Photos: Ten Online Reasons Not to Move to Boulder

Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.
Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.

A recent survey found that Boulder is one of the ten most livable U.S. cities -- and this reputation explains why so many people want to relocate there. But even longtime residents see pros and cons, as is clear from a vintage bulletin board item entitled "Give me a reason not to go to Boulder." Continue to read the original posters reasons for wanting to relocate and the ten most memorable responses he received, featuring photos from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.

See also: Photos: Livability's Ten Best Places to Live in 2014 -- and Whether Boulder Made the Cut

The original intro:

I think the mothership may be in Boulder, Co and I have a burning desire to go there. I'm so in love with the place that I'm probably missing the bad stuff. Is there anything bad about Boulder?

Boulder seems to me to be about as progressive as I can get without going to San Francisco. It feels like Austin used to feel. (And parts of Austin still do.) But I cannot take another summer in Texas.

I want to live somewhere where there are tons of trees and nature, access to astounding education channels from kindergarten through doctorate programs. An active arts community, progressive politics, and an amazing public library are all things that are on my "really want" list, and Boulder seems to fill all of them. As well, there seems to be a solid job market for code slingers, which makes my husband happy.

So, what am I missing? What are the deep dark secrets that are horrible about Boulder? Anything?

The responses:

Number 10:

Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.
Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.

Boulder is extremely costly compared to other parts of Colorado, which makes homeownership a pain for many. Boulder's crazy City Council adds to this stress with their weirdo ordinances and nanny-state sensibilities. You'll be hard-pressed to find a non-chain restaurant that's open later than 10 p.m..

Boulder is extremely white and not very diverse. It is surrounded by extremely not-progressive politics, which means that your vote really does matter in Colorado at large. Boulder can trend towards ridiculous yuppies who are so caught up in the dream of Subaru ownership and Shambhala meditation that they forget to do things like address homelessness in their town or develop a sustainable relationship with the students who make their town run.

If you live in central Boulder, expect loud parties and the sounds of celebration to continue Thursday through Sunday at least. The job market in Boulder is not as robust as it might seem when you consider that many people who work in Boulder can't actually afford to live there.

Boulder also has amazing bike paths, gorgeous vistas of wide-open space, incredible trails, fairly friendly residents, proximity to a real live metropolitan area, and some of the best weather ever. I love it here, but I hate the yuppified gentrification that seems to have overcome much of Boulder. Would I take it over Texas? Any day!

Number 9:

Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.
Photos by Brandon Marshall from our First Boulder Craft Beer Festival slide show.

I've lived in the Boulder area for 10+ years and also love it and really wouldn't want to live anywhere else. However, there are some drawbacks that may or may not matter to you about this area.

Mainly, there is little to no diversity here. True, there is a somewhat significant population of Latinos but they are largely poor and invisible (unless you're working in a restaurant kitchen). The population tends to be rich, white folk, i.e. those who can afford to purchase homes in Boulder OR college student, who tend to be rich and white as well. If you plan on buying, I suggest looking at real estate to get an idea of what it's like. 1,000 square foot homes that are 40+ years old start at $300,000. And that's for the small, shitty ones that have been rentals for years or back up to a highway. (Which is expensive in my book, but I've never lived in SF or NYC.)

So if you are white and wealthy, you'd be surrounded by those who are exactly like you, which may or may not be what you want. The surrounding communities (Louisville, Lafayette, Superior, Longmont) tend to feel much more like 'reality.' People tend to buy in those areas when they do since home are much more affordable.

The wealth is something relatively new about Boulder. It wasn't always like this. With the wealth has come lots of redevelopment. So a lot of people think that Boulder is losing its charm with all the tearing down & rebuilding. A lot of people say that Boulder isn't really like it was when it became famous for being Boulder. The progressive politics are still here, but that's sort of tinged by all the wealth, in my book. (i.e. it's easy for a bunch of privileged people to care about the environment, etc.) So, there's a level of subversiveness that really isn't present anymore.

However, with all that said, everything you cite about why it's great is totally true. Plus, it's great to be in a community where you don't really need a car to get around (if you live within the city of Boulder). There's super easy access to nature; the schools are great. There are lots of interesting things to do all the time, but a lot of that is associated with the university. I'm not really so sure that the public library is amazing, but I've never been dissatisfied with it.

For me, the great stuff outweighs the drawbacks. I so love being a community where most people share my views about politics, etc.

Good luck and welcome if you decide to come!

Continue to keep counting down online reasons not to move to Boulder.

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