I live on Grand Avenue close to downtown, in a 93-year-old house. We have an alley in the back and a little postage stamp yard that is our oasis away from the traffic and the dirt.
Being close to downtown has turned us into New Urbanites. We walk to the grocery store, the downtown coffee shops and the brew pub, and also the Hot Springs Pool. Our favorite thing to do is go down and sit outside one of the coffee shops in the summer and watch the world go by.
When we eat out we walk down to the many restaurants, and my family and visitors know they can’t drive down there to shop; the family joke is that you’d better bring your walking shoes when you come to visit us.
I like having the pocket park right down the street, and to be honest, the hustle and bustle of Grand has its appeal. I notice when there’s not any traffic, as on Christmas morning. Otherwise it becomes white noise. Plus the entertainment factor of watching people go by is hard to beat.
A lot of history in Glenwood’s core
One of the things I like the most about the core of Glenwood Springs is the history, which is very obvious in the architecture of the houses. The houses in my neighborhood range in age from over 100 years old to brand new. It’s neat to see how it all blends together in a diverse and interesting mix.
Most people around us have alley parking, and for the most part everyone has a backyard of some sort. Of course, with the proximity of so many people driving and walking down Grand, lots of my neighbors have privacy fences.
Almost everyone has a little garden of some kind in the front, so a spring afternoon walk with the dog gives me ideas for my own front garden. For the most part we all spend time in the backyards, and quite a few of us in the neighborhood have at least one dog. The alleys always have a different look than the front of the street: The front is for show, the back is for living.
You can tell a lot about your neighbors by taking a walk down the alleys. In the fall you know just where the bears will be by the calling cards they leave at the fruit trees. They don’t bother our trash ” they want the apples.
I don’t think I could ever move out of the downtown area unless I moved completely away. There’s something to be said for being able to walk to the grocery store and the pool. I never thought I would enjoy living downtown, with all the people and traffic, but it is so convenient to everything we do.
I like the fact that my husband can walk down to the brew pub in the evening and neither one of us has to worry about driving. I can stay home and putter in the backyard or join him later for dinner, and then we usually walk home and discuss this house or that ” which one we’d like to live in or what they’ve done for improvements. It’s also amazing how many people I’ve gotten to know that also live downtown.
It’s safe downtown
I feel very safe in all of Glenwood. Grand Avenue sees a lot of pedestrian traffic, and sometimes we have to pick up trash in the front, but for the most part I feel safe. I know I can call on my neighbors if I need to, and of course the police drive by regularly on Grand. We also are good neighbors to each other and keep an eye on each other’s houses, just in principle.
Now that I’ve lived in one spot for 4 years, I’ve settled into a good routine. It helps that I like to walk and ride a bike, so I’ve tried to stay active, and I know it’s important for my health.
My husband and I are constantly making improvements to our surroundings by improving our house, and working on our landscaping. Our house was in pretty bad shape when we bought it, so we’ve spent a lot of time and energy cleaning up the inside and working on the landscaping. It all pays off ” we have a nice yard that is safe for the dog and kids, and a comfortable house to relax in. We’ve got a long way to go, but we love to see it take shape and plan future improvements.
I like to walk and hike, and I can have the most amazing hikes right out the back door. I can go in any direction and be in the woods or at the river with just a short walk, or I can jump on my bike and get a great ride in without leaving town. I definitely am happy with where I’m living these days, and my house and my neighborhood are a large part of that.
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