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Old 10-28-2014, 09:45 AM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,390 posts, read 4,782,303 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALStafford View Post
For me, choosing between the Triangle and Denver, I would pick Denver first every time, but that's mostly because I have family and friends from college here; did not have that at all in NC. It's been an absolute treat to see family 7 or 8 times since moving 18 months ago, I only saw them about 4 times over the 10 years I lived in NC.

Comparing Denver and the Triangle and leaving that out...it's really a push. Both have a thriving music scene, ranging from breathtaking classical and opera, to small independent venues and recording studios with up and coming artists. Both have fantastic youth music programs (my daughter is a classical bassist, we were involved in youth music in both places), and I feel, at least at my daughter's high school, the arts are VERY strongly supported. And she doesn't even attend the Denver School of the Arts, she's in a regular public high school in Jeffco. Between the Wake County schools and Jeffco schools, I feel the schools support the arts more in Jeffco. BUT...that could also be in part because I did HUGE research before enrolling her at the school she's in. Found out after the fact that pretty much any student that's really into music or theater in the county open-enrolls in her school. There's kids in her orchestra that commute 45 minutes to an hour just to be a part of that program. So, one for Denver if you have kids/are planning for kids/are considering private teaching of young folks. Judging by your user name, yes, there is a jazz scene here, too, I have a good friend that has a MMus in jazz saxophone, and is making a living performing, my kids bass teacher is a pretty great jazz bassist, and for something that provides a wide variety of music that's a bit of the beaten path, check out Eclectic Concerts - Unique concerts featuring a compelling mix of musical styles and performers and Swallow Hill Music | Concerts and Music School in Denver. In the Triangle, there's a wonderful festival in the fall and spring here Shakori Hills Grassroots Festival |, I mentioned SPARKcon, and then there's this: Hopscotch Music Festival. All also great events. But I would give an edge to Denver, because, due to the size of the metro area, there's just more. The quality of the music, and wide range of offerings is quite similar, but Denver's simply...bigger.

Restaurants I would have to give the edge to the Triangle. Both cities are homes to James Beard winners (Andrea Ruesing and Ashley Christensen in the Triangle, Jen Jasinski in Denver), both have great hole in the wall spots that only the locals know about. The Triangle has better Indian cuisine, Denver has better pho. Both have their regional specialties (Barbecue in the Triangle (and remember, barbecue is a noun, not a verb, and I won't even start on the Eastern vs. Lexington style!) and Green Chile in Denver). Both embrace the farm-to-table movement, but in the Triangle, its so easy to have fresh produce year round that the concept is really taking off. There are year-round farmer's markets in the Triangle, and year-round CSA's. North Carolina is home to Center for Environmental Farming Systems, teaching sustainable ag techniques that are a model for the rest of the country. I'm still exploring the food scene here, after 18 months, Triangle wins that one pretty easily.

Outdoor activities and weather I'm going to lump together. In a nutshell, the Denver area lives outside, on bikes, jogging, fishing, skiing, hunting, hiking, you name it. This is the most active place I've ever lived. And I love it! I've been more active since moving here since it's so easy, and it's easy to keep active year-round. Keep in mind, the first few months, you'll be acclimating to the altitude, though, and will likely feel tired more easily, and you might get a few headaches and feel like your eyes are scratchy burning (that's as much the dryness of the air, but also partially the elevation), but for most people that will ease over time. Yes, it gets cold in the winter. Yes, there's snow, and MUCH more of it than in the Triangle. But it's just as likely to be 60 and sunny in January. Last winter, even with the 2 polar vortex blasts, I wore a my fleece vest as outerwear about as often as I wore my big parka. In the Triangle, it isn't the cold that'll get you, it's the heat. You don't know hot until you've experienced 105 degrees with 60% humidity and sections of the highway buckling from the heat. There will be days (and in hot summers, weeks) were any outdoor activity really needs to be either before 8 AM or after 7 PM. It's just dangerously hot otherwise. It can get quite hot in Denver, too, but there is next to no humidity (or so it seems to me!), so it's much more bearable. You will need to watch out for sun intensity, though. Sunscreen and sunglasses are a must. You did mention your love of the beach, and there are lakes/rivers here that may be adequate, but for some folks it isn't enough. And NC does have amazing beaches! From the Triangle, it's about 2-2.5 hours to the coast, so it's really easy to just do a day trip and enjoy. I'm not a beach-y person, but I love kayaking, and have found more than enough opportunity here in Denver. So, for that, it kind of depends on what you want out of your "beach" experience. If it's just having a place to swim/fish/do a bit of boating, Denver's got you covered. If you want to hunt seashells, walk long expanses of soft sand, build sandcastles, and lay in the sunshine listening to the surf, well, then, the Triangle is better. Overall, I'd say Denver wins this one, but if you NEED BEACH, Denver will never be the spot.

