18 Truths About Living in Boulder. ~ Sidni Giordano

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1. Boulder exists within a different time-space continuum than the rest of America.

It’s like simultaneously living in the past and the future. Remnants of the 90s are apparent all over town as people rollerblade to work and grungy-looking hippies hacky sack in the park. However, progressive drug laws, disposable bag fees and the advanced public transit system place Boulder years ahead of everyone else.

2. No one is actually from here.

Californians and New Englanders run this place. Occasionally, I’ll meet someone from the Midwest or Canada. I remember the first time I came in contact with a Boulder native—it was like meeting a unicorn.

3. We win awards for being awesome.

Boulder has won just about every lifestyle award possible: Happiest, Healthiest, Greenest, Brainiest. Outside and National Geographic repeatedly list Boulder as one of the “Best Places to Live & Play.” Just in case you don’t read those magazines (except you totally do if you live here), our official city website profiles every accolade this town has received since 1989.

4. We have three million days of sunshine a year.

This place is like a real life postcard. I could count the number of days it has rained since I moved here on one hand. As an East Coast girl, I’m accustomed to those occasional rainy days that allowed me to veg out and watch Friends in my favorite sweatpants all day. Now, even when I want to be lazy, the weather guilt trips me into getting off my ass.

5. We don’t do well inside.

Do people around here actually work? While everyone else in the country is at the office from nine to five, we are hiking, climbing, mountain biking, trail running and skiing. The most important quality a person can have in this town (besides their Chaco tan) is their dedication to the outdoors.

6. We are healthier than you.

Think the air is thin up here? Try looking at the people: I have yet to see a morbidly obese person—seriously, not one. We use our vacation time on yoga retreats and mountaineering expeditions. Elite athletes from all over the country come here to train, so don’t feel bad when that 50-year-old silver fox yells “On your left!” and cycles past you as you’re huffing and puffing up Flagstaff. We even have an annual town run called the Bolder Boulder, a 10-kilometer road race that features over 54,000 participants, (making it the largest race in the U.S. and the fifth largest race in the world).

7. We eat better than everyone else.

When it comes to pretentious foodies, Boulder takes the cake, or in this case—the kale. If it’s not organic, local, free-range, vegan or gluten-free, we won’t eat it. We spend our Saturdays at the farmer’s market, so if you’re at King Soopers using a plastic bag (one of the most pure forms of evil in this town), you might as well wrap it around your head and hope that you suffocate before someone else sees you.

8. We are the highest state in the nation.

Yea, we all smoke pot, but that’s not what I’m talking about. Two things every Boulderite always has on them: Chapstick and a Nalgene. When living at higher altitudes, the body has to work harder which helps to strengthen the heart and improves stamina and endurance. Because of this phenomenon, our life expectancy is longer. You think a cold beer tastes good at sea level? Try chugging one after running at an altitude of 5,435 feet.

9. We care about the planet more than you do.

Boulder has worked hard for its reputation as an environmental leader, passing some of the most stringent laws to control urban expansion in the nation. We have both curbside recycling and composting. Here, going green is more than a trend; it’s a way of life. In fact, when recent federal tax cuts gutted city budgets, residents voted themselves a third sales-tax hike to raise $51 million to buy and protect even more open land.

10. We hate cars.

When it snows in Boulder, bike lanes are plowed first. To the grocery store or work, in the freezing cold or scorching heat, Boulderites enjoy over 300 miles of bike lanes and paths that connect throughout the town. As a result, around 10 percent of trips to work are made by bicycle—that’s almost 20 times the national average. You can’t look at a list of “Most Bike Friendly Towns” without seeing us in the top 3. If you’re doing it right, you spend more time wearing spandex and jerseys with pockets than all other articles of clothing combined.

One use author photo by Sidni Giordano

11. But we all drive Subarus.

There are so many Subarus in this town that you would think they handed them out with your ski pass. I drive an Outback. My roommate drives a WRX. Bonus points if you have a ski or bike rack.

