Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Lights Camera Christmas

We live in a time where we deal with unique experience that many would not understand unless you were there. During this time, lets just take a moment to remember how bless we are to have people that care. That includes the extended friends and family online. I would like to share with you some holiday lights from my neck of the woods.


Union Station - OMG isn't this light pattern amazing!


Side shot and all its glory!



City and County Building!! OMG they Dance!! So this Video is from before Thanksgiving, I will walk by it on Thursday, if it has changed I will post another video just to make sure you get the full Christmas experience.

video

OK that is all I am going back to watching cheesy wonderful girlie Hallmark/Lifetime/ Even SyFy fun Christmas specials! Oh I guess I should add ABC family

Till next time
S

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Zuckerman's farm

I will admit I have this secret love of farms and the farm life.  Something about it just seems so romantic and as American as apple pie.  I recently read this book called The Family Ranch about the life of families that run farms.  It is a truly amazing book and I highly recommend, it really made me think about the struggles that many families have to go through to help insure that we have the ability to buy food from our own country.

With all the urban farmers popping up and the statistics that tell us that most urban kids don't know where their food comes from. Not to mention the food that is created and manufactured in a lab because this planet is becoming so over populated that no farmer can possibly create as much food on a daily bases to supply the worlds food intake.  It's Christmas time and we are all thinking about the fest that come with this time of the year, extra pounds that it will cause we will worry about later. (I might know a great fun fit chick that can help you all with that extra weight)

But back to this food thing.

In Colorado you can find fresh local food at every market, I love this. When I was reading The Family Ranch and out shopping I would often picture some of the farms in the book as some of the farms that make the food I was buying. This summer I got to meet some of these farmers at the State Fair! The ones that make my food not in the book. Well at the State Fair there is this program call Centennial Farms. Don't now if its a program more so then its a celebration. According to History Colorado's website:

The Program was established to honor the significant role that these families have had in settling and shaping the State of Colorado.
Today, each one of Colorado's Centennial Farms stands as a recognition of the strength, courage and perseverance of the families who have worked their land for multiple generations despite the economic challenges of modern agriculture. 


This year the oldest farm was founded in 1892. I know 1892! That was a long time ago, what in the world was going on in 1892.

I did a little search to see what the rest of the country was up to in 1892, cause um well I was not there so how am I suppose to know or remember my US history class. Well this is what I found out in highlight form of course.  Grover Cleveland was president, Ellis Island begins accommodating immigrants to the US, it was the 400th anniversary of Columbus Day and to mark it the "Pledge of Allegiance" is first recited in unison by students in US public schools, The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes is published and in honor of Christmas The Nutcracker premiered in St. Petersburg, Russia. But back in Colorado in Elbert County the Hertneky family were building their homestead. I wonder if they thought or hoped that their family would be there over a hundred years later. I know with the gypsy blood that runs through me I doubt any of my descendants will be where I am right now a hundred years from now. But I bet the Hertneky family will still be farmers helping all of us remember the importance of local agriculture and truly what it means to have courage.  If you want to check out some photos of the rest of Centennial Farms folks here is a direct link to History Colorado's photostream.

Now if you guys are curious about what else I did at the fair. I can tell you I found someone or rather some animals that can make me smile even on the worst day and here they are and here is one of them. I call her Cruella de Vil.





So with holiday shopping and cooking to be done I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and with my blogging average I will see you next year. ;) OH and without using the handy internet did you know where Zuckerman's Farm is from....hmmmmmm


Til next time
S


OH and on a random side note. In my research into 1892 I discovered that Colorado in 1893 granted women the right to vote, making Colorado the second to grant universal suffrage and the first one by a popular vote (of Colorado men). Way to go Colorado and its men!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

What happened when September arrived

So its been a while since I have written and this is not about to change anytime soon.  I am working on something, but keep getting sidetracked. But its now the best month of the year and this is how I felt when September finally got here!


Done by Mr. Red

Till next time
S

Thursday, July 29, 2010

its all about me (insert random song lyric)

So I am on post 11!  I know I have posted 10 whole post. For those that blog every freakin day, 10 is nothing but for me 10 is major kudos. I would like to note here that those that post every day or once a week I love you for it. Not because I read post every day but because I have this vision that somehow these amazing people that I follow on blog post not only have this other life beyond their blog that takes up all their time, but that they find time to blog and its some good shit, I mean really they find time! I cant find time to do a lot of stuff that those voices in my head tell me to do...

