BY ANNIE BLOJ
Let me guess . . . for many of you readers, this story might sound familiar. I’m sure you’ve met countless people that have the same bio: “Well we just moved to Denver from Brooklyn/ Los Angeles/ San Francisco/ Chicago . . . .” It usually also includes the follow-up: “We wanted to move for a better quality of life/ I needed some fresh air/ It was time for a change.” The back story to many of those introductions is probably: “It was just getting too expensive/ I couldn’t deal with the hyper-competitive nature of the preschool process/ I was just tired”, etc. It’s fair to say that we moved to Denver from Brooklyn 6 years ago for all of the above reasons. We are totally “those” people. I had a toddler, a baby on the way and my 13 years in New York as an accomplished Fashion Designer had worn me and my family out. The difference in my story is that the first time I landed at DIA, I was also moving to a state that I hadn’t even visited. I’m not outdoorsy, we don’t ski, and the various questions we received from our NYC friends about a move to Colorado were always answered with “Why Not?”. Luckily for us, we fell in love with this area immediately. As the adrenaline wore off, and we settled into our routine (and I had a baby), I became increasingly curious about the community that we had joined.
I started following local hashtags on Instagram and much to my delight found that the art, food, and fashion scene here is thriving. What once felt untouchable to me even as a fashion “insider” in NYC felt alive, curious, raw and approachable here. I realized that instead of just seeing all these amazing openings, parties and events on Instagram and drowning in FOMO, I could just go! Go I did, and I found that the creative community here was more open and inviting than I ever could have imagined. The first night that I went out and met the people I had been following on Instagram at a party, was the first night that I said out loud that I wanted to start an events calendar so that everyone would be able to find something fun to do in town. Saying it out loud started conversations with people that went on to be great friends and champions of my work. I started anniebloj.com because I imagined that people just like me wanted to not just watch what was happening on their phone, but be a part of it. I feel strongly that having “real life” experiences helps you connect to your community, can expand your world and create lasting relationships with friends that you meet along the way. One of the biggest findings for me living here is that people are generally generous in their spirit and time. I’ve met so many friends just from DM’ing them- reaching out for a coffee meet up or a chat. On any given day, there could be multiple events happening in RiNo, Dairy Block, Cherry Creek, and Washington Park. All with a different energy but equally exciting and inviting in their own way. I love my adopted new city and I hope to help you navigate it as well. For more information visit anniebloj.com.