Change is hard, plain and simple. But for someone who has lived in Wash Park for over two decades, you’d think I’d be more accustomed to change. I’ve seen a lot of it over the years, but for some reason this one hit a little harder than the others. Every day I drive past the Saucy Noodle with its red and white awning, that dons the very specific and commanding message, “If you don’t like garlic, go home!” It is our holiday go-to for comfort food, and like a comfortable worn-in tee shirt, it feels like home. 

So the recent news of it potentially being torn down, felt like a punch to the gut. There is a heavy appetite for space in Denver, and let’s be honest, a lot of money to be made. But at what point will we as a community do the work to ensure that the preservation of the character and authenticity of our neighborhood doesn’t take a back seat to the growth of super-sized “luxury” towers?

That being said, I don’t see the growth of Wash Park as a bad thing. More people living here will actually help these small businesses thrive. I guess, we have to find a happy medium where progress doesn’t mean sacrificing the integrity of our neighborhood. 

Full transparency, I have zero knowledge with regards to the zoning of these main streets with which I hold so much value. So we must start by getting educated about the issue at hand and determine what our next steps will be to help protect these iconic places that give our neighborhood the spirit that draws people here in the first place. 

To learn more please visit the Wash Park East Neighborhood Association’s website, at washparkeast.org, as they have put together a thoughtful and informative piece about University Boulevard. 

Your neighbor, 

Shaleen DeStefano

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