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Old 05-19-2012, 01:46 PM
 
47,576 posts, read 60,475,092 times
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Originally Posted by hamster21 View Post
I write this mainly to help others out in deciding on where they want to live, having almost figured it out the hard way on my own. I'm a born and raised Massahusetts-ite, and here's my story.

I went to college in New England. Been to pretty much every state in New England over the years, with much less emphasis on NY, PA, CT, RI (not really into those states compared to MA/NH/VT/ME). Loved it and grateful to have grown up there. The mountains and forests in New Hampshire, Maine, and Vermont are all interesting and different in their own ways. Ponds, rivers, lush green (well, lush green, compared to CO, not necessarily compared to Seattle). There's skiing, hiking, camping, great little towns all over, nice little cities too. There's mountain biking (not as amazing as CO, but still, it exists, and it's just different). On the flipside you have MA and Boston, great areas in and of themselves, which aren't wilderness but offer a nice mix of nature exploration and people/city life if you like that kind of thing. I feel like this would be an ideal place to raise a family (not even sure if I'd want kids) - it has almost everything - great outdoors, great city areas, diversity of nature & within living areas/cities - great education - great opportunity - the one downside is that having grown up here, everything else seems like a downgrade in some way or another - it's almost spoiling in that sense.

I'm an outdoorsy person, and although I'm not a city person, I'm also not a desolate-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere-nature person, having grown up in coastal MA. Lived in Boston for a couple years, worked near Harvard Square.

After more than two decades of growing up in this general New England area, I felt like I needed to live somewhere different, at least, that's what I told myself. I've traveled to a few different countries and lived there for a month or two in South and Central America, been to Canada, been to the carribean, but had never really been out west at all, or too far south (I have no desire to live in the South, but that's another story).

My mind was itching to *not* be that person who lived in one area all their life, doing that seemed like something negative to me. I left my family and my nice biotech job to do this. My girlfriend and I set out to drive down the west coast to check it out. Seattle was a great city in our opinion, but way too rainy. Oregon seemed beautiful but out in the middle of nowhere, and Eugene wasn't impressive. We didn't particularly care to see much of Portland, too rainy for us. Northern California was beautiful, but a little too desolate, and not many jobs for us. California was cool, but I wasn't moved by San Francisco (not a city person, again), and the rest of California seemed pretty dense with people and urban sprawl. The beaches are great in that they are plentiful, and usually free, but they didn't feel as cozy and inviting as those in MA. They felt city-like and huge, which some people probably like, but I don't. MA is filled with little coves and beaches, marshes, and I like that. The feel of the culture wasn't enticing to us either, perhaps it's just having grown up in New England, although I know plenty of MA natives, and New England natives who like the culture in Cali. Couldn't believe how many SUVs there were in CA! Anyways, just wasn't for me, and that's not to say that people were nothing but friendly to us in Cali, don't get me wrong. I'm skeptical when people paint broad brushes on cultures and mass groups of people, but there must be a little truth to some of that, because you're imprinted based on where you were raised. I find people are friendly everywhere, and there are also unfriendly people everywhere, it just depends. What is for sure though is that people of different areas live differently.

That being said - this is all very superficial, but what can you do when you have limited time and money to explore where you want to live in a short amount of time. I know there are a lot of great qualities about these cities and areas but that's another topic. This is where we had progressed on our trip..

So, we were left with Colorado, and not having been there ever, we took a stab at it. Liberal, outdoors, sun, mountains, hiking, biking, snow, skiing - cool. It seemed like a nice place to move for somewhere new. There are some jobs here for me, and it has some environmental jobs too, etc.

Well it's been a month since being here and I'm almost sure moving back to MA, I am not seeing why I want to stay here in light of everything considered. This is such a difficult decision between my mind telling me to stick it out for the sake of somewhere new, and for the fact that if I leave, I'll be leaving my girlfriend, who wants to stay here and has a differing outlook on life - more flexible, more apt to experience new places, more prone to overlooking negative aspects about places in life. Here are some reasons why I don't like it enough to stay.

Less jobs for me. I work in biotech and Boston is a mecca for this. It's doable here in CO but significantly harder and there are not as many good opportunities. I feel like I'd be shooting myself in the foot staying here.

Denver is no Boston.

I'd choose Boston any day over Denver.
Boston has so many different areas, all which add their own culture and value to Boston. It's nicely designed and it feels rich/dense with culture and diversity because of this. Each area has its own little unique feel, and each area is easily accessible by others.

