Culture

Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 31, 2014

Colorado Wine Country Comes of Age

Credit Photo by Rick DuVal

The rising sun casts a golden net over the vineyards of the Grand Valley, on Colorado’s Western Slope. The grapes seem to bask in the early morning glow as it burns off the mist and shares its warmth. If grapes had faces, they’d be smiling.

This is Colorado wine country.

Twenty-five years ago, most people never heard of it. But in recent years, Colorado wines have been holding their own in prestigious competitions, a sign that the industry is maturing.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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The Middle Distance
6:44 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.29.14: Legacy

It’s not unusual out here in the Middle Distance to begin wondering what we will leave behind when we’re gone. I’m not planning on going anywhere any time soon, but if middle age has taught me anything it’s that lives can end gracefully and naturally with time for reflection, or they can end suddenly and unexpectedly, leaving black holes in their wake.

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Colorado tTraveler
6:00 am
Sun August 24, 2014

East Germany: Behind the Berlin Wall

The Brandenburg Gate has become a symbol of peace in Germany, and is lighted at night.
Credit Photo by Rick DuVal

Some anniversaries are truly worth celebrating. When the Berlin Wall came down 25 years ago, we saw rubble remaining from World War II and ugly gray concrete buildings erected by the Communist regime. That was 1989.

A year later, East and West Germany were officially reunified. Today, East Germany has blossomed into an inviting destination of modern hotels, fine restaurants and restored historic attractions.

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The Middle Distance
4:52 pm
Thu August 21, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.22.14: The Long, Slow Crawl of Baseball

When we were kids, the long, slow crawl of baseball colored our summer afternoons. Red clay dirt. Freshly drawn baselines of powdered white chalk. Little League Cardinals in red and white; Orioles in orange Pirates in green. Fingers stained by Pixi-Stix from the concession stand.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 17, 2014

Pueblo: City of Unexpected Treasures

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

If you haven’t been to the Colorado State Fair, then you probably also haven’t visited Pueblo much, either.

You should … do both, I mean.

Pueblo may be the most overlooked and underestimated destination in the state.

The fair is the perfect excuse to go to the Steel City. It runs from Aug. 22 to Labor Day, Sept. 1, and includes a carnival, live concerts by famous artists, Western culture, a rodeo and all the trappings. And don’t miss out on the alarmingly unhealthy but tasty fair food!

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The Middle Distance
5:12 pm
Thu August 14, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.15.14: How Much Is Enough?

 

This mid-August morning, the cool air already begins to hint at fall. The light is soft and gray. The only sound is the crunch of gravel as I walk down the alley, green bucket in hand, to the garden I tend, about a block away from where I now live.

Until just a month ago, I lived in the tall house that shades the garden. Now I’m a daily visitor there, slipping through the back gate while everyone in the house is still sleeping, a venture that makes me feel secretive, like a kid spying on her parents. 

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun August 10, 2014

Riding the Rails in Colorado

PHOTOS by Rick DuVal

Few sounds evoke Colorado’s history more than the mournful call of a train whistle echoing through a canyon.

It was by train that many settlers and miners came here, and commerce got its foothold on the state. It was by train that schoolteachers, preachers and families traveled to create such communities as Georgetown, Durango, Silverton – even Denver and Colorado Springs.

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The Middle Distance
8:05 pm
Thu August 7, 2014

The Middle Distance, 8.8.14: The Soundtrack of Their Lives

If aging is letting go of adulthood and entering a whole new phase of life, a visit from an adult child can bring that reality into focus. Last week my daughter and her husband visited, and I experienced another in a long series of identity tweaks out here in the middle distance. I hadn’t yet let go of the mothering role I served with my kids for nearly 40 years, organizing their days and meals together, deciding what we would eat and when. As I watched my daughter, her brother and their significant others arrange their days and their meals, I felt part of myself quietly floating away.

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Culture
6:00 am
Sun August 3, 2014

LITTLETON: Still a little town

Credit Photo from communityexpert.com

Once upon a time, there was a little town southwest of Denver that served as the hub for a farming community. Founded by a surveyor-turned-entrepreneur, Richard Little, he named it for himself: Littleton.

The town grew. Denver grew. Eventually their boundaries merged. But Littleton has retained its own unique personality despite its becoming what is commonly thought of as a Denver suburb.

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The Middle Distance
4:00 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

The Middle Distance 8.1.14: Unlike Any Other

    

Why is this day unlike any other?  

