Recently, I had the great good fortune to live and work in Boulder for a few weeks. In my real life, I am an independent contractor, a geek, a hippie, and a resident of San Diego. Since I don’t actually live in Boulder, I’m ill-equipped to dispense advice that would be useful to someone who has decided to relocate there. But, if you’re only in the considering stage, or if you just accidentally happened upon this website, here’s my personal list of The First Things You’ll Notice About Boulder:
1. It is beautiful. Really. If nature is your thing, this place rivals anything without an actual ocean.
2. There are lots of bike shops. I mean, lots. And then there are some more bike shops. And next door, bike shops. You get it.
3. People expect you to be active. Not active. Addicted. Addicted to an extreme sport that involves going off trails, down mountains, and reaching breakneck speeds. My urban-cyclist, yoga-doing self was repeatedly tested and found wanting.
4. There are lots of very smart people. If smart people is your thing, you will find them here. Different brands of smart people, too, like grad students.
5. The natives subsist on coffee and beer. And there is absolutely nothing wrong with that. Especially because so much of it is made so well, right there in Boulder.
6. There is diversity in ideology. I don’t want to offend anyone with this, but what the heck: Boulder is one of the few places I’ve observed where the post modern hippie can happily live next door to someone who still thinks that W was a good president. It’s the coming together of two cultures: the liberal college-town situated in a conservative American plains state.
So there you have it. If these are things you can live with, or better, enjoy, then it’s time to find out more about Boulder. When you combine all of this stuff with the strong and healthy startup culture they have, they are almost enough to make me consider leaving a place with an ocean.