Best Of » Best Of 2005

Uniquely Us

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Best Mothership Sighting - Best Buried Voltron Head - Best Opulent Use of Clip Art - Editorial pick - The pyramid sculpture on the Pioneers Museum lawn, - east side of Nevada Avenue - SEAN CAYTON
  • Sean Cayton
  • Best Mothership Sighting Best Buried Voltron Head Best Opulent Use of Clip Art Editorial pick The pyramid sculpture on the Pioneers Museum lawn, east side of Nevada Avenue

Best Mothership Sighting

Best Buried Voltron Head

Best Opulent Use of Clip Art

Editorial pick

The pyramid sculpture on the Pioneers Museum lawn, east side of Nevada Avenue

Whatever it is, we don't want to be around when it wakes up. -- KL

Best Renewal of Faith in Colorado Springs' Humanity

Editorial pick

The community reaction to Fred Phelps' visits

Being progressive in Colorado Springs can be a true test of faith. When followers of the Rev. Fred Phelps of Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kan., visited Colorado Springs twice this year to protest, among other things, Palmer High School, Poor Richard's Restaurant and Focus on the Family, one had to wonder what would happen. Thankfully, our community rallied to counter-protest and denounce this hatred in a unified voice. As a reaction to the visits, a series of community discussions took place, involving everyone from conservative Republicans to gay and lesbian leaders. Maybe, just maybe, we can learn to get along. -- SJG

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Best couch surfing Editorial pick El Paso county commissioner meetings

District 11 school board meetings

These reality shows are better than Jerry Springer! Watch Eric Christen call the board president a buffoon, and worse! See the ever-preening Douglas Bruce harangue Sallie Clark. These are your elected officials; you may as well watch them in action.

District 11 school board meetings are televised every Wednesday. Go to D11.org and click on Channel 16 for the full schedule.

The Monday and Thursday county commissioner meetings are broadcast live on the Internet. Go to bcc.elpasoco.com/bocc/agenda.asp and click on the live audio/video link to get hooked in. -- CD

Best Spellcheck-Gone-Wild

Editorial pick The Gazette's newsroom

Who else could turn a Sunni into a "Sunny," a Shiite into a "Sheltie" and Baghdad into "Bighead" -- all in the same story? Let's throw in Saddam Hussein as "Sadden Hussein," Professor Farideh Farhi renamed "Frieda Fairy," Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini as Ayatollah "Royally" Khomeini and a fellow named Saleh Mutlak as "Sale Mukluk." The thing that appeared in the May 20 edition was so error-ridden that the daily reprinted the entire piece, corrected, the next day. -- CD

Best Realty Company

Best After-School Hangout - Boulder Street Coffee Roasters - BRUCE ELLIOTT
  • Bruce Elliott
  • Best After-School Hangout Boulder Street Coffee Roasters

Readers poll winner

RE/MAX Properties Inc.

Multiple locations around town

remax.com

One thing's certain about our boomin' burbs -- a lot of folks are selling homes. And buying them. RE/MAX is the first name out of many people's lips when they decide to enter what can be a scary landscape of home-buying. Perhaps it's the amazingly successful and omnipresent advertising campaign, but we suspect it's the fact that they hire friendly, knowledgeable agents who are infinitely patient and willing to work with families on what, for most, is the biggest purchase of their lives. -- BLS

Best After-School Hangout

Boulder Street Coffee Roasters
332 N. Tejon St., 577-4291

Parents, don't worry about your kids when they're hanging out at Boulder Street after school. They're playing chess, talking about music, life and love, reading a copy of Moby Dick or the Indy. See, Boulder Street is the kind of locally owned coffee shop that embraces city life, and doesn't keep its customers safely corralled into designated "patio seating." There are colorful characters to be found there, sure. You can bet that your son will get better advice about girlfriend troubles from Vince, the cowboy-hatted troubadour, than he would from watching a week's worth of Dr. Phil. Boulder Street provides a sense of community, locality and understanding. And really, what more could an after-school hangout aspire to? -- SG

Best Apartment Complex

Readers poll winner

Best Tacky Tourist Trap - Readers poll winner - Manitou Cliff Dwellings - Cliff Dwellings Road, Manitou Springs, 685-5242 - cliffdwellingsmuseum.com - Veer off Highway 24 onto Cliff Dwellings Road and for - less than a Hamilton, spend the day touring Anasazi Cliff - Dwellings. Yes, they are authentic, though they actually - were relocated to their present site. Feel free to touch - and even wander through the 700-year-old preserved - structures. And if you want to spend more than 10 - bucks, dont fret! An on-site gift shop is full of books, - videos, replicated Anasazi artifacts, handmade jewelry, - pottery and rugs that theyll gladly exchange for cash or - plastic. The Cliff Dwellings are open year-round, and a - discounted holiday shopping pass (for $8 plus the - regular admission charge) gets you unlimited visits and - 30 percent off your purchases between Nov. 25 and Jan. - 5. No wonder the North Pole is so close by  Santas no - dummy.  CSB
  • Best Tacky Tourist Trap Readers poll winner Manitou Cliff Dwellings Cliff Dwellings Road, Manitou Springs, 685-5242 cliffdwellingsmuseum.com Veer off Highway 24 onto Cliff Dwellings Road and for less than a Hamilton, spend the day touring Anasazi Cliff Dwellings. Yes, they are authentic, though they actually were relocated to their present site. Feel free to touch and even wander through the 700-year-old preserved structures. And if you want to spend more than 10 bucks, dont fret! An on-site gift shop is full of books, videos, replicated Anasazi artifacts, handmade jewelry, pottery and rugs that theyll gladly exchange for cash or plastic. The Cliff Dwellings are open year-round, and a discounted holiday shopping pass (for $8 plus the regular admission charge) gets you unlimited visits and 30 percent off your purchases between Nov. 25 and Jan. 5. No wonder the North Pole is so close by Santas no dummy. CSB

