"The life of our city is rich in poetic and marvelous subjects. We are enveloped and steeped as though in an atmosphere of the marvelous; but we do not notice it." -- Charles Baudelaire
Downtown Denver offers up fantastic art, good eats, great music, free films, and some eccentric crafting for the urban adventurer. Here's a short list of 10 things to do at the library or mere steps away.
10. Hear French Metro-inspired accordion music played by a real live Frenchman. (Sunday, 2p, Central Library) ('Frenchman' is an exaggeration as accordionist is actually from New Zealand)
9. Find a rare first edition of The DaVinci Code or an ABBA cd amongst the treasures at the Denver Public Library Used Book Sale. (Thursday-Sunday, hours and info, Central Library) (The DaVinci Code not rare)
One of Denver's most controversial Mayors, Robert Speer, had big plans for Denver. He envisioned Denver as a grand European city. Fresh City Life celebrates our City of Lights with a memorable party. Please come if you Can-Can-Can.
The dream of Mayor Robert Speer (1855-1918) to make civic Denver into a world-class city is all around us. The City Auditorium, which housed the historic 1908 Democratic National Convention, still stands as a testament to Speer's endeavors. As does the beautiful Civic Center Park. Even Speer Blvd is a tease of what might have been -- a spectacular street for an American Paris.
I often looked at Norman Rockwell paintings and felt a twinge of jealousy -- wishing that those perfect scenes had been a part of my life story. Then I found out that even Norman Rockwell wished that the scenes he painted had been a part of his real life.
In truth, Rockwell was born in New York City in 1894 and lived a hard-scrabble childhood on the wrong side of the tracks. So his paintings of scrubbed up Americana are really just his own yearnings for a life he never had. The life he did have was exciting and full of creativity and he left a lasting artistic legacy in the hundreds of paintings he did for the cover of the Saturday Evening Post, Life and other magazines.
Happy Mother’s Day!
Mother’s Day is Sunday, May 13th. Impress the mom in your life by teaching her about the history of Mother’s Day. Then give her a day to remember by taking part in some of the following fun activities in and around the city or plan a relaxing day at home.
In the United States the first known suggestion for Mother’s Day came in 1872 from Julia Ward Howard, author of "The Battle Hymn of the Republic". Howard envisioned a day of peace, but her idea didn’t catch on. Finally, in 1907 on the anniversary of her mother's death Anna Jarvis arranged a church service in Philadelphia to honor all mothers. She then began a letter writing campaign to congress and news outlets.
OK Designers, Please put down your scissors, needle and thread. Back slowly away from your sewing machine. It's time for us to vote.
Our twelve Frock Out designers are hard at work on their final pieces for the upcoming runway show and competition in April. Making a nod to the 100th anniversary of the sinking of the Titanic in April of 1912, Frock Out will include camp and classic music, a live string quartet and some of Denver's hottest and newest fashion designers.
Nostalgia alert: we're bringing back popcorn balls.
When I was a young 'un, Halloween signified the beginning of the kid calendar. It was a fun, escapist holiday -- and a great break from the routine of a new school year. Mom would counsel my brother and I on our costumes, and help us select a variety of retired clothes that we could use to make our costumes. One year my brother went as a pirate and I went as a devil. Mom found a set of red long underwear for me and Dad built me a makeshift pitchfork. It was the best Halloween ever.
Four talented chefs, four spectacular, moist and delicious breads -- but only one will be crowned the winner.
Fresh City Life is bringing together food entrepreneurs and chefs for Battle Quick Bread – including Ellen Daehnick of Helliemae’s Salt Caramels. Though Ellen has a legion of fans who love her caramel sauces and candies, she jumped at the chance to compete for the bragging rights of Best Quick Bread. When asked about the competition, she said, “Look, I’ve got excellent recipes for quick breads with caramel in them, but maybe I’ll mix it up and do something chocolatey or with a touch of booze.
Whether your favorite game includes spelling rare words for a triple score or discovering that Colonel Mustard did it in the library with a revolver, Fresh City Life's Game Night offers something for everyone. Hosted by MadWine Bar and Novo Coffee (13th and Acoma Plaza), you'll be treated to fun times and the chance to mingle with other old school gamers.
In the middle of a long, hot summer, I'm in the mood for a little joy, a little lighthearted make and do. Craftinatrix Trish Tilly has got ebullience in the bag -- creating mod stuff with felted wool balls. For those of you who own cats, yes, it's related to the 'craft' projects your little Felix makes on occasion -- except these are on purpose -- and pretty cool.
There are lots of crafters experimenting with sculptural works that utilize felted sheep's wool. Felting is the process of agitating animal fibers through heat, moisture and motion to create a firm fabric. If you've ever washed a wool sweater accidentally only to remove it from the washing machine stiff and shrunken, then you know the end product of felting.