BY JAMES PAVLICK
There are few things that are necessary in life. There are the things we need and there are the things we want. Whether it is in or out of life, that is up to us to decide. It’s a funny world we live in; it’s a small world with its nearly unlimited means of communication and travel. It is a small world we live in but by its sheer vastness and expanse we could never dream of visiting every location without these nearly unlimited forms of communication.
Some of the best parts of life are the ability and conscious effort to meet someone, something or some place. For the very first time of you meeting the entity in question, we say “hello” and exchange pleasantries. And in the end when you leave, you say “goodbye.” Often we may feel regret in our goodbyes. So fond are we remembering the goodbye that we hardly remember the hello from which we began. Fast friends though you may have become after the hello, the goodbye may come just as quick.
We remember Rick seeing Ilsa off before she gets on the plane. E.T. bidding adieu to Elliot before going home. To Scarlett: Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn. Even we felt the despair and utter devastation after Chuck Noland lost Wilson. These are not quintessential break-ups; they are friends or lovers seeing each other off for the very last time. There is no Paris, no Reese’s Pieces or island rescue big enough that may fill the holes in their hearts left by their partner’s departure.
We are afflicted with strong emotion evoked by these scenes. So wrought with anguish we are by their absconding that we rarely remember their hello until the movie is re-watched. These are the sorts of stories, books and movies that we remember; for the hello but especially the goodbye. Dare I compare these titans of written word and film to that of a town? Dare I compare their good fortune and plight to that of a living, breathing population? Must I dredge up the feelings of darkness and woe so that you may remember the light and happiness? The answer is unequivocally affirmative. May I have the pleasure of introducing this town that which I speak. I speak of Boulder, Colorado.
Boulder is a town nestled safely against the bosom of the Rocky Mountains. Its magnificent, natural landmarks are affectionately entitled the Flatirons for what reason is a mystery for you to solve. Gazing upon these peaks, you shall know and feel what love at first sight truly means. Soon after your liaison with the Flatirons begins, you will be inundated with acceptance and care by those residing within this beloved town. Like a warm, inviting fog washing over your skin; the hairs on your arms and neck prickle at the very thought of visiting and now, you no longer want but need to come to Boulder.
From the Hill to the campus of the University of Colorado, from Pearl Street to the NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory and beyond, you are welcome. Like with any new relationship, there is plenty to do, to see and to learn about Boulder. It will feel overwhelming at first; like a swirling torrent cascading upon your thoughts and will embellish and bewilder you. It is not a happy coincidence that storms are named after people, after all. But fear not! For we, the locals, the insiders, the college students and facilitators of this blog shall be your intrepid, virtuous guides through this confounding rabbit-hole and out the other side.
Within this literature you will find first-hand accounts of local eateries, of bars both dive and posh, and more beer breweries than you can shake a stick at; marijuana dispensaries that sell you the most chronic, dankest and skunkiest strand of brand; if that’s your cup of tea we shall help you pour. As your fearless Cyrano de Bergerac, we will whisper in your ear sweet nothings and suggestions to where you may start. Perhaps the runner or hiker inside grows anxious having been cooped up in a train, plane or automobile for too long and needs to be let loose from its cage. With Boulder you gain access to miles of trails and sidewalks for both hiking and running for which you unleash your inner pedestrian beast.
Perhaps the need for savoir faire in you screams for informed and academic instruction and talk. To where we would refer you is to the home of our beloved mascot, the buffalo and our home, the University of Colorado. Visit the oldest building on campus, Old Main. Whet your (non-alcoholic) whistle at the University Memorial Center. Watch the pendulums swing at the Duane Physics building. When the time is right, you can cheer on our Buffs as they strive tirelessly towards their respective championships. Or just simply lay down on the simple grass that feels as if it has been spun from silk at Farrand Field or the Norlin Quad and enjoy the beautiful weather that often brings forth the sunshine and smiles from all of us here.
Catch a show at any of our dozens of live productions acted, performed and played by fellow students and local actors alike. From funky to freaky to just plain fun, we have just the performance for you. If performance art is not your ticket, then perhaps other forms of art? Within the university is a microcosm entity; it is a city within itself. We have the living and the still art prints and canvas to satiate your thirst for the arts. Feel your desire fade into need, that need for which we are happy to help deliver.
John Muir once said, “The mountains are calling and I must go.” Now may you know to what and where he was referring. And when the Flatirons call, it is in your best interest to answer. Hop on a train, a plane or an automobile; you’ll get here fast then you’ll take it slow. This is where you wanna go, down deep in Boulder and enjoy the rich colors, the lively characters, the unique architecture. You may reconnoiter and observe or you may allow that welcoming fog mentioned earlier to consume you because here in Boulder, you’re no longer are a tourist but a local. We accept all those who come. We love all those who stay. We weep when it’s finally time to say goodbye.
But unlike Rick, Elliot and Chuck, Boulder is big enough, warm enough and shaped just right to fit into that hole bore into your heart as you say your goodbye. Unlike with these few, minute details that which those men and boy latched upon, you take with you none of those things. When you leave Boulder, you never truly leave. We become a part of you and you a part of what makes Boulder a magnificent melting pot of ideas, food, activities for the health and the lethargic, and exceptional primary and secondary educational systems.
As your liaison with the Flatirons, the Rocky Mountains and the wonderful kingdom it overshadows draws to a close, we ask you to remember something. When you say goodbye to Boulder, you’re not saying that but see you later. We together have no special moments but a special time when you came to visit. The town of Boulder and its people puts the ‘colorful’ in the state’s slogan, “Colorful Colorado.” One visit to our town and you will see that the hello is just as important as the goodbye with one notable exception: when it comes to Boulder, it’s never goodbye but see you soon. No Parisian paradise, chocolate covered peanut butter treats or volleyballs with woven palm tree hair here. Forgo the want; feed your need. Abandon the woe. Leave with trepidation. Come to Boulder. Let the town into your heart and you’ll never have to say goodbye. You won’t regret it.
Cast Away. Dir. Robert Zemeckis. Prod. William Broyles. Perf. Tom Hanks and Helen Hunt. Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, 2000. DVD.
Gone with the Wind. Dir. Victor Fleming. Prod. David O. Selznick. By Sidney Coe Howard, Max Steiner, and Ernest Haller. Perf. Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Leslie Howard, Olivia De Havilland, Thomas Mitchell, and Hattie McDaniel. Loew’s Incorporated, 1939. DVD.
Love, Mike, and Carl Wilson. By Scott McKenzie. Kokomo. The Beach Boys. Capitol, 1988. MP3.
Muir, John. “John Muir Quote.” BrainyQuote. Xplore, 2015. Web. 21 Apr. 2016.