People & Places

  • Best Place to People-Watch

    16th Street Mall

    Downtown boosters recently conducted a major study of the 16th Street Mall, which turns thirty next year, trying to determine what directional changes it needed to truly be a pedestrian paradise. Their conclusion? If it ain't broke, don't fix it. So beyond getting some basic repair work and a general sprucing up, the 16th Street Mall will carry on as… More >>
  • Best Political Blog/Website

    The Spot

    Junkies still miss the Stump, which supplied Rocky Mountain News readers with a regular fix of political tidbits. But its spirit lives on in the Spot for Politics & Policy, the Denver Post blog devoted not just to political news reported by the paper's own writers, but a roundup of other worthy stories in the fast-changing media world. At the… More >>
  • Best Radio Personalities

    Slacker and Steve

    When you're relegated to a windowless office or stuck behind the wheel in bumper-to-bumper traffic, Slacker and Steve, the hysterical duo who run the airwaves of KALC during the 3-to-7-p.m. time slot, make life much more bearable with their on-air theatrics and dramatics. From the Great Mate Debate, wherein couples argue over credit card debt, football, beer and ex-BFFs to… More >>
  • Best Radio Talk-Show Host

    Mike Rosen

    Mike Rosen's loss — big loss, since much of his nest egg was invested with Bernie Madoff — is Denver's gain. Rather than retire, Rosen's still on the air, and his experience shows: He's extremely fluid in his delivery, well-reasoned and well-read, incredibly versatile in subject matter. Rosen doesn't just bang an anti-Obama drum, although he does talk about politics… More >>
  • Best Radio DJ

    Hal Moore

    Yes, doctor! There is nothing quite as exhilarating as waking up to the jubilant voice of Hal "Baby" Moore on Cruisin' Oldies 950. A seasoned radio vet with a half-century's worth of experience behind the mike, Moore is a living local legend. From his time at KHOW until now, at KRWZ, he's been the trusted on-air companion of several generations… More >>
  • Best TV Anchor

    Jim Benemann

    While other anchors sometimes sound like they're phoning in their performances — simultaneously checking their 401(k)s to see if they can retire yet — Jim Benemann reminds us why newscasts were set up with an anchor desk in the first place. Benemann has a steady, calming presence that gives the appropriate gravitas to whatever story he might be delivering —… More >>
  • Best TV Newscast

    KUSA Morning News

    Although network news viewership is shrinking, Channel 9 remains a powerhouse. And Denver has a powerful fondness for the team featured on the KUSA Morning News, a newscast that stretches over two channels and so many hours that it someday may run right into the evening shows. This year it added an extra half-hour at 4:30 a.m. featuring Gregg Moss,… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood

    Ghost Historic District

    No, Denver's Ghost Historic District isn't haunted — unless it's by the specter of real-estate agents flocking to a neighborhood in "Denver's only ZIP code that hasn't seen a market dip since 2007." That's according to This Old House magazine, which just touted the area in northwest Denver bounded by West 29th Avenue, West 32nd Avenue, Lowell Boulevard and Irving… More >>
  • Best TV Sportscaster

    Vic Lombardi

    Once again carrying the ball is the man not to be confused with the NFL coaching legend whose name graces the Super Bowl trophy. Still, the confusion is fitting: Vic Lombardi, a Denver native, is developing into something of a local faceman for this town's teams. Although his style can be over the top, he reins it in at the… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality — Female

    Karen Leigh

    Karen Leigh joined the KCNC team as co-anchor in 2008, and it now looks like she has a long career ahead of her — as long as she keeps her flowing tresses. At this point, Leigh's luxurious, lustrous locks seem as suited to a beauty-pageant contestant as they do a news anchor, but viewers have clearly flipped for her long,… More >>
  • Best Hair on a TV Personality — Male

    Chris Parente

    "Chris is like a box of chocolates," promises Chris Parente's KDVR profile. "You never know what you're gonna get." But no matter how wild and wacky Parente's live reports might be, you can count on this: His hair is going to look delicious, with just the right amount of product to keep his coif in perky place.  … More >>
  • Best Former Colorado People to Watch

    Trey Parker and Matt Stone

    "It will offend everyone," promises the slogan of The Book of Mormon, and we'd expect nothing less from Trey Parker and Matt Stone, the Colorado-born and -bred bad boys who gave the country South Park and Team America and now have a hit on their hands with a Broadway musical based on two Mormon missionaries in Africa that satirizes everything… More >>
  • Best Place to Harvest Hops

