Category Archives: Town

Box art

Because this is a tourist destination, there is a lot of street art to be seen. Quite a lot of it is juried-in sculptures, but the street scene also includes the common phone router box. And someone got the bright idea to wrap up these eyesores in printed art, which is really quite brilliant. One can look at them when stopped at the many traffic lights, or should one happen to be strolling along. These bits of art add a tiny splash of color to the streets.

This enigmatic gentleman will watch as one sashays down the avenue.

This winter scene was customized by a passing bird.

This artwork depicts a solitary fisherman, enjoying the quiet of nature. Anyone who has ever gone fishing knows that as soon as one decides on the perfect spot to fish, someone else will come along to fish in the same spot. It’s inevitable.

This scene is even more idyllic (and untrue for the local area). In spring (like right now), nothing has greened up yet, and when the winter snow melts, the creeks do more than “babble”. But it is a lovely image, perhaps it is of somewhere else (note to tourists: please go there immediately.)

These beasts can be seen nearby in the foothills, at least for now (until the city permits a massive apartment complex to be built in their home).

Whether it’s a slice of life or an artistic fantasy. I do appreciate the effort every time I spot one of these.

Steel Town

The place where I live has always been a tourist destination, sometimes there are more tourists, sometimes (almost never) there are less. Industries and jobs have come and gone, but tourism remains.

But in the town south of here, industry was always part of the fabric of the place. The first steel mill was built in 1881 to make the steel rails need for the D & RG railroad. This company was bought out in 1893, and the mills kept on running until 1982. Only some interesting buildings remain as a reminder of this past, and the town now seeks to reinvent itself as a tourist destination (good luck with that).

I would love to be able to wander around the site and get better photos of the place. We should all “decide to be safe”.

Some bits of the plant have been torn down, but a lot remains because it is contaminated with asbestos and will probably stay until it falls to complete ruin. The busy motorway runs right past this place.

This beautiful administration building sits alone and empty, waiting to become a museum. Someday.

The downtown has lots of funky old buildings from the days when there was money in town.

You know how I love reflections. And in this picture one can see both the reflection of the lovely former Elks hall, and inside the building, where there is an oak telephone booth. The past is still present and the town has not been trod on by the forces of progress, like my town.

And what was I doing going south? Why I needed to buy tamales from the best place in the state.

Signs

I had ended up in this part of town because the restaurant I wished to go to was closed for dining, they only had take-away. And the second choice was closed as well, but the third one was open for business. Success! It was a cold day, but after lunch I did take a brief stroll, looking in the many closed shop windows, and admiring the signs as I walked along.

This looks to be an electric meter, and I presume that the stickers are advertising local bands, but really, I have no idea what it all means.

I found this one to be rather specific (and I suspect that it is against “vapers”: persons using electronic cigarettes). My handy dictionary defines vapor as moisture in the air; especially visible floating moisture, as light mist. Also smoke and fumes. It would be a powerful sign that could deter the forces of nature.

I’m sure that this sign will stop something: it’s from the police.

But of course this was the best sign. And as signs are meant to be obeyed, I immediately complied.

Downtown Buddha

When one goes to our tiny downtown area (much beloved of politicians and real estate interests), one of the more unusual stores is the Buddha shop. It caters to all of one’s Buddha needs (which must be rather extensive). I was going to a nearby shop, but there was plenty of parking spaces on this particular day, so I took a few quick snapshots (this is my apology for the poor quality of the pictures).

And besides the regular Buddhas for all the Buddhists out there, one can also purchase Hindu gods (you’re not buying the actual god, just an image).

Buddhas come in either laughing, contemplative or praying models.

And they are available in a choice of finishes, whether one needs a gaudy gold or plain matte statue.

Wait a minute, the next shop window display aren’t exactly Buddhas. But they have become objects of veneration, so I suppose that any of them counts as something to worship too.

This is the only Buddha at my house, the drinkable kind, and perhaps it leads to Nirvana, or something like it.

Sunday in the Park

Yes, I know that I have posted pictures of this before, but there is not much new going on right now, so here it is again. My friends like to walk around this park, and had asked me to go, so I said yes. It looks like unspoiled nature in the pictures, but of course there were scads of people milling about. There was even a number of professional climbers scaling the rocks. But, it was lovely day in December, perfect for the bazillionth pictures I have taken here.

Today I actually found a parking spot near here (a minor miracle).

It’s all natural in the park, they don’t remove dead trees or weeds, I mean native vegetation.

There are several paved paths that meander through the park, and of course I have done this anti-clockwise loop many times.

The sun goes down early this time of year, so this was enough fun for me and I was off for home.

Back at home, here was Fawn, waiting for me to fetch her some water (it has been awfully dry). Who knows what sort of adventure I will have next Sunday (it will probably involve knitting).

Good Sports

Well, it’s not like one can attend a sporting event (unless one is a cardboard cutout). Even if a bunch of tiny tots wishes to get together and play a sport, it’s just not happening. In lieu of this, here’s a not entirely unsatisfactory substitute, pinball.

