Jul 2012
26

Denver Does Karaoke

It goes like this. Chad is roadtripping. I never even found out why, but he was hitting Denver last night. Chad likes karaoke and is friends with Sam. Sam rallies the troops and we end up at a karaoke bar in downtown Denver.

And I end up recording this.

Not of Chad… Of Nigel. And Leah.

Warning: Probably not safe for work, or your eyes.

Jun 2012
25

Just Say No To Walmart in East Denver

There is a meeting tomorrow (Tuesday 6/26) at 4pm to discuss a possible Walmart at 9th and Colorado Boulevard in Denver. 

I found out about this meeting while in Estes Park late last week, and as visitors from out of state overheard us discussing the issue, they shook their head, pulled me aside – told me it was a lost cause.

“You might be able to make it look better, but there is no stopping them.”

Well, in this case, we are talking about the redevelopment of the UCHSC area that was vacated for Fitzsimons because the Mayor of Denver at the time and the surrounding neighborhoods would not allow any further building in the vicinity.

We are also talking about neighborhoods full of bungalows and tudors from the 1930’s, with small yards, small streets and big traffic problems. If anyone has tried to drive on Colorado Boulevard lately – the only semi-large north/south street for miles, you know exactly what I am talking about.

In fact, the Sunflower Market that finally got approval for a vacated car dealership on Colfax and Monroe understands the fight you must put up to go into the area.

But wait, Trader Joe’s has also laid claim to the empty lot on 8th and Colorado. As much as I like Trader Joe’s, I wasn’t sure they would be able to get clearance, even given they are more of a cash and carry store.

We can’t seriously be considering a WALMART at 9th and Colorado, can we?

Apparently we are.

Or at least Atlanta-based developer Fuqua (formerly Sembler) is strongly pushing it.

The meeting tomorrow will be to “discuss further site development plans with particular focus and discussion of the potential large format retailer.”

We need your voice there.

Tuesday, June 26th at 4pm
Christ Church United Methodist
690 Colorado Blvd.

If you are on Facebook, share this event:
http://www.facebook.com/events/380031328724176/
If you are on Twitter, use the #noDenWalmart hashtag.

As I have been pushing this issue, several people have asked why I dislike Walmart. I am honestly surprised I have to explain myself – I really thought their business practices were common knowledge. But trust me, those cheap prices come at a price.

First off, Walmart undercuts prices to drive out small business. Unfairly. Because as a huge company, they can take the hit until Mom & Pop has to shut their doors. Walmart has been sued and forced to raise their prices numerous times.

Secondly, they, as a policy, hire people for part-time just under benefits level so they do not have to pay for things like health insurance. So, a person can work 33 hours a week (for lower than average wages, I may add) and still not get medical coverage. And whose pockets does it come out of if that person gets seriously sick?

Would that be you and me, perhaps?

Is that extra few dollars off their cheap China-made products really worth that?

Then, back to the SPECIFIC issues with 9th and Colorado. 

I covered traffic. Traffic is insane. But there is also the tenor of the hood.

The neighborhood held up an apartment building (directly across the street) for over a year – traffic and aesthetics reasons. The developers had to make the complex about half its original size, move parking underground, change where the exits were to not impact traffic, and match the style of the design to the neighborhood.

And they were building on an empty parking lot.

After that, someone on Twitter called me out for having a “not in my backyard” mentality.

Yes. I. Do.

Exactly.

I moved to East Denver for the feel of the neighborhood. If I wanted to live next to a big box retailer, I would have decided to live elsewhere. I am not knocking other neighborhoods – there is good and bad, idiosyncrasies to all places.

But this location is not about Walmart.

It is about…
The Tattered Cover.
And Under The Umbrella.
And Zorba’s Greek Cafe.
And Wildflower Market.
And Heidi’s Deli.

And my kid’s school.
And the park.
And the heart of Denver.

Jun 2012
12

Red Rocks Summer

The first time Declan attended an event at Red Rocks, it was a month ago – when the weather in Colorado was still unpredictable. Translation… it was sleeting sheets of icy rain for the The Fray. A concert Declan will remember from under a tarp. While shivering. And overwhelmed.