WHEW...this got long, but I hope it helps a bit!
This post was great! Really detailed, which I find very helpful. Being that I am in the arts I like the fact that they are supported in Denver. I also keep hearing that Denver is an active city, which is a must for our family. I am intrigued by Denver winters, though. Even though it gets cold and it snows I've heard many say the snow doesn't last long often mentioning 50-60 degree days during winter. I grew up with lots of snow and cold (Massachusetts), so am no stranger to it. However, let's just say I am not a huge fan but I could live with it as long as it isn't like what I grew up with.

The last time my family was in Denver it got into the mid-90s and while it was warm, we still loved being able to go out during the summer months. The evening was wonderful as things cooled down quite a bit. My regular summer temps now range from 108-115...and 108 is the cool down! I do prefer the arid climate over the humidity which is why I am considering Denver. NC holds a lot of nostalgia for me, but it is also close to the ocean. However, I am not close to an ocean now and have managed well so far. Denver has a little more water than where I live now and a great airport so I could fly to a beach to get my fill! As for food, I am pretty simple so that will not be an issue for me. Both economies seem to be doing well right now. In the event of another economic downturn I wonder which city would fare better? Both are state capitals and have a lot going for them.
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:29 AM
 
Location: Maine
398 posts, read 1,161,843 times
Reputation: 219
I'm originally from CT, so I know the winters you speak of! I actually live west of Denver at 9000 feet, so the winters are much worse than they are in Denver, but I'd still the take winters here any day over the winters in New England. I've never lived in Denver, so I can't really speak for what it's like there. I only live about 45 min from the outskirts of the city, but the weather is quite different up at altitude! Anyway, the lack of humidity makes a huge, huge difference in the winter. Yes, we get some nasty cold snaps, but most of the winter is more comfortable than it is in New England. I don't feel the need to cover every part of my body just to walk to my car. I've pumped gas in 5 degree weather without gloves on here; I actually vividly remember that day and thinking how crazy it seemed. Obviously if there's wind, I probably wouldn't be doing that, but that particular day it wasn't too bad out. Denver can get a big snow storm, and the snow will melt within a couple of days. I think the record for snow on the ground in Denver is 60+ days, but that is a fairly rare occurrence. Denver does get HOT in the summer, but at least you can drive up to the foothills and shed 15-20 degrees. The sun is brutal in Denver during the summer, but I'm also a bit of a heat wuss after living near the mountains for the last 10 years. I avoid going to Denver in the summer for the most part!
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Old 10-28-2014, 10:41 AM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,390 posts, read 4,782,303 times
Reputation: 3186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddog905 View Post
I'm originally from CT, so I know the winters you speak of! I actually live west of Denver at 9000 feet, so the winters are much worse than they are in Denver, but I'd still the take winters here any day over the winters in New England. I've never lived in Denver, so I can't really speak for what it's like there. I only live about 45 min from the outskirts of the city, but the weather is quite different up at altitude! Anyway, the lack of humidity makes a huge, huge difference in the winter. Yes, we get some nasty cold snaps, but most of the winter is more comfortable than it is in New England. I don't feel the need to cover every part of my body just to walk to my car. I've pumped gas in 5 degree weather without gloves on here; I actually vividly remember that day and thinking how crazy it seemed. Obviously if there's wind, I probably wouldn't be doing that, but that particular day it wasn't too bad out. Denver can get a big snow storm, and the snow will melt within a couple of days. I think the record for snow on the ground in Denver is 60+ days, but that is a fairly rare occurrence. Denver does get HOT in the summer, but at least you can drive up to the foothills and shed 15-20 degrees. The sun is brutal in Denver during the summer, but I'm also a bit of a heat wuss after living near the mountains for the last 10 years. I avoid going to Denver in the summer for the most part!
Thanks for your reply! You know of the Northeast winters I speak of! Coming from CT, you also know how it is to live around water. So tell me, how has it been living in Colorado in that you are far from an ocean? Also, was it difficult or easy for you to adjust to life in CO? New Englanders aren't the greatest at adopting to new environments, if you know what I mean?
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Old 10-28-2014, 11:20 AM
 
