The pandemic might have cancelled in-person gatherings and big celebrations, but we want to take a moment and give thanks to Boulder and our readers.
Amid the chaos of the year with an unprecedented pandemic and wildfires, innovation, creativity and growth also emerged, and Boulder’s community stepped up and showed strength and perseverance.
Alli Fronzaglia, The Boulder Hiker Chick
Freelance writer, hiking guide, Audubon naturalist and community volunteer
“This year, with the outdoors as one of the only things that hasn’t been cancelled,” freelance writer and hiking guide Alli Fronzaglia writes, “I’m beyond thankful to live in Boulder where we have 45,000 acres of open space, 1,800 acres of urban parkland, and 155 miles of trails within city limits.
Maintaining physical and mental health is critical in 2020. Outdoor recreation makes us healthier and happier; it’s priceless to be able to recreate safely without leaving home. I’m thankful to Boulderites for being so adaptable and caring about our community.
Getting outside looks a little different these days — we have guidelines to follow, we’re avoiding large groups, we’re maintaining distance, and we’re bringing face coverings for when we can’t maintain distance. It takes more cooperation and consideration and I see Boulderites rising to the occasion every day. Because of that, these spaces can safely stay open for the benefit of all.
I’m also thankful for all our wonderful local businesses as I begin my holiday shopping!
Some of Alli’s local favorites:
- Into the Wind (Alli’s top stocking stuffers for 15 years and counting)
- Liberty Puzzles
- Weekends [clothing store]
- Gift cards from Big Red F (she’s a West End Tavern diehard), Pizzeria Locale, Foolish Craig’s, T/ACO, and the Mountain Sun restaurants
“I think 2020 has forced us to think about what is truly essential in our lives,” writes Alli, “and often it’s the little things like going for a hike on a sunny day, getting some great takeout (I’ve been eating a lot of sandwiches from Dish Gourmet lately), checking in on family/friends, or helping a neighbor in need. If I have to live through a pandemic, there’s no place I’d rather do it than right here in Boulder, Colorado.”
[The Boulder Hiker Chick ramps up Boulder’s dynamic community]
Michael Memsic, Co-Founder & CEO, Sanitas Brewing Co.
“Through all of the challenges of this year, I am thankful for the community that is Boulder,” Michael tells BLDRfly. “The support personally and professionally constantly reminds me that Boulder is home.
I feel incredibly fortunate to be able to participate and hopefully impact this community in a positive way when we feel like we are winning or we are thirsty for the next opportunity.”
[Sanitas Brewing Co.’s backyard bursts into action]
John Tayer, President & CEO, Boulder Chamber
“I’m thankful about and for Boulder,” John tells BLDRfly, “including the natural beauty, our entrepreneurial and innovate spirit, and our fierce determination to overcome the current challenges. Oh, and there’s nothing like getting outside for a good round of disc golf or a head clearing trail run to lift your spirits!”
John’s two favorite places for disc golf include Harlow Platts Disc Course and Valmont Disc Course, though if he had to choose one, he’d say Harlow Platts.
[BLDRfly podcast: Boulder Chamber CEO John Tayer]
Greg Lefcourt + Nafisa Ramos, Co-Founders, Beleza Coffee Bar
“We are thankful for our lives and community here in Boulder,” says Greg, who along with his wife Nafisa Ramos co-founded Boulder’s jungly coffee bar, Beleza. “[Being] surrounded by beauty and wonderful people coming together as a community during such a challenging year is quite uplifting.”
Greg and Nafisa embody Boulder’s mountain hospitality, working every aspect of the business daily and still making time for the small chats and connections that make Beleza feel like home for many.
[Beleza Coffee Bar: There’s ‘no mine’ in coffee]
Ryan Van Duzer, adventurer + video creator
“I’m thankful for the Boulder Star!” says Ryan van Duzer. “Ever since I was a little boy, the star has added endless magic to the holidays.”
Now in its 73rd year, the Star on Flagstaff mountain has shone over Boulder since 1947 and is now maintained by the Boulder Chamber of Commerce.
One of the best experiences involves hiking up the Viewpoint Trail to the Star from Eben G. Fine park in Boulder Canyon. The Star journey takes just about 20 minutes, and provides stunning city views on the way up.
[Boulder-grown adventure ambassador Ryan Van Duzer + the long trek to TV]
Tatyana Sharpton, assistant editor, BLDRfly
I’m thankful for friendships in Boulder and all the ways I’ve seen different groups and bubbles within Boulder overlap and intersect.
I’m also grateful to the local small businesses’ willingness to show local work and help connect Boulderites to some of these new products — like my friend Terrence Moore’s delicious homemade kombucha which he sells at 7957 Farm on Arapahoe Road. I love seeing things friends have poured love and energy into, out in the world!
Paul Hagey, editor, BLDRfly
I’m immensely thankful for the resilient local business owners who dream big everyday and work to innovate and make their visions a reality, which makes Boulder a great place to live.
I’m also thankful to all our profile subjects who open up their worlds and stories and allow us to share and hopefully accelerate the magic and dynamism that makes Boulder a vibrant place to live.
Header Image: Alli Fronzaglia