August 11, 2007

Eerie Colorado

We slept in this morning but after getting breakfast and preparing for the day, The Wife and I found ourselves with several hours to pass before the first wedding event of the weekend we will attend. So we drove around trying to find a place for The Wife to get a manicure and pedicure, up and down Wadsworth Avenue in Lakewood.

We both agreed that there is something eerie about this little corner of the world. It's hard to describe precisely.

Part of it might be that we're a little underwhelmed with the hotel. It's adequate to our needs but not quite up to the standards we had been expecting from this brand of mid-range hotel. The business center doesn't work, so I'm sitting behind the front desk using the hotel clerk's computer to write this post, which is also odd. (The clerks are so young!)

Part of it seems to be the lack of zoning. There are what appear to be light-industrial, commercial, residential, and open-space uses of land, right next to each other, all over the place. Part of it seems to be the lack of socioeconomic clustering -- there are some very large, expensive houses in a gated community right next to what look like sleazy liquor stores and check cashing places. There's a Starbucks, but it looks run-down and the sign looks half-assed. Then there is what looks like a brand-new, upscale mall with a Whole Foods and a Dick's Sporting Goods, less than a quarter mile from a Planned Parenthood clinic.

The Wife suggested that our unease at the lack of enforced urban planning says more about us than it does about Denver. She's probably right.

Lots of chicken wing places. Don't get me wrong, I like chicken wings as much as the next guy but there seems to be a morbidly intense interest on the part of residents of suburban Jefferson County, Colorado in chicken wings.

It's hot and dry, which certainly feels familiar to a desert dweller, but there is also a lot of vegetation, which makes it look more like Tennessee. So there must be rain -- and the buildings all have pitched roofs, for the snow during the winter, of course. Some of it is seeing a pitched roof and other alpine-style construction during such a hot, desert-like day.

The Wife pointed out that except for a few Latinos working at the Denny's, we've only seen white people out and about. (The crowd at the airport seemed pretty diverse, but where did they all go?) The lack of racial diversity was not something I initially noticed but now that The Wife pointed it out, it's kind of creepy.

And there's lots of hippies. Real hippies -- girls in peasant dresses, guys with long hair and beards in tie-dyed T-shirts, smoking weed and hanging out in VW Vans. They all look to be in their mid- to late-twenties, but could be either older or maybe even younger than that. That's not surprising, really; Colorado has something of a reputation for that. The quantity of them is a little surprising.

So I can't quite figure out exactly what it is that is a little bit... off about the place. Maybe it's just the sudden transition from the hyper-activity that I had been immersed in for several weeks back home to having little to nothing to do that is so disarming.

It won't matter when we're with our friends at their wedding festivities, though. We'll leave for that in a few hours and maybe I'm better off between now and then just reading a book.


Sheila Tone said...

(shudder) R-4 right next to C-3? C-2 combined with P-3 for a hideous Frankenstein neighborhood of gourmet food and medical services? The horror ... the horror ...

How'd the manicure/pedicure turn out? I've found there to be a wide variance in quality, and places that'll take you last-minute usually are on the lower-end, alas ... Still feels nice, though.

NYvoice said...

I completely agree with you. I lived in that area for three months (felt like 5 yrs!). I went to the very same Denny's on Wadsworth.:) I also lived in Cherry Creek North and Park Hill for several months as well. The whole city of Denver is creepy to me and I couldn't wait to leave. No one and nothing was what it seemed to be. I never got the free feeling vibes like the hippies and new agers. I think you pretty much have to be on drugs and/or brainwashed by a new age guru to even feel good vibes in that place. Even after coming from NYC, I found the people there to be rude, cold, judgmental, greedy (was stolen from, ripped off, lied to, scammed by pretty much by every person I met there) secretive and nothing like a community or neighborhood at all. After leaving there I learned a lot about secret and not so secret military projects, the largest fusion threat center, secret and not so secret tunnels and bunkers, as well as some weird secret society stuff that takes place there. I almost have to believe some of the questionable eerie things about Denver and Colorado because it seems perfectly aligned with the intense creepy 'vibe' I got there. I was wondering if other people felt the same way so I googled "eerie colorado" and got your page. :) Awesome! Thanks for sharing.