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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Milk was a bad idea...

Holy mackerel, it's hot out! Actually, I wouldn't really know because I'm imprisoned in a cubicle all day with no windows, but that's what I hear anyway. In any case, I still like to make lists so I am making one with all the best, coolest, summer treats downtown--just for you!

1. If you haven't had a mojito at Centro, you must be crazy. There is nothing more refreshing than chilled rum and fresh mint and they make the best in town--hands down. They're pretty much famous for 'em.

2. If you're not into the booze, check out Atlas Purveyors for their assortment of chilled beverages. There is a tea slush, frozen house chai and boba, which is fun because it has a giant straw. Also, I hear there is some mysterious drink called the Kitzel Special...

And I can't leave out The Cup because they combine two wonderful things: coffee and milkshakes. And milkshakes and other flavors, if you must.

And last but not least, go for Ma Ma's Oolong Tea at Zoe Ma Ma's...Mama always does make it best!

3. Fro-yo for sho. Cefiore is all natural and all delicious. I would recommend the tart original with your choice of toppings. (or mochi, Eli swears by the mochi...)

Also, Two Spoons has housemade gelato in different flavors everyday...drool. The last time I was in there I had Mango Chile--sounds nuts, but it's not. It's fruit.

4. If you need something a little more substantial, how 'bout ceviche from Aji? Fish, flash-cooked in citrus juice makes a great summer night dinner after a long hot day...

5. For something a little different, try the mango lassi at Sherpa's -- it's basically a fruit smoothie with yogurt, but it goes perfectly with spicy Indian dishes like tandoori chicken.

Or take your craving over to Bombay Bistro where they mix it with SoCo.

6. And last but not least, a Boulder standby is a giant marg at the Rio on the rooftop deck with a bowl of chips and salsa (one of my favorite salsas in town). Good news: they have a mini marg for $2.50 around lunch time for those really long days. No, I'm not endorsing drinking at work, just during your lunch break.

Or take this recipe to the Boulder Farmers' Market to pick up the ingredients and give cool summer foods your own twist!


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posted by Anonymous @ Wednesday, June 30, 2010   1 comments

Monday, June 28, 2010

Risk of Wildfire

This past Thursday was Ignite Boulder 11 at Chautauqua Auditorium. This was my first time going to the event, but I can say that I'll never miss one again. Ignite featured 15 different speakers, called "Sparks," from the Boulder community who have something to say, whether it is to inspire, teach or enlighten. Each speaker is limited to 5 minutes, with Keynote slides (NOT Powerpoint, that was made very clear... nerds) backing them up that auto advance every 15 seconds. This keeps Ignite lively, fast paced, and interesting. Presenters are chosen by the community and event organizers.

The Ignite format is a worldwide phenomenon, but the one in Boulder is the biggest in the world. In the past, Ignite was held at Boulder Theater, but the demand for tickets pushed the event to the larger Chautauqua Auditorium. Ignite 11 began with a presentation by organizer Ef Rodriguez, who rattled off my favorite line of the night. Ef talked about his awkward high school years, pain lessened slightly by cool nicknames he would give himself to heighten his self esteem. His chosen title was "The Beekeeper," because "he gots all the honeys. "

Next was the charming Anna F. Sawyer with a presentation entitled "How to Marry the Rich." After many helpful hints such as "jogging suggestively," and "the rich have to marry someone, why not you" she finally concluded it was better to be adopted by the rich instead.
Crystal Watson and Korene Gallegos delivered "10 Selfish People Who Accidentally Changed the World for the Better." Their list included Judas, Robin Hood, Hans Christian Anderson, and your parents. They were followed by Ryan Wanger, with "10 Selfless People Who Accidentally Changed the World for the Worse." His comical but truthful list named Oppenheimer: the inventor of the atomic bomb, Hildebrand: the inventor of Autotune, and God- "lots of people have been killing each other over him for years." He suggested that everyone should be a little more selfish, because you can't love someone else before you love yourself. Aww.

Jason Cole presented "Movie Quotations You Should Never Use at Work." He explained that context is everything, and why you wouldn't use Hans Solo's line "laugh it up, fuzzball" to a bald guy. Basically, you don't want to have to explain yourself to HR, he said. Jason was followed by the amazing presentation by Ceci Ervin and "My Polish Catheter, a Tireless Search for a Cure for MS." She told us about her struggles with multiple sclerosis and the moment her life changed when she discovered an Italian doctor by the name of Zamboni. He believes that MS is not an auto-immune disorder, but a vascular disease he treats with his "Liberation Treatment." Funded through a friend who won a Joe Cocker giveaway, Ceci flew to Poland for the treatment. She reports now that she has increased feeling in her legs and and feet.

