Things to Do

Five Cool Things: September 22, 2009

Once a week, Susan Froyd muses on five things about Denver worth celebrating. Don't let them slip through the cracks.

The artists and kids who collaborate year in and year out at PlatteForum get a huge outspilling of warmth from this local-arts observer: They're living proof of the cultivating power of nurture over nature and, well, just plain cool, hence the appearance in this blog. I. Am. Here., the latest effort from PlatteForum's ArtLab mentoring program, follows suit. The original play created and performed by Denver youth, with help from mentors José Mercado and Craig Volk and CU-Denver theater students, is a step inside the reality of a modern-day high school student, written straight from the heart. The play premieres in full glory at the King Center in the Auraria campus, beginning September 24. Admission is $12 and stunningly worth it; get information at the website.

It's always a good thing for Denver when the retooled poetry showcase (and brainchild of Westword Mastermind Ashara Ekundayo) Café Nuba breaks the silence. Step aside, quietude, for the Café Nuba Doc/Fest, three nights of film screenings and live spoken-word performances by the likes of Last Poets founding member Abiodun Oyewole, beginning October 1 at the Starz Filmcenter. And the crystal ball also reveals another Café Nuba appearance on October 10, when the one and only Gil Scott-Heron performs at the b.side in Boulder. We are surely blessed.

Three more things to go.

On the retail front, here's one thing that's not so cool, but at least it's poignant: Belmar will lose yet another little chunk of individuality when the Japanese pop culture emporium Gimme Gimme Pillow Toast closes its corporeal doors after this weekend for a go in the world of cyber-shopping. But as co-owner Andrew Novick reveals, the sassy temple of cuteness won't disappear without appreciating friends of the shop. Stop by on Saturday afternoon for bargains, a web store kickoff and -- omigod! -- Thai iced coffee cupcakes. After that, Novick promises, GGPT (the only store in the area I know of that, in a quandary of epic proportions, is not only named after an actual dish, but that actually once had a menu item named after it at an actual local restaurant) will also reappear in physical form at occasional pop-up store engagements. Gimme gimme more!

Also bittersweet: Friday marks the last Untitled event of the season at the Denver Art Museum. Herd, with an instantly fun theme of creative collaboration, takes the series -- which promises to return at a later date -- out with a bang. That would include a guided viewing of Sandy Skoglund's Fox Games installation, the chance of a stint with the People's Kazoo Orchestra, a video scavenger hunt hosted by the Denver production studio Lockerpartners and a collaborative art making project with local artist/gadabout Lauri Lynnxe Murphy ("We're creating a 'herd' of magnetic mutant animals," she explains), to name a few of the event's more fetching activities. What a sendoff: Go here for details.

Do you bike? Here's one more thing you can do on yours, tonight, assuming it's not snowing: The "all bikes for all people" Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop, settling nicely into its new LoHi location, is hosting a free bike-in movie at 8 p.m., featuring a program of short films. What else? Also at 8 p.m., the ongoing Tuesday-night Loops bike ride commences, also from Salvagetti, and Salvagetti's second-to-last Sunday Morning Bike Ride is skedded for October 4 at 8 a.m. Pedal on.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd