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Boulder, Colorado SperlingViews



"Boulder - diverse, charming and costly"


Boulder - diverse, charming and costly - 4/21/2008
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william
Boulder, CO

Boulder is one of the most misunderstood cities in the country. There are many who seem to have an opinion of it even if they've never seen it or lived here. Hippie, granola, yuppie, communist, socialist - these are just some of the more common characterizations I've heard.

It's a fabulous place if you are financially fortunate to live in any of the historic districts. If you are less well-off you can still get reasonable housing farther out - like maybe 10 minutes away. ...Great university, functional public transportation system, inspiring mountains, great restaurants, homeless vagrants, great parks and recreational centers, absurd housing inflation, politically active and intelligent residents, constantly threatened with commercial encroachment, historically preserved - this is the real Boulder. A city that is forever wrestling with the forces that make it vibrant but also threaten to destroy it.


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James

re: Boulder - diverse, charming and costly - 4/21/ - 5/29/2008
Sorry, there's nothing diverse about Boulder unless you're looking at whiter shades of pale. The university is mediocre at best and the food is bland and terrible.


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Shui
Boulder, CO

About rental properties: check to ensure everythin - 6/3/2014

The City of Boulder requires a rental license for rental properties. An inspection is required to obtain a rental license. However landlords must hire a third party company to do the inspection, the City does not inspect the tens of thousands of rental properties in Boulder. Inspections only deal with life/safety issues. Issues like: do the electrical outlets work, is the plumbing working correctly, are there holes in the walls, are the walls even insulated, is there a large dead tree in the yard; are not covered in the inspection and landlords are not required to maintain / fix these issues. Also, helping a locked out renter is not the landlord’s responsibility. Boulder is a popular place to live, more renters are always on the way. Check everything before signing the lease.

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Shui
Boulder, CO

Moving to Boulder ? - 3/31/2013

Most people moving to Boulder don’t buy a house, they rent. School is a good way to spend time in Boulder, consider CU, Front Range Community College, Naropa, Boulder College of Massage Therapy, Auguste Escoffier School of Culinary Arts. Some people move to Boulder and assume it will work out, only to discover a job is tough to find. Don't be afraid to consider towns around Boulder, they are less expensive, some people call them the L cities: Longmont, Lions, Louisville. While looking for a job consider staying with a friend, the Hostel, even a Walmart parking lot. Most rental agreements in Boulder charge you around $300 if you break the lease AND expect you to pay the rent until the landlord can find another renter. Not everyone can stay, there are not enough jobs for the numbers of people that want to live in the Boulder area.

