Hamilton Denver

Denver Life: Going to See Hamilton

Unless you’ve been living in a cave, you’ve probably heard about the hit Broadway show “Hamilton” that swept through Denver in a flurry of Broadway tour madness. In fact, a year before Hamilton was due to arrive in town, the Denver Center for Performing Arts made it possible for subscribers to get tickets based on their theater subscription. I didn’t do that. In fact, I left it to chance because I had no idea what I would be doing a year from the time they started advertising the fact that the show would be in town.  Fortune smiled on me!

 

Going to the DCPA

Recently it was revealed that spending on arts and culture in Denver surpasses spending on anything else. This doesn’t surprise me. We’re not hicks just waiting for cool things to happen. We’re actively courting cool sh$t to come to town and actually making a point of enjoying the theater, art shows, and whatever else we can think of.

The DCPA is fun because it feels like there is no barrier to accessibility. Don’t have fancy clothes? No worries, just go. I’ll admit that I would love to see more people dressing up (am old-school ) but, if dressing up is keeping you from going to the theater-just be clean and smell good and enjoy yourself.

Hamilton

Ok, somehow Alexander Hamilton’s story became this epically interesting tale of intrigue, romance, and shadiness. Before I went to the show I’d only heard two of the songs and had a vague idea of what would happen. In fact, I was concerned that it was all going to be a bunch of hype.

It wasn’t.

And, as the show went on I found myself absolutely enthralled and caught up in the story of Hamilton, George Washington, and the rest. It was almost like watching the Maury Povich show “You are the father of…the United States…”

The music was incredible, the casting was amazing, and the story was based on real events.

There were problems such as the fact that demand far outweighed the availability of tickets. I had friends who were number 20,000+ on the epic waitlist. And, the tickets weren’t cheap. Cheaper than New York, but they weren’t cheap.

Finally, the show breezed in and out of town so fast it made my head spin. We needed more time. One thing is for certain, it’s obvious that the show will be back. Book of Mormon has swung through three times (it’s stopping through again this June).

The Queen City was a happy and willing host for the thousands of guests from surrounding states such as: Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska, Oklahoma, and New Mexico who visit on long weekends to take in the sights of Denver.

So, did Hamilton live up to the hype? Yep, it sure did! The beginning of the show was a little slow for me (and I had to adjust to the musicality of the show). Once that happened I was transported into America’s founding fathers’ history.

I can’t wait to see it again and I do hope that people who missed the show the first time will get a chance to check out the show.

The Commons on Champa

SQS016: Jesse Shuler-The Commons on Champa

I’m not sure when I first heard of The Commons on Champa, a welcoming space for entrepreneurs in the process of starting and nurturing their new businesses. As a personal finance blogger (that’s my other project) I was intrigued and thrilled about the idea of a free co-working space. Fortunately for the City of Denver and the entrepreneurial community-The Commons on Champa is so much more than a “free co-working space.”

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Listen to the Show

Jesse Shuler: The Commons on Champa

One of topics that I’m very interested in is the idea of community and community building. With that in mind, I knew that I had to speak with Jesse Shuler, Community Manager of the Commons. In addition to being a great guy, he and Jacqui Dietrich (Manager of the Commons) do an incredible job of coordinator a vast variety of resources and connections for local startups.

Show Notes

  • What’s Jesse’s role

 

  • Who started The Commons on Champa?

 

  • What year did The the Commons Open?

 

  • What resources does it provide entrepreneurs

 

  • We dig deeper

 

 

 

  • I wonder how this is all free

 

 

Stay Connected with The Commons

 

 

Other Resources Mentioned

  • Siteground Webhosting-Creating a website? Or, frustrated with your current website host? Siteground may be the solution for you.

 

  • Michelle JacksonWork With Me
    • If you are an entrepreneur needing writing support, I would be happy to lend a hand. I’ve written for Vice.com, Aspiration, Centsai and other platforms. Check out my online portfolio HERE.

