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colin

Boulder

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Thought I'd start a thread regarding one of Colorado's most interesting cities.

I'm actually in Boulder now. I came on Friday and, if a job I applied for comes through, I'll be here for a month. Otherwise, I'll be here until the end of the week, then head west toward Salt Lake, Portland and Seattle.

I'll have pictures soon, but I wanted to post my thoughts on the place thus far:

One thing I'm really impressed with is how walkable everything is. It's been two days since I've used my car and I have no real need to do so still. They actually closed off the only entrance to where I'm staying today for over 4 hours for what it is apparently a huge marathon, the Bolder Boulder (cute, right?), but this didn't cause problems for me.

I am frustrated with how much things cost here. Dining/drinking and quite a few other things are the same prices as you would expect in a large city. Housing is also insane. My friend is paying almost $600/month for a tiny studio in a converted hotel from the '60's with no a/c (luckily the weather has really nice since I've been here).

Just some thoughts. I'm sure I'll have more to post later.

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take lots of pics, man. i enjoyed your cleveland post / pics.

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It is expensive here for a town of it's size. Probably the reason so many people move to Longmont & east of Boulder to live. I might be doing that at the end of my lease.

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I have a bad impression of Boulder. It probably comes partially from being raised in Colorado Springs (Boulder's polar opposite) and partially because I tend to be put off by people with money. LOL. Not necessarily fair, I know. At the end of the day though, Boulder is like Aurora to me. Why the hell would you live there when Denver is so close? I know the answer... but you get my point. I guess part of the problem is, I view Boulder as part of the Denver Metro Area... even though I guess technically it's not.

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After spending time in both areas, I prefer Denver. I can understand why people would live here though: the outdoor opportunities are much closer to the city, it's way smaller and has a more town feel, it's extremely safe (a lot of people don't even lock their doors), very pedestrian-oriented and it's a beautiful city. But I get really frustrated with the "Ozzie and Harriet" sort of towns. It's kind of like a glorified, white-bred suburb, but it's also not.

There's definitely a separation though, physically and otherwise. If you drive up 36 from Denver, the Broomfield development drops off and you crest a hill and can see Boulder and the Flatirons from there. Culturally, I think they may as well be totally separate towns, although, economically, they definitely feed off of each other.

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I didn't take nearly as many city pictures as I had thought I would, but here's some nature stuff:

Boulder Creek at Boulder Creek Festival (Mem. Day Weekend):

bouldercreek2.jpg

Bolder Boulder (street race). Why the hell is this such a big deal, anyway?

bolder1.jpg

Boulder Falls:

boulderfalls1.jpg

boulderfalls4.jpg

I also went for an ill-fated hike in the far off peaks west of Eldora. This was on the morning Denver hit a record low, and much of the snow that had melted the day before had re-frozen and made for a treacherous hike being as unprepared as I was. I spent about 10 minutes crossing a pretty large, mostly frozen stream (pulled a dead tree off a hillside to use as balance), but ended up having to turn around when I hit a 4' snowbank blocking the trail. June, is it?

mountains2.jpg

mountains5.jpg

mountains6.jpg

mountains8.jpg

mountains9.jpg

mountains10.jpg

Also, whatever the name of the reservoir is on the way to Nederland:

res1.jpg

res2.jpg

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It's hard to believe how much snow there is in the mountains still. I think another thing that bothers me about Boulder is how sterile it is. Granted, Colorado Springs isn't terribly gritty... but Boulder just seems TOO clean to me. LOL.

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I can understand the criticism, & actually that my wife & my viewpoint as well when we first moved here. We knew it was expensive & the culture was dominated largely my upper income whites. In addition of course the planning practices lead to a highly NIMBYist environment. Add of course the largely apathetic rich kid college scene makes Boulder a very atypical college town. There are of course multiple other things my wife & I dislike about Boulder, or Colorado for that matter. But that isn't fully the point.

So why would we want to live in Boulder, or at least 'suburban' Boulder in Lafayette & Louisville (which is our plan for the end of the year)? Both of our jobs are here. And though I can't say this is the case with my wife, but I want to keep my job. Though, coming from living in Atlanta, Denver is much more of our style, especially Highlands which reminds us some of our old neighborhood in Atlanta. But we're not going to make that kind of commute, it would be as bad as living in Boulder & working in Denver. So - we're "stuck" in Boulder.

But, I can also say there are a number of things I like about Boulder. Or more importantly I appreciate the differences from growing up in the south. I really don't need to list the reasons, they are well known (socially accepting environment, pedestrian/bicycle popularity) but also there are other factors that make me realize that I really don't have it too bad. Of course that would mean comparing to other towns - though I like all the Front Range towns (except for Loveland), quite frankly I'm glad I'm not in Colorado Springs (not a bad place & I even liked downtown & the neighborhoods, just wouldn't want to live there) or even Fort Collins (just too far away from anything & too small, otherwise a great college town) or for that matter after visiting today - Cheyenne, WY (depressing). Or for that matter, I'm happy to take a break from the big city, it's been a long time since I've lived in such a laid back environment.

This post is probably far too much from what any of you all expected, but it has been something on my mind since we moved here. This isn't where I would have preferred to live, but I can at least appreciate how different it is from anywhere else I've lived. And not to mention, I'm not really slumming here, so I don't have much to complain...

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Oh, man, I'm right there with you on Loveland. WTF is up with that town? It's surrounded by such cool stuff but it reminds of me of those backwoods 'holes in southwestern CO. I can't even stand driving through it. It's like one long strip mall. I went through it when I left Boulder because it had the cheapest gas in the state on that day.