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Richard
Sierra Vista, AZ

Growing Up in Paradise or Long Live the Republic o - 12/31/2012

Boulder is an anomaly. I grew up in the Republic of Boulder (as the State Legislature called it) and lived there from 1963-1980. Even then I felt like a stranger in a strange land. I didn't know what "normal" America was until I moved from Boulder to the Midwest in 1980. I literally went through culture shock at discovering that the rest of the country was nothing like Boulder. I have since lived in Ohio, Kansas, Indiana, N. Carolina, California, Texas, Georgia, Arizona, Germany, South Korea and Saudi Arabia. Confirmed. Boulder is an anomaly. Boulder is ultra-liberal which for some give it great appeal. For others like myself it makes Boulder seem like an unsustainable fantasy land. I can see why it's rated as the smartest and healthiest city in America - it most likely is. And those are the things I like about Boulder. Yet underneath all the warm, fuzzy imported-from-California & New York yuppie glow, is a reality as cold and as harsh as the winter in Boulder (slight exaggeration, the sun shines 360 days a year): life is life, and friends aren't any easier to make in Boulder than anywhere else. Unless of course your own river of destiny happens to run through Boulder. For many, Boulder is a place of transition; one of the first stops in their own personal hero's journey; a rest stop on the road to finding oneself and spiritual enlightenment. When I was still High School age in Boulder, I would see this guy walking down South Broadway on his way out of town beating a strange looking drum and singing a chant of some kind. My older sister informed me that he was from Nepal (or was it Tibet?) and he was performing a spiritual ritual of walking the circumference of the city and blessing it and creating a spiritual vortex within it. All in all I think it must have worked. The city has a unique spiritual vibe all its own. Many people come to Boulder just to check it out and see if there's anything there for them. Many of these folks eventually move on to find themselves elsewhere. I recently returned to Boulder to fix up my parents' home for renting. They built their own house for 30K in 1967. Now it's valued at around 600K. That's not unusual though in many places in America. Like many neighborhoods in Boulder, my folks had great neighbors. To one side live a member of the board of Regents at CU; on the other side, a city councilman. Behind us on the right and left lived lawyers. All really nice people. Many people in Boulder report having great neighbors. Now, we rent the home to a young Korean-American family. He works for a small high-tech computer corp. based in Silicon Valley that does work with Apple. The current demographic seems more and more like this. Speaking of which, Google now has a significant presence in Boulder. In this same neighborhood (where I grew up) lots of the older folks have moved out and the yuppies have moved in. I was tickled at seeing a young mother jogging with a baby stroller down the street. In the evenings the street was rather busy with (mostly young) people out for a walk or a jog - at once a current trend and a throwback to a simpler era and lifestyle. Lovely. My pet peeve about Boulder is with the professional peeps who fix things (plumbers, electricians, carpenters, etc.), and to a lesser extent people who do things (house cleaners, landscapers, etc.) If you're not careful they will surely rip you off in a heartbeat. So many of these people feel entitled to charge you whatever it takes to send their children through an Ivy League University while keeping themselves firmly entrenched in a high wage-earning income bracket. It's ridiculous. The sense of wage entitlement is out of control. As a person who knows how to do a lot of fixing-type things, it irritates me. We called an electrician to come to the house to check out the wiring. He stated that since he lives on the other side of town (an extra 10-15 minute drive) that he would have to charge significantly more to come out to the house. That's insane, or as I like to put it, "Only in Boulder." The average liberal citizen in Boulder is too timid to object and so the tradesmen get away with highway robbery. In most of America, people are just glad to get some work. Extortion it is, and Boulderites need to form an anti-extortion union. At the very least please use Angies List. We did that with great results. We found a guy who was perfect in every way, drove from Longmont to do our work, and as far as I know didn't charge extra for it. The good guys are out there if you first dismiss the ones trying to take advantage of you. Some complain that Boulder is too white. I'm white and I'm not complaining. White is beautiful, and so are all the other colors. If you are hung up on being too politically correct and think that every community in America has to have a certain percentage of each and every color, then Boulder is probably not for you. But if you're white, please stop complaining about white people. It's not becoming, and makes you look foolish, not cool. It is true though. Blacks are almost nowhere to be found, and hispanics are mainly found only working in fast food, roofing crews and landscaping. Again, just like a lot of places in America. When I was last visiting, a wild animal had been hit on Table Mesa Drive. It was a skunk or raccoon or something about that size. The following day, someone erected a large sign on that spot expressing anger that the animal had been hit, and exhorting people to drive more carefully. Only in Boulder, but much appreciated just the same. The University of Colorado is a big part of the city. Many Nobel prize winners hail from CU. On the other hand, I received a B.S. in Bus Ad. from CU and didn't learn a single thing that I can remember. For me it was a big waste of time, but I'm sure it was almost entirely my own fault - mainly for going there in the first place. It is a beautiful campus though, with lots of flagstone. If you want a solid education, find a land grant college like Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, or The University of Arizona in Tucson. Just my opinion, obviously, but based on good observation. The biggest freaking surprise for me on my last visit to Boulder (summer 2011) was this - I got in my car in south Boulder at around 3:00pm and drove into Boulder, where Crossroads shopping center used to be. I used the Boulder-Denver turnpike (Hwy 36) to get there. What I saw floored me! The line of traffic leaving town at the end of the workday (workday ends early I guess) extended literally to the horizon going east in the direction of Denver. And, it was barely moving! It wasn't any different then traffic on a southern California highway. Up until then, I had no idea that so many people commuted to and from Boulder for work. [No wonder we got so much for renting my folks house.] If you want to have a big shopping mall experience, you will have to drive out of Boulder and go to Broomfield. The folks in Broomfield were smart and built a huge shopping mall there. The folks in Boulder - as much as we all love them - weren't so smart and didn't build a shopping mall in Boulder. Actually, when I was growing up there was the Crossroads shopping mall. But, the 4 or 5 families that owned it quibbled amongst themselves and squandered the opportunity to create a new, big, and more modern shopping mall on the same spot of land. I'm not sure what the heck is there now. The tax revenue that Boulder is losing by not having a mall must be unbelievable. Only in Boulder. Now, Broomfield gets all of the mall shoppers from Boulder. Sweet for them. I love Boulder, but I am one of those people who are not sure I'd want to live there (again). It certainly is a great place to visit though. One of my favorite places to go is the 80,000 sq. ft. Whole Foods store with a humongous food court. Muy delisioso! Boulder is also full of beautiful women, many of them tall. These are, for the most part, highly sophisticated granola girls. Health is a highly respected virtue in Boulder. Aesthetically, Boulder is second to none, and I think the air is great. Lots of trees and very beautiful. Go to Boulder and enjoy. And always remember, let the game come to you.

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Pif
Boulder, CO

It's easy to say nice things about Boulder. So, he - 7/18/2012

Proximity to nature, access to culture and fresh food, easy climate, well-read and creative people, and general safety all make for a very nice place to live ... if you can afford it. Buying a house, even a little one, is expensive. And if you are not white, you are in a very small minority. It's not hostile, not at all. People are very accepting. But it can get tiring to stick out all the time. Skinny, athletic, gumby people are also the norm. A lot of social activities (especially those that involve making new friends or dating) tend to center on hiking, rock climbing, and skiing/snow boarding. People are very into their health and personal growth. Not at all a bad thing, but it can get a bit narcissistic after a while. I almost never walk by a coffee shop without overhearing an idler's discussion of how their personal psychotherapy or relationships are going or how spiritually redeeming something in their life is. People love their food peculiarities here and expect all sorts of wheat-free, meat-free, sugar-free, dairy-free, and pesticide-free options on the menu, and have no qualms about sending the waiter back to the kitchen to make sure that there is nothing in a dish that might cross the line. I get that people have legitimate allergies, but Boulderites embrace them like a badge of individuality. But because of that you'll find great fresh, healthy food and restaurant choices here (although a bit on the pricey side). There's also a sort of cultural expectation that Boulderites should be HAPPY, if nothing else simply because they are in Boulder. I've even see reminders to adjust my attitude for the merrier painted on parking lots and written on signs held up by homeless people begging for change at intersections. Most of the time, I love it here but I also find it insulated and exhausting to keep up with socially.

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KB
Loveland, CO

Boulder has NO MANNERS!!! - 3/3/2011

The people in Boulder are self-absorbed and have no accountability for their actions. They have absolutely no manners whatsoever. Men do not hold doors open for people, folks do not say excuse me or get out of your way in the grocery store. You cannot throw a rock in Boulder without hitting a Subaru Outback. My greatest joy every day is leaving this mannerless bubble and high-tailing it to my cabin in the mountains in an entirely different county. If you are a wannabe hippie with lots of money, then Boulder is the place for you. But if you a "normal" person with manners and a basic appreciation of humanity, then stay away! It will sour your good disposition!!! Boulder is NOT a normal town and is full of the rudest people I have ever come across. Boulder sucks!

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Emily
Boulder, CO

Best weather but tough to afford - 6/9/2010

You just can't beat the Boulder weather! It allows outdoor activities year round and fitness is a lifestyle, not a craze. Recently it seems the demographic in Boulder has been changing to be a "mini LA" as it is now known. Yuppies moving in, hippies moving out...partly because it is not a cheap place to live. Whole Foods has a bigger rush hour than the streets and the bike lanes seem to be full 24/7. Pros: fitness, weather, scenery, close to Denver, not much recession impact Cons: expensive, slightly pretentious new demographic, very Caucasian population

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Julia
Boulder, CO

Overrated Boulder - 12/28/2009

Positives: Beautiful scenery, really nice university, lots of things to do-especially outdoors. Weather is relatively good with tons of sunshine year round. Decent shopping with the usual stores. Health conscious, fit people. Negatives: Summers are hot and weather is extreme at times. One day it's 80 degrees, the next day 30 and snowing! Town has gotton really congested with bad traffic. People are extremely left here. If you mind a bunch of tree huggers and hippies, you definitely won't like BOulder. Also, VERY costly area. Housing prices and taxes are ridiculous. COnclusion: Not a bad place to visit or live for a short time. Don't recommend settling down here for extended period.

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Jim
Corvallis, OR

Boulder for Real - 11/7/2009

I am a long term Boulderian, from the `90's, now living on the W.Coast. Taking a gander at most of the negatives here, reveals how shallow these observations are. Cell-Drivers SUCK most everywhere, not just Boulder. Pollution is bad, most everywhere, but only during Boulder's winter. Properties are very expensive, yes, but also in MANY other worthwhile areas in the US. Yes, Boulder is `Lily White', but its economic segregation, NOT racial. It also boasts the hippest, brightest, and most beautiful people East of Santa Barbara. Deal with it... The quality of life there is the highest in the US, not just the altitude ! As a former homeowner, I can tell you that anybody who gets fed up with it, should move elsewhere, and count the days before they beg to come back. Yes, Boulder is 50 sq. miles surrounded on all sides by `reality', which is mercifully kept at bay. If you desire reality, just move to Denver ! I long to return, but have decided to retire from Winter forever.

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Laura
Boulder, CO

Too Expensive to Stay - 2/25/2009

I've lived in Boulder for 10 years, and we're moving this summer. It's just gotten too expensive to stay. My husband makes a very good salary, but it's not enough. Median home price is in the mid-600's. Renting a house? Expect to pay at least 2k a month. Preschool costs $500 to $600 a month. Soon only the rich and the students will be living in Boulder. It's beautiful, and there's plenty of culture, but if you want a nice quality of life, you should make at least 100K a year.

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Laura
Boulder, CO

Lots to do, but crime seems to be on the upswing. - 2/9/2009

There's a lot to love about Boulder. Good weather (though I hate the chinooks), plenty of culture, plenty of good restaurants, and recreational opportunities galore. But recently there have been a LOT of sexual assaults. And the transient population is growing. Many of them are decent people down on their luck, but there are enough troublemakers mixed in to cause problems. I've been harrassed by some, even when I have my 3 year-old daughter with me. We've cut a number of trips to the creek short because of it. (Also, the public library has had to hire full-time security.)

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sophie
Boulder, CO

mono-chromatic - 8/16/2008

It's chalk full of white people that think a little too highly of themselves.

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sophie
Boulder, CO

Pretty, Good City Planning, Ego-Centric - 8/16/2008

Boulder is mono-chromatic. I always say, for a liberal town, it's pretty conservative. I am from the east coast and once enjoyed a forward sent to me that was a link to a website "stuff white people like" and I found it pretty funny- so I relayed a couple of the blogs to a few friends here that SERIOUSLY didn't get it. They said in a confused, clueless, dry tone, "I guess I just never knew black people or was friends with non-white people". Wow. Wow. There is a general forced be-at-one-with-yourself-even-if-you-are-fuming-underneath tone. Yoga is competitive! Christ, I climb, bike, run, bla bla bla and because of this extracurricular resume people suggested that I would fall in love with Boulder. 6 years later and I am afraid I just see people who do these things as a programmed necessity, not enjoyment. They are pretty self indulged and scheduled. Friendships form if you have the same yoga class- that right there is the friendship, not if you have the same sense of humor, or ideas...you mostly meet activity partners. It's very very expensive, on the flip side I feel like you do see where you tax dollars go- like a good bus system, bike lanes, and open space- but the employment doesn't seem to help you out much. Most people here aren't from here, and I'm pretty sure they brought their money IN and it didn't come from landing that high paying job here. It's so GREAT when CU is not in session. That school has no qualifications other than being over the age of 10 (maybe). Students behave like it's a mere extension of high school having no direction or passion or clue as who they are or what they want to do, so alas, "Mom, dad, I think I'm going to go to CU". They are loud, careless, and destructive and annoying. The town exhales when summer break and Christmas rolls around.

