Why Elitch Gardens is the best amusement park in Denver

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It's a common trope among people who grew up in Colorado to express their preference for Lakeside Amusement Park over Elitch Gardens. Which is fine: Your preference is your preference, however misguided. What really rankles my ankles, however, is when snarky Denverites try to argue that Lakeside is better than Elitch's. Unless they have a vastly different conception of what the word "better" means, Elitch Gardens is the superior theme park by every metric that matters. I'm utterly convinced that Lakeside defenders are either clouded by nostalgia for a pre-new-Elitch era or are possessed of the knee-jerk contrarianism Coloradans sometimes develop around tourist attractions.

Now that I've sufficiently trolled a healthy portion of the Westword readership, allow me to explain why I prefer Elitch Gardens, which opened for the season last week with the debut of a brand-new ride.

See also: Why Lakeside is the best amusement park in Denver

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Why Lakeside is the best amusement park in Denver

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Stephen Cummings for Westword
A grand view of Lake Rhoda from the top of the Cyclone roller coaster.
Once upon a time, like twenty years ago, Lakeside and Elitch's were comparable amusement parks of the turn-of-the-last-century persuasion. Yes, prior to being ripped out by its north Denver roots at West 38th Avenue and Tennyson Street and tossed carelessly into the Platte River area by downtown and rebranded as a Six Flags, Elitch Gardens had much of the beauty that is Lakeside today.

If Elitch's were still in its original location in 2014, you might be able to actually compare the two. But as it stands, they're so completely different that it's easy to see why Lakeside rules. (Even so, I will explain why -- in the process filling my personal annual requirement of writing a slobbering love letter to the most beautiful place in Colorado, one that I will defend to my death, even if that death is on Lakeside's roller coaster, the Cyclone. I'm kidding! Sort of.)

See also: Why Elitch Gardens is the best amusement park in Denver

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W. Kamau Bell on political humor, rape jokes and why he wants an Obama cabinet position

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Matthias Clamer
W. Kamau Bell is a comedian and sociopolitical commentator who came up in the San Francisco comedy scene. Until recently, Bell served as the host and creator of Totally Biased with W. Kamau Bell, a political satire featuring revealing interviews and sharp political commentary steeped in the catharsis of laughter. In the wake of FXX's cancellation of his show, Bell has mounted the "Oh, Everything" tour, which lands in Denver at 8 p.m. Sunday, March 16, at the Soiled Dove Underground. In advance of that show, Westword called Bell to talk about his visit to Denver, how his standup act grew more politically engaged, the debate about rape jokes he hosted on his show, and why he thinks he should have a cabinet position in the Obama administration.

See also: Ten best comedy events in Denver this March

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MCA Denver seeking entries for holiday performance contest (no explosives, please)

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The Denver Museum of Contemporary Art Denver will celebrate the holiday season by hosting twelve and a half days of artistic performances in its sleek atrium. What sets the Twelve and a Half Days of Xmas Live! series apart from the MCA's other programs is that the performers will be chosen from an open call for entry and the applicants will be competing for a $500 prize. To learn more about the concept, Westword caught up with Sarah Kate Baie, MCA Denver's director of programming and chief of fictions, to discuss the contest rules, reaching out to the local creative community and Denver's puppeteering scene.

See also: The Museum of Contemporary Art Denver opens its doors.

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Play more realistic Monopoly at tonight's Warm Cookies of the Revolution

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Many a Monopoly game has been upended over an accusation of cheating -- but what would happen if cheating was a predetermined part of the game? Tonight's Warm Cookies of the Revolution session, "Realistic Monopoly and Other Games," is based on the findings of a study conducted by psychologist Paul Piff at the University of California at Berkeley. As reported in an article in New York magazine, some participants started the game completely penniless, while others had huge stashes of cash.

See also: Evan Weissman on why Warm Cookies of the Revolution is good for your civic health

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Three worst Star Trek films -- Scotty says "eff you!"

