Reviews and Blog Posts: Fresh City Life

Every Little Detail Plays A Part

Our booth in its beginning stages, about two hours in.

Today, Trish and I -- and a couple helpers -- put together our Fresh City Life booth for the Denver County Fair. We had a great time, a lot of laughs and built something that will make fair-goers smile.

And the process, since we really only had a general idea of how it would come together, reminded me of the Stephen Sondheim classic, Putting It Together:

Bit by bit, putting it together
Piece by piece, only way to make a work of art
Every moment makes a contribution
Every little detail plays a part
Having just a vision's no solution
Everything depends on execution
Putting it together (That's what counts)

Y'All's Fair -- This Weekend in Denver

Denver County Fair

Fresh City Life is taking a break from making events for you at the Central Library -- and taking the show on the road for a weekend. Get your spurs on, cowboys and cowgirls, and giddyup to the Denver County Fair.

Our craft queen, Trish Tilly, has been hunched over yards of fabric, a sewing machine, hot glue guns, pots of paint and tubs of prizes for a couple weeks. We both decided that if we were going to represent Fresh City Life with a fair booth, it was going to be so flashy, over-the-top and just plain wrong, that it was oh-so-right. The only missing ingredient is you.

Get your licks in at the Denver County Fair

"A fair is a veritable smorgasbord, orgasbord, orgasbord!" -- Templeton the Rat, from Charlotte's Web.

Fresh City Life is doing our part to make your county fair experience as rich and replete with nostalgia as possible. Fun carny games. Check. Cool prizes, booby prizes. Check. Food sampling, nibbling, noshing. Check. Not only are we hosting a variety of great local vendors at our booth (stop by to sample great local fare), but we are producing two cooking demos on Saturday, August 11. Yesterday I wrote about our morning demo on chutneys with Chef Amy Hoyt.

Denver County Fair offers many delights. But first, get pickled.

chutney

We know a good county fair includes a little flash and a little trash, a bit of sweet and a touch of sour. Just like a great chutney.

Fresh City Life is bringing a lot of fun to the Denver County Fair. I'll describe our booth offerings, fun prizes and giveaways, plus -- as always -- the seriousness of frivolity that Fresh City Life specializes in. Here's our first DCF offering:

Country Pickle Meets City Pickle: Putting By and Preserving the Harvest with Chef Amy Hoyt

Paris on the Platte: A Mayor's Vision for Denver: In Glitter

Denver at dusk -- our Paris on the Platte.

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.

Oklahoma has a state meal. For real.

Sure, Colorado has its state bird: the Lark Bunting; and its state insect: the Colorado Hairstreak; flower: Columbine. Colorado also claims a state flag, gemstone, fossil, tree, reptile and even a state song or two. But we haven't got a state meal. Only Oklahoma has a state-sanctioned, legislature-approved meal. And it sounds pretty good.

I know that knowing that Oklahoma has a state meal is teetering on the edge of Cliff Clavin'ism: "It's a little known fact that Oklahoma's state meal is..." But the truth is even stranger -- that there really is an Oklahoma state meal. And here's how I found out:

All Doris, All Day: A Film Tribute

An early studio portrait of Doris Day.

Doris Day, the reluctant movie star, stopped making films in 1968, and yet she remains one of the most popular film actresses in the world. Not bad for little Doris Mary Ann Kappelhoff of Cincinnati.

Hers is a life worthy of a Hollywood movie. Doris longed for a simple life of marriage and kids, but a mother with aspirations toward dancing and singing pushed Doris into performing. By the time she was 17, she was singing on a local radio station and was discovered by bandleader Barney Rapp, who changed her last name to Day.

The Subtleties of Hyperbole

Hyperbolic crochet sculpture created by Chris Loffelmacher

This blog about Fresh City Life's newest  obsession, hyperbolic crochet, is genius and will likely be nominated for a Pulitzer Prize! Is this an example of hyperbole or overweening ego? Yes.

It seems fitting that a fibers technique so extravagant and exaggerated as this would carry the name hyperbolic crochet. The name is based not only on the over-the-top quality of these sculptures, but also the hyperbolic geometry that informs the shapes and designs of this craft.

Opera, Anyone?

Central City Opera

Whether you're an opera aficionado or are just curious about what opera is all about, you can expand your knowledge while having fun with Fresh City Life My Branch and Fresh City Life programs in June!

Central City Opera is the 2nd oldest annual professional opera festival in the country, located right here in Colorado! Each summer, they present three productions, including an opera favorite, a lesser known work, and an American work. One of summer 2012's offerings is Benjamin Britten's The Turn of the Screw, based on the novella by Henry James. Set in a 19th century English country house filled with ghosts and mystery, this work is sure to set your spine tingling!

It hasn't been a Norman Rockwell painting, but it's been a fun trip

Norman Rockwell's Family Vacation

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.

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