Other speakers at the event included Jim Macay with "Ageism Among Geeks," Josh Frasier, who suggested that there is an unexplainable separation between things we are scared of and things that are dangerous (Stairs- 210640 deaths each year, public speaking- 0), and Larkin Carey, who enthused the crowd with a game of Never Have I Ever. Kristina Wang and Ryan Schilt presented about visiting all counties in Colorado in 10 days, encouraging us to leave the "bubble." Cindy O'Keffe explained the benefits of grumpy enthusiasm, and Josh Mishell encouraged us to "Be Your Own Guitar Hero," and learn to play a real instrument. Zach Shapiro suggested we learn better when paired with people who are smarter than us, while Spike Ilaqua explained life according to Calvin and Hobbs. Justin Crowe ended the night with a rousing presentation entitled "High Fives and Livin' on a Prayer," and encouraged us to give more high fives, supplementing with a education how-to slide.

Bon Jovi and Twitter (of course) were common threads throughout Ignite 11, oddly enough. Everyone was all smiles as they slowly trickled out of the Auditorium into the warm summer night. Smacking hands from high fives could be heard across the lawn as people made their way home with a little more fire in their hearts.

Thanks so much to everyone who made Ignite 11 happen; it truly is a special event. If you attended, make sure to take the feedback survey here. Stay tuned for dates for the next Ignite Boulder, and check out Tedx, a similar event coming to Boulder August 7th.


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posted by Anonymous @ Monday, June 28, 2010   0 comments

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Downtown Boulder “out peeps” Peeps (and other major news of the world)

Anyone see the front page of the Camera today? Downtown Boulder dominated the lead headline. We even “out peeped” the Peeps trial coverage. We knew the story was coming since late Tuesday afternoon. Our biggest blunder…we should have blogged about this yesterday. Instead, we let the Camera tell the story and waited in anticipation of some negative coverage. In today’s world of Social Media, shoulda/woulda/coulda just doesn’t cut it. Trust us…lesson learned! (I had this social media epiphany last night when I asked myself, “What would Andrew Hyde do?”)

BoulderDowntown.com utilizes Citylight (proprietary) software developed by Geocentric (based out of Bethesda, MD). The software is designed specifically for Destination Districts such as Business Improvement Districts (BIDs), Business Improvements Associations (BIAs), Convention and Visitor Bureaus (CVBs), and Economic Development Agencies. The software was not developed specifically for Downtown Boulder but for similar destinations throughout the country who have the same basic requirements. The developer has an incredible understanding and knowledge of how BIDs work and the unique needs we have in promoting a variety of businesses & events.

Right now, Geocentric has no competing software providers who offer all the various features of Citylight. If Downtown Boulder had the option to use a local company who produced similar software that was specifically developed for the needs of BIDs, we would. If that option one day becomes available, we will. (Additionally, the photos on our web site and those used for our collateral materials are supplied by a variety of local photographers and all graphic design happens locally as well. We maintain site updates, event & business listings from right here in our office. )

Do we “Love the Local”? Absolutely. Will we continue to encourage all of you to do the same? Absolutely! We hope you will continue to use BoulderDowntown.com as a primary resource to find out what’s happening in downtown. Follow us on Twitter, Like us on Facebook. Interact with us in any and all of those mediums. Feel free to tell us directly when we do something you don’t like (I’m talking to you “concerned citizen”); and please do tell us when we do something that you do actually like.

Here’s hoping tomorrow’s lead headline is focused back on all things PEEPS!

~ Terri (terri@dbi.org)


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posted by Anonymous @ Thursday, June 24, 2010   0 comments

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Can we take a minute to appreciate how great the Ralphie's Blast logo is?

America's favorite holiday is rapidly approaching, and it's time to make plans to show a little patriotism towards the great US of A. Not to be a cheerleader, I know this country has its share of problems, but we do have a habit of focusing on the bad parts. Every time we mess up, critics come out of the woodwork. But this Independence Day, let's set aside the negative and just focus on the good. And we are good, really good. The US donates more to charity every year than any other country in the world. As of 2006, we accept more immigrants as citizens than all other countries in the world combined. In the past 70 years, over 80 Americans have won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. We have a 1st amendment that protects almost everyone, so people can live and do and say whatever they please. Over 1/2 of all Americans volunteer every year. We are known for our overwhelming compassion when a crisis situation occurs that is unmatched by any other nation. AND we just pulled through when it matters most- scoring a goal against Algeria in the World Cup, securing a place in the next round and winning our group for the first time since 1930. We must be pretty awesome.

