I’d never been to Boulder before I arrived Friday night, after my cross-country odyssey.  And I had no idea what I was in for. Lots of retailers.  Cheap vegetables. Perplexing weather. Many, many “Whole Foods” locations.

It was difficult to arrive at a new place in the middle of winter.  All I brought was clothes, some bikes, and an aero-bed.  I quickly realized that getting a real bed was a top priority; I had never tried to use an air mattress as my primary bed before.  While it is plenty comfortable and has good support, it actually cools you off as you sleep.  I bet an air mattress would be better than a regular bed on a hot night; it’s that good at cooling.

Photo of me in bed.

Photo of me in bed.

Winter in a cheap apartment in Boulder is not that, though.  It’s like trying to sleep floating in mid air.  The sheets kept me warm on top, but thermal convection keeps the air moving inside the mattress, and chills the top of the mattress to room temperature.  Even sleeping on the floor one would warm up a small spot, but the air mattress efficiently dissipates all the warmth to the room.  All this science aside; craigslist had me on a comfy bed in no time.

How we got the mattress and box-spring home.

How we got the mattress and box-spring home.

Man, there are a lot of stores in Boulder.  Target, Gap, Starbucks (100s of them), Home Depot, Tjmax, Safeway, and a grocery store chain I’d never heard of before called “King Soopers’”.  A Tesla car store.  Everything you can think of.  Of course, I was interested in the food stores (I did check out the Tesla store too – cool stuff).  Two things get me excited in a food store: really good, fresh, local food first, and second, cheap food.

Sunflower Farmer’s Market sounded like a good source for the former.  It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting.  If you’ve ever been to Stern’s in White River Jct, VT, that’s what it reminds me of (only much bigger).  Big, cheap produce section.  Tomatoes on sale for $0.50/lb, avocados $0.50 each, etc.  Nothing much local, but it was cheap.  It turns out a place called “Natural Grocers, by Vitamin Cottage” is the closest thing to my beloved co-op food stores of the upper valley.  Who knew?  Whole Foods does come through with some stuff: they have “pasture-raised” eggs from the other end of the state.  The catch is that they are $6/dz.  I guess I won’t be finding out if they have the tasty, nutritious orange yolk of the beloved eggs from Amy’s backyard chickens in Norwich.

A funny thing happened on my second day in Boulder, on my first shopping trip.  I recognized someone.  I wasn’t positive through all the hair, but I went up to him eventually: “Uhhh…are you from Vermont?”  I had no idea Alex was at CU Boulder.  I’m sure he had no idea I was moving out here.  A fortunate coincidence, since I’ve had some great meals with him and his girlfriend Liz since then!

Alex and I, New year's 2010.

Caption from facebook (which I composed in early 2010): "This pretty much sums up my new year's. And the precedent for 2010." And a great response to the photo, posted by a friend: "I love the pink headlamp. It just screams HARD CORE ROCK AND ROLL IN A CABIN ATOP THE SKIWAY!" And another VERY INTERESTING reflection on the past, another friend's comment: "we missed you, but looks like you had good fun! (imagine how much more of that there'd be if you quit school...)"

It was rough at first; sleeping in layers of wool and fleece to try to stay warm, not knowing any rides, and not knowing where to get food for dinner.  But I am settling in!  I even got a nice dining room table from Freecycle to eat dinner on.  Life is good.  It’s still not perfect, but it’s getting better all the time.  Vermont-style squash and cornbread dinners help.  Also a big thank-you to my cousin Steve, and my friend Kate Powell, both of whom have been so generous in helping me get settled in Boulder!


~ by awerbuch on February 9, 2011.

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