Boulder, Colorado, USA
Created | Updated Jan 28, 2002
Boulder is a town about half an hour to the north of Denver, Colorado, the state capital. Boulder is home to the University of Colorado, the Flatiron Mountains, Celestial Seasonings Tea, a large number of micro breweries, and a lot of hippies.
Boulder is popularly described as '36 square miles of city, surrounded by reality'. It is also known as 'The People's Republic of Boulder'. These descriptions are mainly used because it is, in fact, caught in a little world all of its own. It is very different from the rest of the state, one of the small outposts of democratic thought (as in the democrat/republican dichotomy). The town doesn't pay much attention to the rest of the state. It essentially does whatever it wants to, without any regard for anywhere else.
For example, it is now illegal to smoke cigarettes in public places in Boulder. A few restaurants, such as Perkins, the Dark Horse Bar, and a few breweries with rooftop patios, have a special dispensation to allow smoking. Boulder also has Environmental Police who trundle around in little green cars to make sure the environment isn't being harmed, and policemen riding about on bikes occasionally.
Boulder has also gained a bit of notoriety lately, what with the Jon Benet Ramsey1 scandal, and the riots held by a bunch of undergraduates who were angry that they weren't old enough to drink. Boulderites tend not to enjoy discussing those topics, because they're the only topics that outsiders mention when they hear the word 'Boulder'. Any way you look at it, Boulder hasn't had a lot of positive press.
There are a few nice spots in town, such as the Pearl Street Mall. This is a pedestrian mall in the middle of town. The main drawback to this place is the inordinate amount of buskers. Be warned if you walk through there - you may see a few too many juggling acts for your own sanity. There are plenty of other performers hanging about Pearl Street as well - sword swallowers, random magicians, and a rather unsettling Rastafarian man who shoves himself into a box for money. Mind you, it's a very small box.
In addition to the weird grunge hippy vibe that permeates a large portion of town, there's also the weird preppy white-collar vibe that gets the rest of it. A few years back, Boulder had the highest number of Internet connections per capita than any other city in the nation. There's a whole vegetarian health-conscious wholesome foods movement going on too, so there are definitely less healthy places to spend your time.
Boulder is very weird, very eclectic, and very unique.