I get up, as usual, brew one strong cup of coffee, grab a bucket and scissors and walk through the half-lighted dawn, down the alley to the garden where I cut flowers, pick herbs, weed a little and check the progress of the squash and tomatoes. Cool nights and wet days have slowed the development of their fruits. Their leaves and vines reach skyward for the sun they crave.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 27, 2014

Colorado’s Best Beaches

Photos Courtesy of Colorado State Parks.

Summer’s end already looms near. How can that be? But it’s true – some kids go back to school in less than a month.

Sooo ….

Have you been to the beach yet?

Even though Colorado is a landlocked state, plenty of Rocky Mountain lakes and reservoirs offer miles of shoreline for swimming, playing or just relaxing by a sparkling body of water.

Right here in Colorado Springs, we have Prospect Lake with a roped-off swim beach and lots of sand for building castles. They even supply the buckets. And if you’re unsure of your swim skills, there’s a lifeguard on duty.

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The Big Something
5:02 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

Breaking the Cycle of Poverty: Springs Native and Marketplace Reporter's First Documentary

Colorado Springs native, and Marketplace Education Correspondent Amy Scott is in the process of finishing her first documentary called Oyler

The Big Something’s Noel Black spoke with her about the story.

Click HERE to check out Scott's Marketplace multi-media pieces on Oyler.

Watch the trailer below:

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The Middle Distance
2:24 pm
Thu July 24, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.25.14: A Happy Tune

Yul Brynner and Gertrude Lawrence in "The King and I"
Credit Wikipedia

Ours was a show tunes kind of house, at the height of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s great musicals. And though we lived in a small Kentucky town where the idea of seeing a musical theater production onstage wasn’t even a distant dream, from the year I was born until I turned 11, films were made of Oklahoma, Carousel, The King and I, Flower Drum Song and The Sound of Music, and on television we saw the musical Cinderella. Between these and soundtrack releases on LP, we learned the melody and lyrics to most every song in every show.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 20, 2014

The North Rim – Across the Great Divide

PHOTOS: Rick DuVal

The Grand Canyon has a split personality.

Your experience at one of America’s most iconic sights may well depend on which Grand Canyon you choose.

The popular South Rim bustles with activity, with 45 million visitors a year vying for parking spots, rooms at lodges, tables in restaurants and even a place in line at the gift shop check-out.

There’s a town, Tusayan, just outside the park, with still more lodging and dining options. The South Rim is accessible most of the year.

Then there’s the North Rim.

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The Middle Distance
4:36 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.18.14: Our Houses, Ourselves

 

I’ve moved recently and have survived to tell the tale. Here are a few moving tips that might make your transition from old home to new home a little less difficult. 

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Culture
4:34 pm
Thu July 17, 2014

Opera Theatre of The Rockies Tackles a Broadway Classic

Opera Theatre of the Rockies will present three performances of the acclaimed Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The King and I, July 25th-27th at Armstrong Theater. Complete with sets and costumes from the Broadway/Asia tour, a 25-piece orchestra from the Colorado Springs Philharmonic, and a cast full of Front Range talent, it is sure to be both a world-class production and an impressive display of regional culture.

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The Big Something
12:00 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

What Does Hegel Have to Do With The Motorcycle Helmet?

Alex Ilyasova, Organizer of the 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference

The 4th International Journal of Motorcycle Studies Conference will take place beginning tomorrow, July 17 through Saturday. Conference organizer and UCCS Professor Alex Ilysova spoke with The Big Something’s Noel Black about the kinds of films and lectures the average motorcycle enthusiast can expect.

Click HERE for more information and to register.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 13, 2014

South Park City: The Old West Town That Never Was

Credit Photos Rick DuVal

Step off the boardwalks onto the dusty streets of South Park City, and you step back in time. Is it too much, then, to ask that a pair of gunslingers appear for a shoot-out?

Well, probably.

This isn’t a Western ghost town – though you could fool some folks. It’s a museum in the old mining town of Fairplay.

And it’s nothing like the adult cartoon series on TV. No snarky little kids, crude language or dark humor. Just history that practically comes alive before you.

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The Big Something
4:30 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

Hear, Here! heads to Nationals: An Interview with Susan Peiffer and Mallory

Credit Greggory Dikes

Local poetry slam team from Hear, Here! will head to the national slam competition from August 5th. We spoke with curator Susan Peiffer and Mallary McHenry about slam poetry, the Colorado Springs style and their campaign to raise money to get to nationals.

Click HERE to buy a limited edition t-shirt that will contribute Hear, Here!'s travel and expenses.

