Archive for June, 2010

Absolute Vinyl, Bart’s new Shack keep the music playing in Boulder

It seemed like Boulder was bereft of record stores. Second Spin was long gone from the Hill, and just a few months ago Bart’s closed shop on the 11thish block of Pearl.

But the music plays on. Bart has reopened in a new location (and it’s really Bart at the helm again), and a new store had actually opened in January but so quietly you’d be excused if you didn’t know it. Both shops are a bit off the beaten path from a downtown Boulder perspective, but both are definitely worth the hike.

Absolute VinylHead north on Broadway toward the area now known as “Uptown” and you’ll find Absolute Vinyl at 4474 N. Broadway. You can think of it as Broadway and Violet, but you have to go almost all the way to the north end of the long sunken parking lot on the northeast corner of that crossing.. Absolute Vinyl has a good collection of records, from the mundane to the highly collectible, as well as a small offering of used phonographs. At the same address is Little Horse Books, a truly eclectic collection of music-related books and magazine back-issues, local-interest books, classics, and undoubtedly more which this chronicler’s eyes missed upon the first visit.

Also, you’re not crazy. There really is no upstairs.

Phone: (303) 995-1519
Hours: 7 days a week, 11 AM to 6:30 PM

Bart's Music Shack, Porch View

Bart Stinchcomb has returned to the music-store scene, opening Bart’s Music Shack at 236 Pearl Street. Do the math and you’ll realize this is no longer within reach of a brief lunch-break walk from downtown; so what? Take your bike instead. Or hop aboard the 206. When you see the small interior you will be amazed at how many records are on the shelves, in the boxes, on and under the tables, along with a rack of CDs and a shelf of DVDs just to round things out. And Bart tells us there will be more, lots more, in the months to come.

According to the Colorado Daily (linked at the beginning of this article), you should be on the lookout for a grand opening with live music at some unspecified date to come. Watch Bart’s Facebook page (linked in the previous paragraph) for announcements.

Phone: (303) 444-1760
Hours: 11-6 Tuesday through Sunday

Walking or biking to work tomorrow in Boulder? Bingo!

I believe last week or so I mistakenly said that Bike to Work Day was June 22. It’s not. It’s June 23, tomorrow. It’s always a Wednesday.

That errata cleared up, it’s time to play Walk and Bike Bingo!

Bike to Work Bingo square: Tee & CakesHow do you play? Well, first off, you download a Bingo card. Print it out. Tomorrow morning, put on your walking shoes or get on your bike to visit participating destinations. How do you know they’re participating destinations? They’ll have a poster that looks much like this one that Tee & Cakes are displaying in their window. (They’re also listed on the linked info page.) Walk on in and ask for a stamp on your Bingo card–and just your Bingo card, right? You can’t bring a handful of friends’ cards and get them all stamped. The whole point is to get more people walking and biking, right?–on any square of the card you like. Repeat until you’ve got five in a row.

Then, sometime before Friday, find yourself a Drawing Box and insert your card. (Don’t forget to complete the contact info stuff on the back/page 2.) Drawing Boxes may be found at all Recreation Centers and Library Branches in Boulder, and also at Pedal to Properties round about 20th and Pearl Street. After July 16th, check the GO Boulder website to see if you’ve won a prize.

Don’t forget to thank the merchants you visit for being bike-and-pedestrian friendly!

And don’t forget the other annual features of Bike to Work Day. Register as a participant (you could win a cruiser!), visit any one of the 45 breakfast stations throughout town serving free morning meals between 7 and 9 AM to those on bike or foot, and hang out after work at the 4th Annual Bike Shorts Film Fest and Ice Cream Social ($6 admission benefits Community Cycles Youth Earn-A-Bike program). Visit the Community Cycles page for more details about these events and other things you can do to celebrate and support Bike to Work Day.

Big Freakin’ Deals for Father’s Day

If you’re thinking of taking Dad out tomorrow, here’s several special events and special deals to ensure you have plenty options for this special day.

The Counter
8439 South Park Meadows Center Drive
Lone Tree, CO 80124
(303) 790-9630

The Counter’s “Burger For Dad” deal means that fathers get a free build-your-own burger for Father’s Day. The only catch is, you have to ask for it by name.

Bring in your family and say “I want the BFD!” and the burger is all yours. Offer is limited to one standard burger with included toppings per customer accompanied by a paying guest. Additional and premium toppings such as extra cheese, avocado, fried egg and honey cured bacon are extra.

BFD also stands for “Big Freakin’ Deal,” which is, of course, what Dad is.

