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Old 02-22-2018, 02:06 PM
Location: Colorado
2,054 posts, read 1,238,026 times
Reputation: 4302


Originally Posted by emm74 View Post
I lived in Boston for almost 25 years before moving here, and there is a lot I miss about it all the time - some about the area in particular, a lot about the fact that I'll never have the same kind of network and connections and knowledge of a city that came from living there from my 20s into my 40s.

But even with the things I miss, day to day life doesn't vary all that much. Sure, Denver doesn't have as much as Boston (or of course even bigger cities like New York). But you can only go to one movie, one concert, one theatrical production, one museum, one restaurant at a time. Fewer choices but enough of them to keep as busy as I want (and can afford! lol!) to be.

Yep. And as with all things, it's a trade off. Boston might have more of the amenities that Emm74 mentioned, but it's also got a lot more people. If you really love museums, theaters, concerts, restaurants, and crowds don't weird you out, then Boston's great. But if you're like me who likes those things on occasion, and doesn't care for crowds (like me).....then maybe not so much. (I would like to *visit* Boston, I just don't if living there would be for me.)

Everybody has their own definition of what makes a great city to live in. Denver's not the answer for everybody, and if it were, we'd *really* have something to worry about!
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:21 PM
Location: Colorado Springs
4,318 posts, read 1,773,860 times
Reputation: 3277
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.
Aww poor baby
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:23 PM
Location: Aurora, CO
6,514 posts, read 10,159,939 times
Reputation: 9713
Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
I have a standing offer to move to Denver. Bout to read this.
Aren't you already here?
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Old 02-22-2018, 02:31 PM
1,787 posts, read 1,119,433 times
Reputation: 1110
Originally Posted by SSCRUSH View Post
I think for some, east coast identity loss/hiding can be a huge factor. If you are from Boston, Philly Washington DC or New York, there is a huge culture shock. Those cities and surrounding areas are loaded with old, old, culture. People are just different. Blunt. In Colorado, people are very politically correct and are scared to ever offend someone. In some ways it sucks, IMO. I like knowing wher I stand with someone and like to give the same in return. I also like seeing people express themselves in true manner. It seems many coloradans are just flat out boring. Not all! But, it runs in their blood. Back east, everyone from there has generations of family and history, along with the areas themselves. Philadelphia has 355 years of it.
I'm also from NJ and find this to be true. Denver has the passive aggressive thing going on, and I too like to know where I stand with people. It's a similar vibe for most of the Midwest as well. Not the same as being in SoCal, Texas, Arizona, Florida etc.

I left and went back to L.A. for many of the same reasons you mentioned. Try something once in CO and then it gets old after that.
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Old 02-22-2018, 03:56 PM
Location: Denver
101 posts, read 54,201 times
Reputation: 198
Originally Posted by N610DL View Post
I'm also from NJ and find this to be true. Denver has the passive aggressive thing going on, and I too like to know where I stand with people. It's a similar vibe for most of the Midwest as well. Not the same as being in SoCal, Texas, Arizona, Florida etc.

I left and went back to L.A. for many of the same reasons you mentioned. Try something once in CO and then it gets old after that.
And there are not passive aggressive people in LA? Oh really now?
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:31 PM
1,787 posts, read 1,119,433 times
Reputation: 1110
Originally Posted by Traveler1026 View Post
And there are not passive aggressive people in LA? Oh really now?
That's a stereotype. L.A. if anything is snobby, not so much passive aggressive. I definitely think Denver is up there with Minneapolis and Seattle.
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Old 02-22-2018, 04:44 PM
Location: The Berk in Denver, CO USA
13,931 posts, read 20,128,417 times
Reputation: 22529
Default Do not miss

I moved from Sudbury (a Boston suburb) to Denver in 1982.
What I miss about Massachusetts are:
1. Swarms of mosquitos in the Summer.
2. Hot and humid Summers.
3. Winters where "February slush month" is an annual occurrence.
4. Two-lane country roads that now carry 10x their designed traffic load during commuting hours and will never be widened.
5. Higher real estate taxes.
6. A paucity of decent restaurants.
7. WalkScores of 4.

