people to meet, and future job opportunities, and I know it's obviously a sizeable city, but is there a blend there of city and nature? Or does it resemble a concrete jungle that I'm trying to leave.
Well I would say Denver and the metro area is more spacious than the NYC area, if that's the word with some open space of grassland on the outer suburbs and lot sizes of homes being a more open. But downtown and much it, just regular American city. The natural "nature" of the Denver/Boulder area is prairie grassland.

For real "nature" you'll need to take a drive out of Denver and as I point out to folks if you are working a 9-5 job, on Monday thru Friday you wont be out hiking empty rugged mountain trails after work.

Mostly you have to decide if you want the city life or the mountain life, you can't have either at the same time.
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Old 09-09-2010, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
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How is the Fort Collins area compared to Denver as far as nature and scenery? Would living closer to the mountains mean more isolation? Or can you find a town that's a happy medium between downtown life and mountain vibe?
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Old 09-09-2010, 10:40 PM
 
9,813 posts, read 18,549,078 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyr1129 View Post
How is the Fort Collins area compared to Denver as far as nature and scenery? Would living closer to the mountains mean more isolation? Or can you find a town that's a happy medium between downtown life and mountain vibe?
Fort Collins is a bit more on it's own but still a part of the Front Range population blob along the I-25 corridor. It's still the same prairie grassland with a view of the mountains.

As I said, there is no perfect place where you can have all the benefits of the big city with tons of entertainment, sports, restaurants, good jobs, regular houses at regular prices and then yet at the same time exist in a mountain paradise surrounded by babbling brooks and trees and snow. It doesn't exist because the reality of living in the mountains is harsh winters and weather conditions plus the altitude and rugged terrain.

Certainly the Rockies are omnipresent in Colorado and in it's identity, but most of the population is living on ex grassland/desert and when the air is clear you can have a nice view of the mountains. So yes I guess if you are looking for a vibe or some comfort, the mountains are there, but you have go up to visit them. Boulder is snugged up against the Flat Irons so if you want the illusion you are a mountain dude or dudette then that is where many go(you are still down in the grassland though). And a lot of people in Boulder smoke so much doobie that you could probably convince them they live oceanside as well and they would probably buy it.

The only way to get around that catch somewhat is to pick a flashy resort like Vail or Aspen, where the wealthy drive much of the economy and have restaurants, cultural and sporting events to match(skiing, mountain biking, lacrosse, golfing, etc), although obviously it is on a much lower scale than a city. As a result locals have extreme competition for the few good jobs that exist and pay NYC city prices for real estate to live. I did it for seven years with both towns and yes it is nice because there is plenty of stuff to do, but you pay a price for that and it's a significant price few can afford to do for more than a year or two. Also these places are far enough away you wont be commuting up or down from Denver depending on university commitments.
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Old 09-09-2010, 11:08 PM
 
2,253 posts, read 5,672,110 times
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Wink Boulder & Ft. Collins

If nature is one of your desires, you should forget Denver. Lots of fine neighborhoods there, many trees, even places to hike, but it is a large metropolitan area somewhat removed from the mountains. Nowhere on the scale of NYC, but why move two-thirds of the way across the nation and then stop about 30 miles short?

Both Ft. Collins and Boulder reside at the very edge of the Rocky Mountain foothills, especially Boulder. They are both nice places, but with a different vibe. In visiting you might more easily decide which feel you prefer.

Boulder is particularly good for access to the mountains. The lovely Flatiron rock formations are visible from most anywhere in town. The town has a fine trail network for hiking in the mountains it abuts. All one has to do is drive west on Canyon Blvd. to quickly get well into the high country. In location it is also more accessible than Ft. Collins to I-70 and all the ski resorts and associated activities best accessed via that interstate.

Boulder is a liberal town. Not exactly in your face unless one doesn't like being reminded that not everyone is at all the same or always conservative. A fairly mellow place, and more than a little Yuppified. Lots of activities, likely all you might want and more. Good shopping. Easy access to Denver as well, if that matters. The University of Colorado has a lovely campus, it being a joy to attend for that alone. Not a small school, however. Nor is Boulder, having continued to grow by infilling population. But lots of beautiful neighborhoods, and if locating near CU you might walk many places.

Ft. Collins is more of a cow town in comparison, but that hardly does it justice. Boulder probably has more of a 'city' ambience, more busy, with much of Ft. Collins more suburban, peaceful. It has grown as well, with at times more traffic than one might suspect or like, but in general easier to get around in than Boulder. Shopping, errands, and what not are more usually a simple and pleasant excursion.

The Old Town section along US 287 in northern Ft. Collins most closely approximates what Pearl Street is to Boulder. Both have eclectic shops, many fine restaurants/bars, activities and nightlife. This area is just north of the Colorado State University campus, which if not as spectacular as CU is still pleasant.

If touching the mountains, Ft. Collins doesn't have the same feel of Boulder of being as close. The better part of the town is removed on the flat plains a bit, but then so is much of Boulder. One will be a good deal further from I-70, which really might make a difference, but in recompense just west of town is Horsetooth Reservoir, being not only beautiful but an excellent place for water sports, such as water-skiing. Boulder has nothing similar, although this region of the front range is dotted with many large ponds/small lakes. It also is a bit closer than Boulder to Rocky Mountain National Park, which is a superb place for hiking or enjoying nature in general.

So, yes, neither of these towns is in the mountains. But they sure are close. For what you are seeking that may prove a happy approximation. Their skies are most usually clear, clean and blue with lots of sun. There is little humidity. Either will be hot at times during the day in summer, cooler in the evening, somewhat cold come winter; although basically a rather nice climate.

In many respects . . . and you might well be glad you tried something different.
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Old 09-10-2010, 06:48 AM
 
Location: Brooklyn, NY
73 posts, read 95,998 times
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waneroo and Idunn, thanks so much for the latest advice. Seems like knowing I won't be "in" the mountains is the way to go since I don't really want the complete isolation, or having to pay NYC prices in a town like Aspen.

Both Fort Collins and Boulder seem like a good fit, obviously whichever program/school I choose will be a major factor. From what I've seen it appears that Boulder is fairly more expensive than Fort Collins, but it's still MUCH cheaper than what I'm paying to live with 2 roommates in Brooklyn.
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Old 09-10-2010, 09:58 AM
 
Location: Pueblo - Colorado's Second City
12,043 posts, read 19,741,646 times
Reputation: 4084
Talking Colorado State University - Pueblo

You should at least look at Colorado State University in Pueblo to see if it has the masters programs you are interested in. Pueblo is a lot smaller then Denver and farther away from the mountains then Boulder and Fort Collins but its warmer in the winter and we have a growing Riverwalk in downtown with lofts and apartments that are reasonably priced. In fact you can buy some great ones for around $100,000 or rent for about 650. In the end you might choose CU Boulder or CSU in Fort Collins but this is just another option that you might want to consider.

Here is a thread on CSU Pueblo:

http://www.city-data.com/forum/colorado/1008218-csu-pueblo-thread.html

Another university would be the University of Colorado in Colorado Springs (UCCS). It is a city with a MSA of about 600,000 people on the foot of Pikes Peak. They have lofts and a apartments in downtown as well.
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