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Thread summary:

Moving to Denver: traffic, housing, diversity, college, cost of living.

 
Old 01-25-2008, 07:36 AM
 
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Hello, I want to relocate to Denver in a few months (May/June). I am a white female, aged 26, originally from East Europe. I moved to the States in 2003 after completing a B.A. in my home country. Since then I have acquired a permanent resident (green) card and worked mainly in the hospitality industry. I lived in some states on the East Coast - NC, DC/MD area, MA and finally south Florida. I want to move mainly because of the climate in FL (too hot, no winter) and housing prices, traffic, hurricanes, etc. My question is: what is the overall attitude toward immigrants in Denver? Are locals rather conservative or more open to foreigners? I experienced high level of discrimination in the above stated locations, except for FL. I made some very good friends everywhere I went but locals in some areas where not friendly at all (especially MD and MA). I had a hard time adjusting so I had to move.

Note: I am a professional with substantial experience for my age (completed two internships and held my last job for 2 years). (Un)fortunately I still have a very heavy accent and I am afraid employers will not give me a chance because of it. Do you think I will have difficulty making new friends? If I decide to move, I will most likely choose a city neighborhood in proximity to downtown. I don't know anybody in Denver. I visited back in 2005 and I loved it! Thanks for your input..
CeCe
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Old 01-25-2008, 07:51 AM
 
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Denver is a cosmopolitan city. I hope you wouldn't be discrimated against there because of your accent and homeland. Have you also considered the Seattle and Portland areas? I mention them because there are many people from the former Soviet Union moving in there. But it may be best to be AWAY from concentrations of lots of other immigrants. I've had German friends do very well in the Berkeley area.

I wish you a lot of luck and am sorry to hear you were not treated too well. When I lived on the East Coast, I was really treated hatefully because of a STRONG Southern accent. It held me back. It also surprised the heck out of me!

I sought out of speech therapist and learned how to lose my accent -- I "type" with one but don't speak with one now.
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Old 01-25-2008, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
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I think you would do well in Denver. I have a good friend and she is from the Czech Republic, married to another friend of mine. I don't notice that many European immigrants here but many Russians. Denver is liberal and accepting. Obviously your communication skills in English are great, based on you writing - I would never have known English wasn't your first language. I think accents make people interesting and unique.
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:21 AM
 
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Almost afraid to ask (in any forum) but what about people from Spanish speaking countries (legal or U.S. citizen, fluent in English, etc)? Some regions are starting to get a little generic on how they "group" people of certain ethnicities (and accents) together based on illegal immigration issues -- I've read a few comments about the immigration topic in the Colorado forums but would someone from, say, South America or Mexico expect a much different experience than someone from Austria?
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Old 01-25-2008, 11:46 AM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,207,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallingwaters View Post
Almost afraid to ask (in any forum) but what about people from Spanish speaking countries (legal or U.S. citizen, fluent in English, etc)? Some regions are starting to get a little generic on how they "group" people of certain ethnicities (and accents) together based on illegal immigration issues -- I've read a few comments about the immigration topic in the Colorado forums but would someone from, say, South America or Mexico expect a much different experience than someone from Austria?
The city of Denver has something like 43% (I know over 40) Hispanic population, which I'd guess is mostly of Mexican descent. I've noticed that there are the newer immigrants from Mexico who seem to mostly speak some English, and then you have a substantial Hispanic population that was born here, 3rd or 4th generation.

Personally, I can recognize different accents and figure out if people are Mexican or from another country. I couldn't really say what individuals' experiences might be. Probably depends on if you speak English, education, etc.
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Old 01-25-2008, 01:33 PM
 
108 posts, read 386,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
The city of Denver has something like 43% (I know over 40) Hispanic population, which I'd guess is mostly of Mexican descent. I've noticed that there are the newer immigrants from Mexico who seem to mostly speak some English, and then you have a substantial Hispanic population that was born here, 3rd or 4th generation.

Personally, I can recognize different accents and figure out if people are Mexican or from another country. I couldn't really say what individuals' experiences might be. Probably depends on if you speak English, education, etc.

Okay, I know it's hard to really predict what one person or another's experience is going to be like. Good to know on the census data. Some other areas of the country have gotten to the point where local governments are trying to target hispanics for additional "police/immigration checks" (you have U.S. citizens now carrying their passports to show police in case they get stopped for a traffic violation) and the local sentiments are gravitating toward blaming all of their problems on the latin population and stereotyping them all as illegals. Parts of Northern Virginia (Prince William County in particular hits the news a lot), Arizona (the "minuteman" movement; I wonder what people in Boston think of that choice of names), are examples. Glad to hear that Denver isn't inclined in that direction.

