Dog Days in Denver

Fun view on Denver. Take a look! Also, wander around this blog – it’s such a cool idea! I’m totally a follower. 🙂

Are We There Yet

To be honest, there’s not a lot to tell you about my Friday in Denver. It can be summed up as a walk downtown, back to the hotel, then an evening in a couple of bars. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed it all, I just don’t know it’s going to make riveting reading?

Downtown Denver

So let me try….

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The Denver Sky

The Denver Sky

I’m so thankful to live in such a place where I can look up at the sky, and see something so beautiful. The sunsets in Denver are incredible, even from just 5 floors up. If you’re outside right now, look up!

O’Briens Barbers – Start a new tradition

Once upon a time, Steven and I moved from Grand Rapids, Michigan, to Denver, Colorado, and had to find all new places for our services. I had to find a new nail salon, much like he had to find a new barbershop. Shortly after arriving, Steven had his hair cut (or should I say “chopped”) by a barbershop that will remain nameless; needless to say when he set out for the second barbershop, he was a little skeptical. 

We found O’Briens Tonsorial Parlor (Barbershop) on Yelp!; what got us excited were the lists of reviews that all pointed toward O’Briens being THE PLACE to get a male haircut. They would do it extremely well at an incredibly reasonable price, the reviews said. So, we biked down to 8th Ave from our apartment and gave ‘er a try. 

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O’Briens is situated in the Southeast neighborhood at 4324 E 8th Ave in Denver, CO. Click on the picture to see their Yelp! reviews. Credit: Steven Mercer June 2013

When entering the small shop on 8th Ave, you notice right away the nostalgic, brown barber’s chairs, tools, and mirrors; everything screaming “this place is legit”. Each of the barbers has their own station which are orderly and neat; there’s no over-flow of vanity hair product, or useless gadgets – just clippers, scissors, and razors. The necessities – nothing fancy. 

And, O’Briens is hopping! There was not one single chair empty, as men of all ages were either in the barber chairs or waiting patiently in chairs that lined the opposite wall. All of which surrounded one single television that had the baseball game playing. Perfect!

It isn’t difficult to notice the amount of repeat customers as Mr. Dick Alderson, the owner, and his colleagues call out friendly salutations, including first names, to each man that enter. It isn’t difficult to notice that visiting O’Briens isn’t about just getting your hair cut – it’s about catching up with your buddies, watching the game, and ultimately, carrying on tradition. It didn’t matter that it was Steven’s first time to the shop, either. The gentleman all treated him courteously and respectfully, even when he asked for the part in his hair to be “straight-razored” (a technique sometimes used to define the separation, or part, in hair). 

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Steven being taken care of by the boss-man himself, Mr. Dick Alderson of O’Briens. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

I will never forget the way Mr. Alderson looked at Steven – “You want what? Who did THAT?” I about died as he laughed, and figured out another way to help Steven out with his request. As I watched him cut Steven’s hair, I tuned into the conversations going on around me, and almost fell out of my chair from openly laughing so hard. One man, balding in the center of the top of his head advised Mr. Alderson to give Steven a mohawk, in which Steven replied that he was all set on the mohawk – he’d had one a few times. The man went on to explain it was the “cool thing to do” and pointed to the top of his head. “You see this? It’s called a reverse mohawk, son!” Another man was speaking with his barber about someone they knew that had a mullet, in which the barber advised that he charged double for that hairstyle (jokingly). I can’t even begin to describe how badly my stomach and face hurt from laughing so hard – I will never miss one of Steven’s haircuts, as long as he visits O’Briens.

Not only do they have a sense of humor, but each barber is damn good at what he does. All four have been in the business for as long as I’ve been alive, to say the least, and takes pride in his work. Check out Steven’s before and after pictures: 

BEFORE

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AFTER:

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The guys at O’Briens pay attention to what their customers want, and understand how to make their customers happy. No frills, nothing fancy – just a good old-fashioned haircut, and clean shave. It’s the simple things in life that bring the most joy, right?

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Owner of O’Briens, Mr. Dick Alderson, taking a crack at Steven’s mop on his head. He did such a great job! Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

Hey, guys – please make sure you stop in and check out O’Briens. It’s an experience and new tradition you’ll be thankful for, count on it. Make sure you bring cash – no credit cards, please. Also, if you’d like to call ahead and make an appointment in your busy schedule, give them a shout: (303) 320 – 9621. Otherwise, walk-in’s are totally welcome. 

Hope to see you there in a couple of weeks!

 

Hey PB&J – An old-time favorite with a new twist!

 

Who doesn’t love PB&J’s (Peanut Butter and Jelly Sandwiches)? This new, creative spin on an old-time favorite is definitely a hit, and the mobility of the foodtruck allows Hey PB&J to travel to numerous events during the ever-so busy Denver summer months. 

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Looking up the street from the side of Hey PB&J truck. Credit: Kirsten June 2013

Such a hit within the community, you’d think that Hey PB&J had been around a while; however, they just started up their foodtruck engine in May 2012, says owner Matt McDonald. At this point, they have one truck, and constantly tour around Denver serving up their own deliciously sweet, savory, and spicy sandwiches. 

 

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Ingredients include anything from a variety of fruit, special peanut butter, special jellies, Nutella, applewood smoked bacon – you name it. Take a peak at their menu here so the next time you run into them at an event, or parked on the street, you will have an idea of what to try first… and second!

