Best proof that TV attracts the clinically insane

Dan Daru, Channel 2

The wild card on Channel 2's nutty new morning program, Dan Daru has become the loopiest a.m. performer since chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs was booted off the Today show. With his backward cap, manic delivery and energy enough to power New York City for the next hundred years, Daru, who's married to the station's nighttime anchor, Wendy Brockman, is blessedly unconcerned about embarrassing himself. And why not? After all, that's his job.

Best proof that TV attracts the clinically insane

Dan Daru, Channel 2

The wild card on Channel 2's nutty new morning program, Dan Daru has become the loopiest a.m. performer since chimpanzee J. Fred Muggs was booted off the Today show. With his backward cap, manic delivery and energy enough to power New York City for the next hundred years, Daru, who's married to the station's nighttime anchor, Wendy Brockman, is blessedly unconcerned about embarrassing himself. And why not? After all, that's his job.
Central Denver's ongoing renaissance has finally caught up with Denver's main street. Once a lively and attractive urban boulevard, East Colfax went into a tailspin in the 1960s, attracting a mix of porno theaters, bars and fast-food joints. Over the years, many people simply avoided the thoroughfare altogether, overlooking the fact that it still had several fine historic buildings as well as some of Denver's funkiest retail stores. Now Colfax has turned the corner, and people are finally rediscovering the potential of downtown's doorstep. More than a dozen buildings have recently been renovated, the Fillmore Auditorium brings in world-famous musicians, and loft and office conversions have delivered a jolt of energy. Let's hope East Colfax can hang on to its offbeat spirit as the developers move in so that Denver will have a main street it can truly be proud of.

Central Denver's ongoing renaissance has finally caught up with Denver's main street. Once a lively and attractive urban boulevard, East Colfax went into a tailspin in the 1960s, attracting a mix of porno theaters, bars and fast-food joints. Over the years, many people simply avoided the thoroughfare altogether, overlooking the fact that it still had several fine historic buildings as well as some of Denver's funkiest retail stores. Now Colfax has turned the corner, and people are finally rediscovering the potential of downtown's doorstep. More than a dozen buildings have recently been renovated, the Fillmore Auditorium brings in world-famous musicians, and loft and office conversions have delivered a jolt of energy. Let's hope East Colfax can hang on to its offbeat spirit as the developers move in so that Denver will have a main street it can truly be proud of.

Call it monstrous or magnificent, bombastic or beautiful. That the spanking-new Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness at the University of Denver could elicit such a wide range of responses suggests the aesthetic power of the $70 million athletic facility. Designed by Denver architect Cabell Childress, with technical support from the Davis Partnership, the center opened last fall, but some finishing touches -- like a gigantic ceramic tile mural by Maynard Tishler -- are still being applied. The focal point of the whole thing is its impressive and overscaled gothic tower, which is surrounded by a dizzying array of rectilinear wings. But there's also the inspired and mind-boggling abundance of expensive materials, like the two-tone sandstone and limestone on some of the exterior walls, the copper sheeting around the rest, or the gold leaf that has been generously applied to the tower's conical roof. More than anything else, it was Childress's ambitious vision and DU's apparently very deep pockets that made the postmodern Ritchie Center the best of the many buildings that rose from the ground in Denver last year.

Readers' choice: The Pepsi Center

Call it monstrous or magnificent, bombastic or beautiful. That the spanking-new Daniel L. Ritchie Center for Sports and Wellness at the University of Denver could elicit such a wide range of responses suggests the aesthetic power of the $70 million athletic facility. Designed by Denver architect Cabell Childress, with technical support from the Davis Partnership, the center opened last fall, but some finishing touches -- like a gigantic ceramic tile mural by Maynard Tishler -- are still being applied. The focal point of the whole thing is its impressive and overscaled gothic tower, which is surrounded by a dizzying array of rectilinear wings. But there's also the inspired and mind-boggling abundance of expensive materials, like the two-tone sandstone and limestone on some of the exterior walls, the copper sheeting around the rest, or the gold leaf that has been generously applied to the tower's conical roof. More than anything else, it was Childress's ambitious vision and DU's apparently very deep pockets that made the postmodern Ritchie Center the best of the many buildings that rose from the ground in Denver last year.

Readers' choice: The Pepsi Center

High-rises have been popping up like mushrooms in the past year, but instead of being downtown, most of them are in the suburbs, where it seems that every community is creating its own skyscraper park -- just about all of which have been soaring successes. The first and foremost of these many decentralized central business districts is the Denver Tech Center and its adjacent developments in south Denver, Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills Village, where it has been the tradition to build high-style examples of cutting-edge contemporary architecture. The latest masterpiece to adorn the south corridor is the Hines Tower, a neo-modern sculptural triumph by Pickard Chilton Architects of New Haven, Connecticut. Made of polished metal and tinted glass that has been as carefully detailed as a piece of jewelry, the thirteen-story building was assembled in a complicated group of volumes and shapes that have been clustered and stacked. The shiny metal framework grid that envelops the curtain walls makes the building appear taller, because the position of the interior's floors cannot be seen from the outside, as is typically done. Even among its handsome neighbors in and around the DTC, many of them visible from I-25, the sharp-looking Hines tower stands out.
High-rises have been popping up like mushrooms in the past year, but instead of being downtown, most of them are in the suburbs, where it seems that every community is creating its own skyscraper park -- just about all of which have been soaring successes. The first and foremost of these many decentralized central business districts is the Denver Tech Center and its adjacent developments in south Denver, Greenwood Village and Cherry Hills Village, where it has been the tradition to build high-style examples of cutting-edge contemporary architecture. The latest masterpiece to adorn the south corridor is the Hines Tower, a neo-modern sculptural triumph by Pickard Chilton Architects of New Haven, Connecticut. Made of polished metal and tinted glass that has been as carefully detailed as a piece of jewelry, the thirteen-story building was assembled in a complicated group of volumes and shapes that have been clustered and stacked. The shiny metal framework grid that envelops the curtain walls makes the building appear taller, because the position of the interior's floors cannot be seen from the outside, as is typically done. Even among its handsome neighbors in and around the DTC, many of them visible from I-25, the sharp-looking Hines tower stands out.
The widow of Bob Magness, legendary founder of cable company TCI, Sharon Magness is one society lady who's concerned with more than just fashion shows and stuffy luncheons -- though she seems to like those, too -- and she's become Denver's go-to woman for those in need. While Magness is involved with many of the groups traditionally patronized by Denver's elite, including the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, she also gave $250,000 to the campaign to replace the library at Columbine High School after the parents of the massacre victims asked the community for help, as well as millions to Volunteers of America, which works with the homeless, the elderly and the destitute. It's this attention to the most vulnerable Denverites that sets Magness apart from the rest. Well, that and her tendency to arrive at black-tie dinners astride her Arabian horse Thunder, the Broncos' mascot.

The widow of Bob Magness, legendary founder of cable company TCI, Sharon Magness is one society lady who's concerned with more than just fashion shows and stuffy luncheons -- though she seems to like those, too -- and she's become Denver's go-to woman for those in need. While Magness is involved with many of the groups traditionally patronized by Denver's elite, including the Denver Art Museum and the Denver Center for the Performing Arts, she also gave $250,000 to the campaign to replace the library at Columbine High School after the parents of the massacre victims asked the community for help, as well as millions to Volunteers of America, which works with the homeless, the elderly and the destitute. It's this attention to the most vulnerable Denverites that sets Magness apart from the rest. Well, that and her tendency to arrive at black-tie dinners astride her Arabian horse Thunder, the Broncos' mascot.

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