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Best Of 2002

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Best Of :: People & Places

Best New Lofts

One of the big Denver success stories of the last five years is the adaptation of historic industrial and commercial buildings into lofts -- the word 'condo' being so '80s. Lofts are now all the rage, which means that the city has begun to run out of appropriately sized old buildings; thus new buildings, often in the style of the old, have been built. Unfortunately, most of these are little more than also-rans from an architectural standpoint. Not so the Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts, which just opened on the edge of the Ballpark Neighborhood. Designed by Humphries Poli Architects, the building is thoroughly urbane, featuring fancy, polychromed brickwork and a skeletal steel cornice that seems to wittily comment on the historic buildings that were originally used for loft conversions. But visitors will be surprised to learn that this isn't a luxury building, but rather a project for low-income residents that was developed by the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless.

Best Place to Sing "America the Beautiful"

Maybe it was the cold. Maybe it was the lack of oxygen at 14,110 feet. Maybe it was the stunning view from the top of Colorado's most famous mountain. Whatever it was, something clicked in Katharine Lee Bates's brain on July 22, 1893. As she stood at the summit of Pikes Peak, and as a carriage carried her back to the bottom, she scribbled down the first lines of what would eventually become "America the Beautiful." Although not as well known as the national anthem, of course, the rousing song has made a major comeback since September 11; it's been sung since then at nearly every professional sporting event (in addition to the "Star-Spangled Banner") and other events of all kinds. But the best place to belt out the lyrics -- "O beautiful for spacious skies/For amber waves of grain/For purple mountain majesties/Above the fruited plain!/America! America!/God shed his grace on thee/And crown thy good with brotherhood/From sea to shining sea!" -- is amid the majesty of Pikes Peak itself, on the very spot that inspired those words.

Best Slogan for Georgetown

Westward ho! Bright lights, big titties! Come see her mountains! We put the strip in strip-mining! Georgetown: Where the scenery is on us, and the mayor is on you. Thanks to a mayor with a penchant for inflating both her stories and her breasts, Georgetown wound up in the media G-spotlight this past year. Stripper-turned-hairdresser-turned-mayor Koleen Brooks kept the old mining town hopping with her attempts to oust city officials, her admission of pot-smoking, her insistence that she'd been assaulted (CBI investigation to the contrary). But in the end, her antics were self-defeating and her career self-deflating, another in the series of endless boom-and-bust and boom-boom-and-bustline tales that abound in the West. The results of an April 2 recall election may keep things quiet in Georgetown for a while, but damn, it was fun while it lasted.


Best Slogan for Georgetown

Westward ho! Bright lights, big titties! Come see her mountains! We put the strip in strip-mining! Georgetown: Where the scenery is on us, and the mayor is on you. Thanks to a mayor with a penchant for inflating both her stories and her breasts, Georgetown wound up in the media G-spotlight this past year. Stripper-turned-hairdresser-turned-mayor Koleen Brooks kept the old mining town hopping with her attempts to oust city officials, her admission of pot-smoking, her insistence that she'd been assaulted (CBI investigation to the contrary). But in the end, her antics were self-defeating and her career self-deflating, another in the series of endless boom-and-bust and boom-boom-and-bustline tales that abound in the West. The results of an April 2 recall election may keep things quiet in Georgetown for a while, but damn, it was fun while it lasted.

Best Use for Ocean Journey

Denver's short on seafood restaurants, and Wynkoop Brewing Co. owner John Hickenlooper is long -- very long -- on lost causes. Could any cause be more lost than Ocean Journey's? If the place does tank -- and it's only barely keeping its head above water in bankruptcy court -- Hickenlooper could be the one to pull it up from the depths, turning the fried fish house into Long John Hickenlooper's, a restaurant where diners get to watch their favorite fish become the catch of the day. Come on, John, take the bait!


Best Use for Ocean Journey

Denver's short on seafood restaurants, and Wynkoop Brewing Co. owner John Hickenlooper is long -- very long -- on lost causes. Could any cause be more lost than Ocean Journey's? If the place does tank -- and it's only barely keeping its head above water in bankruptcy court -- Hickenlooper could be the one to pull it up from the depths, turning the fried fish house into Long John Hickenlooper's, a restaurant where diners get to watch their favorite fish become the catch of the day. Come on, John, take the bait!

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Best New Lofts: Renaissance Off Broadway Lofts

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