Archive for March, 2007

Beware the 36 East to 25 South exit ramp

Or you’ll end up like me on Wednesday night.

The driver ahead of me realized she needed to be on 76 East instead of 25 south and suddenly veered across two lanes of traffic, not taking into account, um, like, me.

It’s a tough piece of highway with a lot happening in a small amount of road. Beware…

Thank goodness for Illegal Pete’s

I’m becoming a bigger and bigger fan Illegal Pete’s. When I worked in Downtown the one on 16th street was my favorite lunch place, not just because their steak burrito is incredibly yummy, but because they have free wifi. Can’t beat that! I think Lodo has free wifi all over now, it’s been a while since I’ve enjoyed lunch up there.

Fast forward to.. now and I’m working in the Tech Center and low and behold, there’s an Illegal Pete’s about a mile from the office.

I highly recommend the Steak Burrito with the “hot” salsa. They’ve got a hotter salsa which is ok, but it ruins the flavor.

The City of Boulder Cares

I was going to open up this post by saying, “Or at least they want us to think so,” except that such cynicism turns out to be entirely unwarranted. But about that, more in a moment.

A Perilous Road Hazard

Peril Averted!

The City of Boulder website has a link entitled, “Report potholes, street and sidewalk issues.” Very clear and straightforward, that. I had been thinking that it would be the work of a morning to navigate a chthonic labyrinth of telephone touch-tone menus in order to finally earn the privilege of being told that no, deep and gaping holes in the middle of the bike lane on 30th Street were in fact Someone Else’s Problem. But as it turns out, the link I wanted was right here: “Report potholes, street and sidewalk issues.” Bingo.

The link leads to a web form via which you can make your report. You can even upload photos of the problem you’re reporting. Which is super cool, I think. I uploaded this photo here (the first one).

And the reason I’m not saying “At least, City of Boulder wants us to think they care” is this: Not 24 hours later, there was an email in my inbox assuring me that my report had been passed along to Utility Maintenance crews and that the photo I uploaded had succeeded in driving the point home. (“Yikes,” was my correspondent’s word.) And then, not two hours after that, I had another email telling me that the crews had found the hole, explaining me where the hole had come from, (“asphalt core,” was my correspondent’s word; it was not related to the utilities infrastructure) and reassuring me that the crews had already patched it so that no bicyclist would come to grief. (See second photo.)

So, yes, the City of Boulder does care.

And the reason I’m bothering telling you so is, well, blogs aren’t just for complaining. When things work the way they should, that ought to be just as newsworthy as when they fall apart. People can get really cynical about municipal, county, and state governing bodies, to the point of sounding a litlte smug when they predict bureaucratic inertia. Y’know, like, “You don’t really expect anything to be done about this, do you? Wake up!” But in this case, something was done, it was done promptly, and it was done with a level of responsiveness that blew my expectations out of the water.

I just think people ought to get credit for doing a good job, that’s all. So there you go.

Encore: Lulu’s, Porter-Batiste-Stoltz, And Other Stories

In short: PBS‘s performance Wednesday night was as funky as promised, and opening act On The One was a good match and totally worth catching. And Lulu’s Kitchen is as delicious as ever.

The story in full appears below the break, where I get a little bit wordy because, heck, I had fun.

Lulu's Kitchen is back!
Another great show at the Fox

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Friday Night Addendum: Lulu’s is Back

Oh, and speaking of Friday night and southern flavor, Lulu’s is back. Remember them? Used to be in Steelyards, in that restaurant space no one seems to be able to hold down for long? Served up fried chicken and collard greens and potato salad and drooooool…. Well, they’ve opened a new location on the Hill, and their doors were open when the Meters show got out at 1:15 AM. Grand opening and everything.

Supposedly they do an ultra-slow-cooked barbeque to die for. Supposedly the owner stays up really, really late the night before doing it up right. Supposedly I remember someone at the old location telling me this. (I might have hallucinated the conversation, though, being as how it was two in the morning.)