12. There is little to no diversity.

The only minorities in this town are the fat people. According to the 2010 Census, 89 percent of the Boulder County population is Caucasian. If you live here, you are most likely a rich, white professional who can afford the outrageous real estate prices or a rich, white college student. However, it’s not unusual to see the Lululemon moms (our version of a soccer mom) toting around their obviously adopted children—a status symbol to let everyone else know they spent $10,000 buying a kid in a foreign country.

infograph on Boulder

13. Left is right.

Do you really think Obama would have won Colorado without Boulder? There’s a reason we are often referred to as “The People’s Republic of Boulder.”

14. Yoga is the most popular religion.

Why do you think elephant journal is based in Boulder? There is practically a meditation center on every street corner. This Daily Camera quote sums up just how absurd we are by getting a foreigner’s take on things: “And Patel—who has practiced yoga since he was a child—found it odd that in a Boulder yoga studio, the instructor repeated ‘Namaste’ throughout the class. ‘It was like he was saying ‘Hello’ throughout the entire class,’ he said.”

15. Pearl Street is the center of our Universe.

When we are not being hardcore outdoorsy, you can find us enjoying chai teas and microbrews on our main drag: Pearl Street. This is a favorite gathering spot for homeless people and trustafarians alike. Here, you can bear witness to the eclectic street performers, shop for a new bong and be assaulted by Greenpeace volunteers—all in one day!

16. NASA loves us.

Does your school have a moon rock? We have put 18 people into space and the Laboratory for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP) at CU Boulder is the only lab in the world to design and build instruments that have visited every planet in the solar system.

17. We are beer snobs.

According to the Brewers Association, we are ranked fourth in the country in number of brewpubs and craft breweries. Want a real Boulder experience? Head to the Mountain Sun—a brewpub that loves Phish, chalk art and always has at least 20 beers on tap. Warning: they don’t take credit cards (it’s an image thing), but they will give you a “karma envelope,” a pre-stamped, pre-addressed envelope for you to mail cash in later if you can’t pay your tab.

18. We don’t know how to dress ourselves.

Patagucci jackets, Crocs and spandex. We suck at fashion so hard that GQ named us one of the worst dressed cities in America: “This town is always obnoxiously flaunting its “fittest-place-in-the-country” awards, and you will be hard-pressed to find one person here, including your 85-year-old grandmother, without a six-pack. It is, in fact, a worst-dressed city that looks best naked. So Boulderites, do your fellow citizens a favor: next time you reach for the biking-shorts-and-sneakers as eveningwear combo, just take it all off.”

 

Relephant:

Classic Boulder family: the Raboutous

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One of my favorite field trips to take when I’m in Boulder:

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Sidni Giordano

Sidni Giordano is a freelance writer with an insatiable curiosity and a low threshold for boredom. She gravitates toward sunshine and moments of total uncertainty. When she’s not writing or getting lost in the mountains, you can usually find her talking to homeless people on Pearl Street.

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anonymous Sep 6, 2015 10:12am

Oh, how things have changed since this was written.

Boulder is the narcissist Capitol of America, wealthy fascists…primarily.

Like someone else said, it’s a food desert compared to NW cities, plenty of overweight people as there are no decent food option for under $30 a plate.

I hacked off my dreads for survival reasons (I know, hypocritical) I dress nice and still get 100 “I hate you scum” looks everyday.

Purely homogenized, zero natives (hate that word, get point) I’ve met less than 20 in 6 years, original boulderites are the kindest people in the world! Yes, it must have been special! Too bad.

Fascists fitness freaks rule the realm, posers in $1000 sponsorship spandex cycling gear controlling traffic on their $10,000 carbon fiber bikes, I say if you want the most exercise from your ride, roll a huffy and increase wind resistance with your winter clothes!

One thing I have noticed lately is how rapidly those who work grocery stores, gas stations, coffee shops, restaurants are aging and becoming bitter, with good reason, the king stupids on 30th does $1,000,000 a day according to late night food stock manager, that’s a lot of plastic garbage also..completely debunking the environmentalism myth.

This is perhaps the most wasteful, least environmentally friendly city I’ve been to…bulk food is nearly nonexistent.

Yoga was replaced by agro-fitness.

Pearl street offers nothing, tourist trap, in 6 years I’ve maybe gone there 3 times.

