I’ve been in Denver for almost a week now. Everyone has told me how much this city reminds them of Boise or those from Denver currently living in Boise, how it reminds them of a smaller Denver. My first impression may be influenced by the record breaking heat of 102, along with the rare vegetation and culture. I’ve sensed a mix of Arizona and Boise. I was expecting more trees and plants especially with the mile high elevation accompanied by the Rocky Mountains.
When I first arrived at the airport I was surprised to find myself waiting for a train after following the signs for baggage claim. I’ve been to larger cities and I was curious why Denver had an underground train for transportation at the airport. I mentioned it to my hosts for the trip and they informed me of the stories of the airport. One of them was about bronco sculpture that can be found at the entrance of the airport that represents their football team. The sculpture killed the artist while he was working on it, now people claim it is haunted. The Bronco football team is another similarity between the two cities but the art we have at our airport is nothing close to this sculpture. I just hope our “wings” don’t have any ghost stories. When I first arrived in Denver I missed the sculpture so I decided to research some pictures and the history. Check out this link from the Westword, Denver’s weekly newspaper for a quick overview.
It wasn’t until Saturday, July 17, 2010 I was able to check out the downtown area and really compare the two cities. I was invited to join my host and her friends to attend a late night bike ride known as the Moonlight Classic. Thanks to the Thornton family for letting me borrow their cruiser! I felt lucky to ride a bike almost identical to my own at home. The similarity between the cities was starting to bleed into my lifestyle. This event gave me the opportunity to check out the neighborhoods in the downtown area and discover more than any tourist would have discovered. During the bike ride, I discovered a neighborhood similar to our Northend and the waters of Cherry Creek flowing through downtown just like the Boise River. I know that every city has neighborhoods with a bad reputation but I felt that overall with the size of Denver it was impressive to see how clean and casual it is. It’s inevitable for growth to make change. I hope that as Boise continues to grow that the great qualities in which it is known for only get better and supercede the new “improvements” people like to bring with them as they move. Being able to compare the two cities from the suburbs to city life for myself now, I see all of the comparisons people have made and agree. This experience so far has lead me to believe that Boise can continue to grow while keeping the core culture and values that it currently has. Some are afraid that growth will change all of it but if we have so many similarities to Denver I think it that growth can make Boise even better than what currently is.