Boulder, Colorado, can be a delightful place to live—if you just moved there with buckets of money, or if you relocated years ago when housing prices were more reasonable. This month I visited Colorado after more than a year away and was lucky enough to stay with friends who live just off the West End of the Pearl Street Mall.
One day I walked down to the East End of the mall and back to see if any shops or restaurants remained from my graduate school days in the late 1980s. I found a few, including the featured photo of Tom’s Tavern, now reimagined as Salt. I’ve been to Salt and liked the food, but I can’t help feeling nostalgic about the vinyl booths, square hamburgers, and scoops of macaroni salad of Tom’s Tavern. If I had a Tardis, I would definitely go back there.
I ran into my old friend the Boulder Bookstore, where I bought some Neuhaus chocolate and picked up a few extra bookmarks. I still have a plastic bag from the Boulder Bookstore that I cherish. When I saw the “For Lease” sign in the window, I panicked, thinking that the bookstore had done a Tattered Cover and gotten rid of its upper floors. But I went up the stairs and found everything as it used to be—the windows of the “in-between” floor look out on 11th Street, not on the mall.
I took all these pictures on my cell phone, and as I was editing them I realized some were truly bad. For some reason all the pictures I took of bookstore exteriors were blurry. The interiors turned out better.
That got me thinking that I’ve never striven for excellence in my cell phone pictures. It’s too basic for excellence—I use it to capture something for FB that I will never think about again or record something as a reminder. The only cell phone pictures that I try to make interesting are food pictures.
When I shoot with my DSLR, I pay attention to the lighting and check the corners for any distracting elements. I work at getting a good composition. But cell phone photography is so easy that I seldom think about making my pictures excellent—or even a little better.
I did get a couple of apps to diversify my cell phone photography. Here’s a Hipstamatic picture of Rocky Mountain National Park.
Which establishments do you remember fondly from the Pearl Street Mall of the 1980s and 1990s?
Jewelry stores seem to have longevity on Pearl Street. The Little Jewel, just west of Peppercorn, was here when I moved to Boulder ‘in’88. Across the way and down the street is Hurdle’s, which opened in 1947. On West Pearl is Classic Facets. Nearby is the Trident Bookstore & Café.
Thanks for that! I guess there is always a customer base for jewelry, and those stores have less trouble as rent goes up.