I guess it depends on what you're looking for. I'm certainly not considering Colorado as a place to lay down and pursue "the life" and make it a "home." But the experience of living there certainly wouldn't be negative for me. I may end up there yet, and I'm still pretty open to almost every town (except Loveland). Boulder would be good for that, but I think it would take me less than a year to start mouthing off about it.

But it's about the experiences, I think. Although I wouldn't consider living in Colorado for the rest of my life, but also most likely not Tucson either.

Glad you got up to Cheyenne. One thing that I think is interesting is how accessible the capitol is. I mean, you walk in, and the governor's office door is wide open right there on the first floor. No metal detectors, no security whatsoever. But yeah, it sucks. Most of Wyoming does, although you may want to check out Laramie if you get the chance (slightly more progressive with the big college and there's a decent steakhouse/brewpub Downtown).

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...but I would again like to address the comparison with Aurora, a suburb of Denver. In the urban growth sense of things, yes - Boulder is part of Denver's greater metro area. But in most cases, people live in Boulder b/c they work here. Boulder certainly has Denver metro commuters (in most cases to Broomfield), but it is a major employment center on it's own right.

But yes - Cheyenne had a historic downtown that was interesting to look at. But it was dead, especially compared to every Front Range town & city. As for Loveland, it & to a lesser extent Longmont, reminded me far too much of a middle of nowhere southern town.

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posted by teshadoh

I can understand the criticism, & actually that my wife & my viewpoint as well when we first moved here. We knew it was expensive & the culture was dominated largely my upper income whites. In addition of course the planning practices lead to a highly NIMBYist environment. Add of course the largely apathetic rich kid college scene makes Boulder a very atypical college town. There are of course multiple other things my wife & I dislike about Boulder, or Colorado for that matter. But that isn't fully the point.

So why would we want to live in Boulder, or at least 'suburban' Boulder in Lafayette & Louisville (which is our plan for the end of the year)? Both of our jobs are here. And though I can't say this is the case with my wife, but I want to keep my job. Though, coming from living in Atlanta, Denver is much more of our style, especially Highlands which reminds us some of our old neighborhood in Atlanta. But we're not going to make that kind of commute, it would be as bad as living in Boulder & working in Denver. So - we're "stuck" in Boulder.

But, I can also say there are a number of things I like about Boulder. Or more importantly I appreciate the differences from growing up in the south. I really don't need to list the reasons, they are well known (socially accepting environment, pedestrian/bicycle popularity) but also there are other factors that make me realize that I really don't have it too bad. Of course that would mean comparing to other towns - though I like all the Front Range towns (except for Loveland), quite frankly I'm glad I'm not in Colorado Springs (not a bad place & I even liked downtown & the neighborhoods, just wouldn't want to live there) or even Fort Collins (just too far away from anything & too small, otherwise a great college town) or for that matter after visiting today - Cheyenne, WY (depressing). Or for that matter, I'm happy to take a break from the big city, it's been a long time since I've lived in such a laid back environment.

This post is probably far too much from what any of you all expected, but it has been something on my mind since we moved here. This isn't where I would have preferred to live, but I can at least appreciate how different it is from anywhere else I've lived. And not to mention, I'm not really slumming here, so I don't have much to complain...

Well, at the end of the day I would never question anybody's decision to live anywhere. I willingly live in El Paso County for goodness sakes. That right there makes me the worst person on earth in the eyes of most SSP forumers. :rofl: It's funny how I base my decisions around my career, my family, and financial considerations... and that makes me a demon because I have the gall to co-exist with conservatives. How dare I?

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I don't really understand why living in El Paso County is so evil? Because of the sprawl and lack of density? If so, there's way worse places for sprawl in this country. And I actually really like Colorado Springs and would consider living there. I mean, it's gorgeous, lots of stuff to do (especially for outdoors), reasonable cost of living, decent climate, not too large not too small, decent nightlife scene Downtown, reasonably safe but still a "real" city (like you said, not really that gritty but certainly not a leave your doors unlocked kind of town), and somewhat diverse (probably because of the colleges and air force base).

Plus, like teshadoh mentions, there's a lot of NIMBYism in Boulder that would prevent sensible, high-density developments while those would be very welcome in Colorado Springs.

Or am I wrong on that?

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I think much of the criticism is regarding Colorado Springs being known as a neo-conservative city. I'll admit, it is a turn off for me, I've lived my life in areas dominated by neo-conservative politics (even in Atlanta where state politics are dominated by neo-conservatism or conservative democrats) & wouldn't care to make a return to that environment. But that isn't to say living in Colorado Springs couldn't be satisfying. I did think it was a lovely town in downtown & the surrounding neighborhoods.

But in a state that is dominated by Denver, (just as Georgia is dominated by Atlanta) it is easy for bias to exist in a state with so few people.

Just my impression....

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Yeah, and it's a two-way street, too. People in the conservative parts of Colorado probably think of Boulder as being run by stereotype hippies with the laws enforced by dope-smoking cops.

My impression of Colorado Springs though was that it was kind of like a lot of cities in the South, where the urban core is more liberal but the suburban areas, where the money really is, are solidly conservative.

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Right. Well it's the vocal evangelical groups who set up shop here in the '80s and the sprawl. I can't defend either... however, I think there is plenty of potential, and our time is better spent working to try to change it rather than just complaining about it and hating it... and there are redeeming qualities... the least of which being the charming and relatively liberal downtown and west side. Colin is right, all the money is in the conservative suburbs.

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I've lived in Boulder for 6 years, Colorado is awesome!

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