 

  • Hired-Looking to work with a business in the technology space? Set up your profile with Hired today!

The Colorado Tool Kit

Almost every Coloradan carries a mix of these items-and sunglasses!


30 Things About Denver

30 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Denver

I’ve lived in Colorado for the majority of my life. And, I’ve lived in two different cities in the state of Colorado: Boulder and Denver. For this post, I’m going to share 30 things you need to know before moving to Denver. And, some of these things may just surprise you!

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

30 Things You Need to Know Before Moving to Denver

  • Denver is NOT for Everyone-And, neither is Colorado. I have three friends who hated living here. It just wasn’t a good fit for them and they are moving to states that will make them happier.

 

  • Grew up around the ocean-Think hard before you move to Colorado. Two of the friends mentioned in the previous point grew up next two water. The dry heat, lack of rain, clouds, and lack of anything connected with water drove them batsh$t crazy.

 

  • It’s Expensive-I’ve even heard New Yorkers, Californians, and Chicagoans, say this. The difference is that housing expenses are still considered “low” compared to those cities BUT the lifestyle: happy hour, travel, fitness, skiing, mountain weekends, life music, and fun is expensive.

 

  • The Music Scene-Has gotten so good!! Finally, finally we’re having larger music festivals, and a nice diversity of musicians sharing their music with us.

 

  • People Love Dogs-Don’t laugh, I’m really not an animal person, but I like puppies. People LOVE dogs here. If you’re not into animals people may look at you side-eyed when you mention you’re not that excited about them. I know from experience. And, people (for the  most part) are pretty good about picking up their dog’s poop.



6-10

  • Kombucha is popular here and we have an amazing kombucha tap room in a neighborhood called “LoHi.”

 

  • African-American Ladies Let’s Talk-If you move here, it’s highly likely that you will spend some time finding a hairstylist. Then, once you find them, you will want to hoard this knowledge like gold. Or, go natural (or do both-usually what happens).

 

  • Denver is a Foodie City-It has taken my entire adult life for me to say with confidence that Denver has a fantastic food scene. And, I used to live in Paris. I will say that Portland has a slightly stronger food scene, but, I think we’re closing the gap. And, I consider Portland one of the best food cities in the U.S.

 

  • Mexican Food-If you talk to locals we will express frustration with our Mexican food. We make killer street tacos. BUT, you have to know where to go for great Mexican food. It’s weird that this has happened.

 

  • We love to party-Now…this is a bit loaded. But, we love any reason to party. We are some partying people. Don’t believe me? Here’s a list of a few things we celebrate.
    1. Cinco De Mayo-Let’s cruise up and down Federal Boulevard
    2. Derby Day-Let’s party
    3. Frozen Dead Guy Days-Local party connected to a frozen dead Grandpa in a tuff shed. I kid you not.
    4. The beginning of Ski Season (happens at the ski resorts)
    5. End of Ski Season (happens at the ski resorts) I highly recommend going to the end of season celebrations. It’s a great time.

11-15

  • The Theater Scene is LIT! I love going to the theater. We have the second largest theater complex in the United States. Some shows that I’ve seen in Denver include:
    1. Hamilton
    2. Wicked
    3. The Color Purple
    4. The Lion King
    5. Book of Mormon

 

  • Coffee is a Huge Past-Time-One of my favorite activities to do is explore the city and try out new coffee shops. There are a ridiculous number of great coffee shops elevating the coffee experience in Denver.

 

  • Phone Service Kind of Sucks Here-it’s a thing.

 

  • Internet Service Kind of Sucks too-It has gotten better since Centurylink started selling the highspeed broadband. But, it took awhile for that to happen and I have to renegotiate what I’m paying because it was so expensive when it was initially introduced.

 

  • We Work to Live, We DON’T Live to Work-You will never be shamed for wanting to leave work on Friday at 12:00 pm to go to the mountains. We get it. You worked hard and need some downtime. Or, you’re heading to the Rockies, going for a beer, a walk, or a bike ride. Again, no judgement.

