Archive for August, 2010

Fest Up, Denver!

Dog Days of Summer? Hardly. This is the time of year when everything (and, we’re hoping that includes business) starts to ramp up again in Downtown Denver. Can we rest after Labor Day? Maybe.

Take Saturday, the 28th for example. Some practice fests ringing Downtown. Across Commons Park, across the river, in that nice plaza area that is technically 16th Street, you will find the CommFest. That’s short for Community Festival, long with music, food, beer and shade, from 2 until 10.

Also, on Saturday, the SunStock 2010 5th Annual “Unknownfest”, a celebration of music with continuous groups from noon until 10 p.m. at Skyline Park. This festival is rated the “Best New Outdoor Festival” by Westword. And, it’s free! A couple of good pactice fests before next weekend’s Festival of Mountain and Plain, aka, the Taste. Proceed at your own risk.

Of course, the more sublime start to the weekend is the LoDo No Garage Garage Sale, from 8 to 1 Saturday on the block of Wynkoop between 15th Street and Manny’s Bridge over Cherry Creek. The street will be closed, full and busy, then back to normal early in the afternoon, just full and busy. (Residents know there is a constant flow of people making U-turns because they failed to be able to read any of the four “Not a Through Street” signs at the 15th and Wynkoop intersection. Hundreds every day!)

Otherwise this weekend, on Saturday you could venture up to 20th and Welton to watch celebrities and other fearless types rappel down the One Lincoln Park building for a cancer fundraiser. The Nuggets’ mascot, Rocky, will be there, practicing new tricks for the season which could be Melo-less. They’ll need more tricks.

The Rockies still have us thinking of the possibilities. Join about 45,000 of your closest friends all weekend to help them with the Dodgers. The Rocks will leave Sunday night for San Francisco, fly back Thursday for one make-up game here against the Phillies, then fly back to San Diego. By then, it could be clear how the season will turn out. Or, not.

And, of course, the beloved Broncos play Sunday. Nothing at all is very clear there.

But, by Sunday, if you are itching to get out of the neighborhood (and contribute to a good cause) head to Washington Park for the 9 a.m. Walk to Cure Psoriasis.

See, Denver. There’s always something. Fess up. You love it!

Cube Up, Denver!

We could talk about all kinds of new structures going up Downtown along the 16th Street Mall. Places to buy. Places to eat. The recent opening of Crepes Express, serving…well, Crepes, at 16th and Curtis. Or, the expansion of offerings at Brava!Pizzeria to include beer and wine on Lanny’s Patio at 16th and Arapahoe, right across from Biker Jim’s. (By the way, Biker Jim just moved his second location out of Downtown over to the Auraria campus).

Or, we could spend some time discussing the meaningfulness of all the new food trucks in town. Biscuits, cupcakes, lobster rolls. All on wheels. You don’t actually need caterers any more. Just call for a food truck. And, more are rolling this way.

But, we have a new structure at 16th and California to talk about. The News Cube. A real, big-city type newsstand where you can buy a morning paper. Remember those? Or, a magazine. Titles for all. Or, just some candy or smokes, or that winning lottery ticket. We like this.

In fact, this new News Cube started us thinking about other Cubes that we could use downtown. These business venture ideas are free for the taking and venturing.

First next new Cube should be the “Sugar Cube”. Put it somewhere near the Sheraton Hotel or close to the Dairy Queen. This Cube would sell candy, of course, along with Lik-m-Aid and sugar in all its forms. To people in all forms in those areas.

Then, in LoDo, put in the “Ice Cube”. Okay, probably close to the Ice House, but close to all the residents down here always needing more ice. Cubes, crushed, blocks, liquid ice…all available at odd hours from the neighborhood Cube. Walk up or drive up.

Somewhere between the two medical marijuana shops on Wazee would be a perfect location for “Rubik’s Cube”. This small store would have a confusing, but colorful, assortment of merchandise which changes places daily. Never in the same place. Food on the shelf to the right of the door on one day, only to be replaced by Tibetan shawls the next day. Business venturers note. This could become a hit with the clerks constantly twittering their moves.

And, in the banking area only because we think there may be some enthusiasts there, “Prince Rupert’s Cube, The Store for Mathematicians”. They’ll know what it is.

And, when all the primo retailers fill in all the primo street level retail space connected to the Union Station re-development, save space for one more. “Cube-Ism”. The Cubic Superstore. All things Cubic. For Cubists everywhere. Cube Up, Denver!

(Photo Credit: Diane Huntress)

Mayor, former Downtown Resident…is All Wet!

Watch the video here! Yes, John Hickenlooper is running for Governor. Yes, this link will take you (in the interest of full disclosure) to a contribution site. But right there you can click on one of the early campaign commercials and, if you have not seen it, enjoy it. Better than the motor scooter!

Final 16th Street Plan Public Meeting: Wednesday, August 25!

From the Downtown Denver Partnership today:
After 32 months of studying and analyzing 16th Street, the 16th Street Plan Steering committee has determined a recommendation for the future of 16th Street.

Next Wednesday, August 25th there will be a public meeting to present the Steering Committee’s recommendation that was provided to the City. The open house will include stations with detailed information on the history of 16th Street and the different parts of the planning process. The presentation that follows will summarize the Steering Committee’s recommendation.

16th Street Plan: Public Meeting #6
Wednesday, August 25th
4:30 – 5:30 pm OPEN HOUSE
5:30 – 7:00 pm PRESENTATION
Wellington Webb Building
201 W. Colfax Avenue, Denver, CO 80202
Planning Board Meeting Rooms, Rooms 4.F.6 and 4.G.2
*an interpreter for the hearing-impaired will be available upon request (requires 48 hours notice).

RSVP and send special requests or questions to info@downtowndenver.com

For information on the planning process, check out this site.

No Garage? No Problem. Have a Garage Sale!

People living in Downtown spaces have too much stuff, too. So, here again is that chance to move some of it over to people who really want more stuff. A Garage Sale, but unlike any other. Saturday, August 28, rain or shine, brings on another Lower Downtown No Garage Garage Sale!

From 8 in the morning until 1 in the afternoon, this is a great way to spend your time on the street…between 15th Street and Cherry Creek on Wynkoop. Organized by the Lower Downtown Neighborhood Association (LoDoNA), participants display and hopefully unload furniture, motorcycles, books, jewelry and stuff you don’t see at suburban garage sales. If you think about it, people living Downtown probably already got rid of a lot of just ordinary stuff. Now, they are selling really good stuff!

If you want to sell…Display tables are still available, and only $40! 10 x 10 tent spaces are also available, just $100. Contact Joyce Lozow (joyloz@aol.com)  to sign up if you have things to sell.

Otherwise, just come. Bring a few dollars. Have a good time. And, take home some of the stuff. But, come early. You know how these things work!
(A portion of the event proceeds will benefit the Denver Rescue Mission.)

Sunny August Friday, mid-80’s…Time for a Beer!

What a great place to be if you like really good hand-crafted beer. Denver and Colorado are home to some of the best craft-brewers in the country. Here are some short drafts about three of the Slice’s favorites.

Our neighborhood Wynkoop Brewery has been serving LoDo since before it was LoDo. And, now they are delivering some of their products canned to about 100 retail accounts and restaurants around town. Many of them, as they will tonight, by horse drawn beer wagon. Their second canned offering, Silverback Pale Ale, helps the Mountain Gorillas remain as a species, and a fall race costume.

The Wynkoop hosts numerous events, including the upcoming August 22 concert by the Denver Mandolin Orchestra. And, with all they do, they still managed a nearly 20% increase in production for the first six months of 2010. That’s 1602 barrels of beer…or 397,296 pints to be exact!

Left Hand Brewery in Longmont makes some very accessible beers, and some that you must use with adult supervision. Their Octoberfest Marzen should be on shelves soon. At one of the Mixed Taste Lectures (formerly at the Lab at Belmar, now at the Museum of Contemporary Art) founder Eric Wallace told of getting their fine logo designed. After dozens of “highly designed” logo ideas were rejected, the frustrated owners instructed the designer to “just trace your damn left hand.” And, their beers drink right.

Seasonal beers are another glorious way to work through the year. Again, the craft brewers do this so well, and with such care. Consider this copy from Ft. Collins-based New Belgium Brewing (parents of Fat Tire). This appears on the label of the just released HOPTOBER, which takes over this time of year from the lighter Skinny Dip.

“Five hops and four malts make HOPTOBER Golden Ale a veritable cornucopia of the earth.” And, “Centennial, Cascade, Sterling, Willamette and Glacier hops form a bonfire of citrus notes, fruity cheers and a bold finale.”

Couldn’t have said it better. And, their website even has recommended cheese and food pairings for every one of their beers. Tasty! The beer, too.

And, by the way, don’t confuse HOPTOBER with RockTober which apparently is something that only happens in odd-numbered years. Time for a beer!

Hot Tub Delivery This Weekend!

See our Street Watch page for this weekend’s street closures that might affect Downtown Residents. Who’s hot tub is that, anyway?