A July Saturday in Boulder, CO
Boulder, Colorado is a blooming spectacle year-round, but most alluring in the summer. Whether you’re ankle-deep in the sparkling, frigid waters of Boulder Creek or deep in conversation with a friend at the back of Trident Cafe, the city becomes a seemingly endless collection of havens for all types of people.
Seeing as you can’t make it out to see for yourself, I’ll take you through a typical July Saturday here in Boulder. First thing in the morning, I hop on my bike and set out for the Farmers’ Market by Pearl. Cruising down the Boulder Creek path is always an energizing way to start the day, passing dozens of smiling young couples and fishermen (and the occasional hobo). The air is cool, the sidewalk is speckled with light coming through the foliage above, and the ambient volume increases as I approach Central Park. Everyone here adores the market for its welcoming, open arms to locals and newcomers alike from ages 1–80. A quick scan of the booths reveals an assortment of kombucha brewers to soap makers and everything in between, each one fronted by two or three happy sellers (assuredly morning people). I’ll usually spend an hour or two here milling around, tasting the samples, until I’m too stuffed to even buy a meal.
Then, it’s back to the apartment to grab my guitar and head up to Eben G. Fine park. During the semester this park is bustling with CU students — whether it be Greek life-ers having a drink while they float down the creek in a comical assortment of makeshift tubes, or calm readers, musicians, appreciators of the serenity. In the summer, however, the crowd becomes a unique display of every Boulder stereotype imaginable. You’ll see ultra-granola yogis practicing in the grass, Sperry-donning techies writing code on park benches, and singer-songwriters practicing ukulele with their feet in the creek (and if you’re wondering, I have indeed seen every one of these characters time and again at Eben G. Fine). It’s one of the most beautiful places in Colorado, in my humble opinion, and the ideal setting to lose track of a few hours in the middle of the day. Though paling in comparison to some of the other talented musicians nearby, I love sitting against a tree trunk to fiddle around. Only once I’m aptly tanned and my fingertips start to throb is it time to move on. Next stop: Dushanbe.
Close your eyes for a moment and picture a small temple — one with wooden beams and ceiling tiles that are all carved intricately and painted brightly, highlighted by streams of yellow light coming in from a dozen floor-to-ceiling windows. The air feels warm, and you can hear the faint trickling of a fountain in the center of the temple alongside soft chatter. Perhaps most noticeable, however, is the overwhelming aroma of sweet, earthy spices and herbs which takes your nostrils hostage the moment you walk in. Welcome to Dushanbe Tea House. Located between busy Pearl street and the exact geographical center of Boulder, it invites all sorts of folks looking for a relaxing, thoughtful time. Native or not, one can expect to leave this restaurant having seen a true, unfiltered glimpse of Boulder’s beautiful culture. I often find myself here in the afternoons, reading a book or just people-watching. When the sun starts to slowly droop, I’ll pack up my things and start biking towards campus for some of the coolest scenery in town.
Above is a picture I took last summer near Norlin Library on CU’s campus. It takes a particular elevation and orientation for the sun to shoot across buildings and paths like this, and we’re just fortunate enough as students to go to a school which sits at precisely that elevation and orientation. As one of the quieter summer areas in Boulder, campus’s architectural glory gets its chance to shine, undisturbed by throngs of students running around all day and night. You can photograph some killer shots of the flatirons from Farrand Field, or bring a Frisbee and a furry friend to the Engineering Quad, but either way one thing remains the same: you’re standing in the keystone of Boulder’s economy. The financial health of this city and its communities are largely driven by student activity 9 months out of every year, so everyone in the area takes some serious pride in their Buffs and the aesthetic integrity of campus. I like to end my days here in solace, waiting out the sun’s final moments above the horizon until being politely ushered home by the chilly breeze and hungry mosquitoes.
I hope you can come see Boulder and all of its happy citizens sometime soon for yourself, do let me know if you have any questions about the city!