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Thursday, July 29, 2010

The 100 year rumor...





With all the fuss about the eight inches of hail in Ned Wednesday, it's hard not to be thinking about the hundred year flood. And honestly, every time we get a huge storm, I can't help but wonder, "could this be the one?". After all, we are 16 years overdue for the so-called 100 year flood disaster (the last one occurring in 1894). But what does 100 year flood even mean? As far as I can tell, from internet research and that week in 8th grade we spent talking about the flood in my geology class (I'm obviously an expert), it's really just a flood that had a very low chance of being equaled or exceeded in the same year. And really, it's just the way that F.E.M.A. designates high risk areas.

When I went to Boulder High, we had regular flood drills, every floor would move up one floor, because supposedly the water would not surge higher than the first story. The students look at these drills in one of two ways, it's either "YES! no class for ten minutes!" or "Come on, this is just ridiculous, like this is actually ever going to happen..." The latter being the most problematic. Unless people are as paranoid as I am (which, believe me, is a very rare occurrence), they aren't going to know how bad this could be if it actually happens. As you can tell from the graphic, which is actually a 500 year flood prediction, meaning 5 times more dramatic than the 100 year prediction, this flood would be seriously devastating. If it actually follows predictions, the majority of Downtown Boulder would be fine, but my wonderful high school? underwater. *insert some Fairview/Boulder High rivalry joke here* Yeah, yeah, you're on a hill Fairview, but you have no windows... so THERE!

Anyway, back to what this is actually about, inform yourselves Downtown Boulder Readers. Even if it doesn't happen in your lifetime, you'll have read about some pretty interesting disaster scenarios, and seen some cool graphics. Its actually kind of hilarious to read the over dramatized stories, and learn that we are in fact well prepared, with disaster plans, and one of the most high tech warning systems in the nation. And whats more, at least you can still shop downtown before, during, and after the flood hits, right?? shameless plug... obviously...

happy swimming :)

-Erin

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Thursday, July 29, 2010   0 comments

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Who ever said money can't buy happiness didn't know where to get a dog...


As an intern, it's my job to update the events calender on the Downtown Boulder website. As a result, I come across many interesting things that I wouldn't have known about if it weren't for this job. One of the coolest events? Read to the Dog, a chance for readers to build their confidence levels at the Boulder Public Library on Arapahoe. On various Thursdays, the library has certified therapy dogs come in and settle down for some quality reading time. The public is encouraged to come in and practice reading aloud to these non-judgmental companions. How cute is that? Not only are therapy dogs angels sent from heaven, studies show that human/animal interaction actually lowers blood pressure and heart rate.
Other benefits of dog interaction include:
  • Children who have dogs tend to be more self-reliant, sociable, and less selfish than children without pets.
  • Elderly people with dogs are better able than non-pet-owning elderly people to cope with daily activities.
  • Owning a dog gives isolated people a routine, a sense of purpose, and a sense of fulfillment that helps prevent depression and loneliness.
  • Stroking and patting a dog can be relaxing, which is measured by a slower heart rate and a drop in blood pressure.
  • Owning a dog can help reduce the risk of asthma.
  • Dog owners are more likely to survive heart attacks than non-pet owners are.
  • The presence of a dog can ease the effects of Alzheimer's.
  • People with dogs have been found to have lower cholesterol and triglyceride levels when compared to people who do not.
You all know how much I love my dog, Sunday. Although I don't think she could ever become a certified therapy dog (she hates, and I mean run for the hills, I'm going to die, hates, loud noises), she definitely qualifies as my psychologist, reminding me that most of the time a walk and a kiss can fix any bad situation.

Also, as a tribute, one Sunday's friends, Lucy, a 4 year old Golden Retriever, passed away this weekend in an accident involving a hot car. Lucy was a bold and adventurous pup who loved to hike Loveland Pass in the snow and fetch sticks from Boulder Creek in the summer. So please, even if you parked in the shade, don't leave your dog in the car. Brain damage and suffocation can occur within minutes, even if the temperature outside is only in the 60's. The sun's rays are intense in Boulder. It's not worth the risk.

Cheers to Lou Dog, and cheers to the amazing dogs at the library. The next Read to the Dog event is Thursday August 12th at 11am.

