July 16, 2011

Quintessential Telluride – Oprah, you are not welcome here.

I don’t think you are cooler because you are from “Telluride.”  Sorry.  I’m not hatin’ or anything. I think living in a box canyon might do a bit more than close up your world physically. Just sayin.

There is more to know about Telluride than the fact that it is 92.7% white, was the first city in the world to have electric street lights and Tom Cruise owns a home here.  The town is known for its “quirky charm.” After spending a few days here, I don’t think that “quirky” or “charming” would necessarily be how I would describe it.

It is a little more like “passive agressive.” From overpriced egg sandwiches to people trying to preserve a certain “way of living,” I’m feeling a bit void of the authentic connections I thought I would find here.

I am here for the 4th Annual Telluride Yoga Festival practicing at 9,000 feet with the likes of Beryl Bender Birch, Scott Blossom and David Swenson.  The experience here is pretty epic.  This part of the world boasts mandatory green building codes, no chain restaurants and the only (clean, domestic, renewable energy) wind-powered gondola in North America…and yet I can’t help but feel a little suspicious of the $500,000 500 square foot condos and an attitude of entitlement coming from our servers at the restaurants.  Is there such thing as reverse brainwashing? Don’t get me wrong, there are too-rare, worthy sustainable initiatives coming out of Telluride and Mountain Village; it is breathtakingly gorgeous from every imaginable angle and the nearest stoplight to this 13-block town is 45 miles away.  I just think I might pass on drinking this kool-aid… I mean you can’t truly trust a town that has bad service in their restaurants.

My journey through the signs of Telluride:

I have yet to see a bike with a ticket on it, but you all will be the first to know when I do…

I see your bumper sticker and raise you “Inclusive-ness”  According to the locals, even Oprah didn’t really feel like she fit in.  Rumor has it, she felt like a little black bean in a big ol’ bowl of white rice.

So, if I can afford $1.3 million for a miniature sized house my civil liberties will be safe?  Phew!

T-ride has some pretty happy pups – on and off leashes they roam free, obey their masters and have their own special “parking spots.” Dogs might actually be honored as the more evolved species here, compared to humans.

Typical T-ride dinner at their majorly overpriced grocery.

Evolved beings only in the coffee shop, please.

Behind me were about 10 Telluride Tourists also taking a picture of this sign.

All in all, hanging out in a town whose name came from the famous send off “To hell you ride” given to fortune seekers as they passed through to go deeper into the mountains looking for glory is entertaining…to say the least.  The key there is “pass by”, which I am glad I did.  I think the real pot of gold is waiting just past the spiritual bypassing going on in this box canyon.

Would not be complete without a video of a few hipsters getting their live jam on at the local Thai Food joint, Siam.

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Jessica Durivage  |  Contribution: 2,340