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The ballyhooed "new urbanist" development at Lowry is a mixed bag, with much of it looking more suburban than citified. But the Town Center, by Denver architect David Owen Tryba, is true to new urbanism's best intentions: It's pedestrian-oriented and designed to a human scale, with parking lots hidden from view. The idea is to get people out of their cars and on their feet, and to make walking fun. The center has about two dozen retailers; stores face a narrow street that's lined with cheerful banners, wrought-iron benches and bicycle racks. Better for feet than the Foothills!
So you're at a bar, and a certain creepy someone is refusing to leave you alone unless you give him or her your phone number. What to do? Tell the heavy breather in question to call you at 303-575-1696 -- digits that just happen to dial up Denver's Rejection Hotline, a local service of the Web site www.rejectionhotline.com. Although the Hotline's recorded voice is briefly understanding ("I know this sucks, but don't be too devastated"), it's anything but in the long run, hinting that the person being dissed may be "short, fat, ugly, dumb," suffer from "bad breath" or "body odor," give off a "stalker vibe," or is about as much fun as "playing leapfrog with a unicorn." There's no better way to tell that certain unwanted someone to take a hike.
Carousing in LoDo got a whole lot easier -- or at least a bit more sensible -- last New Year's Eve, thanks to the soberRide program underwritten by AT&T Wireless. Folks who'd overdone the bubbly and lacked the means or foresight to book a room downtown for the night were provided free cab rides (up to $50 in value). From 8 p.m. to 3 a.m., chariots awaited, available at cab stands or through a toll-free number. And New Year's revelers got home safely to sleep off their excesses in the comfort of their own beds. But come to think of it, wasn't the name a bit misleading?
Sometimes it seems like DIA doesn't want anyone to leave. Is there some kind of strange force field that sucks the juice from car batteries, flattens tires and disguises vehicles parked in the sprawling economy lots and distant car-parks, rendering their owners powerless to drive far, far away? Perhaps -- but it's no match for the good people at AMPCO System Parking, who scour the premises for infirm autos and offer gratis jump-starts, lock-out assistance, tire inflation and guidance for the hopelessly lost. Armed with a license-plate number, they can locate a car for the weary traveler who's just
plumb forgot where he parked it. AMPCO's attentive employees don't accept tips, so be sure to at least smile and wave as you pull out and motor on.
After over two million hours of air travel, the average American would pull out his or her hair. But Littleton resident E. Larry Beaumont didn't do that. Instead, he wrote a book to help other frequent fliers survive the perils of air travel unscathed. From pre-travel planning, check-in and boarding to flight and arrival, Beaumont takes travelers through the experience with the least amount of pain -- and loads of humor. Included with the advice are humorous stories and suggestions for making travel experiences as enjoyable as possible, often at the expense of others.
It's not easy finding something for nothing at the Cherry Creek Mall. Certainly there are deals to be had, but nothing, not even the free perfume samples, matches the value of the free air compressor behind the mall (near Chevy's). No doubt intended for cyclists passing by on the Cherry Creek Bike Path, the air compressor also beckons to four-wheelers with low tire pressure. So the next time some bohemian friend says, "The Cherry Creek Mall blows, dude," reply "Yes, it does -- for free."