Location: Aurora, CO
6,533 posts, read 10,219,301 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
Thanks for your reply! You know of the Northeast winters I speak of! Coming from CT, you also know how it is to live around water. So tell me, how has it been living in Colorado in that you are far from an ocean? Also, was it difficult or easy for you to adjust to life in CO? New Englanders aren't the greatest at adopting to new environments, if you know what I mean?
Not to be too presumptuous but I fear you may be going down the road to Analysis Paralysis. How are you handling being hundreds of miles from the ocean in a much drier locale? If you're ok with being 6 hours from the ocean, then adding another 8-10 hours onto that trek won't change much.

You may benefit from a trip to the Denver metro area during early January when it's likely to be chilly. Spend a few days up here driving around (and hoping Ma Nature cooperates and dumps some snow on us). Check out the area and see if it's for you.
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Old 10-28-2014, 02:58 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,390 posts, read 4,782,303 times
Reputation: 3186
[quote=bluescreen73;37051722]Not to be too presumptuous but I fear you may be going down the road to Analysis Paralysis. How are you handling being hundreds of miles from the ocean in a much drier locale? If you're ok with being 6 hours from the ocean, then adding another 8-10 hours onto that trek won't change much.

You may benefit from a trip to the Denver metro area during early January when it's likely to be chilly. Spend a few days up here driving around (and hoping Ma Nature cooperates and dumps some snow on us). Check out the area and see if it's for you.[/QUOTE

Arrgggh! A bubble buster. Lol! No, you make a good point about visiting in January. I am ok with living away from the ocean...until I'm there and have to leave it!
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Old 10-29-2014, 11:55 AM
 
Location: Maine
398 posts, read 1,161,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
.[/QUOTE

Arrgggh! A bubble buster. Lol! No, you make a good point about visiting in January. I am ok with living away from the ocean...until I'm there and have to leave it!
I think you actually just hit the nail on the head. It's painful to leave the ocean, but I think you fall back into your routine and just enjoy/accept where you live. We took a trip to northern New England this summer and spent a little over a week there. We were honestly ready to just stay where we were and not go back to CO. We love CO, but spending time by the ocean and eating all of that delicious seafood was a bit too much to take! We've been contemplating moving back to the east coast to be closer to family, so we've been spending time in different states. I think if we were to move, we'd go to NH at this point.

Anyway, we decided to stay here in CO for the time being. We love CO, and for us, it's a much better place to live. It's just much easier to live in CO because of the weather, lack of bugs, and virtually no Lyme Disease or ticks. There are some bugs here and some ticks, but after 10 years, I have yet to see one single tick, and I live in the forest.