The transportation system in Boston is amazing compared to Denver.

Boston is hugely more roadbike-friendly than Denver. Denver has basically no bike lanes in the city compared to Boston, and I can see why. Universities are absent in Denver compared to Boston which has many more universities within it, and because of this, it feels younger. Boston also has its share of young adults out of college. Also, it seems like you don't have as many adults using bike transportation in the city, just because that's the way it seemed to come to be. Boston is so different - I see so many bikers around in the heart of Cambridge, Jamaica Plain, etc etc. It seems so lively in Boston compared to Denver, for some reason.

Denver feels like a bland financial district, whereas Boston has a mix of financial, medical, science, and education establishments. This leads me back to the lack of diversity in Denver, in the sense of lacking demographics and lacking business/education going on in the heart of the city.

Lets keep in mind, I don't really care about 'night life' so I'm not going to comment on that. Was never really into bars like most people are. I'm not into sports but obviously Boston wins on that. Anyways,

If you're in Boston you can journey up to the ocean to go kayak on the North Shore of MA, or go bike around the blue hills (I'm an avid mtn biker and I know Denver beats Boston as far as mountain biking, but it's an option at least in MA), or cross country ski in the blue hills (not into that but some are). On the weekends you can go up to NH and hike in the mountains, or ski/board, within 2-4 hours, which isn't terrible, although I know it's not next door like it is in CO. In Denver I feel like there is nothing really surrounding the city aside from cookie cutter urban sprawl, malls, some state parks (which are beautiful, but dry), and the mountains (which you can ski/board on, and it's better than New England skiing/boarding, but in my case the downsides outweigh this particular awesomeness that CO has to offer).

Denver is DRY. I moved here craving sun, and well, I got it. Almost every day. This is an unusually warm spring and it's been 70s/80s almost every day the last month, but you can tell the climate is just drier..well, duh.. Less green/lush than MA. I'm actually craving the daily/monthly change in climate that MA usually offers in Spring/Fall/Summer/Winter. I'm actually looking forward to the occasional rain now! Surprised myself. There seems to be a lack of bodies of water because of CO's inherent dry climate, which I miss, compared to back in MA. It's all so flat here aside from the mountains, and I thought New England was flat!

I have never seen so many homeless people in my life until coming to Denver. It's like you can't go anywhere without tripping over someone passed out on the sidewalk. The first week I saw someone passed out under a stop sign, pants all the way down. There are pan handlers everywhere, more than Boston, young and old. Along Park Ave you see a group of 30 homeless people chilling out every day with all their gear. Denver feels like the mecca of homeless people. And I feel terrible for them of course and wish it could be better for their sake, and it doesn't directly impact me of course, and I can deal with it, but it's just a weird feeling that adds negatively to the area, although this is of lesser importance amongst everything I'm saying in this post.

I like Boulder for its bike friendliness, it's young population, its liberal nature, and because it's right next to the mountains, it has its share of families, it's not an unsafe place, but it feels isolated and small. It feels like there is nothing immediately around it of interest, just like Denver. If I lived there I feel like it would get boring, or like I'd be stuck in a little microcosm. Back in MA you have a bunch of different options that feel nearby - ocean - forest - hills (ok, not mountains, but still..) - hiking - communities that are close yet different..

I tried to convince myself that it's new and to embrace the positives - mountains, skiing, biking, new places to explore...But it seems like the negatives (dry, no ocean, urban sprawl, desolate between Denver and other areas, worse economy, empty Denver city, being away from family, and lack of balance between all of these things that MA/New England has to offer) is outweighing it.

I've been hemming and hawwing this decision for literally a month, and my gut just tells me its more worth it to move back to MA before it gets harder by staying here longer. It's a terrible feeling to be stuck between these two choices, especially with all of what I am considering that is being involved in my decision - family, relationship, career, living needs..but overall, my gut keeps coming back to wanting to go back to MA. My mind tells me I'm throwing away plentiful career opportunities in MA, too. I made the decision to leave CO two weeks ago and the strain of deciding brought me back to hoping there was a possibility I would enjoy staying, so it's been another two weeks, but it's not looking promising for staying here.

So I'm pretty sure I'll be moving back. Just wanted to share my story. I've found during this whole period that moving can be so extremely complicated based on so many factors, including how you were raised, where you were raised, what you're willing to give up, what you're willing to take on, what you want to see, whether this or that holds more worth to you, etc. In the end its only us that can make the decision, for ourselves, and it's all too easy to focus on a few aspects you hold important to trump others and then find out maybe you were wrong (or right).

