Westword’s Ten Most-Read Denver Arts and Culture Stories in 2015

What got people talking in 2015? On Westword’s arts blog, the hottest topics spanned everything from inner city woes and ugly buildings to the most Colorado-iffic ways of escaping both. Without fanfare, here are our ten most-read arts blogs of 2015.
10. Film on the Rocks 2015 Schedule Announced
"Outdoor film fans, rejoice! One of the most anticipated puzzle pieces to the Red Rocks summer schedule has just been announced, the line-up for the sixteenth season of the beloved Film On The Rocks series, and it has something for just about everybody. Nine dates are polished and ready to go for bringing the big screen to one of the world’s greatest amphitheaters, including two on prime weekend nights, just in case your school-night fun hangover has become a problem recently. Here is more information from today’s release, followed by the list of movies with their trailers. Enjoy!" 

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9. The Five Best Flea Markets in Metro Denver
"It was back in 1998 that Denver’s flea-market renaissance began with the Ballpark Market, which brought its European-style ambience to Larimer Street near Coors Field. Since then, we’ve had markets hawking antiques and geegaws under viaducts and car-boot sales in parking lots and, eventually, a new, tenacious brand of flea with built-in amenities and art and handmades thrown into the mix. As flea season revs up for another year, here are five of the best in Denver, all of which have won awards in the Best of Denver over the years and all of which continue to go strong." 

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8. The Ten Worst 21st-Century Buildings in Downtown Denver
"Denver has never been a great town for fans of architecture. Important buildings from the past routinely go under the wrecking ball, while only a tiny percentage of their replacements are any good at all. It’s actually a brilliant strategy on the part of developers: Short-circuit any future historic-preservation struggles by putting up structures that no one will care about if they ever have to be torn down.

A couple of months ago, I compiled a list of what I thought were the ten best buildings constructed downtown in the 21st century. That list could easily have been stretched to fifteen — but not twenty, because there just aren’t twenty great buildings that have gone up downtown since the year 2000. Now, while considering the flip side of that same coin, I’m confronted with an entirely different set of issues. Not only could I easily enumerate twenty monstrosities that have been built in Denver since 2000; I could probably come up with fifty, especially when it comes to those that serve as housing or hotels. And I’m not alone: The topic of development and architecture seems to be on everyone’s minds these days as neighborhoods change overnight, whether it’s regarding the construction of large apartment buildings or insensitive single-family homes." 

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7. Dr. Jeff Young is Animal Planet’s Next Star in Rocky Mountain Vet
"Dr. Jeffrey Young is a casting director’s dream. There’s the veterinarian’s look: long, greying hair, a thick mustache and kanji tattoos inked on his biceps, sculpted from years working as a track-and-field coach at North High.

Then there’s the fact that, a quarter-century into his practice, Young still isn’t shy about sharing his opinions. The owner of Highland’s Planned Pethood Plus http://plannedpethoodplus.com clinic, Young has courted controversy his entire career, whether testifying opposite his own professors in the state senate over vet schools’ sourcing of animals from pounds, or laying into the profiteering he says exists in his own profession. 'I hate to say it, but I find that vets either don’t necessarily know a diagnosis or what they’re doing, or they lie about it,' says Young. 'And I don’t know which is worse. Are you that poorly trained, where you suggest a surgery that isn’t really necessary? Or is it just for the money?'" 

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6. Five Top Colorado Mountain Towns for Summer Getaways
"Where’s the best place to go in Colorado in the summer? That depends on what you're looking for. Fifty years ago, when the winter recreation industry was in its infancy, this state's mountain towns were a scruffy assemblage of cranks and A-frame cabins. Now ski havens such as Telluride, Aspen and Vail are world-famous, and over the past decade summer recreation in the pointylands has boomed as well, leading to more options and activities than ever before.

There’s a downside to this development, though. The well-known Colorado locales, even formerly isolated locations such as Steamboat Springs and Crested Butte, have promoted the summer-fun-machine model so extensively that now a) big crowds funnel into these places between Memorial and Labor Day and b) if you manage to squeeze your way in, too, you must watch your wallet while still trying to have fun.
So here are some alternatives. These often overlooked gems are perfect starting points for explorations of some mighty pretty country, and unique and charming in themselves. Most offer the same kinds of rugged outdoor adventure the big boys do, but at considerably lower rates – and you won’t have to wait in line." 

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5. The Ten Best Swimming Spots in Colorado 
"Colorado has every amenity an outdoor enthusiast could ever desire — except a beach. But there are still plenty of water attractions across the state. From Broomfield to Glenwood Springs, you can get in the swim at everything from natural hot springs and cool reservoirs to acres of man-made rivers, slides and other out-of-this world aquatic attractions. Take advantage of the state’s summer sun at these ten spots." 

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4. Ten Great Colorado Hot Springs
"Any time of the year is great time to visit one of Colorado's many mountain hot springs destinations, but with fall right around the corner, a dip in a warmer pool is definitely on our minds. There are many different kinds of springs, from full-size, human-made pools warmed by earthy waters, to out-of-the-way natural swimming and soaking areas cut right into the ground. As we slowly make our way into the fall, here's ten of our favorite places to get your mineral bath on." 

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3. Ten Things You Didn't Know About Lakeside Amusement Park in Lakeside, Colorado
"More than just a spot to enjoy an inexpensive evening of roller-coaster rides and soft-serve ice cream, Lakeside Amusement Park is a place packed with living history. Built in 1908, the beautiful park has stood the test of time — and in some areas within its gates, time has actually stood still — retaining much of the end-of-the-Victorian-era charm that makes it a unique summertime destination for locals and visitors.

We can give you a million reasons why you should visit Colorado's oldest amusement park before the season is over, but instead we've compiled a list of some not-so-well-known facts about one of the area's most mysterious, most fascinating summer attractions." 

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2. Ten Most Amazing Abandoned Places in Colorado
"Nature versus civilization is a time-honored battle, and there are some beautiful, abandoned places in Colorado where it is clear nature has won: worn, rusted places returning to the earth. As summer ends, you can enjoy seeing nature triumph — and leaves turn — while also checking out everything from ghost towns to abandoned mines to Old Man Jenkins guarding a race track by Lakeside. Here are ten of the most amazing abandoned places in Colorado." 

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1. What’s Developing in Denver Isn't Pretty
"As I was driving through Jefferson Park yesterday on a short detour to get to the 20th Street Gym downtown, I finally saw the horror with my own eyes. It's one thing to see photographs of it, but to actually witness that kind of destruction is overwhelming. I'm talking about the horror of overdevelopment, something that has hit Jefferson Park particularly hard recently. (If you missed the 9News piece on longtime resident Gail Wheeler's house being essentially destroyed by surrounding development, take a few minutes to watch her story.) The oversized, modern, box-home monstrosities that developers have crammed between modest, early-20th century homes in the tiny hood are nauseating." 

Continue reading “What’s Developing in Denver Isn't Pretty.

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