Reviews and Blog Posts: Denver

PriMDNA Tour?

MDNA album cover

If you caught the Madonna show at the Pepsi Center on Thursday night, you were probably operating at a sleep deficit if you had work Friday morning.

The material girl arrived on stage nearly 3 hours late for her show and by the end was almost universally forgiven by those who stayed for the spectacular production, rife with elaborate sets, costumes and her trademark flawless troupe of dancers.  While her inclusion of an opening number in which the black-clad diva brandishes guns and repeatedly "kills" members of her troupe had angered some audiences even before she reached Colorado, site of the recent horrific Aurora Theater Shootings,

10 Reasons to Come Downtown This Weekend

"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)

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.

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.

Mother's Day Fun

My Monster Mama Loves Me So

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.

Frock the Vote

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. 

Homemade Trick or Treat

Popcorn Balls

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.

Come To Judge the Quick and the Bread

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.

Colorado Authors Coming Soon!

Walking Denver

Want to walk Denver or be inspired to research your family tree? Get information on either or both with these upcoming Fresh City Life My Branch Colorado Authors Series events at Schlessman.

On Sunday, September 25 at 2:00 p.m., Mindy Sink will discuss her latest release, Walking Denver: 30 Tours of the Mile High City's Best Urban Trails, Historic Architecture, River and Creekside Paths, and Cultural Highlights. Hear her talk and then get out and explore your city in this beautiful fall weather! Mindy is also the coauthor of Colorado Organic: Cooking Seasonally, Eating Locally.

If you can't stand the heat, then get in the game

 There's a table reserved for you at Game Night!

 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. 

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