16-19

  • Physical Activity is Considered Leisure Time-This is a very real thing. Most people will include an activity such as the ones listed below and then earn their beer, happy hour etc. It’s seriously a “thing.” Your new friends will suggest this and if you’re not into it…it may throw you off a little bit. We also enjoy:
    1. Hiking-for 3-5 hours (doing a nice trail) + nice meal and beer (I actually don’t like beer-but, you get the idea)
    2. Bike riding from Denver to Boulder (on my list) + a leisurely meal
    3. Fitness Classes + a nice meal

 

  • Buying Local is HUGE-There is a huge focus on buying local goods, services, and products. People are very interested in local products and it’s relatively easy to do because we meet these entrepreneurs around town.

 

  • Not Everyone Smokes Pot-We’re tolerant, but, please stop assuming that we’re all smoking a bowl. We’re not. In fact, I’m really glad that other states are legalizing cannabis so that people will stop focusing on Colorado’s legal pot.

 

  • Digital Entrepreneur? We understand what you’re doing and you’re not going to be ridiculed if you mention that you’re a blogger, vlogger, app developer, etc. Most people understand and are comfortable with the idea that people run digital businesses. Because, hey, you can work from wherever. Need a co-working space? Sign up with Deskpass! I love this service and it has allowed me to “date” different co-working spaces before committing to a favorite.

 

  • Bricks and Mortar Entrepreneur? We love you! Again, Denver is a great city for small business owners. There are a ton of resources, communities, and tools that entrepreneurs can access.

21-26

  • We Worship Athleisure-We’re not the most fashionable people. People have gotten better at dressing up for different events and seem to enjoy it. I’ve also begun to see more men wearing suits when I’ve been downtown during the work week (I love this-they look great!) . However, Fridays are always casual.

 

  •  Grocery Stores and Alcohol-You can’t purchase high alcohol content beer or wine in grocery stores. Don’t be shocked.

 

  • Sports are Everywhere-Denver is on of a handful of cities with every professional league. We also get a lot of international matches played in town for various sports. This year it’s New Zealand vs. England in an international rugby match held at Mile High Stadium.
    1. Denver Broncos-Football
    2. Denver Nuggets-Basketball
    3. Colorado Avalanche-Hockey
    4. Colorado Rapids-Soccer
    5. And, USA Rugby is headquartered here

 

  • The Arts Thrive in Denver-You will see a lot of public art, and the citizens voted and passed a tax (again) that helps grow the arts community and accessibility to the arts in Denver and neighboring communities. We have a ridiculous amount of free events, access to museums (on certain days) etc. for free as a result of this commitment to the arts.

 

 

  • There is a Homeless Problem-This is an American Problem, but, this list would be incomplete without mentioning this issue.

 

  • Food Halls are HUGE here-We have 3 opening in 2018. Here is an incomplete list of open food halls.
    1. Avanti Food and Drink
    2. Denver Central Market
    3. The Source
    4. Zeppelin Station
    5. Stanley Marketplace**Technically, this one is in our neighboring city Aurora. Worth going to!

27-30

  • Traffic and Drivers Suck Here-The people are so nice until they get behind the wheel. Then, they lose it. I’m convinced that people understand digital workers and telecommuters because the traffic is so crazy.

 

  • Conservative People Live in Colorado-And, more often than not, they are super nice and super sweet. The Denver Metro area, however, is pretty liberal.

 

  • Topless Women Happen in the Summer-I’m warning you now. Usually this seems to happen in large groups in Boulder and Denver.

 

  • People are really nice here-Really.

