It’s March 3rd! 303 is the area code for Denver, Boulder, and some surrounding suburbs, which makes today a particularly good day to tell you about my hometown! I moved to Boulder from Escondido, CA right after I turned 6. Winters here are cold enough to really make you aware of whether or not your parents have bought you wool socks and mittens. Thankfully, I did have mittens, which made it a lot easier on my fingers when I decided I wanted to eat snow from the palm of my hand.
I remember being pretty excited about snow, but that excitement was eventually extinguished by the reality that going out in it is ultimately a very cold and wet experience. I went trick-or-treating as a princess for one of my first Halloweens here. When I got home, I screamed as my dad ran my frozen hands under cold water to slowly bring them back to life. Snow is fun!
But in all seriousness, Boulder weather is pretty stellar. Spring brings refreshing morning frosts followed by afternoons in the high 70s, with tulips and budding tree branches. Summer is deliciously warm with brilliant blue skies, translucent white clouds, and vibrant green grasses and trees. Autumn turns the air crisp and the leaves fiery-gold. Winter dusts the flatirons with sparkling white snow, which looks nice, but keeps me inside with a cup of tea. Most importantly, Boulder boasts 300+ days of sunshine every year.
I’ve lived here for 17 years. Most of what I know and how I think has been heavily influenced by the Boulder bubble. It’s a positive, active, healthy, wealthy, liberal, dog-friendly place. It has the country’s highest rate of yoga moms per capita.* It has acai bowls, kombucha on tap, and gluten-free everything. “Coexist” bumperstickers are nearly as ubiquitous as the Priuses they’re often stuck to. I think it might be a legal requirement that all residents have at least one Patagonia fleece and one North Face coat; and in a pinch, your black Lulu Lemon leggings can pass for formal attire.
Boulder is an affluent city. In high school, I felt like I was in the unfortunate minority as someone whose parents didn’t buy me my own car. (I have since come to appreciate the choices they made while raising me, and realized what a non-tragedy it is to not have your own car at 16 years old.) I didn’t have friends who were politically conservative. I didn’t know many people who weren’t white. In the past few years, I’ve realized how growing up in a place that so overtly lacks diversity can really limit your understanding of the world. I’m grateful for the perspectives I have, but I’m eager to expand and challenge them as I get older.
In addition to being 303 day, today is also Super Tuesday! I went to drop off my ballot this afternoon and all of the roads within a three block radius of the Clerk and Recorder office were congested with voter traffic. I was so proud of everyone for showing up to protect our rights and support what they believe in. I have never been so happy to be stuck in traffic!
We are all from somewhere, and every place instills in us a certain perspective and a set of biases. Wherever I go, however I change, this sweet bubble will always be my hometown. ♡
*not based on real data, but does seem plausible