As you may know, back in February a Trader Joe’s store opened up here in Boulder. It was an instant hit and every time I’ve been there during the day it’s always been crowded. The store is smaller than the ones I remember in California, which means the aisles can get crowded, and the layout of the parking next to the store is a bit small so you’ll likely have to park further away during most hours of the day. In the times that I’ve been there I kept getting this feeling that I’d been someplace just like it in the past, but it wasn’t until recently that I finally made the connection. The Boulder Trader Joe’s is the Piazza San Marco of Boulder. For those of you who don’t know, Piazza San Marco is the main square of Venice, Italy. Venice, of course, is a very popular tourist destination and during most of the day Piazza San Marco is overrun with crowds. I was originally going to compare Trader Joe’s to Venice itself, but I realized the comparison doesn’t quite work because even during the peak hours of the day you can get away from the crowds in Venice if you make the effort. With Piazza San Marco, however, you need to visit either early or late to have the least number of people wandering around. Trader Joe’s in Boulder is the same. I only go there during the first or last of their opening hours because otherwise I’ll be bogged down moving slowly through the hordes of customers and then get stuck in long checkout lines. On the plus side, the Boulder Trader Joe’s, like Venice, has some good stuff and is definitely worth the visit. Just mind your timing.