I Heart Denver… the Store!

 

 

 

 

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A store that loves Denver as much as all of us? YES! It DOES exist! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Oct 2014.

There’s a store that loves Denver just as much as we do, and it’s located in the Denver Pavilions on the 16th Street Mall.

Unlike other touristy shops around that area, this is a place for proud natives, excited newcomers, and curious tourists alike, selling ONLY local apparel, artwork, and other fun gifts. They support over 150 local, Colorado artists! Know what’s even cooler? 70% of the sales in the store go back to the artists and business-owners so that they can keep doing what they do.  Continue reading

Chalk it Up – Denver Chalk Art Festival Faves from 2014

Another reason why Denver is the coolest – the annual Chalk Art Festival on Larimer Square a few weekends ago (May 31 – June 1st). Free for all ages, artists gathered and created replicas of photos that were often displayed next to their work in the Square.

Here are some shots of our favorite moments and works from the festival:

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Not only were there 200+ artists creating these beautiful works of art, live music, food, and beverage tents were also a part of the festival, much of which supported by Colorado businesses.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

Many of the artists are local students competing for cash, backed by local businesses. Check back on the Denver Chalk Art website to find out who the winners are.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Chalk art, or street painting, dates back to the 16th century in Italy – it’s amazing this tradition is still prevalent all over the world today.

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Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014.

 

Yet another spectacular event in downtown Denver. We love having so many things to do and see downtown – it’s what makes the city great! What Festivals are you looking forward to this summer? Let us know!

 

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Instameet for Colorado Instagram – Saturday, Mar 15th, 2014

Did you know that Colorado has its own Instagram Community? Yep, totally does! Colorado Instagram is strengthening our community by organizing cool and fun meet ups for anyone and everyone to participate in – totally free.

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Click on the photo to check out Colorado Instagram on Facebook. Credit: Colorado Instagram, Mar 2014.

For those of you who can’t get enough of Colorado, photography, art, or meeting people that have those plus many additional interests, you should really check out the next Instameet: an event where everyone gets together, takes photos around a given area, and shares them. Usually there is a theme, or style of photography to inspire those creative minds.

The next Instameet for Colorado Instagram will be held Saturday, March 15th, 2014 – everyone is to meet up at New Belgium in Fort Collins at 11:30 am. The theme will be portraits. I, Kirsten, see some fun makeup in my future for this Instameet… Also, as Denverspeax has never been to Fort Collins before, we’ll be killing two birds with one stone! Any suggestions of places to stop by? Give us a holler in the comments section.

You can check them out on Instagram or Facebook to get up to speed on all of the details, and their first Instameet. Make sure you tag your pics on Instagram with #focoinstameet – follow them on various social media, and pass along the good word about this cool new community!

The Story Portal – How cool is THAT?

An interactive stage built around the idea of sharing real, true, and raw experience, The Story Portal is trying to raise money for further improving this project, and taking it to the grand stage of Burning Man in August 2013; visit their official website to lend your support. Check out their Facebook Page and see what they’re all about – it’s a very unique and interesting concept of community that I think would be incredible to experience live!

Credit to the StoryPortal’s official site for the video posted here.

https://www.facebook.com/TheStoryPortal
http://thestoryportal.org

Need something to do? Check out 16th St. Mall

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Looking at the 16th Street Mall from the median. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2013

A couple of weeks ago, I took my new friend Jeff (also a Michigander – we’re everywhere) to the 16th Street Mall to walk around, as he had never been. As he had just moved to Denver a week prior to our mall excursion, I felt it necessary for him to see it in all of its glory! It’s a mall in the sense of the British term, so more related to a boulevard. Shops, banks, and other businesses line the street on either side, and free pedestrian buses drive up and down. There are multiple stops along 16th street, collecting and dropping off the tons of people that inhabit the area each day. Not only are the free buses a great way to get to one end or the other in a timely manner, they can also be a savior when your feet are disagreeing with your choice of walking shoes.

