People of Boulder

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Welcome to People of Boulder, a project from CUIndependent.com

The ultimate goal of this project is ambitious: providing a collective portrait of our town. We aim to do so with snapshots of the people who make Boulder the place it is.

Inspired largely by Humans of New York, we couldn’t help but think scenes of and around Boulder would be just as interesting and insightful. There’s something special here, something the numerous “best of” lists and travel guides profiling the city can’t convey.

Of course, the University of Colorado looms large in Boulder and one cannot think of the school and the town divorced from one another. We hope to represent everyone. Every day we come across individuals, students and non-students, with fascinating stories. We’re here to tell them.

James Bradbury, photographer

Christian Ayala, reporter

"What scares you?" "Heights. I really want to try something called highlining which is slacklining that you do above a hundred feet, which is pretty intense. What else scares me? That's about it to be honest."

“What scares you?”
“Heights. I really want to try something called highlining which is slacklining that you do above a hundred feet, which is pretty intense. What else scares me? That’s about it to be honest.”

"Which law would you change?" "I'd get rid of the Second Amendment. Well, I'd change it. I'm not against people owning guns, I have a rifle myself, but there are just too many of the darn things out there. And assault weapons with large magazines? Talk about misinterpreting the Constitution."

“Which law would you change?”
“I’d get rid of the Second Amendment. Well, I’d change it. I’m not against people owning guns, I have a rifle myself, but there are just too many of the darn things out there. And assault weapons with large magazines? Talk about misinterpreting the Constitution.”

"I'm fifty-three years-old, I've lived in Boulder for twenty-six years now. I loved living in LA and I always thought I'd go back to the beach, but I can't go back there, I'm westernized. I was born in New York City, in Brooklyn, and it's just what I know now. I've raised my children here and it's the closest thing to a real home I've ever had. Love Boulder."

“I’m fifty-three years-old, I’ve lived in Boulder for twenty-six years now. I loved living in LA and I always thought I’d go back to the beach, but I can’t go back there, I’m westernized. I was born in New York City, in Brooklyn, and it’s just what I know now. I’ve raised my children here and it’s the closest thing to a real home I’ve ever had. Love Boulder.”

"Who are your sources of fashion inspiration?" "A lot, but my mother actually is a big one. She dresses like a teen and it's amazing."

“Who are your sources of fashion inspiration?”
“A lot, but my mother actually is a big one. She dresses like a teen and it’s amazing.”

"Why should people vote?" "I think people should vote, especially on this campus, because our student government controls $24 million in student fees. That includes funding the Rec Center, the University Memorial Center, student grtoups. We have a huge presence as a student government so it's super important people have a voice in who's going to be making those decisions."

“Why should people vote?”
“I think people should vote, especially on this campus, because our student government controls $24 million in student fees. That includes funding the Rec Center, the University Memorial Center, student groups. We have a huge presence as a student government so it’s super important people have a voice in who’s going to be making those decisions.”

"If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?" "Enjoy what you have. Too many people complain about what they don't have, what isn't happening, what other people are doing, how bad the world is. I'm an optimist, I think you should enjoy what you have."

“If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?”
“Enjoy what you have. Too many people complain about what they don’t have, what isn’t happening, what other people are doing, how bad the world is. I’m an optimist, I think you should enjoy what you have.”

"What do you study?" "Physics. I do theory and calculations, my lab is a server. I research laser-atom interactions, except I'm a theorist so my lasers are made of math."

“What do you study?”
“Physics. I do theory and calculations, my lab is a server. I research laser-atom interactions, except I’m a theorist so my lasers are made of math.”

"Last weekend I accidentally got paint on Bill Clinton."

“Last weekend I accidentally got paint on Bill Clinton.”

"Where does most of your money go?"  "Alcohol and food."

“Where does most of your money go?”
“Alcohol and food.”

"Who's the most interesting client you've had?"  "Probably drunk people, they'll ask for things that they really can't have. Like they'll have no hair but want dreadlocks."

“Who’s the most interesting client you’ve had?”
“Probably drunk people, they’ll ask for things that they really can’t have. Like they’ll have no hair but want dreadlocks.”