Snobs make friends with snobs, I’ve made a handful of acquaintances who only come around when they need something….a dominant them here is using people and spitting me out like gum.

Highly (expensively) educated people, yet dumb as a bag of stones, zero actual intelligence,…

99.9% of music I hear anywhere is Top 40 Pop & no, there are no hippies or cultured (hate that word too!) or enlightened or creative people here, none…

Mostly snobby brat girls with Gucci purses dressed like hookers and creepy mid 40s trust funded white fascist males.

There are definitely some nice family people here, but very few.

To me, Boulder is a disturbing snapshot of suburban America with luxury condos going up daily , brand new luxury vehicles purchased yearly, hatefully elite, wastefully destructive, inherently inconsiderate.

If anyone says “why don’t you leave?” I’ll reply that I came here with nothing and worked hard to earn my right to live here. Period.

    anonymous Dec 10, 2015 9:22am

    I'm so glad that you posted on this article within the last couple of months, to give a reiteration of what life has become in Boulder…I'm so bummed to really come to terms with what's become of such a special kind of town (from everything I've ever heard or read in years past)… Boulder has been on my Vision Board (it's okay, you can laugh Lol) for years and years, as the place I wanted to move to … I grew up in Tennessee/North Carolina, and it's been my dream to move to Colorado eventually…Currently I live outside of Miami and I hate it… Don't get me wrong, there's always something to do and somewhere to eat, but I'm not big on the materialistic plastic people around here; so I was hoping to find a more "hippy" type of town where people value the quality of life over the quality of things…

    That being said – can you tell me where I could actually find that?? I mean, Boulder was once the embodiment of that kinda town, it clearly is not any longer, but you seem more familiar with the Midwest and West Coast than I am (an East Coast girl for my entire life) … I'm sick of Miami, I'm sick of the crazy expensive, over-rated housing, horrific traffic commute, and lack of outdoorsy people & options, outside of sunbathing on the damn beach…

    I really appreciate any kinda helpful info you could pass along… a move from Miami to the Midwest will be a big one, and an expensive one, I'd hate to make the wrong choice! 🙂 Cheers!

    ~ Jamye

anonymous Jun 9, 2015 11:21am

Sidni,

Thanks for all of the great information about living in Boulder. My family and I are moving to Boulder in late summer, though we have visited numerous times for skiing and skateboarding and absolutely love the state of Colorado – it is so beautiful during winter.

I found it funny that “no one is from Boulder” and I actually do remember taking a trip not to Boulder, but to Aspen and everyone was Canadian or New Englander as well.

I loved everything about this post, and think that it is a pretty accurate description of Boulder and Colorado in general, and I actually like that Colorado, particularly Boulder and Denver, are really big into fitness, health, going green, etc. Our family is excited to move to Boulder and start living a better lifestyle, it is a better way to raise children with healthy practices.

Nicole

    anonymous Jun 19, 2015 7:02pm

    Nicole

    I actually believe that the root of Happyness, in general, is heavily influenced by how “balanced” your lifestyle. I don’t think it’s about the beauty of your surroundings, the quality of your food, or about how much you work out. I think it’s more about how all of the different components to life come together and how the are balanced out against each other. Boulder is a place where many have figured out how to do a lot different things with our time, without throwing things out of balance. You’re going to love Boulder.

anonymous Mar 14, 2015 12:49pm

there are morbidly obese people in boulder. y'all cant see them with your noses so high in the air. and the foodie movement…y'all aren't 'more discerning', just faddish and pretentious. i had to explain to a person that an americano was gluten free. naturally. it did not have to be made gluten free, on account coffee and water contains no gluten. they had me 'check to make sure'. that is not discernment. it is stupidity. also, if everyone here eats so healthy all the time, why has mustards last stand been around as long as it has? or the pub? (probably, because the food is tasty.) in so far as 'we care about the planet more than you', i doubt many took stock of the aftermath of 'boulder green streets'. trash everywhere. thousands of gallons of water dumped into the sewer for the temporary 'boat area' or whatever that boondoggle was. thousands of little cardboard flyers left everywhere.yes- there were recycling stations EVERYWHERE. people need to use them in order for them to work. this article portrays boulder as a Utopia for the newly 'enlightened', when in reality it is a haven for rich assholes who desperatly need to be patted on the back to feel good about themselves. news flash- if you need to be recognized in order to do something good, you didn't do it because you care about good. you care about getting credit for appearing to do good.