In addition to the commercial shops of the mall, art pops up everywhere – different sculptures of wood, metal, and everything in between line the 16th St. Mall, making it THAT much cooler to get out and walk both sides. Along the middle, or median, of the 16th street mall, brightly-painted pianos reside, ready for anyone and everyone to stop and play. These were placed by the Downtown Denver Partnership in a launch lovingly referred to as “Your Keys to the City” in 2011. All pianos are painted by local artists, using their own particular inspirations.

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Jeff found a new friend on the 16th St. Mall! Pictured: Jeff Doorn. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2013

Whether you stop in at H&M, have a burger at Johnny Rockets, or just lolly-gag around, there’s plenty of things to do and see on the 16th St. Mall. Pick up a sweet Colorado shirt from one of the many tourist shops along with a few rad postcards to send to your friends and family. Make sure to take in all of the interesting and entertaining people watching and street performers. A robot street performer named RoboMike, pictured below, is an expert at making passers jump, laugh, and smile – make sure you say, “Hey” when you see him!

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RoboMike is an awesomely funny performer that is guaranteed to crack you up – give him a shout the next time you’re on the Mall! Pictured: Jeff Doorn (left) and RoboMike (right). Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2013

Have a great time visiting the 16th St. Mall – definitely one of my favorite places to hang out in Denver!

Watercourse Foods – Making Bellies Smile

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Watercourse Foods Menu (click picture for link) Credit: Kirsten Ebey May 2013

Let’s get something straight right off the bat: I am not a Vegetarian, but a self-proclaimed foodie. I love meat, and all the benefits / consequences it has to offer. I just don’t see myself crossing over to the Vegetarian world any time soon.

With that said, let me introduce you to one of my favorite restaurants in Denver: Watercourse Foods, a 100% Vegetarian Restaurant situated at 837 E. 17th Ave. Over the past decade, Watercourse Foods has grown from a breakfast and lunch only operation to a full blown restaurant (including breakfast, lunch, and dinner) and bakery, open 7 days per week. With a beer and wine license, Watercourse has the ability to run wicked drink specials you can pair with your meal, anytime – my favorite being their signature mimosa. Delicious!

Watercourse Foods includes indoor and outdoor seating, and provides plenty of opportunity to lock up your bike. Street parking is also available surrounding the restaurant, and usually isn’t too difficult to locate.

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Watercourse Food’s Portobello Po Boy with lemon caper aioli, french fries, and quinoa salad. Credit: Kirsten Ebey May 2013

My ultimate dish at Watercourse is the Portobello Po Boy. A native of Louisiana, I know my Po Boys, and let me tell you: this Vegetarian style Po Boy is the whip. Topped with cole-slaw and lemon or chipotle caper aioli on a kaiser roll, how can you go wrong? If that’s not enough, no worries – two sides of your choice complete the meal. To be honest, I clap every time it’s presented to me. it’s like Christmas.

Another favorite of mine is their Ho Ho Cupcake. I apologize for not having a picture to include because it’s the most glorious cupcake I’ve seen in a while. Chocolate genoche atop  a chocolate cupcake filled with cream. So simple, yet so much flavor. It took 3 of us and 5 minutes to tackle this monster.

Portioning of all plates, regardless of appetizer or meal, are fit for sharing. So, share the love of your delicious menu choices with your friends or family you bring to the restaurant, as everything is amazing. There is definitely no skimping on portions at Watercourse Foods!

Although it has been busy each time I’ve visited (late afternoon lunch, every time) and the restaurant is packed, I’ve never had to wait. I’m unsure of the wait times in the evening and morning, but would assume it would be quick due their vast seating arrangements (numerous table tops, outside seating, and the bar), their swift, attentive wait staff, and the magical way your food disappears from your plate minutes after receiving.

The ambience is cool and welcoming, which the wait staff compliments very well. The appearance of the food is amazing – I often find myself looking around at everyone’s plates, and wondering what they ordered so I can get it next time! For the time and energy Watercourse Foods puts into every dish, including utilizing fresh ingredients, I can’t believe that it is still affordable – everything is priced very well, which is great for such a unique, creative establishment.

Is your mouth watering yet? Need a late afternoon snack? Head on down. 🙂 Support local restaurants, and make your belly smile.