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View Poll Results: What do you rate DT Denver for a city of about 2.6 million?
1 (Absoulutely Terrible) 2 2.38%
2 2 2.38%
3 2 2.38%
4 2 2.38%
5 (Ok) 5 5.95%
6 6 7.14%
7 21 25.00%
8 26 30.95%
9 13 15.48%
10 (Absolutely Amazing) 5 5.95%
Voters: 84. You may not vote on this poll

 
 
Unread 08-04-2012, 08:13 AM
Status: "Snow on the blooming daffodil!" (set 1 day ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
65,104 posts, read 51,378,412 times
Reputation: 17762
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Downtown Denver will never be Manhattan, but the poll question says to rate it relative to cities with 2.6 million people.
this puts it in the same class as:

San Diego: Gas Lamp District and Petco Park areas are okay, but not much culture downtown.
Tampa-St. Petersburg: See above post
St. Louis: Much smaller skyline, not much happening after work.
Baltimore: On par with Denver, cool inner harbor area with restaurants, shopping and the national aquarium
Pittsburgh: Never been there, so I will reserve judgement.
Portland: Same here.
San Antonio: Awesome Riverwalk area, subpar museums
Sacramento: Small, not much going on
Orlando: Nothing but Disney, and it isn't downtown
Cincinnati: Very tired and somewhat rundown. Very dead after hours. Underground Railroad Museum is a must see though.

BTW - I rated it a 9. It's top of the class for cities of this size.
Pittsburgh: Fabulous musems (not all downtown, some in the university area), lots of arts offerings, sports venues (Heinz Field, PNC Park, both on the north side, not really part of downtown but nearby), Point State Park, not much else. Shopping, restaurants just average.
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Unread 08-04-2012, 03:54 PM
 
415 posts, read 524,730 times
Reputation: 256
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgoodman View Post
Out of curiosity why?

From my perspective I think there are good parts of Minneapolis's downtown, but for most of downtown Minneapolis the skyway system seems to have ruined downtown for pedestrians. That is because the skyway system diverts people away from the streets so you do not have the same street level pedestrian activity as Denver. Since Minneapolis divides the pedestrians between the skyways and the street you do not have the same amount of pedestrian oriented shops/restaurants/bars that make downtown Denver fun and worth going to outside of working hours.
Agree, the skyways really make downtown Mpls. seem more dead than it really is. Denver has very few skyways and literally hundreds of restaurants/cafes that front the sidewalk with seating areas downtown giving it a more lively feel. The nice weather most of the year helps too, even in winter when it can be 60 degrees in January. Other than that the two have pretty similar downtowns with a nice amount of office and condo towers, and major league sports venues.

Denver could use some more modern looking towers though, most of the buildings are from the 70's and too many are brown or tan. The skyline needs more glass.

I think Union Station will really push Denver into the top class of metros in the 2-3 million range. It's already one of the best and active of any in the central and western US behind only west coast cities like SF, Seattle and Portland and one central US city Chicago.
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Unread 08-04-2012, 04:18 PM
 
289 posts, read 200,143 times
Reputation: 223
I'm not going to rate because I don't have much experience (as an adult) with other city's downtowns. I just wish the "cool" area of downtown Denver (Wewatta on the west to, I dunno, Bannock on the east, 22nd or so on the north to, heck, 6th (?) on the south, was actually 10 times bigger. I'm a photographer and lust after shooting in London or NYC or Prague. Tons and tons of vintage old buildings and atmosphere. Once you get out of the "core cool areas" of Denver it's just kind of boring.
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Unread 08-04-2012, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
1,694 posts, read 2,564,678 times
Reputation: 1274
I gave it a 6. There are parts of downtown that I enjoy, such as the businesses along Larimer, Market, Blake, and Wazee, as well as Riverfront Park. I don't care for the 16th Street Mall itself, though, since there really isn't much along the mall that can't be found in other parts of the city.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 02:07 PM
 
476 posts, read 735,320 times
Reputation: 303
Quote:
Originally Posted by davidv View Post
Downtown Denver will never be Manhattan, but the poll question says to rate it relative to cities with 2.6 million people.
this puts it in the same class as:

San Diego: Gas Lamp District and Petco Park areas are okay, but not much culture downtown.
Tampa-St. Petersburg: See above post
St. Louis: Much smaller skyline, not much happening after work.
Baltimore: On par with Denver, cool inner harbor area with restaurants, shopping and the national aquarium
Pittsburgh: Never been there, so I will reserve judgement.
Portland: Same here.
San Antonio: Awesome Riverwalk area, subpar museums
Sacramento: Small, not much going on
Orlando: Nothing but Disney, and it isn't downtown
Cincinnati: Very tired and somewhat rundown. Very dead after hours. Underground Railroad Museum is a must see though.