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Abhd
Boulder, CO

Boulder: still good, but probably not what it used - 5/14/2008

I have been in Boulder (or nearby county) for almost 10 years and I must agree with those who see it as a highly educated, liberal, progressive, clean, healthy city (the list goes on...). BUT, it is way expensive relative to the available jobs (especially if you want anything other than a condo) and the students can be annoying. Many of them seem to treat it as their own little party palace with little regard for those who call it home (I guess this applies to any college town). My wife and I (jokingly) say under our breath every spring (to the lingering students): "We can't wait until you're gone!" It's not really that bad, but the summer is MUCH better in their absence. Of course, much of the economy depends on the university, so go figure. The people are generally nice, if a little self-centered and detached. And there is a kind of attitude of elitism that grates a little. I am tremendously liberal and live as green and sustainable a life as possible, but everyone around here is so damn proud of their way of doing things that you can begin to loathe Prius drivers as intensely as Hummer drivers. Lots to do if you like the outdoors and many shops and ways to spend even more money. I am an artist and let me say that if you like contemporary art, you're out of luck unless BMOCA or CU has a decent show up. They deserve credit for making an effort, but most people here want landscapes and painted ponies and that's what they get. Luckily, Boulder is essentially a suburb of Denver (yes, I said it) which has the beginnings of a solid art scene (even if it still has a long way to go). I am originally from the midwest and have lived in St. Louis, Dallas, Denver and Kansas City and even though it seems odd; a place like Kansas City or Chicago can seem like a breath of fresh air. I've never spent any serious time on the East coast (known for its grime and rude citizens), so take that into consideration regarding my comments.

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kristina
Boulder, CO

Weather - 5/10/2008

From late Spring through the beginning of Winter, the weather is very pleasant.

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Warren
Boulder, CO

Recreation - 4/24/2008

Great city for biking, hiking, walking, etc. and rarely more that 2 weeks without golf.

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william
Boulder, CO

Boulder - diverse, charming and costly - 4/21/2008

Boulder is one of the most misunderstood cities in the country. There are many who seem to have an opinion of it even if they've never seen it or lived here. Hippie, granola, yuppie, communist, socialist - these are just some of the more common characterizations I've heard. It's a fabulous place if you are financially fortunate to live in any of the historic districts. If you are less well-off you can still get reasonable housing farther out - like maybe 10 minutes away. ...Great university, functional public transportation system, inspiring mountains, great restaurants, homeless vagrants, great parks and recreational centers, absurd housing inflation, politically active and intelligent residents, constantly threatened with commercial encroachment, historically preserved - this is the real Boulder. A city that is forever wrestling with the forces that make it vibrant but also threaten to destroy it.

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william
Boulder, CO

Boulder - diverse, charming and costly - 4/21/2008

Boulder is one of the most misunderstood cities in the country. There are many who seem to have an opinion of it even if they've never seen it or lived here. Hippie, granola, yuppie, communist, socialist - these are just some of the more common characterizations I've heard. It's a fabulous place if you are financially fortunate to live in any of the historic districts. If you are less well-off you can still get reasonable housing farther out - like maybe 10 minutes away. ...Great university, functional public transportation system, inspiring mountains, great restaurants, homeless vagrants, great parks and recreational centers, absurd housing inflation, politically active and intelligent residents, constantly threatened with commercial encroachment, historically preserved - this is the real Boulder. A city that is forever wrestling with the forces that make it vibrant but also threaten to destroy it.

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Clint
Barry, IL

Boulder - Pros/Cons - 4/6/2008

Pros: 1. Very low crime rate 2. Excellent school system 3. Beautiful view of the Rocky Mountains 4. Home to University of Colorado 5. A good place to live and raise a family Cons: 1. Extremely high cost of living and housing 2. Unaffordable place to live 3. Bad traffic compared to other cities its size 4. UC is a big party school

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Mary
Boulder, CO

Public Transport - 3/13/2008

The bus and light rail system in the Boulder/Denver area is exceptional, service is efficent,economical, and easy to use.

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DF
Topeka, KS

Boulder - 3/12/2008

Boulder has many obvious pluses but also a number of negatives. Pros: 1. Boulder is one of the prettiest cities in the U.S 2.very informed and educated community 3. excellent school system 4. very low crime rate 5. great outdoor options in your backyard. 6. # of good rests and shops Cons: 1. A number of people embrace the Gordon Gecco from the film Wall Street mentality that greed is good. 2. Many of the people are all about themselves in Boulder and also want you to share their values and beliefs. 3. Many people in Boulder simply aren't as tolerant as they would like you to believe they are 4. awful traffic 5. zero diversity, Boulder is for the most part lily white 5. the town has many old hippies many whom have given up what they believe in long ago 6. if you don't make good money don't consider moving to Boulder it is VERY expensive. 7. CU also attracts a HIGH # of kids from Malibu, Bev Hills and other higher rent places, these kids often bring with them a sense of entitlement. Boulder like any towns has its pluses and negatives. Is it an awful town? NO. Is it as great as advertised? NO. While Boulder is beautiful many of the people are the biggest negative about Boulder.

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