But really back to me for a moment cause um its my 11th post for all bloody goodness. I mean really this is my blog and I thought I would take the time to let you know about me. So what do you need to know about me well its really simple, I love life. If you dont love life then let me know I will grab you a great Colorado beer or bottle of wine and introduce you to the people I know and by the end you will love life too I promise! Because really the most important thing in life is to love what you do and surround yourself (both on the world wide web and physically) with truly amazing people and be willing to tell the world about them.

I  love innovation and people that believe that they can make a difference and change the world. Even if they really know that they can't really change the whole wide world, but they an have a heart that is big enough to try.  I also love talking about people ( think I have said this but really I do). Now I know what you are thinking. This does not mean that I am superficial or self centered or a gossip nut. OK well maybe I am a gossip nut, but I promise its only in the good way and not in the high school way. I love gossiping about people that make a difference. I love the local business mans spirit. I love stories about how $1 invested by a local business man back into his community passes through many hands in that same community. It makes me want to create a website to track how many hands $1 passes through.

OH wait they already have that, damn......www.trackdollarbills.com & www.wheresgeorge.com

But really I believe that everyone can make an impact that is bigger then they themselves.  I also love stories about people that believe in themselves and the importance of what they do.  That would be the farmer that saw the value in organic farming and feeding their animals good foods and not just the left over scraps before it became the hot new ting to do in farming.  Same goes for the energy efficant home before LEED came around. Or the value in investing in homes for those that can't afford a home cause really isn't that part of the American dream. I even sometimes love the urban chicken farm. (yes sadly I even mentioned the chicken farm in my post).

I digress. 

I have not written a blog in over a month! ITs not because I don't love to write to my new found blog friends and long time friends that I wish I talked to more. I promise its because I am stirring up something big at work that I can't wait to share with you all.  For those of you on twitter, find me and follow and for those of you near Denver, come see me at where ever I am going to be on Aug. 19th at 2pm. Cause I think a lot of you will love what will happen.

So I am going to leave you with this building that I have fallen in love with and I really wish someone would turn it into a venue.  Where by day it was an outlet for local products and by night it was a pop up restaurant that would give inspiring chiefs a place to prove themselves for 1week. and then every three months they would bring back the most successful chiefs of each month to showcase their top 4 course meal. Tell me that would not catch on and be an instant hot spot. I mean think of the area its in and what is coming in that direction. We have only a small handful of historic buildings in that area and if you say the adaptive reuse does not work then look to  the old warehouse that REI moved into and I challenge you to say that was not a success. If you do then bend over and let this 5"3 blond slap the crap out of you.

I am so not going to tell you where this is right now, but later I will tell you its story, cause um I love a good story

Until next time
S

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Restores the Soul

Last week I had the most wonderful time in the Sangre de Cristo National Heritage Area. The place has captured the most amazingly rich history of Colorado's San Luis Valley.

 This image is from the NPS I was to in amazement to take this photo (plus I forgot my best camera)


I mean really look at that sunset! To top it all off the colors during the day are succulent shades of green that would even make Madame Sunday lay down green pastures and walk beside still waters. I am so not joking.


Yep that is the Great Sand Dunes in the distance. Here is a fun fact - this area that you are looking at is a National Monument, and it might be one of the few Monuments that is actually alive and moving, see there is water under that there sand and the sand moves. I swear it is the only place that I have been that at the base I felt like I was at the beach at the base and in need for a camel at the top all while hanging out in a square landlocked State.

I took this picture of a friend. I think it is just stunning and helps explain the colors. FYI this is just a point and shoot, no special lens, no UV filter, nothing.

But the colors do not just stop at the Dunes - nor do the great stories.  This area is home to a town that just pulls at my heart strings -  San Luis the oldest town in Colorado.  I don't know how many times I can say the word amazing, but these people are.  They also have a very deep connection to religion in this area.  Some of these guys just are radiating with spirituality. Just so you know this area is a melting pot of so many different religions.  The mountain range - Sangre de Cristo means "Blood of Christ".  Plus it has been said that this area has over 11,000 years of settlement, someone is bound to have found god during that time and left a mark. While I was there I saw two churches when I was there both with different exhilarating stories, both with different marks.

First church is the major tourist destination Stations of the Cross
The view from the Church. 

Can you see that patch of snow that kind of looks like a rooster. (its the only big patch of snow that is center left on)  Well the local story is that it looks like a rooster and when they see the rooster appear they know warmer weather will be arriving soon. (yes that means that the Sand Dunes gets snow!) That little house is where members of the Knights of Columbus come to get away. (I wonder if JFK, Vince Lombardi, Babe Ruth or Jeb Bush ever stayed there? Wonder what they would talk about if they were all there at the same time)

So the second church that I visited has the best story ever. ( I am totally going to butcher but here goes) So this area (SLV) was once settled by the Ute Tribe. One day after the Spanish settled Mexico they sent a crew to take over the San Luis Valley (SLV). Well that didn't go over so well so the Spanish crew tried to go home. But they were kicked out of the house/Mexico and told to not come back. They returned made nice with the Utes and started to settle the land. Well somewhere in that time line you insert this story. One day the men had gone out to hunt for food and left the women and children behind.  Sadly they left them on top of this mountain which happened to be the same place that the Ute's would travel to during certain times of the year. I know great place to leave your wife and kids!  Well the women and children all of a sudden have this view of billions (OK not billions but its my butchered story) of Ute's on horseback charging towards them. (yep I would be freaked I just picture it as Kevin Costner in Dancing with Wolves but way earlier) Well the women/children/elders being the Catholics that they were drop to their knees and start praying to San Acacio (Saint Acacius patron saint of soldiers).  Saying if he protected them they would build a church in his honor. Still on their knees the Ute's kept coming and the women kept praying. According to the story the Ute's were so close that the women could see the whites of their eyes and all of a sudden they pointed their swords/ spears to the sky towards the clouds turned around and left. 

Well according to legend years later the settlers in the area befriended and old Indian women. She told them this story of how they were prepared to destroy the settlement.  When all of a sudden the Ute's saw a vision in the clouds of a great warrior on horse back coming to defend the small settlement over the top of the mountain. It scared them so that they turned around and left, to which everyone believes it was San Acacio. Apparently this story has been passed down since 1880 and now I bring you my hopefully not to butchered version for you to pass down.

So they built a church....



 That is a 12" thick Adobe structure. It is in serious need of some exterior restoration work. But the inside has recently been restored. Although I think the original might have been painted so..

Now the reason I was in the wonderfully amazing area was because I was helping out with the Colorado Preserve America Youth Summit. Now this summit is one of the best programs that I have ever heard of and not just because I get to be a part of it.  It is the only one of its kind but the mission is: Working to preserve America's history while engaging youth in preservation activities that support their local communities. These kids (middle school and high school) meet a few times a year in different locations around the state under different themes. They always end up leaving the host area with recommendations of how they can get youth more actively involved in learning about history.  They have a blog, everyone should check them out and follow them.
 
So that was my last week. We did a lot of other stuff, ate some of the best Mexican food I have had in a long time, and saw another section of my new state that I am in love with. I hope to be able to plan some things for work in this area so that I can stuff my face with food introduced others to this area. If I do you can rest assured that I will tell you all about it.

I will leave you with my shot of the fire that is burning in the Sand Dunes. They say it is under control. They believe it was started by a lightning bolt. But that it is not bad for the area cause it is going to hopefully be a good thing in the end since a natural fire that they can have under control is cheaper then having a controlled burn.  Talk about divine intervention in one of the poorest communities in Colorado. 


Until next time

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's the pleasure principle oh oh ohh

I don't know about you, but when I am working on rearranging my thought pattern avoiding something I stare out a window. Yep I was the kid staring out the window in school daydreaming about who knows what.

After my last few weeks I have been staring out a lot of windows.  Sadly, when this happens all thoughts work back to one thought - consumerism.  I could blame it on all the buzz around the oil spill, the truth behind a $4 t-shirt, and the lasting effects this will have on everything. The truth is I have been thinking about it since the 80s, when everyone had to have Guess jeans.

