QUESTION: My partner and I relocated to Aspen in January 2020. Long story short: Covid-19. Despite loving it here (for obvious reasons), after nearly a year we are still friendless. It was an adjustment going from a big city to a small one, but doing it while everyone is in near-isolation is starting to feel torturous. How can we connect with the community in a meaningful way during a pandemic?
answer: When I moved to Aspen from New York City in the early Aughts, not only was the silence deafening by comparison, but so were the howling coyotes in nearby Hunter Creek Valley. To be sure, I wanted peace and quiet, just not that much. So within days of arriving, I volunteered as an usher at the Wheeler Opera House and with the Buddy Program. Both provided a few introductions, as well as great insight into the community. The nonprofit Aspen Family Connections has been organizing a weekly food drive powered by a group of highly engaged locals since Covid’s onset; perhaps spending some masked, socially distanced time out of the house volunteering for pandemic-related causes will propel you into more social situations. If all else fails, skiing—uphill, downhill, or cross-country—is a great way to start seeing (and becoming) familiar faces.
Have an Aspen etiquette question for Meredith? Submit it to [email protected], and we’ll consider it for a future issue.