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Unread 08-07-2007, 01:19 AM
 
3 posts, read 9,688 times
Reputation: 13
Default Racial Diversity in Boulder?

My partner and I are looking at moving to Boulder, where a white friend originally from D.C. has invited us to move with rave reviews. We are in our late 30s, and expecting our first child. He is Black; I am Jewish and we are both craftspeople and musicians. We are ultra-liberal, Buddhist-leaning, strongly prefer a pedestrian/bikeable community with a clean environment. We are familiar with the "People's Republic" phenomenon, as we have it here in Takoma Park. We are native to Washington, D.C. where a 1-bedroom condo costs $500,000, so Boulder seems really cheap by comparison.
My main concern is Will we fit in as an interracial couple with a black child, and will our child learn to value different kinds of people? Thanks!!
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Unread 08-07-2007, 02:47 AM
 
Location: Staring at Mt. Meeker
220 posts, read 507,041 times
Reputation: 240
Your background is that of the average Boulderite. You are going to the right place based on the ultra-liberal, buddhist lean and will fit right in. Racial diversity in Boulder is the greatest I have seen in Colorado because of the influx of college students, many of whom stay. The northern part of Colorado is pretty white, yet I have not seen any issues- not even a hint. I graduated from a HS that was 68% black at the time, so I understand diversity being a white Italian.. Denver has a pretty diverse population and is only a few minutes from Boulder, which btw is a walkable, bikeable, take-public-transportation kind of place. You are going to love it! Good luck.

In the public schools of Boulder, I have personally seen the posters on the wall stressing understanding of fellow humans regarless of where they're from, gender, race, etc. When you come into town, visit the Pearl Street Mall and then make a point of visiting the schools. Your decision will be made for you based on the experiences.

In re-reading your post, I see that you are also musicians. Just about every coffee shop in Boulder has an open mic night and the local scene is very inspiring. Thank your friend for inviting you out!
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Unread 08-07-2007, 10:41 AM
 
2,755 posts, read 7,929,271 times
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I think you'll like Boulder. Even with the "People's Republic" mentality, I think it's a great town if you don't mind the price tag (and it sounds like you don't). It is politically liberal in many ways, but I was fairly happy there even being a relative moderate. Boulder has much going for it.

As for racial diversity, unfortunately, Boulder has very little; its population is overwhelmingly Caucasian, particularly if you take away the CU undergraduates. In fact, I'd say it is one of the least racially diverse cities on the Front Range. Many of the Hispanics you'll see working in shops and restaurants actually live in Longmont, Thornton, Westminster, or further away. I will say that it has nothing to do with intolerance or anything like that; Boulder is very welcoming, it's just that by Colorado standards, Boulder is extremely expensive, and Longmont is only 10 miles away.
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Unread 08-07-2007, 05:29 PM
 
Location: Boulder
151 posts, read 457,406 times
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Boulder's a fine place to live, for the most part -- although those of us who were here when it really was a small town sometimes hate the traffic (we grid-locked for the first time a few years ago) and the pollution (we're in a valley with a tendency towards inversion layers that can trap some pretty foul air).

Yes, it is verrry white, but also very tolerant -- to the point where most folks don't even seem to notice race or any mix thereof. Most people will respond positively to any signs of intellect, culture and good communication skills. If you're friendly, they're friendly. If you're interesting to talk to, you'll find lots of people who will return that quality in full.

Lots of music, of all kinds. Several viable craft coops and outlets -- although you've gotta be really good to suceed with them. Lots of interesting people from all kinds of other places, so it's a dynamic, cosmopolitan and fairly uptown mix, and the university adds a nice international flavor.

It's ever reasonably safe, although I am no longer comfortable wandering around the CU campus at night since it tends to attract the weirdos, of which Boulder seems to have more than its share. The Boulder Downtown Mall seems to be a magnet for people wanting a handout. We've even had a few groups of what I think of as "toughs" (all white, tattooed, stupid, stoned and seriously unhealthy) wander into town and try to shake down business types. Fortunately, the Boulder police maintain a strong and visible presense there, for just that reason.

I'd suggest checking the local newspaper (the Boulder Daily Camera) online for several weeks to get a clearer picture of our local "troubles", such as they are.

You'll probably decide to move here, and probably think it's an improvement over where you are now -- everything is, of course, relative <ironic grin from a person who still thinks of herself as small town and not particularly sophistocated, but who still likes Boulder's energy and vibes>

So, before the fact, let me say "Welcome to Boulder!"

MM
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Unread 01-11-2008, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Cincinnati, OH
30 posts, read 139,740 times
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Coming from the midwest to Boulder, I found Boulder's lack of diversity dissapointing. But I also echo what other's have said, this problem doesn't seem to come from racist values. People in Boulder for the most part are friendly and open-minded about culture. I, for selfish reasons, would urge you to move to Boulder simply so the city can be that much more diverse. We need it here, and I think most people want it!
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Unread 01-11-2008, 07:59 PM
 
303 posts, read 850,768 times
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I grew up in and around Takoma Park (~20 yrs), so I can make a few comparisons.

1. Boulder is more like the historic district of TP and not at all like the sections of TP near Langely Park, Maple Ave, or Flower Ave (maybe Flower near Carroll). The Hill (near CU) is a lot like the bit of College Park where undergrads live off campus in sfh/converted apartments.

2. If there were a tree fight, TP would overwhelming crush Boulder, haha.

3. RTD is rather like Ride-On, but more expensive. Away from Broadway, the buses don't run a lot late/weekends.

4. Boulder is much more bicycle friendly, but I'd give them about the same rating for pedestrians.

5. I like Sligo Creek a lot more than Boulder Creek, but that is IMHO

6. Boulder is very very white (as has been mentioned above). TP has a broader mix, esp outside of the historic areas. Denver is more diverse than Boulder, but still less diverse than downcounty MC in general.

7. Boulder - no metro/subway station. TP - Takoma metro station.

8. The Pearl St Mall is larger and has more shops than downtown TP. There is a little panhandling, but not more than you'd get in downtown DC. The farmers markets are comparable.

9. Boulder is cheaper in terms of housing; a bit more expensive in terms of food. I think gas is ballpark equivalent, although I wasn't paying attention when I was in TP two weeks ago.

10. There is at least some Jewish community here, but somehow I doubt that Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashana are public school holidays like they are in MCPS (I could be wrong tho). I think there is a good-sized Buddhist community.

11. Surprisingly, I think TP has better (more) recycling than Boulder, but I'm comparing mid-90s TP with current Boulder practices, so I might be wrong. I'll just say I was surprised at how many things I was used to recycling that aren't recycled in Boulder, unless you go to the special recycling place.

12. There are some craft-y organizations, like the Handweavers Guild in Boulder.

13. Boulder has no equivalent of the Wheaton Book sale, alas. There is one big nice main library and two much smaller branches. I think the winner here will be TP, as Boulder is part of a very small library consortium, and I have a very hard time finding books in their catalog that I am looking for. TP has the power of the entire MCPL to draw on, plus you can check out books from Fairfax/etc. That said, the main library is quite nice, and if you don't mind purchasing more obscure titles it should do fine.

Um, if you have any specific TP vs Boulder questions, let me know.
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Unread 01-11-2008, 08:36 PM
 
Location: Frederick, MD
273 posts, read 516,256 times
Reputation: 391
Quote:
Originally Posted by zericha View Post
My partner and I are looking at moving to Boulder, where a white friend originally from D.C. has invited us to move with rave reviews. We are in our late 30s, and expecting our first child. He is Black; I am Jewish and we are both craftspeople and musicians. We are ultra-liberal, Buddhist-leaning, strongly prefer a pedestrian/bikeable community with a clean environment. We are familiar with the "People's Republic" phenomenon, as we have it here in Takoma Park. We are native to Washington, D.C. where a 1-bedroom condo costs $500,000, so Boulder seems really cheap by comparison.
My main concern is Will we fit in as an interracial couple with a black child, and will our child learn to value different kinds of people? Thanks!!
Having grown up in D.C. and currently living in Boulder I do have some perspective. Boulder today is nothing like it was 30 years ago and the "Peoples Republic of Boulder" doesn't exist today. Boulder is increasing and quickly becoming a city for people with a LOT of money and that is the trend and I think it will continue into the future. Rich people, white, more and more conservative. This is Boulder today in my opinion. Sure there are a lot of very nice tolerant people in Boulder, but where I live in Gunbarrel, about 15 minutes east of Boulder we have mostly republicans in my neighborhood that don't recycle and don't come out of their houses for most of the year.

The recycling rate in Boulder is about 50% so that should tell you something about the community.

With regard to your child valuing different types of people that will be hard to do with so little variety in the type of people that live here. I could probably count on two hands the number of black people I have seen in Boulder in the past few months. Perhaps other people have a different experience, but that is mine. When I lived in D.C. my children did have a variety of cultures and people to grow and learn from and I valued and still value those experiences, unfortunately in Boulder it's wonder bread city. Before too long I will be returning to D.C. with all it's problems, and won't miss Boulder at all.

It's nice here for some, but you should visit before making any plans. For me, I miss D.C.
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Unread 01-11-2008, 09:55 PM
Status: "Maple tree is leafing out!" (set 7 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
65,443 posts, read 51,799,109 times
Reputation: 17911
The price of gas was mentioned, so I thought I'd post this:

Local gas is among the cheapest in the nation : County News : Boulder Daily Camera (http://www.dailycamera.com/news/2008/jan/11/local-gas-is-among-cheapest-in-nation/ - broken link)
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Unread 01-12-2008, 11:48 AM
 
8 posts, read 17,454 times
Reputation: 13
Liberal, Buddhist, whatever is fine. Race/ethnicity is another issue.

Professional friends of mine have an adopted darker-skinned child; they moved him from their neighborhood school to a different one where he would not be the only dark-skinned child in the class.

I recently found myself in San Francisco noticing a black/white lesbian couple walking down the street arm in arm. It struck me that I've never seen anything like that in 15 years in Boulder, where there are very few African-Americans. Denver is a whole lot more racially diverse.

People seem to be very open-minded, but there's a big difference between thinking you're open-minded and actually creating a diverse community.
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Unread 07-29-2008, 01:24 PM
 
1 posts, read 6,569 times
Reputation: 12
Boulder can't get any more white ... if it weren't for the CU atheletic department ...
the darkest people in town would be the illegal maids ... the ones that make less than the panhandlers ...
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