Best Development to Come Out of the News-Post Joint Operating Agreement

Comics

Quit the funny business! The newspaper war's over, and the terms of the settlement make readers the undisputed victors in one area: comics. Come April, the Denver Post will boast the largest Sunday comics section in the country, since it's adding the Rocky Mountain News's former lineup to its own on that day. (The News will return the favor by running the Post's comics on Saturday -- but those aren't the big, four-color Sunday funnies.) You might not give a hoot about Willy 'n' Ethel, much less that fusspot Nancy. But for many readers, comic strips are the most important part of their Sunday paper -- and they complain long and hard whenever the dailies fool around with them. Now, though, it won't be a matter of one paper stealing Garfield from the other -- they'll share weekend custody of the curmudgeonly cat. But since the Post won the right to print the town's only Sunday rag, that's where you'll find the lollapalooza of laughs -- everything from A (Annie, Little Orphan) to Z (Zippy the Pinhead). It's double the pleasure, double the funnies.

Best Insult of the Denver Post in the Rocky Mountain News

Written by Lynn Bartels

To the chagrin of her editors, reporter/columnist Lynn Bartels wrote in an October 1 piece that the prose in a "how-to tome for incoming lawmakers" by the Office of Legislative Legal Services was "so technical and boring it reads like the Denver Post."

Best Insult of the Rocky Mountain News in the Denver Post

Written by Chuck Green

In a September 18 column, Chuck Green, who's done more crowing about the Post's JOA victory than anyone this side of Dean Singleton, wrote that he'd never considered switching to the Rocky Mountain News during his time in newspapering for a simple reason: "Why work for a bunch of liars and thieves when you can fight on the side of goodness and virtue -- and come out the winner, too?"
Readers' Digest

In the end, Fred saved our sanity.

The Best of Denver 2001 ballots had arrived by e-mail, over the Web, under the front door and via the U.S. Postal Service. We'd wept our way through hundreds of votes for McDonald's as Best French Fries, chewed on Tums through hundreds more for Taco Bell as Best Taco, and tossed out a big stack of bloody ballots stuffed with votes for Best Tattoo Artist -- a category that didn't even appear on our Best of Denver 2001 Readers' Poll.

And then we found Fred.

Fred is the shop dog at Miss Talulah's. Technically, our poll hadn't requested nominations for the town's Best Shop Dog, either, but that didn't stop 69 of Fred's fans from signing a pro-Fred petition -- complete with photo of Fred, tongue lolling and wearing what could be a whistle or maybe a chile pepper around his neck: "As the fuzzy, furry greeter of Miss Talulah's, Fred knows what it takes to make each customer feel important. A dedicated employee, rain or shine, Fred remains focused on the customer. Always making sure that no one enters the shop unnoticed nor leaves without first receiving some love. Support Fred in his quest for greatness!"

We were moved, even tempted, to so anoint Fred, but his quest faced an insurmountable hurdle: We'd previously determined that Miss Talulah's, his home turf, was a truly great addition to Denver's shopping scene and had already tapped it for a Best of Denver award. To also stroke Fred would be a bit excessive, we decided. Still, we appreciated the efforts of Fred's supporters, our readers, who were willing to go the extra distance for a dog.

Like all of the people, places and pooches mentioned in this year's Best of Denver, our readers are something to celebrate.

Thanks to the recently released Census Bureau statistics, we know what Denver looks like at the start of the millennium. How many of us there are, and what ethnic backgrounds we claim. Who lives in the city, who lives in the suburbs. We even know how many of us own our own homes. But these statistics don't capture the Denver we see every day, the one our readers share when they fill out their Readers' Poll ballots.

Through those readers, we discovered:

The Best Place to Find a Famed Photo of Tom Jones in a Pair of Speedos and Boxing Gloves is Eccentricals, which just happens to be the spot we'd already picked for the Best Store Anywhere on Colfax Avenue. The Best Way to Spend a Rainy Saturday Afternoon is looking up your house's history in the Western History Department of the Denver Public Library, an institution that's a frequent high-flyer in our Best of Denver issues. The Best Place to Go When There's Nothing Else to Do at Night is Dave & Busters, where you can always watch a bar fight.

We also discovered that, in addition to being wise, our readers are a funny bunch. They have no more patience with the fabricated "Convergence Corridor" nickname than we do, and suggested that the best replacement might be Mess Trap, Denvoid, Malfunction Junction or Blow Hole. For Wellington Webb's next job, they suggested concessions manager at Invesco Field, chauffeur for Wilma, baggage handler at DIA or superintendent at DPS. Readers got even more creative with the Best Next Job for Wilma Webb, suggesting she consider being a fine-arts dealer in Africa or an Avon lady.

Clearly, Denverites have a healthy disrespect for the trappings of power, which they made clear with their second-place pick for Best Power Lunch. Jamba Juice, anyone?

There are any number of travel agencies and Web sites out there willing to explain the joys of hacking through some fetid South American rainforest. When you need the real dope, though, head to the Jefferson County Health Department's International Health Clinic. There, Janet Ballantyne, the take-no-microbes registered nurse who runs the joint, will give you the lowdown on -- and vaccines for -- the tubercular-ridden, Japanese-encephalitis-infested corner of the world you thought you wanted to visit (until now). An office visit is $15 plus the cost of the vaccines; a full "be scared -- be very scared" consultation is $50.
There are any number of travel agencies and Web sites out there willing to explain the joys of hacking through some fetid South American rainforest. When you need the real dope, though, head to the Jefferson County Health Department's International Health Clinic. There, Janet Ballantyne, the take-no-microbes registered nurse who runs the joint, will give you the lowdown on -- and vaccines for -- the tubercular-ridden, Japanese-encephalitis-infested corner of the world you thought you wanted to visit (until now). An office visit is $15 plus the cost of the vaccines; a full "be scared -- be very scared" consultation is $50.

Best Place to Get Away Without Facing Scary Microbes

Window to the World Museum

Tired of viewing old pot shards and ethnic weaving products in tasteful displays behind glass? Time to pay a call on Window to the World Museum, a private museum-in-a-mall that holds a globe-girdling collection of memorabilia and souvenirs from its owner/curator's adventures. Sue Koenig taught in Jefferson County schools for twenty years, traveling on her summers off. But in 1984 she decided she wanted something entirely different, so she signed on with an oil company to teach in Saudi Arabia. But when she arrived, she discovered a single woman couldn't check into a hotel room alone, much less run a classroom. Koenig eventually found a job arranging and leading tours outside of the country, and didn't return to the States for good for another twelve years. Today, she keeps busy tending to her 44,000-pound collection of keepsakes from 108 countries, which she shows to groups-- by appointment only.

Best Place to Get Away Without Facing Scary Microbes

Window to the World Museum

Tired of viewing old pot shards and ethnic weaving products in tasteful displays behind glass? Time to pay a call on Window to the World Museum, a private museum-in-a-mall that holds a globe-girdling collection of memorabilia and souvenirs from its owner/curator's adventures. Sue Koenig taught in Jefferson County schools for twenty years, traveling on her summers off. But in 1984 she decided she wanted something entirely different, so she signed on with an oil company to teach in Saudi Arabia. But when she arrived, she discovered a single woman couldn't check into a hotel room alone, much less run a classroom. Koenig eventually found a job arranging and leading tours outside of the country, and didn't return to the States for good for another twelve years. Today, she keeps busy tending to her 44,000-pound collection of keepsakes from 108 countries, which she shows to groups-- by appointment only.

Doug and Barbara Crispin managed to grow African violets in the tundra. That should tell you something about the crop at their shop in Englewood, the Violet Showcase, the only store of its kind in the country. The Violet Showcase is packed with new and unusual varieties of the world's most popular houseplant, African violets in pink, purple, white, red and all colors in between. The Crispins grow and sell flowers in the store, stock everything from grow lights to leaf support rings to self-watering pots, and ship orders nationwide. "It's an odd little business," Doug says of the 31-year-old shop. "We're basically a plant farm, roadside stand, mail-order company and retail shop all in one."
Doug and Barbara Crispin managed to grow African violets in the tundra. That should tell you something about the crop at their shop in Englewood, the Violet Showcase, the only store of its kind in the country. The Violet Showcase is packed with new and unusual varieties of the world's most popular houseplant, African violets in pink, purple, white, red and all colors in between. The Crispins grow and sell flowers in the store, stock everything from grow lights to leaf support rings to self-watering pots, and ship orders nationwide. "It's an odd little business," Doug says of the 31-year-old shop. "We're basically a plant farm, roadside stand, mail-order company and retail shop all in one."

Best Of Denver®