Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Joe Chamberlain on Denver: Weather, Parking, and Transportation

Students take part in Wartburg West for many reasons. One reason I came out to Denver was to get the experience of living in an urban environment. I want this experience because I do not know where I want to live when I graduate from Wartburg. I have lived in the Midwest my whole life in a rural environment, so living in a city for a period of time should give me insight on potential places I want to live post-Wartburg. Here are a few differences I have noticed in my short time here.

Compared to a Midwest winter, Denver is much milder. In the Midwest everyone cringes when they hear the words, “wind chill.” This is much less common here. From the short time I have been here, there has only been one time when I heard those words. From what I understand by talking to people that live here is that this is a rare occurrence. The snow in the Midwest does not come and go as it does in Denver. One day there could be 5 inches of snow on the ground, and the next day it could be 50 plus degrees out. When it snows in the Midwest, it stays for much longer than here in Denver, making the winter much tougher. However, this is completely different from the mountains, which people who are from here seem to obsess. Recently, it has been snowing so much in the mountains that they have had to close resorts!

Driving in the city is completely different from driving in rural areas of the Midwest. Compared to Denver there is no such thing as rush hour in Waverly or any small town in the Midwest. My internship is outside the city, so I am lucky enough to be driving out of the city when everyone is trying to get in, and driving back in the city when everyone is trying to leave. This is nice because I do not have to worry about traffic as much as others do. One nice adjustment to living in the city is you do not have to drive everywhere. The majority of things here are in walking distance. If you do not want to drive a car because of parking issues, you do not have to do so.

Parking in an urban environment can be a nightmare, especially if you fear that your car may get towed. It takes some luck and a little creativity to get yourself one of the tiny spots to parallel park your car into. I will be a pro at parallel parking by the end of this term. This was never really a problem in the Midwest. There seems to always be a good option, and I did not have to fear that my car might get towed. However, in Denver all day parking is hard to come by for free. Otherwise, you can park in places that allow overnight parking but limited day parking. I try to avoid those so I do not have to wake up and move my car. That is why, like stated earlier, I try to walk to places as much as possible. One thing that makes that easier is RTD, which is the bus system in Denver that is fairly easy to use and allows people to get places without having to drive and losing there all day parking spot.

These are just a few of the things that have taken some adjusting to moving here from the Midwest this semester. They all have their pros and cons. I can see why people would want to live in the Midwest rural areas and why people would want to live out West in an urban environment like Denver. I am excited to see what else I may encounter having to live in Denver, which will help me decide where I want to live post-Wartburg. 

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