Because let’s face it. Nearly 10,000 people screaming from underneath huge red rocks can be a bit daunting.

Ever wondered what a concert at Red Rocks looks like? @thefray

Last night was Declan’s second trip to Red Rocks – for Film on the Rocks. It was a lovely night, sending a warm breeze and clear skies. With the exception of some haze from the High Park fire, which you could see all the way into Denver.

Denver

When the sun went down, and the twinkling lights of our skyline appeared, Declan gasped.

“That’s where we live!”

And then he looked up.

“There is the Big Dipper!”

He was astounded.

And less overwhelmed.

My kid just needs to get the hang of things to settle in.

My boys + Red Rocks = Awesome #latergram @bugfrog

I can’t wait for Foster The People on July 3rd.

May 2012
29

Summer Travel 2012

This year, instead of one big trip, we are taking several mini-trips throughout the summer. We didn’t exactly plan it that way, it just worked out this way. And the way things are going, I expect more to be added on before all is said and done.

What are you up to this summer?

Here is where we are headed:

SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Seattle Space Needle

Our lovely next-door neighbors (the ones that are not Mr. Lady) moved away last year and we miss them. And their dog Newman. And Eurovision. Which we used to watch together religiously. So, we are heading west to see them and that wacky European singing contest. And, of course, Seattle.

_____________________________________________________

ESTES PARK, COLORADO

Estes Park Colorado

We have always heard what a fun place the YMCA in Estes Park was, so we are excited to head up there with other Mile High Mamas to check it out. Dex is slightly too young for their zipline, and I am slightly too accident-prone… but all three of us will try our hand at archery.

_____________________________________________________ 

BLACK MOUNTAIN DUDE RANCH, COLORADO

Black Mountain Colorado Dude Ranch

We visited Black Mountain last year, and did the full-scale dude ranch thing. We are so thrilled to go back for a long weekend this August, with a friend of Declan’s in tow no less. I am expecting to get more horse roping photos and to NOT break my finger this time.

_____________________________________________________ 

MARYLAND (?)

Maryland Crabs

Before my family gets all excited about this one – it’s still up in the air. Bryan’s 25th high school reunion is in September and he actually wants to go. I want to wait and see if his fever passes before I buy tickets, since he has never once wanted to go before. But I am on board to catch up with family and eat some Maryland blue crabs on a dock!

_____________________________________________________ 

Suggestions for other places that
should be on our short list?

Mar 2012
30

Sonoda’s Sushi is Spamming Denver on Twitter

Usually I just ignore Twitter spam. But I got an “at” message from Sonoda’s Sushi in Denver and Aurora, Colorado, right after I gave thumbs up on Twitter to Dyson for GOOD social listening – so I assumed they were trying to reach out in a GOOD way.

Nope.

They were spamming me, meaning calling out to me with some message meant to draw attention to their sushi and seafood restaurant, without any reall interactions between us. Even worse, as I looked at their stream, they were spamming everyone in town… including the Denver Broncos, Larimer Square (the shopping district!) and a ton of people I know from Denver, Boulder and the Front Range.

So, I commented on this to my friends… and we had fun talking about spammers (and the food, SPAM) for a good while yesterday. Sonoda’s Sushi has YET to notice. Below are screen caps of our conversation and what was happening on the Sonoda Twitter account at the same time.

Clearly Sonoda Sushi has an automated bot working their Twitter. Or has things pre-loaded to auto-tweet, seeing as some of the messages are actually somewhat targeted… (Some new messages started today, like “Welcome to the NCAA Women’s Final Four” – which is happening in Denver this weekend.) I am honestly not that familiar with these tactics as I never use them, for myself or my clients.

Why? Because they had a ton of people in Denver talking poorly of them yesterday. People who will never go to their restaurant, will tell people not to go there, and now have blocked them on Twitter as well as reported them as spam.

Was that really worth it, Sonoda’s Sushi?

Sonodas_Sushi_Denver Denver_Social_Media