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Kenny Be's Yard Arteology: The Sunnyside of North Denver

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The study of neighbors through their lawn ornaments....

Figure 33. Sunnyside: Old tool garden pavers

Sunnyside is like the scrappy little sister of Highland. Though both neighborhoods grew up together on the "wrong side of the tracks" of early Denver, the two developed very different personalities. Highland was popular and got good grades, Sunnyside was a nerd who struggled to get a "C" average. Highland went to college and got a degree in theater, Sunnyside went to vocational school and earned an associate's diploma. Highland used her acting skills and good looks to attract wealthy real-estate developers as suitors, Sunnyside married a good-hearted laborer and raised a family. Highland sold her soul and must now suffer through countless facelifts to remain attractive, Sunnyside ages gracefully and beams beautifully with the sweet charm of old North Denver.

Along every pleasant street, pride and personality pour forth from practically every house. The garden pavers pictured in figure 33 are a perfect case in point. That the yard artist has personalized the pavers by pressing old tools into the concrete suggests an honest craftiness, in vocation, hobby and the reclamation of expired equipment. On the left-hand side of the picture, the placement of the gear wheel in the corner directly opposite the tape measure indicates the striving for a life in perfect balance. In the paver pictured on the right, the treble-clef pattern created by the entombed electrical cord hints in a belief that noisy power tools can be music to the ears and soul. Considering that only half of the jigsaw paver can comfortably be used for stepping, hints that this craftperson may still be working through some control issues.

Look below for more stunning samples of the Sunnyside of North Denver:

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Join the Westword community and help support independent local journalism in Denver.


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