boulder is a trippy place, man.


My apologies for my lack of postings this weekend. I’d like to say that I was just pretending this was a real job and taking the weekend off, but really, for the entirety of this weekend I was too drunk or too hungover or too asleep or my fingers were too covered in Smartfood to write anything. And this morning, I went through my usual routine of setting my alarm for a reasonable time, like 8:00, picking up my phone and bringing it into bed with me when the alarm went off, reading my emails in bed (because I’m so important that I have a Blackberry solely for the purpose of reading my emails in bed), tucking my phone under me, and falling back asleep for three more hours. Looks like all that rest left me with the energy to write run-on sentences that would make my AP English teacher weep.
Anyway. On Friday Kelsey and I took our out-of-town visitor, Sarah, to Boulder and met up with my friend Anne. We had dinner at this great little tavern which served my new reason to believe in God, goat cheese macaroni. I’d like to shake the hand of the person who invented that. I could bathe in the stuff. Once we were energized by the goat cheese, we ventured out onto Pearl Street Mall. Pearl Street is one of my favorite areas in Boulder. It’s a pedestrian mall that stretches for four blocks and is lined with trees, used bookstores, stores like Banana Republic and Volcom, bars, and street performers. The street performers are the best part. While we were at dinner, Anne (a CU grad) was telling us about this “Zip Code Guy” who performs on Pearl Street every so often. Apparently, she has always wanted to see him and never got the chance.
As it turned out, God smiled down on us on this particular evening, and we ran into Zip Code Guy, who was just beginning his performance. A crowd had formed around him, and he was asking for people from out of town to tell him their zip codes. Once he knew the zip code, he told the crowd exactly where that person was from. It was absolutely amazing. He could even get zip codes from random countries like Moldova. As he spoke, he was making a map of the US on the ground with a yellow chain.
After this warmup, he began to place people on the map according to their zip codes. I was placed on in 23173 (Richmond, Virginia, where I went to school), Kelsey was placed nearby in Williamsburg, and Sarah was placed up in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. (Anne made the mistake of staying in Colorado her whole life, so she didn’t have any obscure zip codes to throw out.) Zip Code Guy placed about 30 people on this map, from Maine to Wayne, Indiana, to Arizona. Once everyone was placed in their respective towns, he went through and recited every single person’s zip code, pausing to juggle five balls at once when he needed a little extra time to think. It was honestly one of the most impressive random talents I have ever seen. When we ran into Zip Code Guy after the show, he told us that it took him a few years and some driving around the country to finally memorize everything. Nutso.
It seemed that Zip Code Guy would have talked to us forever had we not ended the conversation, which made us feel bad for him (as in, he probably has nowhere else to go), and we were depressed until we stumbled upon some drummers. The drummers were a group of five or six guys just jamming out on a variety of bongos and other drums whose names I obviously don’t know. They also had these random girls who would come into the center of the circle and dance like maniacs every so often. These dancers were eventually joined by some brave crowd members: children; some drunk 30-something couples; a girl wearing a hat, a scarf, and mittens even though it was 70 degrees; and a man who could be your father (or maybe your weird single uncle), dancing to the beat even though he had his own Walkman on. Here, take a look:

This all was great fun. We spent an hour or two just wandering around and watching people before realizing that it was almost midnight and maybe we should go, you know, drink. (We also got a bit disillusioned by the whole street performer thing when we found a five-year-old girl whose parents had very obviously trained her to sing and play the guitar for money. We agreed with some random boy who muttered “That’s great parenting,” and then Anne told us that that very boy had gotten arrested his freshman year for beating his girlfriend. Sweet.) We met up with some friends at a bar a little farther down Pearl, and when we stepped in, it actually felt like a different world. “Sexy Can I” and “Please Don’t Stop the Music” were playing in the background, girls were wearing “labia skimmers,” or dresses that should have been shirts (a crime which I was accidentally guilty of on Saturday), and everything was all dark and trendy. The contrast between these people and the strung-out hippies selling lanyards that appeared to be made of their own dreadlocks was striking.
Like I said, Boulder’s a weird place. If you’ve never been, go. Tell Zip Code Guy I said hello.


[Posted by Mallory]

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Filed under adventures, blogging, dance, music

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