ashley dean
H appy anniversary, Boulder!

I can't believe we've been in this relationship for a year and it all started with a blind date. I had no idea what I was in for, but everyone assured me you were hot, fun and had good taste in beer and music, so I went

for it.

We both know we've had our disagreements. I wish you'd stop nagging me about the virtues of yoga, and you've put up with endless talk about my last relationship with New York City. It hasn't always been easy, but we've got a good thing going.

Everyone was right about your music, too. Sure, I was skeptical and had some complaints, but there are a lot of things I dig. At the risk of getting mushy, let me count the ways you rock.

No. 1: The bands who live here, or near here, are talented and incredibly nice. I enjoy seeing the same handful of locals play again and again, and the reason is simple: They're very good.

No. 2: You're not the biggest city -- I wouldn't even call you a city, but whatever -- so there's not a lot of room for music venues. As a result, I'm not exactly saturated with options for places to go and shows to see. But the upside of this is that I can walk/stumble to almost every venue in one night. Maybe I wouldn't want to, but I could, and I appreciate the option.

No. 3: A year in, bluegrass picks have not gotten old. I certainly don't mean to de-legitimize bluegrass. It's just that even after a year, this is still a novelty to me. People here play the banjo non-ironically and that is fantastic. The fact that anyone can just show up, grab a beer and play or watch makes it even better. Bluegrass by the people, for the people.

No. 4: You're so nice. I guess it's a middle-of-the-country thing? No one ever glares at me when I walk into a show I don't look like I belong at, and I rarely see people just standing in the back of a room, sipping a beer and looking unimpressed. If there's an asshole side to your music fans, I haven't glimpsed it.

No. 5: I'd probably go sit in the Boulder Theater with nothing going on just to enjoy the Art Deco.

No. 6: I was once given free bacon at The Lazy Dog. I don't know why, but thank you.

And so, here's to a great year, Boulder. Who knows how long we'll last, but I'm happy to be with you now.

xoxo,

Ashley

P.S. Where are we going tonight?