A Newbie’s Thoughts on Boulder

I moved to Boulder 3 months ago with the intention of moving to Denver following my summer internship. Having never visited before, I stereotyped the city based on what I had heard. I figured Boulder would be crawling with hippies and college kids, but soon realized there’s a lot more to Boulder than college bars and patchouli vendors (though they do exist).

By July, I had signed a year-long lease in Boulder. Without post-internship employment, the draw of Boulder overpowered financial uncertainty.

A few things I’ve picked up on in the past three months:

Don’t feel bad when you can’t climb a flight of stairs without feeling like your lungs are imploding. I’ve talked to multiple people who have said it took them around six months to get used to the altitude.

Taking care of the environment is the norm here. As my experience has been, almost every disposable food container is compostable. Although it happens, I have yet to witness a person throw so much as a gum wrapper on the ground. Recycling bins are never far from reach and compost bins are more prevalent here than any place I’ve ever known. When given the privilege to live among such breathtaking natural surroundings, it’s great to see a community that seems to truly appreciate the environment.

There are plenty of places to be bored in the world–Boulder is not one of them. The city is nestled at the foothills of the Rocky Mountains. A five minute drive from West End Pearl Street and you’ll be engulfed in the canyon. There are countless places to get your bike ride, your yoga, your climb, or your dance on. The Farmer’s Market graces 13th street twice a week and street performers are around every corner.

You really can’t escape live music in Boulder if you try. The Pearl Street Mall and The Hill are favorite spots for street performers, and plenty of bars, coffee shops, and restaurants double as music venues. If you wander the streets aimlessly, you’re sure to find hours of entertainment without even trying.

I’m convinced everyone is so friendly because they truly love the place they live. A Minnesota native, I’m used to engaging in friendly conversation with just about every Tom, Dick, and Harry I encounter. I’ve found a similar culture in Boulder.

Living in such a health-conscious hub makes taking care of your own heath that much easier. I can’t tell you how many athletes I pass on my morning drive to work. Organic-only grocery stores are never a far jaunt and plenty of restaurants make healthy foods their priority.

There is such a variety of people drawn to Boulder, making a city dynamic that has a niche for just about everyone.

Do yourself a favor and walk on West End Pearl Street. One of my favorite things about Boulder is realizing how close I live to the mountains. On West End, the mountains overtake the skyline and you’ll literally walk into them if you continue far enough.

If you come for nothing else, come for the sun. It’s said that 300 and sum plus Colorado days are filled with sunshine. I can’t speak for any other season (yet) but every summer afternoon around 3:00, clouds roll in over the flatirons and sun showers ensue, cooling off the arid climate and making for a comfortable evening.

Perhaps this is a personal love letter to Boulder; but I can’t help but think other residents of the city feel the same as I do.

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