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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Battle of the Ducks and Dr. Oz


Memorial Day weekend is possibly my most favorite 96 hours of the entire year. Besides my birthday (which technically lasts a whole week). But I digress: This weekend is comprised of the Boulder Creek Fest, the BolderBoulder, a national holiday and it's almost always the true beginning of summer weather.

Let's talk about the Creek Fest. And Rubber Ducks--Ernie knows what's up: rubber duckies make for great companions. But he has never seen anything like the Great Rubber Duck Race. Picture hundreds of fearless ducks, plunged into freezing cold, unforgiving rapids, fighting for the ultimate dream: to be crowned the fastest rubber ducky in Boulder (and maybe even Lafayette and Longmont). And bonus points for sponsoring your little dude to support EXPAND, which provides recreational activities for people with disabilities. If you're interested, join the masses on Sunday at 4 p.m.

Speaking of joining the masses (and Dr. Oz--but no Oprah??), who's gonna run the BolderBoulder with me? This is going to be my fourth year and I just can't get enough. Normally I don't get cheered on by thousands of onlookers and serenaded by local bands when I go for runs, so it's a pretty exhilarating experience. But the best part is the commemorative ceremony afterward to celebrate the country's bravest. I never expected to be so overwhelmed by a show of national pride. First of all, because I'm Canadian, so I'm more into Canadian pride. And second of all, because I don't get sentimental or mushy. I don't even cry during Grey's Anatomy. However, the BolderBoulder's version of Memorial Day strikes me as so real and unpretentious and healthy I can't help but get a little teary-eyed every year.

So if you're around this weekend, head downtown to shop and eat at the Creek Fest, float a ducky or two, and honor a few good men at the BolderBoulder.

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Tuesday, May 25, 2010   1 comments

Zappos & Downtown Boulder in the same sentence?



I'm reading a book...an actual book printed on actual paper. I'm turning pages and folding down corners. I might even pull out a highlighter to remember key phrases/quotes! It's kind of fun. No Kindal, iPad or Nook in sight.

So what's the book? It's an advance copy of Tony Hsieh's (pronounced 'Shay') Delivering Happiness - A Path to Profits, Passion, and Purpose. If you have never heard of Tony, you are sure to have heard of his company, Zappos.com. One day while surfing Mashable.com (a great resource for everything social media), I found an opportunity to receive a free advanced copy of the book. In return, all I had to do was promise to write an honest review the day of its release (June 7).

The reason I jumped at this chance is because from what I've read about Hsieh he's an extremely clever businessman and a very passionate person. He has embraced social media (specifically Twitter with 1,686,677 followers to date, just hair more then we have...) as an active participant - as the voice of Zappos... the human voice of Zappos. If he has some lessons on how to be successful in business and happy in life, I'm all ears! Over the next several days, I'll give you a sneak peek into the book and share some of his thoughts/wisdom.

So how does this all relate to Downtown Boulder? Because much like Hsieh, there is a never- ending-list of successful business people right here in our 49 block district with the same level of drive and passion. Just like Hsieh, they are doing what they love and they are really good at it. Just like Hsieh, they must be doing something right! Need some examples? Here's just a few of the many that come to mind:

Richard Foy / Communication Arts
Bobby Stuckey & Lachlan Mackinnon-Patterson / Frasca Food and Wine
Dave Query / Big Red F
Richard Polk / Pedestrian Shops
David Bolduc /Boulder Book Store
Kimbal Musk / TechStars, The Kitchen
Andrew Hyde / TechStars, Ignite Boulder, Startup Weekend
Steven Tebo / Tebo Development Company
Andy James / James TravelPoints
Janice Manville / Peppercorn
Doug Emerson /University Bikes

Actually, Hsieh should consider moving here...he'd fit right in!

Thought for the day (one of Tony's 'Tweets to Live By'): "If the person you are talking to isn't listening, be patient. Maybe he has a small piece of fluff in his ear." - Winnie-the-Pooh

~ Terri

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Tuesday, May 25, 2010   1 comments

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

This Isn't Goodbye...


Today is my last day interning at Downtown Boulder, Inc, but I'm not going to write a sappy "last day" blog because I've basically forced Eli and Terri to let me keep blogging for them. So dry your tears, Mom, you can still follow my words of wisdom.

However, my position is open for the taking, so all those who fill the qualification of being awesome, send your resume to eli@dbi.org. It's an unpaid position, but 100% worth the time and effort you put into it. Great people, fun adventures, and many downtown secrets to be uncovered! Must have a sense of humor to put up with Eli, though ;)

In pursuit of brevity, I'm signing off, but not without some shameless self-promotion: If you're interested in employing me, I may be available. And also, I'm on Twitter: @stacytheintern. Let's be friends!

Thanks for everything!

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, May 19, 2010   0 comments

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

GOOOOALLLLLL!



I think I made it pretty clear in my St. Patrick's Day post that I am all for early morning drinking. So naturally, when I heard that West End is opening early for select World Cup games next month, I was in. Except for...the soccer part. Hopefully what I'm about to tell you won't sour your affections towards me, but...

I don't like soccer. Seriously. I like almost every other sport (even golf), but I just can't get on board with the foosball. Maybe it's spurred by yet another deficiency in my youth (my coach used to say, "Ok, just stand by the goal and if the ball comes near you, kick it really hard"), or that I knew way too much about the soccer players on my high school's team. Or that I am Canadian. Or that I watched my ex-boyfriend play hours of FIFA instead of taking me out to dinner. In any case, I just can't stand it! One time, I said so to a guy I was dating and never heard from him again; the only obvious/possible reason for that, being that I didn't appreciate his national sport.

Luckily, The West End Tavern has plenty of other offerings to distract me, like booze. There will be Kentucky Coffee (read: Bourbon), a Do-It-Yourself Bloody Mary Bar, Wisconsin Lunch Box's, and a daily cocktail and beer special. On top of that, breakfast burritos and an omelet-of-the-day to start the day off right.

So I'm going to go to WET to be one of those girls I hate at baseball games: the ones who don't pay any attention to the actual sport; they're just there to socialize and drink. But that's actually a good thing, because I happen to be a pretty feisty sports fan--I've almost been kicked out of rec softball games before. So believe me; tame, clueless Stacy is much better than unruly, game-following Stacy.

See you there?

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Tuesday, May 18, 2010   1 comments

Monday, May 17, 2010

Roots of Notion: A Pedestrian Mall is Born.


So I'm back from a week in the Northern California sun, with vague reports of it snowing here while I was gone. Bummer, I thought, sipping wine in 75 degree heat in the beautiful Anderson Valley as the weather app showed snowflakes back in Boulder. So yeah, Cali was nice: verdant, sunny, relaxing: got more hugs in a three-block radius back in Southern Humboldt than a month here. Yes, I grew up in Humboldt (insert weed joke here) and don't get home too often. But it was one particular block in my one-horse, no stoplight town where I grew up that brought to mind our own lovely downtown. My dad is a community organizer and activist back home, and almost a decade ago he and some other locals embarked on a plan to create a town square on square block of what was a gravel-ridden parking lot in the middle of town.

Strange how we find ourselves doing similar things I thought, as I walked through the dozen charming farmers' stalls that lined a block of pitted pavement. But there it was, a decade after they had dreamed it, starting to take shape and become a center for the community. Couples were enjoying coffee at cafe tables under newly planted trees. An accordion and guitar played gypsy tunes and the square was humming with vibrancy. They had raised hundred of thousands of dollars, replaced the rocky ground with landscaping, trees, different levels, and provided a meeting place. They had a sign on a small booth off to the side that was selling popcorn and showed what their vision of the place was. It is slowly marching towards a complete reality. People stopped my father with advice, thank you's, and the like. They asked what I did and I had to smile and said I helped take care of a similar thing in the Rockies, a little larger perhaps, but basically the same.