anonymous Sep 12, 2014 11:27am

This article is delusional and pure fantasy. Boulder has become conservative, naturist phobic, and quasi-militaristic. in its handling of social issues Wake up and see that the above notions of Boulder disappeared tens of years ago and that it has become the next, Colorado Springs.

anonymous Jul 3, 2014 2:30pm

I am about to move back to Colorado to attend Naropa University in the fall.

Colorado native but grew up in the South and have been a West-Coaster all of my adult life.

I don’t find this article remotely humorous.

I find it pretentious and somewhat sad.

No diversity? Is that supposed to be a GOOD thing?

Adopting status symbols? Dressing like assholes? Driving the same make of car?

I would hate to start calling Boulder “Vail, jr.”

I was excited for the move. Now, not so much.

And as far as I know, most of my friends that are locals avoid Pearl Street like the plague.

anonymous May 22, 2014 12:20pm

I was born and raised in Boulder, a unicorn you say. Boulder is beautiful and I will always love it there, but Boulder has changed… a lot! If you knew what it was like in the 80's and early 90's you would understand what Boulder really was and why it has such a great reputation 😉

anonymous May 22, 2014 12:28am

Sorry to see Elephant Journal recycling the same old stereotypes. Sidni, I see at least that you are (sort of) making fun of all the cliches. But you missed the hundreds of homeless, addicted and mentally-ill people sleeping outside and lining street corners asking for money. You missed the hundreds of people living in trailers and working in kitchens and cleaning hotel rooms. You forgot about the families living in Habitat for Humanity homes and still scraping to get buy. You forgot about the teachers, nurses, midwives, retail clerks, firefighters, college adjuncts, office assistants, baristas,and EMTs struggling to make the rent or mortgage. You didn't look at the growing number of residents relying on food pantries, soup kitchens, and food stamps. Or the older folks who lost homes in the floods and have no where to go. Or who have to move into tiny apartments because the property taxes on their homes were choking them. In other words, you missed an opportunity to write an article that matters. Fortunately, you have another chance.

anonymous May 17, 2014 4:38am

I'm shocked that you can't find many natives in Boulder!!! I run into them all the time and being one myself I must say that it is incredibly frustrating that many of us are being driven away by the trustifarian lifestyles. I hate that everytime I come home from being abroad there is an additional Yuppie popluation to when I left and those unique Hippies have run away due to the fact that they can't catch a break unless they wanna sell out to a corporate lifestyle.

anonymous May 16, 2014 6:05pm

I was born at Boulder community hospital, I have lived there all my life. A town which was once a great and wonderful place has reached the end of its era. All the people who move there because of the cool things you have mentioned are destroying the town and ruining the culture.

    anonymous May 22, 2014 12:21pm

    Exactly! I miss the old Boulder! It's so hard to go back and visit… it changes so much every year :/

anonymous May 16, 2014 6:04pm

Agreed that the comment about adopted children of color was despicable. First of all, how many of these children are actually the product of interracial couples? And who, exactly, are you talking to who has "bought" a child as a status symbol? Most of children adopted internationally come from circumstances so dire that Americans can barely conceive of them–starvation, massively overcrowded foster homes or orphanages, and if they have disabilities they may very well have been left to die in the street. Seriously, the author is showing a level of insensitivity and arrogance that does note deserve any kind of public voice.

anonymous May 16, 2014 3:50pm

Wow it kind of makes me sick to read this and the comments. I grew up and Boulder and have been all around the world and Boulder is one of the most beautiful places with the most kind hearted people.

You are all talking about 'spoiled' people but you have obviously never lived in LA. The people in Boulder are some of the most down to earth people I know. If you don't like it don't live there.

