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Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’

I figure I’ve hiked Boulder’s Mt. Sanitas trail somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 times during the 19 years I’ve lived in the Boulder area. I know there are many people who have hiked it a whole lot more than I have, whose counts are in the thousands and who regularly scale mountains 10 times as high — but I have to marvel a little bit about why I’ve kept going back over the years.

Each time it is a thigh-trembling, heart-hammering, oxygen-gulping experience. Often there is cursing.

Truth be told, the last three years have seen only two or three of those treks (something about having a kid, starting your own business, getting old…blah blah blah). So when I headed up two weeks ago — on one of those shining, 50-degree days we’ve been having this winter — it was like reuniting with an old friend.

Mountain Sanitas, Boulder, CO

Self portrait on Mt. Sanitas. Tired but happy.

I was reminded of everything I love and hate about the trail at once. I always choose the Western route up — it’s steeper, but shorter. Before long, I start to sound like a asthmatic bulldog. But just when I’m barely managing to place one pathetic, plodding step after the other, I’ll spot a welcoming little turnout, with that heartening view of Boulder sprawling out below. Or sometimes a flatter, more forgiving part of the path emerges. I catch my breath and start anew, thinking, “I might actually make it to the top today!” Only to be passed by an 80-year-old jogging up the damn thing. And the whole cycle starts again.

Mt. Sanitas, hikers, Boulder, CO

Fellow hikers often include small children, dogs and elderly folks — all of whom are usually bounding past me.

Until I get to the top. And then it’s just pure endorphins. I actually have to restrain myself from hugging all those other sweaty, smiling people perched on the rocky outcroppings, sucking down water and drinking in the views.

On the way down, my legs always feel like jello for the first five minutes, and I think, am I going to be the first person in Boulder history to have to be air-lifted off Mt. Sanitas? But then, miraculously, my legs get used to the pounding, downhill motion, and by the time I reach my car, I’m positively giddy and pretty sure I could do it all over again, right then and there.

Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

So on this hike two weeks ago, I promised myself I’d make time to come back more often. In fact, I headed back yesterday, just before the snow storm moved in. It was much colder — and tougher — than the previous time. But in the end, I found myself sending up a little thank you to the clouds for holding off just long enough for me to make it to the top and back, one more time.

Bird on Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

This robin seemed to be assessing the air as a winter storm moved in.

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Driving along Pine Street this weekend, my husband and I gasped at what we thought was a for-sale sign in front of the famous Mork and Mindy house at 1619 Pine. We instantly began fantasizing about what it would be like to live there — and wondering what it would cost to buy a piece of pop culture history. Alas, we’ve since learned that the sign in front of the house is merely a general contractor sign. Perhaps the current owners are having a landing pad installed on the roof in preparation for Mork’s return from Ork?

Mork and Mindy house

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More friends are undertaking an exciting new business venture (suck it, recession). The lovely Suzanne Moore and her husband Ian, with business partner Matt Notter, have opened a new sports bar in Boulder at 28th Street and Bluff (just south of Valmont).

Over the years, I’ve witnessed Suzanne’s hubby Ian hone his finely tuned bartending skills at the neighborhood joint Outback Saloon, just down the street. (Suzanne and I honed our finely tuned drink-sipping skills here, too, and at places all over Boulder, oftentimes after long days working at Blue Mountain Arts, where we met.) Now Ian’s come into his own as barman extraordinaire with the opening of his 28th Street Tavern.

Ian Moore and Matt, 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Congrats, Matt and Ian.

Eric and I attended the grand opening and were blown away by the beautifully renovated space, which includes a nice loooong bar, a small stage for live music, a juke box, a billards room, dart boards and a back patio.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Photo by Eric Gray.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

How cool is this room? This where we hung out the most. Photo by Eric Gray.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Photo by Eric Gray.

The tavern is painted in warm reds and has spiffy new wood floors. We spent most of SuperBowl Sunday afternoon there, along with a huge grand opening crowd, watching the game on the big-screen TVs and sipping Ian’s yummy cocktails. I was drinking cranberry vodkas, but I hear the bloody Marys are to die for.