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Don't eff with Scotty -- he'll beam you somewhere you won't like.
In a recent interview with Mike Ryan of The Huffington Post, Simon Pegg said "f*ck you!" to a bunch of Las Vegas Star Trek convention fans who ranked Star Trek: Into Darkness as the worst Trek movie ever. Pegg, who plays Scotty in the franchise reboots and clearly disagreed that the newest Trek movie was the worst, told Ryan: "It absolutely isn't the worst Star Trek movie. It's asinine, you know? It's ridiculous. And frustrating. To be subject to that level of sort of, like, crass f---ing ire, I just say f--- you."

Pegg didn't mention which Trek films were the worst (way to stay mostly classy, Simon), but we have no problem picking up right where he left off. Here are the three worst Star Trek films -- and Star Trek: Into Darkness didn't even come close to making this list.

See also: -Star Trek Into Darkness is basically Paradise Lost in Space


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Five big reasons why you need to move outta your parents' house

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Asses and elbows.
Millennials aren't getting the memo that living on their own is good for them -- and their put-upon parents. According to a Pew Research Center analysis, the number of adults aged 18 to 31 living at home rose to 36 percent last year -- the highest percentage in forty years, and up from 32 percent just five years ago. Of course, there are some valid and understandable reasons why living with the parentals is cool -- like divorce, losing a house, illness, still in college and all that -- but just being a directionless mooch "working on your music" means you need to get a clue...and an apartment.

Here's a list of five big reasons why you need to move outta your parents' house. Goodbye, free ride; hello, character-building utility bills.

See also:
- Ten best divorce songs for Tiger Woods, or anyone else headed for Splitsville
- Attachment parenting creates crybabies
- Colorado College memes: Funnier than memes from CU, CSU and UNC?

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Five reasons why renting an apartment is a huge pain

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For the first time in almost a decade of living in houses, I'm looking for an apartment/condominium to rent. And much like dating after getting out of a long marriage, there are many things about renting that have changed over the years -- almost everything, in fact. From predictable factors like rental prices going up and amenities going down, to interesting new developments like clauses for using cannabis, bedbug infestations and "pet rent," finding a rental property isn't as cheap, easy or fun as it used to be.

Here's a list of the top five reasons why renting an apartment today is a huge pain. Okay, I lied -- renting an apartment was never actually fun, but now it's worse.

See also:
-Colorado apartment vacancy rates: Why are they so low?
-Ask a Stoner: Can I grow pot at my rented condo?
-Ten audacious Denver lofts I would totally rent if I were a drug dealer

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Five reasons why crowd-funded weddings are tacky

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A couple wants a kickass wedding with all the trimmings -- full band with the saxophone player, twenty-tier French cake with custard filling, individually plated sashimi selections, and a photo booth that takes those old-fashioned sepia pictures -- all in an urbane, affected, pastoral setting complete with white ponies. But the lovebirds can't afford it, of course, so where to turn? GoFundMe. Since they're so tied up in their once-in-a-lifetime romance, why not ask ask friends, family, acquaintances and total strangers on the Internet to pay for their special day?

Because it's f*cking tacky as hell, that's why not. This new trend of unbridled nuptial greed reeks worse than leftover chicken cordon bleu. As proof, here are five reasons why crowd-funded weddings are tacky -- no need to send a thank-you note.

See also:
- Best Kickstarter Campaign - 2012: Five Iron Frenzy
- Loveland's Wildflower Cabaret needs a new home, looks to Kickstarter for help
- Comedian/restaurateur Will White on his paleo-diet truck, Kickstarter and standup

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Your guide to the 2013 Biennial of the Americas

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Nick Cave's HEARD•DAM Soundsuits will gallop into Civic Center Park as part of the 2013 Biennial of the Americas.
Next Tuesday, the second Biennial of the Americas will kick off a crammed four days of programming -- July 16 through 19 -- that promises to run fast and hard, giving you little time to catch your breath. To help you plot your course, we've compiled this list of the Biennial's major events; for more details, visit the Biennial's website, Platform 5280 Facebook page or Twitter feed, @TheBiennial. For further info on the go, there's also a free Biennial of the Americas smart-phone app available from the iTunes App Store.

See also:
- Biennial of the Americas, Denver 2013
- Erin Trapp to head Biennial of the Americas in artful move
- Comment: Biennial of the Americas? What was that?


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