Friday, March 5, 2010

Back to Boulder

My new job is in Boulder. If you're following along at home, the scorecard is as follows: (1) 2003, move to Boulder for first year of law school and commute to Alamosa, CO to see Catherine (4-hour drive)/bike to school; (2) 2004-2006, commute from Boulder to Denver for work/bike to school; (3) 2007, move to Glenwood and ride bike to work/brief period of commuting from Glenwood to Aspen (hell); (4) 2008-2010, 15-minute ride to work in Denver; (5) 2010-?, commute from Denver to Boulder. Although this may seem circular, it's a vast improvement from pre-2003, when I had a bunch of random on-site-housing cooking jobs, commuting from California to Colorado (!?), getting robbed by punks as I got of the Bart in Berkeley, etc.

Ah, back in Boulder. From my window high at Denver Place, I could see Longs Peak and Mt. Evans peeking out from behind the Plaza Tower building. Now I have a clear view of the Flatirons:

As well as a view of a large concrete pad next to the St. Julien. During my first week I saw a guy practicing his fixie tricks:

Guys practicing their skateboard tricks:

And a guy practicing his bagpipes:

Fox News was there:

And Coach America was there with their intensely dumb slogan:

Of course, Boulder is all about cycling, and I don't think I've ever ridden such a bike-friendly city. In this lush and supportive environment, bikes (and cyclists) evolve into endless micro-variations. I couldn't get a photo of the Masi commuter , but I did catch this thing:

Like Aspen, there is only one Boulder. I find these singular locations difficult to criticize. You can live in Boulder, or you can move away, but Boulder will always be there, and it will always be Boulder. The college kids and trust-funders will wander the streets alongside pale professionals seeking youth, the jam bands will play, and the property values will rise. I already remember the thing I dislike most about Boulder, which is that the Flatirons and other mountains don't really face east, but rather north, and therefore hold the snow. Boulder needs to get with the program and put the mountains facing west, like California.

I also get to satisfy my espresso cravings - Trident, Amante, and Brewing Market are all within walking distance. There are also several new places I'll have to try - but I'm sad Tom's is gone.

My best means of the commute so far is to ride down to Union Station (where they just started construction on the incredible transit center project), then bus to Table Mesa park and ride, then bike the rest of the way to downtown Boulder. By riding in Boulder I beat the bus by a few minutes and get to ride a bit. I'm sure there are improvements - one of which would be for FasTracks to get on the ball and build the train.

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