So am I. My girlfriend and I are heading to Boulder and Denver this weekend to poke around, do some job interviews, and look at housing. I'm stoked to say the least. Do you guys have any favorite places (food especially) that I should check out?
I've been looking at job and rental listings on Craigslist and I'm pretty surprised by what I've found. The pay scale in CO seems to be a lot less than PA. Is this a reflection of the cost of living or is the job market that bad? Also does anyone have a housing resource besides Craigslist that they like? Your input is much appreciated.
This isn't the usual Boulder food recommendation, but try El Rey (Tortillarilla Rey) on the south side of Valmont just west of 30th st. Mexican food, as opposed to the shopping mall Mexican food you often find around here.
If you've never been to Boulder, you have to check out Mountain Sun / Southern Sun for the hippie brewpub experience. If you go to Southern Sun, you can check out Neptune Mountaineering which is right next door.
Also the Dushanbe Tea House is a pretty cool spot for Breakfast/Brunch/Tea..
You'll probably realize this quickly, but the job and housing markets are quite competitive in Boulder. I lived in Denver for many years before finally making my way into the bubble. ;-) But both cities are cool and some people definitely resonate a lot more with one city than the other.. so check em both out.
Visit Housing Helpers in Boulder right off of the highway, they'll help you find somewhere to live in nearby cities free of charge.
Check out Yak and Yeti brewpub in Arvada. Decent Indian food for a good price with good beers as well, check out the chai stout. It's also a haunted house. you also have to stop by Backcountry Pizza and Tap House in Boulder. Amazing pizza with an equally amazing tap list. I miss these places.
I think I'm going to try and hit all these food suggestions so far. I'll check out Padmapper and Housing Helpers as well. It seems like half the stuff on CL is bunk and it's getting pretty frustrating.
Boulder seems like a more attractive option to me because of its proximity to the mountains and the fact that it isn't an urban city. Coming out of Philadelphia, I'm over the big city thing. I want a yard again dammit! Boulder also seems to have less of a job market and from what I hear a bit of pretentiousness. It's a fair tradeoff though.
A note on the job search. It's weird here. I interviewed for a job in October, thought it went well. Sometime in early February, I got a call saying they would like to have a second interview. I went back for another round. Then got a call in May offering me the job. I have heard this story a couple of times, it's not like back east - employers take their time out here. So be patient and enjoy traveling around CO.
I second the Back Country Pizza, Mountain Sun Recommendations. The Rio is a great spot in the summer months for Margs on the roof watching the sunset behind the Flatirons as well.
Yeah Tits, my girlfriend recently discovered this. She has four interviews lined up for our visit and it's taken a long time to get it together. I'm looking forward to the slower pace though. I miss it. Here in Philadelphia everyone is moving at 200mph and they'll run you right over if you get in their way. It was the first thing I noticed when I moved here, makes for a lot of angry people.
I'd be angry too if I had to watch the Phillies/Flyers/76ers/Eagles. Definitely slower pace, but you will find that Boulder is the center of the Universe and that people are, well, self-interested. Which can be maddening at times. Just drive down 28th Street at 11:15am or go into Whole Foods, Boulder at it's finest.
It's the location and sub-cultures that make this place a great town. Have a blast!
You can get shitty contract work painting (no offense to any painters) or plenty or random things like that right away. But what kind of job are you looking for? And how much do you want to make? $10 and hour is still a pretty standard wage around here, just like it was 10 years ago...
Salt, Bramble and Hare, pizza de lupo, and The black cat are all awesome places to eat in Boulder.
In Denver my personal favorites are pinche tacos (if you're willing to wait for a table the tacos are ALWAYS worth it), table 6, bones, pho 79 (if you're into that sort of thing), the squeaky bean (if you have money to burn), Lala's has solid italian style pizza.
As far as the job market is concerned, things aren't horrible, but they aren't great either. As far as the construction trade is concerned and lot of companies are doing part-time lay-offs unless they were lucky enough to get davis-bacon jobs. Keep at it and you will find something.
Re: salaries.... As the title of your post suggests, people pretty much want to move here and are willing to sacrifice wage/salary for the opportunity to have the Colorado lifestyle. Employers obviously know this, so (at least in my field) the expectation is that they can pay less (and they do).
The job market does not seem to be as bad as some other areas, but you will probably not make as much as on the East Coast. Cost of living is definitely a lot higher in Boulder, so you might want to check out other areas also and not limit yourself. There are a lot of areas in the Front Range that have great proximity to the mountains and also fit your criteria of not being Philadelphia. :)
Definitely check out Southern Sun (cash only, but they have an ATM for the people like me who always forget).
Illegalís revolted last month on the tracks and pushed framing track rates up from thirty cents below what I was paying 22 years ago to to what I was paying eighteen years ago. Pay scale is all over the board but by and large lower than the coasts. Guys coming from Califorina say 10 to 15 an hour lower. All in all things have really picked up this year.
If you've never been to Boulder, you have to check out Mountain Sun / Southern Sun for the hippie brewpub experience.
Did you mean to say yuppie? It's a pretty cookie cutter tourist trap establishment, although beer and food are pretty good.
