If ever there were a reason to jump into freezing cold water at the height of winter, raising money and awareness for Special Olympics Colorado and the athletes that they support would be it! For Boulderites of strong will, compassionate hearts, and thick skin, our chance to be “freezin’ for a reason” will come on March 7th at the Boulder Reservoir during the 2015 Special Olympics Colorado Polar Plunge presented by Westerra Credit Union.
When you pull into the parking lot of the Eldora Mountain Resort just over twenty miles from downtown Boulder, you can have your ski boots on and be in line for a chair lift within minutes. While there is certainly something to be said for the overall experience and charm of a large ski resort village, there is also something to be said for a convenient, local, “get down to business” mountain where you can get in ten runs before 10 A.M. and feel completely relaxed along the way. Eldora Mountain Resort is one such ski destination. With plenty of runs varying in levels of difficulty and multiple options for other winter sport activities as well, Eldora is an easy drive West on Canyon Road from Downtown Boulder and has a local, friendly, neighborhood feel.
One of my favorite Christmas pastimes as a kid was the tradition of taking a drive with my family to look at the holiday light displays on the houses in our neighborhood, our town, and our city. With no shortage of unique and festive neighborhoods in Boulder, this is a fun and free activity that spurs quality family time and a bit of holiday wonder. So bundle up the kids, fill your travel mugs with coffee or hot chocolate, pack up a Tupperware of holiday sweets, queue your favorite Christmas or holiday playlist on Spotify, and be prepared get festive.
Whether you’re looking to sample wildly varied beers or gain a deeper knowledge of the process of brewing craft beer, Avery Brewing Company is the place you need to visit for a multifaceted beer experience in Boulder. Brewing beer in a small facility in an alley off of Arapahoe Avenue, Avery has a humble and unique backstory and outlook on brewing craft beer that will open your eyes to the art form that is craft beer brewing. A great place to bring a beer-loving out-of-towner or anyone who wants to learn more about craft beer in Boulder, spending an hour or a whole afternoon having a meal, tasting the beer, and going on the brewery tour at Avery will exhibit both the science behind brewing beer and the creative process responsible for the creation of some of the best craft beer in Boulder.
If I’ve learned one thing since moving to Boulder, it’s that people who live in Boulder truly, genuinely, and unabashedly love Boulder. There is real pride here both in the beauty of the landscape and in the little things that the city does so well, from the foods it manufactures and the beer it brews to the creativity it fosters. Whether their residence is the result of a vacation they never wanted to end, a visit so profound that they only went home to gather their things before turning around and making their way back, or if they are a born and raised Boulderite, the people in Boulder aren’t shy about spreading the love they have for their city.
Whether you’re eating it out of a delivery box, fresh out of a wood fire oven, or on a platter while sharing it with friends, pizza is flat out one of the most delicious foods out there. Versatile and open to regional interpretations and styles, pizza, especially in Boulder, can be simple and traditional or wildly experimental, and is perfect for nights around the holidays when you’re exhausted with cooking or when you are just flat out craving good pizza. While “Colorado-style” pizza might not have the same ring to it and well-known characteristics as the New York or Chicago styles, there are plenty of venues in Boulder that tout a breadth of options for pizza-lovers, the biggest consistent being the more ingredients and the more variations of them the better.
As we get deeper into the autumn and winter months, one food and flavor continues to invade the baked goods section of the grocery store, the front pages of cooking and baking magazines, the seasonal menu of your favorite coffee shop or café, and practically everything in between. That perpetrator is pumpkin. Personally, I’m a pumpkin supporter. I think that the day Dunkin’ Donuts makes its pumpkin coffee available to the public for the season should be a national holiday in and of itself, and I think pumpkin overload in lattes, cookies, scones, bread, and everything in between is one of the best and most delicious things about autumn and winter.
However, there are plenty of members of pumpkin’s squash family that can be painfully overshadowed at this time of year. Butternut squash, acorn squash, carnival squash, and spaghetti squash, amongst others, are more than just funny-shaped gourds in a bin in the produce section of your local grocery store. Winter squash in its many other varieties is just as much a staple of the fall and winter as pumpkin is, perhaps even more so. Versatile, delicious, and luckily not being ignored by plenty of pro-squash Boulderites, squash is being used in both traditional comfort food recipes as well as in some unique variations all around Boulder.
It doesn’t take living in Boulder for very long to realize that being a Boulderite is synonymous with enjoying hiking on the trails amongst the area’s landscape. It seemed logical, if a little cliché, that one of my first shopping trips I’d make once arriving in Boulder would be to REI, trading in my pea coat for a fleece jacket and buying myself a durable Nalgene water bottle.
My adjustment to the altitude, however, is still a work in progress. The extent of my “hiking” experience in New York was the occasional walk from Penn Station to the corner of Lexington Avenue & 53rd Street, but nonetheless I was eager to immerse myself in the new locale and culture even when that meant experimenting with a hobby that I am a complete novice in. In this post I’ll highlight a few of the beginner trailheads that I’ve visited so far and some of the qualities that I think make each ideal from a novice perspective.
When I recently moved to Boulder from outside of New York City, I made a rule for myself. For every bar, restaurant or brewery that I went on a repeat visit to after my first trip, I had to try three new places to ensure that I continued to learn the area and that I didn’t get stuck in any ruts. After just one visit to the Walnut Brewery, however, I have broken my rule four and five times over already.
One of the first (and most enjoyable) tasks I’ve given to myself whenever I’ve moved to a new city is to find the bar or restaurant that I hope will become my “go to.” The Walnut Brewery, located on Walnut Street between Broadway and 11th Street, was a pleasant change from the often dark and claustrophobic bars that I was used to frequenting in and around New York City. I immediately felt comfortable and welcome in the large open space of Walnut Brewery with its vaulted ceiling, oversized decorations and banners advertising their house brews, decorative kegs around the restaurant and an overall bright atmosphere, attributable both to the lighting and to the friendliness of the staff. The menu consists of amplified versions of some of my favorite bar food, including items like the 2 A.M burger, (who knew that putting a fried egg and hash browns onto a burger would make it infinitely more delicious?) and bison fajitas.