Ever wonder what to do or what’s going on around town? Me too. That’s why I’ve created this easy cheat sheet for Denver Events running from July through October. You’ll find arts and culture, music and barbecues, pet-friendly gatherings and social soirees at your fingertips. Print it out, save it to your phone, grab your sunscreen, a blanket, a friend (furry or not), pack up the family or head out alone to any and all of these great events. They’ll remind you what makes living in Denver so spectacular!
Oh, and if you’d like to beat the heat looking at houses in Denver’s hot real estate market, we can do that too! I’m air-conditioned.
Let’s face it, courtship has never been easy. Where Victorian times had their parlors full of would be suitors perched on uncomfortable furniture with a maiden aunt breathing down their cravats, the 21st century has an app. Today’s dating game has replaced the calling card with a 240 character bio, a bathroom selfie and a photo of your dog. Rather than his recitation of poetry and her piano recital, we settle for few texts, a brief phone call and a face-to-face for a bit of sniffing over tapas and craft beer.
The search for love changes and evolves as we wander through life. In youth we’re still finding ourselves, our careers and our passions, even as we seek another. We crave romance, a Hallmark card soulmate, or perhaps “The One” to fill a driving desire to start a family. Years after the big things have been done and you find yourself single, how do you find the next “One”? You hope, of course, you’ll meet the old-fashioned way; at the art museum, the grocery store, the dog park:a friend will introduce you or… you’ll go online.
When someone shows you who they are, believe them the first time –Maya Angelou
This where it gets complicated. Profiles that lead with “I’m just a simple guy…” –(code for I haven’t read a book since college), photos of a grown up man in a baseball cap and mirrored shades (can you say creeper?) or Colorado favorite, standing on top of a mountain in a spandex suit with your bike held over your head (the cult of the super-fit)– make me think being single ain’t so bad.To me life’s next “Big Thing” is the way I choose to spend every moment between this breath and the grave, so choosing who to share this precious time with takes intention, an open heart and a bit of research. As a writer and Realtor my online profile is wide open. A simple search for Tracy Denver brings me up on the fist page, which makes it easy for a potential date to know a lot about me with a few clicks of a mouse and though I’ve never shown up to find someone so well-prepared, before I meet someone in LoDo after dark I’m going straight to Google.
Most of the time you strike out but when you find they have a blog, you’ve stuck cyber gold. Writing a blog is the epitome of sharing… sometimes over-sharing. Whether it’s business expertise, travel stories, life experience or how often you floss your teeth, you tell us who you are. You write about the day your cat died, I see how you handle grief and loss, the time you left it all behind to travel the world tells me you’re independently wealthy, incredibly irresponsible or in search of nirvana. A month in Spain, a week in Columbia, a year in India all have different connotations, don’t they? Bloggers tell their story, put it out for all the world to see and most likely forget about it… but it’s out there.
Most people like to live in illusions- J Krishnamurti
You read the blog, had the date, started the relationship,and conveniently forgotten what you’d learned before you’d pulled up to the first valet. Still, you surprised when the story unfolds exactly as written. We all do this. It doesn’t take a blog to get the information, we get it from friends and family in the way they behave, in the emotional well we return to time and again, knowing it is dry. So, what is it in us that chooses to ignore what we know in favor of what we want to believe is true? Real time politics show us that even Trump’s own words do not dissuade those who want to believe in him. The world woke up after the #Brexit vote, shocked by the results, raging at reality and reeling from effects that global economists have predicted for months. We share information on Social Media to support our beliefs without checking the source or the facts. In a world of spin, Tweet, best intention and illusion, how does one discern the truth?
The heart wants what the the heart wants- Unknown
To know the heart, yours or another’s, it takes silence and the stillness to listen carefully. Listening is a skill to be cultivated in our noisy world. Not only must you tune out the distraction to truly hear the other, it takes great patience to listen deep within oneself. Attention must be paid to the clanging, the white noise and the story. What is the truth of the story being told and how is that filtered by the one you create? Sifting calmly through the actual information, careful not to judge, is more productive and requires more of you than spinning fantasies and making excuses. Illusion mimics scar tissue, protecting an open, tender heart from that which it already knows. Know what you know.
