Best Parking Lot Art Gallery 2010 | 3701 to 3821 E. Colfax Ave. | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

Having public artworks replace private cars could be the perfect example of Mayor John Hickenlooper's plan to transform Denver from an outpost of the automotive age into the very model of a creative-class city. The empty parking lots of this shuttered John Elway Ford dealership are separated from the City Park neighborhood to the north by an aging wooden security fence hung with lively works of contemporary art. The artwork east of Gar­field Street consists of colorful constructions that handily show what a good artist can do with leftover mate­rials and scraps of time; the pieces hanging on the fence east of Jackson Street are assembled from repurposed wooden screen doors and discarded housewares. This gallery is open at all hours; art lovers are encouraged to bring their own wine and cheese.

Best Addition to the National Register of Historic Places

Bastien's Restaurant

Molly Martin

It's easy to think of Bastien's as a time machine perpetually dialed to 1958. That was the year Bastien's opened, and it's been run by the same family for the past five decades — which means it hasn't been subjected to the regular remod­eling that comes with new owners trying to hook trendy prima diners. From the outside, the folded-plate roof and neon-embellished sign reflects Denver architect Bernard N. Cahlander Jr.'s interpretation of the Googie movement of Southern California coffee-shop design. And now those touches have landed the building on the National Register of Historic Places. Once the very definition of contemporary, the sunken circular bay, the hemispherical skylight and the metal screens seem as quaint as the tufted ottomans in a Victorian mansion — and they're just as important to preserve.

Who knew marketing geeks could be so much fun? The Denver Egotist blog bills itself as a one-stop shop for news and job opportunities relating to Denver's advertising and marketing scene. But the people behind it — Denver Egotist doesn't reveal the names of those involved — don't mind getting down and dirty when the need arises. Take the Great Chipotle War of 2009. Last year, when the local burrito-chain-done-good unveiled a new "Low Roller" menu and marketing campaign and did away with its long-cherished, big-ass foil-wrapped burrito ads, the Egotists took it personally. That's why they launched a counter-offensive on, a site full of hypothetical ads with slogans like "Bring back the ads with balls" and "Your new ad campaign is made with 100 percent chicken shit." Who knows? Maybe Cheapotle was one of the reasons Chipotle soon toned down its "Low Roller" campaign. After all, hell hath no fury like an ad guy scorned.

How tweet it is! Since December, it's been illegal to use a cell phone to text or send e-mail while driving — and for drivers under eighteen, it's now illegal to use a cell phone at all while driving. "Today drivers will have to start breaking a bad habit," said Governor Bill Ritter. Now, about using that cell phone while on a bicycle...

When Stacey Donaldson came to Channel 31 six years ago, her naughty-librarian look immediately won fans. And those fans are still crying over Donaldson's ouster from Channel 4, where she moved to the morning show three years ago — before being let loose in February. Despite her minxish looks, Donaldson offered up her weather report with a minimum of shtick.

Perched in a quiet garden above the chaotic exchange where Federal Boulevard and West Sixth Avenue meet I-25, the Mother of Our Lord has the mother of all views. The small statue stands with bowed head beneath a stately pine tree in a grotto near the rectory of the Presentation of Our Lady Catholic School and parish. Though she is slightly turned away from the photogenic view of the city, she does look over the busy exchange, a position that may help in the speedier delivery of prayers for commuters negotiating the tangle of roadways.

Like a suitcase stored between vacations, the A.E. Meek Trunk and Baggage Company Building sits empty, waiting for its next big adventure. And like an antique steamer trunk, the structure is decorated with stylish graphics commemorating its passage through time. The storefront sign replicates the century-old script originally used by the suitcase seller, while the alley sign is a genuine vintage metal-and-neon masterpiece of a now-lost Denver. Although the neon has been pulled off, the original paint and deco-moderne styling still shine, illuminating how the color and fashion trends of a bygone era have come almost full circle. The next time you visit downtown to see the sights, take a side trip through the alley between Stout and California streets to view a true treasure.

Over the years, Survivor has gone to a lot of exotic places: Borneo, the Amazon River region of Brazil, the Pearl Islands. By choosing outer space as its next location and putting the cast of contenders on a decommissioned space shuttle, Survivor executive producer Mark Barnett could simultaneously save the space program and send Richard Heene exactly where so many would like to see him go. Off the planet. Let's do it for the show!

There is, admittedly, slim competition in this category. Perhaps because they're too busy doing stuff out in the real world, Denverites don't produce an overwhelming number of consistent, competent blogs. But even if the crowd is meager, ColoradoPols stands out, with its constant stream of smart, in-the-know insights into the local and statewide political scenes. Whether it's breaking news, commenting on it or just synthesizing the work of other journalists, Pols injects each post with a sense of authority and writes with just enough attitude to make the blog readable without being annoying.

It was uncomfortable to watch Dave Fraser have to perform his job without the suit and tie that's the uniform of most professional weathercasters. It was like watching a man with his zipper down. But now that Channel 2 has dumped the hip Deuce concept, Fraser is free to tie one on.

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