People & Places

  • Best Move by Leadville

    "A Day in a Dirtball Town"

    Leadville doesn't get a lot of attention these days — so the adopted home town of Jihad Jamie Paulin-Ramirez really didn't appreciate being labeled "nothing to write home about" and a "dirtball town" by a local reporter characterizing the place for Fox. Local lawmakers fought back by offering to host "A Day in a Dirtball Town" that would include tours… More >>
  • Best Actual Reality-TV Star From Colorado

    Lilly Scott

    When America voted Lilly Scott off this season's American Idol, our hearts sank. Scott, a Littleton resident who previously fronted the band Varlet, was a breath of fresh air on a show otherwise known for churning out (with a very few exceptions) a steady parade of unmemorable artists who, in turn, produce mainstream pabulum. And while we were being unrealistically… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk-Show Host

    Dan Caplis and Craig Silverman

    Now that texting while driving is illegal in Colorado, the legislature really should do something about drivers who listen to Caplis & Silverman while behind the wheel between 3 and 6 p.m. This odd couple of the airwaves can be dangerously distracting. While you're wondering just why former DA Craig Silverman doesn't execute a citizen's arrest for Caplis's shameless boosting… More >>
  • Best TV Sportscaster

    Vic Lombardi

    He's still finding his voice on morning radio, and his attempt to click with players sometimes comes off a little shmoozy. Still, Channel 4 sports anchor Vic Lombardi overcomes these and any other faults you might be muttering about with his undeniable natural knowledge and feel for Denver sports. He was born with it: He's a native of Denver's north… More >>
  • Best Scale Model Canned Goods Division

    Colorado State Capitol Building

    Colorado's real capitol dome is in trouble. It is rusting, rotting and cracking, and fixing it will cost millions. But a scale model of the building, made entirely of canned goods, is doing just fine. Located inside the dome museum — known as Mr. Brown's Attic — the replica is a version of one originally created for the 2004 People's… More >>
  • Best Beer for Drinking in Politics

    Blue Moon

    It's not easy to smooth over the rocky road of race relations. Luckily, the nation has Blue Moon, a smooth, Belgian-style wheat beer first brewed in 1995 inside Coors Field at what is now called the Blue Moon Brewing Company at the Sandlot. And when President Barack Obama held his now-famous beer-diplomacy session last summer on the White House lawn… More >>
  • Best Move by Aspen

    "Adopt a Tourist"

    Think Aspen's snooty? Well, you're not alone. To change both perception and reality, Aspen has adopted an "Adopt a Tourist" program, in which residents play host to visitors. Several Aspenites have signed on to make nice; sadly, none of them are Kurt Russell.… More >>
  • Best Post-American Idol Performance by a Colorado Contender

    Ace Young

    He didn't win season five of American Idol, but long-locked Boulder boy Ace Young landed the role of Berger, the leader of a band of '60s hippies, in the Broadway revival of Hair in March. And his hair wasn't the only thing hanging down in the infamous nude scene.… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ


    Known almost as much for his afro as for his penchant for local music, Nerf still mans the fort at KTCL as both program director and afternoon-drive guy. Musicians should be glad he's stuck around; Nerf was an early champion of bands like the Fray and Meese, and he remains committed to pushing the scene. But he also does his… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality Male

    Eric Kahnert

    Eric Kahnert, who joined the Channel 9 weekend team late last year from an NBC affiliate in Albuquerque, is young and serious — and very, very slick. In fact, he sports a mini-Ed Grimley oil-slick cowlick in front. It's a popular look these days: bed head for the post-college crowd.… More >>
  • Best LEGO Collection


    Willy Wonka's Chocolate Factory has nothing on NetDevil. The Louisville-based video-game company is developing LEGO Universe, an online game based on everybody's favorite building toy, and as part of its research, the toy manufacturer sent the outfit a sampling of some of the building blocks it would be working with. NetDevil now boasts in the vicinity of ten million LEGO… More >>
  • Best Sign of the Times

    Belcaro Paint and Decorating Center

    Coming or going, rush hour on Leetsdale Drive is a toxic sea of traffic and exhaust. Which makes Belcaro Paint's changing electronic sign a breath of fresh air. Not content with simply offering the temperature and time, this sign will occasionally make you laugh out loud by flashing such come-ons as "We shake our cans for you," "We have big… More >>
  • Best News About Boulder

    It's Happy!