I actually found living in CO to be amazingly easy, which surprised me. Denver is really easy to get around, especially since you can generally always see the mountains. Streets tend to connect with each other, so I think it would be very difficult to get lost there. I can still get lost in my hometown back in CT though, LOL. Those old New England towns are tricky to get around .
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Old 10-29-2014, 12:56 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,390 posts, read 4,782,303 times
Reputation: 3186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sleddog905 View Post
I think you actually just hit the nail on the head. It's painful to leave the ocean, but I think you fall back into your routine and just enjoy/accept where you live. We took a trip to northern New England this summer and spent a little over a week there. We were honestly ready to just stay where we were and not go back to CO. We love CO, but spending time by the ocean and eating all of that delicious seafood was a bit too much to take! We've been contemplating moving back to the east coast to be closer to family, so we've been spending time in different states. I think if we were to move, we'd go to NH at this point.

Anyway, we decided to stay here in CO for the time being. We love CO, and for us, it's a much better place to live. It's just much easier to live in CO because of the weather, lack of bugs, and virtually no Lyme Disease or ticks. There are some bugs here and some ticks, but after 10 years, I have yet to see one single tick, and I live in the forest.

I actually found living in CO to be amazingly easy, which surprised me. Denver is really easy to get around, especially since you can generally always see the mountains. Streets tend to connect with each other, so I think it would be very difficult to get lost there. I can still get lost in my hometown back in CT though, LOL. Those old New England towns are tricky to get around .
There are definitely aspects of New England that I miss. Most, correction, all of our family is back east! I love visiting and enjoying the things I took for granted growing up there. NH is a great place, by the way. My wife and I spent one of our most memorable vacations in the white mountains! As for CO, you mentioned it: the weather, lack of bugs, etc. makes a difference. I live in Arizona, which is incredible in its own respects (in spite of what the national press says), but it doesn't feel like home. I hope to get to CO soon to get a feel for the place again, although I clearly remember our entire stay there the last time we visited a few years ago. That's how strong an impression it made on us. Not a big fan of cold and winter, (my wife is though!) but can handle it as long as it's not like NE! Those winters were just tough.
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Old 10-29-2014, 01:24 PM
 
Location: Maine
398 posts, read 1,161,843 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goolsbyjazz View Post
There are definitely aspects of New England that I miss. Most, correction, all of our family is back east! I love visiting and enjoying the things I took for granted growing up there. NH is a great place, by the way. My wife and I spent one of our most memorable vacations in the white mountains! As for CO, you mentioned it: the weather, lack of bugs, etc. makes a difference. I live in Arizona, which is incredible in its own respects (in spite of what the national press says), but it doesn't feel like home. I hope to get to CO soon to get a feel for the place again, although I clearly remember our entire stay there the last time we visited a few years ago. That's how strong an impression it made on us. Not a big fan of cold and winter, (my wife is though!) but can handle it as long as it's not like NE! Those winters were just tough.
I will warn you that winters in Denver are longer than they are in New England, but there are breaks in the winter, unlike most of the winters we would've seen back home. I don't think the winters have been as rough as they were when we were younger, but they've had some pretty snowy winters in the last couple of years. It can, and does typically, snow into May around here. Usually it'll be 70 degrees one day, snow the next, and then warm back up a day or two later. We have also had some random cold snaps in April (2013 was the most recent), but that's not the norm. Usually by May we're pretty sick of this place because while the rest of the country is enjoying Spring, we're still seeing significant snowfall. Again, we live almost 4000 feet above Denver, so our weather is more extreme.

I can see why AZ wouldn't feel like home, considering it's almost the polar opposite of what you came from. CO is still quite different from home, but that's also partially why we live up in the mtns as opposed to down in/near the city. I grew up in the forest, so it's certainly homier up here than it is down near the city. I'm not a fan of the plains, to be honest. We're a little farther from the city than we'd like to be at the moment, but we can still access most everything in about an hr, which isn't horrible.
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Old 10-29-2014, 02:31 PM
 
Location: Superior, CO
30 posts, read 37,209 times
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Don't tell the OP this, but I heard someone earlier say Denver is Full.
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Old 10-29-2014, 06:37 PM
 
Location: In the hot spot!
3,390 posts, read 4,782,303 times
Reputation: 3186
Quote:
Originally Posted by pharkonnen View Post
Don't tell the OP this, but I heard someone earlier say Denver is Full.
Nice try!
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