Wednesday, April 25, 2018

The Golden Triangle Neighborhood

It was a very cold and rainy afternoon this past Saturday afternoon when I went to the Denver Art Museum, as seen in the above diptych, and as I walked back to my car, I had to ask myself several questions.  For one thing, why did the City of Denver opt for the design of the Denver Public Library as seen in the above photo on the left?  It is supposed to reflect the various historical aspects of the state, including its mining heritage, and it might just do this, but it is ugly.  And secondly, why is there a photograph of a woman's torso, clad in a bikini, tied up in ropes, on the wall of a building, as seen in the photograph on the right?  I have asked this question before, but it is still a good one.  The photograph is located on the wall of an upscale resale shop across the street from the Denver Art Museum (the DAM).  Is this enough of a reason? Sometimes I think Denver has as many nuts as California, but in fact, there are so many Californians living here now, how could that not happen?  I'm just sayin'.

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Less Than A Month To See Degas...

The Degas exhibit at the Denver Art Museum will end May 20th, which is not very away.  I myself am hoping my sister Susan and brother-in-law George will be able to see the exhibit with me, but if not, I intend to see it myself before it leaves Denver.  After all, this is the only museum in the world where it will be exhibited, and who wants to pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity like that?  And how did the Denver Art Museum wind up with this exclusive honor?  I suspect blackmail photos, but can't prove it.  Yet.

Monday, April 23, 2018

A DAM Crowded Museum

It was a pretty cold and rainy day this past Saturday, so I decided to visit the the Denver Art Museum.  The place was jam-packed, many there to see the Degas Exhibit, which is set to close in less than a month.  The last time I was at the museum, for Final Friday, the place was pretty empty.  I didn't look around too much, and didn't stay long. This time, people crowded all around the paintings, making it harder to look at the art, but for some reason I was bound and determined to have a look at everything.  I think that is because I am too tired after working all week to enjoy Final Fridays.  Perhaps they could do Final Saturdays instead?  I think I am going to suggest that.

In any case, I was particularly impressed with the modernist works from the museum's Western American Art collection.  Most of the paintings feature scenes of New Mexico by early 20th century Taos artists, but several pieces, like the one of Long's Peak in the photo on the right, are of Colorado. This particular painting is by Sven Birger Sandzen, a Swedish-American artist who taught at Bethany College in Kansas, but who traveled to Colorado to paint several times a year.  I am not sure why Sven continued to live in Kansas until the end of this life after actually seeing it, but it  takes all kinds, I guess.

I was particularly impressed with the painting on the left, by German-American artist Arnold Ronnebeck, titled North From Chappell House, a brownstone mansion once located at the corner of 13th and Logan here in Denver and an early home of the Denver Art Museum, not to mention the University of Denver Art School. Ronneback  paints a scene that shows the Denver cityscape, including the spires of  the Cathedral Basilica of the Immaculate Conception.  I must say from both  my and others attempts to capture the Denver skyline, this is definitely the way to go.  Denver is a great city to live in - don't get me wrong - but it is just not quaint, and no matter how much you try, you can't make it that way.  And one other thing about my visit to the museum.  I kept calculating the age the artist died  each time I looked at a painting.  It is just as bad as reading the obituaries.  Being just 13 weeks away from filing for social security and medicare, I don't need a psychiatrist to figure out why I am doing this, but it has to stop.  Morbid is morbid, after all.  Feel free to quote me on that.

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The April Mutt Of The Month

The April Mutt of the Month is none other than Tutu, my sister Susan and brother-in-law George's Yorkie.  I told my sister Tutu was going to receive this honor, and she objected strongly, saying that Tutu is a pure bred.  I say tough.  And I also need to add that although Tutu looks like a sweet dog in the above photograph, the reality is much different.  When I have dinner with Susan and George, Tutu spends the entire dinner barking, until one of us can no longer stand it anymore and put's her in the bathroom for the remainder of the meal.  I'm just sayin'.

Saturday, April 21, 2018

Mark And Stuart At Old Chicago

My friends Mark and Stuart and I were planning to attend the Colorado Rockies - Chicago Cubs game at Coors Field last night, but the weather was so cold and rainy that we decided  to skip the game and head for Old Chicago instead.  Mark just returned this week from visiting friends in Leeds, England, and I was so preoccupied listening to his tales of British soccer that I forgot to take a photograph for my blog.  What to do?  Make one up, of course!  And so in the Photoshopped photograph above are Mark, on the left, and Stuart, on the right, taken at Old Chicago.  But not just any Old Chicago.  We actually dined at the Old Chicago on Colorado Boulevard here in Denver, but the above photo was taken at the Old Chicago in Golden, which no longer exists.  It seems fitting, somehow.  And by the way, we missed a cliffhanger - the Cubs beat the Rockies 16 to 4.  

Friday, April 20, 2018

Remembering Knox College

My sister Susan was reminiscing about her years at Knox College the other day.  She still receives the Knox newsletter, even though she has never once informed them of her address.  I suspect that colleges and universities employee ex-CIA agents to make sure they have an exact location for every student who ever attended their school, thus enabling them to barrage alumni with requests for money for the rest of their lives..  In any case, I remember driving to Galesburg with Susan and my mother and father when she first started college there.  I ran across the above photographs from that trip in one of our old photo albums.  In the photo on the left is of course me, at my most harming best, the photo in the center is of my father Nelson, and the photo on the right shows my sister Susan with her sorority sisters (Susan is on the left, looking as though drying dishes is the most wonderful activity in the world.  How times have changed). The Knox campus is very pretty, by the way, and as I remember it, Galesburg is a very pretty, and historic town, too. It is the birthplace of Carl Sandburg, and was also the site of one of the Lincoln-Douglas debates.  That one trip was the only time I ever visited the place.  After that we would take Susan to the LaSalle Street Station (now long gone) in downtown Chicago, where she would catch the Rock Island train back to Galesburg. And would I ever want to go back there to visit? I guess it is like going to the rodeo - once is interesting, twice is a mistake.

Thursday, April 19, 2018

Spring Has Sprung

Denver's temperatures  have been in the upper 70s for most of the past week, and pretty white buds are coming out on all the trees around here.  In the center of Evans Avenue,  near the University of Denver's Driscoll Center, where the DU Bookstore - my former employer - is located, a line of these white budded trees bloom every year, as well as on the campus itself, as seen in the photograph above.  Sadly, while Denver has many days in the 70s and 80s during the spring, it also usually has a snow storm every so often, and when one of these hits, the white buds disappear and grow back green,  ending the spring colors all too quickly.  And by the way, the tower in the photograph above is the only thing that is left of the Buchtel Memorial Chapel, which burned down in 1983.  And no - I had nothing to do with it.