Colfax & Downing

Everything you need to know about the Mile High City

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Colorado Rapids Stands

Colorado Rapids

gate c dick's sporting goods park

I’m a soccer fan.

In fact, I probably spend too much time listening to the Men In Blazers, reading blogs, analyzing formations, and (of course) watching matches.

My poison of choice is the English Premier League. The richest sporting league on the planet. With it comes multi-million dollar transfers, managers with a shelf life shorter than bananas at King Soopers, and the most entertaining/attacking and competitive soccer in the world.

But this post isn’t about the EPL.

Dick's Sporting Goods Field Colorado Rapids

This post is about supporting your local club. For me, that’s the Colorado Rapids.

I’ve come to love the Rapids since moving to Colorado nearly a decade ago. As a fan, I’ve seen the team win the Cup in 2010 and struggle to win a game in 2014. To say the least, it’s been a rollercoaster ride but the constant throughout the journey has been the unparalleled sporting experience you get at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.

Are you still with me?

Rocky Mountain Cup Colorado Rapids

Ok, hear me out.

It’s Cheap

I’m going to a playoff game next week where I’ll sit 10 rows back from the middle of the pitch with C38 (the supporters group) for only $35.

That’s right. A postseason match against one of the (historically) best teams in MLS history.

The Atmosphere

Chanting. Singing. Yelling. It’s all a part of the experience.

Don’t know the songs? You’ll be able to pick it up right away so long as you know a little John Denver and have been to a sporting event in your life.

Colorado Rapids Fans during Rocky Mountain Cup

The Tailgate

Be sure to get to the match early and head to the south parking lot. There, you’ll find the BBQs smoking and craft beer flowing for the small donation of $5. All proceeds go to the C38 supporters group for future tailgate supplies.

The Talent

This league is surprisingly good.

The MLS has come a long way in 20 years. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not a retirement league for European superstars, although it still happens from time to time. I’m looking at you, Galaxy and NYCFC.

On any given matchday, you’ll find the next big USA player getting ready for World Cup qualification, an exciting homegrown player gaining experience, and big time European players in the prime of their career.

Sunset over Dicks Sporting Goods Park Colorado Rapids Rocky Mountain Cup

I’m not trying to sell you on becoming a soccer fan but if you’re looking for a professional sporting experience unlike anything else in Colorado that offers you entertainment, access, and fun without breaking the bank; support local soccer and go to a Rapids match.

Hope to see you there.

COME ON, YOU RAPIDS!

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Denver car share

Denver Car Shares

In late November of last year, Drew was driving our beloved Juke Nismo  (Liam Nissan was his name) when a driver who was texting (PSA: DO NOT TEXT AND DRIVE, KIDS) blitzed right through a red stoplight in his company’s construction truck and T-boned our car, totaling it. We’re really fortunate that Drew was okay minus some whiplash and bruises. The car, however, was declared a total loss.

Since we live close to work and pride ourselves on walking often, we decided to wait a few months before taking the plunge back into car ownership. We learned a few things along the way and wanted to share some numbers with you. If you’re considering going car-less in our city or wondering if it would work for you, I hope our experience can help you weigh the benefits.

car2go Denver
The pros: Hundreds of them available throughout the city. Park them anywhere that offers two hours of public parking. Attendants service and re-fuel them. In our time as car2go-ers, we never had to visit a gas station. You can also reserve one 30 minutes prior to needing it.
The cons: You can only take two people at a time. At $0.41 per minute, car2g0 can hardly be described as an affordable option for anything less than zipping across downtown in a frenzy and parking immediately. Get stuck in traffic for 15 minutes and you’re adding insult to injury. Additionally, every trip has a $1.11 service fee.
Our experience: In such a small vehicle, I never felt safe. There’s something unsettling about your face being mere inches from the windshield. When you see folks rallying these cars across town, you know it’s because they’re trying to maximize their spend. On a day with half an inch of snow on the ground in December, we couldn’t pry a car2go from the curb to get home from the grocery store. Physical comedy ensued as Drew gunned the accelerator pedal and the car went nowhere but the wheel spun enough to drench me in snow and muddy slush as I stood behind it, pushing. The last straw for me came when a neighbor had locked her iPhone in a car2go. Because the vehicles are unlocked via an app, she was not able to get back inside the locked vehicle to retrieve it. She found me and Drew and asked for help getting back in. We opened the vehicle, she retrieved her phone, we closed the vehicle. The next day I found out that they had charged us for more than four hours of drive time even though I had never even started the engine. When I reached out by email to request a refund and explain what happened, the reply I received came in the form of a full-page email lecture by a guy mansplaining how car2go works and that they would only return my money since it was a first-time offense and they wouldn’t give me the same courtesy a second time. Their words, not mine. No good deed goes unpunished.
What we spent in six months: $380

Enterprise Car Share
The pros: Ability to reserve days in advance.
The cons: Vehicles must be returned to the same parking space where it was rented, making a one-way trip impossible and errands stressful. You’re in charge of filling the gas tank if it’s below one quarter. More on that below. They also require at least three hours of notice when canceling your reserved time. If you cancel within less than three hours, you still pay for the first three hours of your reservation, or the cost of your reservation, whichever is less. This added up quickly if our plans changed, to say the least.
Our experience: I’m really glad we had this as an option, especially since there was a designated vehicle only two blocks from our place. It wasn’t without it’s challenges though. In the glovebox was a specific debit card for gas station purposes. It never worked. It assures you that it works at every gas station but when you swipe it anywhere (and we tried multiple times), the keypad requests your membership number and then fails. Every. Time. Any time we were low on gas, we had to submit photographed gas receipts for reimbursement. Pain in the ass. Another time, we were unable to get into the car when we had a reservation. As it turned out, the driver before us had not put the key fob back correctly. They manually opened it for us remotely when we called but we lost 40 minutes. They kindly offered to credit us a complimentary hour to make up for the inconvenience, then billed us for it. Chasing down a refund for $9 and trying to explain that it was supposed to be a free credit when there were no notes in their system was nothing short of confusing. Their customer service representatives were very kind but no one could ever answer questions we had about the app itself.
What we spent in six months: $439.01

Regular ol’ Enterprise
As Enterprise members, we were able to take advantage of a special they ran: Friday night through Monday morning for $26. We made these reservations when we knew we had to run multiple errands, for a friend’s baby’s first birthday outside of town, etcetera.
The pros: Reasonably priced! Especially compared to the car shares. We also earned enough loyalty points during our car-less months to warrant leveling up in membership – we now get 10% more points per rental and one free vehicle upgrade per year.
The cons: You can only drive 100 miles per day, or 300 for the entire reservation. So it wasn’t an option for taking a car to see my parents a few hours south, for example.
What we spent in six months: $212.58

Denver car share

Uber
The pros: They come to you! Many drivers are incredibly warm and from all over the world. Fun to hear their stories and Drew always hits them up for restaurant recommendations. Plus, if you’re an SPG member, you can sync your Uber account to your SPG account so that you’ll earn 1 point for every $1 you spend with Uber.
The cons: Expenses add up pretty quickly. Some drivers aren’t as nice as others. One in particular complained about Uber for the 30 minutes we were in his cigarette smoke infested car and then lobbied us heavily for a cash tip at the end, which was uncomfortable. Another launched into an uninvited tirade against Hillary Clinton and called Obama a “race baiter” at 3 a.m. on the way to Denver International. Sir, we have not even had our coffee yet.
What we spent in six months: $567.39 – a combination of trips around town, work travel for Drew in San Francisco and Las Vegas, and airport trips during our vacation in South Carolina.

Total Damage: $1,598.98, or $228.43 per month. For us, this was the equivalent of a monthly car payment for a new vehicle or the total cost of a reasonably financed vehicle + insurance + gas.

