I spent most of this past week in Denver, Colorado. Flying out a few days early for a business meeting, I used the opportunity to spend time with friends who recently moved to the area. I’d only been to Denver one time previously approximately 15 years earlier and had a hazy memory of mountains, getting altitude sickness after going for a brief run and a cute, little downtown.
In just a few days time, I was able to reconnect with friends who no longer live in the area, peruse and buy several books from my new favorite independent bookseller the Tattered Cover, sing karaoke at Denver’s gay bar Glady’s: The Nosey Neighbors and witness Denver’s first snowfall of the year.
The mountains still ring the western edge of the city and the downtown is as tiny as I recall, but the city is definitely growing. Denver very much struck me as a city that is still growing into itself. Neighborhoods like RiNo (short for River North) is an emerging art district with lots of potential. The buildings in this neighborhood blend existing older architecture with newer remodeled one and two story industrial buildings, but there remains a lot of open space all within a mile of downtown, giving you the impression that there is a lot more to come.
The restaurant scene is clearly growing with many serving either Mexican or Southern cuisine; two types of food not common here in Boston. As was expected, dining and drinking in Denver was very affordable with most of my dinners $30-$35 with tip (and yes I did have a drink). The plentiful housing and affordable dining combined with a relaxed view towards drinking and marijuana makes this city a haven for Millennials. If I was in my 20’s I’d probably seriously consider spending a few years here.
All told, Denver really exceeded expectations and made my business trip a fun visit. Next time I go, I’ll have to bring Sergio and get up to Boulder.