    It took Gallup two years to do all the research for its Well-Being Index, asking 1,000 Americans key questions about aspects of their lives ranging from emotional health to physical health to work environment. The result of all that nosiness? Boulder was crowned the happiest city in the country.… More >>
  • Best Beer-Drinking Politician

    Mayor John Hickenlooper

    Yeah, he co-founded the Wynkoop Brewing Company and ran it for many years thereafter, but mayor and now gubernatorial candidate John Hickenlooper didn't turn his back on beer after becoming a politician. In fact, Hick can be seen imbibing around town every so often, whether it's at an event, a personal dinner or even a political fundraiser. Hell, Hick even… More >>
  • Best TV Newscast Morning

    Channel 9

    Now that business boy Gregg Moss has rejoined longtime co-anchors Gary Shapiro and Kyle Dyer, as well as affable sports reporter Susie Wargin and weathercaster Becky Ditchfield, it's once again safe to turn on the television when you wake up. This low-key crew delivers news and morning chit-chat in equal measure, without becoming strident or silly. We'd missed Moss, whose… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality — Female

    Gloria Neal

    Longtime local radio personality Gloria Neal is a welcome sight on television — particularly now that she's contributing reports at 6 p.m., when we're a little more awake than we were during her morning appearances and able to appreciate her down-home delivery. Since Neal's hair is shorter than that of most male anchors, viewers can stay focused on the story… More >>
  • Best Decorative Weaponry Collection

    Ray R. Brannaman VFW Post #3971

    Just like little old ladies, who like to share their whimsy through yard art, little old veterans like to share the grandiosity of their glory days through yard artillery. The strip of lawn surrounding the parking lot of the Ray R. Brannaman VFW Post is groaning with glory in the guise of three big guns, a troop transport vehicle, a… More >>
  • Best Scale Model LEGO Division

    The Children's Hospital

    No one wants to have to take their kid to the Children's Hospital, but the facility has done all it can to make the experience a brighter one, and that includes the colorful layout — from the glass elevator to the kids' artwork on the walls to the 12,000-LEGO brick scale model of the hospital, built in August 2007 by… More >>
  • Best News About Denver

    It's Growing!

    Back in the '70s, when the specter of school busing was scaring the double-knit pants off of suburbanites, Colorado passed the Poundstone Amendment, to prevent the City and County of Denver from annexing land. As a result, while other metropolitan areas swallowed suburbs (and their tax revenues), Denver suffered from stunted growth and seemed doomed to never pass the half-million… More >>
  • Best Beer-Bonging Politician

    U.S. Representative Jared Polis

    He represents a college town, so he might as well do it right. Second District Representative Jared Polis barely balked last August when comedian Stephen Colbert brought out a six-pack of Coors Light and a red funnel and challenged him to do a beer bong during taping of The Colbert Report. Polis, who had described Congress as "like going back… More >>
  • Best TV Newscast Night

    Channel 4

    The basic theory about Colorado's volatile climate: If you don't like the weather now, wait a minute. But when it comes to weather forecasts, TV viewers have always had to wait more than a few minutes, since local news broadcasts traditionally like to put weather news at the end of the show, compelling viewers to stay tuned through everything else.… More >>
  • Best Topiary Tribute to Ralphie

    1342 Cherry St.

    The Pfitzer juniper is a vigorous evergreen that homeowners love to sculpt into amorphous lawn blobs and multi-balled bushalabras. The octogenarian homeowner of this tidy green Mediterranean-style bungalow on Cherry Street had a much more definitive topiary treatment in mind: a tribute to the beloved mascot of his alma mater. Ralphie the Buffalo was sculpted out of the shrubbery years… More >>
  • Best Virtual Time Capsule