What made everyone want this products? How did these companies make me want them? Could I create something that would make everyone want one? Why did I feel like I had to have them? Now granted I really never felt like I had to had them, I have always valued quality over name brand, but having that upside-down triangle with red outline (and not the green cause I am not a boy) made me feel a little more special.


I think I had one pair and sadly I think it was the kids version (also a different color label) not nearly as cool as buying "grown up sizes".  But why did I want them? Was it really the Janet Jackson "Pleasure Principle" video or  Naomi Campbell and Claudia Schiffer ads. I mean really who didn't want to dance like Janet in that video even if you weren't wearing Guess jeans, and hello I still want to look like Claudia Schiffer or Naomi Campbell have you seen them lately!



In the end it all comes down to advertisements. The way something is advertised teaches you a lot about 1) the year/time period of the ad 2) the main audience 3) the important key words of the time 4) the core/ sometimes popular products of the area. 5) the importance of craftsmanship and style and process.

Now I love ads all of them, (I have been known to break out in a jingle) but some of my favorite are the ones from years past.  Not just the old print ones, or the ones on tins, or original TV ads, but the ones that are known as Ghost signs. You can find them normally on old historic buildings, the hieroglyphics of a bygone and sometimes forgotten era.



At my new apartment both of my views overlook some great historic buildings. (Not the ones above I am lazy and have not found the good camera)  These buildings aren't by the laymen eye memorable.  They are what I will classify as traditional urban mix-use brick buildings with a classic storefront.  I could move further, but I will spare you the spiral of talking about storefronts cause really I could go on. (Maybe I will torture you when I find my camera)

So one day while staring at the old beer ad across the street getting really thirsty thinking about oil spill/ consumerism ,  I started thinking about how today preservationist spend a lot of energy protecting these signs. They (the National Parks Service) have even given us tools on how to properly protect them for years to come.(BTW for those renovating historic homes the NPS has a ton of briefs that will help you with every aspect of your renovation, i.e. how to remove plaster to expose brick and how to find funding to pay for it)

Just five years ago this was not the norm, even the NYC Landmarks Preservation Commission did not protect these signs.  Fast forward just two years and a town in Colorado was doing a study on their ghost signs, three more years and another town is talking about how to restore an historic sign during restoration for a building and debating rather they could get preservation funding to help them.(and yes it is possible).

The skinny on these signs is that the ones that we can still see fading off into glory are mainly from 1890s to 1960s. But did you know that merchants of Pompeii before the 79 A.D. eruption of Mount Vesuvius that covered the city in thick volcanic ash had these same signs!(well not the same signs but hand-painted signs)

The funny thing about these ghost signs is the not the debate that has lasted for 1 billion years a few years on if we should preserve them, is that for 100 years we have argued about if we should even have signs. In 1911(St. Louis Gunning Advertising Company v. City of St. Louis) we argued that signs (and billboards) endangered public health and safety. Then in 1954 after a very famous case for preservationist (Berman v. Parker) communities enacted a sign control to reduce "urban blight".

So when you run across a faded sign you are looking at more then an advertisement of days gone by, a trail of our buying history the rise of consumerism, you are seeing pieces of two court cases and how those court cases helped shape many things (preservation laws, health concern, etc).  Lastly what you are seeing is the left over pieces of a dying art of the hand-painted advertisements because of the quickness and cheapness of replacements.  After all there is a connection between advertising and art and how we remember a time. How will we remember this one when art and form and care of creating is losing out to a "I need it now and I need it cheap" consumer. When did quantity beat quality.

So I leave you with this film that examines the dying art of hand-painted advertisements, or ghost signs, because I need to stop staring out windows for a little bit and unpack my new space.


UP THERE from The Ritual Project on Vimeo.


Until next time,
S

Monday, June 7, 2010

I want to be under the sea

Ran across these today and I had a flashback to my last post so I had to share.

Here is a great way to reuse those plastic 6-pack rings instead of cutting them so that our marine life doesn't get them caught in their noses. I think some of them even look like big giant jellyfish, or maybe some other marine life that we just don't know about because we can't dive that deep.  I think Louise Bourgeois might even like. 


A few days ago they also gave us some chandeliers made out of recycled plastic hangers, but I don't think they are nearly as stimulating.

