Square State's Top of the Town List

The Problem with the 5280 Top of the Town List And What 5280 Could do Better

It’s clear that people aren’t really aware of all of the cool new restaurants, spaces and happenings going on in town. That’s clearly because of COVID and maybe some apathy on the part of respondents

I feel like it’s deja vu all over again. 5280 does a fantastic job of sharing new places, etc. so it baffles me to see a list where people are clearly not going to the unique spaces and places that automatically stand out to me. I find myself asking how we can encourage reader action to support the businesses and organizations shared throughout the year

* 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.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

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Previous Episodes

Show Notes

Lack of diversity specific to companies of color and other marginalized communities. This is unfortunate because the publicity from that list=new clientele and publicity

Easiest way to address this issue? Create a couple of new categories that address this issue. “Top New POC Owned Business” “Top LGBTQ Business or Space” “Most Inclusive Spot in Denver” “Most unique new art space” (obvious winner next year-Meow Wolf”)

How this list and bracket is announced. Perhaps do cross posting with different businesses PRIOR to the announcement of this list to drum up enthusiasm and awareness.

I challenge the staff to become tourists in the towns and cities we live in.

Reexperience Colorado-it has changed during the past 2 years dramatically. I love 5280 but I think in a post COVID world where the impact on the economy and small businesses has been so significant I would love the 5280 team to take a step back and reevaluate the process for this list. Just like everything that’s happening now, there’s a deeper meaning than just “our favorite” This is an opportunity to rethink this list and do something fresh.The challenges of this moment are also an opportunity.

This list also highlights how we experience a place differently. If you’re listening to the show I encourage you to support the businesses shared on both lists. I took some liberties with the list that I created and shared in below. A few of these spaces opened after the Top of the Town List was curated so I do want to be candid about that.

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Are you a Colorado local business or organization looking to tell your brand story? Become a sponsor of the Square State Podcast. Why would a Square State podcast sponsorship be a great way to advertise your business?Listeners are from Colorado or looking to visit. The shows are “live” for years giving you incredible bang for your buck over time. Podcast listeners pod binge. Basically, if they are new listeners to the show they will binge on previously released episodes. 

Podcast listeners are a captive audience who are  much more likely to take a suggested action than random flyering or one off advertisements in digital magazines.

Email me today at squarestateco@gmail.com for more information 

The Digital Green Book is an incredible resource developed here in Denver. If you’re looking to insure that you’re in safe spaces whether you’re a person of color, have a physical imparement or are a part of the LGBTQ community. My guests Charnelle and Parker tell me all about it in Square State episode 41. I’ve included a link in the show notes.

Square State Colorado’s Top of the Town 2021 List

Culture and Night Life

Dining

Shopping

Sports/Outdoors and Fitness

Services

Digital Green Book

Digital Green Book

I’m a huge fan of the show Lovecraft Country. The show is set in the 1950’s and the family at the center of the show publishes a Travel book. This book is specifically to assist Black motorists driving around the part of the United States that the family lives in. This exploration is key to the events that occur during the show. What does this have to do with today’s conversation? It’s the genesis of everything that my two guests are in the process of creating. I love this episode and I hope you leave with a deeper understanding of the project, why it’s still relevant and hopefully support the project in some sort of way.

* 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.*

Thinking About Starting a Travel Website?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site.

Listen to the Show

Show Notes

  • The dynamic duo shares how they met. It’s hilarious.
    • The 6 degrees of separation in CO is really 1 degree
  • What are sundown towns? Unfortunately, they still exist.
  • The Negro Motorist Greenbook published from 1936-1960
  • Crystal came up with an updated idea
  • They discuss the issue of unconscious bias and interactions
  • Parker and Crystal bring up an idea that I found incredibly intriguing. The business case for inclusion.
  • The ladies share how the Digital Green Book differs from the original resource.
  • The Yelp for Inclusivity
  • The Digital Greenbook has one of the stated goals of quantifying the lived experiences of discomfort of visible identities.
  • Crystal shares an intensely personal experience of preparing to avoid problems in new spaces.
  • And Crystal shares her unique experience of hunting as a person of color and how it amplified anxieties related to her personal safety in unknown interactions in primarily white spaces.
    • Is it really your 2nd Amendment Right?
  • We laugh about how people are surprised to find that people of color are in Colorado
  • What type of demographic data are the ladies looking to collect in order to make a substantive business case for diversity and inclusion.
  • I wonder about what the response has been.
  • The economic reality of launching a platform like this. It’s not cheap.
  • Pondering the experience of otherness
  • We end the show with a hilarious TMI moment

Related Episodes

  • Blackpackers with Patricia Cameron-To be released 5/19/2021

Mentioned During the Show

The Epic Guide to Moving to Colorado

Connect with Parker and Crystal

If you would like to support and share the Digital Green Book project or just follow what the ladies are up to check out the links below.

