Archive for August, 2012

Relief in Sight for Lackluster Baseball Season…It Will End in Just Weeks.

Fear Not. Just Grab a Turkey Leg and Take Another Swing. Or, is that “The Taste”? Photo: MazePhoto

 

Good Luck With That Driving Around Thing This Sunday!

Benefit of Downtown Living!

Many, many roads will be closed in and around Downtown Denver this Sunday, primarily between the hours of 10 and 4. The U.S. Pro Cycling Challenge will stage its 7th Colorado race of 2012 with an individual time trial starting and ending in Civic Center Park.

In the process, they’ll take up Colfax from Civic Center to Speer, Speer in both directions between 9th Avenue and Larimer Street, then Larimer to 15th. After a quick dash through the Square, 15th to Lawrence, back to Speer, then to Colfax, to Lincoln, to 17th and up to and around City Park, retruning on 17th. Here’s a link to the map.

Enter the chaos. First of all, there’s the matter of about 150,000 people showing up like last year to watch the race. They come by car, bike, walking, but mostly car. Parking somewhere. It’s ironic how many people claim to love bike racing…if they can drive there to see it.

Then, of course, “The Show Must Go On.” The Book of Mormon.  In there somewhere. People will not have an easy time navigating their way to the Sunday Matinee at the DCPA. Solution: Enter Downtown from the West or North, Auraria Parkway, or the long way around City Park on the North side. If you get Downtown at all, good luck from there!

And, over at Mile High, the Broncos will be throwing up a lot of prayers of their own, creating another massive Denver traffic mess…if not another sub-par Bronco experience.

Kudos to the cops for putting up with all of this.We’re confident, though, that Denver drivers will undoubtedly show all of their skills of courtesy and good behavior. Sunday Best! Sure.

Was It Something We Said? Charlie Palmer is Leaving Wazee Street…and Denver!

Charlie, we hardly knew ya’. Just last Tuesday, during LoDo Bites, our fourth stop put me right in front of Charlie Palmer for the first time. I had wanted to meet him, and I wanted to share some sincere compliments for the quality of a fine wine dinner we had had just the week before at his restaurant.

Liz Orr, Diane and David Huntress with Chef Charlie Palmer at LoDo Bites. After August 31, Charlie is Out of the Picture. Photo Courtesy LoDo District, Inc.

He’s an affable guy. Successful. And, he was thankful for my comments. I thanked him for bringing his restaurant to the neighborhood and I told him I hoped things were going well. His reply, “We’re trying our best!”

Two days later he announced the closing of Charlie Palmer’s District Tavern, along with Wazee Wood Fire Pizza, connected next door. The re-branding of District Meats came too late and now both restaurants are for sale after less than a year. Hopefully the video screens are for sale also. Is there an Il Fornaio out there somewhere?

Charlie Palmer. Leaving Denver. Anyone else?

Here They Come! Arriving Downtown on Sunday, the 26th. And, It’s About Time!

The USA Pro Cycling Challenge returns for a second year, beginning Monday in Durango and ending on Sunday, August 26th in Civic Center Park in Denver. A rich week of racing ends in an individual time trial finish, likely to determine the overall race winner.

This event has risen immediately to the top of the international bike racing scene, and it’s great that it’s seen in Denver! Click here for a complete stage description, map and viewing hints for the Denver Stage 7.

Fast guys on bikes. No cruisers allowed on this bike ride through Downtown!

The Colorado Rockies, Parked Deep in the Cellar, Think They Just Need More…Parking?

At this writing, the Colorado Rockies, reported to be a Major League Baseball Team, have the second worst record in all of baseball. Only Houston is more humid, and worse off.

No other team in baseball this season has had more runs scored against it. But, fear not, the Rockies seem always to be looking to the future, even if with blinders.

For the first few seasons of their existence, sell-outs were the norm. Greed took the form of revising the original design for Coors Field (a somewhat cozy, baseball-friendly 44,000 seat venue) to add a few thousand more seats, further away from the game, to kick up the revenue. All that seating begat a design for parking lots that runs north along Blake Street, bounded by railroad tracks.

