You think cops live on the wild side? You haven't really seen the seamy underbelly of the city until you've shadowed one of the city's public-health inspectors as they check out whether restaurants, tattoo parlors and swimming pools are meeting required safety standards or investigate the source of a neighborhood noise complaint. You must apply in advance (and pass a background check if you're interested in child-care facilities) and there's no guarantee what kind of inspection you may be in for, but the agency tries to accommodate the curious public. Just be sure to follow the rules, like the one about no free treats from restaurant owners.

denvergov.org

The bus starts here! This photo booth comes to you ready to roll, no setup needed. But Photo Bus DNVR has other charms, including the bus itself, a vintage 1971 green Volkswagen named Huey the Hulk, outfitted with fun props, background options and do-it-yourself push-button picture-taking. The bus can park outside or, given accessibility and permission, pull right into your building; there's also an open-air booth option. Part of a fleet of VW Photo Buses operating in ten states, Photo Bus DNVR is portable, social-media-friendly and well-equipped to take and make quality prints. It's the ultimate selfie machine.

thephotobusdnvr.com

Best Denver Instagrammer
Scott Wilson

Scotland raised him, Denver pays him. Scott Wilson's high-flying photos of downtown Denver have propelled him to the top of the Instagramming pack in 2017. Wilson has the advantage of working from one of the highest office buildings in the city, on the 46th floor, and many of his stunning photographs are taken from there. "Very rarely am I shooting once the sun is up," he says. "It's always dusk and dawn." See more work by Wilson at the Denver Photo Art Gallery in the Art District on Santa Fe, where he is a resident artist.

@wilsonaxpe

Readers' Choice: @1000thingstodoindenver

The Central branch library's digital-media lab has mics and mixers, keyboards and guitars — and you don't even need a library card to make use of the facilities. Sessions are walk-in and limited to one hour; the studio has become so popular that the library has launched a second recording space in its Community Technology Center. The Corky Gonzales branch library also has a well-equipped studio, suitable for virtual deejaying, beatmaking and podcasting.

denverlibrary.org/idealab

Changing Denver is well named. The podcast, helmed by Paul Karolyi, does its best to make sense of the explosive growth currently taking place in the Mile High City by examining its impact through a historical lens. Recent topics include the roots of Lakeside Amusement Park and Denver's Civic Center, the persecution of the homeless community in the Arapahoe Square area, an update on Stoner Hill and an interview with Denver city planner Courtland Hyser. Karolyi sets the tone with a polite but persistent interviewing style that doesn't settle for easy answers. After each episode, listeners will feel smarter even as they learn a little more about the rapidly evolving place where they live.

changingdenver.com

Readers' Choice: Jon of All Trades

In African-American communities, barber shops and beauty salons have long served as gathering places to discuss issues of importance without fear of censorship — or worse. In Denver, an organization called Shop Talk Live is keeping that tradition alive, holding multiple meetings each month in barber shops and beauty salons around Aurora. The discussions are deep, inclusive and topical; recent examples are "President Trump. Now what?" and "Race and Islamophobia: the Intersection." Two of the monthly meetings are co-ed and moderated by Theo Wilson, who broadcasts them live; another meeting is female-only, allowing for exploration of gender-related issues. All of the gatherings are free and open to all, with an emphasis on respecting people's opinions, no matter what their views.

shoptalklive.org/denver

Best Source for Up-to-Date Traffic Information — City Go Denver

Go Denver

Waze and other phone apps can be absolute lifesavers (or at least time-savers) when it comes to navigating Denver's streets. But a lot of the information from which most of these services draw is collected by city agencies — and why not go straight to the source? Go Denver, from the City of Denver, lets users choose their preferred ways to travel to assorted destinations, compare alternate routes, plan trips to new places, see detailed views of how to get there, and even track commute history to find out if what once seemed like the best approach has gotten worse.

godenverapp.com/app

Readers' Choice: Google Maps

Best Source for Up-to-Date Traffic Information — Highway

COTrip

Coloradans love hitting the road, but there are plenty of factors that can turn a freewheeling adventure into a nightmare, including road construction, changing conditions, storms that overstay their welcome — and did we mention road construction? To help drivers avoid such issues, the Colorado Department of Transportation's COTrip provides free e-mail and text-message alerts plus route information and interactive maps complete with access to live cameras located across the system that let folks see in real time the pitfalls they're about to encounter.

cotrip.org/home.htm

Readers' Choice: Google Maps

Best Source for Up-to-Date News Information

Denver Post

Like most daily newspapers, the Denver Post has been hit with an onslaught of economic challenges that have caused its staff to shrink. But it remains the largest news operation in the state, and its outreach via Twitter is truly impressive. The Post has dozens of Twitter accounts beyond @DenverPost, including @DenverPostBrk (breaking news), @TheSpot (political news), @DpostSports (sports news), @DenverEntertain (entertainment news) and even @DenverPostLite, for those who only want to get information about the biggest events of the day and would rather not be burdened with the other stuff. At this time in history, we need a strong media more than ever, and supporting the Post with follows and clicks is one way for Coloradans to do their part.

denverpost.com/twitter

Best Source for Up-to-Date Political Information

Complete Colorado

Best Source for Up-to-Date Political Information
Courtesy of Complete Colorado

For a while, Complete Colorado didn't seem long for this world. When driving force Todd Shepherd stepped down late last year in favor of a position with the Washington Examiner in the nation's capital, plenty of fans feared the site would go the way of so many other Internet destinations. But, no: Under Justin Longo, Shepherd's longtime partner, Complete Colorado remains a great one-stop destination for anyone who wants to know what's happening in this state. The frequently updated assemblage of links, from media sources of every description, includes plenty of politics. And while many of the voices come from a conservative perspective, the results are hardly one-sided: No fake news here.

completecolorado.com

Readers' Choice: Denverite

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