The Verdict: We wouldn’t do it again. It’s not lost on us that this solution would never work for people that don’t live close to town and/or have children. One late night when Boris was sick and needed urgent care, our good friend Kristin generously lent us her car at midnight. And so on. Now that we’re car owners again, I find myself more grateful than ever to have wheels. Last month, we bought a slightly used VW from our friend Travis and made a few repairs to it. The logistics of going somewhere melt away when the vehicle you own is parked nearby. It’s something we won’t be taking for granted any time soon.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

One Year of Colfax & Downing

Colfax and Downing 1 year anniversary
I keep a five-year diary by my bedside and it occurred to me the other day that we launched this little blog a year ago, already. We’ve covered everything from breakfast biscuits to burgers and color runs to goat farms. Other Denver devotees have become great reads that we never miss – special shout-outs to Deborah at Dear Denver, David at The Good Life Denver, and Justin at Denver Urban Review.

Though our posts are intermittent, Drew and I still are having a blast sharing our love story about the Mile High City with you. We would love to know who’s reading. Show yourself! Comment on this post or send us an email to tell us. Find us on Facebook, the Twitterverse, and the ‘gram.

Thanks for tuning in! Cheers to the coming years.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

The Big Game 2016: GO BRONCOS!

BRONCOS

If you’re reading this on the morning of February 7, just know that Clare and I are walking Boris in his orange and blue jersey and powering through coffee until kickoff. Panthers, you’re going down.

#broncoscountry #unitedinorange #SB50 #EpicComebackStartsRightHere

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

Alamo Drafthouse Cinema

Drew had been to the Alamo Drafthouse in Littleton twice with dude friends to see essential men’s movies such as Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron. Obviously he was obligated to step up and take me on a date to see Pitch Perfect 2 on its premier weekend.

Alamo Drafthouse Littleton

To be clear, Alamo Drafthouse is a theater chain and not necessarily a Denver institution. With that disclaimer, it’s well worth a visit or five. Two-seater tables back up against reclining theater chairs and your table features a tiny lamp underneath so you can read a food and beverage menu without disturbing the darkness during the movie. The menu features small bites, burgers, salads, ice cream and bottomless herb buttered popcorn. The screen features a promo before the movie that advises viewers to, “Tip your server! They do everything a regular server does except they do it running full-speed in the dark.” I can get behind this dine-in theater concept. Movies already cost a fortune and a tall soda often retails for the same amount I spend on coffee in a week’s time. Why not throw caution to the wind and order a meal? The prices at Alamo were very reasonable. I noshed on a quinoa salad (a bit disorienting in the dark, I will say) and Drew tipped back a Wynkoop Railyard Pale Ale. We combined forces to demolish two large bowls of popcorn and ruined our dinner because that’s just what you do. To order, you write your request on a small piece of paper and stick it in a slot where your server will notice it from a neighboring aisle. With wordless ordering, service was excellent and surprisingly unobtrusive.

Alamo Drafthouse Littleton Movie

I won’t spoil the plot of Pitch Perfect 2 for any fans that might be reading this that haven’t seen it yet but I will say that Anna Kendrick can do no wrong. God, how I love her. One of the unique qualities of the Alamo is that they find obscure Internet content featuring cast members from the movie or random clips about the same topic (acapella, in this case) and they play a reel of this delightful strangeness before the film. In addition to some seriously bizarre footage of small children dressed like celebrities from the 1980s that I wish I could un-see, there was also this beautiful music video for Cups (When I’m Gone), which I had never happened upon before.

Alamo Drafthouse Pitch Perfect 2

Tim League, Alamo’s founder and CEO, describes the company priorities:

  1. Share the movies we love with as many people as possible.
  2. Be a community cultural center.
  3. Build an audience for classic, golden era cinema.
  4. Build an audience for foreign language films.
  5. Build a youth and collegiate cinephile audience.
  6. Help local video stores survive as community cultural centers.
  7. Help preserve our vulnerable 35mm film history.
  8. Help preserve our even more vulnerable VHS film history

What are you waiting for? Go catch a flick. Order a beer. Suck down an ice cream sundae. Alamo is on Facebook and Tweeterz.

Colfax and Downing Bye For Now

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