Thanks to the combined efforts of Hollywood and a slew of popular American rappers, the “east side” is often labeled in a negative way. It’s always on the wrong side of the tracks, it’s where the terrifying gang bangers reside, it’s got the shabby buildings, and ironically, it usually has some of the best food (should you be brave enough to cross the tracks and have a taste). But let me tell you a not-so-secret secret, Hollywood and rappers are not always right, and they are especially not right about the East End of Pearl Street.
Today I had the privilege of being free to roam and thoroughly explore and East End. I have a big love for the East End, because it was the first part of Pearl Street I ever explored when I arrived here at CU. I fell in love with The Cup at first sip and Buffalo Exchange found its way immediately into my wallet. My agenda today was a bit different than the aimless wandering I have come to know and love. Geared up with the fancy camera and legal pad, the people seemed to part on the sidewalk and let this obviously very important lady through. My credibility was quickly compromised however, when I lost my footing and took a slight tumble off the curb. No big deal folks, I’m an intern.
I figured the best route to take in my explorations would be to start in the far east (the scariest part, right?) and work my way to the bricks. Knowing very little about downtown’s spa scene, I headed to nail and waxing spa, ten20, to get more acquainted. I was blown away with the splendor of the space as there were walls of nail polishes, complimentary diet cokes and m&ms, and even a movie projected on their enormous screen. The staff was very friendly and let me know the skinny on their women’s bike team: it currently has sixty-five members and continues to expand with each meeting. They welcome women of all levels and even have Wednesday training nights where they bring stationary bikes into the spa and cycle to training videos (as well as each other’s encouragements). Makes me want to dust off the ol’ bike!
After my bike inspiration, I went to check out Boxcar Coffee Roasters and Cured to see if I could further develop my dream of being a coffee and/or wine connoisseur. This might be a shared space, but there is nothing crowded about it. I felt very welcome as I was greeted from my left and my right by employees ready to offer any insight or answer any questions.
Boxcar Coffee Roasters is a sleek, yet rustic establishment that does not hide their fervor for brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Along the wall, they sell bags of freshly roasted coffee that have origins in various coffee-connected countries, as well as their personal blends which combine select beans to create the perfect mix. Boxcar is also a café which sells the standard hot drinks and pastries, but each item has a flavor that can only be found in something that was made with passion. With a spin to the right, you will find yourself faced with Cured; a shop unlike any I have ever known. It focuses on “preserving a personal connection to food” by offering hand-picked selections of cheeses, cured meats, and wines. Not only is Cured an aesthetically pleasing place to shop, but they also offer classes every Thursday night to share their knowledge of choosing quality ingredients and how to bring them into your every day. And they are also the recent recipients of the 2011 Downtown Boulder Rising Star Award, so they’ve got our official stamp of approval.
In the spirit of giving the East End of Pearl Street its well deserved attention, I am splitting this blog in two. Check back on Tuesday for the second half of my explorations; and in the mean time, take a look at all the shopping and dining listings that the East End has to offer. There are so many and it will be well worth your time, I promise! And as a special treat for all you loyal blog readers, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org for your chance to win 2 FREE tickets to Los Lobos at Boulder Theater Friday March 9! To keep things fair, I’ll combine all the entries and randomly select one to be announced in my blog next Tuesday.