Denver's Baker Neighborhood is one of those nostalgic-home neighborhoods that people from other places never seem to understand. "Wait -- it's a neighborhood right in the heart of the city, with actual houses and everything, not skyscrapers?" they ask. Exactly. The eclectic area is a hodgepodge of quaint bungalows and stately Dutch Colonial Revivals, where Denver Squares bump shoulders with art galleries and apartments, with little interference from office buildings. And today, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., it's also a bargain-hunter's paradise. Approximately ninety families will participate in the 16th annual Baker Bargain Bonanza, a veritable treasure trove of yard sales. There's also a festival in Dailey Park (Elati Street and Archer Place), with food, music, games and sale space for neighborhood folks who lack front yards. Pick up a Bonanza map at First Presbyterian Church (First Avenue and Acoma Street) the day of the event.
Later, shoppers still hungry for a fix can head directly to the annual Sidewalk Sale on Old South Pearl. The stores on Pearl Street between Iowa and Louisiana avenues will be peddling their wares outdoors, offering discounts ranging from 10 to 75 percent all weekend long. And on Sunday, the first weekly farmers' market of the season runs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. between Florida and Iowa avenues.
Bargains galore and fresh produce. Is this going to be a great summer or what? -- Adam Cayton-Holland
The Reds Are Coming!
Aurora is a city desperately seeking its own identity -- and along with redevelopment of the old downtown, boosters are bringing culture to the former wasteland. For example, today the City of Aurora launches its World Fusion Festivals to highlight the area's ethnic groups. Russian heritage is first on the list, and concert guitarist Gregory Nisnevich and the Lark String Quartet will play Eastern European music -- everything from Tchaikovsky to folk tunes -- while storyteller Susan Marie Frontczak weaves tales of Russian mythology. The Elite Deli will serve up Russian snacks and candy to top off the experience. To get back to the U.S.S.R., stop by Fletcher Plaza, 9898 East Colfax Avenue, between 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. For information on this and future World Fusion events, call 303-326-8617 or visit www.auroragov.org/events. -- Amber Taufen
Art for AIDS is full of new life.
Things are looking brighter for the Art for AIDS Fine & Decorative Art Auction, being held tonight at 6 p.m. in the Donald R. Seawell Grand Ballroom in the Denver Performing Arts Complex. In fact, even a name change, from "Art Against AIDS" to "Art for AIDS," was in order.
"It's not that we're now 'for' AIDS; the name change signals a shift from 'against,' which is negative, to 'for,' which is positive," explains Anthony Hodes, director of development for the Colorado AIDS Project, which throws the benefit. "Twenty-two years ago, when we started, we were just a hospice; we were helping people die with dignity. We can now celebrate that some clients are living longer. It signifies that we as an agency are moving into a hopeful space. We can be more positive."
Also positive is a change in the evening's format: For the first time ever, the show is being curated, with Julie Fryberger, Cydney Payton and Katharine Smith-Warren selecting the art to be auctioned. There will also be an emerging-artists' section of the show to encourage developing talents who might otherwise feel too intimidated to enter their work.
For more information or to buy tickets, $40, call 303-837-0166, ext. 508, or visit www.coloradoaidsproject.org. -- Debra A. Myers
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Channel 6 wants viewers to turn the lens on themselves.
Reality shows have moved from "popular" to "omnipresent" if local public- television stations are getting into the act. Still, Real Colorado, in the works at Channel 6, doesn't fit the network-TV model: It won't consist of PBS subscribers living in the same house and competing to see who can donate the most money during pledge drives. Rather, participants are being asked to submit ideas for de facto documentaries. Once an in-house committee green-lights the project, individuals will be supplied with the equipment to bring their concept to life.
Channel 6 president James Morgese emphasizes that Real Colorado, whose air date is pending, isn't going to be "open-mike night at the comedy club." Instead, he's looking for "real stories from real people. I'd love for us to show what it's like to be homeless for a week, or what it's like to have a debilitating disease." By using unpaid citizen videographers, he says, the station will be able to air projects "that TV usually can't devote a lot of time to because of the costs." He adds that the show is "an experiment, and it may be a total failure -- but it may not. In this day of competitive media, you've got to do creative things."
The station is accepting proposals for Real Colorado. For details, contact Donna Sanford at 303-620-5617. -- Michael Roberts