I like open spaces, especially in my house. It dawned on me today, that this is why I like to be out in my neighborhood so much…it’s an extension of my home. And what a lovely extension it is. There’s really no walls, there’s nice streets with bike lanes to ride safely in, sidewalks to walk on, trees blooming now with leaves and flowers, and quaint welcoming cafes and restaurants that provide another space for connecting with others. I’ve lived in a few different neighborhoods of downtown Denver in the dozen years that it’s been my home. At this time in my life, the lucky neighborhood to have me is Capitol Hill. Although truth is, the Congress park and Cheeseman Park neighborhoods get to share me as well since I’m right at the border of the two areas.
The Dazbog coffee shop and Shells & Sauce Italian Restaurant are already frequent favorites of mine. They both have great outdoor patio seating where you can indulge in the sun or take cover in the shade. I’ve noticed while drinking coffee at Dazbog off 12th and Clayton, that there are a lot of Victorian style homes that are being restored and fixed up by people. It seems to be a diverse mix of young families, professional couples, and older generations who call this area their home. A lot of homes are already in mint condition, perhaps maintained along the way or recently remodeled. Pedestrians enjoy walking to and from daily activities and tons of people ride their bicycles. I especially like 12th Avenue because of the bike lanes that give cyclists more room to ride along the street with traffic.
Oh, and let’s not forget the Tattered Cover Bookstore and amazing Udi’s Cafe and Restaurant that is right on Colfax and Columbine. That’s literally around the corner from the house I live in. A friend informed me a while back that the building housing the bookstore used to be an art performance theatre. When you’re in the building, you can tell where the stage and seating may have been by observing the curve of the high ceilings and layout of the space. Attached to the east side of the building is the new Udi’s restaurant. I have previously known Udi’s for their organic and natural baked goods and that they emphasize providing gluten-free foods as well. While there are Udi cafes already open in other parts of Denver, this location is the newest and latest-greatest of their first restaurant concept. The space inside is a fun, clean mix of that retro-modern flair, with a great large bar that serves fantastic wine selections and amazing cocktails and beers. Their menu is composed of deliciously impressive food choices such as salads and burgers, meats and veggies, that come in small plates and entrees. They also make sure you can choice from great desserts, pizzas, and fresh juices they make with ingredients like carrot, spinach, ginger, and orange.
At all these places that I’ve referred to, the people are wonderful. Even though they may be there for work. I get the feeling instead that they are having fun with their work-family. They welcome me and my friends in, take great care of us, and share their personality through their communication with us.
Yeah…I really like this area of downtown Denver. It’s also very central, with bus stops at practically every other corner and positioned within easy access to other areas and sites like Cherry Creek, the Denver Art Museum, the Denver Botanic Gardens and the newer Colorado History Museum. This neighborhood has the feel and energy to it of an open home…that’s what I have come to experience and enjoy first-hand.