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Evan Semon

Play Ball! Downtown Is Back

Downtown is not dead, says Mayor Michael Hancock, who remembers when it really was: during the oil bust of the '80s. “We've been through challenges, but we're not dead,” Hancock told a crowd gathered yesterday to hear the city's plans to reinvigorate the downtown area post-pandemic: a roller rink replacing the skating rink, banners by local artists, more safety and security teams, and five pop-up shops that entrepreneurs will put in empty retail spaces on the 16th Street Mall — which will break ground next week on a major renovation.

Guerilla Garden, a street-art studio founded by Jolt, a Denver native and graffiti artist, will take over space in the University Building at 910 16th Street. “As a north Denver native, somebody that grew up with the culture of the 16th Street Mall, I remember coming down here to Woolworth’s to get a pizza with my grandma,” Jolt shared. “This was a hub for culture and community, which it still is, and for me to carry on with that and bring my art down here…we aspire now to have a flagship here in downtown Denver and to share that art.”

Other signs of better times ahead: Traffic is back (yes, traffic is a good thing), Denver ranks in the top five cities for restaurant reservations, and today is Opening Day for the Colorado Rockies. Play ball!

Personal Best: Tim Jackson Is on a Roll

For the Best of Denver 2022, which is now online and on the streets, we asked some of our favorite folks in the city to share their personal bests. And that got Tim Jackson, CEO of the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association, on a roll. Here's his best place to take visitors to Denver:

"Confluence Park on the REI side, where I cycle favorite bike lanes (not on the side of Denver’s busiest streets), have an energy drink at Starbucks and catch some of Denver’s finest rays." And if he has a little more time?

"Cycle Cherry Creek bicycle trail, Denver REI to Cherry Creek State Park and on to the E-470 trail, to the C-470 trail, west to Chatfield State Park, and then north on Platte River Trail back to REI, with requisite breaks at Krispy Kreme (Quebec and C-470) and Nixon’s Coffee House at Hudson Gardens on the Platte River Trail, when you are more than ready for a strawberry banana smoothie, poured down sans straw!"

Ready for a ride? See the Best of Denver 2022.

Buntport Rules: Its Fiftieth Show Debuts Tonight

Two decades ago, a group of ex-students from Colorado College founded Buntport, a unique Denver theater company that created brilliant, innovative, original productions. The earliest Buntport offering consisted of two Shakespeare plays, King Lear and The Tempest, in a one-evening performance. Lear’s daughters were represented by inanimate objects — a plastic flower, a high-heeled shoe. The ocean at the heart of The Tempest was a kiddie pool. And everyone wondered: How long could this crazy organization survive?

A long time, it turns out. This weekend, Buntport opens its fiftieth production: Richard, a play inspired by England’s Richard III, whose image has been indelibly shaped by Shakespeare’s play named for the king. Buntport's version? “Richard is a comedy about Richard III enthusiasts, Victorian undergarments, and the lying liars that make theater,” the company promises.

Find out more when Buntport's Richard debuts tonight. In the meantime, read Juliet Wittman's update on this only-in-Denver theater group.

The Weekend Starts Now

Yes, this is Opening Day, and restaurants and bars not just around Coors Field but all over town are offering special deals. Molly Martin serves up some of the best food and drink specials here.

This is a big concert weekend, too, with the Red Rocks season underway and Ministry at the Mission. See our list of the biggest shows here.

And there's more, much more, including art openings, markets and festivals, and other events that won't cost you a dime.

Denver is not dead! Live it up!

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