Archive for August, 2010

The Denver Voice: “Living City Block” Explained

Those people you see throughout Downtown, and in LoDo, selling papers are worth a visit. For only a dollar, most of which goes to the vendor, one can obtain a well-designed and well-written paper examining issues of homelessness and urban life.

You may have heard of the Living City Block initiative. You may have not. Buildings on both sides of Wazee, 15th to 16th comprise the pilot effort. Read about it here, at the Denver Voice site, in a very objective article written by Kristin Pazulski.

And, help as you can. The project if you like. And, especially the homeless vendors.

As the Wheel Turns…Who Knew?

Putting together this week’s Street Watch information, we included some information on Sunday’s Bannock Street Criterium Bicycle Race which will consume a good portion of the Golden Triangle Neighborhood in its annual visit. There are races beginning at 7:00 in the morning and continuing until the last group finishes after 6 p.m.

Men, women, and juniors ride in both prize and points races. You can see the day’s schedule here. It is an opportunity to watch some of the area’s aspiring young racers on a tight, fast, figure-8 course. A good introduction, if you are not already hooked, to bicycle racing.

Next August, Bicycle Racing of a different sort will impact Downtown Denver. That was made formal last Wednesday with the announcement (by Lance Armstrong and Governor Ritter) of the 2011 Quiznos (another Downtown resident) Pro Challenge. This is the return of major pro stage racing to Colorado, absent for many years since the demise of the Coors Classic. Seven days of racing throughout the state, and you can bet that Denver will be at either the start or finish, likely both! Watch for many of the major international teams to be there, just three weeks after the Tour de France.

Thousands of cycling fans and cyclists turned out at the Capitol for the morning announcement. They were a very enthusiastic group, most of whom went for a following ride with the Lance, himself. They probably had not read their morning paper, though. The Tour de Force that was this cycling group was upstaged by the Tour de Farce of one Dan Maes, Governor-wannabe. Second thoughts all around.

Here in Downtown, we have a very large number of the bright red Denver BCycle share bicycles. They are used daily by hundreds. The group has thousands of members. What better way to get people around in Denver, than on bike?
But, Dan Maes announced that it’s programs like this that are threatening our personal freedoms. Huh?

Briefly, if you don’t know the background, Denver is one of 1200 worldwide members of the International Council for Local Environmental Issues, and has been since 1992. The group promotes sustainable development and strives to create the kinds of communities that people want to live in and work in. Like Downtown Denver? We think so.

But Governor-wannabe Maes is convinced we are part of a dangerous and conniving plot, supported by the Mayor, to turn the city into some devious arm of the United Nations.

Hard to say much more about that. Great cycling news for the city and state with the Quiznos race announcement. Silly cycling news with our election.

BCycle is getting a lot of publicity. You can even use one to drop off your Primary Ballot at the Election Commission on Monday or Tuesday, on Bannock between 14th and 13th. In fact, that would be a pretty good statement right there! There is no Primary for the Democratic nomination for Governor. We don’t know what those other guys are going to do. Seeing red, I guess.

So this Grasshopper Walks into a Bar…

We’ve been invaded! And, our dog can’t possibly eat all of them. So, let’s get to know our new neighbors!

Grasshoppers, as we all know, are insects of the suborder Caelifera in the order Orthoptera. And, thousands of them have recently arrived Downtown. The place is hopping.

Trying to make conversation with the new neighbors, we think they may have come from the recent Grasshopper Festival in Augusta, Kansas. This annual event celebrates the long love/hate relationship that Kansans have had with the critters. Actually, it’s just a Friday night Bar-B-Que with some music.

Augusta, birthplace of Madelyn Dunham who was Barack Obama’s Grandmother, is just east of Wichita in an area often infested with real big grasshopper issues. They ate the whole town one time.

Another Kansas town, Grasshopper Falls, petitioned the Kansas Legislature to change the name because of all the bad things associasted with the bugs. The Legislature finally agreed to change the name…to Sautrelle Falls. Once the townspeople found out the new name was just French for grasshopper, they rebelled. They now live in Valley Falls, a rather mundane solution we think.

We can take another look at these invaders and consider how well thought of they are in some cultures. In Mexico you can find them at street vendors raw, sun-dried, fried or flavored with spices, chile, garlic, lime…even in some soups and fillings. Not the grasshopper pie you may be thinking of. The King Tut people liked them, too.

Even though folklore contains tales of grasshoppers so big that chickens ran for cover thinking them to be hawks, these guys are really little. But, they jump good.

Why are they in the city, not in the grass? Could it be some confusion with all the MMJ shops about? Do they know we don’t have many birds? Well, the dog likes them!

So, this grasshopper walks into a bar. The bartender looks up and says, “Say, you’re a grasshopper. We have a drink named after you.” “Really,” the grasshopper replied, “You have a drink named ‘Larry’?”