 

cherry creek mall

SQS015: Cherry Creek Mall Parking Let’s Talk

The Cherry Creek Mall has so far weathered the storm of automation and epic store closures. But, there are some signs that this may not be the case for long. A couple of years ago mall management decided to make us pay for parking.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*

Cherry Creek Mall

It has been a rocky experience. It’s clear that mall management never expected to have the mall boycotted from long-time shoppers. And the substantial drop in foot traffic that year. Businesses grumbled about the situation and shoppers were left confused by the policy.

In this week’s Square State podcast episode I talk about the situation and share some possible solutions that don’t require mall management to take out paid parking.



Listen to the Show

Show Notes:

  • Show episode release dates

 

  • The Welcome Mat event
  • Pay for parking

 

  • Some solutions to this issue

Resources Mentioned

  • Siteground-Have a website or thinking of starting one? Siteground is the website hosting company that I recommend. Get better service and site speed than you would with other companies.

 

  • Website Help-Need help with your website?  Don’t feel like messing with tech issues? I totally understand! I work with Grayson Bell from iMark Interactive on all of my website issues. Currently I have two websites and he helps me with both.

Attend the “Welcome to Denver” Event

Are you new to Denver? Connect with Michelle and other locals at the “Welcome to Denver Event

  • Mix and Mingle

 

  • Panel on making business and personal connections in Denver

 

  • Food and Drink

 

  • Gift bags!

Sign up today!

sitting on the patio

Denver Life: Sitting on the Patio Getting Some Work Done

It never ceases to amaze me how little people know about Colorado. Many people think that we’re constantly getting snowed in, freezing cold, and dealing with blizzards every other week. Well, for the winter of 2017-2018 that was not the case. And, in general, that’s not the case. The weather is temperate, the skies are almost always blue, and the sun shines…a lot. In fact, it’s so sunny and dry here that a friend of mine who moved here from Alaska is moving to Oregon because she misses cloudiness and rain. I love this weather. More often than not, you will find me sitting on a patio enjoying the beautiful weather and trying to get some work done.

* In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. Please read my disclosure here.*


Denver Life

Is best explained by the following adjectives: languid, chill, and a bit spastic. This explains our love of patios. In fact, you will find patios at most restaurants, coffee shops, and any business that can make it happen. For me, Denver patios remind me of when I lived in Paris. But, with bigger dogs.

I  love it when someone randomly asks a question and then we end up in a conversation about who knows what. There is no expectation, or freaking out happening, these are just unexpected moments of human connection that happen almost every time I find myself enjoying a beautiful patio in Denver.

Overt

Is one of my favorite coffee shop patios. It’s the sister business of Vert that gets a ton of local love for its incredible food. Both are connected by a lovely little patio. In fact, Overt doesn’t have any indoor space (so, don’t go there thinking you will hangout inside-you won’t be able to). But, that doesn’t detract from Overt’s appeal.

Besides offering great coffee, the service is superb. In a low-key way, and the people who work there are fun to get to know. This small business also has grab and go items that you may find around Denver.

I love this place.

During the weekend it’s a little hectic (especially during the warmer months) but, I try to go during slightly off times.

Listening to the water trickle from the small fountain in the courtyard. Letting the sun hit my face (don’t worry I wear sunblock) and playing with the small white dog that makes an appearance from time to time. The dog belongs to the owner of the building.

From time to time I accidentally become a part of other people’s conversations. It’s a small space and people sometimes talk loudly. And, every time a gorgeous plate of food is brought to someone’s table I add that dish to my list of things that I have to try.

Sitting on the Patio

In Denver, it’s a huge part of how I enjoy my life here. And, it reminds me of when I lived in Paris. When I lived in Paris I would enjoy a beautiful cup of coffee, a delicious pastry or meal, and just enjoyed the day. It’s wonderful to relax and embrace the day.

One of my favorite things to do during the warmer months is to ride my bike to new a new restaurant, coffee shop, or venue, grab a drink, meal (or both) and hangout for awhile in that new space. I’m looking forward to going to Zeppelin Station sometime soon and sampling all of the great food that they have there.

What’s your favorite patio in Denver/Boulder?