To generate a little community spirit -- and to prove that it is hip -- Denver's Department of Community Planning and Development is asking residents to name their favorite places in town. To participate, you just need to share your spot via Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, using the hashtag #favoriteplacedenver and including text, photos or videos.
There's no hashtag for least favorite places. But maybe there should be....
The planning department's social media campaign "is an opportunity to shout from the rooftop what you love about your favorite rooftop -- or plaza, street, park, alley, patio, etc. There's no right or wrong answer," the city promises. "Your submissions will kick-start a wide-open Denver love-fest to foster civic pride and learn from each other how we can make our beloved city even better."
Of course, some of our favorite places are long gone: Celebrity Sports Center, Mile High Stadium, Daddy Bruce's Bar-B-Que. But there are hundreds of other favorite places that Westword recognizes each and every year -- and without a hashtag -- in our annual Best of Denver issue.
Still, the city's campaign, which runs through September, got us thinking -- not just about our favorites, but also our least favorite places. And there are plenty of them, many traffic-related (guess we should ride our bikes more). In fact, rather than trying to fix what ain't broken, maybe the city should start by trying to address #leastfavoriteplacesdenver and go from there.
Here are our top ten least favorite places in Denver:
While Confluence Park is one of our favorite places, our least favorite is up the Platte a few miles. Only the brave breathe the air for more than a few seconds at the confluence of the South Platte and Sand Creek, next to the Suncor refinery. Dead raccoons and fish bobbing in the benzene brew make this a scenic spot for picnics -- or the flailing of penitents. Number 9:
The men's rooms at Sports Authority Field at Mile High are crowded, usually bereft of soap, and they smell bad. And we understand that you're drunk and loud and excited, but please don't slap us on the back while we're peeing. Oh, and try to aim. Continue to keep counting down our ten least favorite places in Denver. Number 8:
The downtown park can be lovely-- when it's not full of sweaty people, bad food, more sweaty people at crowdedsummer festivals in Civic Center. Number 7:
The Parking Magistrate Office in the Webb Building. Once upon a time, back when the parking-ticket referee was based in a charming little courtroom in the City & County Building, stopping by to protest a ticket was actually pleasant. You usually got a third off the fine just for showing up, and the referee listened attentively to every cockamamie story. Today, though, a root canal is more enjoyable than telling it to this judge -- who just doesn't care, no matter how completely unfair your ticket might be. Continue to keep counting down our ten least favorite places in Denver. Number 6:
RTD's Civic Center Station is a direct ride to hell -- especially when compared to the stunning new bus terminal at Union Station. It's dirty, smelly and way too public -- particularly if you're using one of the doorless bathroom stalls. Number 5:
Colorado Boulevard between Colfax and Yale avenues. The saying used to be that you could get anywhere in Denver in fifteen minutes. Now it takes that long just to inch along any six-block-long stretch here. Continue to keep counting down our ten least favorite places in Denver. Number 4:
LoDo and Ballpark after let-out are a surreal nightmare of drunken bros and ho's, gangstas and gangsta wannabes, homeless guys begging for money, snarky bouncers, aggro drivers and general douchebaggery. Number 3:
Any Whole Foods parking lot, but especially that one in Cherry Creek. Oh, and the parking lots of Sprouts and Trader Joe's, as well. Continue to keep counting down our ten least favorite places in Denver. Number 2:
Cherry Creek North, which has been the most hellish construction zone for months and months, without any apparent light at the end of the tunnel. Number 1:
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SHOW ME HOW
I-70 eastbound on a Sunday night in the winter, or the summer, or in the morning, or really anytime on a Sunday, during any season.
Let's just give thanks that our least favorite place in the metro area is outside of Denver city limits: the checkout line at Ikea. Oh, Sweden!