The Oasis Apartments

1495 Farnham Point, 520-0800

theoasisapartments.com

It's midnight at the Oasis ... and you could be surfin' the Net or preparing a proposal for an early-morning meeting in the 24-hour, on-site business center. Or pumping some serious iron and burning calories on the treadmill in the 24-hour exercise room. If it was slightly earlier than, say, 10 p.m., you could be soaking away the stress of the day in the pool, which is heated year-round. Throw in seven options for one- and two-bedroom apartments, all painted a pleasant, soft white with impeccably clean neutral carpet, manicured lawns, mountain views and a friendly, knowledgeable leasing specialist named Celeste, and some may say you'd better get your name on the waiting list. -- CSB

Best Tacky Tourist Trap

Readers poll winner

Manitou Cliff Dwellings

Cliff Dwellings Road, Manitou Springs, 685-5242

cliffdwellingsmuseum.com

Veer off Highway 24 onto Cliff Dwellings Road and for less than a Hamilton, spend the day touring Anasazi Cliff Dwellings. Yes, they are authentic, though they actually were "relocated" to their present site. Feel free to touch and even wander through the 700-year-old preserved structures. And if you want to spend more than 10 bucks, don't fret! An on-site gift shop is full of books, videos, replicated Anasazi artifacts, handmade jewelry, pottery and rugs that they'll gladly exchange for cash or plastic. The Cliff Dwellings are open year-round, and a discounted holiday shopping pass (for $8 plus the regular admission charge) gets you unlimited visits and 30 percent off your purchases between Nov. 25 and Jan. 5. No wonder the North Pole is so close by -- Santa's no dummy. -- CSB

Best Little Recording Studio in the West - Editorial pick - Western Jubilee Recording Company - RICK GORHAM
  • Rick Gorham
  • Best Little Recording Studio in the West Editorial pick Western Jubilee Recording Company

Best Little Recording Studio in the West

Editorial pick

Western Jubilee Recording Company

P.O. Box 9187, 328-1617

westernjubilee.com

Once upon a time, Norman Blake came to town with his wife, Nancy. All day long, every day, they fiddled and picked and plucked and sang and mixed tracks at the Western Jubilee Recording Company. They didn't need synthesizers or sound effects. For the most part, the first take was good enough. They sang old-timey American songs about small towns and young love and dark and stormy weather and the sunny side of life. Their 2004 album, recorded at Western Jubilee, was called Morning Glory Ramblers, and it was nominated for a Grammy. Western Jubilee, you do us proud. -- KCE

Best Yard Art

Editorial pick

Gigantic Bugs

605 E. Willamette Ave.

It's recommended not to take your granny by this downtown house, lest she wet herself as she relives horror movie memories circa 1950. See GIANT LIZARDS attack a house! Watch as a fiendish PRAYING MANTIS eats an innocent tree! Poor Granny. Really, it's all the work of local artist Tom Henderson, whose massive sculptures adorn not only his front yard, but downtown as well. Check out his big ol' fiberglass "Baseball Guy" in front of Southside Johnny's, as part of the Downtown Partnership's "Art on the Streets" series. Incidentally, the DP is trying to snag one of Henderson's giant critters as part of next year's exhibit. Imagine: ASTONISHING BUGS devour U. S. Bank! Poor, poor Granny. -- KL

Best Yard Art - Editorial pick - Gigantic Bugs - COLLAN FITZPATRICK

Best Cultural Attraction

Readers poll winner

Fine Arts Center
30 W. Dale St., 634-5581

csfineartscenter.org

The FAC is basking in the spotlight, and not just from the year's exceptionally successful Dale Chihuly and Andy Warhol exhibits. The center rightfully flaunts fine art in the Taylor Museum, performances by the reputable REP, or Repertory Theatre Company, and other groups, as well as the Bemis Art School, Cravings restaurant and the new, modern and inviting Deco Lounge, which hosts wine tastings regularly. On Sept. 30, the opening-night audience of The REP's Anything Goes was the first to fill the FAC's newly renovated theatre, which dates back to the center's founding in 1936. -- VM

Best Venue Switcharoo

Editorial pick

Soda Jerk's Move to and Acquisition of Darkside/Black Sheep

2106 E. Platte Ave.

sodajerkpresents.com

When it became apparent that the Navajo Hogan was going through some, er, troubles, Soda Jerk's main Springs nizzle, Marc Peralta, packed up the whole carnival o' rock and moved it to Darkside, where he's thrown a seamless series of shows and whose lease he's since taken over. With the city's current dearth of live music venues -- especially for music of the loud and/or abrasive sort that Soda Jerk promotes -- we all ought to thank our lucky punk stars that Soda Jerk found such a quick and painless move, and hope that this turns out to be a permanent home. -- AR

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