-Gage

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, July 28, 2010   1 comments

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Foamy, Chocolately Paradise in a Cup


About two weeks ago, I started reading the book Eat Pray Love(soon coming to a movie theater near you, but please read the book first). For those of you who haven’t read it, the first section in the book is just as you would imagine, about eating, and more specifically, eating Italian food. I myself happen to LOVE food. Literally LOVE it; especially European fare. If I could jump on a plane right now and go to Italy, or France, or… really anywhere not in the U.S., I would do it (minus the whole “broke college student thing”).

Reading Eat Pray Love made clear how much I was longing for a cute European-esque café to go to. It took me a few days and being asked to write a blog to realize that I had already found it. Oliv You and Me in beautiful Downtown Boulder is a little taste of Europe right here in our little Boulder bubble. From the title you can probably infer they sell olive oil, but what most people don’t know is that Oliv You and Me serves the best mocha latte in town. Of course there are some that would beg to differ, but trust me, the foam is velvet heaven (see picture above).

Furthermore, the owner, Patti, is a Boulder native. And even though she went to Fairview and I went to Boulder High, I still support her business, which is definitely saying something. So listen up Downtown Boulder readers, Love the Local, and support one of our own!

On a side note, Oliv You and Me is on a side street (pun intended) just north of the bricks on Broadway. So go a little out of your way and get some amazing coffee, it's worth it, I promise.
Peace, Love and Caffeine,

Erin

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Thursday, July 22, 2010   1 comments

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Wanting What I Can't Have



I miss snow. And sweaters, and scarves and snowboarding. I miss trekking through a foot of snow to EVERYWHERE because I don't have a car. I miss watching people fall; That two second scramble when someone is fighting gravity's inescapable pull over ice is just fabulous. I can't help but LOL every time. Sorry people, I'm not laughing at you, but with you, and I know somewhere deep down inside, you're chuckling too. For heaven's sake, this is why I moved to Colorado: to live among falling ice crystals. Have you noticed I want what I can't have? Here we are, deep in the midst of summer, and I'm longing for a blizzard.

But sure enough, six months ago you could find me laying on campus post-fall, screaming for sundresses. I had just finished Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver (excellent, read it now), and I wanted a garden and turkeys and the luxury of flourishing flora. I headed into spring with high ambitions for a garden from seed, but that didn't work out exactly as I planned. Maybe next year.

Luckily, the Boulder Farmer's Market goes into swing every Wednesday and Saturday to satisfy my desire to eat seasonally. Every time I go, thoughts of cold weather are driven far from my mind, and I'm so so happy it is summer. Right now, harvest is just about at its peak. The first week of August- it's on. One word: tomatoes. They aren't even worth buying any other time of the year except for the end of summer. OMG. There is something heaven-sent about a good tomato. I usually spend an hour picking out the perfect fruit from all of the different vendors, and then eat it like an apple while strolling around, making several trips to sample the goat cheese from Haystack Farms. Once my tomato is sitting safely in my belly, I'm on a mission for the perfect peach. F* Georgia. Colorado peaches are the bomb diggity. Seriously. Secret of the century. Lucky for me, the first peaches of the season are ready to go, and will be in abundance tonight.

Corn, fava beans, cherries, berries, squash and zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots are just some of the many fruits and veggies available right now. One of my favorite dishes lately has been a cauliflower puree topped with garlic sauteed vegetables. It's similar in constancy to mashed potatoes but healthier. I simply steam the cauliflower, add it to the food processor, add a healthy dollop of ricotta cheese, a little S&P, and puree til smooth. Cauliflower is high in folate, fiber, and contains the same phytochemicals as broccoli, so don't let the absence of color trick you into thinking it is worthless. The result? A filling dish with way less starch than if you used potatoes. Yum. I love summer. Most of the time.

On another note, Loveland Ski Area starts making snow in LESS THAN TWO MONTHS. Bring. It. On. Just in time for apples and pumpkins. Who says you can't have it all?

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, July 21, 2010   0 comments

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Small Intestine's Guide to Downtown

With more and more people across the US becoming aware they have a gluten intolerance, we decided it was time to make clear the restaurants in Downtown Boulder that are knowledgeable about gluten and can help you choose menu items free of certain grass related grains. Over 3 million Americans have Celiac's Disease, but only about 1 in 4,700 get diagnosed. People with the disease suffer intestinal damage whenever they consume products containing gluten, and often restaurants are unsure of which of their menu options contain it. Enter: Downtown Boulder.