And it is also pretty clear that the writer hasn't lived in Boulder long. There are a lot of Boulder natives who are still in Boulder but they are probably just aren't hanging out with mean stuck up people.

anonymous May 15, 2014 11:34pm

I've lived in Boulder for 5 years for work and even though it is beautiful the culture is terrible. Yuppies and spoiled kids run the town. And please, the farmers market….what a joke. Farmers markets are there to provide locally sourced produce at an affordable cost to support locals. It's more expensive than Whole Foods. And the foodie thing. Please.

anonymous May 15, 2014 9:19pm

I liked this blog. zipping through the comments, there seems to be a lot of backlash. Boulder is a great place to call home. And while I actually live in Lafayette, I still think of Boulder as my home.

anonymous May 15, 2014 5:57pm

Just to be clear, there are plenty of people FROM Boulder. Most of us "natives" have made the choice to not live there any more. I grew up in the REAL Boulder in the 1970's and 80's. Sorry to tell all you newbie residents you missed something special!

anonymous May 15, 2014 4:58pm

I might also add that Boulder is more expensive to live in than San Francisco. As a result everyone commutes and the traffic in and out of the town is unbearable!

anonymous May 15, 2014 4:52pm

While this article paints Boulder in a very optimistic light, it ignores some of the blaring problems of this town like congestion from over population, conceited occupants, aggressive bicyclists, the homeless and the never ending search for a parking spot.

anonymous May 15, 2014 3:28pm

Fuuny article and mostly true though most Boulderites I know stay very far away from Pearl Street outside of Wednesday night concerts and the occasional dinner. What strikes me is not the article, but the comments. For those who live here and bang on the town ie. leaving for 6 weeks so your child wasnt born in the county, I say leave. Why live somewhere that makes you so miserable? You can very easily move east of 75th and be done with it. Or for those who were born here and bang on the transplants?!? Get over yourself. My wife is born and raised here; she doesnt particularly like all the traffic, nor what it all entails, but we have a very fun and rich life because our circle includes a lot of those transplants, including me. And for all the student hippy talk?! I dont know what school you are looking at, but CU stopped being hippy about 20 years ago. Boulder is a great town, a fun place to raise a family. Why cant we just leave it at that instead of banging on the nuance of the twon?!?

anonymous May 15, 2014 2:34pm

Wow, lots of Boulder ranting going on in this thread. I would focus on the good stuff about Boulder. Hey, it's been through the worst recent flooding ever, an extensively damaging fire back in 2010, and it continues to bounce back because of the citizens. I lived there for 10 years, had some incredible relationships, left the "bubble", and the only thing that would take me back is to visit with friends. Just like any progressive college city, growth happens. People discover its uniqueness and charm, move there, then tout it all over magazines, even more people move there, then we have to conjure up this list above, which is the author spilling her own version of Boulder. Anyone who knows Boulder knows it has heart and soul. Going back to where you came from is not exactly a progressive society. If people choose to move to Boulder, that's their prerogative. The fact that it is healthy is more than attractive to those who live in otherwise unhealthy environments. You can live simply in Boulder; you just have to be creative and want to.

anonymous May 15, 2014 1:44pm

"When she’s not writing or getting lost in the mountains, you can usually find her talking to homeless people on Pearl Street." Well, how big of her. If Boulder has so much money and is so awesome why are there homeless people? Obviously the folks there aren't interested in taking care of anyone but themselves.

Born in Boulder, but no longer there myself. Keep your pretension.

anonymous May 15, 2014 11:28am

Not mentioned is the most important quality of being from Boulder — being absolutely fascinated with one's own self, as well as the group corollary — snobbish, clubby, self-congratulatory cliquishness. I was born in Boulder, and I left. It can be done. 🙂

anonymous May 15, 2014 7:39am

The only comment that truly bothered me was regarding the adopting children for $10,000 as a status symbol. That's pretty heartless. Also, the cost of adopting in the U.S or abroad is significantly more in both dollar and emotional cost.

    anonymous May 15, 2014 10:18am

    I was going to say exactly the same thing. I am the mother of an adopted child from Africa and I can tell you first hand that I know NO ONE in the adoption world (and I know many people in this world), including myself, who DID NOT adopt as a status symbol. It's not only heartless, but you just put a label on innocent children who, I might reinforce to you, are in many cases ORPHANS and without biological parents. Tisk tisk. You really should publish an apology.

    anonymous May 17, 2014 6:48pm

    Agreed. Also, "the only minorities here are fat people" is both insensitive and actually kind of offensive, as it seems to be degrading "fat people" and also degrading minorities. The entire tone of this article is sickeningly pretentious. We should not be proud of the fact that Boulder is 89% white, in fact that statistic is alarming and should really raise questions, considering that Boulder is one of the most liberal places in the country. Someone above mentioned gentrification, and there a really a lot of issues for me here with the lack of diversity in Boulder. If Boulder is so concerned with being liberal and saving the planet and being spiritual and blah blah blah, why are we not working to make affordable housing opportunities for low-income families? Boulder claims to be the most liberal, left-wing, open-minded place, and yet it is 89% white! And people spend their time living off trust-funds or family money or what have you, and doing yoga all day long and meditating and then complaining about the sad state of the nation and judging people who don't recycle. I understand the importance of recycling and taking care of the planet, but we also have to think about the other people who live on this planet, and how we can take care of them too. I am only in Boulder temporarily, and I think it is a waste of a lot of educated people who lack an honest perspective about their own privilege, and think they are doing the most to "change the world" yet don't acknowledge the inequality and injustices that exist in this country (and in Boulder) regarding race, class, and wealth.

anonymous May 15, 2014 2:12am

Ward, CO has the highest Trust Fund ($), per capita in Boulder County.

anonymous May 15, 2014 2:05am

Median statistics mean nothing.
Try using averages and see the difference.

    anonymous May 15, 2014 10:59am

    Median is actually a better measure of "generality" than average since a single large outlier in either direction can skew and average a lot but not a median.

anonymous May 15, 2014 2:02am

Thank you, Ronald.

anonymous May 15, 2014 12:03am

I feel like this article is just a list of 18 annoying things about Boulder. My wife and I find it such a repugnant place we left for 6 weeks to have our baby elsewhere so he would never have to say he was born in Boulder. Also I feel like this article is written by someone who has never lived in an actual city before.

Boulder is for foodies? Have you been to the farmers market in Seattle? Burlington? Vancouver? All are larger than Boulder's. And restaurants? Boulder is essentially a food desert compared to any urban area.

Sending people to Mountain Sun? Unless your goal is to drink mediocre beer and be forced to listen to patchouli stinking CU yuppies brag about some 5.12 the on-sited that place is the worst. Why not go to any number of better breweries in Boulder (J. Wells? Avery? Upslope?)

Also, what microbrew are you enjoying on Pearl St.? West Flanders? That place is garbage. Also could I get a decent fucking cocktail in this town? I once asked for an old fashioned and had to tell the bartender how to make it for me (At shine, that place really is the worst.)

This is now the list I show to anyone who asks what I think is terrible about Boulder.

    anonymous May 15, 2014 1:15pm

    Your tirade against Mountain Sun was unjustified as a matter of public record just given the GABF and other medals for their wonderful beer (not to mention Stout Month), but you really lost me with J Wells being "better"…

anonymous May 14, 2014 3:13pm

Awesome, my friend P and his lovely wife playing Didge on the mall. I've played some lovely music with those two. So, at least the picture has something that is right about Boulder. LOL.

anonymous May 14, 2014 11:54am

As a lifetime born-and-raised Boulder native this list makes me want to puke. We are the land of the pretentious pseudo-liberals. The above article explains all the reason not to move to Boulder or even visit. I find it disgraceful that a magazine that has Boulder as a home would want to put down the town in this fashion; if they loved this town they would offer solutions to all of the above mentioned problems. It has greatly saddened me to watch all the fun, cool people that made Boulder a great place to live and visit getting ousted to other locations, by people who never really understood why they came here in the first place. The pretentious nature of those that have come to Boulder is the reason you never meet people from here; we all have left or are so disgraced by what Boulder has become we no longer want to associate ourselves with it. This is a list of the disgraces of now being from Boulder, as this is the external assumed nature of what living in Boulder is about, when the true nature of those reasons have been subverted and replaced by all of those who think this lunacy is righteous. Shame on you Elephant you are just part of the problem. Grow a pair new Boulder you are drunk on funky micro brews. Why don't you go arrest some poor people for littering?

    anonymous May 14, 2014 9:25pm

    Thank you sooo much! I am 26 and have lived in Boulder my whole life. Obviously a non-local wrote this and thinks they know Boulder. I am so tired of the traffic, the East coasters, and all the hippie college kids that have run this town into the ground. Boulder is nothing like it used to be and that is a shame. It is packed with crazies and dirty hippies and the homeless population is crazy. I miss crossroads mall haha. I think that everyone needs to go back where they came from.

