On the street: A hard place to leave | AspenTimes.com

On the street: A hard place to leave

Chadwick Bowman
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – Since I moved up here in early September to complete my semester-long internship with The Aspen Times, I learned a thing or two about Aspen. I leave at the end of the week, putting off the obnoxious holiday celebrations at home until the very last minute.

But I did tell my mom I’d be home for Christmas.

Before moving here, I had been to Aspen only twice even though I was born and raised in Denver. I spent a couple of cold weekends at the Winter X Games as an observer and was entirely unaware of what this town was all about. I learned a few things.

First, everyone has a dog, and they are the most well-behaved dogs I have ever seen. My dog, which I left at home with my dad, is out of control to the point where I can’t take him anywhere. And worse, he’s a Rottweiler. But rarely here do you see two dogs battling it out on the sidewalks tangled up with their owners in their leashes. And rarely do you see a dog wandering the streets with its human companion in chase close behind.

Second, I learned and observed that you can never be too careful crossing any street in Aspen. You never know for sure if that Range Rover bearing down on you on the icy road is going to stop.

Next, I found that the nicer the bartenders, the more often I would frequent that bar. But I think that goes for any town.

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I learned that everyone is always optimistic yet pessimistic about the snow coming. They hope and know it will come but also are upset it’s not there then.

I learned people really can dress how they want. It’s the well-dressed coalescing with the underdressed. But it’s all the same to most people.

I learned people try to get everything out of every day, especially on the slopes. If it’s dumping snow, it’s a good day. And if it’s sunny, well, it’s still a good day.

Finally, I learned people treat one another well. This is a small town, and people work together every day to try to make it a better place. People treat visitors well, which is more than I can say about locals when I spent time living in Hawaii. People are generous, thoughtful and positive. People take pride in their town and in the youth here.

Everything I’ve learned is making this a hard place to leave.

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