Chautauqua: From New York to Boulder

When I was no more than twelve and no less than eight years old (I say this because I truthfully cannot remember the year, and this span of four years sticks out in my mind vividly as a time full of the particular kind of awkwardness that comes with being 5’11” tall in the fifth grade), I spent part of my summer Chautauqua in New York with Grandma and Papa. We stayed at the United Methodist House on the Chautauqua Institution’s grounds, I attended art classes in the morning, played cards at midday, ate dinner on the wraparound porch in the late afternoon and, at night, we attended lectures, heard symphonies, and relaxed our bodies while stimulating our minds in the outdoor amphitheater across the road from the house.

This trip was one of those pockets of summer that you experience when you’re young that forever sticks with you at the back of your mind. It was a quiet excitement, not as outward and enthusiastic as a trip to Disneyland or a day at the horse racing track in Del Mar, but exciting in a more content, steadfast way. I vividly remember running back to the Methodist House one afternoon after my art class in my heather green Chautauqua tank top, sweat trickling down my temples and chalk covering my face, hands, and arms, from the project I carried under my arm. It was wonderful.

After moving to Boulder, I continuously heard about the Colorado Chautauqua, or Chautauqua Park, off of Baseline and Kinnikinic Roads. I love that, with Your Boulder, I have the chance to research and write about such unique and quintessential parts of Boulder, its history, and what has made it the kind of town it is today. With this post especially, I felt a definite sense of nostalgia and connection to the historical material, and I’m grateful that I was able to write about my new city while old memories filled my mind.

To read my Your Boulder article. “Boulder’s Chautauqua Park: A History,” you can click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *