Posts Tagged ‘denver’

I Think We’ve Had It, Boys

Eight years ago today I started writing things about Denver.  And I wrote.  And wrote.  So much.  Then in 2009 I stopped.  Metroblogs wasn’t doing as well.  There were announcements and things about fundraising a few years back.  Somehow the lights were kept on – and amazingly are still online as of this post’s writing.  But as much as I think trying to rebirth, reinvent or refresh this place will help it, I have to finally personally admit – it’s over.  I think the stubbornness was bore out of the joy I found writing about the different parts of the Denver Metro area and their unique eccentricities.  I loved telling people how much I loved my city and why it was the greatest place on the planet.  Every so often I’d drift over to the login page here and wonder if any of the heartfelt keystrokes would even find an audience here in this abandoned dinosaur.

I was twenty five years old when I put hands to keys here and as a grown up thirty three year old it’s oddly comforting looking back on the old posts.  I’ve learned a few things, made a few mistakes and had to realize a couple more realities in my life to get here – but I’m content with that.  It’s this place that allowed me to express how great the city of Denver is and why so many (and today – maybe too many!) people love it here.

So long and thanks for all the fish!

Two Years Ago

It’s been two years today that the Waldo Canyon fire exploded in Colorado Springs. As it unfolded people began to understand the serious nature of the beast that was closing highways and threatening the Air Force Academy. I can remember watching twitter with up to date posts and images with a feeling of sadness and dread as the lines and barriers were blown through by blazing flames. The news crews became emotional as the night wore on with the reality of what they were reporting on became clear – it was a literal armageddon for some communities as homes burned and people fled as fast as they could.

It is a stark reminder now as we enjoy rain and cooler temperatures that the power of nature and the destructive flames are not so far removed from us – some years we get lucky and others we suffer. Let us hope this year remains as fire free as possible.

Things To Do, April 11: "Ink" Fan Appreciation Event

I know, I know, I’m turning into a one-note blogger here. But how cool is this? How often do you get to see a local, independent film do so well, thanks almost entirely to a monstrous neighborhood buzz, that its run is extended three weeks past its original closing date?

Denver is showing all kinds of love for this Double Edge Films production, and “Ink” will now run through April 16th. So you’ve got a whole week more to see this fantastic film.

John LeBoeuf-Little poses here with Jacob's awesomely steampunkish music box.

John LeBoeuf-Little poses here with Jacob's awesomely steampunkish music box.

In celebration of the film and all the support it’s received, Double Edge Films and the Starz FilmCenter are hosting a special Fan Appreciation Event at the 7:00 PM screening on Saturday, April 11th.

The movie will show as normal, after which there’ll be a 5-minute exclusive behind-the-scenes feature and a Q&A session with the film’s creators. I’m told that, in addition to Jamin and Kiowa Winans of DEF, actor Jeremy Make (“Jacob”) and director of photography Jeff Pointer will be there. There’ll also be a special show-and-tell of props and costumes; if the idea of, say, trying on Ink’s costume tickles your funny-bone, you’ll get your chance Saturday.

(Featured photo: my husband, John, posing with his favoritest Ink prop ever, “Jacob’s box”. Cool, huh? I would not be surprised if this item also put in an appearance Saturday.)

Anyway, this flyer has all the details. Print it out and present it at the box office, and you’ll receive two tickets for the price of one. And as always you can buy tickets online here.

Real Estate and New Home Construction in Denver

Yesterday I spoke with two of my friends from my Karate Dojo.  One is a realtor and the other owns a new home construction company.  I just wanted to get a feel for how the economy is affecting their businesses.

The realtor told me that he is as busy as ever, but the average closing price is much lower than at this time last year.  Last year, his typical home sale was in the $200,000 – $300,000 range.  This year it is much closer to $100,000.  He says that many of the home buyers are first-time buyers trying to take advantage of the $8,000 stimulus checks being cut by the federal government.

My other friend’s construction business has been at a standstill for the last several months.  He is barely hanging on.  However, he did say that he has a new project beginning in a month.

I plan to keep my ear to the ground and report on what other business owners in the Denver area are telling me about their businesses over the coming weeks and months.

St Patrick’s Day Parade

Get with the green!!!

Tomorrow is the big day – the St Patrick’s Day Parade!

We were caught unaware last year that there was a parade, the magnitude of said parade, and the exuberance denverites held for the parade!

It starts at 10am at the Coors Field Parking Lot – at 27th and Blake, they head south till 17th, then turn right, back up Wynkoop, and then through the back of union station to the parking lot again.
This parade has everything – the typical irish stuff – irish setter groups, clog dancers, leprechauns, as well as Latin Dancers, Cab companies, the PT Cruiser group, long horn steers, and more!

It is the craziest conglomeration of disparate topics in one parade I have ever seen.

Get your green on and come out and celebrate!

If parades aren’t your thing, but you think you might need to burn off a couple calories, the running of the green is Sunday March 15th.
Have you seen the green stripe down Blake St?  You can’t get lost and it’s only 7k which is actually 2.2 miles!