The Grand Opening of the 28th Street Tavern in Boulder Colorado

Well hello, lovely ladies. That's Suzanne on the right. She doesn't look a bit like she's been working 20-hour days helping to get this bar open.

28th Street Tavern has great happy hour deals on weekdays 4-7pm (oh how I LOVE a happy hour that goes until 7pm!) and all day Sunday. So now you’ve got an irrefutable reason to go check it out.

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I am so in awe of people who can just up and start their own businesses. That’s what my friend Guy Knox did recently when he opened Red Rock Coffeehouse on Iris and 28th St. in Boulder. Guy had been working in the coffee biz for years when his employer, Peaberry Coffee, closed all its corporate locations — and Guy found himself poised to take all that coffee knowledge and venture out on his own.

He didn’t waste any time. And he didn’t cut corners. His shiny new shop is beautiful, with lovely wood accents, striking photography and some gorgeous custom decor (look up as you enter the shop). It’s a warm, calm, quiet and clean atmosphere that I imagine will continue to grow in popularity with students and the-coffeeshop-is-my-office crowd.

But enough about the ambiance. No one’s going to go to a new coffee shop if the coffee isn’t good. Never fear; Guy did the right thing and sought out a local star as the source of his beans: Kind Coffee. If you’ve ever stopped at the Kind Coffee store in Estes Park, you’ll know what to expect: a robust, slightly creamy espresso — that happens to be fair trade and organic. There are also fancy teas from the Tea Spot and a couple of different (reportedly amazing) chai varieties to choose from. Throw in a few decadent baked goods from Breadworks, and I’m sold.

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Hi there, Guy! Your new coffee shop rocks (pun intended).

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Ooooh. Look at the gleam on that new machine!

Red Rock Coffeehouse

I love the choice of coffee beans: Kind Coffee out of Estes Park.

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

Super neato vintage posters from Art Source International on Pearl St.

Red Rock Coffeehouse

Red Rock Coffeehouse, Boulder, CO

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I am not much of a film buff — I haven’t even seen Avatar yet! — but this year, I have vowed to catch at least one of the films in the Boulder International Film Festival.

I spent a little time tonight reviewing the 2010 program, and the lineup is exciting! Here are a few notables, at least one of which I will be attending:

1. Tibet in Song

Photo by David Huang.

It’s amazing what true artists will go through in the name of their work. While documenting Tibetan folk singing traditions, this documentary’s filmmaker was imprisoned and tortured by the Chinese for seven years. Only a little more than half of the footage made it out of China. The resulting film reveals a reportedly very insightful look inside Tibetan culture, and I’m very curious to see it. Thursday, Feb. 11, 4:30pm, The Church.

2. The Opening Night Gala and The Lightkeepers

The opening reception will include appetizers, chocolate and drinks; a screening of the film The Lightkeepers and a Q&A with one of the film’s stars — Blythe Danner — afterward. Yes, people, Gwenyth Paltrow’s mama is going to be right here in Boulder, answering your questions! Thursday, Feb. 11, 6:30pm, Boulder Theater.

3. I Am Love

I had a dream about Tilda Swinton the other night. In it, she was weird and eyebrow-less. Much like she is in real life. But maybe the dream was a sign I should go see this movie, an Italian film about an old-money family trying to adapt in the new world. In the publicity photos, it appears she has eyebrows, which is a good sign. Friday, Feb. 12, 7:30pm, Boulder Theater.

4. Rock Prophesies

Photo by Maryanne Bilham.

I am just a sucker for anything with Slash in it. And photography. And the “sex, drugs and rock ‘n roll” theme. This film, about rock photographer Robert M. Knight and his adventures in the chaotic world of rock ‘n roll, is calling my name. Added bonus: I may be able to get my musician husband to join me for this one. Saturday, Feb. 13, 9:30pm, Boulder Theater.

