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.
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.