What’s Wheat Ridge all about? A question we hear from our friends, relatives and sometimes even our neighbors. What’s in the water that makes this town so filled with drama, yet inspiring and fun, a place where people carry grudges and drop them at a dime to help each other? A town where lanes are eliminated and replaced by patios with gardens. The same town that contractors claim so difficult to work in, yet manage to construct amazing homes. A town where neighborhoods get together to prevent the shutting down of a school. Just what is it about this town?
Let’s not pretend that bad things don’t happen in Wheat Ridge. Let’s not even fake the speedsters through our neighborhoods and the crawlers on 38th Avenue. The theft of car parts or even the entire car. The missing bikes, the declining enrollment rates in our schools and the skyrocketing home prices. But what about the community gardens where you can feed entire families, the apartment complex built out of a preschool, run off solar power, the pathways planned throughout the city to help citizens travel via bicycles more efficiently?
What is it about the number of artists that have been living among us without any fanfare, promoting a life supported by their art? Or the young single mom once pushing a stroller that now pushes herself into a life of politics as a city councilor, but also balancing a career and serving as the ultimate role model for her community and her boys?
Anything is possible here. Ignore the mysterious booms and certain social media pages that will paint an unjust and painful picture. Focus on the amazing 24 parks, the longevity of families, the diversity of citizens from all over the world. Celebrate the quality of city services and world-class projects, like the new Lutheran hospital being built for the generations to come.
But nothing defines Wheat Ridge like what we witnessed this month. Where a local restaurant gave its employees a two-day notice of its shutting down. A late-night text letting them know that the building had been sold and that the restaurant was closing. In fact some only learned of the closure on the actual last day when they came in for their shift. You may assume that the new owner was opening there the very next week, hence the quick shutdown. Would you believe that they are not even scheduled to open until July? The building is just sitting locked and dark. But when the sun came up the next day, the calls started coming in from other businesses with offers to help these employees. Lakota Sky scooped up three with additional offers from Audacity, Clancy’s and Pietra’s.
When you ask me, “What’s Wheat Ridge all about?” you better sit down. It’s going to take a bit of time.
As always, thanks for reading.
Contact Neighborhood Gazette Publisher Guy Nahmiach at WRGazette@gmail.com or 303-999-5789.