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Best Of :: People & Places

Best reuse of a sewage plant

The most captivating thing about this new park along the South Platte River is that it doesn't disguise what it used to be: a sewage-treatment plant. Instead of tearing down all the ponds and sluices that had been used to treat Denver's waste, the park's designers opted to save some money by simply filling them in, leaving an intriguing patchwork of concrete walls and steps that blend right in. What was once the edge of a sewage tank is now a place to sit and have a picnic, and rows of trees fill up former filtration ponds. Immediately to the west of the park is the Heron Pond Natural Area, a wetland teeming with wildlife that somehow managed to survive in the midst of a heavily industrialized district. This park has given the long-neglected Globeville neighborhood a new jewel and turned an eyesore into a green space that still honors the industrial legacy of the site.

Best Oscar-night performance by a Coloradan

There's no use taking Academy Awards night too seriously -- particularly if you're South Park co-creator Trey Parker, late of Conifer, and you've been unexpectedly nominated for a statuette in the Best Original Song category. Parker's satirical anthem "Blame Canada" (from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) didn't win the Oscar. But Parker, who can never resist popping Hollywood on the nose, caught every eye in Los Angeles with his outfit -- a facsimile of the scanty, attention-getting "dress" Jennifer Lopez wore several weeks earlier to the Grammy Awards. His cohort, Matt Stone, came garbed in a replica of Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Academy Awards attire.

Best Oscar-night performance by a Coloradan

There's no use taking Academy Awards night too seriously -- particularly if you're South Park co-creator Trey Parker, late of Conifer, and you've been unexpectedly nominated for a statuette in the Best Original Song category. Parker's satirical anthem "Blame Canada" (from South Park: Bigger, Longer & Uncut) didn't win the Oscar. But Parker, who can never resist popping Hollywood on the nose, caught every eye in Los Angeles with his outfit -- a facsimile of the scanty, attention-getting "dress" Jennifer Lopez wore several weeks earlier to the Grammy Awards. His cohort, Matt Stone, came garbed in a replica of Gwyneth Paltrow's 1999 Academy Awards attire.

Best goodwill ambassador -- abroad

You've got to wonder: How many arguments have been settled over a beer or two? That must have gone through Boulder homebrew guru and Association of Brewers president Charlie Papazian's head when he organized a brewers' delegation to China last November to compare notes with Chinese counterparts, review the history of Chinese brewing and discuss such weighty issues as brewing technology, production, quality control and the global beer market. Planned under the sponsorship of People to People, a Seattle-based organization that develops international goodwill exchange tours for students and professionals, the trade mission had the distinction of being certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "It went great," says Papazian assistant Mark Snyder. "We made some contacts over there, and I'm sure he will definitely go on other missions. I'm not sure where yet, but it's definitely on the radar."

Best goodwill ambassador -- abroad

You've got to wonder: How many arguments have been settled over a beer or two? That must have gone through Boulder homebrew guru and Association of Brewers president Charlie Papazian's head when he organized a brewers' delegation to China last November to compare notes with Chinese counterparts, review the history of Chinese brewing and discuss such weighty issues as brewing technology, production, quality control and the global beer market. Planned under the sponsorship of People to People, a Seattle-based organization that develops international goodwill exchange tours for students and professionals, the trade mission had the distinction of being certified by the U.S. Department of Commerce. "It went great," says Papazian assistant Mark Snyder. "We made some contacts over there, and I'm sure he will definitely go on other missions. I'm not sure where yet, but it's definitely on the radar."

Best donation for victims of the June fires

Hey, man does not leave by bread, and bedroom, alone. When the Hi Meadow and Bobcat fires displaced dozens of families, Coloradans rushed to donate cash and compassion. But perhaps the most appreciated donation came from Colorado Springs resident Randy Barnes, who volunteered to record old Grateful Dead tapes for a man who'd lost his collection when his house in Pine burned down.

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Best reuse of a sewage plant: Northside Park, Globeville

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