And it should be pointed out that the woman with the birthday and the shoving and whatnot? That I mentioned at the concert? Right, so, we ran into each other out on the sidewalk while I was delightedly gawking at Lulu’s new digs, and she totally invited me to go in and drink with her and her friends. So that’s all right.

Friday Night Funk! Aw yeah!

Da Funky Meters make da feet hurt. But dey hurt so good.

They played the Fox theater on Friday, March 9, just in time to celebrate the Fox’s 15th anniversary. They were originally just scheduled for the 8th, but apparently they’re pretty popular up here. I’m not entirely sure how that happened, but it’s the case that while nobody in Boulder can tell you exactly what “Hey Pocky Way” means, they damn well know to ask for it by name.

So, the Fox turned 15. Whoo the Fox. Me, maybe I’m just turning old, ’cause everytime I go there it feels like an increasingly unfriendly venue. Somewhere between the bookbag prohibition, the bartender’s response to my asking for a glass of water (i.e. plunked an Evian down, said “Two dollars please,” and spun off to some other task before I could say a word), and the woman who apparently decided that the occasion of her birthday somehow gave her the right to shove me around (“I’m gonna move this short bitch out my way,” I think her words were)… between all that, I sorta got the impression that I wasn’t exactly welcome.

But then the Meters did their thang and everything was all “OMG da fonk is-a fonkin’, an’ my feet, dey won’t quit!” Talk aboutcher fi-yo on da bayo’, yeah-you-right. Nothing like a good groove to make you forget which venue you wound up in for the night. Or city, for that matter.

And I’m not exactly swearing off the Fox just yet. ‘Cause PBS is playing there on Wednesday the 14th. What’s PBS, you ask? Why that would be Porter-Batiste-Stoltz, of course. George Porter Jr., Russell Batiste Jr, and Brian Stoltz. They’re touring Colorado sort of in tandem with the Meters, from which Brian Stoltz is parting company, and if you missed the shows last week they will assuredly administer your recommended dose of funk.

And I am here to tell you that the funk don’t stop until the short bitch drops. Yeah You Right.

Empty Bowl

My wife and I spent Friday night down in Castle Rock at the 7th annual Empty Bowl event. It’s a really cool charity event supporting the Women’s Center & Family Outreach Center. The jist is this; local potters (those who make pottery) create bowls, lots and lots of bowls. Get it ’empty bowl’. Supporters pay $35 to attend, and enjoy soup, lots and lots of soup, provided by local restaurants and diners. Each attendee gets to pick from all the bowls created, this year that was 1,800 bowls.

Proceeds from the tickets, as well as the sale of remaining bowls at the end of the night and the silent auction that went on during the dinner go towards the WCFOC, which is a good thing since domestic violence is a big deal and big problem in Douglas County.

I meant to mention this event before it happened, but turns out they sold out anyway, so you’ll just have to do it next year. It’s a great cause to be involved with and the soups were darn tasty!

For more info, here’s some write ups on the event.
Castle Rock
Denver Post

Kasa: Now Open. Also, Not A Sushi Bar

Kasa.jpgI’m sure I’m not the only Boulderite who’s been watching the corner of Pearl and 15th for months. First Belvedere Belgian Chocolate and BookCliff Vineyards opened up, and the Belvedere’s owner reported that the huge space on the corner that used to be an interior decor place was in fact going to be some sort of Japanese something or other. Then the Subway shop on the other side of the space in question opened up, because Boulder needs more Subway shops like it needs more salons, which is to say not that much. It looks like the comfiest Subway shop ever–it’s got armchairs and a 42″ TV–but it’s still a Subway shop. Such a tease. Meanwhile, the windows of the corner space remained papered and anonymous.