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Kat and Mitchell scoping out the Hey PB&J truck on the way to Westword Music Showcase. Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

 

Yesterday, we had just gotten to Westword when we saw the truck, and were still stuffed from our morning meals, so we were unable to try all of the deliciousness that Hey PB&J has to offer. By the looks of their following on Facebook, and their eclectic. mouth-watering menu, this foodtruck is bound to find a favorite spot in our hearts and our bellies. 

Make sure you stop by and support this local foodtruck venture; here’s all of their info in case you forgot to click on the links in the pictures provided! Can’t wait to see you at Hey PB&J this summer.

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Hanging out with Kendra

Hanging out with Kendra

While our friends Jason and Ashley went to Fargo for the weekend, some of us have been hanging out with their sweet baby – Kendra. She’s sucha great dog, and so much fun – look at that face! Credit: Kirsten Ebey June 2013

Take Me Out to the Mountains

The mountains here are amazing, and provide great opportunity to get outside! I’m totally singing this song when Kat brings me hiking. Thanks, Feathered Aspen.

Feathered Aspen

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Take me out to the mountains,
Take me up in the clouds;
Dress me in flannel like a lumberjack,
I don’t care if I never get back.
Let me clink, clink, clink with the ice axe,
If we don’t summit, it’s a shame.
For there’s Long’s, Torrey’s, Bierstadt, and Pike’s
In the old front range.IMG_1566[1]IMG_1568[1]IMG_1552[1]IMG_1564[1]IMG_1533[1]IMG_1567[1]IMG_1539[1]

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Denver Bike Cafe – Laid-Back & Local

Feature written by: Kat Wood, DenverSpeax

Denver Bicycle Cafe (DBC) has a great assortment of beverages and snacks to choose from. Credit: Kat Wood, June 2013

When I moved to downtown Denver in August of 2012, one of the first places I got excited about was the Denver Bicycle Cafe, which is conveniently located a block away from me at 17th and Lafayette streets. I can say without hesitation that it’s my favorite cafe in Denver. The staff who work at DBC are so down-to-Earth and personal; they’re always friendly and greeting you with a smile and  good conversation. They recognize me  by now and usually know what I want before I do! This, among many other reasons, is what keeps me coming back. 

DBC is located at 1308 E 17th Ave Denver. Check out these wicked snacks! Credit: Kat Wood June 2013

DBC was founded in 2011 by two friends who simply loved bikes, beer, and coffee, and wanted to create a place to share that love with the Denver community. The quite sizable building consists of two bar areas, window seats, two person tables, and picnic style tables.  They serve a wide selection of bottled and canned beer from local Denver breweries (keeping it in the community) as well as breweries from around the state. Not enough local for you yet? They also brew locally roasted coffee. They take pride in the grinding of the beans, using awesome hands-on techniques to brew your coffee right in front of you. I love the local theme at DBC; it’s obvious that the community is a priority, which is reflected within the products they choose to use – local, local, local. DBC also offers a selection of bagels and pastries, as well as some hot items, like tamales. They welcome you to bring your own food and also provide nearby eateries menues. 

 

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Sweet bike shop, dudes. Credit: Kat Wood, June 2013

Now that you’ve heard all about one side of this hybrid bike shop / cafe, let’s jump to the other: the bike repair/tuning section. You can make an appointment with the ever so knowledgable mechanics to tune up your ride, or simply remove a stuck pedal. Need a flat repaired? No problem. Their mission is to get you back riding as soon as possible! 

The outdoor patio is situated right next to the bike corral, so you can a keep an eye on your ride; however, in this uptown neighborhood, I don’t really find it necessary to have to watch your bike like a hawk if you bring a lock. I frequent the patio and its picnic tables on sunny days with my dog, Kokuma. Dogs on leashes are welcomed, and there is always a fresh water dish set out for the furry patrons.

The atmosphere of DBC is laid-back and hip. It’s filled with cyclists of all types: single-speed and fixed gears, to long distance, road cyclists, and mountain bikers. Come with a friend to have a beer on a sunny Saturday, or come during the quiet hours on weekdays to study, or work on your laptop. No matter the time, they will be playing EXCELLENT music (in my opinion). I remember a particular afternoon I was studying, and the playlist that was playing could have been straight from my personal iPod! 

DBC is always hosting events and celebrations. They often have coffee and beer tastings, and even beer and cheese pairings. They also host game night as well as charity events to give back to the community. These event dates can be found on their website: http://www.denverbicyclecafe.com, which is also embedded throughout this post.

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Click on the picture to be directed to DBC’s Facebook Page, and like ’em! Credit: Kat Wood June 2013

What it all comes down to, is,  if you like good music, bikes, beer and coffee – any or all of the above, you have to check out Denver Bicycle Cafe. It’s your place to be. 

 

The UMS – Underground Music Showcase

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Credit: https://www.facebook.com/umsdenver – Please visit their site for additional information! (click on pic)

DenverSpeax can’t wait for this local festival to show its face July 18 – 21st, 2013! With over 400+ performances in 20 venues, many of which supporting local acts, this is going to be an event to NOT miss this summer. Also, per the UMS Facebook page, tomorrow night at 3 Kings Tavern on Broadway you can hang with some of the bands, drink some Breckenridge brews (possible free-ness going on there as well), and purchase discounted UMS tickets

Write the festival dates AND the event tomorrow down on your calendar – hopefully see you all tomorrow night! Let’s make a sweet showing and support UMS.