When it comes to people-watching, RTD passengers are spoiled. Every route offers the amateur sociologist a wide array of snooping opportunities, but Route 52 is particularly choice. This is one of the routes subcontracted out to Laidlaw, a private firm that hires non-union drivers to drive smaller-than-usual buses, and the cramped quarters are especially conducive to unfettered eavesdropping. Route 52 serves four schools -- Regis University, the University of Denver, South High School and P.S. 1 -- which gives passengers a chance to catch up on all the latest student gossip. (The P.S. 1 riders are especially loud in sharing the most graphic details of their peers' private lives.) In stark contrast to those lively youth are the moribund riders who use the bus to access care at Denver Health; it's a testament to the human spirit to see them at their worst, yet holding their own against the attitudes of impatient youth. The bickering/gossiping is the perfect soundtrack for a route that zigs and zags nonsensically from an outer-city suburb to an inner-city strip mall, and the confusion is only amplified when the driver makes a wrong turn (it happens!) and has to be shouted back on course by a bus full of anxious backseat drivers. With Route 52, RTD is more than just "the Ride"; it's a thrill-a-minute amusement-park ride.
When it comes to people-watching, RTD passengers are spoiled. Every route offers the amateur sociologist a wide array of snooping opportunities, but Route 52 is particularly choice. This is one of the routes subcontracted out to Laidlaw, a private firm that hires non-union drivers to drive smaller-than-usual buses, and the cramped quarters are especially conducive to unfettered eavesdropping. Route 52 serves four schools -- Regis University, the University of Denver, South High School and P.S. 1 -- which gives passengers a chance to catch up on all the latest student gossip. (The P.S. 1 riders are especially loud in sharing the most graphic details of their peers' private lives.) In stark contrast to those lively youth are the moribund riders who use the bus to access care at Denver Health; it's a testament to the human spirit to see them at their worst, yet holding their own against the attitudes of impatient youth. The bickering/gossiping is the perfect soundtrack for a route that zigs and zags nonsensically from an outer-city suburb to an inner-city strip mall, and the confusion is only amplified when the driver makes a wrong turn (it happens!) and has to be shouted back on course by a bus full of anxious backseat drivers. With Route 52, RTD is more than just "the Ride"; it's a thrill-a-minute amusement-park ride.


Best Place to See a B-52 Bomber (This Side of Iraq)

Wings Over the Rockies Museum

Wings Over the Rockies Air and Space Museum
Watching CNN's war coverage can be overwhelming, with all those talking heads spewing out acronyms and nicknames in some incomprehensible military jargon. There are so many references to Raptors, Falcons and Eagles, Blackhawks and Apaches, F-14s, 15s, 16s, 18s and 22s that you can't tell what the heck they're talking about -- football scores, maybe? But boning up on aviation history is easy at Wings Over the Rockies Museum, located on the former Lowry air base. The museum is a remnant of yesterday's glory, tucked in amid the nascent office parks and unsettlingly serene housing developments that are Lowry's present and future. As you approach the museum, the first thing you see is a massive B-52 bomber, part of an impressive collection of vintage aircraft that will give any aviation buff a lift. You'll find few World War II-era planes here, but the museum's assortment of jet aircraft is quite impressive. Highlights include an F-14 Tomcat, just like the one used in Top Gun, and the sleek B-1 bomber, with its payload of (inactive) cruise missiles. Be sure to check out the gift shop, where you can purchase a model B-52, made in Vietnam. Ah, the ironies of global power.

Best Place to See a B-52 Bomber (This Side of Iraq)

Wings Over the Rockies Museum

Watching CNN's war coverage can be overwhelming, with all those talking heads spewing out acronyms and nicknames in some incomprehensible military jargon. There are so many references to Raptors, Falcons and Eagles, Blackhawks and Apaches, F-14s, 15s, 16s, 18s and 22s that you can't tell what the heck they're talking about -- football scores, maybe? But boning up on aviation history is easy at Wings Over the Rockies Museum, located on the former Lowry air base. The museum is a remnant of yesterday's glory, tucked in amid the nascent office parks and unsettlingly serene housing developments that are Lowry's present and future. As you approach the museum, the first thing you see is a massive B-52 bomber, part of an impressive collection of vintage aircraft that will give any aviation buff a lift. You'll find few World War II-era planes here, but the museum's assortment of jet aircraft is quite impressive. Highlights include an F-14 Tomcat, just like the one used in Top Gun, and the sleek B-1 bomber, with its payload of (inactive) cruise missiles. Be sure to check out the gift shop, where you can purchase a model B-52, made in Vietnam. Ah, the ironies of global power.

Best Use for Excess Homeland Insecurity Supplies

Ducti Wallets and Purses

Orange alerts have you a little rattled? Did you get all caught up in the duct-tape-and-plastic-sheeting frenzy, and now your garage looks like the supply shed for Possum Lodge? Take a deep breath and take heart in what others have done with the handyman's secret weapon. David and Joy Pippenger and Wade Morrison took a long look at duct tape and decided to turn it into purses and wallets -- the Ducti products that the rest of the country's rapidly getting stuck on. Ducti's four styles (messenger bags are coming soon) are selling out at Denver's Imi Jimi, as well as surf shops and boutiques across the country. They also make excellent free shwag, as seen on TV with Danny Bonaduce and at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and they were recently featured on the front page of the fashion-forward Wall Street Journal. Orange fashion alert: The edges of regular duct tape tend to fray, the glue leaks, seams lift up, and the whole thing can melt and smell bad, so choose your apparel applications wisely.

Best Use for Excess Homeland Insecurity Supplies

Ducti Wallets and Purses

Orange alerts have you a little rattled? Did you get all caught up in the duct-tape-and-plastic-sheeting frenzy, and now your garage looks like the supply shed for Possum Lodge? Take a deep breath and take heart in what others have done with the handyman's secret weapon. David and Joy Pippenger and Wade Morrison took a long look at duct tape and decided to turn it into purses and wallets -- the Ducti products that the rest of the country's rapidly getting stuck on. Ducti's four styles (messenger bags are coming soon) are selling out at Denver's Imi Jimi, as well as surf shops and boutiques across the country. They also make excellent free shwag, as seen on TV with Danny Bonaduce and at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and they were recently featured on the front page of the fashion-forward Wall Street Journal. Orange fashion alert: The edges of regular duct tape tend to fray, the glue leaks, seams lift up, and the whole thing can melt and smell bad, so choose your apparel applications wisely.


You've got three tons of urban assault vehicle strapped to your back, but it won't get you to your remote mountain sanctuary unless you know how to use it. In fact, it won't get you out of a snowy King Soopers parking lot, either, unless you learn how to handle it on slick roads. Enter Medved Autoplex, which sponsors an ice-driving academy for its new Hummer owners. This winter, thirty gasoline-powered H2s took laps around Georgetown Lake as their drivers dodged cones and practiced emergency braking maneuvers, learning that any four-wheel drive turns into four-wheel slide on ice, even if you did pay sixty grand for the beast.
You've got three tons of urban assault vehicle strapped to your back, but it won't get you to your remote mountain sanctuary unless you know how to use it. In fact, it won't get you out of a snowy King Soopers parking lot, either, unless you learn how to handle it on slick roads. Enter Medved Autoplex, which sponsors an ice-driving academy for its new Hummer owners. This winter, thirty gasoline-powered H2s took laps around Georgetown Lake as their drivers dodged cones and practiced emergency braking maneuvers, learning that any four-wheel drive turns into four-wheel slide on ice, even if you did pay sixty grand for the beast.


If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.
If looking sharp helps you be sharp, the U.S. Mint Police are the cutting edge. In October, the 450-officer force received the Best Dressed Police Department Award in the specialized-agency category from the National Association of Uniform Manufacturers and Distributors. The uniforms, designed by Galls Inc. of Lexington, Kentucky, come in LAPD Blue, with long- and short-sleeved versions that can be worn with a tie or a turtleneck. Check out the Denver Mint contingent -- serving, protecting and styling while the newest statehood quarters clank off the presses.


Best Of Denver®

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