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Old 04-27-2009, 11:51 PM
 
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I think that most people who are interested in "urban living in Denver" are going to be happiest in Capitol Hill, at least initially. That area is one of the few that I think you could easily get away with no car, and I think it makes a great landing spot for those interested in exploring Denver. It's about as "close to everything" as you can possibly be.

On the topic at hand, it's somewhat true that there aren't a lot of AUTHENTIC ethnic restaurants near downtown, though the entire stretch of East Colfax is one big exception to this rule -- ethnic food of any variety can be had there. As vegaspilgrim said, the ethnic enclaves tend to be more on the boundary between the city of Denver and the first suburbs, for one simple reason: new immigrants from Laos aren't going to be able to afford to live downtown or anywhere closeby. I'd say the actual Central Business District has a surprising lack of authentic ethnic food, mainly because the places in the CBD are mainly designed to serve the 120,000 or so white collar office workers that work in that area, over half of whom commute from the suburbs. There are some great dining options downtown, especially in the higher-end categories, but not a lot of great ETHNIC dining.

SteveinDenver is correct that Highlands (especially West Highlands) isn't as close to the entertainment scene on East Colfax or South Broadway (at least not Compared to Capitol Hill), but it is close to LoDo, for what that's worth. I think that Highlands attracts a slightly older set, however, for whom such things are less vital. I think the age demographic in Highlands is a bit younger than the Wash Park / South Denver area, but a bit older than the Uptown or Capitol Hill crowd. Different Denver neighborhoods have different niches.

For the OP: to answer your question about the "hipster" factor in Denver, I think it depends on your expectations. In years past, I think people moved to Denver just to be in Colorado, and many of them were hugely surprised at what Denver had to offer. However, Denver has now acquired a bit of a reputation, so I would caution you to adjust those expectations. Denver's history as a Victorian gold-rush city gives it some neighborhoods that have really appealed to the hipster crowd, but we're not Brooklyn. But, we're not Salt Lake City, either, which is what a lot of people come expecting. We're somewhere in the middle.

Last edited by tfox; 04-28-2009 at 12:04 AM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 07:34 AM
 
Location: Denver
2,970 posts, read 6,257,925 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by steveindenver View Post
The oriental is in the Highlands area. So are some trendy (yet rather ****ty) resteraunts. There are plenty of outstanding restuarants in the Highlands area, as well as Berkeley.

The rest of Denver is on the other side of the highway -- east of downtown and south of downtown -- not to mention probably 90+ percent of businesses and certainly every large corporation in the state. You couldn't pay me to live in the congestion of Capitol Hill neighborhoods

Look, I'm not bagging on the highlands it is a great area and I enjoy visiting the area -- but it is a great pain in my Moderator cut: language everytime I have to and everyone I know who lives over there laments this fact. A couple of them have actually moved back now that they have made their money in what *was* a great area to invest until recently. I don't think it is a pain at all. I can walk to a game at Coors Field in under 20 minutes, bike it in 5. You can also take the 15th Street Bridge or 20th Street, so the pedestrian bridge isn't the only option.


You never lived in Denver. You lived in said suburbs. Your comments on this subject are about as valid as mine on the moon.

Learn to read.


The highlands is a part of Denver proper as it is in the City and County of Denver. The pedestrian bridge you refer to runs through a public park that closes at 10pm and they hand out tickets. I've come home through the park past 10 pm many times and never had a problem. Again, if you actually had experience with the area here you would know that. You don't. Moderator cut: not necessary/ rude

OP - The Highlands and north Denver in general is a wonderful area to live in. Not as crowded as the Capitol Hill and surrounding neighborhoods and much prettier in my opinion.

