What's your favorite place in Denver? This morning the Denver Department of Community Planning and Development -- whose office is definitely not the favorite place of people applying for building permits and zoning variances -- launched the Favorite Place in Denver campaign, part of an attempt to "launch a citywide conversation about placemaking and city-building." Send your answer to the city by the end of September and you might win tickets to Red Rocks -- which is bound to score high when the responses are tallied. Not that this is a contest, mind you. It's a lovefest.
"Denverites have such great pride in their city, from our vibrant core to our quiet neighborhoods and everything in between," Mayor Michael B. Hancock said in announcing the #Favorite Place project. "This is a way to engage in a conversation about what we love, and what we'd love to see more of."
Here's the department's video on the campaign:
My favorite spot in Denver didn't make that promo video (although I did spot one of my favorite people, Jolt, an artist who founded Guerrilla Garden). My favorite spot is the point at Confluence Park where the past and the present come together.
Back in the summer of 1858, prospectors found gold near this spot, which had been a favorite camping ground of the Cheyenne and Arapahoe. Today, it's Denver's best beach, a place where kids frolics in the shadows while kayakers breeze by on the Platte and bikes zip past on the bike paths. And to the side, you can read the plaque dedicated to Colorado Poet Laureate Thomas Hornsby Ferril, inscribed with one of his poems.
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Two rivers that were here before there was a city still come together: one is a mountain river flowing toward the mountains by feeling them and turning back the way some of the people who came here did.
Most of these people hardly seemed to realize they wanted to be remembered because the mountains told them not to die.
I wasn't here, yet I remember them, the first night long ago, those wagon people who pushed aside enough of the cottonwoods to build our city where the blueness rested.
They were with us, they told me afterward when I stood on a splintered wooden viaduct before it changed to steel and I to a man, they told me while I stared down at the water:
"If you stay we will not go away."
Learn more at DenverGov.org/favoriteplacedenver -- and feel free to share your favorite place in the comments section below.
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