May 14, 2008

Being in Boulder

It’s my second full day in Boulder. I drove eight hours across the length of Nebraska on Monday with a car full of stuff. I made an immediate bad impression with Sugar, but hit it off with Anne. I started work on Tuesday at the Rocky Mountain Institute and today I dove into my special project Cooling the Warming, a book about how buildings impact climate change.

I like Boulder. It is a lovely little town. I am living in a cute neighborhood of tiny bungalows, cottages, and quiet slip-in apartments. I believe it is called Old North Boulder. I can walk down to Pearl Street, a up and coming district of renovation and new construction filled with cute little boutiques, trendy furniture stores, funky import shops, and fancy restaurants. The buildings are all close together and streets are lined with sidewalks and bike lanes. Lest you think this would result in a concrete jungle, there is greenery everywhere. Flowers and trees are growing and blooming, bushes and shrubs flourish, and obnoxious grass lawns are kept to sensible sizes.

There is a Target within walking distance, as well as all the standards, Applebee’s, Wendy’s, and Starbucks. But there are also cute little places called the Spicy Pickle, Red Fish, and Snarf’s. In the other direction is a smaller natural grocer, an integrative pharmacy, and a dozen more reasonably priced restaurants. People walk and bike and ride the bus and I have seen more Prius’ on the busy streets in the last two weeks than my entire time in Nebraska. Yesterday it rained, but you could tell which cars had come down from the high country by the three inches of snow on their roofs.

I work in a nice office, an airy space with skylights and a loft-like feel. I understand it began life as a motorcycle shop. I actually toured it a few years ago when it was home to Oz Architects, who subsequently donated the space to RMI. I work with a group of young, vibrant people about my age and a few seasoned experts to ride herd. RMI provides lunch in the form of the most beautifully stocked kitchen I have ever beheld. In three days I have eaten better than the three weeks prior.

This evening, while Anne was out, I took a chance and let Sugar out of her kennel. We coexisted on the couch, if not easily, then at least quietly. She regards me with her wary mismatched eyes, refusing to wag her mottled tail, but keeping her ears up and alert, not down and sullen like yesterday.

A close friend surprised me by coming down the night I arrived and walking down to Pearl with me to discover a fancy French restaurant and a good bottle of wine. Walking along my street, under the watchful gaze of mature trees, I can see the painted streetscape. Out from their sheltered branches, I can glimpse the vertical majesty of the Flatirons, so very close.

Yes, I think I will like it here.

1 comment:

greenfrog said...

welcome back to CO.