And if someone tells you they rarely floss their teeth… believe them.
A gorgeous Saturday on Larimer Square, you’d almost think it was springtime and lucky girl that I am, I got to sit down with two of Buntport Theater Company’s smarty-pants collaborators, Erin Rollman and Brian Colonna. The subject of our conversation should be their new show 10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products, but swiftly veers to mythological 80’s bands, creative cluster-f*cks and the beauty of Diana Dresser.
Joining in in this eggy-bagel-sandwich of a morning is musician/author/muse, Miriam Suzanne, whose book in a box, Riding SideSaddle, inspired this current offering. Suzanne moved to Denver, identified Buntport as kindred spirits and managed to squidge her way into working with the group soon after. Her dark, indie trio, Teacup Gorilla, provided theatrical soundscape for the ReTriplicate performances, inspired by the Clyfford Still Museum Repeat/Recreate exhibition and now she’s moved front and center. 10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products is the opener, adapting, supplementing and riffing on themes introduced in Suzanne’s non-linear , “open source” Riding SideSaddle tale, written on 250 index cards to be read in no particular order.
Following a group of friends that resist order, category and completion, this play weaves myth and storytelling with every day rituals. It is about people deeply in love, suffering loss, celebrating strangeness, all while they pluck their eyebrows. It is about the Greek myth of Salmacis and Hermaphroditus, who are merged into “one being of both sexes” and about what we see when we look in the mirror. Oh, and the whole thing is underscored by a three-piece band standing in the bathtub.
After a nine-month hiatus to focus on different kinds of creative endeavors- a book on collaborative writing, among them- Buntport Theatre Company returns for their fifteenth season and three back-to-back original shows…because apparently, they missed the joys of summer stock. As a writer, I’m insanely jealous of Buntport’s talents and asked them about their process in hopes I could channel my inner voices into a collaborative style of my own. “It’s always the same” says Rollman. “We get together for a pitch session to see who’s thought of something interesting-“, “And then we Google it”, bumps Collona. Once a topic is chosen, they go their separate ways to research and write singularly, sending their individual offerings to Erin who edits it into a kind of first draft cohesion. “That’s where we start the rehearsal where we rewrite, reshape and revise. A lot”, she continues. “When it comes to casting, we start with ‘anyone want to play something specific?’ and fill in around that. Usually it becomes clear who should take which role.” (I can’t imagine this happening in many other groups.) Which brings us back to Diana Dresser… “We started working on a different piece with Di, which kind of fell apart. It’s back to the morphing kind of thing our shows go through. We’ve always performed as ensemble so having Diana Dresser and Michael Morgan joining us in 10 Myths is a great and different kind of stretch for us. I’m sure our way of working’s been a bit different for them, too.”
10 Myths on the Proper Application of Beauty Products is the first full-length show of Buntport’s 15th Season, followed by a one-person-piece about a museum guard called The Rembrandt Room, where Erin Rollman goes solo. The ensemble comes together again for the third installment, Greetings from Camp Katabasis, an epic exploration of descent and ResussAnnie. Don’t ask, just get your tickets. Because when Buntport Googles, people listen.
10 MYTHS ON THE PROPER APPLICATION OF BEAUTY PRODUCTS runs March 4-26th. Tickets available at Buntport Theater Company
Join us at Buntport Theatre when The Card Table opens on March 19th from 3-5pm. We’ll gather, start the schmoozefest and then read from Miriam Suzanne’s book in a box. Because it’s written on INDEX CARDS! You don’t need to bring anything but your reading glasses and maybe a few bucks to toss into the hat for that ‘do-good’ feeling.
Quite early this beautiful morning Gabe and I flew into the sunrise toward DIA, racing the clock to catch the plane. My youngest at fifteen has never flown alone until today. After two planes, one long delay, one two hour bus ride and one another, he is now officially off the grid. Tonight my younger son sleeps under the stars on an Outward Bound Heroic Journey with twenty-five other grieving teens in the Boundary Waters Wilderness Area outside of Ely, Minnesota. I don’t even remember a time when he’s been out of ear shot, or text range. When I got the email, “Well, they’re off, and we usually don’t hear from them during the week, so… just relax and we’ll see you on Sunday”, my immediate response was a sense of relief he’d arrived safely. Hours later, there’s been no “what’s for dinner?” bounding up the stairs, no eye roll when I answer and, knowing that it will be that way for a week, it suddenly feels so different than when he’s at a friend’s.