5. Closing Night Award and Tribute to Alec Baldwin

You read that right. Alec Baldwin. In person. At the Boulder Theater. In between filming my favorite TV comedy, 30 Rock, and prepping to co-host the 2010 Oscars with Steve Martin in March, Mr. Baldwin is making a stop in little ol’ Boulder, Colorado, to accept the BIFF Award of Excellence. This is happening on Valentine’s Day, so the evening will also include “roses for the ladies; a romantic reception featuring music by Ralph Sharon, Tony Bennett’s piano player; cheesecake and coffee.” Bien sûr. Sunday, Feb. 14, 7pm, Boulder Theater.

There are tons of other films and appearances that look amazing. These are just a few that captured my attention right off the bat.

Which ones are at the top of your list?

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When someone invites you to a party with the words “Naked Ladies” in the subject line and the venue is the home of someone named Cher, you automatically RSVP “yes,” right?

I got such an e-mail from my friend Josie recently. Five seconds into the e-mail, I realized that, while it wouldn’t be as gossip-worthy as I’d thought, this so-called Naked Ladies party was a very cool, very eco- and budget-friendly idea. The concept is this: All the invitees clean out their closets and come to the party to swap unwanted, gently worn clothes with like-minded ladies who are all eager to do a little shopping — without spending a dime.

Here’s how it went down:

Josie, I and our lovely friend Lisa, threw a few bags of our old clothes into Josie’s car and carpooled to Cher’s apartment. We walked up to the adorable little Mapleton Hill house and dodged the wheel of a mountain bike, which was blocking a good third of the doorway, to get inside (can’t get more Boulder than that; love it).

Inside, clothes covered every available surface. The method to this madness was promptly explained to us: Tops and accessories were spread out in the living room, while bottoms were in a room off the kitchen. The kitchen itself was full of the delicious food that everyone had brought — freshly baked gluten-free bread, a simmering pot of squash soup, spinach-and-cheese fritters — and plenty of wine.

I began adding my clothes to the piles when a pale, leggy figure enter my peripheral vision — dressed only in her skivvies. “May as well make this as efficient as possible,” she said, trying on a hip little floral dress that ended up being a crowd favorite.

Once we all had a chance to peruse and try things on — with widely varying levels of modesty — each person drew a number from a hat. Number one (which just happened to be our lucky pal Josie) got first pick from the most-coveted items. She chose an adorable gray cardigan that had silver threads woven into it — one of the items that had everyone asking, “Why would anyone get rid of that?”

I managed to patiently endure the wait through numbers 2-16 and then quickly nabbed my (miraculously still-unclaimed) favorite item, this cute and comfy cotton fleece zip jacket:

Boulder Naked Ladies party

After everyone’s number had been called, it was free-for-all time. We all started grabbing what we wanted out of the remaining items, being courteous if other ladies were eying the same thing. I got a swimsuit that I’d almost purchased this summer (can you say “meant to be”?), a super-soft basic white long-sleeve Gap tee, a beautiful merino wool scarf (with the tag still on!) and a sweet, pointelle-knit cami.

Once the shopping frenzy died down, we basically drank wine, nibbled food and admired each others’ treasures.

Maybe the most rewarding part of the evening? Anything that wasn’t claimed was bagged up to be donated. And it turned out to be a enormous pile of really nice clothes. Hooray!

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Needing to put our feet to the earth and breathe some fresh air, my sister and I set out for a hike on Saturday. We hadn’t been to the Settlers’ Park trailhead since this summer, and we thought it might be fairly sunny and mud free (it was!).

We hiked up to the Red Rocks, which always reminds me of the New Year’s Eve when we climbed up here, found a perch on one of the fins and watched the celebrations and fireworks below — one of the best New Year’s ever.

We continued on the Anemone Trail, overlooking Canyon Road. There were only a few other people out on Saturday, but they were enjoying the sun and warm rocks as much as we were:

Settlers' Park and Red Rocks, Boulder, Colorado

Settlers' Park and Red Rocks, Boulder, Colorado

Thank you, Old Man Winter, for throwing us a warm and sunny Saturday!

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