Art News

Denver's Ready for Its Close-Up on Peter Greenberg Worldwide

Our Best Museum for Out-of-Towners in 2018.
Our Best Museum for Out-of-Towners in 2018. Clyfford Still Museum
Peter Greenberg, "The Travel Detective," was in Denver at the end of March for the Travel & Adventure Show, and while he was here, he recorded an episode of his nationally syndicated radio show, Peter Greenberg Worldwide, which will air this Saturday, April 14, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Denver; it's being livestreamed here.

A fourth-floor meeting room at the ART hotel was turned into a studio for Greenberg; the hotel's world-class art collection and the view of the cultural institutions around Civic Center Park already had Denver looking good. But Visit Denver and the show's producers had also arranged for a parade of movers and shakers to chat with Greenberg, including chef Jen Jasinski, aviation expert Mike Boyd, Denver Business Journal reporter and beer expert Ed Sealover, Denver Art Museum fashion/textile curator Florence Müller, musician Brent Cowles, Denver Center for the Performing Arts CEO Janice Sinden, and Brian Hostetler of the Denver Museum of Nature & Science. And I dropped by, too, from the Westword office two blocks away, where we were preparing to publish the Best of Denver 2018.

So when Greenberg asked about the best bars to visit, I was full of names to drop.

My Brother's Bar, of course, a classic watering hole at 2376 15th Street that's Denver's oldest continually operating saloon (under different names, but dating back to the 1880s). And the spot we were about to name the Best Dive Bar in 2018, the Lakeview Lounge, at 2375 Sheridan Boulevard, a place that seems timeless despite the rapidly changing neighborhood around it.

At the other end of the spectrum, any visitor to Denver should try to grab a seat at Tavernetta, the new restaurant right by Union Station created by the folks behind Frasca, which exemplifies the best of what's new in Denver. In fact, Tavernetta snagged Best New Restaurant honors in the Best of Denver 2018.

But in this setting, it was impossible not to tout the city's booming cultural scene, too, particularly because just a block away was our Best Museum for Out-of-Towners: the Clyfford Still Museum, at 1250 Bannock Street. Here's the description from the Best of Denver 2018:
People from around the world come to Denver specifically to visit the Clyfford Still Museum, so if you’ve got friends and family coming to town, they should see it, too. Still, an acknowledged master of Abstract Expressionism, had only the slightest association with Colorado before his death. In his will, he dictated that any American city willing to build a museum to house his oeuvre would receive the collection, and Denver stepped up in 2004 when then-mayor John Hickenlooper committed to meeting the requirements of the will. Housed in an austerely elegant concrete pavilion, the Still is home to 95 percent of the artist’s output, so if you want to see his classic, often massively sized compositions, this is where you have to do it. But the museum is a great place for in-towners, too, because director Dean Sobel keeps things lively by constantly changing out pieces.
That pick came from our art critic, Michael Paglia. I have my own personal favorite, a perfect mix of Old West and new Denver, low and high culture...with a view, too.

Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave Facebook
The Buffalo Bill Museum and Grave, which perches atop Lookout Mountain, is one of the Denver Mountain Parks, a remarkable city asset. William F. Cody wanted to be buried in this spot, with its stunning view of the plains below, and tens of thousands of people attended his funeral 101 years ago. The attention was fitting for Buffalo Bill, the first global-marketing whiz and a man who popularized the myth of the Wild West around the world. As a result, the place is full of history, and it also happens to have one of the greatest souvenir stores ever.

When you have out-of-towners visiting, where do you send them? What would you recommend to Peter Greenberg?

Post a comment or send your suggestions to [email protected] And tune in to Peter Greenberg's website at 8 a.m. April 14; here's the livestreaming site.

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Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
Contact: Patricia Calhoun