McCormick’s & Schmick’s
Denver LoDo location:
1659 Wazee St
Denver, CO 80202
303.825.1107

Greenwood Village location:
8100 E. Union Ave
Denver, CO 80237
720.200.9339

McCormick’s & Schmick’s invites you to bring Dad in for a 3-course prime rib dinner for $29.95. And keeping with the theme of those typical, classic, 50s-era Dadtastic delights, you can enter him to win a professionally caddied game of golf.

5480
4580 Broadway # D-1
Boulder, CO 80304
303.448.1500

5480 hosts its 3rd annual Father’s Day BBQ and Duct Tape Giveaway. $10 to $20 dollars fills a plate with one grilled entry (buffalo, ribs, or kielbasa and stuffed lobster tail) and 3 sides. Plus Dad gets a free roll of duct tape. (Click the link for list of ways to use duct tape. Favorite item with bonus unintentional double entendre: “Taping annoying people to walls, floor, ceiling, or bed.” Bed, hmm? Kids, why don’t you head off to the movies? It sounds like Dad wants some alone time with his special someone… *ahem*)

So far, a list Ozzie and Harriet would approve of. Because all Dads like beef best of all, play golf, and are the exclusive duct-tape using handymen around the house. (See? It’s right in the name: Handyman!) You won’t catch Dad playing video games, eating a cobb salad, or for heaven’s sake knitting. Father’s Day is for safe, predictable gender-role-conforming men! (But we’re all edgy and iconoclastic because we’re telling you not to get Dad yet another neck-tie!)

…OK, I sort of have to wash off my keyboard after typing that, even sarcastically, because, ew. Seriously: Restaurants of the Denver/Boulder area? Yes, there are lots of Dads who love steak, burgers, beers and scotch and wine, cigars, all-day golf outings. There’s often a reason stereotypes get started. It’s good these things are available. But why are they practically all that’s available? Oh, sure, it’s easy to find a vegetarian restaurant if Dad doesn’t do meat, or otherwise cater to Dad’s specific tastes… just as easy as it is on any other day of the year. And that’s the problem. Slap the words “Father’s Day” on it, “Dad’s Big Day,” “Make Dad Feel Special,” and suddenly it’s all about beef, BBQ, tobacco, and golf. Take a look at last year’s Denver Daily round-up of Father’s Day specials; it’s a good sample set of the kind of thing I’m talking about. At least this year’s Open Table list features the odd pasta/Italian dinner/brunch… but most of them are just their regular menu. Like any other day of the year.

All I can say is, Father’s Day must be an annual nightmare, or at least an irritation, for the Dad who doesn’t fit the “Man’s man” stereotype. Everywhere you look, specials and offers and events that seem specifically designed to reinforce the message that your lack of appreciation for a steak and a 9-iron means you’re defective.

Can we fix this?

Examples of the sort of thing it would be nice to see more of:

Boulder Organics‘s Father’s Day Collection:

Featuring a beautifully illustrated, reusable, keepsake gift box (including Father’s Day wrap) that is filled with delicious spicy roasted almonds, apple-pie jam, French Roast coffee, decadent dark chocolate bar, tasty milk chocolate Sun Cups, chipotle lime rub for grilling, some great trail treats like a granola bar, an oat bar, nut-butter squeeze packs, and bees-wax lip balm. Active dads are sure to enjoy this all organic, eco-friendly sampler.

Gigi’s Cupcakes: Dads get a 15% discount on all purchases between 10 AM and 4 PM on Father’s Day, “while enjoying live musical entertainment. Bring the kids and they can frost their own cupcake and, of course, eat their creation for just $3.” Gigi’s is at 550 Grant St. in Denver, phone number 303-777-0698.

See? Special offers and offerings for Father’s Day that think outside the 50s-era sitcom box! It’s not that hard. More like that, please!

FLEX bus makes Larimer County accessible to Denver/Boulder/Longmont commuters

As of this month, you can get from Longmont’s 8th & Main RTD station all the way to the downtown Fort Collins transit center on a single bus, passing through Berthoud and Loveland along the way. The bus that will take you there is the FLEX,the newest, most flexible route in northern Colorado.”

Effectively linking the entire RTD system to Larimer county, the FLEX is sure to make commuting less of a headache. On festival days, parking will officially become someone else’s problem. And, more importantly, those without their own motorized vehicles in Denver need no longer regard the Berthoud, Loveland and Fort Collins area as another country.

Celebrate another victory for accessibility and take a ride on the FLEX this summer. Tomorrow would be a great day to do that, actually–the Loveland Reporter-Herald tells us that…

A special kickoff celebration will take place on June 16 at the Orchards Shopping Center transit station [in Loveland], with dignitaries from Fort Collins, Loveland, Berthoud, Longmont and Boulder County attending.

More details: A ride on the FLEX costs $1.25. This covers transfers onto the COLT and Transfort systems, but passengers transferring onto RTD buses will need to pay that fare separately. The complete map and schedule are available as PDFs in English and Spanish. Big thanks to the Big Green Boulder blog for breaking this story back on the 7th when the FLEX started service.