BTW - I rated it a 9. It's top of the class for cities of this size.
Agree with you except for Portland. Portland has an astonishingly beautiful and active downtown for its size.
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Unread 08-05-2012, 02:27 PM
 
Location: Coastal Connecticut
9,346 posts, read 5,699,252 times
Reputation: 1647
I've been to many cities in this country and abroad, spent a significant time in/around Denver and Boulder, and currently live 15 minutes from a small but major city in my state with a boatland of culture that's a foodie's dream (New Haven - much smaller than Denver, though a lot of that has to do with small colonial era boundaries, the urban pop is 570,000 and metro is 870,000) an a hair over an hour to New York City and a bit over 2 hours to Boston.

I'd have to give downtown Denver a 6. Plusses: clean, well kept, attractive, amazing mountain view on clear days, some decent food/bars, convenient to outdoor recreation. I think it's lacking in history, architecture (kind of homogenous), culture, museums, and world class restaurants (it seemed like there were a few, but one must understand that world class restaurant are rampant where I am). Compared to Boston, which has a similar population, it is sorely lacking in those respects. It shares characteristics with a lot of very nice western cities: nice, but ultimately soulless.

I wouldn't mind living there one bit though! Or even better, Boulder.

Last edited by Stylo; 08-05-2012 at 02:37 PM..
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Unread 08-06-2012, 06:45 PM
 
Location: Dellwood, Minnesota
105 posts, read 176,721 times
Reputation: 96
Quote:
Originally Posted by robertgoodman View Post
Out of curiosity why?

From my perspective I think there are good parts of Minneapolis's downtown, but for most of downtown Minneapolis the skyway system seems to have ruined downtown for pedestrians. That is because the skyway system diverts people away from the streets so you do not have the same street level pedestrian activity as Denver. Since Minneapolis divides the pedestrians between the skyways and the street you do not have the same amount of pedestrian oriented shops/restaurants/bars that make downtown Denver fun and worth going to outside of working hours.
It's true that Downtown Minneapolis can look dead, especially during winters. If you visited during other seasons, it is probably because it is not during rush hours. The only advantage Denver has is its weather all year long. I am very glad that our climate are keeping too many people from flocking over here.

I like Minneapolis skyline better with more buildings that look very futuristic. Of course, we may be lacking the views of the Rockies but we have green parks (not with brown grass) and lakes to make up for it.

Downtown has Nicollet Mall, but there is Mall of America in Bloomington nearby that beat all malls in the country except for King of Prussia Mall in PA maybe.

With additional lines to our light rail in near future, I believe the Twin Cities will be even greater!

Most importantly of all, Minneapolis has more colleges and universities and better museums, theaters, music scenes, comedy events, and professional sports atomsphere.

My neighbor was born and raised in Denver. Her family always visit every year. She and her family said the Twin Cities is better in everything except for the weather. LOL

I always feel that Denver is very isolated in the middle of the country. We are only few hours away from the Great Lakes, Chicago, and even Canada.

Twin Cities has relatively low crime rate. For some odd reason, Denver seems to be a magnet for mass shootings, such as Columbine and the recent Movie Theater Massacre in Aurora. No offense!

These are my reasons for rating Denver behind Minneapolis.
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Unread 08-07-2012, 08:46 AM
 
240 posts, read 140,671 times
Reputation: 371
Quote:
Originally Posted by Missourian11 View Post
It's true that Downtown Minneapolis can look dead, especially during winters. If you visited during other seasons, it is probably because it is not during rush hours. The only advantage Denver has is its weather all year long. I am very glad that our climate are keeping too many people from flocking over here.

I like Minneapolis skyline better with more buildings that look very futuristic. Of course, we may be lacking the views of the Rockies but we have green parks (not with brown grass) and lakes to make up for it.