    I own a garden center in Louisville Colorado and the East Coast/California hipsters are even creeping out here. The reason you left your shitty state is because it was full of shitty people. If I hear one more person say they are from the East coast I am going to explode.

      anonymous May 15, 2014 10:56am

      I've lived in Boulder longer than you've been alive – but I am not a native, I arrived in January of 1969. I was 18 at that time. Boulder was different than – perhaps by many measures it was better, but change happens. Boulder has always been more expensive than the surrounding area – just as Manhattan is more expensive than the Bronx. As far as liberal/progressive/whatever you want to call it – Denver and Pueblo have always been more true to the liberal mind set than Boulder – it's not like that has changed, just that people are talking about it now.

      Boulder is what it is – if you really don't like it get out and do something to make it better – or move.

      anonymous May 15, 2014 2:33pm

      yes, but you love that they all buy your shitty over-priced flowers or you would move to Pueblo

    anonymous May 14, 2014 11:08pm

    I live here, I founded elephant, I love to make fun of myself and all I hold dear—humor is a sacred thing.

    I loved this list, I enjoyed it —and I love Boulder, and am grateful to live here. Boulder, and anything we love, can be appreciated, and can always stand the awareness and improvement that humor brings and calls for.

    A personal request: please use paragraph breaks if you want folks to read your writing. Thanks for commenting!

      anonymous May 16, 2014 9:49am

      You may live here, and you may have founded Elephant, but you are not a native, and thus fall victim to the astute observations noted by Robert.

      A personal request: don't let your ego get ahead of your responsibilities as an editor (to prevent such ignorance from gracing these online pages in favor of a cheap laugh).

      -Boulder Native since 1982

      anonymous Jun 6, 2015 8:02am

      (I know I'm a year late to the conversation)

      Being from NY and considering moving to Boulder, I find this article/comments puzzling and funny. There are pretentious people everywhere who take themselves too seriously and can't laugh at themselves. That's not a Boulder problem, that's just how some people are. Boulder seems to have its own unique quirks and characteristics, and maybe some people take it to an extreme, but how can you be so naive?

      Gentrification sweeps through neighborhoods in New York (Brooklyn, Queens, NJ, specifically) in a matter of years and leaves places truly unrecognizable. Not just from dirty white hippies to rich white pseudo-hippies. Truly unrecognizable by any metric. But you'd never hear a native New Yorker be disgusted by the city or leave town for 6 weeks to have their kid somewhere else. Are you kidding me!?

      Change happens. Growth happens. There is always a little tension between the old and new. Embrace it, get annoyed by it sometimes, laugh at it, whatever. But C'mon, no one feels bad for you because your town/area is so nice, pretty, healthy, safe, well educated, that others wanted to move there. You just sound like a bitter and angry guy.

      Anyway, good job on the article and website, keep up the good work 🙂

anonymous May 14, 2014 9:27am

I like this article and I like Boulder, but it reminds me why I prefer Denver. Namely point #12.

Don't get me wrong, I lived in Boulder for 7 years and loved every minute of it, but after moving to Denver, I realized that many Boulderites can't accept that their neighbor to the south east is more affordable, more diverse and less pretentious.

You do have better views and better restaurants though.

anonymous May 14, 2014 1:28am

I am surely not alone in my belief that the quality of life in Boulder has declined in recent years — and it may soon dramatically decline.

"Organic" Boulder County has much open space that is only "open" to GMO sugar beet "farming" and glyphosate saturation. And next year Boulder County will be (unwillingly?) opening its arms to the fracking industry.