Hopefully this will help someone out there trying to decide what's next in their lives. I find a lot of posters here make it so cut and dry, and maybe it is to some, but it is also so complicated for some of us, and that's mainly why I wanted to share my story, and welcome any constructive input.

I don't mean to put CO down in any way, it just doesn't seem right for me, no matter how much my mind wanted it.
This is a very good post for anyone who wants to leave home and experience somewhere else.

It may or may not end up being what you wanted, for many people, there's never going to be anywhere like home.
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:25 PM
 
1,512 posts, read 1,572,368 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mach50 View Post
It's annoying, but not worth getting angry or being a d*ck about. We can live through it.
I find it interesting that you found it annoying. I have had people here get angry with me for leaving the big space. Some of them have laid on the horn and gone into fits. But that has been really rare.

Did you not feel safer with so much space between you and the following car?
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Old 05-19-2012, 03:41 PM
 
182 posts, read 275,244 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hamster21 View Post
Thanks for your advice, I know what you're saying. But the reason I came here was for something new. That's about it. And after almost 2 months of being here, it doesn't feel like an issue of being homesick. It's more like, "Wow, this place really sucks, why am I here?" You have to want to move somewhere you like to make it worth it. It's cool that it's new but that hasn't panned out to be enough to want to stay here.

Moving is also an investment, like someone said earlier, and I don't like it enough to make it worth investing in. I think some time in MA would be worthwhile for a lot of reasons. After a little more time there, moving somewhere else may make more sense in order to experience somewhere new after exploring options more in depth and finding somewhere that seems more enjoyable. Unlike this time, which was on a whim, with basically no research or forethought in terms of what this place was like, or how it will fit into a career plan, next time will be more calculated, to somewhere that seems more enjoyable - enough so to make it worth giving up this or that to move to.

So in the end all of this does feel like focusing on Mr. Hamster, rather than the Denver or Boston areas. This was a necessary experience that taught a lot.
This is why I'm saying I don't buy it, and you're mearly freaked out. There's no way on earth you could know if Denver sucked or not in 2 months. You haven't had a chance to explore even a small fraction of the city. How can you form an opinion on what you haven't investigated??

Let me pick a city I think I'd hate.....Let's say I moved to Houston. I'm liberal, like mild weather, and varied terrain. All the complete opposite of Houston. You know what I'd do?

I'd frequent the coffee shops, drive to the coast, go to some outdoor events, get to know the local culture. Guess what? By the end of my time in Houston I guarantee I would not think it "sucked". I may not think it turned out to be the best fit for me, but that's beside the point.

You should be out in Denver doing the same. Please don't tell me every river sucks, or the Mountains suck, or the bars, sports teams, music venues, coffee shops, community events, people, and everything else sucks. It's about you, not the city.

Every second you waste thinking the place you live in sucks instead of asking yourself why you're bored or depressed in a wasted second of your life.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:00 PM
 
1,512 posts, read 1,572,368 times
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Originally Posted by NewtoSD? View Post
This is why I'm saying I don't buy it, and you're mearly freaked out. There's no way on earth you could know if Denver sucked or not in 2 months. You haven't had a chance to explore even a small fraction of the city. How can you form an opinion on what you haven't investigated??

Let me pick a city I think I'd hate.....Let's say I moved to Houston. I'm liberal, like mild weather, and varied terrain. All the complete opposite of Houston. You know what I'd do?

I'd frequent the coffee shops, drive to the coast, go to some outdoor events, get to know the local culture. Guess what? By the end of my time in Houston I guarantee I would not think it "sucked". I may not think it turned out to be the best fit for me, but that's beside the point.

You should be out in Denver doing the same. Please don't tell me every river sucks, or the Mountains suck, or the bars, sports teams, music venues, coffee shops, community events, people, and everything else sucks. It's about you, not the city.

Every second you waste thinking the place you live in sucks instead of asking yourself why you're bored or depressed in a wasted second of your life.
I don't like it because I feel that my feelings aren't respected.
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Old 05-19-2012, 04:17 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,511,574 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by superorb View Post
But there aren't lots of large, shady trees in the metro.
There are plenty of large shade trees in the Denver area.

One of the first tasks the settlers did was plant trees, so there are many old large shade trees all over the area.

In addition, there were large trees along water courses, mostly cottonwoods and they grow fast. If you look along the many natural creeks, you can see many which are very old. An example would be to look at Clear Creek Greenway which is right in the metro area and it easily accessed through the trails and parks that are alongside in Wheat Ridges Greenbelt.
Clear Creek Trail, Wheat Ridge, Colorado designated National Recreation Trails

This Clear Creek Greenway is beneficial those of you from the east, as I am, and need a quick "green fix" in the metro area. An easy way to get there is to drive down West 44th and you will find Anderson Park on the south between Wadsworth and Kipling; past Kipling you can enter the green way through Prospect Park, again on the South. These are big parks and you will find many recreational facilities. They are good parks for familiies for picnics--or for the hardy bikers, Clear Creek Trail connects to the South Platte Trail and you can take it all the way into Golden.

It should be known that in the early 20th Century, Denver developed many parks and wide parkways with large trees. This was part of the "City Beautiful" of that period, a national movement of making American Cities more attractive. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_Beautiful_movement Denver was a big part of that movement and this program was initiated by Mayor Robert Speer who became Mayor in 1904. "...The new mayor changed the color of Denver from brown to green. In 1905, he inaugurated a tree-planting program that ultimately gave away 110,000 shade trees to residents..." Denver History - City Beautiful.

Anyone who really knows Denver is very familiar with the shady treed Parkways that transit the City and these trees are decades old. I would point to East 6th, Monaco, and East 17th, as an Example. For Parks, you can look at Rocky Mountain and Berkeley, among many others.

If you go the older urban and suburban metro areas, you will find many very old shade trees, of different varieties, that have been planted by many generations that exist in private yards and many large home sites, some of the planted forests are very dense. Most are not of the natural growth of this semi-arid high plains but they have flourished. Some many trees and bushes have been planted by man that it has changed the micro-climate of this area. Adding the planting of grasses that need constant irrigation, I believe all this has increase the daily humidity of the area, for the good and the bad.

My yard is very shaded and I planted all the trees on a new home site. I am now looking out my window and seeing a variety of large coniferous and deciduous trees shade trees in my development which is 26 years old. Many of the trees have got so big, that some had to be removed. Once a adaptable variety of tree is planted on these plains, all it needs is initial water to get started. Many varieties grow very fast, and need no additional watering when they have set a good set of roots.

I am originally from New York. When, I came here, I made it my goal to really know Denver. I would suggest that you look and see and know. There is much more than what is known by many; there is a history of this city that can be explored. Do not be so hasty to judge that which is not so familiar; be open to all that is not only easily viewed, but also to that which is not so easily seen; for that which is hidden may awaken a little of your inner self and you will feel that which is the Great West.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 05-19-2012 at 05:35 PM..
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Old 05-20-2012, 11:11 AM
 
61 posts, read 157,079 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NewtoSD? View Post
This is why I'm saying I don't buy it, and you're mearly freaked out. There's no way on earth you could know if Denver sucked or not in 2 months. You haven't had a chance to explore even a small fraction of the city. How can you form an opinion on what you haven't investigated??

Let me pick a city I think I'd hate.....Let's say I moved to Houston. I'm liberal, like mild weather, and varied terrain. All the complete opposite of Houston. You know what I'd do?

I'd frequent the coffee shops, drive to the coast, go to some outdoor events, get to know the local culture. Guess what? By the end of my time in Houston I guarantee I would not think it "sucked". I may not think it turned out to be the best fit for me, but that's beside the point.

You should be out in Denver doing the same. Please don't tell me every river sucks, or the Mountains suck, or the bars, sports teams, music venues, coffee shops, community events, people, and everything else sucks. It's about you, not the city.

Every second you waste thinking the place you live in sucks instead of asking yourself why you're bored or depressed in a wasted second of your life.
There's a difference though between appreciating somewhere (I can appreciate CO, it's mountains, it's rivers, coffee shops, music venues, it's all very nice, and new, and different) and thinking it sucks to live somewhere (it's dry, terrain is boring, there's very little water/greenery, the sun is too intense, all the other reasons I've listed, and...sports and bars are the last of my priorities on earth...coffee shops are everywhere...people and community events don't outweigh the negatives). That's what I meant. Yes, you can make the best out of anywhere, if you really have to. I don't have to though. So what's the point. Yeah, I could go move to Alabama or Mississippi, and try to make the best of it. I could move to the slums of South America and try to make the best of it. It would be "new" and I would "learn" from my "experiences" doing that, too, just like I would in CO. I'd also be wasting my time.

On the contrary to what you said, every second you waste living in a place that you think sucks to live in is a wasted second of your life, too. Life is short, sometimes doing something you don't want to reaches a point where there's not enough reason to do it.

