A morning with Andrew Nagel, Cherry Creek ReMax agent and Congress Park Realtor A day in the life of a realtor is much like you might expect: paperwork, phone calls, driving, signs, phone calls, driving, phone calls. Andrew shares an office with his friend and business partner John Sullivan - they work together with their clients, both specialize in the Congress Park neighborhood where they've both lived and have long-standing connections. It was fun to go around putting up For Sale signs, and even more exciting, putting up SOLD signs. I got to see some neat properties in the area and met the nicest woman who is ready to downsize and move off to the next stage of her life. Moving is difficult and sometimes emotional stuff, I loved seeing how deftly Andrew and John handled that situation. We all drove separate cars and it was fumy how much faster they arrived at any destination than I did, they know all the best routes in the area.
Congress Park is a neighborhood with a sense of humor. There are little things, you see it in the signs of nearby restaurants and shops, you see it on a painted garage. When I think of Congress park, I think of your basic bungalow house. However there are plenty of charming timeless homes along 7th Avenue and of course the Denver Square. A neighborhood that is friendly to walkers, runners, and bikers, it also has the nearby Botanic Gardens and of course the Congress Park - the park, home to one of Denver's few outdoor public pools and massive soccer fields. I've always enjoyed the park's mulberry tress but due to a late frost, they sadly didn't bear fruit this year.
I spent an afternoon looking at Hilltop through a photographer's eyes. Hilltop and Crestmoor feel different than the surrounding areas. The lots are larger, the Crestmoor area is mostly a mixture of mid-century architecture and modern construction on lots where the old house was removed. Streets in the area are rarely straight through which means reduced speeds and kids playing in front yards or on the street. We see huge old trees and a couple of lovely parks. Further West, Hilltop is has more gothic style architecture, but the curved streets and lovely flowered parkways persist. The neighborhood has less embedded retail, more surrounded by pockets of cute places on Holly and 8th Avenue. There is a welcoming feel to all the little retail areas, an old-timey feel, even in the newer spaces.
What makes an area a "neighborhood"? There are borders defined by the city. There are signs we can point to. We can see with our own eyes as we drive around subtle differences in architecture, in age or grandiosity of the homes. Recently I have been working on a photography project trying to capture the uniqueness of different neighborhoods. It really got me thinking about how I can characterize a space in photos to say what makes this area special, what makes it a neighborhood, not just the boundary streets but the innate character of the space. The Stapleton neighborhood is characterized by smaller sub-neighborhoods that are there by design. Blocks come together with a small park at the center or wide greenbelt that is designed for gatherings of kids or families, for play and outdoor life.
Not many of the streets go all the way through to a main thoroughfare so it makes the driving slower, a bit more of a lazy feel.
The houses are all relatively new but have a more old-time feel with porches and green trees. There is easy access to bike paths and plenty of areas for gathering.
Stapleton has it's own town center with restaurants, coffee, yoga, bikes, and retail in easy walking distance from the homes. There's a big town park that hosts concerts, outdoor movies, exercise classes, art fairs, and a farmer's market.
The area features a public Rec Center, tennis courts and an off-leash dog park.
Nearby is Central Park with a fabulous playground, ball fields, and plenty of walkable and bikeable trails.
Just east is Sand Creek Preserve, an amazing resource right here in town with 14 miles of biking/walking trails in a gorgeous wilderness preserve. The Stapleton area isn't full of mansions, although there are some generous lots, but it feels like it's about creating a community, people who enjoy outdoor lifestyle, family, and kids.