You guys, this year New in June WORE ME OUT. In a good way. I discovered so many great things and I feel like this year, more so than the others in Denver, was truly an exploration of the area. Of course, there were the easy outs, like restaurants and coffee shops, but that is part of the deal too.
I’m excited to continue with some of the things I initially explored this June: golf, pilates, Bear Creek Lake Park; while I probably won’t be returning to Top Golf, playing drinking games, or Chatfield Reservoir. That’s all a part of the process though, and I’m better off for it.
In relation to different/new experiences, I’ve recently started asking ‘why’ more. As I explore things that others have loved and I have not, I’ve tried to determine what exactly it is that makes the same general set of actions feel totally dissimilar for two different people. This has extended from my trip to Nashville last year (I still don’t really know what all the hoopla is about) to my disaffinity for fly fishing. In light of that, this year I’m giving a little more detail than I have in years past, trying give a little more color to what is worth trying instead of just listing out the new things. [And the photo format is new too! You can now click on the pictures to see them larger.]
As in the past 5 years of doing this, I certainly gained a new appreciation for where I am, a re-realization that variety is the spice of life, and a continued desire to try new things. I hope you find some inspiration here and try taking the unexperienced path a little bit more.
For more of my every day adventures be sure to follow along on Instagram @emsbonappetit
- Post Chicken & Beer – Super tasty, not too greasy, loved the sides too – I would recommend it!
- Kurffel, Zanzibar, and a new view of downtown – I passed the night away with some new friends, starting at a random pool hall (Zanzibar), and ending with house made up drinking games (Kurffel)
- Historicity Walks – My friend started a walking tour company in Denver! She and her business partner are both from Denver and super passionate about its history. The first tour they are leading is about Denver’s most influential and interesting historical women! I loved the unknown stories of these critical figures as well as taking notice of downtown in a way I hadn’t before – go!
- Pretzel Buns – Not too hard and a nice mix up of the traditional burger bun.
- Yoga at MUV Lab – Another friend just got certified as a yoga teacher and her class was great!
- The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime – a very overwhelming, yet well done play
- Phoenix and Miike Snow at Red Rocks
- Bluegrass Thursdays at Stem Ciders
- Golf at Harvard Gulch – SO much fun and really laid back. Only 9 holes, par 3, BYOB, flip flops encouraged. I will definitely be pursuing golf as a hobby
- Bear Creek Distillery
- Chatfield Reservoir Swim Beach
- Blueprint Bar
- The Fab Method – I’ve been intrigued by the idea of doing reformer Pilates more, but classes can be expensive and hard to come by, so I got class pass and tried out The Fab Method by work, can’t wait to go back!
- Axios Denver
- Tiki Party – My midsommer party this year involved mai thais, tiki torches, big jenga and good company!
- Bear Creek Lake Park – I loved this spot! The lake is smaller than Chatfield and no boats are allowed, so the crowd is purely stand up paddle boarders and floaters – time to get an inner tube!
- A new walk in the hood – I walked 2 miles down 41st street one night after work. I ended up on Tennyson and saw so many new things along the way. There are really charming houses and streets in the Highlands and I loved the novelty of seeing a little creek in the city!
- Lookout Mountain – Drove up to the top for a picnic at sunset on the longest day of the year, it was spectacular!
- MLK Memorial in City Park
- Bar Max (and the cutest mule cup)
- MCA Denver for 3 Things, Any 3 Things – Coffee, Beer and Ice Cream. This was pretty random, but including one of the best pistacio ice cream’s I’ve had from Marczyk’s Fine Foods and learning way more about containerization (a.k.a. my job) than I ever thought I’d learn.
- Allegro Coffee Roasters
- Fort Collins – My mom went to school here and I had never been. There is a cute intersection of streets in the main part of the town. I just went up for an afternoon with a friend, we had lunch, shopped around and obviously had some beer!
- City Park Jazz – This has been on my radar for a long time, and I’m glad to have finally checked it out. There are a lot of people, but it’s low key and easy, plus who doesn’t love to have a picnic and spend some time outside listening to live music?
- Min’s Massage – A random place in a equally as random part of town, but for my great $25 hour-long chair massage, it was totally worth it. Also note chair massage as in laying in a puffy recliner the whole time, not sitting up like you are thinking…
- Denver Pho
- Kickboxing – I may or may not go back, I haven’t quite decided, but it was nice to be sore for a few days and sweat way more than I usually do in my ‘workouts’.
- Senor Bear – Good, but not as good as I wanted it to be. There’s a lot of seafood (ceviche) on the menu, so I’ll need to go back with fish eating friends.
- Top Golf – Very underwhelmed, I’ll be sticking with real golf courses and driving ranges from here on out.