Things To Do, March 13-27: See "ink". Laugh. Cry. Feel uplifted.

I had the extreme good fortune last night to attend a prescreening of “Ink”, a locally produced urban fantasy film that opens next week Friday at the Starz Filmcenter in Denver

Ink is the latest offering from indy producer Double Edge Films. Previous films include “Spin” and “11:59”, which I haven’t yet had the pleasure to see. This movie sounded designed to hit me right where I live. As I said to friends beforehand, “It sounds like it’s about Good and Evil having epic battles for your soul inside of your dreams.” What’s not to like? I’m there, man.

So I was not surprised that I loved every minute of it. What I wasn’t prepared for was how breathtakingly beautiful this movie was. From start to finish, it was a thing of exquisite loveliness. It made me happy, heart and soul.

As the movie opens, we meet the little girl Emma: playful, imaginative, full of demands (as children are). Her father, John, is a high-powered executive trying to keep his company ahead of the competition. We’re not sure at first which opening scenes are present and which are flashbacks, but we get a sense that John’s life is a little empty, a little too corporate, that he’s uncomfortably distant from his family.

We are also soon introduced to the Storytellers and the Incubi. Up and down the suburban neighborhood where Emma lives with her grandparents, we watch lights going out and people falling asleep… and strange beings not quite of our world approaching their bedsides. As the Storytellers touch a sleeper’s forehead, beautiful dreams are born to uplift the spirit and soothe the soul. As the Incubi send shadows oozing over their victims, nightmares erupt to steal the dreamer’s peace, self-confidence, and sense of worth.

Incubus haunting your sleep

And someone else slips into Emma’s bedroom–the shaggy-cloaked, mishapen character known as “ink,” who steals the dreaming Emma away. In the waking world, her body remains in a coma. In the world of dreams, ink is taking her to the Incubi as a sacrificial offering, that they will condescend to lift him out of his suffering and into their ranks.

The Storytellers mobilize for a rescue. Emma’s life is at stake. So are questions of love and loss, despair and redemption, bravery and courage, for Emma and for her father and for ink himself.

Emma and Liev

Throughout, the movie does an incredible job of reproducing the distinctive sense of being in a dream: the way dreams repeat incidents with variations, the way they open hidden compartments and unfamiliar passageways in familiar houses, the way shapes and places change. When the Storytellers fight with ink in Emma’s grandmother’s house, smashed furniture puts itself back together and characters leap over walls that in waking life meet the ceiling. The fight itself proceeds according to an altered sense of time, as though partially a matter of stop-motion photography–watch the trailers to get a sense of it. I found particularly delightful how ink and the Storytellers traveled from one dream locale to another, the way they opened doorways of light or traveled through moving pictures by playing on small finger-drums that hung from their clothing like charms.

It was also fun to play “spot that location”. The entire movie was filmed in the Denver area, complete with RTD buses and trains, downtown highrises, aspen forests near Kebler Pass, and art buffalo lining the 16th Street Mall. During the Q&A session after the movie, someone asked about the hospital scenes; apparently these were filmed … I’m going to get this wrong … thanks to a fortuitous move in Brighton, I think it was? Staff were moving out of one hospital and into another, and Double Edge Films had about a week to use the just-abandoned building and what was left of its equipment.

Those of you who have seen “Spin” may recognize the earlier production’s spirit in a gorgeously choreographed scene midway through the movie, where a single wind-blown dollar is the first step in a complex chain reaction that brings Emma’s father to a life-changing crisis point. Music combines with rapidly alternating shots of the different players in the scene–and in the middle of it all, one of our main characters blissfully engineering it like an orchestra conductor–and this is the point when I started weeping for the sheer beauty of it all. I’m not sure I can explain it better than that. Just go see it.

Jacob, the Pathfinder

I was reminded strongly of City of the Lost Children and Mirrormask what with the potential of dream reality to affect waking life. But the stakes are higher in ink. This movie doesn’t proceed according to fairy tale logic, for all that it borrows fairy tale elements.

And yet, though the story’s conflicts are of life-and-death importance, hope is stronger than despair, and no failure is forever. The blurb at the Starz FilmCenter tickets purchase page (go there, right now, buy tickets!) likens ink to, among other things, It’s A Wonderful Life; that’s not far off the mark, considering that a strong theme in the movie is that it’s never too late for redemption.

“This is who you’ve become,” the Storytellers whisper in the dreams of the broken. “This isn’t who you have to be.”

Have I mentioned that you need to go see this? You really, really do. And if you like it, go see it again with friends in tow. Double Edge Films is following an unorthodox path, compared to other indy productions. Instead of focusing on the film festival circuit, they’ve followed up their Santa Barbara debut with this two-week run at Starz FilmCenter (which is a wonderful venue, by the way, one of a seemingly dying breed of independent theaters with no before-show ads, lots of excellent indy films, and Mighty Leaf tea and bottles of microbrew at the concession stand). The better it performs here in Denver, the better distribution it’ll get worldwide in the megaplexes with the comfy seats and overpriced popcorn.

So. Support your local film artists and give your soul a tonic! Go see ink on its opening weekend, and tell everyone you know about it! And if you go to the Saturday March 14th 7:00 showing, say hi–my husband and I and a couple of friends will be coming down from Boulder for another viewing. We’ll be the ones bouncing in our seats and making little happy excited squeee noises.

Attention Denver Nerds!

Just a quick note that there are two huge events coming up in February that will be in Denver.  One’s about Twitter and the other is a WordPress camp.

Twestival is going on February 12th, 2008 and involves twitter-ers in respective areas.  Thanks to Chuck Blakeman, we’ve got a Denver Twestival in the works.  If you’re looking for details, check out the website and also see Chuck on twitter for more information as well.  See below for some more information and check out the site as well.  I am going to try to be there, but it all depends on work hours.

On 12 February 2009 105 cities around the world will be hosting Twestivals which bring together Twitter communities for an evening of fun and to raise money and awareness for charity: water. Join us by hosting a Twestival in your city, attending an event, or participating online. The Twestival is organized 100% by volunteers in cities around the world and 100% of the money raised from these events will go directly to support charity: water projects.

The other big nerd deal is Wordcamp Denver!  Yep, it’s here!  The WordPress Camp Phenom has been going for a few years and now we’re getting our own!  Check out the website for details on registering, who is going to be where and all the good stuff.  I’ll be there with bells on and excited to meet people in the Denver area who are WordPress focused.

The National Western Stock Show

I’m not originally from here. I’m not originally from anywhere where stock animals “come to town” and have a show!
Except maybe the circus… But anyway…

The National Western Stock Show is in town!
The stock!
What does that mean?
It means from now – Jan 10th till Jan 25th Denver and Denver Coliseum will be filled with lots of animals!
And per their website:
“The National Western Stock Show’s mission is to preserve the western lifestyle through an emphasis on education, and we take this mission seriously.”

There are a ton of things going on! The schedule is jammed packed. There is a rodeo. There is a horse show. There is just a lot of stuff going on.

But most important to me – is the parade!
Yes indeedie, there is a parade scheduled for Jan 13th crusing thru down town! Long horn cattle will be taking a jaunt come high noon on the 13th!
Long Horn on Parade
I’ve seen some of these fellas during the St. Particks Day Parade and they are not small. They are BIG. And their horns… Oooofa!

But hey, it you are down town around noon on the 13th… Stop by 17th street and take a gander!
I’m sure it will be a hoot! See you there!

The Denver Mint

The Mint!
The mint

Have you been? Denver is the site of only 1 of 4 mints (did you know there were 4? take the tour and find out where the rest are!)
We had saved the outing for when “someone visited”. That time finally arrived over Christmas and we told them that they would indeed be visiting the mint!
There was not the boisterous sound of glee, but definitely no boo’s so we were good to go.

When i attempted to get a reservation – which i was told you MUST have to get into the mint, it was a 2 month out process, exact, to the day!
Turns out the tours can hold about 50 people. And there is a little booth near the mint to get “stand” by tickets. So if you can’t commit, try for stand by!!

We read the reservation sheet and the basic premise to enter the mint is go naked and carry nothing!
You can bring no bags, no cameras, nothing with something resembling a point, nothing that is bigger than a man’s wallet and can fit in your pocket… etc etc etc…
And there are no lockers! Leave everything at home or in your vehicle parked on the street – oh joy! I don’t consider Denver dangerous, but seriously….

The tour was amazing! Now i’m a big fan of How it’s Made and Modern Marvels – so i dig this stuff! But even the teenagers in our group enjoyed themselves!
The information was great, the displays were cool, seeing the “blanks” for the coins was neat! They informed us that the mint does not take any coins out of circulation, it is the public (that would be you and me) that take it out of circulation by putting them in piggie banks, creating those smooshed pennies, losing them in your cushions etc etc etc… How weird eh? Also learned that it cost 7 cents to make a nickel, and 3 cents to make a penny, but only 8 cents to make a quarter, so it all balances out… How freaky?

A cool hint – although kind of pointless now – they have a quarter machine in the gift shop (which is outside and anyone can enter) that dispenses the current quarter they are minting at hte moment – the state ones – Hawaii is now! But they do intend to do another round of quarters with each states national park on it. So if you are a collector, get some untouched ones at the gift shop!

Another cool hint – don’t go at the end of the year. They slow production! Anything stamped and not put into circulation that year cannot be used… So they turn it back into it origins… Meaning they aren’t producing at a super high rate and some of the machines aren’t even going. Sigh. But still cool!

So if you can, take a tour!

Candy Cane Festival!

This weekend (Saturday the 13th) is the annual Candy Cane festival held at Hammond’s Candy Factory!
What is better than free candy? So many cool things to do to get in the holiday spirit!

Hammond Candy Cane Festival Flier

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