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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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