Until next time,
S

Travel down the road and back again

The past two week hit me like a ton of bricks.  My emotions were all over the place.  At any given moment I was either really angry and ready to punch someone in the face (not really cause I am a lover not a fighter) or tears running down my own and sometimes both at the same time.  Everything that happened just added to this fuel. There were moments of smiles but they were shadowed with tears and rage.

Started off with having to write a press release that I was still struggling with from last week.  It is amazing the energy that happens to pull off a press release.  (I have to say I owe a lot to my PR director cause it can't be easy having to deal with me on some days.)  I would say it is pretty normal that when you are avoiding writing something you turn to the internet. The web is great at breaking up your thoughts so hopefully when you go back to what your are doing those thoughts are back in the right place. This did not happen to me.  No instead I got hit with was the beginning of the ton of bricks. Sadly cause this is what I found.


Angry tears poured down my face cause I know that in some way even myself is to blame. There are a lot of thing that I could say in regards to this, but it boils down to this sucks and its going to suck for a long long time. Until everyone in this world is ready to change even just in small steps, some are ready and some are not. *Side note had an online discussion with a friend of mine that lead me to believe that I have less in common with some of my long time friends then I thought.

Just when I got my emotions a little more in check. Meaning I was no longer sitting at my desk with tears running down my face trying to breath. I received a gchat message from a friend informing me that one of my fav. artist had passed away.




Now for those of you who don't know who she is shame on you. The Guardian did a good piece on her this Sunday.  This is a sample of one of her most famous pieces.


This women worked until the end.  A good friend of mine (the same one from the gchat message) who is an artist in NYC, told me a few years ago that she met with inspiring artist and would talk to them and actually review some of their work and give them pointers.  I mean could you imagine getting your stuff critiqued by her!! 

In 2007 she gave an interview in connection with her work being on display at the Tate called "My art is a form of restoration" she was asked why she worked on a large scale to which she answers
"I want to create my own architecture so that the relationships of my forms and objects are fixed. Sometimes I need the large scale so that the person can literally move in relationship to the form. The difference between the real space and the psychological space interests me and I want to explore both....."
I think some of my favorite architects have a similar answer but they also add how the relationship with the landscape and surrounding buildings and space play with and compliment each other.

So for the rest of the week the thoughts in my head involved the oil spill and how over the last 20+ years we really have made oil the most important thing in our life, the fight I had with my friend that did the whole circle of oil dependency to recycling to mass transit to drilling for more oil to you name it we talked about it. The whole thing ended with this friend saying that she had more important things to do with her time the debate oil.  I guess for the most part I did too.  Lets not forget that I still had that press release. I finally finished and it went to press, we shall see how it turns out. I think this next week will be just as hard.

What I did learn this week is that sometimes we need to take a step back an realize the choices we at one point had we nor longer do and we need to figure out how to get those choices back. 

xoxo
S

On a side note special note does have to be given to the death of Rue McClanahan.  Her character Blanche gave all of the southern women out there a person that we could relate to.  That sassy lusty women  said things that many southern women just think about, well maybe not now since we all have a little Blanche in us. RIP Rue thank you and the rest of the GG cast (thats golden girs not gossip girl) for teaching us the meaning of friendship and that BFFs dont always need to be FBMs but the card attached will always say "Thank you for being a friend"



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Daily Java


This is a coffee bar powered by bicycles! BRILLIANT and um why has Denver not picked up on this?  I mean they have one of the leading bike share programs, who doesn't love coffee, they love green in this city, there are plenty of places they could travel, and the Denver cupcake truck is doing well! Why not a traveling coffee company?  In fact it would even be better if it was the solar roast coffee company out of Pueblo that broke into this market.  I mean really its just golden! 

This photo is from of one of my favs. Inhabitat there is also a full article on this new bar in NYC

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Our house is a very very very fine house

Today when I was in my mid day internet surfing avoiding work lunch break when I came across this heading Public Toilet Transformed Into Dream Cottage in the UK.  WHAT! This is going to be the perfect distraction entertainment, but what in the world could this be. Before clicking on the link I got a little scared. Was I going to see this

 or this
Was this house going to have an auto wash when you leave? Cause that might be kind of cool, except for the electronics are not really happy when they are all wet.  How could someone possibly take a public toilet and make it a house.  Granted some of the public toilets that I have seen in the UK are extremely cool, but I always have flashbacks to George Michael circa 1998 when UK and public toilet are used in the same sentence.