The city of Boulder is showing its spirit by hosting many events on America's birthday. There is, of course, the annual Ralphie's Independence Day Blast on Folsom Field. Live music, entertainment, and a community sing along will be going down on CU's campus, followed by a fireworks show. There is free parking at the 29th St Mall and Downtown parking garages, and free Hop rides up to the event. The event is free as well and gates open at 8 pm.
Earlier in the day, Parenting Place hosts a 4th of July Kid's Parade on the Boulder Municipal Building from 10 am- 12pm. Decorating strollers, wagons, trikes and bikes is highly encouraged. There will be music by Sue Schnitzer, and snacks of bagels and watermelon.

Its always fun to host a barbecue on the 4th, but if you want to leave the meat-cookin' to someone else, there are options from some favorite Boulder restaurants. Centro is hosting a lobster bake, and West End is offering market-style smoked meat platters for small and large groups. As more restaurants release plans, we will post them on our website .

Whether you are celebrating at home or out, take a minute to appreciate where you live. After all, the US is home to the People's Republic of Boulder, the best city in the world, so how bad could it be? On July 5th you can go back to talkin' smack, but next Sunday don a little red, white, and blue, and praise the lord you aren't Algerian.

*Also, can we take a minute to appreciate how great the Ralphie's Blast logo is? (see above)

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posted by Anonymous @ Wednesday, June 23, 2010   0 comments

Monday, June 14, 2010

Man vs. West End's Wings

Travel Channel's reality show, Man vs. Food, airs its season premier this Wed, June 16th, and guess what? The episode will be taking place at Boulder's West End Tavern! Host Adam Richman will explore the food of Boulder before heading to West End to try his stomach on their preexisting Wing King Challenge. With current stats of 24-14 in all of the food challenges he has taken, it seems that the odds are with him as he attempts to consume 50 wings in 30 minutes. However, over 80 people have attempted the Wing King Challenge, and only 14 have succeeded in the task.

The West End will be hosting a watch party starting at 6 pm to see if the ambitious foodie will be crowned victorious. Inspired specials for the event include a Mini Wing King Challenge (6 wings in 1 minute to win 18 free wings), Rib Wings, Buffalo Shrimp, Buffalo Chicken Sandwich and Salad, The Wing-Tini, tomato vodka, cucumber, hot sauce, salt & pepper rim, Buffalo Bloody, house infused vodka, wing sauce, garnished with a chicken wing, and Red Hot Beer.

Man vs. Food has always held me in a sort of grossed-out trance that I can't look away from. Curious to learn more about the host and find out if he has real estate in the cardiac center of his local hospital, I consulted my favorite source, Wikipedia. It turns out, the host has quite a routine to make sure his arteries escape semi-unscathed from challenges. He exercises twice a day when on the road, and when he can, doesn't eat the day before a show (healthy?). After filming for a challenge, Richman spends an hour on a treadmill. At least he's doing something.

Make yourself feel good about your eating habits by tuning in to the Travel Channel at 7:30 pm and see your favorite town on national television. Or better yet, visit the West End and take your own Mini Wing King Challenge and see how you measure up to the Man.


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posted by Anonymous @ Monday, June 14, 2010   1 comments

Friday, June 11, 2010

In Case of Flooding...

Ah, Boulder Creek: the source of so much pleasure for residents of Boulder. Whether you like to tube down her rapids, flip off the rope swing, or just sit by her banks listening to the water and plucking your banjo in typical Boulder style, the creek supplies our quasi-desert environment with much needed H2o interaction.

Every spring though, she gets a little too rambunctious. As the mercury pushes 80 those first weeks of June, the creek becomes voluminous, filled to the brim, causing even the most daring tuber to eye the rapids warily. This year has proved to be particularly troublesome. Warmer than average temperatures in Boulder last week excelerated snow melt causing officials to declare a flood advisory that is still in effect today, Friday, until 1:15 pm. The creek remains closed. A bridge providing access to Red Lion Restaurant was washed out threatening the business. Hopefully, we won't get those thunderstorms that are expected to roll through this afternoon, which could certainly rile up the creek even more.

