Best of Denver®

Best Of 2008


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Best Of :: People & Places

Best Reason to Toast the Legislature

Join us in raising a glass to state senator Jennifer Veiga of Denver, for proposing the repeal of Colorado's longtime ban on Sunday liquor sales. The measure not only made it through both houses (it's currently awaiting Governor Bill Ritter's signature), but lawmakers even moved up its effective date to July 1. And so, on July 6, 2008, thirsty consumers could finally be able to rest easy on the purported day of rest — and purchase full-strength alcohol at liquor stores across the state. The continued existence of Colorado's teetotaling blue laws had long mystified residents and visitors alike, who had to remember to secure their wine, whiskey and wheat brews by midnight Saturday or else settle for a case of crappy 3.2 beer from the supermarket on Sunday. While a second bill that would have let grocers enter the alcohol market died, now that drinkers have gotten a taste of libation liberty, they could soon be demanding the whole bottle. Drink up!

Best Addition to a Historic Building
Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center

The stately Colorado Springs Fine Arts Center is one of the most important buildings in the Mountain Standard time zone. Built in 1936, the concrete-and-black aggregate structure combines Pueblo style with art moderne design, and was unquestionably the high point of architect John Gaw Meem's career. But while the building remained stunning, sixty years after its completion, it was also too small. After a misguided attempt to enlarge it failed, Denver architect David Owen Tryba and his crew were hired in 2003 to come up with a solution. And they did. The addition, which debuted last summer, is tucked behind the original building, giving the center adequate facilities to both showcase its impressive collection and host traveling shows while preserving the integrity of the original design.

30 W. Dale St., Colorado Springs, 80903
Best Appearance by Britney Spears in Colorado

The city was agog at reported Britney Spears sightings earlier this year. But her best Colorado appearance was in cartoon form — as if that isn't always the case — on a recent episode of South Park, the Comedy Central series that just celebrated its tenth anniversary. In "Britney's New Look," the pop princess fled the paparazzi and landed in South Park, the mythical creation of Colorado boys Matt Stone and Trey Parker, where she wound up losing her head. As if you could tell.

Best Bus for Eavesdropping

Long before commuting was cool, green-thinking Boulderites started hopping the B Route when they needed to get to downtown Denver — for a meeting, for a dinner, for a play. But just sitting on the B bus can be entertainment enough, since it gives you easy eavesdropping access to conversations involving everyone from MacArthur Foundation grant winners and University of Colorado professors to fraternity leaders planning the next big bash.

Best Bus for People-Watching

No matter how much the city cleans up East Colfax Avenue, RTD's #15 bus will always be the true gauge of this neighborhood. Hop on between Colorado and Broadway, and listen to East High School students talking with the homeless. Or as happy hour turns to night, watch as drunken blue-collars heading home from the strip's rougher bars rub shoulders with twenty-something hipsters on their way to hear live music. Conversation is the sole soundtrack to this route, because music is allowed with headphones only — and you'd better have exact change, because RTD doesn't dish any out. Other than that, though, no rules apply and all bets are off. Whether you're chatting with an immigrant about the world he left behind or hoping that the drug dealer to your left will leave you alone, the #15 delivers the bold, hard facts on the real Colfax.

Best Denver Celebrity to Almost Inherit an English Castle

Isaac Slade, frontman for the Fray, Denver's first double-platinum band, has been living the dream in more ways than one. Last year he met up with Sir Benjamin Slade, an English aristocrat in search of an heir to inherit his thirteenth mansion. The estate, valued at $15 million, includes three lakes, a ballroom (perfect for private rock shows), hundreds of cattle — and plenty of expensive upkeep projects. Sir Benjamin had been looking for an heir for eighteen months before he decided that Isaac might be just the Slade he was looking for; at last report, Isaac still hadn't decided if English manor life was for him.


Best Reason to Toast the Legislature: SB 08-082


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