Back to Boulder

I’m sitting in the game chair I bought for $10 from Goodwill, on the top floor of the town home Todd and I are renting until the end of January. We are near 28th and Jasmine in Park Hill. It was designed to be a quiet residential neighborhood, so the only things we can walk to are the Hiawatha Davis rec center (very nice!), about 10 minutes away; a small shopping district the same distance in the opposite direction; and Stapleton, about 20 minutes east of us. This area has an interesting mix of ethnicities and houses: many of the houses are small and rather boxlike, or perhaps Foursquare, but others, especially along Monaco and Montview and 23rd Avenue, are much grander affairs. This pair of houses epitomizes the neighborhood: gentrifying, but luckily not as ostentatiously on most blocks as the stucco house might lead you to believe.Park Hill Denver

Park Hill is not a walkable neighborhood like Baker. I have seen people walking their dogs and people walking to and from the rec center, but most people drive. Two blocks on Kearney south of 23rd feature a liquor store; a bakery and café called Cake Crumbs; a cheese and small plates joint called Neighbors, where we had an intriguing concoction with eggplant crisps, tomato, and goat cheese; and gymnastics and martial arts studios. Farther west on 23rd is Spinelli’s, a famous Denver market that I recommend visiting; a bookstore; and the Cherry Tomato, which I have yet to try.

South of Martin Luther King Boulevard, where we are staying, is probably one-third white and two-thirds black and Latino, but north of MLK is less white. Since I moved away from Washington, DC, I’ve lived in mostly white neighborhoods. I’m enjoying this one, especially since we’ll be living in Boulder from now on, which pretty much rules out the possibility of an ethnically diverse living situation.

I’ve lived in so many different places since June 2011 that I like the idea of settling down, but all the same I can’t help feel a pang for Seattle or New York, which I just visited for the first time in decades, or Denver. Boulder has Todd’s employer and Pearl Street and the mountains, but it’s grown so rich and, well, pretty. I like a little more grit.

That’s why I’ve chosen to live across from the Table Mesa park and ride. That area can’t be accused of grit, and it’s not really walkable either, but at least I’ll have easy access to Boulder, Lafayette, and Denver by bus when Todd has the car. I can walk to Vic’s Espresso or take the bus to Cafe Solé or the library. And it was the cheapest option. We decided to stop traveling in order to replenish our savings; choosing this apartment was the responsible thing to do.