How about the classic American pastime of baseball? My brothers and me played baseball all summer long when we were kids, and completely obliterated the grass in the backyard (which makes mowing quite easy). I did watch baseball until I got rid of cable tv, so I suppose I don’t miss it. (Apparently they held a World Series this year for the many cardboard fans.)

From the vintage look of these machines I would guess that this sport is not currently popular (except among cardboard persons).

The other sport that I usually watch is ice hockey, and I typically go to a couple of games each year.

Hockey has also been around as a sport for quite a while, my brothers played alley hockey but I didn’t (and I never got the hang of hockey skates).

But supposing one didn’t want to see a sporting event, but wanted to see their favorite band (too bad for you).

There’s a game for that too.

Or how about the pinball wizard from the 1975 movie “Tommy”? it doesn’t have nearly the features of the previous game, but it does make all the proper pinball noises.

And then there are the grandfathers of pop music, with a rather elaborate machine that celebrates their early years. But wait a minute, there’s a “kiss meter” right next to this. Maybe it means that Kiss rules! (or not as the case may be).

These substitutes are now available to play, at least until 5 pm Friday, when everything goes into hibernation.

Up Close

Back in the spring (during this past century) I made a post about looking out over the town and the sorts of things one might see (if one had telescopic vision). I took a drive over to the the other side of town, and got a closer look at these sights that I had mentioned.

It was a fine, smoke-free summer day when I took this photo. One can see the numerous antennae atop the mountain that gives a connection to the outside world. Not visible is the military base that is a mile inside the mountain, right across from the giant Army base. It was possibly a secret at one time, but lots of people have worked there over the years, so it’s not much of a secret at this point.

Right at the end of this rather expensive neighborhood on the north end of town is an active quarry.

It’s a huge operation, as they are slowly moving rock from the site into the many building projects going on in our city. I have seen clouds of rock dust when they set off the explosives (really, it’s worth watching), but I don’t think I would care for this in my backyard.

Here is the fabulous downtown as seen from the south. Once upon a time it was the mercantile heart of the area, but now it is mostly bars and restaurants (some of them are even open).

And from the west it looks pretty much the same. The houses in the foreground are built atop mine tailings from early gold mining on the other side of the mountain.

So basically the locals have been turning the mountains inside out for over a century, and they are still at it.

Trees

There are a lot of the usual sorts of trees about town; there are avenues of elms leading to downtown, cottonwoods and mountain ash by the streams and river, aspens here and there, and lots and lots of pines, Scotch, Ponderosa, Mungo, etc. and of course Colorado Blue Spruce. Then again, if one looks closely, there are a few other species to be found.

For example, here are some “palm” trees located just outside of a cowboy bar. Easy to care for, these trees require no water and are quite sturdy.

I’m not sure what sort of tree this might be, perhaps it is something tropical.

Although this looks rather like an ordinary pine at first glance, it is actually a cell phone tower, which is quite a different species of tree. And it is very useful to have around.

With the leaves turning yellow on the top of this tree, it almost seems like it might be Fall. However this a a special grove of aluminum aspens, it’s not commonly found in nature, so they are perpetually the same.

So far no birds have been fooled by these trees, by a few people were horrified by the way these aspens had been trimmed. I guess that shows how much people love trees, whatever the kind.

Halloween

When I was young, Halloween was only a holiday for children. Shops only sold child sized costumes, there was nothing for adults except to buy candy to hand out. Some people in my neighborhood even gave out homemade treats like popcorn balls, or nickels wrapped in wax paper. As me and my brothers did not have school the next day, I thought it was the greatest holiday ever.

When I was a young adult, I convinced M to put on a costume made of cardboard (that could cost no more than 50 cents), and we would go over to friends’ for “trick or drink” . Our friends considered it quite odd, but they would provide alcohol on demand.

At some point has Halloween become a holiday for adults, with costume parties, etc. If everyone is going to do it, what’s the point, so I haven’t dressed up in years (and years). But, today’s newspaper said the tourist spot was having skeletons in the shop windows, so I decided to rush over across town. And here are a select few.

I did have to fork over a dollar to park (1 hour), so this wasn’t exactly free entertainment.

Some of the merchants were handing out candy to costumed kids, so there were a lot of people milling about, but the best show was over by this skeleton. There were persons from the opposing political camps waving banners about and insulting each other, in a bit of street theater. But as my parking meter was about to expire (and I did not want to spend another dollar), that was it for today’s visit (skeletons are much more interesting that the Christmas decorations which are soon to follow).

Art on the street

One doesn’t have to go to the museum to see art (which is good as the local museum is currently closed), it can be found on the streets, which also saves the cost of admission. 😉

If one needs to see a giant pumpkin, why here it is. And it is conveniently located about half a block from the creator’s house. (It would be a b$#@+h to move).

Even the telephone box sports some art, like this picture of a parked car, which is right next to a parking place for one’s car. (Not shown is the parking meter for said car, which allows 6 minutes for a dime).

And then there is this bit of art, which represents, uh, yes, one of those.

These steel cut-outs of birds are part of the signage for the alternative free newspaper offices. The tilework is by the same artist who created the pumpkin.

And all of this art is located right there next to each other on one street corner, available for free viewing (except for the 10 cent parking charge, daily, from 9am to 10pm).