Impressions from 3 Days in Denver

So our first trip ever to Denver for 3 days of shopping and household set up. A whirlwind trip.

I’m struggling to synthesize Denver. It is different than I expected, feels much more like the midwest or Texas than the West Coast — I guess not surprising when you look at a map. What is the soul of Denver, the essence of Denver? Searching for either of these on Google is unrewarding. What is Denver if you strip away all the chain stores, the national brands, the generic architecture? Not that Denver has any more of these than any other city, I just want to understand what is unique about Denver. Everyone I’ve ever met from Denver loves it, what is it they love?

I’m left with two impressions. One, the extensive brick architecture against the unending blue sky. You don’t get either one of these in Seattle, you don’t get the brickwork really anywhere on the west coast. Obviously Denver is not quake country. And Seattle’s skies are famously gray, and so often obstructed by trees, by hills, by architecture. Denver’s sky is big and blue and overpowering at times.

Two, the great little neighborhood taverns in every neighborhood. We ate at great places in Edgewater and other near western neighborhoods, we saw dozens of other great places. It felt like there were more of these, and more small neighborhood commercial centers, than we have in Seattle. Maybe they are just more reachable — the flat open layout of Denver makes it easy to zip around, in contrast to the water/bridge constrained layout of Seattle.

Nice time. I’d like to see more and I am sure I will over the next couple years.