May 9, 2011

CBS Reports: Happiest Town in the US ft. Dave Query, Sean Maher. {CBS video}

The Pursuit of Happiness in the United States.

What makes for a happy society? Real food, some sunshine, walkable/bikeable, affordable housing, resilient economy, access to Nature and education, low crime, high tolerance, active citizens…what else?  ~ ed.

“[Boulder is] mainlining the vibe of well-being.” ~ CBS News.

Maybe Boulder’s liberal eco-responsible active foodie well-educated types have the right idea, after all.

Boulder, Colorado, my and elephant’s hometown, wins lots of awards.

Recently, we were named Gallup Poll’s Happiest Town in America. And it’s true. It’s a happy place. 300 days of sunshine a year. Foodiest town in the US (Gourmet)—meaning local, organic, artisanal cooking by some of the best. A great farmers’ market. You can bike everywhere, and let the car rust (or sell it, as I did, some years ago). 33% of families own a dog—it’s dog heaven. But this is no Stepford Wives/Desperate Housewives town—it’s a rugged, dry, real place—a place for athletes and tech entrepreneurs and students, with a cafe and/or yoga studio on every other corner.

The upside? Every morning I’m grateful to wake up here. The downside? When I travel, I always feel like I’m missing out.

Below, CBS reports on what differentiates Boulder from, say, Huntington,  West Virginia (which some will know from Jamie Oliver’s Food Revolution TV show).

Dave Query:

“I lived in San Francisco, lived in Miami, New York City, Chicago, and I just think that this community—for me and what I wanted to do—it just fit.”


May 8, 2011 7:13 AM

Sunday Morning correspondent Jim Axelrod’s new book “In The Long Run” took him across the country to two very different communities to find out what beckons us to the pursuit of happiness.

Read more: http://www.cbsnews.com/video/watch/?id=7365364n&tag=related;photovideo#ixzz1LpblJ7ob

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elephantjournal May 10, 2011 12:17pm

I asked what makes for a happy town. Answers:
Santasree Chaudhuri Inner realisation, awakening of every individual in the spirit of altruism,and positive consciousness towards humanity. Global responsibility for a better world and unified family of peace and trust.

Cynthia Beard Clean air and water. Generosity and unselfishness. Flowers. Love.

Marian Sippl Sundin Affordable housing? Ha! I hope you don't mean there's affordable housing in Boulder.

elephantjournal.com Marian, there's a ton of it. We put a lot of money into it, and require a portion of all new development fund it. There should be more, of course, but that's the downside to mindful development, as opposed to sprawl—there's a limited supply. Many of my friends, and myself, barely make more than our rent or mortgage–but biking around, etc, it is as JH says in comments still a great town to be poor in. All the best things here—the parks, sunshine, cafes, networking, poetry, music–are free or cheap. ~ W.

elephantjournal May 10, 2011 11:00am

Boulder Named Happiest Town in US:
Pat Smith Duh. Especially on 420.

Michael Sage why I'm returning

Odessa Spore The only problem is you have to stay in Boulder to keep up the illusion of perfection- as soon as you leave – your shocked to find people really do suffer and your one of them.

Liz Lewis Joseph Yeah, but don't you have to be like practically a millionaire to live there?

Dominic Thompson Like, no.

Choga Nyima If your a person of color that might not be the case!

David Lewis We all know these magazine rankings have no meaning. What has meaning is that people who believe they live in a happy place will feel happier, or even more miserable.

Waylon Lewis Aunty, there's plenty of affordable housing, we have a strong program. But yah lots of fams who want the big yard and big house and big garage live in one of the L towns. Or, folks like me nearly lose their shirts trying to live downtown, but are able to have nice home-offices and get ride of their cars, both of which make me…happy.

Choga, we are 33% Latino, or does that not count for you? I've never seen anyone here be anything but welcoming to diversity, in fact we're rather overeager for it. I always just say that we have the blessing of never having been a slave st…ate, which is, now, something of a curse in that we don't have a strong African-American population. Denver, being more urban, does. And of course there's strong Native American influence, especially up in the mountains.

ahahah Odessa and you and I know there's plpllllenty of suffering everywhere. I've been through plenty, speaking personally, over the last few months. And if you're talking about physical suffering, there's plenty of sick, dying, challenged persons here, too. I think some of you are getting into the realm of stereotypes about this place!

Liz Lewis Joseph What' an L town, 'phew?

Waylon Lewis Ah: Louisville, Longmont, Lafayette, Lyons…the surrounding towns.

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Waylon Lewis

Waylon Lewis, founder of Elephant Journal & host of Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis, is a 1st generation American Buddhist “Dharma Brat.” Voted #1 in U.S. on twitter for #green two years running, Changemaker & Eco Ambassador by Treehugger, Green Hero by Discovery’s Planet Green, Best (!) Shameless Self-Promoter at Westword’s Web Awards, Prominent Buddhist by Shambhala Sun, & 100 Most Influential People in Health & Fitness 2011 by “Greatist”, Waylon is a mediocre climber, lazy yogi, 365-day bicycle commuter & best friend to Redford (his rescue hound). His aim: to bring the good news re: “the mindful life” beyond the choir & to all those who didn’t know they gave a care. elephantjournal.com | His first book, Things I would like to do with You, touches on modern relationships from a Buddhist point of view. His dream of 9 years, the Elephant “Ecosystem” will find a way to pay 1,000s of writers a month, helping reverse the tide of low-quality, unpaid writing & reading for free online.