Cognitive Dissonance

So, pretend you’re biking west along the Boulder Creek and Goose Creek bike paths, because you’ve just got off work at Central and Flatirons and want to get to 28th Street. As one does. You pass the post office out at 55th and Valmont, and the Harley Davidson garage, and soon you’re passing Eco-Cycle, through Valmont City Park, and then alongside old Pearl Street towards Foothills.

Before you get to Foothills, you notice some sort of construction going on to the right of the bike path. Looks like a new condo or apartment arrangement. “Neat,” you think (if you’re me). “Walking distance to Redstone Meadery and the Parkway Diner. I wonder…”

And then you stop wondering because you’ve drawn abreast of the identifying and advertising sign. You know, the one next to a construction site that tells you what a wonderful place this will be when it’s complete, and what it will be called, and don’t you want to live/shop/work work/own an office/fabricate auto parts here?

And what will this wonderful place be called?

Harlem Yards.

*blink* *blink*

No guano? Seriously? Harlem Yards?

A neighborhood called Harlem? In Boulder?


…That sound you hear, after the crash that’s me toppling over into the creek from too much blinking, is undoubtedly Billie Holiday rolling over in her grave.

11 Comments so far

  1. Joe Helfrich (unregistered) on January 26th, 2007 @ 10:03 pm

    When is it going to be open? Because I really want to take some pictures of real yards in Harlem, make posters, and slap them up over their happy little apartment complex drawings. But I’m not getting back to the city until May, most likely.

  2. Gabe (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 12:45 am

    Mmm, Redstone had a booth at the Oriental for the beerfest this evening, twas good and they were one of the breweries to run plum out of drink.

    But Harlem? This is why folk are flocking to Portland, of the OR. But it too will soon fall victim to the gentrification that has overwhelmed our precious Boulder.

    I need more mead.

  3. dicker (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 8:55 am

    I’m surprised they’re not calling it “The Yards at Harlem” or…. “Harlem Upon Flatirons.”


  4. John (unregistered) on January 27th, 2007 @ 2:44 pm

    Wonder is PS103 is going up next to it? :)

  5. Bart (unregistered) on January 29th, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    Isn’t that a few blocks over from the Hell’s Kitchen restaurant? ;)

  6. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on January 30th, 2007 @ 12:16 am

    OK, this is weird. My comment appears to have gone Poof. Lemme try this again…

    Joe: Next time I’m in that direction, I’ll try to get a date for you. Maybe a picture, too. I mean, that sign has to be seen to be believed.

    Gabe: I’m with you on the mead. You know they’ve got a new vintage reserve out, right?

    Dicker: How about “Harlem-On-The-Creek”? Bwahaha. Seriously, this sorta kinda counts as a warehouse district; I guess that’s as close to street cred as this thing gets.

    John: You have stumped me. What is a PS103? It sounds like a college class.

    Bart: Aha! Obviously that’s what they’re going to be renaming the Parkway Restaurant. Heck, it’s right next to an auto body shop and a Valvoline, it could work!

    OK, crossing fingers that this comment actually stays up. Seems like, me being a blogger here, I should be able to do something about that… Hey! Moveable Type! I swear I’m not canned meat products!

  7. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on February 1st, 2007 @ 2:13 pm

    Because I love you guys, I braved the cold this morning, before it started dumping snow by the metric ton again, braved, I say, the snow-laden Goose Creek bike path, did not fall over, and got you this picture. Happy Imbolc!

    As you can see, I was mistaken. It’s not going to be residential or retail; it’s going to be industrial space, just like its neighbors. It also says “available Fall 2006” which obviously means “for sale” not “for moving in.” There’s a phone number on the sign for anyone who wants to know more.

    Afterwards, I went to Hell’s Kitchen, I mean the Parkway Restaurant, for their half breakfast burrito ($5.50! No more expensive than a Del Mar or Mame’s at your favorite coffee shop, only it comes on a plate with red chili and a tortilla and fixins!) and a bit of gab with one of the waitresses.

    Me: “So… Harlem Yards, huh?”
    Her: “Yeah. Just… Yeah.”
    Both: [Shakes heads, avoids each other’s eyes]
    Her: “Coffee?”
    Me: “Oh yes.”

    That’s about how the conversation went. There was a bit in there about how I was a total loon for biking around today too, but, meh.

  8. ipkis (unregistered) on February 4th, 2007 @ 12:57 pm

    Seems like lot of people here are having a problem with just a name. God forbid some black people move in huge numbers. That would give y’all a heart attack, wouldn’t it?

  9. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on February 4th, 2007 @ 1:55 pm

    Ipkis: Oh, goodness me, no! Boulder is pretty much the wrong city to accuse of racism. But its current make-up is so very much “yuppy-college-Buddhist-hippie” that naming any complex in the place “Harlem”–no matter what color skin the inhabitants are wearing–sorta makes one’s irony meters go right off the scale. It’s like taking, say, a corner of the U District in Seattle and naming it “Lower Ninth Ward.” It’s like my ultra-white jazz chorus trying to sing “Black Water” but failing to insert anything resembling soul (although I swear we got better after the first few rehearsals!). There’s just no street cred there, y’know?

  10. ipkis (unregistered) on February 6th, 2007 @ 6:00 pm

    Oh, ok, i can dig yuppy Buddhist hippies. I am new to Denver, and my minority radar is being too sensitive.

  11. Nicole J. LeBoeuf-Little (unregistered) on February 7th, 2007 @ 10:39 am

    No worries, and welcome! Come on up to Boulder sometime, experience the vibe, take tea at the Boulder-Dushanbe Teahouse, all that good stuff!

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