I was just there for 8 days in January and am so much happier here.
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Old 02-22-2018, 05:44 PM
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,767 posts, read 2,905,225 times
Reputation: 3330
So I'm confused, OP doesn't like cities but finds Boulder too small?
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:01 PM
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,767 posts, read 2,905,225 times
Reputation: 3330
Originally Posted by cityfilms View Post
I moved here 6 months ago from Atlanta and I also find it kind of scary as a small business owner being here. On a personal level, I never got used to the rude people and pretentiousness there after living in-town for 8 years, however, as a business owner I find it very frightening to notice how frugal people in Denver can be. The very first day I arrived It was frightening how many cheap foreign economy cars are out on the roads here, that tells me that people here are struggling and frugal.
This sounds fake. But, not everybody likes trucks and suvs. This ain't the south.
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Old 02-22-2018, 07:17 PM
Location: Clemson, SC by way of Tyler,TX
4,767 posts, read 2,905,225 times
Reputation: 3330
Originally Posted by Mach50 View Post
I'm in Philly for 4 days working and I have to admit it is nice to be around green landscapes, rolling hills and water.

However, the major things I cannot stand about the Northeast are the rude drivers and very bad service. There are some of the laziest people I have ever seen servicing restaurants and shops. It is like the job of operating a cash register or waitress is beneath them, and I am forcing them to help me or something. It's unbearable and not at all a problem in the West.
Tough driving in the NE, but I think Denver has the most selfish drivers. Eating out in DC, or going to the mall, was generally horrible. Lazy ass people.
Originally Posted by hamster21 View Post
Yeah, I pretty much agree.

The east doesn't really have 'real' mountains in most senses as far as skiing or boarding goes. To me the smaller east coast mountains and lack of powder days are 'good enough.' Their accessibility and placement in a range of diverse/close areas make up for what they lack.

As far as hiking goes, well, there's plenty of hiking in the east. The drawback is that it's hard to find wide open views at high altitudes, although this does exist, but the positive side is that you're not hiking in bone dry scorching sunlight with little greenery aside from shrubs and dry pine forests. The bone dry scorching sunlight really kills for me what the CO mountains have to offer. There is great biking too, but you're biking in bone dry scorching sunlight..same deal there. In the east you can hike and bike in what feels like reasonable and diverse ranges of weather - hot, cool, humid, not so humid - depending on the season. Cool springtime weather, rainy or dry or humid summer weather, dank and musty cloudy days in the fall, and then the winter edge of fall. Lots of options. And of course there is the foliage which is always amazing and comforting to a native new englander.

I feel like MA winters are mild, but that's compared to Maine. Haven't experienced CO winter to compare, but I'm of the view that if you're going to have winter, it may as well have snow on the ground, and not be in between. I was disappointed when I experienced the southern Californian "winter" - which was basically 50 deg days and 30 deg nights with no snow...makes me kinda feel like what's the point...you're in between summer and winter weather and you get neither of their benefits.

CO would be nice if you had a good reason for going out and living there. It could be appreciated in light of the downsides, but mainly if you really had a driving reason to be there, like a love for its climate, or a job opportunity, or following around after your spouse.

That being said it feels really nice to be back in the lush and vast green forests of the east, with fog at night, an ocean breeze, and just enough humidity in the air. So incredibly refreshing compared to the life sucking bone dry air and forests, flatlands, and sparse scrub vegetation of the west (a little dramatic but true). It's almost a shock to see so much GREEN everywhere after spending 2 months in CO!!! Unbelievable.
You know you went from likeable to a jerk at the end of this post.

Originally Posted by Gaylord_Focker View Post
This sounds fake. But, not everybody likes trucks and suvs. This ain't the south.

Last edited by Mike from back east; 02-22-2018 at 07:44 PM..
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