So I click and this is what I find


 This couple took an old public toilet loo and made their dream home. BRILLIANT!! To top the whole thing off their view is a picture perfect view of the sea, Score!! The "lounge" area is the old men's side which I find poetic since how many men "lounge" in their restroom. The bedroom is the old Ladies rooms, which I have to say is OK in my book cause I would totally rather have sex in some of the ladies rooms I have been in then the nasty men's rooms. I was going to post the image from Trainspotting, but decided to spare you the visual - although by now I bet you have it in your head an pictured someone trying to have sex in it - eeeekkkk

So I have to say this little public toilet is so much better to me the this newly renovated apartment in NYC
It takes the thought of having sex in the bathroom to a whole other level. Add in that from the rub-a-dub-dub tub you can see the whole apartment - mental picture exploding! I can't take it anymore. Well my friends that concluded my mid day internet surfing lunch break

I would however encourage you to check out the blog that made this all possible, Inhabitat - design will save the world. Perfect tag line!  I know I agree I am so jealous that I did not think of it first. Needless to say it has become one of my favorites, when I checked their "about me" section this is what found.
Inhabitat.com is a weblog devoted to the future of design, tracking the innovations in technology, practices and materials that are pushing architecture and home design towards a smarter and more sustainable future.
Its like they could read my mind and created a weblog that speaks to all of my hats, and man do I love hats!