Absence rings through the night air as I sink into the idea that he is officially off the grid. How strange in this modern day to have your child out there in the big wide world without an electronic tether. I wonder if he’s homesick, if he’s scared, and I don’t know if that’s out of my deep concern or a deeper sense of wanting to be missed. I worry and hope he’s warm, dry and has a belly full. I smile because he’ll learn to read a compass, and I’ll learn to navigate my way by the heavens. I take a moment to feel the space between us, the silence, and I know this is something I’ll have to get used to.
I’m practicing, feeling the fullness in the emptiness. Last week the cat came home after three days, very sick, and he went off again to spend three days at the vet. The house was not the same without him. This week is Gabriel’s turn for a solo adventure (god I hope it’s better than the cat’s) and the house is not the same without him, either. Spring has been a time of adjustment as we lean into the first year of life without their father, Dane. But change comes bearing unseen gifts, and broken hearts can be open hearts. Softer.
This is the stepping off place, the launch pad where he blasts into the world and I am earthbound on my own wilderness adventure, canoeing through the unfamiliar waters and portaging over time. Somewhere out there in this great big world lays my baby boy, drifting to sleep to the lullaby of mosquitoes buzzing. We’ll both make adjustments this week, and learn more than we can remember. But my, won’t we have good stories?
Admit it. This thought has crossed your mind, hasn’t it? You’ve probably even made a mental note to ask me, or worse… unsubscribe. So what makes me send you this monthly missive? The reasons are few, but they’re mighty.
1. Yes, I am in the business of helping people buy and sell homes and I’d like for you to think of me should that thought also cross your mind. Pretty crafty, huh?
2. To keep you up to date with the Denver real estate market, how it’s doing and where it’s headed. Like this little ditty from USA Today.
2. I believe that life is richer when experienced in community, and that a community is empowered by engagement.
3. I believe that real estate is all about story. Every home, every buyer, every seller, comes with a tale to tell, a story to reveal.
4. I have a knack for meeting interesting people who do really cool things and I want to share them with you.
And here comes the mighty…
5. Every month when I send out my newsy little newsletter, chock full o’ tips about home values and market trends, writing of the wonders of a swanky little art space, or the best place to take a burlesque dance class on a Sunday morning, you call me. You reach out via comment, Facebook, phone or email to let me know what you thought, ask me a question, or (best of all) set up some face-time. And I like that. A lot.
Building and deepening relationships, creating dialogue, drinking coffee… whatever I can do to help you put a little bump in your daily grind.
After scouring the guide and culling the heard and overheard, here are my STARZ Denver Film Festival favorites…so far. Of course, it’s only day 3 and already my Thesaurus is dog-eared and coffee stained.
For the big movies, there’s nothing more fun than to see the next big thing before it’s been released in a theatre full of film buffs. So I’ve got all of them on my list:
1. Labor Day (see below)
2. Nebraska (Alexander Payne directs Bruce Dern. ‘Nuff said.)
3. August: Osage County (Okay, I’m not a big fan of Julia Roberts but I’m a HUGE fan of Tracy Letts. And who knows, she could surprise me.)
4. At Middleton (Adam Rodgers gets his debut feature film slotted into closing night of the Starz Denver Film Festival. It’s gotta be sumpin’)
Hanna Ranch and American Mustang top my list of beautiful, moving films that reflect my interests and the gorgeous state I call home.
GENE KELLY: THE LEGACY. I was raised on the back lot of M-G-M where the likes of Mr. Kelly would cruise casually into the barber shop or to lunch at the Commissary. This should feel like a home movie.
The Resurrection of a Bastard- Dutch. Thriller. Done.
The Truth About Emmanuel- This one could go either way but my part of Denver Actor Project screens before so I’m there.
The One Who Loves You- Denver actor/director Katharyn Grant’s Indie love story because I hope it’s great and there is a cadre of Denver talent in the cast.
