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July 13, 2009

Boulder, Colorado—ranked the fittest, smartest, most bikeable city in the US—is lookin’ pretty good for 150.

Boulder, Colorado, turns 150 years old.

1859 ~ 2009…

…And we’re just getting started.

I was born and raised in Boulder…and then, like so many hometown yahoos, never thought I’d come back once I left for the Big City (in my case, Boston). I came back in ’98 to help lead a Summer Camp that I’d attended, or staffed, just about every year of my life..and in ’99 I came back again, this time to help lead a Buddhist seminary up at Shambhala Mountain. There, I fell in love with an English rose, we moved to Boulder when the summer was over, I got a job and an apartment…and when my girlfriend and I broke up (we were off and on for four long years) I found myself once again firmly entrenched in my little hometown.

Only it wasn’t all so very little, anymore. Now that I was 21 (25, in fact) the town seemed twice as big. There was so much to do in and around Boulder. I could go to Mountain Sun, or later The Kitchen, or Rhumba (now Centro) or the West End, etcetera etcetera. And I discovered how healthy Boulder was—I soon lost my East Coast paleness, weakness and baby fat and started biking more and more (I now am able to bike commute every day throughout the year, thanks to our sunny weath—300 days of sunshine a year—and extensive, if never quite extensive enough bike paths). Now, 10 years since moving back, I find I’ve spent 23 of my 34 (nearly 35, life rolls faster and faster) years in Boulder, Colorado.

This year, we’re turning 150. Of course, we go a ways back before that, before the White Man kicked out Chief Niwot and the other natives. In any case, we’ve a mostly proud history—with the exception of the aforementioned anti-Native American crusades, and some KKK presence back in the early 1900s, we’ve been a center of science, outdoor sports, Buddhism, yoga and forward-looking, business-savvy environmentalism and “ecopreneurism” ever my parents—Linda and David, from LA and NYC—first came here back in 1972.

Sesquicentennial Videos:

Boulder makes the Best Places to Retire list, via US News:

Cheesy, but gives a good glimpse:

An excerpt of my talk with environmental hero, great writer Bill McKibben at the historic, Buddhist/locally-owned Boulder Bookstore:

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