There are so many things I’ll miss about Denver when I move away soon. Here are just a few:
1. Screen & Arts Scene
Working as a publicist for Landmark Theatres for 22 years gave me the opportunity to work with some of the best filmmakers from all over the world, including Philip Seymour Hoffman, Chen Kaige, Marcia Gay Harden, John Sayles, Agnieszka Holland, Alan Rudolph, Tilda Swinton, etc., and to fine-tune my publicity skills. What a treat.
Colorado is so fortunate that it has the Denver Film Festival, Sie FilmCenter, Alamo and other venues that believe in the wonderment of world cinema and continue to make a difference in our lives in a darkened auditorium. In addition, I was always impressed with our museums, concerts at Red Rocks, our Broncos and live theater. (Throw in four seasons and an occasional blizzard, and, honestly, I think Colorado has it all.)
I felt fortunate to have local press who also loved and supported our movie theaters and the films that we played. That, in addition to the loyal patrons and dedicated staff members who loved these cherished facilities, was certainly a lifeline.
2. Trail Ridge Road
Even the most staunch atheist could admit that this is indeed God’s country. Okay, so Trail Ridge was constructed by man, but whether you’re coming from the east (Estes Park or Rocky Mountain National Park) or the west (Granby and Grand Lake), you're sure to take in the wondrous beauty of an indelible albeit dangerous 48-mile drive spiking at 12,183 feet in elevation. Keep your eye on the road and let your passengers soak it in, as you once did. I took my Welsh mom and other family and friends across it, and Mom exclaimed that she could almost touch the clouds. “Yes, Mom, you can,” I said, and the pure joy it gave her was worth it all. This state is so beautiful, and I never once took it for granted.
3. LGBT Colors
Quite incredible to live in a city that has a very large community that more often than not gives back to their own and cares about the issues we face and continue to decipher, debate and discuss with our friends and folks who can inform us. From the humongous PrideFest to our favorite pubs (mine was Compound Basix) to our favorite bartenders (hello, Craig, Jimbo and Strami), to our resources like The Center, where I once reached out for some support during a rather difficult period. Yes, you can be out and proud in Colorado!
4. Get Your Grub On
Oh, yes, every taste for every palate is offered in this city. Want delicious pizza? Try the Walnut Room. Get your Cajun fix on at Bayou Bob’s, and don’t leave without sampling the blackened catfish and stuffed mushrooms. Grab a cold, scrumptious margarita at Rio Grande, and for an artery-clogging great breakfast, head over to the Hornet or Pete’s Kitchen and ask for your hash browns “crispy.” Great staff will take very good care of you at Charlie Brown’s and Señor Burritos while you’re waiting for your favorite dish. You might smart the next morning after sampling the best chiles rellenos in town at Brewery Bar 2, but you can venture down to Dozens for its "Steamboat” egg brunch to balance the debauchery! We all have a million stories about our favorites; these are just a few of mine.
5. Telluride Film Festival
In the beginning, I was lucky to have this high-dollar ticket paid for while I did a bit of publicity at one of the world’s most prestigious film festivals. When you arrive and walk down Main Street, you are absolutely in awe and transported to another world. The festival program is a secret, and that’s part of its charm; we all discover the lineup together — and wow, what a program it is, year after year. It’s nestled in the San Juan Mountains and I promise you, as a previous attendee of many years, you will never, ever forget it. Cleansing to the mind and soul. Simply extraordinary.
When Bette Midler belted out “...but ya gotta have friends,” she knew the words had extra special meaning — from the heart. What I will most miss about living here is a genuinely great group of friends who have made me feel so much more than special. We are truly friends for life.
With my eyes, a picture postcard of Denver will be framed in my rear-view mirror as I head out on my journey home. Thanks for letting me share, and until we meet again….