I often wonder about the education comment, though (not picking on you, I've just heard this in other contexts as well "depends on how educated" -- how often do people deconstruct Marlowe's "Faustus" or get into detailed discussions on microbiology or the socio-economic implications of the industrial revolution on a daily basis, anyway?). I wasn't issued a badge that says "college grad, treat me with more respect" when I got my degree -- I've found it depends more on your appearance and apparent affluence (which doesn't always correlate to education).

I guess in this context, it applies mostly to fluency in English and how well someone articulates themself.
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Old 01-25-2008, 02:39 PM
 
Location: Denver, Colorado U.S.A.
14,164 posts, read 27,207,376 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallingwaters View Post

I often wonder about the education comment, though (not picking on you, I've just heard this in other contexts as well "depends on how educated" -- how often do people deconstruct Marlowe's "Faustus" or get into detailed discussions on microbiology or the socio-economic implications of the industrial revolution on a daily basis, anyway?). I wasn't issued a badge that says "college grad, treat me with more respect" when I got my degree -- I've found it depends more on your appearance and apparent affluence (which doesn't always correlate to education).

I guess in this context, it applies mostly to fluency in English and how well someone articulates themself.
Yes, that's probably more appropriate than basing it on education. I'm was just thinking of an Ecuadorian friend who's college educated, good job, minor accent - he's never experienced any problems with people that he's told me about. He just seems to fit in well and his race/homeland don't seem to be much of an issue for him. I think people are generally judged (whether that's good or not) by the way the dress and carry themselves, not by the color of thier skin - at least here.
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Old 01-25-2008, 03:22 PM
 
108 posts, read 386,796 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
Yes, that's probably more appropriate than basing it on education. I'm was just thinking of an Ecuadorian friend who's college educated, good job, minor accent - he's never experienced any problems with people that he's told me about. He just seems to fit in well and his race/homeland don't seem to be much of an issue for him. I think people are generally judged (whether that's good or not) by the way the dress and carry themselves, not by the color of thier skin - at least here.

Thanks for the info -- sorry I jumped on the soapbox a little with the education thing. I wouldn't figure Denver to have many hang ups with this, but it's a widespread political issue that's unfortunately also affecting legal residents of spanish heritage in some parts of the country also, which kind of automatically disqualifies some places for me and my family.
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Old 01-26-2008, 08:11 AM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,297 posts, read 120,665,009 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denverian View Post
The city of Denver has something like 43% (I know over 40) Hispanic population, which I'd guess is mostly of Mexican descent. I've noticed that there are the newer immigrants from Mexico who seem to mostly speak some English, and then you have a substantial Hispanic population that was born here, 3rd or 4th generation.

According to City-Data, it is 37% Hispanic in Denver. It is less in the burbs, but what I like about Denver, as opposed to some cities where I have lived, is that the minority groups do tend to live all over.

Personally, I can recognize different accents and figure out if people are Mexican or from another country. I couldn't really say what individuals' experiences might be. Probably depends on if you speak English, education, etc.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Fallingwaters View Post
Thanks for the info -- sorry I jumped on the soapbox a little with the education thing. I wouldn't figure Denver to have many hang ups with this, but it's a widespread political issue that's unfortunately also affecting legal residents of spanish heritage in some parts of the country also, which kind of automatically disqualifies some places for me and my family.
I would not disqualify you and your family from Colorado. We have a Hispanic senator, for heaven's sake, Ken Salazar. His brother John is a representative in Congress from Colorado. Denver had a Hispanic mayor, Federico Pena, back in the days when "diversity" was not such a buzzword.
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Old 01-26-2008, 09:01 AM
 
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Thank you all for your responses. I am actually married to an American citizen. My husband is originally from Upstate New York and loves snowboarding. We have lived in Florida for two and a half years now and he really misses the snow. This is one of the main resonons to choose Denver over other cities. I insisted on moving to a city, not a little mountain village mainly because of the diversity and various job opportunities in bigger towns. I am still quite hesitant to make the move though. I have a good job and many friends here but the cost of living, weather and traffic are tipping the scales toward moving. We will have to figure this out somehow.
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