Depart tomorrow, to my chagrin. It's been a fantastic trip.
Just a few of my favorite things about Boulder:
La Estrellita Chili
As I've mentioned before, I love green chili, but suck at making it. As I apparently haven't mentioned before, finding good green chili in Atlanta is more-or-less impossible. I've yet to find any, store-bought or restaurant. So I cast my net homeward.
La Estrellita used to be my favorite Boulder restaurant, before closing its location out here, which dimmed my enthusiasm. The old location's been cursed since -- it was a nightclub, then a library-themed pub, and now it's this:
(A ghost sign on the side is visible back here, sixth pic down.) Thankfully, while it's not running in Boulder, La Estrellita still has locations elsewhere and its chili is still available in King Soopers grocery stores. A couple jars of this and cooking at home improves a lot.
On the chili front, I also must praise the Village Coffee Shop, which has been around Boulder forever but I've been to about twice. Dad and I went this morning for their breakfast burrito and I hereby pronounce it legendary. Sadly, their green chili isn't for sale in jars, so that's one more reason to move back.
The Walnut Brewery
Previously wrote about it here; I've been in a rut for a few years now where I only drink the St. James Red, but the others are (as I recall) fantastic. Pretty good food too.
The Boulder Book Store
My all-time favorite bookstore, I'm always relieved to come back and see it still going strong. It fended off a Borders that went in a bit down Pearl (the Borders later moved), and no matter how many times I tell myself "no more books" I end up dropping $40 at the BBS each time I visit. Added bonus: a cool coffee shop attached to it. If you ever are at the Boulder Book Store and there isn't an old hippie playing acoustic guitar right outside, you get an elusive square in Boulder Bingo. As seen above, I didn't get it.
Juanita's Bumper Stickers
The Book Worm
The Boulder Book Store is my favorite new bookstore, the Book Worm my favorite used place. It's in an unassuming little building off 28th and has one of the best contemporary fiction sections I've seen in a used bookstore. I guess Boulder readers have better taste. Or perhaps worse, since they're getting rid of the stuff I like.
Boulder Public Library
As is probably easy to imagine, I hung out at the library a lot as a kid. Back then, the main library was a large atrium, with the second story above packed with every book known to man. Well, not quite, but I was impressed. Now, it's radically reorganized from my childhood, but I still love it. It's a peaceful place. I realized on this trip that when I read about libraries -- in "Gold Bug Variations," say -- I picture Boulder's. It's appeared in dreams, too.
Not certain, but perhaps I'm not the only person who feels that way. I seem to recall that Stephen King based the description of a library in "It" on the Boulder Public Library building. But I can't find any backing for that on the internet, and I haven't read "It" in 20 years, so perhaps I imagined it.
A couple library memories: spending 12 hours gorging myself on peanuts and apples at a fifth grade sleepover, then going straight to the library with my mother after she picked me up. With my stomach not feeling too great, I made a beeline for the library bathroom, but the lone stall was occupied -- so I threw up copiously in a urinal. As I went at it, a homeless guy strolled out of that stall, and confronted with the image of me with face in urinal, started laughing uproariously.
Also, I checked out a Thomas Boswell baseball book in 1989, and then had it slip into my stuff as we moved to Arizona. When I moved back in 1996, I sheepishly dropped it into the book return. I still feel kinda guilty about that.
* * *
Went to my first Colorado Rapids game while I was out here, and really enjoyed the experience. Perhaps it was the perfect weather, but Dick's Sporting Goods Park, aside from the nightmare of a name, is a good setting. Low-slung stadium with no other large buildings around, so the sky (that sky again) is all you see beyond the stadium. It was a pretty great game, and Rapids defender Kosuke Kimura established himself as a favorite for both me and my sister with insane hustle and the lone goal. The fan base is both laid-back and knowledgeable and the tickets are cheap. If/when I come back, I'll be a regular.