Last edited by katzenfreund; 04-28-2009 at 08:34 AM..
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:02 AM
 
330 posts, read 749,123 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Scott5280 View Post
The weather typically is milder than KC, and DC...It may snow at some odd times..meaning late in the season April, early May..but the dry climate and warm chinook winter winds make it seem much warmer..40 degrees and sunny feels like 60 elsewhere also due to the elevation/dry climate..sounds crazy, but it's true...We had 60-70 degree temps. as well.. every month of this year..I wore shorts about a week out of every winter month this year..it is dry though..very dry..lotion is a must...We too suffer from a tragic hipster scene, but having visited the Miami area myself..it seems much tamer here by comparison.
I was in Denver this weekend and it still felt like winter. I was surprised that the grass was still on the brown side and the trees didn't have any leaves on them. DC is already lush green with green grass and full leaves on trees.

I think DC winters are milder than Denver. I moved from the SF Bay Area to DC about a year ago and was told by many that this year's winter was harsh compared to previous winters. It was cold in the winter, but the coldest temps this past winter got to near 10 degrees, while Denver lows go well below zero. I think at one point this winter it was 30 below zero in Denver.
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Old 04-28-2009, 08:12 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,215,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by EastBay-NowDCarea View Post
I was in Denver this weekend and it still felt like winter. I was surprised that the grass was still on the brown side and the trees didn't have any leaves on them. DC is already lush green with green grass and full leaves on trees.

I think DC winters are milder than Denver. I moved from the SF Bay Area to DC about a year ago and was told by many that this year's winter was harsh compared to previous winters. It was cold in the winter, but the coldest temps this past winter got to near 10 degrees, while Denver lows go well below zero. I think at one point this winter it was 30 below zero in Denver.
If you'd spent a week in early/mid March in Denver, you would have thought it was warm and wonderful. You can't judge the climate by late April weather. I generally think April is the cruelest month here because every year I've been in Denver, we get warm, nice weather in March, and then in April the precipitaiton comes in the form of slushy snow/cold rain.

My house got down to about 9 below this winter on one occassion. Below zero temps occurred 3 - 5 times the entire winter, so it's not like that sort of cold is the norm. Jan - Mar had many nice days in the 60s and even some in the 70s. April tends to have about the crappiest weather in Denver. In two weeks, the trees will be green (I already have two that are completely green) and the grass is greening up quite well. Also, 10 degrees in Denver and 10 in D.C. feel very different.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:11 AM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
244 posts, read 810,606 times
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Alright, let me see if I have this straight. Capitol Hill and Uptown attract the youngest crowd, Highlands attracts a slightly older crowd, and Washington Park and South Denver attract the oldest crowd out of the three. How is the diversity (racial/ethnic, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.) in these neighborhoods? I'm Cuban American, 27 years old, in the process of writing my dissertation on sustainable development initiatives and social equity, interested in walking/biking, interested in being close to some nightlife options (although I prefer quiet pubs, art galleries, independent and foreign films, live music venues, especially jazz and blues, and things of this nature to thumping, all night clubs). Oh yeah, I am also mostly vegetarian so being somewhat close to some veg or veg friendly restaurants would be grand. I wonder which hood is for me?
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:19 AM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
244 posts, read 810,606 times
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Also, I know this usually opens up a giant can of worms, but can any of you possibly compare Denver to another major american city for me. I guess comparing it based on some factors like local culture, cuisine, attitude, nightlife, political orientation, etc., would be more helpful than comparing Denver to other cities with similar weather, geography, size, etc. I've heard comparisons to cities as varied as Albuquerque (although much larger), Minneapolis, Portland, Seattle, etc., but no one really went through the trouble of really explaining the comparisons. Anyways, all ideas are appreciated.
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Old 04-28-2009, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,174 posts, read 23,215,035 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JProg305 View Post
Alright, let me see if I have this straight. Capitol Hill and Uptown attract the youngest crowd, Highlands attracts a slightly older crowd, and Washington Park and South Denver attract the oldest crowd out of the three. How is the diversity (racial/ethnic, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.) in these neighborhoods? I'm Cuban American, 27 years old, in the process of writing my dissertation on sustainable development initiatives and social equity, interested in walking/biking, interested in being close to some nightlife options (although I prefer quiet pubs, art galleries, independent and foreign films, live music venues, especially jazz and blues, and things of this nature to thumping, all night clubs). Oh yeah, I am also mostly vegetarian so being somewhat close to some veg or veg friendly restaurants would be grand. I wonder which hood is for me?
That sounds about right on the neighborhoods. I live in Stapleton, which is probably a similar demographic to Wash Park - young families with young kids. Diversity - we go back and forth on that in this forum! If you live in the actual city of Denver, it seems reasonably diverse. Apparently the 'burbs can be fairly non-diverse, but I stay in the city for the most part and couldn't really say. Denver is liberal leaning, although not generally "crazy liberal". It has a large gay population and is accepting. Most restaurants (locally owned) seem to have vegetarian dishes, and I know there are strictly vegetarian restaurants in Denver - I think someone posted a few of them last year. I think everything else you're looking for you will find in Denver, although I'm totally out of the "stay out past 9 p.m. scene" since having twins last year. Others will have good info on nightlife. The Denver Art Museum is great and we've gone to "First Friday" or whatever it's called with all the little galleries on Santa Fe and had a great time.

