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What's Boulder, CO really like?
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By Malcolm Daly
From Boulder, CO
Aug 10, 2011

Lauren, if you're applying for a job a Crispin, you'll definitely feel at home in Boulder. There are more designers/artists/marketing/advertising peeps in this town than there are climbers. In fact, about a third of the climbers I know fall in to that category.

Looking out the window of my office at the Flatirons now. The morning clouds are just clearing and the trails up in to Fern Canyon and Devil's Thumb invite me for a lunchtime run. When I get off work at 5 today, I can drive to Eldorado and get a lap in on the Bastille or spin my bike around the Morgul Bismark course.

Boulder is a great place to live if you're a climber or otherwise engaged in the world. Sure, it's easy to bump egos around here: you can't swing a dead cat without hitting a world-class bike rider or Olympian athlete of some sort. There are probably 100 people in my zip code who have climbed Everest and a similar number who climb 5.13. I find that the best way to avoid the ego hits is to put my own ego on the shelf. Roll with others' egos rather then try to interrupt that energy. You'll find that it simply slips by and disappears, revealing, possibly, an interesting person.

Celebrate weirdness. The story Sam Stephens shared is priceless. It happens all the time. But you might just find yourself in the coffee shop chatting up the founder of a fortune 500 company or climbing with Jim Collins (Author of Good to Great, etc) at Movement Gym.

Whatever happens, good luck. I hope to see you in Boulder some day.

Mal


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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Aug 10, 2011
My dogs got ups yo!

Shumin Wu wrote:
The best fried chicken is found at the King Soopers (Kroger) deli.


I would definitely have to agree! I went there with a coworker the other day. Second only to Chic-Fil-A in Westminster.

On another note. I moved to Cary, NC when I was 2 yrs old. Then spent 10 yrs in Raleigh, and 1 more yr in Cary before moving to CO 5 yrs ago. There is no question about how great Boulder/Denver is, hell anywhere when you compare it to NC. My family is in Boone and I cut my teeth at the New River Gorge, Obed, and Red River Gorge. My first climbing wall was the Faux Rocks at NC State and the traverse wall outside of the gymnasium there and Vertical Edge. Just in Boulder you have 4 climbing gyms, sandstone, granite, gneiss(Golden), plenty of mtn biking, hiking, and here's the most important part it's all available after work. No more weekend trips to the NRG, or NC climbing areas just to get rained out. During the off chance that I do get rained out here I don't care because I can either wait if off, or just come back the next day.

Disclaimer: Most of the climbing here doesn't even compares to the quality of the climbing in the Southeast. There are plenty of great routes here, but you have to sort through the BS to find those great lines. At the New River Gorge I'd trade most of the zero star routes for the 5 star routes here. However I've learned it's not about quality, but quantity and proximity living in CO. I could care less about anything the Southeast has to offer when it comes to low humidity, perfect temps, great gyms to train at, winter cragging, alpine bouldering, and rock so close I can ride my bike to it after work.


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By Ian Stewart
Aug 10, 2011

coppolillo wrote:
and JLP has the good word. 70% of homes in Vegas are upside down on the their mortgages. it would take a global catastrophe for that to happen in boulder...yeah, it's pricier here than fort collins...but it's no $800K as was stated previously.


coppolillo wrote:
all the talk of the "expense" in boulder...and people are buying 3200 square foot homes...perhaps the problem is appetite and not the cost of the food.....make do with a bit less and live the good life. bike-commute instead of the car, live in a smaller home, and cut back on some consumption...that's a good way to afford to live in a nicer city, IMHO....Lauren, come visit a bunch of places on the Front Range...tons of nice spots and see where you dig....


I agree with you completely. Honestly we WERE looking for something around 2000sq ft, which is more than big enough for us, but unfortunately if you have an eye on a particular neighborhood sometimes all of the houses are that big.

That being said, the financial problem with buying a home is that Americans just LOVE to borrow money they don't have. They buy the most expensive home they can buy, financed over 30 years, instead of just buying what they need and paying it off sooner. Using todays rates, a $600k loan over 30 years pays almost $500k in interest. A $300k loan paid at the same rate paid over 15 years is about $115k in interest. Sure, the Boulder home will appreciate, but you're paying far more interest...and interest is _usually_ higher than appreciation rates.

I'm not saying "don't go to Boulder because it's expensive", I'm just saying that it's a huge factor in the decision to live there. Personally, that's one factor why I decided on Fort Collins instead of Boulder. Also keeping in mind that I moved from the Bay Area, where house prices are 50% more than Boulder, even.


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By coppolillo
Aug 10, 2011

fully hear you, Ian...if you're coming from the Bay, then Boulder seems great! but the rest of the world....man, you get a 1500-sq-ft home for what a 4000-sq-ft would cost elsewhere...

and Mal--great post, as usual.

Lauren--just come visit and check out FC, Boulder, even parts of Denver...