Downtown has Nicollet Mall, but there is Mall of America in Bloomington nearby that beat all malls in the country except for King of Prussia Mall in PA maybe.

With additional lines to our light rail in near future, I believe the Twin Cities will be even greater!

Most importantly of all, Minneapolis has more colleges and universities and better museums, theaters, music scenes, comedy events, and professional sports atomsphere.

My neighbor was born and raised in Denver. Her family always visit every year. She and her family said the Twin Cities is better in everything except for the weather. LOL

I always feel that Denver is very isolated in the middle of the country. We are only few hours away from the Great Lakes, Chicago, and even Canada.

Twin Cities has relatively low crime rate. For some odd reason, Denver seems to be a magnet for mass shootings, such as Columbine and the recent Movie Theater Massacre in Aurora. No offense!

These are my reasons for rating Denver behind Minneapolis.
I've been to Minneapolis more times than I can count at various times of the year and the downtown always seemed to lack street life. But the fact that you say it's lively during rush hour and not other times is a problem. That's a problem downtown Denver also had until they started to make a conscious effort to address that in the 80's and as a result they have been slowly reversing that vibrancy issue to give us a vibrant downtown at all hours (although like anything it still could use some improvement).

I do agree the Minneapolis skyline has a more modern appearance than Denver. Most of the construction in downtown Denver lately has been small(er) scale infill that removed surface parking lots which in turn gave us more street level retail, and enhanced the vibrancy downtown. Minneapolis is still focused on building huge corporate headquarters for huge ego's. Those huge towers look great from afar but the ones in Minneapolis rarely engage the street life. IMO the appearance of the skyline is much less important than what those structures do for everyone living and working in the city so that's why I like downtown Denver more.

Your other points seemed to be focused on the city as a whole so I will not dive too deeply into them although there's two points that I felt I had to address. The violent crime rate in Minneapolis is DOUBLE that of Denver so although we may have some high profile incidents here the day to day shootings/assaults/rapes are nowhere near as common. Denver has about 122 miles of additional rail transit planned within the metro area and about 70 miles of it is under construction. Meanwhile Minneapolis has 23 miles of additional rail transit planned within the metro area and 11 miles of it is under construction.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 06:54 AM
 
Location: Denver
90 posts, read 230,362 times
Reputation: 100
Compared to cities of its size, an 8. I'm from Maryland, so I can compare it to Baltimore: it is similar in size, but has the whole seafood and inner harbor/Fells Point thing going on, but the increased crime helps cancel that out compared to Denver. For sports, it has the Ravens and Orioles (which are just as good if not better gameday experiences as Denver's, the Ravens fans are more diehard than the fans here, which can be both a plus or a minus) but no NBA team and no NHL team (you'll need to head down 95 to DC for that).

All in all, I'd be happier with Denver because it is more laid back and the people are nicer, IMO.
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Unread 08-08-2012, 11:21 AM
 
Location: South Carolina
1,991 posts, read 2,038,396 times
Reputation: 860
I rate it a 9 from my visit 5 years ago. JDowntown Denver has everything posters have already mentioned, plus I was particularly impressed by the Performing Arts Complex, which was a quick walk from the 16th street mall. WONDERFUL. We caught a show there and had a blast. The 16th street mall map stations were really a big help too. Fell in love with The Market at Larimer Square. Having a really nice system of bike paths (off road bike paths) connecting downtown to what surrounds downtown gives it yet another amenity. Confluence Park, Commons Park, Denver Skate Park, all top notch. The Highland Pedestrian Bridge is really impressive. I was also thoroughly impressed with Coors Field. There was nothing I didn't like about it, but I could only give it a 10 if the buildings were more modern looking (the new apartment/condo construction in the Riverfront and Wewatta St. area are helping that a lot), and if the Platte River and Cherry Creek weren't sorta lackluster. But 9 out of 10 is a very good score for a very nice downtown.

Baltimore was mentioned more than once in comparison. I visited and got a hotel near the Harbor a couple years ago and attended the 4th Fireworks on the Harbor while I was there. I was VERY impressed with the Harbor area, really top notch, but really once you get outside of the Harbor vicinity, it got pretty sketchy pretty quick, so I rate Denver even higher than Baltimore even though Baltimore Harbor is way more aesthetically appealing.
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