It took years to get that town square underway even in a small town, and still they have to fight every week with the county to close the road for the farmers' market, to argue with the businesses who want more parking, and figure ways to keep the homeless from spending all their time lounging on the new benches with their dogs. Issues I have become accustomed to working here in same arena, only with few more blocks to take care of. They dream of a pop-jet fountain even if it costs more then they will ever have, but they keep at it. One step at a time, trying to create that vision of a central gathering place carved out of the scraggly NorCal hills.

It made me appreciate the unique and wonderful partnerships that make our downtown work so well. And what a gem it is to have the Pearl Street Mall in Boulder; a place where people can gather and exchange ideas, stop for a cup of coffee and a hot dog, play music or hold a their festivals. That inviting atmosphere and the commonality of having such a transcendent place be the heart of a town is not only rare but to be cherished and nurtured. Back in California, as I stepped back to snap a picture of it all, I realized in that little way that makes your heart glow just a bit, that there it was, taking shape right before my eyes again, miles away. Who knows what it will become, but I look forward to seeing more of it, as they look to us and our successes. I look forward to getting more hugs, and sipping my own coffee under its towering trees someday.

- Eli

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Monday, May 17, 2010   0 comments

Friday, May 14, 2010

Wanna Play Four Square?



When @andrewhyde mentioned foursquare at DBI's Social Media panel last month, I shuddered. The words "four square" conjure up dark memories of adolescent athletic inadequacies. Always chosen last, never made it to the fourth square, rubber burn on my face from an overzealous, early-blooming fourth-grader and his mammoth serve. Goosebumps all over.

And now this is the latest trend? Proclaiming your location so that you can become mayor at the risk of your house being robbed, shrouded by illusions of elementary school anguish? Ei yi yi.

Alas, wanting to always stay at the forefront (or at least keep it in view), I gave it a try anyway. This morning, I added DBI as a venue to foursquare and am currently seeking friends. Hint, hint.

I am starting to see the perks. Contest ideas abound, and this is potentially a great way to collaborate with the businesses downtown for your benefit. Plus, there are no crazy rules like "same as last time." Come on, like I'm supposed to remember the overly-amended register of customized "moves." I'm concentrating too hard on not peeing my pants out of fear.

But in all seriousness, do you want to play foursquare? Keep an eye out for our use to increase, and we would appreciate any ideas, tips, comments, etc.

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Friday, May 14, 2010   1 comments

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

2,567 Faces on the wall, 2,567 Faces...!


Eli: your desk has now become storage for auxiliary bagels. ;)

Do you ever feel like you're getting lost in the crowd? Boulder is getting bigger and bigger every day and it's becoming harder to stand out from the masses. But local photographer Peggy Dyer is giving people the opportunity to be one in a million with her project One Million Faces. Peggy's goal is to photograph one million faces and donate proceeds to charities in the process. Last count was 2,567 faces in 61 days, which translates to a pace of about 15, 360 faces per year. She has visited businesses and events all over Downtown Boulder and snapped the willing at Whole Foods, Om Time, and more.

Definitely check out Peggy's work, she has a great eye for capturing candid moments and I'm sure she would love more volunteers to host events for her. She is currently supporting several charities: the Davis Phinney Foundation, the Chanda Plan, Shjon Podein's Children's Foundation, MESA, and others.

Mugging for a cause can't get any better!

--Stacy




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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, May 12, 2010   0 comments

Monday, May 10, 2010

If You Give An Intern A Cookie...


...she's going to try to take over your job. At least, that's what's happening at the DBI office this week. Eli--my boss--is in a whole other state for a few days and he gave me the reins and you better believe I'm running with them! I have a dozen windows open on the internet (work related, I promise), full access to the blog and Tweetdeck and the oldies channel playing on Pandora...yeah, life is good.

I'm settling into "life as Eli" reasonably well...

