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Bree’s Best of Denver

BY BREE DAVIES | @CocoDavies

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… Westword’s Best of Denver issue is out! Before I was a part of the amazing team at City Cast Denver, I spent many years as a contributor at Westword. I chased local stories, discovered Mile High businesses that I’ve come to love, and met countless awesome Denver artists (including my husband!) — it was all part of my daily grind as a writer. The Best of Denver issue was my chance, once a year, to heap praise on the people, places, and things that make this city amazing.

I loved contributing to this massive, annual issue because I knew — and still know — what a helpful guide the Best of Denver edition is, especially when you’re looking for, say, a new Mexican restaurant to try or are in search of a new hairdresser. I mean, if you’re on the search for “The Best Place to Hunker Down During a Snowstorm,” this issue has you covered. (Hint: it’s the timeless classic Bull & Bush, and if you’ve never been, I highly recommend their French onion soup!)

This year, Westword asked me to share some of my favorite things about Denver for its annual issue. Here’s a peek:

(Photo by Evan Semón)

Westword: What’s the best thing about your neighborhood?

“I’ve been a Westsider for going on 13 years — Barnum is my home. People come from all over the city to eat our community’s Vietnamese, Thai, Sinaloan, Michoacán and Colorado Mexican food. But our best-kept secret? Our parks. Barnum Park’s pool scene can’t be beat — there’s a waterslide and shallow pool for beginner swimmers, and a splash pad and fountains perfect for little ones not quite ready to take a dive. Paco Sanchez Park has the coolest playground you’ve ever seen! It’s like an American Ninja Warrior course for kids, not to mention its sculptural elements and artworks dedicated to Sanchez, a Latino radio and media pioneer and politician. Just across Federal is Rude Park, with one of the best weight rooms in the city. Up the street and past Alameda is Huston Lake Park, a virtual sanctuary for wild birds, plus it’s home to a great playground and shaded walking path that welcomes outdoor exercise year-round.”

Read more of my favorite things about Denver here, and don’t forget to check out the rest of the issue!


“One of the things that she told us when she first became chief was that she believed that the police treatment of non white people was a systemic problem. And it warranted change.” – Kara Mason, managing editor, Colorado Sentinel

Aurora Hired a New Police Chief to Reform the Department. Now She’s Fired.
Ever since the killing of Elijah McClain in 2019, the Aurora Police Department has been mired in turmoil. Now, the chief of police they hired to help reform the department has been fired. Former Chief Vanessa Wilson spoke publicly about her firing for the first time yesterday, and Colorado Sentinel managing editor Kara Mason is on the show today to explain how we got here and why it matters.


🏫 DPS struggles with declining enrollment: A new committee tasked with addressing declining enrollment started meeting last month under the looming threat of school closures. Many parents and community members have already expressed frustration with an alleged lack of transparency and poor communication around the process. “It just feels like a compliance thing — check it off, we had the committee,” one committee member said. [Chalkbeat]

🏠 Cap Hill building threatened with “renoviction”: Renters at Clarkson Lodge in Capitol Hill were blindsided by a two-week mass eviction notice at the end of February, when they were informed that their building had been sold. The Southern Poverty Law Center intervened, winning the occupants time until the end of April to move out. But many of the tenants relied on Clarkson Lodge’s low rents to stay in the neighborhood, and they are still unsure how they’ll find housing after April. [Denver7]
👉 What you can do: The Denver chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America is raising money for residents of Clarkson Lodge. You can pitch in here.  

📝 Broken promises divide Five Points: Since 2018, a real estate company called The Flyfisher Group has invested $12 million to buy property along a two-block stretch of historic Welton St. Flyfisher’s CEO Matthew Burkett says he wants to support business owners. But many of those relationships have turned sour, with Burkett now suing Coffee at the Point owner Ryan Cobbins. Other tenants say Burkett has been slapping them with bogus charges, refusing to sign lease terms longer than a month, and attempting to take control of their businesses. [BusinessDen]

📈 79% of Denver renters/homeowners want denser neighborhoods: The real estate company Zillow surveyed renters and homeowners in 26 cities across the country that are struggling with housing affordability. Here in Denver, 72% of homeowners and 93% of renters supported construction of accessory dwelling units (ADUs), duplexes, or triplexes in residential areas. [Zillow]

🎵 New push to preserve Denver jazz great’s Whittier home: “[George Morrison] was to Denver jazz as Louis Armstrong was to jazz in New Orleans,” according to past City Cast Denver guest and local jazz icon Purnell Steen. Now, two of Morrison’s old neighbors, Gary and Joanne Goble, are organizing to incorporate Morrison’s home and the rest of the 2500 block of Gilpin St. into a historic district. [Denverite]

— Paul Karolyi, City Cast Denver producer


City Cast isn’t just in Denver — we’re in Chicago, Houston, Pittsburgh, Salt Lake City, and Las Vegas! But we’re not stopping there. Soon, we’ll be in a heckuva lot more places, from Austin to Atlanta, Boise to Boston. We’re hiring — a lot! Here’s a taste of just some of the open positions:

🎰 Part-time host in Las Vegas
🥔 Newsletter writer in Boise
🧀 Lead producer in Madison
🎧 Audio producers in DC, Pittsburgh, and right here in DENVER!

Plus tons of other positions and places!

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