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The Middle Distance
3:58 pm
Thu July 10, 2014

The Middle Distance 7.11.14: Jump In

Credit PPLD Image Number 001-5524

 

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun July 6, 2014

Colorado Traveler: Call of the Wild

Courtesy of the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center

  The howl of the wolf is a song rarely heard in Colorado these days. The wild ones are gone, driven to extinction by hunting since 1945. The controversy about reintroducing them to the state rages on as we speak. But you can hear their howls at the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, tucked into a secluded sanctuary near the town of Divide, just west of Colorado Springs, up Ute Pass.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun June 29, 2014

Crested Butte: WILD about FLOWERS

Columbine
Sherry Allen

  Summer comes late to Colorado’s high country, but as the snow finally recedes from the peaks of the West Elk Mountains, the wildflowers grow bolder, get taller and paint the slopes with a veritable rainbow of colors.

By July, the Alpine valley that is home to Crested Butte is blanketed with swaths of red and orange Indian paintbrush. Periwinkle blue columbines drape the hillsides around and above town. This natural artist’s palette is rounded out by dainty scarlet gilia, iridescent blue flax, cheery yellow sunflowers, deep purple delphiniums and dusky blue lupines.

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Wish We Were Here
6:52 am
Fri June 27, 2014

Wish We Were Here Debuts Saturday, July 5

CLICK HERE TO LISTEN TO THE FULL EPISODE!

KRCC, Radio Colorado College, an NPR member station, will broadcast the pilot episode of its new hour-long radio show and podcast, Wish We Were Here, on Saturday July 5 at 3 p.m.; and Friday, July 11 at 7 p.m. on KRCC 91.5 FM and KRCC.org.

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36 Views of Pikes Peak
3:40 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Congratulations To These 36 Views Artists!

Congratulations to the following artists whose work was selected for the 36 Views of Pikes Peak Post Card Exhibition (and keep in mind that Hokusai actually produced 46 images). The opening and reception will be at the new PPLD  Library 21c on Friday, July 11 from 4 to 6 p.m. with plenty of time to make it to the curated exhibition at GOCA from 5 to 9 p.m. the same evening.

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The Big Something
3:12 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.27.14: Yard Sale

Once upon a June Saturday there was a yard sale, a very big neighborhood yard sale with over 100 households selling the things they didn’t want or need any more. For weeks families dug through their basements and garages and closets, pulling out furniture and lamps, coats and boots, garden hoses, bicycles, buckets and books for the sale. Then, when Saturday arrived, they got up early in the morning and set their things out, marked with price tags, in their front yards, awaiting the first buyers to arrive.

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Colorado Traveler
6:00 am
Sun June 22, 2014

Colorado Traveler: A Sea of Grassland Part Two

Last week, we talked about the hidden beauty of Comanche National Grassland, in southeastern Colorado. We talked about the abundant wildlife and the rock art. But there’s so much more.

  Also in the canyon are ruins of a squatter's cabin, similar to ruins seen all over the grasslands -- stacked but crumbling walls of rocks.

 

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The Big Something
3:59 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

PPLD Looks Beyond the Book with New Library 21C

Credit ppld.com

The Pikes Peak Library District will unveil it's brand new, state-of-the-art library at a grand opening ceremony and celebration tomorrow. The new facility, which is called Library 21C, has been heralded as new kind of community space, designed to meet the ever-changing, 21st century needs of PPLD patrons. The Big Something's Noel Black sat down with PPLD Executive Director Paula Miller and Media Relations Specialist Travis Duncan to talk about the project. 

For more information about the library and the grand opening, click HERE.

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The Middle Distance
8:34 am
Fri June 20, 2014

The Middle Distance 6.20.14: The Way We Fall

Ashes, ashes, we all fall down! God, how we loved falling down when we were short and close to the ground. Remember the crash, the exaggerated poses of collapse, legs overhead, torso twisted crazily? Falling down the least gracefully, most dramatically, was the whole point.

Even when a fall was a surprise, when it caused minor injury, a scrape or a cut, the Band-aid was a badge of honor, the scabbed over abrasion a battle scar to be proud of.

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The Big Something
3:57 pm
Thu June 19, 2014

CS Conservatory Celebrates 20 Years

The Colorado Springs Conservatory is celebrating its 20th Anniversary in the Colorado Springs Community. The Big Something’s Noel Black sat down with executive director Linda Weise to talk about how far they’ve come.

Beginning tonight and running through the weekend, the Conservatory will present the musical Oklahoma at Colorado College’s Armstrong Theater. Click HERE for details and tickets.

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