1. Witty and sardonic twitter-tude? Check.
2. Knowledge of passwords? Check.
3. General IT knowledge? Almost check.
4. Extremely intelligent, humorous, entertaining, good-looking intern sidekick? Uh...wait a minute! Who's gonna be my intern sidekick??

Unfortunate lack of sidekick aside, I have a feeling this is going to be a very successful week. Stay tuned for my random musings about keeping busy and the cool happenins' in Downtown Boulder. Oh, and for my Top Secret Intern Project. It's gonna be big.

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Monday, May 10, 2010   0 comments

Friday, May 07, 2010

"I probably sound like I'm drooling"



Ignite Boulder was SO COOL. I feel like a preteen that snuck into a rock concert and then got someone to buy me a few beers too!! I'm on a high and I don't wanna come down, and I'm not gonna lie: if you weren't there last night, sucks for you. Seriously, I feel bad for you ;) If you haven't heard of Ignite Boulder, or you're a virgin like I was, picture fourteen energetic speakers with a powerpoint presentation, limited time frame, and various knowledge to share--fast paced, hilarious, and in some cases, very humbling. I'm hooked (obviously...I probably sound like I'm drooling). This is a great event folks, put June 24th on the calendar for Ignite 11.

And what an eclectic mix of intelligent, fun people (shout-out to @tarable)! If you haven't had a chance yet, you should rush out and catch the last two days of Boulder Startup Week and meet some of these geeks for yourself. But watch out, you might find yourself inspired!

Stay tuned next week when I take over the DBI front office and begin my silent coup for Eli's job while he's on vacation.

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Friday, May 07, 2010   0 comments

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Start Me Up - "Don't Make A Grown Man Cry!"


I would consider myself a geek (see Venn diagram here)

Alright, alright...wipe off that feigned look of surprise. But just because I can quote Star Wars and I like math doesn't mean I'm not cool. Geeks are definitely cool...actually, they're awesome, and if you look around, you'll notice that they literally run this town.

And this week, geeks around the country are taking over Boulder at the First Annual Startup Week, hosted by local tech guru Andrew Hyde. Andrew has a crush on startups and I have a crush on Andrew Hyde. If you have a crush on either, or if you've ever blogged, hacked, designed, unlocked, developed, or entrepreneur-ized, then Startup Week is the place for you. Join smarty-pants from near and far for hikes and bikes, dev sessions and deals, and beers and beans. Tag along on a startup office crawl, tweet about a blog about a social media meetup, and battle to the death for your IPad. Or PCs.

There are a myriad of helpful, fun, informative events going on through this Saturday including Ignite Boulder, on Thursday evening. A sold out event, but for those of you lucky enough to partake, I hope to see you there! (I'll be wearing purple.)

And the best part is the freeness of the whole shebang. Because starting up can be rough in the financial department...it's all free so just register ahead of time at the Boulder Startup site!

Follow the event on Twitter and Eventbrite and Plancast for more information and pass it on!

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Tuesday, May 04, 2010   0 comments

Best Mother's Day Ever!


Calling all James Bonds and super sleuths--I am offering you a chance to make your mom the happiest mom in Boulder...I have the power to grant two tickets to the Boulder Ballet's Mother's Day performance of Sleeping Beauty to whomever I choose. But I'm not going to make it easy on you! There's work involved...spy work.

So don your trench coat and dig out your magnifying glass and riddle me these:

1. Who is the original composer and choreographer of the ballet Sleeping Beauty?

2. When and where did the ballet premiere?

3. What is the name of the wicked fairy in the ballet?

4. How many years has the Boulder Ballet been performing its annual Mother's Day concert at the Boulder Theater?

5. Aurora, the lead role in the ballet is being danced by Boulder native Annalise Woller. Where did she attend high school?

First person to get back to me with all the correct answers wins! Send your guesses to intern@dbi.org. Good luck and good riddance,

--Stacy


PS: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook for more chances to win tickets!

PPS: If you are not lucky enough to win tickets, you can still purchase them on the Boulder Ballet website, but they're selling out fast!

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Tuesday, May 04, 2010   0 comments