Wade J. wrote:
Boulder seems like a more attractive option to me because of its proximity to the mountains and the fact that it isn't an urban city. Coming out of Philadelphia, I'm over the big city thing. I want a yard again dammit!
Boulder IS a city - if you're picturing a nice quaint mountain town, you'd be very disappointed. It's a city, complete with strip malls and big box retailers. Beware of major corporate retailers masquerading as small independent shops! (An example is Whole Foods - you won't find one in the city proper, but there are) And good luck with getting away from stresses of the East Coast - there is a high percentage of Type A personalities, it's just manifested in different ways.
I'm not trying to be negative - Boulder is a great place if you have right expectations. For me, coming from NYC, it was a great disappointment - I found it's no different, just on a bit smaller scale, with less character, with same Type A personalities just wearing soft shells instead of tailored suits and more pretentious. I know I'm generalizing - I have friends who live there and have met great people who live there, but that was my first impression of Boulder. So if you know what to expect and are looking for more town rather than country environment, I think you'd be happy.
That wholefoods parking lot video is dead-on. Do you guys have Wegmans out there? Theres people in Philly that drive 40 minutes each way just to shop there.
It sounds like CO has a happiness tax built into the salary. The cost of living is lower than Philly, but the pay is way lower. Of course you don't have Philly city tax either, which is actually %25 higher that PA state tax. But you get to live in an awesome place.
dolgio- I'd love to live in a quiet mountain town, but my gf isn't ready for that yet. I feel like Boulder is an in-between. We can live in a house with a yard and not be shadowed by concrete and glass, but we're also not in the middle of nowhere.
You'll see lots of bike lanes, signs and racks on the front of buses. The legislative climate is definitely good for bikes as well, but the main drawback is the motorists here- Boulder has a high percentage of seriously selfish and distracted drivers, and the Colorado Front Range in general has a lot of drivers from other places (but not the same other place), so people's driving styles often don't mesh well together. There is also a confrontational attitude on the part of certain bike riders (as well as motorists), and while they're a minority it fuels misconceptions (it's not uncommon to see motorists cutting off bikers and it's not uncommon to see bikers stopped in the middle of a highway lane having a conversation while traffic tries to get around them). If you enjoy recreational riding you'll find lots of resources and groups here for road and mountain biking alike, and some great riding trails close to town.
In terms of tech jobs, the industry is doing well here; however, had I taken a job with a local company I would expect to take a ~20% paycut from what I was making in CA. Versus the W Coast, gas and state taxes are less but rent is similar. Food is more expensive and largely sanitized for the midwestern palate. As others have noted you have to factor in things like proximity to outdoor stuff which translates to gas/time savings along with less tangible quality of life things.
On the upside there's supposed to be a Trader Joe's in Boulder, as early as mid-2013, which will help cut into the Whole Foods virtual monopoly. There is respectable Vietnamese food in Broomfield and Denver and I found a good pupusa shack in Louisville.
Can't speak to Denver, but Boulder is one of the most bike friendly places I have encountered (have lived/ridden previously in the Bay Area, LA and Wasatch Front).
Southern Sun, The Rio for Mexican, and if you want to take her out for a nice dinner Tapas at the Med (these are all in Boulder). In Golden Woodys is a good pizza/salad bar option and it's right next to bentgate. Welcome and good luck =)
As far as the pay scale I'm not sure where in PA you're from but moving from Chicago to here the pay was a huge drop but cost of living is significantly cheaper. Depending on your field of work there is no real union strength out here as compared to the midwest/east coast.
I used to live The People's Republic and would bike to work year round. Many times the bike path would be plowed before the roads were, definitely bike friendly! It has been a few years, though, so YMMV.
Might be worth a look in Golden for housing; could be cheaper than Boulder and you'd have quicker access for many of the ski resorts and CCC. Something to consider if you're going to be a weekend warrior. Course, you would be further from RMNP and all the great Boulder area climbs. Lots of tradeoffs. Just feel it out, you'll find the right place. Nothing is permanent, anyways.
Southern Sun, The Rio for Mexican, and if you want to take her out for a nice dinner Tapas at the Med (these are all in Boulder). In Golden Woodys is a good pizza/salad bar option and it's right next to bentgate. Welcome and good luck =) As far as the pay scale I'm not sure where in PA you're from but moving from Chicago to here the pay was a huge drop but cost of living is significantly cheaper. Depending on your field of work there is no real union strength out here as compared to the midwest/east coast.
Mid west wankers and Ass hat east coasters are the reason places like Boulder smell like feet and vagina.
Don't move to Boulder, or colorado in general. The place is utter crap. Be a man and move to UT, WY or MT. Seriously, you'll be happier. Boulder and Denver suck ass in a big way. Move to SLC if you want good weather, climbing, skiing and cycling.
Mid west wankers and Ass hat east coasters are the reason places like Boulder smell like feet and vagina. Don't move to Boulder, or colorado in general. The place is utter crap. Be a man and move to UT, WY or MT. Seriously, you'll be happier. Boulder and Denver suck ass in a big way. Move to SLC if you want good weather, climbing, skiing and cycling.
It's possible his choice of state involves the desire for personal freedoms and progressive culture, aka not UT WY or MT. Although there certainly is a lot more open, barren space in those three...