Rudy Gonzales on Servicios de la Raza's Four Decades of Work and its New Home

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Servicios de la Raza's Executive Director, Rudy Gonzales.
After providing community health and services in Denver's Sunnyside neighborhood for decades, Servicios de la Raza moved this week to a new home at 3131 West 14th Avenue. To do so, the organization had to sell its buildings at 41st Avenue and Tejon Street, which meant the removal of the "Privavera" murual, which had been a landmark there for more than three decades. But the move should be a good for Servicios, says executive director Rudy Gonzales, who spoke with Westword about its work and about the challenges facing the population its serves -- as Denver neighborhoods continue to change.

See also: Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

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Jerry Jaramillo's Sunnyside Mural, "Primavera," Is Gone But Not Forgotten

Categories: Art, Neighborhoods

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Jerry Jaramillo's "Primavera," before it was removed from the corner of 41st Avenue and Tejon Street.
Colorado artist Jerry Jaramillo was devastated when he found out that his mural, "Primavera," had been sandblasted and removed from a brick wall at the corner of 41st Avenue and Tejon Street in Sunnyside, where it had been for more than thirty years. "It felt like I lost a child or something," he says. "I was single and didn't have any kids at the time I painted it; every time I did a mural, it seemed like my child. So it felt like a loss to me, because it was one of my favorite murals I had done in Denver."

See also: Gemma Bayly Brings Her Optimystic Arts to a New Community Collaborative Mural In Denver

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Denver Modern Home Tour Shows Off the Latest in Local Architecture

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Courtesy of Denver Modern Home Tour.
One stop on the tour, 3510 West 18th Avenue in Denver, designed by Studio HT Architecture.
Walk around any neighborhood in Denver and it is easy to see how fast the city is growing -- new architecture seems to be popping up around every corner. This Saturday, October 25, four newly-built homes will open their doors to the public for a closer look as part of the annual Denver Modern Home Tour. See these new builds from the inside out and get to know some of Denver's top designers and architecture firms through their work on this one-of-a-kind tour focusing on the best in contemporary living spaces.

See also: Ken Schroeppel's DenverInfill blog keeps a close eye on the city's growth and development

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Why Denver's La Alma/Lincoln Park Neighborhood Deserves to Be a "Great Place"

Categories: Neighborhoods

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The La Alma/Lincoln Park neighborhood was named one of the nation's Ten Great Neighorhoods this week by the American Planning Association. I happen to live in the neighborhood, which is bounded by Colfax Avenue to the north, 6th Avenue to the south, Speer Boulevard to the east and the South Platte River Drive to the west. All of those places are major thoroughfares, and anyone who lives in Denver knows where they are. But the response I get most often from new acquaintances who ask which neighborhood I live in is, "Huh? Never heard of it." When I tell them I live near the Santa Fe art district, a look of recognition dawns on their faces. "Ohhhhh," they say. "Cool."

But while La Alma/Lincoln Park may not be the most recognizable neighborhood or top most tourists' (or residents'?) to-do lists, boosters say it has a lot going for it -- a contention with which the APA's award-pickers agree.

See also: The people of First Friday at Denver's Art District on Santa Fe

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Why the Highland Vs. Northside Debate Is All About Gentrification

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Westword.com
Longo's Subway Tavern, a former northside staple.
Back in August, I wrote a love letter to Denver, the city I used to know. Though my intention was to remember the good things about my city that are gone now, it was also, perhaps, a thinly veiled criticism of the way progress is going in Denver. Recently, there was a "blog" (I say that in quotation marks because the person who runs the site identifies as a real-estate agent on Twitter) floating around Facebook about the debate over whether the north section of our city is called Highland or Northside. While this enraged me and many other natives for a lot of reasons, the biggest issue raised in the online conversation was this: The name game in Denver isn't about our written history. It's about gentrification.

See also: A Love Letter to Denver, the City I'm Getting to Know


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FashioNation Signs a New Lease on South Broadway

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The Italiano family outside FashioNation's new digs at 1594 South Broadway.
Counterculture apparel staple FashioNation announced last week that it was leaving its location at 613 East 13th Avenue after almost thirty years -- but co-owner Paul Italiano promised that the store would be resurrected in a new spot. He was vague about the details, because the lease agreement was not solidified. Then over the weekend, Pam and Paul Italiano announced via Facebook that the store will be moving to 1594 South Broadway -- but not without some drama.

See also: FashioNation Leaves 13th Avenue After 27 Years but Will Live On at a New Denver Location

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A Love Letter to Denver, the City I'm Getting to Know

Categories: Neighborhoods

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Brandon Marshall
A toast to Colorado, and its endlessly flowing craft beers.
"As we watch our Queen City of the Plains explode with new people, new businesses and a new cultural identity we aren't familiar with," writes Bree Davies in her recent love letter to Denver, "I feel a shared level of discomfort at the way our visual history is being erased....In response, I've decided to write a letter to the city I love and the place she used to be."

And in response to that, I've decided to write my own love letter to Denver -- from a non-native, a transplant, someone who's found a home she loves...by choice.

See also: A Love Letter to Denver, the City I Used to Know

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The Ten Best Spots for Shopping, Eating and Hanging Out on South Broadway's Antique Row

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For decades Antique Row on South Broadway has been a one-stop shopping experience for people looking to fill their homes with one-of-a-kind furniture and vintage goods. This Saturday, August 9, the Antique Row Merchant's Association is hosting a big block party to show off its eclectic vendors, which have expanded from collectable sellers to include eateries, bookstores, bars and more. The area that was once known for some cranky antique dealers wants to reintroduce Denverites to the newly cheerful and vibrant collection of shops. In advance of tomorrow's festivities, we've compiled a list of our top ten places to eat, shop and hang out on Antique Row.

See also: Chuck Dorsey's Old-School Window Painting Reanimates South Broadway

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A Love Letter to Denver, the City I Used to Know

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I was born in Denver in 1980. These days, I wear my Colorado nativeness like some entitled badge of honor -- and I've noticed others do, too. I was at a public gathering last week and when a native took the mic to speak, they made sure to mention that they were from here and where they went to high school, as if to send a signal to the rest of us in this not-so-secret club.

Maybe we have always been proud of our roots; maybe everyone who is from somewhere is proud of their roots, too. But lately, as we watch our Queen City of the Plains explode with new people, new businesses and a new cultural identity we aren't familiar with, I feel a shared level of discomfort at the way our visual history is being erased.

In response, I've decided to write a letter to the city I love and the place she used to be. I know that growth and change are inevitable, but sometimes it is also okay to acknowledge that it is happening and to talk about how it feels. This is not a "top ten ways you know you're a Denver native" list; it is just a letter to say thank you and I miss you to the uncool cowtown we used to be.

See also: FashioNation Leaves 13th Avenue After 27 Years But Will Live on at a New Denver Location

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FashioNation Leaves 13th Avenue After 27 Years but Will Live On at a New Denver Location

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UPDATE: FashioNation has a new home. The nearly 30-year-old business will debut its new location on South Broadway on October 10. Owners Pam and Paul Italiano spent several weeks moving the furnishing and decor of the old store into the new space, which formerly housed Packrat Antiques, even removing a section of drywall containing signatures of famous bands that had visited the store. The new space will also merge FashioNation with its companion store, Babysitter's Nightmare.

It's a story all too common in Denver these days: Longtime businesses are being booted or forced to jump ship as rents rise and new owners take over hot properties (see the demise of Gabor's for a famous case). The latest is counterculture apparel mainstay FashioNation, which is saying goodbye to its 13th Avenue location after nearly three decades on the block.

"We were the first ones on that side of the street when it was just a piece of crap building," says owner Paul Italiano. "Then Imi Jimi moved in and the record stores were across the street and things started happening down there."

See also: Fashionation celebrates its countercultural legacy with a 25th anniversary party on June 17

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