David Rakoff lost his long battle with cancer on August 9. He was 47. A unique literary voice and humorist, in his writing, Rakoff was a self-effacing, cheerful cynic.
I fell in love with David Rakoff's writing when my friend, Ron, told me that he thought David and I were alike in our cynicism, pessimism and (I suppose) in utilizing them to get a laugh. Shortly after that, I received all of David's books in the mail; my friend decided I should find out for myself.
Marlene Dietrich made her Hollywood comeback in the film Destry Rides Again starring opposite Jimmy Stewart. And Dietrich rides again this Tuesday at our 10th Anniversary Film Series.
I mentioned to a friend this weekend that Marlene Dietrich's starring role in the popular film Destry Rides Again was a comeback performance for her. My friend asked how Dietrich could have a comeback when her career was strong and steady all the way through. Which is how most movie fans think of Dietrich.
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)
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.
"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.
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
"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.
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:
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.