What makes a place your favorite depends on who you are and what you’re looking for – a haven from excitement, surrounded by your roommates in the city, a sense of history, or a cat to pet. But everyone has a favorite place.
For 303 days, we asked Denver lights what their favorite locations were. We also asked our readers to submit the places they love and boy did you deliver. Here are some of those answers – and if you haven’t shared your favorite place with us, you can submit it using the form at the bottom of this post.
Ruth has been in and outside of Denver since 1970. She knows all kinds of nooks and crannies in the city, but her favorite is Denny’s on Federal Boulevard on 17th Avenue.
“It’s the people,” she said over coffee last week.
Because of this, her second favorite spot might be on a city bus, where she has the time to observe humanity.
“It’s impossible to watch people from a car, you can get lightning bolts, but you can’t have full conversations, you can’t watch body mechanics,” she said. “I like people a lot.”
As she put it, she looked around the diner – construction workers and families were having coffee and breakfast. Her most memorable time here was about 40 years ago when she was in her late twenties. She and some “some extremely psychotic, psychic friends” came to eat chicken salad sandwiches and “talk about the weirdness we had experienced that week”.
Ruth was one of two people who nominated these Denny’s.
The other was a reader Elisabeth Morrissey: “On July 4th you can see the fireworks from Golden Clear to Aurora in Denny’s parking lot for the price of cake and coffee.”
And there were many other nominated water points. Alisha Stoltz wrote that Pete’s Kitchen is the place of many memories: “Even after a night on the town, I met Pete several times while playing with friends at night.”
Jonathan Lorincz said his top spot is My Brother’s Bar. He wrote, “I feel like I’m traveling back in time every time I visit. It’s the best place in town to share a drink with a former stranger. “
Lisa G. reported that the Mercury Café is her favorite restaurant in town because it “has the vibe – great food, music and a sense of community”.
Down in southeast Denver Rich McDorman took a break from his afternoon jog to explain why James A. Bible Park in the Hampden neighborhood is his favorite spot. For the avid runner, it’s all about convenience.
“I never go where I run. I’ll just walk a few blocks and then I’ll be here, ”he said. That’s one of the reasons he lived around for so long.
Other park lovers are Donna Langwho said she loved Washington Park for its “breathtaking terrain with amazing trees.” Jerry McCarthy, who adores the east end of City Park from the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for its “canonical postcard view” of the city, and Derek Berardiwho said the people of Commons Park and the “little grass hill” are “the perfect mix of city and nature”.
Several people nominated the Denver Botanic Gardens, including Lindawho said that every corner of the place offers an opportunity for “the artistic exposure, experimentation and enjoyment that we all need in our lives”.
Some readers’ favorite spots also revolved around their love for their pets. Donny B.For example, he said he was the terrace in the Larimer Square market since his old dog could join him while he saw people go by.
Sarah G. wrote a review from the point of view of her dog. Samwise, she wrote, loves Luke & Company Fine Pet Supply and Outfitter on Broadway because the owners “hand out yummy goodies when I’m a good boy, whatever.”
Sarah and Sam have lived on Capitol Hill for seven years, and she appreciates that their neighborhood is dog friendly. It’s one reason she stayed in the area, and she said having a pet shop nearby is one of that.
Having a dog means “we’re full of Coloradan now,” she said, even though “we don’t drive a Subaru yet.”
Tom Miller and Janice Bakker were two of several who nominated the Denver Cat Company on Tennyson Street as their favorite place. Although they have a few cats at home, they like the atmosphere of the cozy cat café and the company of cats who can be adopted there. Miller said they both served on a board of directors for a shelter that supplied cats to the cafe when it opened, and while that organization is no longer involved, they still take time to come to Berkeley from their home in LoDo to enjoy it the space.
“I really like the idea of allowing people to see cats in a different way,” said Bakker. “It presents cats as kind of glamorous.”
Tina Scardina was born and raised in Denver and has worked for the city for 25 years. Her favorite spot is the Civic Center Park, but specifically a giant bur oak on the west side.
“I’ve always loved this tree since I was a little kid,” she told us. “It protected people, it protected me in rainstorms.”
Because of her history with the city, Scardina has a special idea of how much Denver has changed since she was young. But the oak, she said, “was a constant.” She recalled seeing a photo her grandfather took of the steps of the town and county buildings during Benjamin Stapleton’s tenure as mayor. That tree was there.
“That says a lot,” she said. “I just wanted to be there all the time.”
The rapid change in the city was also motivated Hank Lewis to write even though his nomination was a lawsuit for what has been lost. His favorite place, he wrote, “was the thriving African American community around Whittier / Skyland / Parkhill.” The Denver black community is “a powerful symbol of American and Western upward mobility,” although he now believes that these neighborhoods have “fewer brown newbies who don’t care what is lost.”
But Gabrielle Bryant, who works for the mayor’s office, wrote that she still feels that story along Welton Street. From the Blair Caldwell African-American Research Library to the annual June 19th celebration to Coffee At The Point, she wrote, “There is no more community. And don’t let me start with the rich history along Welton … If only the streets could talk. “
Even if the streets can’t talk, so can the people who walk them.
If you want to nominate a favorite place, you can do so here: