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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: Living life on the edge in East Colfax

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The study of neighbors through their lawn decoration...

Figure 39. East Colfax: Emperor penguin on the edge

All of the exotic creatures that come to Denver eventually end up on East Colfax Avenue. So, it should be no surprise to find a penguin perched on a porch in the neighborhood named for the city's most celebrated street. Sandwiched between the bitterly cold Stapleton and utterly inhospitable Lowry neighborhoods, East Colfax is an incredibly rich environment that is teeming with life and extraordinary bio-diversity. It is a magnet for penguins and people who are drawn to a rich feeding ground of urbanity. Here they can meet their social and cultural needs on the edge of the city, free from exclusions and covenants of new urbanist ideology.

The Emperor Penguin pictured above perfectly captures the neighborhood spirit. The penguin's plywood perch on the down-sloping porch roof suggests a homeowner with a lifelong love of sledding. That the bird is frozen in a descending position indicates a preference for "going down" over "heading up." The precarious placement at the eave hints at a desire for the excitement that comes from continually living life on the edge. The plunging penguin also intimates at an offbeat solution to scare away pesky pigeons that are impervious to the plastic owls available at local garden shops.

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