And then there is the element of surprise. I love to pick a day, a time, a venue and then jump in and see the film I know nothing about. It’s like buying a wine you’ve never had and the thrill of reaching beyond what you know is…thrilling. So there will be some of that throughout the week.
What I’ve seen:
Labor Day. Festival opener had me floored from the main title. Based on the novel of the same name by Joyce Maynard, Labor Day hits a place of intimacy and then stays there. One look at the state of single mother, Adele (Kate Winslet), and you can feel her heartbreak in the relatable way that says “that’s about two houses down from me”. When a bleeding stranger presses himself upon her son seeking refuge, she allows it. Or does she? I talked to many of the movie-goers at the opening night party who felt (quite adamantly) that a mother never would have done that. I saw it differently. I saw a woman whose stunned state of sorrow had stripped her of her strength. Earlier in the afternoon, I sat down with Joyce Maynard and we discussed this very thing. “The loneliness of Adele, her deep sadness, that part comes from me. The rest, of course, is fiction.” I could relate. Especially when the bleeding stranger is Josh Brolin. Labor Day is a love story. It should be no surprise that they will fall in love, what is surprising is how lovely it is to watch them do so. Look for my full review on Huffington Post
Gloria– Chilean film, takes place in Santiago, award-winning actress and a story of a woman who defies society’s definition of age… or so the promo says. I did enjoy this film though it’s filled with a lot of mundane tasks so you’re thinking, “Okay, she’s vacuuming her car. Uh-huh, she’s singing on the way to work…”. Having seen a number of ‘coming of a certain age’ stories, I don’t know what to think anymore. Is it all about regret? The one who got away? Getting your ‘groove’ back? Seems like there’s not much else we see or write about when it comes to the middle-aged, divorcee and as one, that depresses the hell outta me. Gloria differs in that she takes the ball in her own hands, frequenting a dance club filled with age-appropriate men. (Must be unique to Santiago;-) Finding one she particularly likes, she ventures into a sexual, and then loving, relationship with a man who cannot relinquish his past. Particularly the dependent ex and his grown and spoiled daughters. Gee… this sounds like a match.com story. Gloria shows the wisdom of maturity as she deals with a lover who is less so, leaving me to believe she’d rather be alone with a hairless cat and a joint than in love with a man who’s a child. Good point. Still kind of depressing.
Dallas Buyers Club. This was a surprise screening for Reel Social Club members, none of whom knew what film it would be until the doors opened. I was ready to pack up and head for the Late Night Lounge when the announcement came. I’d heard of the film months ago but wasn’t really paying attention. Saying goodbyes and grabbing a ticket, I missed the main title. I had no idea who Matthew McConaughey was for the first 20 minutes of the movie. That’s how good he was (and how much weight he’d lost). He and Jared Leto absolutely KILL it in a semi-biographical film about Ron Woodruff, a homophobic Texan who contracts the HIV virus and takes it down like a bull rider. Due to the historical nature of the story, [Woodruff was the one who took on the FDA and AZT, traveling to Mexico and Japan to bring in Interferon and Peptide T which paved the way for the lifesaving “cocktail”] there are some overly expositional bits but the film is not to be missed for the MM and JL performances.
Whether you buy a single ticket or a VIP package, the STARZ Denver Film Festival experience it worth the price of admission.
Before I die, I want to…
Driving the streets north of Downtown Denver one might turn some dodgy corners. The gentrification of Curtis Park, Ballpark and Five Points neighborhoods has pushed up real estate prices as artist lofts and galleries, restaurants and the urban infill townhomes that follow, found their place beside the old Victorians. This quilted mix of luxe and lush is what gives the area its unique charm, but if you’ve ever stopped at a red light near one of the triangle parks you may have wondered… why doesn’t somebody clean that up? Often dirty, neglected and filled with those for whom a triangle in traffic is as close to home as they have, these inauspicious spaces have fallen through the cracks. So, whose responsibility are they?
Meet the Community Coordinating District No. 1, whose job it is to transform these hot spots into vital, safe and manageable environments for those who live and work in the area. Community works best when in communion; yet all too often disparate interests work, immune to or in spite of one another, making civic progress slow if not impossible. Created as an ad hoc adjunct “collaborative policy platform”, the CCD brings together government, public, non-profit and private sector organizations to facilitate those public improvements which are often dreamed up and less often realized. Adding working capacity to city-led initiatives, creating opportunities for revitalization and economic development, the CCD will scout out areas of the city that need attention and make sure they get it. Think of them as Denver’s Den Mother.
Born in 2010 as the brainchild of a collection of civic visionaries who’d been trying for decades to improve the areas northeast of Downtown Denver, the Community Coordinating District works across geographical boundaries to unite community stakeholders and thoughtful partners to leverage their assets, pool their resources and more efficiently effect change throughout the city.
Targeted areas of enhancement are Eddie Maestes Park directly across from the Denver Rescue Mission at Park Avenue West and Broadway. Long known as a staging area for the homeless, the park has been riddled with crime and drug-related activity. Rather than just “displace” these issues, the District is exploring opportunities for positive change and working through plans to implement them.
Last summer, Sonny Lawson Park gained some renewed energy with the installation of “Before I Die”, a world-wide, interactive art piece by Candy Chang . The interactive mural is like a giant blackboard with the words “Before I die I want to…” painted on it as a universal writing prompt. Visitors are encouraged to pick up a piece of chalk, reflect on their lives, and share their personal aspirations in a public space. The original Before I Die… mural was installed in New Orleans, where Chang transformed the side of an abandoned house in her neighborhood into a giant chalkboard and stenciled it with the sentence. By the next day the wall was entirely filled out and it kept growing. The wall turned a neglected space into a constructive one where neighbors had an outlet to get to know each other and remember their loved ones.
Having been installed in more than 20 countries around the globe, Candy Chang’s Denver incarnation has made its way downtown, where it lives outside the newly renovated McNichols Building at the corner of Colfax Avenue and Bannock, inspiring denizens through February.
The Community Coordinating District offers many opportunities for civic engagement and public participation through its weekly Monday morning meetings, volunteer ops and upcoming events. Strategic partnerships with Arts & Venues Denver, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Parks and Recreation, Denver Police Department, Department of Public Works, Denver’s Road Home, Ballpark Neighborhood Association, City Parks Alliance, Curtis Park Neighbors, Denver Biennial of the Americas, Denver Rescue Mission, Redline Gallery, St. Francis Center, Denver Shared Spaces, Ballet Nouveau Colorado/Wonderbound, Betterweather Inc., Dept. of Community Planning and Development, City Councilwoman: Judy Montero and City Councilman Albus Brooks, promise to keep it interesting.
“Before I die…” was brought to Denver through a partnership of Arts and Venues Denver, the Community Coordinating District, Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, and Denver Design Build LLC. For more information on Denver’s Public Art Program, click or call 720-865-4313.
It’s Friday night. The Broncos are in the playoffs and the Mile Hi City is tickled…orange. In Denver, we take our football seriously. Denizens will brave tomorrow’s freezing temps to celebrate at pre-game tailgate parties and freeze their own tails in the stands, while the taste of beer, brats and a Broncos victory creates an excitement that is palpable. It hasn’t been easy for fans the past few years; roster changes, close calls and heartaches have sent tears streaming over many a blue and orange painted cheek.
So does it take to push yourself over the goal line when your adversaries are strong and your opponents worthy? Sometimes it’s a matter of luck and game. He who wants it the most wins, and as Annette Bening famously shows us in American Beauty… The same goes for real estate.
Hopefully we’re not in character Carolyn Burnham‘s situation, but we can relate to her state of mind. I know I can. It’s not been an easy ride on housing market roller coaster, but now Denver has plenty to be excited about. The real estate market is one of the strongest in the nation, leading the way through the recovery. Home prices up 6.87 percent over a year ago according to the latest Case Schiller report, and mortgage interest rates are looking to remain low through 2013.
There have been times over the past few years when I wondered if it would change and how long it would take. Seeing people suffer has been difficult, helping them through it, gratifying, and somehow… on a wing and a prayer, by luck, pluck, with great cheerleaders and sheer force of will, we’ve made it…just like the Broncos.
It’s coming on game time. GO TEAM.