Each year, artists and their pop up white tents flood Pearl Street Mall in Boulder for the annual Pearl Street Arts Fest during the summer. This year the art festival, which showcases artists from 20 different states, celebrated its 41st birthday. From whimsical and modern sculptures to traditional watercolors, oils and more, the thongs of art fans that pack the busy outdoor mall are sure to find the exact perfect piece they’ve been looking for.
Rita’s Law is open for business in the Five Points neighborhood of Denver and if you love coffee or whiskey or bowls of delicious food then you may want to check it out. There are a few rules to abide by…Rita’s Law # 80 says “Make a Friend, Buy your neighbor a drink.” # 69 says “Be Better. Contribute to your community. Together we can do so much.” There are more and if you’re curious just ask Head Lawmaker Rita Price. A Denver native, Price is the purveyor of hard to find and allocated whiskeys. She’s teamed up with Katie Milano for bowls packed full of goodness out of the permanent food truck on the patio and partnered with Yo Te Amo coffee roasters and Olive & Finch On The Fly bakery for day side offerings of hot cups of Joe and pastries.
If you love Baja-styled Mexican food and haven’t been to Lola Coastal Mexican in LoHi, I have one question….what’s wrong with you? From charred octopus, to crab claws served on ice, the chef dream team of Dave Query, Javier Plascencia and Sheila Lucero will have your mouth watering for more. The space, at 1575 Boulder St., has been recently overhauled in the past few months and by overhauled, I mean completely gutted and redesigned. Light and airy, with shades of blue and accents that scream you’re at a place near the beach. The cocktail program has also been revamped by James Lee of Bitter Bar fame in Boulder.
The National Park Service helps fund the Environmental Learning for Kids program, which for the state of Colorado, holds over 190 activities each year. Not only does the program bring the outdoors to children but it also teaches high school and college students how to become Urban Rangers. With a trip down to Chatfield State Park on a bright, sunny day, younger children learned how to fish and the importance of being a responsible angler. The fishing clinic started with presentations by the Urban Rangers, followed by practice casting and finally a bunch of hours fishing out on one of the park’s lakes.
June is one of my favorite times of year. There’s plenty of things to do around Denver and Boulder, the sun is usually shining and the last vestiges of Spring are behind us. It is also the time when the 1940s Ball holds their annual event at the city’s municipal airport and it is one of my most favorite events to be a part of. It’s the 11th anniversary for the ball and after three years of photographing the event, there are still new and exciting changes that keep things fresh.
The themed, costumed ball set at the end of World War 2 in the 1940s has everything one can dream of that places attendees right in the middle of the time period. There’s music and dancing, live bands, fighter planes and bombers, people dressed to the nines, drinking, eating, air raids, photos being taken, more dancing, some kissing, a tank, encampments, machine guns and even more dancing late into the early morning hours. Set in Paris, France, vendor and cafe backdrops line the festive Victory Street along with new impersonators such as Lucille Ball and Queen Elizabeth II.
Sassafras American Eatery has been bringing Southern cuisine with a more New Orleans flair to the city of Denver for a bunch of years. Back in March, the restaurant, which has three locations, closed its Jefferson Park venue and has taken over the two adjoined houses that used to be Solitaire in the Highland neighborhood.
With dining rooms that stretch across both houses, an expansive wrap-around patio and an upstairs library for more intimate dining with a fire place patio of its own, the restaurant has taken over a huge space which means a lot of work for the kitchen and bar. Speaking of the kitchen, Chef Colin Mallet’s menu is filled with traditional favorites like shrimp and grits and gumbo but also dishes that are up to Denver interpretation like the chicken fried eggs and buffalo hash. Like Bloody Marys? The bar has 10 different varieties with options for both an extra large, 24 oz. version or a flight of four for those who can’t make up their mind.
It’s summer in Denver and that means mildly warm evenings full of fun things to do especially in downtown. Have a show to catch at the Denver Performing Arts Complex off of Curtis Street? Plan on spending some extra time beforehand to hang out at Under the Glasstop, a pop-up happy hour bar that is set up each Wednesday through Saturday, now through September 21, in front of the Ellie Caulkin Opera House. Friendly bartenders are prepared for cocktails, beer, wine and frozes (frozen rose wine slushies), as well as some light snacks, that patrons can enjoy underneath the iconic glass ceiling all while listening to live music.
Normally when I think of “Weird Oregon” my mind immediately goes to Portland. The city is usually one of the weirdest in the country, holding all sorts of functions that are quite out of the ordinary like the World Naked Bike Ride or the Quiet Music Festival where people are encouraged to try and sleep. But for the past 20 years, on the weekend before Memorial Day, McMinnville takes the cake with the city’s annual McMenamin’s U.F.O. Festival.
Based on an encounter on May 11, 1950, where a farmer named Paul Trent snapped a couple of photographs of what appeared to be a flying disc over his rural Yamhill County property. After originally being published in the local newspaper, the McMinnville Telephone-Register, then The Oregonian as well as Life Magazine, the photos became associated with nearly any book about UFOs..
Then, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the event, McMenamin’s Hotel Oregon held the first annual U.F.O. Festival for the city in May of 2000. For the past 20 years, the event has grown into the second-largest festival of its kind falling just short of the famed one held in Roswell, New Mexico. So for three days, McMinnville dons the moniker McMarsville and is transformed with presentations by renowned speakers & experts, movie screenings, radio broadcasts, vendor booths, live music, alien trivia, the Alien Abduction Dash fun run, pet costume contest, beer tastings, dining with speakers, and the Alien Costume Ball. However, the culmination of the three days, and where things really get fun, is the parade that makes its way through the town.
John Slaughter, owner of Tribe Tattoo, has partnered with Chef Nicholas Lebas of Panzano Restaurant fame to bring the Sante Fe Arts District in Denver an American fare restaurant. Slaughter is taking a page from Carboy Winery’s book and slowly taking over the 600 block of Sante Fe Drive.
Lebas, originally from France, has worked in kitchens across the globe including Europe, Mexico, Texas and Florida before landing in Denver. After two years at Panzano’s, the chef is creating his own menu including a hangar steak with
Adam and his family came to me to capture the many facets that make up a high school senior about to graduate and move on to the next phase in life. Adam is a catcher for the Warriors, the Green Valley Ranch High School baseball team, loves his car, likes the great outdoors and has an amazing family who loves and supports him.
Springtime in Colorado is a little tumultuous and to prove it we had snow, freezing temperatures, sunshine and wind prompting two different shoots and a variety of locations. Adam kept his composure and his smile throughout and his personality shines through untouched.