Dear Whole Foods Daddy: Jan. 3, 2024

Your burning Boulder questions, asked and answered — plus local new year resolutions

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We all have questions and need advice, but sometimes the pseudo therapy in the Instagram stories of astrology girls doesn’t cut it. Or maybe the gate-keeping culture of adventure bros has you fearing the judgment that comes with revealing yourself as a newbie at anything. This advice column exists to hold space for you and your Boulder queries (especially the uncool ones).


Who will love me like I’m brand new?

This question feels like seeing a heartbroken early-20s woman with mascara-streaked tears in the Bitter Bar bathroom and knowing exactly how she feels, despite being on the other side of a mature prefrontal cortex. I wish I could hold you and tell you that he’s not worth it, sweetie, even if he is 6’3” and looks like a Fjallraven model. (Oh, he’s actually a Fjallraven model? OK, still not worth it.) 

Sweet baby girl, of course you’re brand new, but you won’t find the validation you’re seeking in the sheets of a beard-y, leftist CU grad student, nor from the lanky Trident poet whose pretty words only amount to just that. You won’t find salvation from insecurity in the emotionally unavailable ultrarunner who is 50 miles gone and four energy gels deep by the time you wake up, or from some weird Boulder dude who will only bring you down and maybe inspire some art (or memes) in due time. 

Take or leave this advice from a jaded crone of 27: The magical boy who will see your lowest points and adore the ever-loving poop out of you, or in your words, to love you like you’re brand new — he exists. You probably know where this is going by now, but it’s you, baby. External validation is nice, but you won’t be in the form to receive that love if you don’t recognize how brand-spanking-new you are in the first place. 

Who eats at Pasta Jays?

Me, bitch! 

Sure, the pasta itself is whatever the exact opposite of al dente is, but it fully serves its purpose as a mushy vehicle for so much cheese. But do we go to Pasta Jays because we want to feel like Tony Soprano at Vesuvio? No! We go to Pasta Jays to crush entire bottles of cheap Chianti until you and the equally drunk Wisconsin dad at the next table are both quoting Moonstruck to each other. In the profane hall of gross decadence that is Pasta Jays, this is the meaning of la famiglia. 

Why did the city reopen West Pearl Street to cars?

For a moment in history, the stretch of Pearl between 11th and 9th streets was briefly the horniest and grooviest place in the universe. Even if the initial reason for closing West Pearl to cars was questionable in hindsight — Was walking close to people outside really worse for public health than indoor dining? — the result was inarguably some super rad pedestrian times.

Do I think the Powers That Be saw how quickly folks embraced a pedestrian world and that it challenged the car-worship status quo enough that it had to be shut down? I don’t
not think it!

New to town … where’s the good food that isn’t crazy $$$?

Welcome, sweet summer child. Did you land in Boulder, your stomach full of anticipation for your sexy mountain life, but with so much hunger? Here are a few suggestions:

1) I’ll let you in on a secret: Even drunk people can’t finish all their fries at the Pub. 

2) You know how the fancy cheese at Cured Dedalus (old habits die fast) is 1. delicious, 2. rather expensive, and 3. sold per weight? You can finesse this tricky situation by purchasing very, very, tiny amounts of cheese. BOOM, you’re welcome. You can thank me when the cheesemonger is not at all annoyed by what you are doing. 

3) You might think stuffing yourself with sushi and sake at Japango would bust your budget. However, thanks to the high per-capita rate of lonely, rich older men in this (socially transactional) land of plenty, your cute face can get you as much sashimi as you can shove into it. 

Dudes dress like (blank) = red flag?

Wide, flat-brimmed hat with a feather in it. Imagine kissing a man with a wide flat-brimmed hat with a feather in it. Imagine kissing him in public. Imagine kissing him in the middle of closed-down West Pearl while everyone whose opinion you’ve ever valued looks on in judgment as you kiss a grown 


3 ways Boulder can resolve to do better in 2024

1) Kick the minimalist aesthetic

No doubt, the Alpine Modern, Scandinavian-chic interior decorating trend was cool when it was novel. “Wow, this coffee shop is so lovely to look at, all of the surfaces are either white or light-paneled wood, and it’s so bright! This must be what it feels like to live in the land of Skarsgård brothers and socialized healthcare ϑ” But now, it’s spread like a virus in ubiquity: Every new coffee shop, healthy mid-price range salad chain, co-working space and niche-retail spot in Boulder adopts the minimalism aesthetic like a construction code. And, the Ikea-core charm is soon lost once the wooden stool of a seat makes your booty feel downright serf-like, and your ass is not getting any fatter from those tiny pastries and Nordic room temperatures. 

The time has come to bring back utilitarian design and embrace authenticity. Give me Vick’s NoBo (RIP); give me fluorescent lighting and linoleum floors and tables covered with the discarded Daily Cameras of old men past; give me Moe’s Broadway Bagel vibes on every goddamn street corner. 

2) Stop gatekeeping the trails

Do you feel like a big man when you make a post on the r/Boulder subreddit mocking people who over-prepare for trails? Do you feel like a very big, outdoorsy boy when you point out how cringe it is for people to bring a backpack to hike Royal Arch while your 5-year-old ascends Bear Peak armed with only a Nalgene? 

Congrats on your kid’s absolutely jacked calves, gatekeeping bro. However, I regret to inform you that you can’t “win” trails or win outside. Maybe in 2024, you greet that fellow traveler, so soft under their hiking aid, with a small smile and then shut the fuck up? (Side note: You can still lose outdoors by blasting music from your portable speakers.) 

3) End the generational cycle 

At some point, promoting the most overt forms of diet culture became increasingly distasteful. It turns out, you can’t even give teenage girls an instruction manual to develop an eating disorder without risking being canceled on the onlines. Well fear not, the Boulder moms have and will always pick up the mantle of passing the family heirloom of a terrible relationship with food onto their doomed offspring. 

To the well-meaning Boulder moms, I’m truly sorry that the Powers That Be convinced you that an extra-brutal morning run is the correct punishment for last night’s extra scoop of low-carb ice cream. It might be too late to deprogram yourself, but it’s not too late for your daughter whose hunger signals have not yet been destroyed by laxative abuse extremely healthy detox supplements. The best part is, you don’t have to do anything — just use every ounce of self-restraint in your body to not comment on homegirl’s Freshman 15.