I don't think there's a large Cuban American community here, but I know there are a few Cuban restaurants. I love Cuban food and need to find one of them!
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Old 04-28-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: The Sunshine City
244 posts, read 810,606 times
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Thanks denverian, the demographic stats for Denver and Aurora appear to be very diverse. I've heard that Denver has a strong gay community. Although I'm not gay it's important for me to live in an area that is accepting of different types of people. I'll have to do the rounds on "First Friday" when I visit. Since switching to a mostly veg diet, I haven't been eating too much traditional Cuban food. I have, however, tried to make vegetarian interpretations of some of my favorite Cuban dishes with mixed results. As you may know, Cuban food is heavily meat based with a strong emphasis on pork and beef, but the soups and stews are rather easy to cook veg style. I'm actually a pescetarian so I still eat fish and seafood. By the way, how is the quality/price of seafood in the Denver area? I'd imagine that it's slightly more expensive because of the shipping costs. Is this accurate? I also figured that with an Asian community there would be decent seafood options.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:37 PM
 
Location: Denver, CO
5,608 posts, read 20,670,324 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JProg305 View Post
Alright, let me see if I have this straight. Capitol Hill and Uptown attract the youngest crowd, Highlands attracts a slightly older crowd, and Washington Park and South Denver attract the oldest crowd out of the three. How is the diversity (racial/ethnic, political affiliation, sexual orientation, etc.) in these neighborhoods? I'm Cuban American, 27 years old, in the process of writing my dissertation on sustainable development initiatives and social equity, interested in walking/biking, interested in being close to some nightlife options (although I prefer quiet pubs, art galleries, independent and foreign films, live music venues, especially jazz and blues, and things of this nature to thumping, all night clubs). Oh yeah, I am also mostly vegetarian so being somewhat close to some veg or veg friendly restaurants would be grand. I wonder which hood is for me?
JProg, your "ideal" hood sounds like somewhere in Miami. You should read some posts (or send a direct message) from "wanttomoveeast," she wants to move from Denver to Miami for a lot of same things you are seeking. I'll let her speak for herself.

In terms of diversity, it really varies across the city. East Denver, Glendale, and north and central Aurora = very diverse. West Denver, some of Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, some of the north suburbs = diverse. North Denver = formerly diverse but becoming less so (gentrification). South Denver and pretty much all the south suburbs, southwest suburbs, northwest suburbs = pretty much all white for the most part, only sporadic diversity here and there. I absolutely hate the word "diverse" as it can mean a million different things, I'm just using that in what I think you mean by it (large presence of ethnic minority groups). Personally, I'm a lot more impressed by international diversity, areas with concentrations of immigrants who come from all over the world than proportions of arbitrary US Census defined racial groups. A good thumb of reference is "follow the food." More likely than not, concentrations of authentic ethnic/international restaurants (all those vilified strip malls I was talking about yesterday) will probably have a lot of respective immigrant families living somewhere in the proximity. But like I said, that doesn't necessarily correspond to where the "urban" or "nightlife" districts in Denver are.