    Downtown Denver Woolworth, 1963

    This amazing cache of photographs was intended to announce the October 1963 grand reopening of "the world's largest variety store," the Woolworth in the heart of downtown Denver, newly expanded to 174,000 square feet, with two miles' worth of counter dis­plays on two floors. In this virtual time capsule, each of the vividly colored images can be enlarged for detailed… More >>
  • Best Colorado Prank

    Banning Cougars

    After a fellow legislator suggested screening the use of American Indian mascots in Colorado high schools, House Minority Leader Mike May came up with his own idea: banning "cougars" as mascots. Currently, seven high schools in the state have cougar mascots. "Under his proposal," May's office noted, "offending mascots must be approved by the newly created Cougar Council, which meets… More >>
  • Best Medical Marijuana Advocate

    Wanda James and Scott Durrah

    The ganja's all here. At 8 Rivers, the restaurant they moved to LoDo in 2008, Wanda James and Scott Durrah serve up the flavors of the Caribbean. But their interest in that area's lifestyle isn't limited to the cuisine, as the portrait of Bob Marley on the wall proclaims. This politically connected couple opened a dispensary, Apothecary of Colorado, in… More >>
  • Best TV Anchor

    Tom Green

    Tom Green has been on the air in Denver for more than 25 years — an impressive record in a shrinking industry that's buffeted by the changing marketing winds. But Green's low-key delivery, easy style and quick one-liners remain a constant, and he's stayed a pro — whether he's doing sports for channels 9, 7 or 31, or news on… More >>
  • Best Animal Artist

    Dolly the Elephant

    The gorillas are good and the rhino is respectable, but the best animal artist at the Denver Zoo is clearly Dolly, one of two painting pachyderms that show their stuff every so often for special events and fundraisers. Despite Dolly's partially paralyzed trunk, her work stands out for its expressive palette and an abstract style that can evoke a variety… More >>
  • Best Downtown Time Lapse

    Four Seasons Private Residences

    It seems like it's been well over twenty seasons since construction started on the Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences on the corner of 14th and Arapahoe streets in downtown Denver — but you can watch the tower, billed as the most expensive property ever built in Colorado, go up in twenty seconds on the website. A time-lapse camera recorded… More >>
  • Best Historic Colorado Prank

    Stealing Alfred Packer's Gravestone

    It wasn't that funny in 1873, when Alfred Packer killed and ate his fellow prospectors after they became stranded in a snowstorm near Lake City. But, as they say, pain plus time equals humor. Today, Alfred (the historically accurate spelling) Packer is a macabre local celebrity, remembered in song and film and at the Alferd G. Packer Memorial Grill in… More >>
  • Best Guess for When Marijuana Will Be Completely Legal in Colorado


    Californians will vote on whether to make marijuana legal this fall, and Mason Tvert has plans to bring the issue to Colorado voters next year. But with upsets predicted at the ballot box in November, Cali's unlikely to legalize marijuana this round, and Colorado can count on at least two more election cycles before voters surrender to the inevitable. We're… More >>
  • Best TV Weathercaster

    Lisa Hidalgo

    Lisa Hidalgo is a Colorado native who grew up watching Mike Nelson, the veteran weathercaster at Channel 7, so she knows which way the wind is blowing in this state. She's easy on the eyes, but goes easy on the cute happy talk that so often can get in the way of delivering a straightforward weather report. In fact, she… More >>
  • Best Parking Lot Art Gallery

    3701 to 3821 E. Colfax Ave.