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By kubes
From Littleton, CO
Aug 10, 2011
One of the most amazing sport climbs ever. Caveman (5.11d) on Thaiwand Wall, Tonsai, Thailand. The move above where I am is the crux, but stays pretty sustained the rest of the way. Awesome exposure and excellent moves the whole way.

People love hating Boulder for some reason.

I think it's great! Lots of friendly people, great food, and of course AMAZING climbing!


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By E Johnson
From Boulder, CO
Aug 10, 2011

Lived in Boulder County since 1973, hung out in Boulder since the late 70s because I liked the record shops, library and general offbeat funkiness (I think leftover from the 60s). I like it now because of the mountains on the doorstep, the active lifestyle/hiking trails, access to high quality food (aka health food), and generally progressive politics. I love Movement Gym, was a member at BRC for years. I climb in Boulder Canyon often but have easy access to many other areas from Boulder.

As for jerks and poseurs and weird people sitting at your table uninvited (sounds like he had too much espresso!), there are jerks and weird people every where. Go to Denver to an average neighborhood grocery store in the evening. You'll find more "characters" than you will all week in Boulder. :)

I recently road the bus from Denver to Boulder in row 2 and had to listen to an older guy drone on and on, complaining about people in Boulder. He made a point to say: "I don't live in Boulder, I reside there. I live in reality." I felt like tapping him on the shoulder and saying, "Turn around look at the face behind you. They're all normal working stiffs returning home to their families. Normal people. And they are having to listen to you demean the entire population of the place they live in."

But I just bit my tongue. You run into that attitude a lot around except it usually the people who don't live in Boulder. I say: live in your reality outside my bubble. We won't miss you!

(fixed typos)


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By Eric and Lucie
From Boulder, CO
Aug 10, 2011

JLP wrote:
"Estimated median house or condo value in 2009: $477,700 (it was $272,200 in 2000)" This is more realistic, though it's still skewed a bit by a minority of very expensive homes.


Here's a window on houses currently for sale in Boulder:
home prices in Boulder
home prices in Boulder

How's that for affordable?

Or go here to see them all:
www.zillow.com/homes/fsbo/Boulder-CO/#/homes/for_sale/Boulde>>>


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By Andrew Shoemaker
From Garden Valley, ID
Aug 11, 2011
Me on Mt. Evans

I moved to the Boulder area from Seattle back in January. My impression so far:

--Boulder is weird as shit, but that's not a bad thing

--The employees at The Spot climbing gym are such big dicks that I stopped bouldering there and switched to BRC and Movement where the staff is pretty friendly (more so at BRC)

--There are a lot of self righteous "trust fund hippies" who are fine in small doses. Take what they say with a grain of salt

--There are a lot of snobby rich pricks...but usually people aren't pricks to you for no reason, so don't give em one. And they can't help but be snobby, they grew up as over-privileged "trust fund hippies".

--Yes, people climb damn good here. But finding a partner should be no problem. In fact you'll probably find several partners that double as friends and then you'll be set.

--It is expensive but it gets cheaper right outside of town.

Overall, I feel like Boulder is pretty awesome. Lots of sunshine, sexy girls, 4 seasons, friendly people, great bluegrass scene, great climbing and good beer. Yes, it has its problems-- but you'll find problems everywhere. I say move here!


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By FrankPS
From Atascadero, CA
Aug 11, 2011

E Johnson wrote:
Lived in Boulder County since 1973, hung out in Boulder since the late 70s because I liked the record shops


What's a "record shop"? Ha! I also recently heard of something called a "typewriter." Such strange language...

Never been to Boulder, or Colorado, for that matter, but this thread is motivating me to check it out. Colorado sounds like a good area for outdoors people.


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By David Rivers
Aug 11, 2011
East Beach bouldering

A quick search of Colproperties.com shows that there are 226 properties in Boulder for sale between $89,000 and 250,000. Yes the vast majority are condos, but who wants to mow the lawn when there are so many other things to do outside.


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By CJC
Aug 11, 2011

jarthur wrote:
I would definitely have to agree! I went there with a coworker the other day. Second only to Chic-Fil-A in Westminster.


how did you grow up in nc and learn nothing about fried chicken??


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By richard magill
Aug 11, 2011
Mountain Bike Action!

Interesting chart of real estate prices from this Eric and Lucie post.

It seems like a straightforward and undeniable fact (like say, the existence of gravity) that real estate is expensive in Boulder. That is not a judgement or a criticism, it just happens to be true.

Arguments of "No dude, you can get in under $600K" don't convince me otherwise. For some reason some people seem compelled to say it really isn't that bad.

Well, it really is what it really is.

Nobody says you have to buy. I still say, rent a cheap place in a nice Boulder neighborhood so you can bike to work, and you will be happy as a clam. Assuming clams are happy, I guess.