Till next time....


 ~~~~ all photos either came from inhabitat or CurbedNY 

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens

Some of my favorite things are things that just make sense, when the overall composition fits together to create this harmonious juxtaposition. The good, the bad, the ugly all working together, oh it just makes me smile.  I know what you are thinking sometimes things that don't make sense are wonderful and I am sure I will write something later that agrees.  But that is another post and not this one. This one is because I have been thinking about my favorite places and circumstances that created some of my favorite places. It is no surprise that NYC tops this list.   These little five boroughs have such a great history of doing great things while at the same time making some big mistakes - but we wont say that too loud.  Like every great city when they nail the good ones they really nail them.  Take Central Park, what a great story of taking something that use to not be the place to go (unless of course you were a squatter and needed some place to sleep)

I mean can you even picture all of the shacks inside what you know now as one of the most filmed and photographed park.  Some how someone had the vision to turn it into one of the most famous parks of all time, and the first landscaped parks in the country. 


Then again when you have Olmsted & Vaux working together it was only a matter of of time before it became a National Historic Landmark.   Now granted many people lost their homes to create this park and emanate domain was used and we all know those words are just plain evil, like nails on a chalk board evil.  It happened we wrote it down in history and we hope that people realize the wrongs and think before they build and see how to get the same results with less damage.  At least that is what  happens in my perfect world, so shh just let me believe in that dream for a moment.
 

When I lived in NYC and need to just walk back into my dream world I would head to the park. More importantly, I would head to CPW (Central Park West) and to quote the NYT architecture critic Paul Goldberger when talking about the buildings in that make up CPW  they"fit together the same way the ones in that hypothetical Main Street do, and for the same reason. For more than a hundred years, their architects honor the unspoken agreement to work together, to line their buildings up with each other and to work in a consistent scale with materials that are compatible." Now tell me that doesn't bring you the warm and fuzzies!  I know I drank the potion and fallen down the rabbit hole. Just please give me a Mad Hatter before a Jabberwocky.

Now I realize that Alice is really in CPE but you have to walk through CPW and find her wonderland and its all about the journey to get you to where you need to go, so just go with me here

The thing about fairy-tales and picture perfect getaway's is what happens when you leave.  Can you ever find your second perfect getaway.  When I moved to Denver everyone told me that I would find this place again is Washington Park (aka Wash Park) and you know they are most likely right if we are doing apples to apples of Central Park and Wash Park. I wont get into that whole comparison today. Here are a few things I have heard.
  • There is a difference between Wash Park and Wash Park East (hello Central Park East and West)
  • It has a boat house (I don't think it is a restaurant)
  • It was designed between 1899 and 1908 (CP opened in 1859)
  • Olmsted Jr. has his own contribution to the Park (check) 
  • Its a big rectangle (Check) 
  • Some even say in the summer it feels like Central Park ( Concerts in the park? I am pretty sure there are movies)
Although I have to just take these good folks word cause I have not really hung out there much.  Plus I am not really sure that I can lay in the park and see the skyline, and that was one of my favorite things. Will have to check that in this summer and get back to you on that one.

However, I have found my current Central Park replacement here in Denver, just in a little different format, Commons Park.  Now Commons Park is no where near as old as Central Park.  I mean Central Park opened in 1859, Commons Park around 2000.  So we have years of history and development that brought us this park.  Just to fill in a little perspective, Commons Park is located in what is known as the Central Platte Valley District.  It is at the confluence of the South Platte River and Cherry Creek. So if you are an ocean girl living in a landlocked state and you need to see a running currant of water this is where you go. This is also known as the city's birthplace in 1858. Yep you read that right when NYC was using eminent domain to build Central Park,  Denver was being born.  The other day I looked into how my possible CP replacement came about.  This park
use to look like this
Yep that would be an electrical substation there since the 1950s.  How did this would be brownfield become a strong option for my new favorite space.  There are many people that have written about the whole redevelopment of this area and they will so a much better job then I will, but the skinny.  It was a great public/private partnership that was years in the making.  School children donated penny's,  the whole town came together, architects, landscape architects, city planners, artist, you name it they pitched in their time, talents,  and energy to bring this area back to life.  When something has that much love in it the energy of the place is always amazing.  If you love a good urban redevelopment story I highly recommend reading more about this park in two locations:
1)  Landscapeonline  - these guys are the landscape architects and they will take you through a history and all the amazing local plants thy used and break down why they did what they did, plus they have great pictures
2) Commons Park is not just a park there are great buildings that surround it and the neighborhood butts up to Union Station (then Grand Central smaller scale and out west) and that area is currently working on their redevelopment. To learn more about the buildings and Union Station check out DenverInfill.

For now I am going to leave you with some of my own pictures of the park.
 
This is one of the bridges that takes you into the park
 
Yep that is a guy surfing with a rope tied to the bridge above. Not sure if that is really called surfing anymore
 
That white tower on the left is Six Flags, yep a Six Flags downtown

So get out there and enjoy your local park and next time you do give a little thanks to the people that made it happen. Cause sometimes it does take a village. 

S


* so all the wonderful Central Park photos came from the folks at centralpark.com and the overview shots of Commons Park come from Landscapeonline check both of them out for more information.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Butterflies in the Sky

Have you ever thought about doing something for so long that you get all crazy excited about it, I mean that nervous butterflies excitement.  Like the first day at a new job, first walk back in your favorite city after being gone for a while, your whole body just tingles. I think its the whole excitement about something that you not really sure about but you just know its going to be something. Well my dear friend that is how I have been for a while now.  For a while I have had this feeling and I am just not sure what it is, but I can only classify it as the dancing butterflies, and I love dancing butterflies.  But as we all know to much of a good thing is well.....

Now you would think that this dancing butterfly must mean that something big is happening or getting ready to. Well my friends it has and it has been for a while. See a few years ago I did something that for many was a big risk.  I left a job that I loved, well a job I loved doing.  I sat around and played with color all day and designing fabulous textiles.  In my head I was one kick ass designer.  I mean who doesn't like to tell people what colors work together and what makes a good design. Still to this day I love doing that. When I left I thought I was leaving behind the design life, and trading it in to help protect the history of this great country.  I realized quickly that I never did leave behind my design life.  Instead I traded convincing people of great trends to convincing people to actually think before you build or tear down because some designs are worth keeping.  Sometimes you can even take a trend and make it work for every person. Better yet you can even take a pile of trash and turn it into a great green space!


I mean check out  Fresh kills before it opens this year
and look at the rendering

So this brings me to the point. Life is changing and its good to hold on to those changes because butterflies are good and sometimes we just have to always find, or should I say notice the butterflies.  So as I wonder through life and take notice of things around me that gives me butterflies I hope maybe you will get butterflies too.  So welcome to my little spot, my first post, my little adventure may you enjoy as much as I do.

S