"What it’s like being from Boulder and going to CU?"  "It’s the best of both worlds, I have my mom nearby but not so close that she bothers me."

“What it’s like being from Boulder and going to CU?”
“It’s the best of both worlds, I have my mom nearby but not so close that she bothers me.”

"I’m named after Canada." "Seriously?" "Yeah, Louise is my middle name, like Lake Louise. Alberta Louise. My mom was pregnant with me when she went to Canada and she fell in love with it and decided to name me after it." "Have you been to Alberta?" "No I haven’t, it’s like my life long goal. It’s number one on my bucket list."

“I’m named after Canada.”
“Seriously?”
“Yeah, Louise is my middle name, like Lake Louise. Alberta Louise. My mom was pregnant with me when she went to Canada and she fell in love with it and decided to name me after it.”
“Have you been to Alberta?”
“No I haven’t, it’s like my life long goal. It’s number one on my bucket list.”

"I associated myself as a Christian, I grew up in a Christian culture, I said to myself I was a Christian, but I’d hook up with girls frequently, I’d get wasted…lust was a big thing for me; and I thought it was ok because I heard of a thing called grace. I started reading the Bible and it started exposing my hipocracy. It laid a pretty good Christian look, and my life didn’t look like that at all. What matters is who I give my heart to. I loved myself more than God. When I eventually gave my heart to Christ, He completely freed me from lust. It doesn’t matter what I say or what I do, it’s who I give my heart to."

“I associated myself as a Christian, I grew up in a Christian culture, I said to myself I was a Christian, but I’d hook up with girls frequently, I’d get wasted…lust was a big thing for me; and I thought it was ok because I heard of a thing called grace. I started reading the Bible and it started exposing my hipocracy. It laid a pretty good Christian look, and my life didn’t look like that at all. What matters is who I give my heart to. I loved myself more than God. When I eventually gave my heart to Christ, He completely freed me from lust. It doesn’t matter what I say or what I do, it’s who I give my heart to.”

"I love living in Louisville, I don't like Boulder." "Why not?" "It's just too crowded. Wherever you go it's an anthill; a high concentration of people in a very small place."

“I love living in Louisville, I don’t like Boulder.”
“Why not?”
“It’s just too crowded. Wherever you go it’s an anthill; a high concentration of people in a very small place.”

"Why do you practice yoga?" "High school was pretty stressful for me at the beginning. I decided to go to a studio and I found a community there; I felt more relaxed, plus my grades and focus got a lot better. Actually, the first yoga class I ever went to my grandma brought me and it was yoga for seniors. Haha, I felt a little out of place but that's where I was first introduced to it."

“Why do you practice yoga?”
“High school was pretty stressful for me at the beginning. I decided to go to a studio and I found a community there; I felt more relaxed, plus my grades and focus got a lot better. Actually, the first yoga class I ever went to my grandma brought me and it was yoga for seniors. Haha, I felt a little out of place but that’s where I was first introduced to it.”

"She's kind of a secret, my R.A. doesn't know."

“She’s kind of a secret, my R.A. doesn’t know.”

"Why should somebody study abroad?" "You come to school here and you only get one side of the world. I grew up in Golden, Colorado my whole life, so I’d never really lived in a big city or lived on my own because I moved into a dorm then I moved off campus. I kind of just went on a whim and it was incredible."

“Why should somebody study abroad?”
“You come to school here and you only get one side of the world. I grew up in Golden, Colorado my whole life, so I’d never really lived in a big city or lived on my own because I moved into a dorm then I moved off campus. I kind of just went on a whim and it was incredible.”

"Who inspires you as an artist?" "A lot of different theorists and philosophers more than other artists because I like to read so much." "Who inspires you as a person?" "Obviously my parents, my sister and her family. Watching her go from a sister to a wife and mother, seeing how she and my parents adopt to the challenges in life."

“Who inspires you as an artist?”
“A lot of different theorists and philosophers more than other artists because I like to read so much.”
“Who inspires you as a person?”
“Obviously my parents, my sister and her family. Watching her go from a sister to a wife and mother, seeing how she and my parents adapt to the challenges in life.”