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By CRANKIN345
Aug 11, 2011

a bunch of whiners!

boulder, like any town, is what you make of it. you will find your clique of people, screw the rest! if they're jerks...don't hang out with 'em. the proximity to fun outdoor things is what makes boulder a hub for the outdoor-driven. the fact that you can ski in the morning, run laps in eldo in the afternoon and drink delicious beer with like-minded people in the evening is what makes people love this town.

as to the "expensive" cost of living here, HA. my rent has gotten cheaper every year i've lived here (7 going on 8)...ya i had to search for it and live in some not-pristine houses (in college) but i can still BIKE to work and the grocery almost every day (because I still live IN-TOWN). OH-Ya, don't forget about Boulder Affordable Housing. Friends of mine recently bought a townhome in N Boulder for 150k....down from 450k all thanks to Affordable Housing.

so to all you haters, keep on hatin' and go somewhere else, because I live in the Bubble...and it rocks.


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By jarthur
From Westminster, CO
Aug 11, 2011
My dogs got ups yo!

clackmon wrote:
how did you grow up in nc and learn nothing about fried chicken??

I'm confused dude! What did you mean by this? Do you know where I can find some tasty fried chicken in Boulder besides King Soopers? The only two places I've found fried chicken in this state is at King Soopers and Chic-Fil-A in Westminster. Sometimes I long to quit my job as a structural engineer and open up a Bojangles’ Famous Chicken ‘n Biscuits right in the middle of Pearl Street!


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By ted geving
Aug 11, 2011

What the heck happened to CP+B's website? Yikes!
www.cpbgroup.com/


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By Addison
From Boulder, CO
Aug 11, 2011
me at eldo

boulder is the worst. dont come here


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By David Rivers
Aug 11, 2011
East Beach bouldering

Richard- checkout www.coloproperties.com/ . According to the site there are 1242 properties for sale in Boulder and vicinity. The highest priced one is $7,890,000 and the lowest $72,841 for a permanently affordable unit. Median price is below 500K (1/2 above, 1/2 below).

My wife and I have owned in Boulder since 1998. We are both teachers, and I was a produce guy until 2003, so it's not like we're made of $. We've always owned in nice neighborhoods-King's Ridge, Table Mesa, NoBo by Parkside Park, and back to King's Ridge. Never payed over $350,000. None of the places were total fixers (Table Mesa house had some dated features, but was very livable, and I'm a handy guy who like projects, also rented the basement 5 of 7 years to help cover mortgage, while I was in school and starting teaching). The current place is an 1800 sq ft 3 level townhouse on the bike paths 10 leisurely minutes from the BRC (or Movement, CATS, if you prefer). That's more than enough space for 2 humans and 2 canines.


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By matt davies
Aug 11, 2011

jarthur wrote:
Do you know where I can find some tasty fried chicken in Boulder besides King Soopers?

Anyone know of a good fried chicken joint in Denver? I've sampled many, but none really supplants the Col.
The best fried chicken I've found in the state is Slogar in Crested Butte.


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By slim
Administrator
Aug 11, 2011
tomato, tomotto, kill mike amato.

the dudes on colfax swear by popyes, but i think they are on crack.


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By matt davies
Aug 12, 2011

Mike McHugh wrote:
Cora Faye's on Colorado, Tom's in Five Points. Joseph's was great, but I think he closed.

Was Joseph's also in Five Points? I went to a divey place down there years ago that had great fried chicken, but couldn't find it again when I recently got the cravin'

The Popeye's on Colfax is decent, Church's on Colorado is better, but for some nasty ass reason I still like the Col.s' original.


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By Berkeley
From Boulder, CO
Aug 12, 2011
Font!

matt davies wrote:
The best fried chicken I've found in the state is Slogar in Crested Butte.


Slogar is amazing. This was in the paper the other day: www.dailycamera.com/food/ci_18456047


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By JPVallone
Aug 12, 2011

Boulder is a really expensive place to live and there are a bunch of hippy liberal want a be's aside from that. It's an amazing climbing community, and some of the best concentration of diverse rock and access to some of the best climbing in the world.

My opinion.


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By wendy weiss
Aug 12, 2011

What David Rivers said about housing.

If you want a 4,000 sq ft house up against the foothills it will cost you a few million. My husband and I lived in a 1,600 sq ft townhouse-style condo in central Boulder (walking and biking distance to most everywhere) for 29 years, did a lot of upgrades, and recently sold it for $360k -- probably $20k less than we could have gotten for it at the height of the bubble. The owners have always included young professionals.


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By Marc H
From Lafayette, CO
Aug 12, 2011
The Cathedral Spires in RMNP, left to right: Stiletto, Sharkstooth, Forbidden Tower, Petit Grepon, The Saber, The Foil, The Moon & The Jackknife.

JPVallone wrote:
Boulder is a really expensive place to live and there are a bunch of hippy liberal want a be's aside from that.


What do they "want a be" [sic]? Conservative?


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By coppolillo
Aug 12, 2011

Marc H wrote:
What do they "want a be" [sic]? Conservative?


funny


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