June 23 2007
|Saturday: This should be titled "Take Two". We'd planned a
family trip last summer to Colorado with our friends Angelo, LizaBeth and their
daughter Ella. The girls have played together many-a-weekend, we rent
space from Mom and Dad, and we're all climbers and parents. Perfect,
Perfect until The Urrico's unexpectedly found themselves in the "family way" and we had to cancel. Instead of heading west, we trekked to North Conway for The Best Vacation Ever
This year we chose to leave the child care to professionals and booked a week at the Lane Guest Ranch just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park. The ranch features all day kid activities, WiFi, a heated pool (Kelly's favorite), fabulous meals and a friendly and omnipresent staff.
We flew into Denver on Saturday (check in at the Ranch is Sunday afternoon) and planned an overnight in Boulder. Having heard so much about this Mecca of Mountaineering, we decided to see for ourselves. We dined downtown at the Pearl Street Mall, a 4 block pedestrian walkway in the center of town. The mall boasts a number of shops, moderately priced restaurants and a small playground for the Little Ones. It's one of the first and most successful center city revitalization efforts. The literature dubs it "European Style" shopping. My take: Totally Contrived. The organic neighborhoods of New York and even New Paltz have a much more authentic feel.
Don't get me wrong. The toothless harp player had some appeal and the ability to easily park and walk to any destination is first rate. I'd been warned that Boulder is about as left wing as you can get this side of Fidel's Havana, but I've seen more pierced and tattooed hippy chicks and dudes on any night in New Paltz or Chelsea than downtown Boulder. Those two places make Boulder seem like Salt Lake City in comparison.
Conspicuous in it's absence was any sign of Gay Pride festivities (Sunday is the Homosexual High Holy Day all across the United States). No same-sex couples or transgenders in sight and nary a sign of the rainbow flag. Maybe it's simply because school wasn't in session. Maybe it doesn't fit the city's image. At any rate, "diverse" this place is not.
Like every other climber that passes through this burg, we talked about a move out here. As a city, it pales in comparison to New York (as do all cities), but for outdoor action it can't be beat. The Flatirons and Boulder Canyon were a mere 10 minute drive from where we dined. Real estate is reasonable, by NY standards, with a 3 bed / 2 bath near town going for around 800 thousand.