If I had to make a wild guess, the two neighborhoods in Denver you would like the best would be either Uptown or Capitol Hill (north and south of Colfax, east of dowtown for a mile or so) or possibly Baker (Broadway between 6th Ave and Alameda or so). I think tfox is absolutely right, to play things safe preference-wise, just move to Capitol Hill as a launching pad, try to get in a relative short term lease while you explore the city and determine if you want to stay there long term or find something different.
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Old 04-28-2009, 12:57 PM
 
Location: Governor's Park/Capitol Hill, Denver, CO
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If you want 'Urban', the closest will be within walking distance to the CBD (downtown) - Capitol Hill, Uptown, Golden Triangle, LoDo, Ballpark, Baker - all of which you can go carless if you work in the CBD. If you have ever used Zip Cars (rent for a small cost for a day or two, or by the hour), there is a company just starting up the same service here in Denver. I have used them in cities like San Francisco and love it. You can rent one for trips to the mountains for a day, or just rent one from any car service for a weekend trip in the hills. Additionally, the city experimented with daily bike rentals during the DNC and it worked well and will be bringing that back for the summer.

I live in the south end of Capitol Hill in an area called Governor's Park and love it here. As far as ethnic food, I can get Pho, Asian Fusion, Italian (Luca d' Italia, Mizuna), Korean and Eastern Indian all within 3 blocks. Authenticity will vary slightly but it works for me. Toss in Benny's Mexican, Lime Mexican, Brother's BBQ, Angelo's pizza, Governor's Park burgers/beer and a few dive bars like Don's Mixed Drinks and the Lancer Lounge and you are covered. Fast food can be found at 6th and Broadway (Noodles, Kokoro Japanese, Chipotle, Starbucks, Quizno's, Burger King, Jersey Mike's subs, and a great sushi place called Sedona's.)

You can walk to the Esquire and Mayan Landmark (indy) films. City-O-City was good for vegan food, but Watercourse in Uptown is the best. However, Racien's in Governor's Park will cover your needs. The best Asian (dim sum) will be in the Alameda and Federal, Etheopian on Santa Fe or East Colfax, Greek on East Colfax, Sushi - various throughout the city, but I would recommend that you not focus on living in an area here for the food, rather the transportation and variety of entertainment that suits you.

Cap Hill has two major grocery stores, several parks, a botanical gardens and a few hardware stores for your needs. You can rent a condo, studio, house, pentohouse, duplex, mansion if so desired. It is a mixture of Victorian mansions, sigle family bungalos and highrise apartment buildings.

I like jazz and I frequent Dazzle on Lincoln. Big variety of groups coming in and they mix them up with menu specials. Sunday brunch has a great Parisian blues band that hit it big in Paris but the lead singer wanted to come home to Denver, so the whole band followed.

The north and northwest ends of Capitol Hill (closer to Colfax) will find more hipsters/younger then the southwest, south and east ends.

From where I am at you can walk to the 40 galleries on Santa Fe and a few in the Golden Triangle or on South Broadway any day or for First Friday. Though a new arts district is sparking up just east of the Ballpark neighborhood called RiNo, or River North neighborhood. Mostly new lofts or condos in this area but they also are now doing a First Friday.

Capitol Hill is the 'gayborhood', second would be Stapleton or 'Gaypleton'. Cuba Cuba is a restaurant in the Golden Triangle that is Cuban owned and operated, but Denver is not known for having many Cuban eateries.

Every city is unique and comparisons should only be made by you and what appeals to you. Winters here are mild but can be overly dry and arid.

Best wishes to you!

Denver Aztec
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