Now, that span of parking sits empty most of the time. Last night, for instance, only 27,000 people  elbowed their way into Coors Field. Many, many of those people were from Milwaukee. They didn’t drive to the game. Many thousands more took the Light Rail into Downtown, or parked somewhere else entirely. They did not drive to the game. More people have taken public transit to Rockies games every year.

So attendance is down and the Rockies want to build up…a parking garage…four stories over a full city block between 26th and 27th on Blake Street…80,000 square feet…SIX blocks from the stadium.

According to the neighborhood, the River North Community was completely blindsided by the report of zoning applications that began in May and are, reportedly, about half way through that process. From the residents, “The parking garage is obsolete NOW! While the neighborhood is reconverting old blighted buildings, the stadium district is regressing to archaic forms of development.”

Over the years the Stadium District has wanted more parking, all while attendance has greatly declined and more people take transit, according to the River North Community.

Around the country, there are plenty of examples of major league facilities in urban areas without much in the way of parking. The baseball experience is enhanced when people walk through a business community, alive with residences, restaurants and attractions. It is energizing to the city.

Parking garages are not.

And, by the way, this is the same group that is extracting a $16 million payday from RTD, of all groups, for the no-doubt debilitating loss of 620 unused parking spaces given over to light rail construction. Now, that is really counterproductive to the mission of mass transit.

You can learn more about this issue, and how to help, by going to this Facebook link, or by emailing nocoorsfieldparkinggarage@gmail.com.

The Denver Major League Metropolitan Baseball Stadium District needs to be shut out of this game.  Just put your Rockies hats on guys, and lose. The garage is not a winner.

Show Offs! Financial Firm Closes Larimer Square!

Ameriprise Financial wants you to know they have a lot of money. And, to drive that point home, Denver, they’ll close Larimer Square Wednesday night, August 8…for a party. Oh, by the way, you’re not invited.

“Ameriprise Financial is the largest financial planning company in the United States and is among the 25 largest asset managers in the world,” so sayeth they. 3,000 of their best friends (and customers?) will be feted at a circus-like party on the street in the Historic District. Will anyone else be there? No. Will any businesses be open? No. (With one notable exception below). Will any bike racks, pedestrian access, railings around outdoor restaurant seating areas, parking or locals be found on the street? No.

The producers of this party, by convincing Denver and Larimer Square that the event was worthy of shutting down a major tourist attraction in August, managed to actually “buy off” all the businesses and restaurants, save one, of the square.

Party On! Open for Business!

The collective attitude (save one holdout) was: “Sure, I’ll take your money. Turn away all those pesky tourists and regular customers and have your nice party.”

Mark Greenberg, owner of The Market for most of three decades, didn’t bite. He’ll stay open. Regular customers can enter through the back door…and they know where it is. After all, he’s only closed The Market two days a year for all those years of local ownership and good food.

So, yes, you can go to Larimer Square Wednesday night. Enter from the rear. Enjoy The Market!

Pardon the Interruption…But, We Had to Unexpectedly Adjust our Seats!

You may have noticed (or, at least we hoped you did) some rather sporadic posting at Denver by the Slice over the last couple of weeks. We’re still here.

Speaking of seats, here’s the Men’s Waiting Area at Forever 21 at the Pavilions. PhotoDave

But, not here, really, here… in a new location for the next several weeks. And, back up and putting up whatever we feel like! But, it’s all about living in Downtown Denver. And, we are just living in a slightly different location in Downtown Denver.

Moving is not simple..or fun, but you know that. Watch for new items on a regular basis, some of which will tell you something you did not even know about living in Downtown Denver. Like the vibrant and active Urban Recycling System helping to rid your home of unwanted, usable and unsold goods you don’t really want to move.

Stay tuned. We’re sitting down now and will get more news to you shortly! And, recommendations!