Did you know that Boulder is the #1 flash flood risk in Colorado, and one can occur in less than 45 minutes? This is partly due to the position of Boulder at the mouth of the creek and also the amount of residents that live in the floodplain. Only 3 inches of rain over a few hours is enough to trigger an 100 year flood. It is important to know if you live or work in a floodplain especially in a time like this, so you can be prepared to evacuate if needed.

If you get confused, signs along the creek offer this ingenious advice: "In case of flooding, climb to saftey." Seriously? I really hope I never come close enough to the creek when it is flooding that I actually need to physically climb to dry land. But really, flooding is serious business, and call yourself lucky if you've never had to deal with one personally.

Growing up in the Ohio River Valley, and specifically right across the street from the Ohio River, I've got my fair share of flood experiences. Pretty much every year growing up, we had a flood come spring. The creek behind my house would fill up, over flow, and meet with the full Ohio River a mere 100 yards away and force all the residents in our area to rely on boat as transportation for at least the next week. All of the houses on my street were on stilts, so our living spaces remained dry at least, but I can recall many a 5 a.m. soggy cruise down Riverside Drive via rowboat until we reached our car, parked on a nearby hill. Our rowboat would wait faithfully at the flood's edge until we returned in the afternoon. One particularly vivid year, the flood waters rose unceremoniously fast, and showed no signs of stopping below the first floor of our house, which was already a good 20 feet off the ground. At the time, we had about 5 cats, a few dogs, 2 parrots, some rabbits, guinea pigs, and probably a hermit crab or two. We needed to evacuate, and as an 8-year-old overly passionate and dramatic animal freak, there was no way I was leaving any of my beloved pets behind. With the help of friends, we proceeded to cage the uncaged and lower them by pulley system into a waiting boat. All of our pets and us made it to safety that year, but by the next we were living in a new house 20 miles inland. The river had finally wore us out.

Although I hear that in 1894, Boulder Creek overtook Canyon Blvd. all the way to the Hill, mentions of flash flooding in Boulder seems pretty tame to me. Maybe those signs along the creek should be relocated to the banks of the Ohio, where they would read, "In case of flooding, row your pets to safety." Now there would be some advice you could use.

Stay safe everyone!


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posted by Anonymous @ Friday, June 11, 2010   0 comments

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Boulder May Be A Long Way From South Africa...

... but that doesn't matter to many downtown businesses in Boulder. Many local favorites are bringing the party to the Pearl St area throughout the tournament and encouraging fans to come down by offering food and drink specials.

The West End Tavern opens its doors at 7:45 am on select days and will be offering a beer and cocktail special for each game. The best part? A build-your-own bloody mary bar so you can stuff your drink will all the celery, pickles, and any other fixings you'd like. Other specials? Kentucky Coffee, Wisconsin Lunch Box (which, after further investigation, consists of beer, orange juice, and amaretto taken as a shooter...), and Basilini's. Breakfast burritos and omelets will also be served.

Make it a block party, and wonder down to Centro to catch a few games. Admist screams of "FUTBOL" you'll get to enjoy $2 dollar tacos (I'm a vegetarian, but I hear the duck tacos are simply amazing), $2 Tecate cans, $2 Cuba Libre, and other happy hour specials.

Tread north a few blocks, and hit Italian joint Amante Coffee, who will be opening at their normal 5:45am to televise the games. Italy plays first on Monday the 14th, but Amante will be offering beer and sandwich specials throughout the World Cup as well as 1/2 off wines, $3.50 pints of Moretti, along with other drinks. The coffee shop will also have the tournament brackets posted on the walls so fans can keep track of match outcomes and take note of times for future games. Amante will be playing reruns during down times, so make sure to stop in and catch up if you got too drunk off all the fabulous specials going on and missed last nights game.

If you got too drunk, chances are you were at Conor O'Neils, a personal favorite of my friends and I, who will be bringing some Irish flair to your World Cup celebrations. Even though Ireland didn't make it to the Cup this year, that won't stop the party over at Conor's. They will be opening early for the 8am games, and will be serving authentic meat pies for the USA/England game on Saturday.

A little bit further down the mall is The Lazy Dog, which is sure to be a prime spot to watch all games. With over 40 screens around the restaurant, an 8 am opening, plus specials, you very well could post up here all day and have enough room to bring everyone you know.

As a new intern at DBI, I was really excited to explore all these specials going on. I'm not the biggest soccer fan in the world, but I love seeing all the culture that the World Cup brings to the US. I also get excited just when people say World Cup, because it reminds me of the Quidditch World Cup, and come on, who doesn't love Harry Potter? Please don't comment and say you don't, because I will write back until you are convinced that Harry is God.