- Colorado State Capitol – So cool! It’s only open on week days, but you can just go in and walk around. I didn’t time it right for a tour, but if you do go on one, you can climb up INTO the dome! Also, Frances Wisebart Jacobs, one of the women featured in #3 Historicity walking tour for her work in founding National Jewish Hospital, is the only woman to be featured in stained glass in the Capital’s dome!
- Redline Gallery – Very cool gallery with a great mission. I loved all the art in the current exhibits which just opened on June 30 and will be there for a while. The exhibit I liked the best had so much color, linear dimensions and pieces created specifically for the space. Check it out!
I touched down after my trip to SF and have been pretty much go go go since then. I just wrapped up another weekend away for some family stuff, but in addition to the travel, I managed to squeeze in some fun stuff this week too!
VIEW It’s no surprise that there’s a lot going on in Denver right now. From a growing food scene, to new residential and commercial structures, there is a ton of development in the works. A nice combo of this is El Five, a new restaurant in the highlands. The fifth floor location in the highlands has absolutely stunning views of the city and the mountains. It’s the newest property from the Edible Beats group (think Linger, Root Down, Ophelia’s – some of my favorites in Denver), so the scene was fun and drinks tasty. The food was ok, I went in week 2 so I have full confidence that they will soon work out the kinks, but you have to go for the VIEW. Grab a drink, sit on the patio for sunset. The buildings reflect the sundown and downtown is quite the sight at night.
SUPPORT Comal Heritage Food Incubator. I went to a Slow Food Denver micro-grant dinner at Coperta (one of my favorite new spots), which was a lively, tasty and educational affair. The dinner was a chance to hear from three local non-profits, which were eligible for different levels of micro-grants. I voted for Comal and they won the biggest prize! Their mission reminds me a lot of La Cocina in San Francisco, and I can not wait to try it. It’s already on my New in June list. From their website: Comal Kitchen is a heritage food incubator in partnership with Focus Points, a non-profit that serves families in the Globeville and Elyira-Swansea neighborhoods. Its goal is to provide skills in culinary arts and business to a cohort of women- many originating from Mexico, El Salvador, and Peru- to maintain and celebrate their traditions through entrepreneurial ventures.
KNOW ABOUT Mark Bradford. I joined the Denver Art Museum’s young professional group last year after my trip to New York, and have loved the exhibit previews and curator walk throughs. I’m so disappointed that I didn’t make it to the Mark Bradford/Clyfford Still exhibit event, but I just didn’t know all I would be missing. The exhibit is STILL on my list, but I have been amazed at how timely it is, since he is representing The United States at the Venice Biennalle, which has driven some top coverage. He was featured on the cover of the New York Times Sunday Arts section, as well as the cover of the LA Time Design Magazine, which I saw this weekend. It’s just amazing to me how you can not know about something and as soon as you are aware it pops up everywhere. I can’t wait to check out the Denver exhibit. He’s also in Denver next week and speaking at the DAM.
It’s always hard to believe that a year can pass in a blink of an eye. After 2015 ended, I felt like I had passed the time in a not really ‘me’ way – minimal travels, feeling like I didn’t do a ton in general… I was new to Denver and transition years are always tough. This past year; however, was much more on the mark, filled with many travels, fun house projects, growing friendships and so much more.
I also managed to do New in June for the 5th year in a row! It was my second year trying out new things in Denver and getting to know the city a little better. I still so enjoy this annual project – it’s a great motivator to get out there and reteach myself to not be complacent.
Especially in Denver, with my own home that I love spending time in, it’s become easy to accept a slower pace of life. June continues to be the one month that reignites a passion, which lingers throughout the year. I love my usual haunts, but am continually motivated to try the new dish/bar/walk/park/run/project.
As 2017 is getting started, it feels appropriate to post this, albeit 6 months late. With the new year is going to come a whole set of new adventures and opportunities that I can’t wait to embrace – looking back on all that I did last June brings even more promise for what 2017 can be.
- Reformer pilates at the gym
- Walking the trails in Greenwood Village
- Whiskey Tango Foxtrot
- Pool time at the gym
- City Park Farmers’ Market
- First summer food truck at work (and very tasty gyros)
- Playing on the work volleyball team
- First time using a SLEDGEHAMMER – part of the backyard remodel
- Ratio Beerworks
- Meeting Anna Schnelle!
- Summer Art Walk
- Mountain Ranch Bar & Grille at Coors Field
- Mell’s Cheese
- Laying sod! Last step in the backyard remodel
- The Way Back
- Bike to work day – 16 miles!
- Rhein Haus
- New breakfast sandwich from Backcountry Deli
- Los Chingones DTC
- Museum Outdoor Arts
- Walking all the way down Shoshone St.
- Union Station Farmers’ Market
- My first back yard party!
- Walking around Rocky Muntain Lake Park
- Driving home in intense hail and rain!
- Live music night at the Marina at Cherry Creek
- Upstairs Circus
- Sculpture exhibit at the Denver Botanic Gardens
- Hillstone Denver
Well, hello! I can’t believe how long it’s been. Summer swallowed me up and has just spit me out. It’s been an awesome season so far – I took a weekend trip to Santa Fe, my sister and parents visited, as did a friend from Sweden, and I went camping in CO for the first time. Many of these weekends and adventures fit themselves nicely into New in June, and while it was a bit of a challenge, I did it – 30 new things in June!
Being new to Denver, the easiest things to try were new restaurants and coffee shops, but I experiences a fair amount of other places and things. It’s funny though, because while there is a lot to do here, there is a certain uniqueness that’s found in San Francisco, that I haven’t found yet here… the secret stair cases, hidden mountain slides, and things of the sort. I’m sure all in due time I’ll discover some Denver gems too, but this year I was just happy to do my 30 new things and continue to explore this city.
- Novo Coffee
- Museum of Contemporary Art
- Softball at a new field and playing in the hail (summer hail is definitely a new thing all in its own)
- Infinite Monkey Theorem
- Road trip to Santa Fe with le boyfriend*
- Santa Fe Cathedral
- Georgia O’Keeffe Museum
- Steam Espresso Bar
- Bike ride on Cherry Creek Trail* and a stop at Denver Beer Co.
- Root Down*
- A visit from Brooke and breakfast at Sam’s no. 3
- Deborah Butterfield at the Denver Botanic Gardens*
- Lower 48*
- The Rooftop at the Rockies Stadium
- Mom and Dad in Denver and a happy hour at Prost*
- Joan Miro at the Denver Art Museum
- Bike to Work Day
- Civic Center Eats
- Declaration Brewing Company
- Riding the light rail
- Attending a polo match
- Curtis Park Deli*
- Mercantile Dining & Provision (amazing pastry for breakfast)
- Happy Hour at a bank opening
- Using fondant to decorate a cake – yay Craftsy!
- All the other things – just too many things happened that I forgot to take pictures of like me hosting my first Denver BBQ, having dinner at Steuben’s and brunch at Black Pearl.
* my favorite new things of the month
I’ve really been embracing the snow. I haven’t really known any other life in Denver than Winter, but so far so good! I learned to ski a few weekends ago and have been up each weekend since. While I didn’t ski this weekend, I did make another trip to the mountains to enjoy some moonlight snowshoeing and dining.
The ski resort A-Basin hosts a moonlight dinner series in the winter months coinciding with the full moon. Each dinner is an international theme held at the restaurant up the mountain, to which you can snowshoe up! It was awesome.
I have to admit that the food wasn’t the highlight of the night, but the mountain at night-time was spectacular. Seeing the sun set over the ridge and watching the moon rise over the mountains as we were walking down was stunning. The stars were out in full force and with each minute the moon reflected brighter and brighter.
I’ve so been enjoying all these new experiences and getting to know the mountains that I can see from my apartment windows. If I had to trade views of the ocean for something, I think the Rockies are the best thing I could have chosen.
I suppose apple cider donuts scream a little more fall than they do winter, but I felt like they were a perfect treat to enjoy for breakfast before snow shoeing on Saturday!
I’ve been wanting to make this recipe for a while, ever since Emily made them here and I’ve got to say they were tasty! It was my first time making cake donuts, which were surprisingly easy – you make basically a cake bater, freeze it for a bit to stiffen it up, then cut it out and fry it. Easy peasy.
Of course, I have a few self critiques, just to make sure you guys don’t make the same mistakes…
- The recipe said to use a whisk, but they were just slightly too fluffy for my taste – I like a little denser donut, so next time I’ll have at it with the paddle attachment.
- They tasted kind of like a churro. I LOVE churros, so yay me, but the apple cider wasn’t as strong as I was hoping and the sugar/cinnamon coatings was a bit strong. Next time use real boiled cider and less cinnamon.
- The other thing that made them more churro like was the fact that they were pretty thin. I don’t have a true 3″ donut ring, so I used a couple of biscuit cutters. Totally worked, but next time, I would make sure they are thicker.
And that’s it about the donuts. I will probably try to make them again, because I do love a churro, almost more than I love a donut.
Now onto the snow shoeing. SO fun. I’d been wanting to use my hand-me-down snow shoes for years now and finally got my shot. We went up to Jones Pass, which had a clear path with absolutely stunning views. We hiked for just over an hour and had we been really really motivated we would have gone all the way up another 1,000 ft to the continental divide. But maybe next time. Maybe in the summer.
Obviously, everyone loved the donuts too. Recipe here.