30 Denver Suburban Life Changes

Random Observation/Comment #671: “Well, it’s different from NYC – in a good way.” is my standard answer to how I’m liking Denver.

Why this List?

Different cities have different cultural norms. Being a new transplant in Colorado means we’re going to need to take a step back and think about how we will live differently. Most of these observations point out the transition from city apartment shared spaces to suburban house neighborhoods with car ownership.

  1. Trader Joe’s –> Costco / Target – There’s still a few Trader Joe’s here, but not as close as walking down the block. I will miss the Pre-Covid days of buying daily fresh groceries within walking distance. Costco is definitely a thing.
  2. Chinatown –> H-Mart – The truth is I never really bought a lot of groceries from Chinatown anyway. Just cheap noodles and sauces. I just liked going for the restaurants. An authentic wonton noodle soup and xiao long bao quick lunch (which hasn’t been possible for the past 6 months anyway) is hard to find.
  3. Subway card –> Car, gas, car insurance – I don’t mind driving, but this is an added expense to take into account. I do love the feeling of owning a car.
  4. Morning stroll to park –> Drive there + stroll + drive home – Added overhead of driving when things are spaced farther apart. Luckily our neighborhood does have some walking distance hiking paths.
  5. Walking everywhere –> Driving everywhere – I think you can live without a car living downtown, but you’ll want one to take advantage of the outdoor activities, so you’ll pay for a weekend rental anyway. With low % APRs now, I’d highly recommend buying a new car. No comment on parking or traffic patterns yet.
  6. Take out –> Drive thrus – This may be a result of covid for more prevalent drive thru lines. Seeing these longer drive thru lines makes me think that Starbucks will likely stay open and maintain sales outside of major cities.
  7. Sedans/Coupes –> SUVs – Needed for the AWD terrain and trunk space to store camping equipment.
  8. Collected garbage in stroller –> Collected garbage in car – Car vacuum and plastic garbage bags are a necessity. To the best of our abilities, we’ll keep it clean. *shakes fist at crumbs*
  9. Fashion clothes –> REI Coop clothes – Layers are important and I will probably lean into knitted sweaters in the winter. I guess I’ll retire my suits.
  10. Umbrellas –> Waterproof shell – No one really brings umbrellas around. Temperatures and Climate tends to change every 30 minutes.
  11. Puma Suedes –> Hiking shoes – Hiking boots are waterproof and doesn’t collect dust from trails as much. It’s fashionable to be comfortable.
  12. Headphones –> Car Stereo – I still wear my headphones at home, but my commute (currently for dropping off Evie to daycare) is enjoying the car radio.
  13. Subway map –> Google maps / Waze – I have gotten much better at memorizing major streets, interstates, neighborhoods, and methods of driving to destinations.
  14. Chat about Broadway shows –> Chat about hiking trails – Not much talk about shows or restaurants (especially now). A lot more conversations about great trails and weekend hike activities.
  15. Generic Bars –> Local Microbreweries – There are so many more juicy hazy IPAs than I expected. Denver is a beer lover’s dream. Can’t wait to start a 30 day challenge around this.
  16. HGTV Envy –> HGTV Applied Designs – Now that we have more rooms, we are going to customize this house for form and function. Can’t wait to start our basement and garage project.
  17. Bodega/Cart Egg and Cheese sandwiches –> Homemade egg and cheese sandwiches – I will need to find that watered down hot sauce, deli rolls, and thinly shredded lettuce to make my personal favorite sandwich. We sometimes cave in on the weekends for a fast food breakfast.
  18. Wandering Dekalb Market –> Wandering Stanley Marketplace – Fairly specific to where we lived in Brooklyn, but Pre-Covid, I would spend every lunch listening to podcasts and treating myself to lunch in a new restaurant stall. Maybe I’ll go explore some local eats after things get better.
  19. Apartment Building Playroom hang outs –> Neighborhood Playrooms – I suspect we will be rotating hosting and doing joint weekend gatherings for kids socialization and parent day-drinking.
  20. Smoke alarm beeps from steak searing –> Outdoor grilling – Yes, I’ll be the neighbor that cooks everything and shares.
  21. Mini toolset (1 screwdriver and 1 mini electric set) –> Unnecessarily awesome garage tool shed – It’s been recommended to only get high quality of the necessities rather than get full sets. One good kitchen knife is better than 10 mediocre ones.
  22. Evie Blocks –> No toys are too big – This was clear as we transitioned to airbnbs before settling into the house. Her toys expanded with the space pretty quickly.
  23. Eating on the counter –> Dining room table – At last, we can celebrate dinner time together at the table.
  24. Admiring parent’s strollers –> Admiring hiking backpacks – Extra points for backpacks with toddler standing room. Let’s see if we can tackle a 2 hour stroll.
  25. Stroller tune ups (yes, we did this) –> Subbie tune ups – I will need to figure out how to take care of this new baby
  26. Road bikes –> Mountain bikes – There’s a big biking community here in general, but less road bike commutes from the suburban area and more travel to parks and independent biking goals
  27. Building architecture –> Mountain-scapes – I don’t mind seeing these buildings in the horizon, but the mountain view is clearly superior to the downtown skyline.
  28. Rangers –> Avalanche – At least it’s not the Flyers or Bruins. I’ll still be a Rangers fan (but the Avalanche aren’t a bad team).
  29. Sunscreen –> More Sunscreen + Lotion – So important. The sun just feels much stronger being a mile closer and the dry climates needs lotion to prevent ashing/cracking.
  30. Electric scooters –> Golf carts – This is totally going to be a thing in our neighborhood.

~See Lemons Rockin’ the Suburbs