Last edited by hamster21; 05-20-2012 at 11:42 AM..
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:02 PM
 
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Hamster,

As I said, I like your posts. There is another big reason for leaving quickly and here is a story of many young men from the East, which I have known personally over many years.

They come here for an adventure. They do not really like Colorado for the reasons you mentioned. They meet a girl from Colorado. They get involved/coupled/married and she does not want to leave her family and zoom, zoom they have babies. The young man. who now is turning into a middle age, has been trying desperately to get his wife to move East; they take a few trips but she is is not convinced. After a few years, the marriage falls apart. The now despairing former Eastern man cannot leave because he wants to be close to his children; all he has left is a fading dream of the green grass, blue waters of the East and his lost youth.

My advice: Keep your pants on, and LEAVE NOW!

Livecontent
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Old 05-20-2012, 12:32 PM
 
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I don't mean to sound all negative, and bashing of CO and welcome all of the differing opinions and valuable experience/perspective, like NewToSD's, and yours too, livecontent, thank you.

Like someone earlier said, it may seem that a lot of people who come here are more focused on experience. They're able to look past the negatives easily. They're able to take risks without being focused on the long plan, and live more in the moment. That's my girlfriend. She's great in that she can see the positive in almost anything, she's all about living for the experience.

I'm more security driven, more bound to thinking (worrying) about the long term, more fanatical about planning things out, which is something I'm not pleased about, but I can also realize the benefit of that too. Moving out here was partly to try to get away from that cycle of thought..to take a risk, to enjoy something new. It seems like I can't get over that just yet though and the smart thing to do may be to give MA another chance and go from there, having experienced this place and the west coast a little bit. Maybe something will change, maybe not. I think a lot of this has to do with being unsure of what to want in life. For now the one thing that I can somewhat be sure about is the short term in terms of where I want to live - MA..while I figure out what is most important in life to me, and what is worth giving up to gain here or there.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:15 PM
 
590 posts, read 2,078,289 times
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I do not take your comments as negative. This may not be the right time in your life to live in Colorado. There may never be a right time. As I've explored different parts of the country, some things have come up that I found undesirable/unacceptable about some areas... but after years of visiting those same areas because of family ties, the areas have come to grow on me.
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Old 05-20-2012, 01:17 PM
 
5,090 posts, read 13,511,574 times
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Originally Posted by hamster21 View Post
I don't mean to sound all negative, and bashing of CO and welcome all of the differing opinions and valuable experience/perspective, like NewToSD's, and yours too, livecontent, thank you.

Like someone earlier said, it may seem that a lot of people who come here are more focused on experience. They're able to look past the negatives easily. They're able to take risks without being focused on the long plan, and live more in the moment. That's my girlfriend. She's great in that she can see the positive in almost anything, she's all about living for the experience.

I'm more security driven, more bound to thinking (worrying) about the long term, more fanatical about planning things out, which is something I'm not pleased about, but I can also realize the benefit of that too. Moving out here was partly to try to get away from that cycle of thought..to take a risk, to enjoy something new. It seems like I can't get over that just yet though and the smart thing to do may be to give MA another chance and go from there, having experienced this place and the west coast a little bit. Maybe something will change, maybe not. I think a lot of this has to do with being unsure of what to want in life. For now the one thing that I can somewhat be sure about is the short term in terms of where I want to live - MA..while I figure out what is most important in life to me, and what is worth giving up to gain here or there.
You must realize that many people who left the East was because there was a need to seek a better life, no so much the need for adventure. It was actually a need for security of employment, and concern about their long term future.

It was just like the big wave of immigrants who settled our country in the last part of the 19th and the early part of the 20th Century. Where I grew up in NY, many of my grandparents generation that left the old European World of what they knew to seek a new life of better security and well being, and took a risk. It was good choice for many; and their children; and their children's children. Yet, some of them returned to their countries of origin--they yearned what they knew. My ethnic roots are Sicilian. I am old enough to have them tell me, first hand, how miserable they felt when they arrived in New York, Ellis Island, from a warm Mediterranean climate to the blustery snow and cold damp of the East; but they had a goal of a better life, and the climate was to be endured.

The same applies for all my siblings and I. We moved from the security of what we knew in Western New York and The Buffalo area which was collapsing into decay, 40 years ago. We sought better opportunities, a better quality of life in the more progressive area of Denver. We took the risks and the risks paid well for us; and our children; and their children.

Livecontent

Last edited by livecontent; 05-20-2012 at 01:28 PM..
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