“How is college different than high school from a social point of view?" “If you don’t like someone you don’t have to see them because it’s a campus of 30,000. I came from a small school where we were all forced to ‘connect’ with each other. Here that can happen much more naturally.” “People are a lot more forgiving because we’re all going through the same things.” “You don’t have to mold your personality to ‘fit in.’”

“How is college different than high school from a social point of view?”
“If you don’t like someone you don’t have to see them because it’s a campus of 30,000. I came from a small school where we were all forced to ‘connect’ with each other. Here that can happen much more naturally.”
“People are a lot more forgiving because we’re all going through the same things.”
“You don’t have to mold your personality to ‘fit in.’”

“Do you think there are parallels between the rise and fall of Rome and the rise and potential fall of America?” “No, I think if America did fall it would be for different reasons. Rome over-extended itself, and we do have bases everywhere but I don’t think we’re going to have the same problems they had.”

“Do you think there are parallels between the rise and fall of Rome and the rise and potential fall of America?”
“No, I think if America did fall it would be for different reasons. Rome over-extended itself, and we do have bases everywhere but I don’t think we’re going to have the same problems they had.”

“Why are you in the library on such a beautiful day?” “I was running up to the office to ask if anyone wanted to join me at this book release tomorrow?” “What’s the book about?” “Grassroots level peacemaking in the African context.”

“Why are you in the library on such a beautiful day?”
“I was running up to the office to ask if anyone wanted to join me at this book release tomorrow?”
“What’s the book about?”
“Grassroots level peacemaking in the African context.”

"What's it like being a high school kid in Boulder?" "It sucks." "If you could leave where would you go?" "Canada."

“What’s it like being a high school kid in Boulder?”
“It sucks.”
“If you could leave where would you go?”
“Canada.”

"Do you think you'll stay in Colorado for an extended period of time?" "Yes." "Why's that?" "I love the variety of sports you can do in the mountains, anything like snowboarding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, it's just non-stop."

“Do you think you’ll stay in Colorado for an extended period of time?”
“Yes.”
“Why’s that?”
“I love the variety of sports you can do in the mountains, anything like snowboarding, kayaking, rafting, climbing, it’s just non-stop.”

"What's the secret to a successful meal?" "A recipe."

“What’s the secret to a successful meal?”
“A recipe.”

"Hey Bruiser, what's the best part about being a dog?" "Barking. Woof!"

“Hey Bruiser, what’s the best part about being a dog?”
“Barking. Woof!”

"The Internet has changed things. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to learn how to make a birdhouse, you'd buy a book on it. Today, you go online. It's become more about the book as an art object."

“The Internet has changed things. Twenty years ago, if you wanted to learn how to make a birdhouse, you’d buy a book on it. Today, you go online. It’s become more about the book as an art object.”

"How long have you two been together?" "Thirty years." "That's impressive." "It's impressive she would stay with me for that long."

“How long have you two been together?”
“Thirty years.”
“That’s impressive.”
“It’s impressive she would stay with me for that long.”

"I like to climb because I think it's the perfect combination of strength and focus. I feel like it centers me." "Have you noticed a strong community of climbers around here?" "Absolutely, it's the Mecca of climbing."

“I like to climb because I think it’s the perfect combination of strength and focus. I feel like it centers me.”
“Have you noticed a strong community of climbers around here?”
“Absolutely, it’s the Mecca of climbing.”

"Why did you become a lawyer?" "My sister is a lawyer. I was teaching tennis for a while, and realized that my body wouldn't hold up and I wanted to do something with my brain. I didn't think I would get anything of note accomplished in a pair of shorts and tennis shoes." "What's the best part about being a lawyer?" "Helping people out in a system that doesn't always take care of injured folks."

“Why did you become a lawyer?”
“My sister is a lawyer. I was teaching tennis for a while, and realized that my body wouldn’t hold up and I wanted to do something with my brain. I didn’t think I would get anything of note accomplished in a pair of shorts and tennis shoes.”
“What’s the best part about being a lawyer?”
“Helping people out in a system that doesn’t always take care of injured folks.”

"What are you most afraid of?" "Being a mean person, it's just such a waste of time. My life motto is 'don't panic and have a sense of humor.'"

“What are you most afraid of?”
“Being a mean person, it’s just such a waste of time. My life motto is ‘don’t panic and have a sense of humor.’”

"When I was young I wanted to be an artist." "How did you know?" "Just following my body and my sense to go through the doubt, and after graduating I never thought to get another job. Even though not many people know me, I'm just, you know, artist. It is my 'thing.'"

“When I was young I wanted to be an artist.”
“How did you know?”
“Just following my body and my sense to go through the doubt, and after graduating I never thought to get another job. Even though not many people know me, I’m just, you know, artist. It is my ‘thing.’”

"Would you consider yourself a good student?" "Yeah." "What do you look forward to most?" "Math class." "What drew you to math?" "I'm good with numbers."

“Would you consider yourself a good student?”
“Yeah.”
“What do you look forward to most?”
“Math class.”
“What drew you to math?”
“I’m good with numbers.”

"How has it been transferring (from Texas A&M)?" "It's like night and day." "What do you miss about Texas?" "I miss Whataburger and those Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits!"

“How has it been transferring (from Texas A&M)?”
“It’s like night and day.”
“What do you miss about Texas?”
“I miss Whataburger and those Honey Butter Chicken Biscuits!”

"The master's degree is something that allows me the opportunity to focus on my creative writing. It is a great environment to improve on my work and be surrounded by a community that is also interested in the same things that I'm interested in."

“The master’s degree is something that allows me the opportunity to focus on my creative writing. It is a great environment to improve on my work and be surrounded by a community that is also interested in the same things that I’m interested in.”

"What drew you to teaching in the first place?"  "I just like working with children. What I want to do is teach English as a second language."  "So what do you study as a college student?"  "I study linguistics and also psychology. The psychology is mostly for understanding how to deal with the kids."

“What drew you to teaching in the first place?”
“I just like working with children. What I want to do is teach English as a second language.”
“So what do you study as a college student?”
“I study linguistics and also psychology. The psychology is mostly for understanding how to deal with the kids.”

"Can I look sad?"  "You can look sad."

“Can I look sad?”
“You can look sad.”

"I think a good poet has to be able to say something and nothing at the same time. I think that is what makes poetry different from something like fiction. Poetry can say a hell-of-a lot by saying nothing; that's what makes it so extraordinary."

“I think a good poet has to be able to say something and nothing at the same time. I think that is what makes poetry different from something like fiction. Poetry can say a hell-of-a lot by saying nothing; that’s what makes it so extraordinary.”

"It's a PBGV, which is 'Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen'--French basset hound."  "How do you know you're ready to take the next step and get a dog together?"  "When you've been together for two years."  "Also, the entire last semester I stayed with her, so that was a pretty big step."

“It’s a PBGV, which is ‘Petit Basset Griffon Vendéen’–French basset hound.” “How do you know you’re ready to take the next step and get a dog together?” “When you’ve been together for two years.” “Also, the entire last semester I stayed with her, so that was a pretty big step.”

"What I love about record stores is that they're a great place to talk about music. More so than buying it, it's a nice kind of cultural thing to find about about new artists, or chat about old artists, and learning about music. It's different than talking or looking online. I really love the human interactions of the store."

“What I love about record stores is that they’re a great place to talk about music. More so than buying it, it’s a nice kind of cultural thing to find about about new artists, or chat about old artists, and learning about music. It’s different than talking or looking online. I really love the human interactions of the store.”
"How did you two meet?" "We actually met because we both knew this girl." "Did that work out?"  "No, haha, she was a bitch. But yeah, we became friends after that."

“How did you two meet?”
“We actually met because we both knew this girl.”
“Did that work out?”
“No, haha, she was a bitch. But yeah, we became friends after that.”

"What do you like most about living here?"  "It's the freedom."

“What do you like most about living here?”
“It’s the freedom.”

"A lot of mathmaticians that are also musicians, there's many similarities between the two."

“A lot of mathematicians that are also musicians, there’s many similarities between the two.”