Judgmental Denver map: choose your own gentrification adventure!
Finally, something floating around the cesspool of Facebook that we can care about enough to actually unify over. The "Judgmental Denver map" appeared in my newsfeed yesterday and has since been reposted at least forty times by people I know -- people who either think it's funny or are pissed because the map is "inaccurate," according to what they think about where they live.
Though the origins of this map are unknown, I'm willing to bet the area labeled "Cool Kids" is probably where the cartographer(s) reside. But regardless, guys, this map has everything: racism, classism, sexism and homophobia from all angles!
- Virginia Village: I'll be out reppin' my transitional neighborhood like a mascot
- Here, transplants, have Denver: It's all yours (except for Hooters)
- From a Colorado native to a transplant: Your altitude problem is my attitude problem
I'd like to start by defending my dear childhood home turf of Virginia Village. We weren't always "Wannabe Suburbanites" as the map claims. We were the suburbs when the neighborhood came to be in the 1950s.
Now as all of the original homeowners in the neighborhood die off -- four people on my mom's block of eight homes died in the last five years -- the HGTV-ness of life takes over, and the shit gets flipped. Then it gets sold to younger couples as "starter homes" and my mom becomes the old lady on the block. (I think she secretly wants to warn the new homeowners that in 1974, that house was supposed to be her "starter home," too.)
I currently live in what's called "Little Mexico" by this map's calculations, though the area known as "Loose Chihuahuas" should extend all the way up into our part of the city. I'd also like to add "Giant Pit Bulls In Dirt Yards With Tiny Fences" to that description, as that seems to be the pet situation running parallel to wild packs of small dogs in our neighborhood.
Our neighborhood is also typified by foliage native to the area -- in our yard, we have a trash tree in full-bloom almost year round, yielding all the empty Cheetos bags, cigarette butts and broken Bud Light bottles your heart desires. In a good harvest, we might also see a healthy McDonald's/empty packs of Kools hybrid shrub pop up, too. Who needs urban gardens when you've got natural, bountiful growth?
I kind of wish Capitol Hill was labeled "Formerly Cool And Cheap Rent Replaced By Price Gouged Rent In Favor Of Trend And Transplants." But I suppose "Cruiser Bikes" sums that up fairly well. I also appreciate the fact that some major landmarks have been preserved on this map -- Casa Bonita, Shotgun Willie's, The Breakers and Queen Soopers (and Underground King Soopers should be labeled "post-apocalyptic King Soopers" or "the scariest place to go grocery shopping at any hour of the day.") All good reminders that Denver still has its finger on the pulse of culture.
How did your neighborhood fare? Are you a Trendy Gay or a Wealthy Gay? Maybe you're an Active White Person or a Struggling Artsy Entrepreneur, or just a Cougartown native treading dangerously close to Fur Coat territory. Whatever you are, Denver seems to have a segregated neighborhood for you!
And P.S.: The arrow to Kansas is in the wrong place. Everybody knows you just take I-70 until shit looks almost too bleak to be real and boom, you're in Kansas.