When you visit our website under the "Dining" tab, you can choose the "Gluten-Free" category on the right to display the list of restaurants. Some even have a special gluten-free menu, like Aji. Abo's delivers their classic New York pizza taste in the form of a 12" gluten-free pizza. At Bacaro, you don't even have to ask which plates are gluten-free, because they are indicated on the menu, although it's always a good idea to tell your server you are avoiding gluten intentionally. Craving Mexican? Everything on the Chipotle menu is gluten-free (besides the tortillas, of course) . Zoe Ma Ma, a new place on 10th where Spud Brothers used to be, serves up delicious Chinese street food, unique for Boulder. Many dishes are gluten-free. The Vegan Potstickers fall under this category and were flavorful and moist when I stopped in to check it out last week. For those with a sweet tooth, you can still satisfy your craving while sticking to a diet. Tee and Cakes offers cupcakes every day that are gluten-free.

My list is only partial, so make sure to check out our website to find other great dining options in Boulder friendly to those who just can't digest those proteins found in wheat, barely, rye, or various other grains.

Stay cool, and make sure to come downtown this weekend for the Boulder ArtFair!

-Gage

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, July 14, 2010   1 comments

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

The Rainy Day Blues


I should have known better than to get out of bed this morning. Any idiot knows that rain = movie and pizza in bed. Rain ≠ work. But glutton for punishment that I am, I rolled out from under the covers, curled my hair, stashed a banana in my purse and ran out the front door. This is where it starts to get good.

Since I'm a fashionista, I wore a skirt today. D'oh. But since I like to sleep in till approximately thirty-two minutes before my bus leaves, there was no time to change when I stepped outside to see it POURING. At least I didn't bother with shaving my legs this morning.

Next in line to ruin my day was the construction flagger, letting by three cars at a time. It took ten minutes to get through one intersection! So of course that meant that right as I pulled up to the bus stop, my bus was pulling out. Luckily, the next bus was scheduled to arrive in half an hour so I only had to stand in the rain for twenty-eight minutes. Curly hair? Poof! Gone.

I finally get to my office forty-five minutes late, freezing, and one last kick in the shins--coffee pot is empty.

So now, I'm sitting here at my desk, dreaming of a cozy afternoon in a coffee shop or a bookstore with a hot chai or a cappuccino and some Vonnegut. But guess what? I'm in Denver and there really isn't anything cozy about Denver. (Unless you want to huddle with the panhandlers.) All I can do is implore you, Downtown Boulder readers, to let me live vicariously through you, lounging in some warm, hustling bustling downtown location, frittering the day away...

Come on, give it up--where are you spending your rainy day, and with what book?

--Stacy

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Wednesday, July 07, 2010   2 comments

Friday, July 02, 2010

"Don't tell me this town ain't got no heart..."


Happy Friday everyone!

I'm a DBI intern by day, but a server at Abo's on Pearl by night. Last night, the Thursday night bike ride cruised by Abo's while I was working, and everyone in the restaurant turned to survey the source of the ruckus. This was the largest ride I'd seen. American flag capes, silver stars, and patriotic hats were numerous as the crew raced by in the cool twilight. A table of visiting Texans were sitting near the front, and the looks on their faces expressed wonder and a little bit of alarm. As we watched, I explained to them that this happened every Thursday night in Boulder, and it seemed to be particularly large because of the upcoming holiday. "Well I'll be..." one woman exclaimed and turned to her husband with a smile.

Being able to explain the eccentricities of our town to tourists made my heart swell with pride. Boulder's not for everyone, but if it is, you love it with all your heart. You may long for beaches or cooler summers, lush greenery or more rain, but this little town is hard to leave when it comes down to it. I know people who have moved away and find frustration in trying to ride a road bike to work, or sadness at the bland population of "normal" people. I try to never take Boulder for granted. Whenever I find myself becoming too self-centered, I take a deep breath and a minute to look up at the Flatirons. They humble me more than anything. Even after 4 years, they do it to me every time. I hope that never fades. Their beauty astounds.

Happy Fourth of July! Check out Downtown Boulder's page here for a list of happenings this weekend.

Love,
Gage

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posted by Downtown Boulder @ Friday, July 02, 2010   0 comments