...Anyway, my name is Gage and I'm a recent grad of CU originally from Kentucky. Along with really loving Harry Potter, I love my dog Sunday exponentially more, and if you're lucky, you'll hear more about Sunday as my internship progresses here at DBI.

Nice to meet ya'll!

(Just kidding, I don't really have an accent, but to pretend makes things more interesting.) Enjoy the start of the World Cup and make sure to come downtown and support some of our local businesses.


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posted by Anonymous @ Wednesday, June 09, 2010   4 comments

Monday, June 07, 2010

Delivering Happiness to Downtown Boulder

As a follow up to my May 25 post, Zappos & Downtown Boulder in the same sentence?, I am writing a review of Tony Hsieh’s Delivering Happiness on the official day of his book launch. I jumped at the chance to receive a free advance copy of the book because the same entrepreneurial spirit that runs through Hsieh can be found throughout Downtown Boulder.

Delivering Happiness provides the makings of a road map to personal success - simply by finding your own happiness. Sounds easy enough right? For Hsieh, finding happiness came as a result of gigantic leaps of faith, risk taking, a lot of hard work, reflecting inward and just a little bit of luck (well, not to mention surrounding himself with people of similar interests, passions and goals).

No matter what stage you are in your professional or personal life, Hsieh provides some great insight in finding your way. His writing style is laid back and friendly. He takes readers on a journey through his experience over the past decade or so. He’s open and honest about his thoughts and emotions. Hsieh puts the secrets to Zappo’s success right out there for everyone to see.

In the final section of the book, Hsieh engages readers to start the internal process of figuring out for ourselves what our goal is in life and illustrates that in the end of our personal search, the goal for all of us is the same: we all just want to be happy. He might not have the exact answers on how each of us can get to this happy place, but he provides a good starting point and plenty of inspiration through his own journey. No matter who you are or what industry you are in Delivering Happiness is a pretty darn good summer read.

Bringing this topic back around to Downtown Boulder, I feel like I’m surrounded by people who have found their own happiness. From the retailers who work seven days a week and the passionate restaurateurs who have made our downtown a foodie’s paradise, to the talented, creative and energetic second story businesses, Downtown Boulder is full of people with a similar passions and goals. We are happy and it shows! Enjoy Hsieh’s book. Enjoy Downtown Boulder. Enjoy the book while enjoying Downtown Boulder!

Want to win a free copy of Delivering Happiness? The first person to send an email to Terri@dbi.org will receive a copy (courtesy of our friends at deliveringhappinessbook.com). FOLLOW UP: CONGRATS TO LAUREN C. WHO WON THE COPY!

~ Terri

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posted by Anonymous @ Monday, June 07, 2010   0 comments

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The Republic of Big Ideas and Little Egos

Ever since I moved to Boulder I haven't been able to escape commentary about "living in the bubble," and "the Republic of Boulder." Sometimes it's said with a smirk, like it's supposed to be an insult--talking smack about how Boulder is too small, or on its own planet. But I happen to like living in the bubble. In fact, I LOVE IT and fine, maybe I will marry it. Because here's the thing: I actually like running into people I know around every corner.

First of all, I like having friends. Weird, right? I mean, who likes to be surrounded by people who care about them and smile often and engage them in warm conversation? I can go have a cappuccino at The Cup and say hi to Thai, and then have some delicious gelato at Two Spoons and watch for people I know walking by at lunch. I can sit by the creek and pick up some extra motivation to go running before I decline and catch an impromptu happy hour at The Westend instead. Not a bad life, eh?

Second, there is more of a close-knit camaraderie that can be established in a smaller community. It's easier to get things done, make big things happen, and share knowledge and experience for the good of the people. People are far more likely to help out their neighborhood so-and-so who remembers their name than Joe Schmoe harassing them on the street. And big things do happen in Boulder--awards for culinary success, tech studs (and studettes), amazing road races, free conferences, killer film festivals, examples in eco-sustainability, to name a few.

The Flatirons are not the reason our little bubble ends up on the top of so many Best Of lists, the people are. We are the Republic of Easy-Going Eccentricity, of Microbrews and Macro Views, of the Greener Side of the Fence. It's easy getting into the bubble; it's the leaving that's the hard part.


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posted by Anonymous @ Tuesday, June 01, 2010   4 comments