Parking spaces become human spaces in downtown Boulder

The construction equipment trucks were making the rounds this morning, heading slowly down Pearl Street and turning the corner on 14th. At certain businesses, here and there, they stopped to unload chevron-style barricades and orange traffic cones. They erected barriers around those parking spaces labeled “Special Event 10AM – 2PM”. Business owners and staff waved their thanks–and began making magic happen inside the barricades.

In front of 14th Street businesses Tee & Cakes, Cefiori, and Kristen Lewis Architects, tall pennant-style flags went up on telescoping poles. Real grass turf unrolled to turn four angled parking spaces into a barefoot-inviting lawn. Deck chairs and picnic tables under a portable shade tent presented coffee, cupcakes, and information about the solar power that was chilling the spring water in the wagon parked to the side.

It was all part of Park(ing) Spaces Day in Boulder, when businesses reclaimed parking spaces and showed how they could accommodate humans rather than cars for a few hours. The resulting atmosphere was something like a sidewalk sale, what with the free samples and discounts and informational brochures, but also something like Earth Day, what with the theme of ecologically responsible practices. And of course the whole celebration was part of the annual Walk & Bike Month festivities, which will be going on all during June. Bike to Work Day, specifically, will be June 22. (More about that as we get closer to the date.)

Park(ing) Spaces exhibits will be up until 2:00 PM today. The Cycling in Boulder blog has made a map available showing where all the exhibits are; there’s also a list up at both the Tee & Cakes blog entry and the event announcement previously linked. Get out there and enjoy it before everyone packs up and goes back to parking as usual!

Stay safe, stay clear of Boulder Creek

Hopefully no one panicked when they heard the sirens howling yesterday. That was just the regularly scheduled test of the countywide emergency system.

If you hear them today, though, you should take them seriously. Thanks to recent hot weather causing massive amounts of snow to thaw, Boulder Creek is running at three times its normal volume. The high water washed out parts of the bridge near the Red Lion Restaurant today, thanks mainly to a bunch of debris that collected thereabouts, and if the bridge goes completely we could be talking about a major flood surge.

Thunderstorms predicted for the afternoon are not improving the situation.

Remember those blue dots on the trees and buildings in and around the park downtown? Those marked the water level reached by the 500 year flood.

Hopefully things won’t get that bad. Crews have begun clearing away the debris to prevent the bridge collapsing all the way. But in the meantime, stay safe. Even if you weren’t among the residents or businesses receiving reverse-911 calls, you should heed the warning those calls delivered: Stay away from the creek. Stay off the bike path along the creek.

And, much as it pains me to say it, don’t go to the library. (The north side of the library and the bridge are closed in light of the flood warning, by the way.)

Follow the link above to the Daily Camera story for more details and updates as they are made known. Here’s that link again:

http://www.dailycamera.com/ci_15251059

Stay safe, y’all.

Denver homeowners! In media renovation? Get help and get on TV!

Rescue Renovation, a brand-new DIY Network show, is specifically looking for Denver homeowners who want help getting their renovations finished up. This press release from High Noon Entertainment gives all the details:

Stuck in the middle of your home renovation project?
Don’t know what comes next?
In over your head?

Share your struggle and get some help!

Producers at High Noon Entertainment are searching for Denver-area homeowners with stalled-out home renovation projects for the next hit DIY Network show. Homeowners chosen to appear on the show will share their incomplete, flawed and never-ending renovation with DIY Network’s contractor in order to pinpoint exactly where things went wrong and formulate a plan to turn the project around. DIY Network’s Stud Finder 2009 winner Kayleen McCabe and her expert team will spring into action and get to work, using tried and true renovation methods as well as some new modern twists to help the homeowners finally complete the project in 48 hours.

If your grasp of remodeling exceeded your reach, we’d love to hear from you!

Of course, there are some basic requirements you have to meet in order to qualify.

  • You must live in the Greater Denver area (Fort Collins to Colorado Springs OK), and…
  • have started, but have not finished, a remodel of one area of the home (demo stage preferred).
  • You must also have a compelling story about why you started the renovation and why you can’t proceed (this is the bit that makes for great TV!).
  • You must have an appropriate budget already set aside for the renovation (Rescue Renovations will help with labor and know-how).
  • And, very importantly, you need to be enthusiastic about being on TV and are ready to enhance your skills and finish the project once and for all!

If this sounds like you, this might be a great way to get your head back above water and yourself and your family back into a finished, beautifully renovated home. Email “Rescue” at “highnoonTV.com” for an application and for more information. And don’t forget to visit High Noon’s website, linked above, for more info about the people producing this new show.

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