Then, the papered-over windows sprouted a sign that said, Kasa: Opening Soon. Then the paper went away, and you could see the furniture and the white bamboo decor and the upside-down paper umbrellas tiling the ceiling. And the owner of the Belvedere said he’d heard end of January, but end of January came and went.

And then I got really stupid busy and barely stuck my nose downtown for weeks, and boom! Kasa is open.

My husband and I tried ’em out tonight. Upon arrival, the first thing we noticed was a big TV over the alcohol bar playing some sort of shoujo anime, which John pronounced “crazy cool.” Next thing we learned was we could not sit at the sushi bar because Kasa does not have a sushi bar. I apologized profusely and corrected my request to “the food bar,” because I didn’t know anything. Our host kindly explained that Kasa is a yakitori bar.

Yakitori: literally, grilled bird. Chicken kebabs barbecued over charcoal.

In fact, the menu covered a lot more than just chicken. For instance, John, being a vegetarian, ordered shitake mushroom and imo-butter potato skewers. I had the Kasa bowl, which is three skewers–salmon, unagi (fresh-water eel), and tsukune (chicken meatballs)–served over sticky rice mixed with slices of shitake and garnished with oshinko (pickled daikon radish). I also had the rather oversweet “Lychee Love-tini,” a pink concotion involving vodka, flavored sake, and, I think, lychee flavoring. And a lemon, which helped.

Everything was delicious. John had a bite of my rice and proclaimed it the best he’s tasted since we spent a week in Japan back in 2001. The bar was comfortable, the atmosphere elegant, and the service courteous and attentive. There seemed to be a real effort to evoke the culture of the cuisine and educate diners about it. And something about some of the staff’s hairstyles gave me this really surreal sensation of actually being in an anime.

Speaking of which, next time we mean to sit at a table where we can actually watch the TV. That one paper umbrella over the cash register kinda obscures the view from the yakitori bar. I wonder whether we could request a particular show and bring a bunch of friends for, say, a yakitori-and-Kino’s Journey-watching party.

I’m probably not supposed to do this

Do what? Well, direct you to another post on a different blog but I’m going to anyway. I live on the edge.

I went to Delhi and wrote a quick list of the stuff I saw there. Stuff like, oh….The International Museum of Toilets. Oh yeah, I’m fucking hardcore.

But that link isn’t really the one I’m thinking of. It’s this one.

I’ll try and get some more local material together for my next post. One thought I had…

What other Denver/Boulder blogs are people reading?

The State of theatre in Denver…

Is abysmal. I know Denver isn’t New York, or Los Angeles, or even Las Vegas, really I do. However I see that as no excuse to have such poor offerings, it makes me wonder why we have a theatre at all when shows like Wicked, Les Miserables, Lion King, etc. have runs that are two weeks. I have to think rehearsal and prop building must take longer. In reading the listing for the 2007 season, there was exactly 1, broadway musical (Little Mermaid) the rest, while I’m sure great shows, that I might like, I’ve never heard of. Hello, Lion King, Phantom, Avenue Q, RENT, anybody? Beuller?

Maybe those in charge of the Denver Center for Performing Arts think that we all need as much exposure as we can get? Maybe they like charging 200+ a ticket, and selling out in thirty-eight minutes? Maybe they don’t want to have to decide what shows make it into the season so they let them all in? I really don’t know.

I love musicals (and aren’t gay, for the record :p ) but when you factor all that goes into me and my wife going to see Les Mis (for example) it’s cheaper to fly to LA.

Tickets: To get good seats (Or any for that matter as it sold out quickly) for the last run (really, is 2 weeks a run?) you had to buy into the VIP section, which included dinner and drinks, IIRC, upwards for 250-300 a piece. Throw in light rail, few bucks. We dropped a lot of coin.

Fly to LA (planning in advance) tickets aren’t too expensive. Get reasonably good seats at the Pantages, cab ride too and from the Airport, and my guess is, we’d spend about as much. I’ll let you know since that is likely to be our next theatre outing.
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