    Having public artworks replace private cars could be the perfect example of Mayor John Hickenlooper's plan to transform Denver from an outpost of the automotive age into the very model of a creative-class city. The empty parking lots of this shuttered John Elway Ford dealership are separated from the City Park neighborhood to the north by an aging wooden security… More >>
  • Best Addition to the National Register of Historic Places

    Bastien's Restaurant

    It's easy to think of Bastien's as a time machine perpetually dialed to 1958. That was the year Bastien's opened, and it's been run by the same family for the past five decades — which means it hasn't been subjected to the regular remod­eling that comes with new owners trying to hook trendy prima diners. From the outside, the folded-plate… More >>
  • Best Online Pranksters

    The Denver Egotist

    Who knew marketing geeks could be so much fun? The Denver Egotist blog bills itself as a one-stop shop for news and job opportunities relating to Denver's advertising and marketing scene. But the people behind it — Denver Egotist doesn't reveal the names of those involved — don't mind getting down and dirty when the need arises. Take the Great… More >>
  • Best New Law

    No Texting While Driving

    How tweet it is! Since December, it's been illegal to use a cell phone to text or send e-mail while driving — and for drivers under eighteen, it's now illegal to use a cell phone at all while driving. "Today drivers will have to start breaking a bad habit," said Governor Bill Ritter. Now, about using that cell phone while… More >>
  • Best Ousted Weathercaster

    Stacey Donaldson

    When Stacey Donaldson came to Channel 31 six years ago, her naughty-librarian look immediately won fans. And those fans are still crying over Donaldson's ouster from Channel 4, where she moved to the morning show three years ago — before being let loose in February. Despite her minxish looks, Donaldson offered up her weather report with a minimum of shtick.… More >>
  • Best Madonna With a Skyline View

    Presentation of Our Lady

    Perched in a quiet garden above the chaotic exchange where Federal Boulevard and West Sixth Avenue meet I-25, the Mother of Our Lord has the mother of all views. The small statue stands with bowed head beneath a stately pine tree in a grotto near the rectory of the Presentation of Our Lady Catholic School and parish. Though she is… More >>
  • Best Lost Denver Alley Sign

    A.E. Meek Trunk and Bag Company

    Like a suitcase stored between vacations, the A.E. Meek Trunk and Baggage Company Building sits empty, waiting for its next big adventure. And like an antique steamer trunk, the structure is decorated with stylish graphics commemorating its passage through time. The storefront sign replicates the century-old script originally used by the suitcase seller, while the alley sign is a genuine vintage… More >>
  • Best Reality-Show Idea for the Heene Family

    Survivor: Outer Space

    Over the years, Survivor has gone to a lot of exotic places: Borneo, the Amazon River region of Brazil, the Pearl Islands. By choosing outer space as its next location and putting the cast of contenders on a decommissioned space shuttle, Survivor executive producer Mark Barnett could simultaneously save the space program and send Richard Heene exactly where so many… More >>
  • Best Blog

    There is, admittedly, slim competition in this category. Perhaps because they're too busy doing stuff out in the real world, Denverites don't produce an overwhelming number of consistent, competent blogs. But even if the crowd is meager, ColoradoPols stands out, with its constant stream of smart, in-the-know insights into the local and statewide political scenes. Whether it's breaking news, commenting… More >>
  • Best Outcome of the Deuce Dump

    Dave Fraser's Tie

    It was uncomfortable to watch Dave Fraser have to perform his job without the suit and tie that's the uniform of most professional weathercasters. It was like watching a man with his zipper down. But now that Channel 2 has dumped the hip Deuce concept, Fraser is free to tie one on.… More >>
  • Best Aztec Madonna Mural

    Sisters of Color United for Education

    The official title is "Left-handed Hummingbird," but there is nary a bird in sight in this mural of mother and child sur­rounded by corn stalks and purple fingernails. Borrowing from ancient Aztec and modern art-deco design mo­tifs, the mural is named for Uhzilopochtli, the warrior and Aztec deity. The imagery pays homage to its south-facing position, since that's the direction… More >>
  • Best Secret Passage

    Santiago's Staircase

    A concrete retaining wall separates customers from businesses in the Washington/Virginia Vale neighborhood. This cozy residential area centered on South Ivy Street and East Virginia Avenue lies on a hill overlooking shops located along Leetsdale Drive. But to get to Santiago's or Starbucks, cravers of tacos and lattes either had to jump in their cars or venture several blocks out… More >>