  • Beta Launch City: Denver, CO June 19, 2021 (Juneteenth) Sign up to support and participate in the launch.

Media Mentions on the Topic

Buy Me a Coffee

I love Colorado local coffee shops for so many reasons. Besides brewing great coffee and community they were the only places that I could work from for the past year (for the most part). The various patios around town were a welcome space to work on Square State and my other online projects. Please support this work with a one time or ongoing donation. Buy Me a Coffee today and I’ll share your name and which coffee shop I enjoyed on you! Also, the donations go towards my time and the cost of running the show.

Black in Denver Narkita Gold

Black in Denver

I spoke with Narkita Gold about her Black in Denver exhibit in April of this year. Coloradans had been under stay at home orders for several weeks and I thought it was a great time to learn more about her amazing project. Whenever I tell people that I’m from Colorado, it’s often met with some surprise because and I love that Narkita’s exhibit literally shows and shares what it means to be Black in Denver through photographs and interviews on the topic. What’s so cool about the Black in Denver exhibit is the amount of publicity, enthusiasm and conversation it has generated since it’s inception. And, one of the coolest developments for this project is it’s inclusion in Night Lights Denver. The Downtown Denver Partnership and The Denver Theater District’s incredible collaboration that has art being projected onto the Daniels and Fisher Tower downtown and other buildings. If you would like to check it out, Black in Denver will be a part of the August display until Saturday, August 29, 2020. Showtimes are from 8:30-11:00 pm Tuesday-Saturdays. Times will change in September.

* 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.*

Thinking About Starting a Website About Your Favorite Places?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site. Also, don’t forget to grab 120 Awesome Blog Ideas from Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy today.

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Grab the Book

Time to Visit Denver. I know you’re tired of hanging out in your state and I get it. If you’re willing to following Colorado’s COVID protocols, wear a mask, and stand at least 6 feet away from us then feel free to visit and use Time to Visit Denver as a guide on what to expect as you plan to visit Colorado safely.

Show Notes

  • Asking the question “What does it mean to be Black in Denver?”
  • Narkita used photography and interviews to get to the answer
  • Consciousness is magnificent…
  • Head’s up, Black people aren’t homogenous
  • I ask why this is a project that non-Black people should embrace and support?
  • She was surprised by the initial response and engagement online.
  • Feeling comfortable asking the big awkward question.
  • Narkita shares what it’s like to be a creative in a city like Denver.
  • “Creatives here in Denver, Get to Color Outside the Lines.” Detour303
  • We talk Groov3 my favorite dance fitness workout! Narkita was my teacher.
  • Narkita shares her tips on how to live here.
  • She advises to be intentional about community building

Resources Mentioned

  • Black in Denver website
  • Night Lights Denver
  • Instagram: Black in Denver
  • Be The Artist Book Thomas “Detour” Evans
  • The Ebony Yogini
  • SoulFlower Experiences
Giving in Colorado with Jen and Kane

Giving Back to Colorado One Facebook Post at a Time

When COVID hit, we were shown the best and worst of human nature. We discovered people’s fears, denials, and belief systems. We also watched people crumble under the uncertainty and some rise up to the challenge of the moment that we’re currently living in. The following couple show what it looks like to live with purpose and to show up when other people won’t. With people like the following couple doing good in Denver, I know that we’re in good hands.

* 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.*

Thinking About Starting a Website About Your Favorite Places?

It’s pretty simple to do and cheap! Start with Siteground and WordPress.org. With this winning combination you’ll own your own website by the end of the day. And, Siteground has easy to follow tutorials to help you with setting up your site. Also, don’t forget to grab 120 Awesome Blog Ideas from Ruth Soukup’s Elite Blog Academy today

Listen to the Show

Show Notes

  • I reflect on how amazing the following group is and the difference it’s making in people’s lives.
  • Things can’t get worse? Can they? Why, yes, they could.
  • Jen and Kane Lezecki
  • Jen is a Colorado Native from Lakewood. Kane is a native from Broomfield despite being born in NYC. A husband and wife duo.
  • I ask them what they like about Colorado.
  • We share our thoughts about Colorado’s growth.
  • Keeping what’s special about Colorado special
  • The traffic sucks.
  • Jen wanted to save the world. She intuited that COVID was coming.
  • She shares the genesis of the group. The lesson-trust your gut!
  • What the group has taught them about people’s needs.
  • I express my amazement at how helpful the group is. We talk about what people are now needing
    • Needing mental health resources
    • How do I get this and where?
    • People are still looking for toilet paper
  • This group is so humbling and we’re humbled by the community members
  • I ask about how they’re managing their well-being
  • How can the listeners help our fellow Coloradans?
    • I ask about the safety protocols they’re using to protect community members.
  • What’s the goal for the community?
  • I end the conversation asking what they think Colorado will be like after this crazy moment in time.