Help us, Elephant!

    anonymous May 14, 2014 11:11pm

    We've covered fracking extensively–one way of course to fight fracking is to use renewable energy, use less, and particularly use less natural gas.

    Boulder is awesome for two reasons: our amazing natural surroundings, and the countless caring citizens who have worked so hard and lovingly to shape and curb its development. We need to keep that tradition going and continuously improve.

      anonymous May 15, 2014 12:41am

      Thanks, Elephant. I couldn't agree more.

      Thanks for being here for us.

anonymous May 13, 2014 5:52pm

Unless I'm mistaken, Boulder also has the the most trust funds per capita of anywhere else. Which would go a long way towards explaining #5 at least.

    anonymous May 14, 2014 11:13pm

    We consistently find it hard to find and hire folks who want to work hard. I get it—folks who live in Boulder are all about adventure, health, lifestyle—which is great. Too many of us live in cubicles and on screens, myself included.

      anonymous May 15, 2014 7:04am

      man that is the truth. I worked with that same dynamic in construction around here for years.

      anonymous Feb 25, 2015 12:47pm

      So I’ve read this whole column . I am a hard worker n we are trying to move to Colorado I’m wondering which town would be easier to get started with life in I have two toddlers and me n my husband. Any suggestions

anonymous May 13, 2014 3:37pm

The reason there are few locals is they are being driven out by ever increasing prices. It's remarkably similar to Aspen 15 years ago. Even people who work in Boulder can't afford to live here-thus all the commuters in the cars that Boulder-ites claim to hate.

    anonymous May 14, 2014 11:12pm

    Some good points. That said, we're pricey because of Open Space–we haven't permitted sprawl. It's a koan–sprawl, and stay affordable, or encourage density (which we're doing), and protect open space.

      anonymous May 14, 2014 11:53pm

      Boulder doesn't encourage density though. Instead it just has lavish homes with big lawns that are a million +. Why not build affordable housing with high rises? Because Boulder essentially wants to reimagine itself as a country club for rich white people, not protect open space.

        anonymous May 15, 2014 10:57am

        You are dead on correct.. Boulder needs to build up… Not out. They complain about traffic and urban sprawl …but refuse to build up.
        Can't have it both ways

        anonymous May 15, 2014 11:06am

        Exactly-the students are the only ones who are actually getting squeezed together tighter and tighter on the shrinking area that used to be the hill-while wealthier folks are able to buy large houses at prices that families and most locals can't afford. They also buy in areas that used to be student housing and then complain when they are surrounded by students.

        I love Boulder but many new people are completely oblivious to the skyrocketing prices and to the fact that people used to live here. Boulder actually has several minority communities-they have been shoved into the outskirts of Boulder into rent controlled housing and hidden communities.

      anonymous May 15, 2014 11:38am

      Protecting open space is a really cop-out way of explaining the gentrification that is happening to Boulder. It explains very little of the rising costs in Boulder. It sweeps under the rug the fact a two bedroom condo here will be upwards of 200K-most families will be priced out of Boulder.

      We pretend as a city that we are really left wing but we only care about trendy, individualistic issues – for instance, I would love to see the people of Boulder get as passionate about quality of education in all of the city's schools as it does about vegan-ism and yoga. As a group we need to spend less time worrying about our own gluten free diets and make sure those around us have enough to eat.

anonymous May 13, 2014 1:06pm

@ Sidni Giordano – thank you for bringing a sense of humor to Boulder! I would add to the list that everyone here takes themselves way to seriously 🙂 I am originally from NY- and I miss the qualities of New Yorkers of having sarcasm and the ability to laugh at themselves. Great article!

    anonymous May 18, 2014 10:22am

    Also a NY-er here and agree with Rachel. Also a couple corrections…
    "When it snows in Boulder, bike lanes are plowed first"… truth is, when it snows in Boulder, nothing is plowed. What's that all about?
    "Advanced Public Transit System"… As there is still no light rail and the busses move painfully slow, while taking an exceptionally long time and are inconsistent, I'd have to kindly disagree. We have a public transit system, but it's mediocre at best. Biking in Boulder is really where it's all at.
    Fun article!