    Central City

    The craft beers made in Colorado are fantastic, but if you want to make a beer with Colorado, you'll need to either grow your own hops or pick wild hops that grow like weeds on the hillsides around Central City. Legend has it that the vines were originally planted in the late 1800s by residents of this old mining town,… More >>
  • Best Old Idea

    Wynkoop Brewing Company

    Flash back a hundred years and there's a good chance you'd see horses pulling carts loaded with beer from Denver's breweries to its saloons and restaurants. Now, thanks to the Wynkoop Brewing Company, you can see the same thing today. The brewpub, co-founded in 1988 by now-governor John Hickenlooper, began delivering kegs and cans of its handcrafted suds to accounts… More >>
  • Best New Idea

    Denver County Fair

    Did you ever wonder why the City and County of Denver has no county fair? Every podunk county in the state has one, for crying out loud! And though we still boast the National Western Stock Show in Denver — at least for now — where do prize-deserving pie-makers and urban chicken-keepers get to show off their hard work and… More >>
  • Best New Building Downtown

    Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse

    Though beset with controversies, including the departure of the original architect, Steven Holl, as well as being marooned in a disjointed complex that also includes a tacky shopping-center-style post office and a bombastic, Mussolini-style jail, the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse is clearly a masterpiece. All the credit for that success goes to Keat Tan, the building's principal designer and a partner in… More >>
  • Best New Building Outside Downtown

    FBI Denver Field Office

    The architecture at Stapleton is a mixed bag, with much of it having a throwaway character. But not the FBI Field Office that opened last summer: It was built to last. The building, which was privately developed and is being leased to the FBI, was designed by Chicago's Skidmore Owings and Merrill, which also did the Air Force Academy as… More >>
  • Best Case of Mistaken Identity on the Denver Skyline

    The Spire and the Four Seasons Hotel

    Last summer, two high-rises were finished a few blocks apart on 14th Street, each making its mark on the skyline. But here's where things get interesting: One is a 41-story vertical stack of horizontally oriented glass rectangles, while the other relies on 45 stories of vertical thrusts that terminate in a spike mounted on the top. Strangely enough, the names… More >>
  • Best Reuse of a Historic Building

    7-Eleven

    With its radial corners, crisp white walls and integral clock, the sleek streamlined moderne character of the onetime gas station at East Colfax Avenue and Race Street still showed through despite the grime it had accumulated during its decline over the last few decades. Nonetheless, it seemed that the 1930s building would surely meet an ignoble fate at the business… More >>
  • Best Way to Appreciate Union Station's Construction Chaos

    DenverInfill's bi-weekly walking tours

    DenverInfill.com has long been the go-to source for anything and everything going on in the city when it comes to construction. But for Denver's biggest construction project in years — the massive redevelopment of Union Station — website founder Ken Schroeppel stepped up his game. He and collaborator Rick Anstey host one-hour walking tours of the site on the first,… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Ron Hyman

    Lots of folks have jockeyed for the limelight as Colorado has become a mecca for medical marijuana, but one guy who doesn't get the praise he deserves is state registrar Ron Hyman. Over the past two years, Hyman has experienced the state's MMJ card application rush up-close and personal, since his office handles all the paperwork. Even as the backlog… More >>
  • Best Colorado Person to Watch

    John Hickenlooper

    We first met John Hickenlooper when he was an unemployed geologist with a big idea: to put Denver's first brewpub in a very sleepy section of LoDo. Most of the rest of Denver first encountered him at the Wynkoop Brewing Company, which poured out great craft beers while Hickenlooper, always quick with a quip, poured out idea after idea. Keeping… More >>
  • Best Charity for Human and Beast

    Freedom Service Dogs

    The Front Range is blessed with many worthy organizations that help animals and veterans; Freedom does both at the same time. Since 1987, the organization has excelled at rescuing shelter dogs, training them in a range of special skills, and pairing them with people with emotional or physical disabilities, including combat veterans. The demand for service dogs keeps increasing, but… More >>
  • Best Breakthrough in Open Government

    Denver Public Library

    Libraries are changing quickly to meet the demands of an online age, but one welcome development at Denver's Central Library is oddly retro. DPL now allows patrons to check out items from its vast repository of government documents, so that the determined researcher can take home such pre-Internet jewels as Know Your 8-Inch Howitzer and Identifying Sheep Killed by Bears.… More >>
  • Best New City Facility

    Green Valley Ranch Branch Library

    Four years after voters approved a hefty package of civic improvements, the Better Denver Bond Program is finally paying off like a born-again bookie. The bond issue has yielded a new rec center in Stapleton, a new greenhouse at the Denver Botanic Gardens and makeovers of several libraries, with a new police crime lab still to come. But perhaps the… More >>
  • Best Guess for Who Will Be Denver's Next Mayor

    Not Chris Romer

    Sixteen months ago, nobody really thought that Denver would be voting for a new mayor in May 2011; John Hickenlooper looked like a lock for a third term. But then Governor Bill Ritter decided not to run again, setting off a game of political dominoes that resulted in Hickenlooper's moving up while a slew of candidates who'd been eyeing City… More >>
  • Best Job by a Short-Term Mayor

    Bill Vidal

    Hand-picked by John Hickenlooper to serve as deputy mayor while he ran for governor, and then to move up to mayor for the last bit of Hickenlooper's second term, then-Manager of Public Works Bill Vidal had big shoes to fill. So far, Vidal's not only found those shoes a comfortable fit, but picked up the pace, mapping out an ambitious… More >>
  • Best Way to Understand the Budget

    Backseat Budgeter

    Balancing the state budget, as required by the Colorado Constitution, is no fun. But Backseat Budgeter does its best to make the process — or at least understanding the process — as pleasant as possible. This online simulator was created as a public service by Engaged Public, a political consulting firm, "to help citizens understand the tradeoffs associated with spending… More >>
  • Best Move by a Politician

    Andrew Romanoff's new job

    After Andrew Romanoff was term-limited out of his position in the Colorado House, he explored becoming Colorado's secretary of state, a job vacated by then-newly elected congressman Mike Coffman. He didn't get the job. Next he explored becoming a U.S. senator, a job vacated by newly appointed Obama cabinet member Ken Salazar. He didn't get the job. Then he challenged… More >>
  • Best Place to Be a Foursquare Mayor

    Lala's Wine Bar & Pizzeria

    Some Foursquare mayorships bring coolness, while others bring sweet satisfaction. Only a few offer the mayor any benefits, however, or at least anything good. Which is why Lala's Wine Bar & Pizzeria stands tails and tie above the rest. If you can oust the current mayor of this spot, you'll be treated to a free glass of wine (under $10)… More >>
  • Best Photo Blog

    UnseenDenver

    "Everybody's a photographer" goes the lament often voiced by grizzled newspaper shooters regarding the wave of iPhone shutterbugs jostling for elbow room at concerts, conferences or even traffic accidents. And while quantity may not always correlate with quality, the digital age means that you can find a picture of almost anything out there. Enter UnseenDenver.com, a blog that relies on… More >>
  • Best Political Staff

    Michael Johnston

    Before he was elected to the Colorado Senate, Michael Johnston had achieved national renown as an innovative educator — and he didn't stop pushing the envelope when he became a legislator. While most lawmakers have a staff that consists of a part-time aide and a part-time intern, this session Johnston recruited a team of over twenty law students and experts… More >>
  • Best TV Weathercaster

    Mike Nelson

    Wonder which way the wind's blowing? Longtime prognosticator and weather wonk Mike Nelson knows, and he'll tell you early on Channel 7's ten o'clock newscast, when he offers an efficient, intelligent weathercast that goes into just enough depth on the minutiae of meteorology but also warns you if you'll need to get up early to shovel out the next… More >>
  • Best Colorado People to Watch

    Ladies Fancywork Society

    There's quite a yarn behind the Ladies Fancywork Society, a group of rogue crochet artists who've been stringing us along for the past few years with their guerrilla art installations. They've created leg warmers for Jonathan Borofsky's "Dancers" (better known as the Dancing Aliens) in front of the Denver Performing Arts Complex, created a Wild Garden on a 360-foot-long stretch… More >>
  • Best Philanthropic Endeavor

    Colorado Gives Day

    The goal of the inaugural Colorado Gives Day, a 24-hour online charity bonanza powered by the Arvada-based Community First Foundation, was to raise $1 million for 536 local nonprofits. The foundation pledged to pick up the credit card transaction fees, ensuring that 100 percent of the money went to charity. But as it turns out, the original goal was too… More >>
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