Unless you've been living under a rock, you've probably noticed that Denver has A LOT of professional sports teams. Before our population growth these past few years, I am pretty sure about 1 in 10 residents in Denver were professional athletes (trust me, I took a lot of math in college). I can't claim to be the biggest sports fan, but fate has delivered me a house full of fans obsessed with our local teams. Add that to the fact that we get tickets through work and here I am at the Nuggets playoffs!
I guess the only thing better than so many professional teams, is having a playoff level team (or multiple as in our case). Playoff games bring out a new level of intensity from players and fans. I witnessed a respectable (not obviously drunk) older woman who bore a slight resemblance to my mother in law get out of her seat many times to SCREAM at the ref. I became convinced part way through she must be a player's mom. I wouldn't say her enthusiasm was contagious, but it did add to my enjoyment level of the game. On the other side, my husband had to deal with this hand waving in his face throughout the game paired with colorful comments. The pinky finger started to remind me of Harry Potter's forehead scar.
Last year, my kids attended a FREE UC Health Clinic with the Nuggets. You do not know which Nuggets players will be there when you sign up, but again, it's FREE. By the luck of the draw, we ended up with Jamal Murray and Gary Harris. I barely knew who they were at the time, and had no idea how far these two would go with the team. I did see how important they were to the community and appreciated the fact they were giving back to their smallest fans. Even as a casual fan at best, I would love to see these guys win their first NBA Championship...and Rocky hit that backwards half-court shot.
My husband and I are serial house hunters. I can safely say I have checked new listings in Denver every day for 10 years. It could be the day after we moved our family of five plus dog plus too many belongings and I’ll call my realtor if something interesting pops up in my MLS feed. During slower economic times, it felt like a fun episode of House Hunters…Do we like the cute craftsmen with the picket fence, the Denver Square with the new kitchen, or the remodel in the up and coming neighborhood? These days it reminds me more of Supermarket Sweep (still trying to figure out why that’s no long on air btw), racing a dozen others to see new listings and get the first offer in. All cash, no contingencies and as-is? Perfect!
This mid-century modern caught my eye and I joined no less than 100 people at an open house. I was not familiar with the architect, who was quite famous in his day, but could immediately appreciate the design from the 50s. Trying to imagine my boys in the house was a bit harder to appreciate….if we had no kids, a large amount of spare time and budget, I would have thrown my best non contingent hat into the ring.
Though the quest for our dream home continues, I can't help but love this one even if its for the birds....
Fetch is nothing like that.
Fetch is the re-brand of Denver Flea. Located in Rino it pops up a few times a year with DJs, food trucks, and local products of all sorts. If I was the kind of person who would use the words curated, artisan, and maker I would for sure be using them here.
I visited Fetch April 13th on its opening day. It was cold, grey, and spitting. The weather, not the flea market. After paying an entrance fee my group wandered the outside parking lot amongst the trucks talking about how nice it would be in the sun. Instead of looking around at vendors our hands were shielding our faces and we almost missed almost all of the 150+ booths in the garage.
Here are a few images from amongst the excellence inside.
Another difference between Fetch and the Wellfleet flea Market? Fetch features dogs not kittens. This is Denver after all.
Want to learn more... follow this is Fetch on Instagram.
After a few gatherings we realized that we needed to add some of the Truffle meats to our spread. It seemed that no one wanted to leave for dinner and we needed to beef (and pork (get your mind out of the gutter)) up our offerings. Just take a half step from the cheese cooler over to the meat cooler and have them slice you meat to become the main part of the meal. Two bits of advice: avoid the duck prosciutto (so very expensive) and act confused about which things you want to purchase. The Truffle is VERY generous with their tasting samples.
Here is one of MANY MANY cheese offerings our counter has hosted.
Those are large animals. They were very close to me. I'm sure you will still be impressed when I tell you I took the picture from my car.
The audio was spectacular. It's sort of like Morse Code. But the loudest Morse Code you have ever heard. Clicking back is ineffective to lure Prairie Dogs. Then again I could have been insulting them. If you are heading there from Denver you will have a short drive, a long walk, a broad view of the city, and animals large and small. According to google images you will even find some green.
I had tagged along with a friend who was planning to drop off something or other and frankly the whole trip was procrastination on my part. Getting out of my bubble to another part of Denver seemed possible when someone else was driving. So along I went, spinning Pokestops on the way. (Yes I do play Pokemon Go but there is no way that Pickachu was for me. None at all.)
Although I am sure she had passionately explained the mission of Access Gallery over sushi mere minutes before I had to sneak a peak at my phone to check in with the website to understand the magic that I had stepped into. Here is what I read:
Access Gallery is an inclusive nonprofit organization that engages the community by opening doors to creative, educational and economic opportunities for people with disabilities to access, experience and benefit from the arts.
When we reached the final page of the sketchbook I got up to browse gallery. Distracted by the art-o-mat I had missed an important sign. In plain text it told gallery goers:
Seventy percent of all sales go to artists with disabilities.
So I shopped. I bought posters and postcards and a painting and little figures made out of tape. I re-visited the art-o-mat for a second Poekmon figure (taking one for the team.) As I doubled back to say goodbye to some dragons I realized that I had gotten more than I came for.
In many ways.
The newest French Press which opened in Congress Park on Madison between 12th and 13th serves Boulder Breakfast. Or Bolder breakfast. I am not sure which. I like to think it is the local version but it is also quite strong and outspoken so either would be a fitting name.
Since it opened some months ago I have been lots of times where lots = > 15 and < infinity. I am almost universally happy with my experiencessss. I find the food fantastic, the portions large and the prices so low that I am left worrying about the longevity of my new favorite spot. I know eggs are cheap but at $7 ish dollars for eggs, asparagus, and spicy hollandaise, plus the B-lder tea makes me think about plate costing and other distant memories from my time as a restauranteur.
They have an enormous Chalkboard of food options which includes two crepes for $4. Oliver would give them two thumbs up but currently his thumbs are covered in Nutella. Friends have had shrimp po boys, veggie reubens, pancakes, and a variety of salads to universal acclaim. Inevitably as the dish is dropped on the table more quickly than expected my date says "I'll never be able to finish this all." A minute or two later I hear the scrape of fork against empty plate and satisfied sighs.
What am I doing?
Battling my tea obviously.
Here is the one bad thing.:
It took concetration and practice but after several leaks large and small I figured out how to be careful with the carafe. Once when I had my confidence raised to a false high I approached the friendly counter staff and asked for more hot water. After my refill I decided to get a water to go with my other water. I ALMOST set the thing on the edge of that little nubbly mat that goes under the fountain drinks. But I caught myself. Because I am getting good at this. Instead I placed it directly on the mat ... the nubs of which caused my scalding water to fill the mat which is there specifically to collect liquid and overflow onto the counter. People were friendly.
Interesting in trying my favorite breakfast and lunch spot? Look around. I will probably be there with my laptop, a huge wad of soggy napkins, and a seat for you as long as you have insurance on your electronics.
Two years ago Seth and I made the decision to leave our Denver neighborhood and head south in search of more space, specifically greenspace, for our three boys. Moving in the summer, we immediately loved the yard and the boys used more sunscreen that summer than in almost all the years past. Of course, we quickly realized living on almost an acre had its drawbacks too (you actually have to water all of it!), one of which was feeling a bit isolated. While we could have held hands with our old neighbor while grilling outside (I blame poor placement of patios for this one), we could now go weeks without seeing a neighbor. We went on a two-week vacation and NO ONE noticed- confirming my suspicion that the five of us could perish in our sleep one night and no one in the proximity would know. Before we instilled welfare checks and made the dog watch Lassie, we decided to renew our newspaper subscription and regularly invite some friends over for dinner. I never was a big entertainer- mainly because I don’t love cooking for large groups. I enjoy wine and cheese while chatting before dinner, not worrying about if I timed the courses right and trying to maintain conversation while not overcooking the chicken. But with the space almost wasted on the five of us, I started to perfect the role of a lazy hostess with a few simple recipes including this grilled salmon that I could seriously eat 3 nights a week or more.
Now, I did not grow up loving fish and only in recent years have become a fan of salmon. But this grilled salmon recipe is so easy and delicious, it makes a perfect meal for a summer bbq with or without friends. We have purchased the salmon filets at a variety of places from Costco to upscale meat markets, and all have been good thanks to the spice rub.
Salmon Spice Rub:
1/8 c. garlic powder
1/8 c. kosher salt
1/4 c. dried parsley
1/4 c. dried minced onion
1/4 c. dried basil
I rub the salmon with a little bit of olive oil, generously spread the spice rub (you will definitely have a fair amount left for a future meal), and let sit for a bit before grilling. We grill skin down to a desired doneness (exact time varies on size of salmon) and serve immediately. Even my kids will eat this (still working on table manners but at least they eat right?)