Author: Tony White

A Rainbow of Opinions Heard at Denver Pridefest 2015

  The 2015 Pridefest Parade brought 1000s of people into the streets of central Denver on Sunday, June 21, for Denver’s 40th annual gay pride weekend. According to GLBTColorado.org, 370,000 people attended the two-day event. Along with their folding chairs, rainbow-colored attire, water bottles and sunblock, many at the parade also brought their voices to speak about their opinions and perspectives on a spectrum of issues facing the LGBT community. Crowds gathered as a menagerie of floats, fancy cars, vendors and volunteers slowly passed by on their Colfax route from Cheesman Park to Civic Center Park. Standing in the speckled shade of a tree, in the shadow of the State Capitol Building, Denver native Slum Pickens cheered for every attraction that passed with almost the exact same cheer of gratitude and support, but it never got old.  It never lost its charm. “You’re beautiful. Thank you for what you do,” Pickens yelled. Next to Pickens stood Kay Troxell and Allison Mellor, two sisters who feverishly shook their rainbow flags in one hand while waving at …

Piers Watson: Carrying the Torch of Luted Crucible Metal Casting

    There was a bonfire in the parking lot of the New Mexico School for the Arts. A beat up old truck and a huddled group of people stood near the flame. Piers Watson, a lanky, bearded man in dusty cowboy boots and a dingy yellowish-brown canvas jacket, was the master of ceremonies as he prodded a shallow pit of glowing coals with a set of long, steel clamps. Watson was conducting a student workshop on the centuries old technique of luted crucible metal casting – a process he has been avidly studying and advocating for neary a decade. He travels the globe teaching the process, and today he is in Santa Fe. Watson, 47, began casting bronze in 2006 with small clay crucibles and homemade charcoal. He spent the next couple years developing his technique, but with mixed results. The London native said he embraced the passion he was quickly developing for metal casting. “Following your intuition is very important, if you can feel that something is the right thing to do, then …

Omerica Organic: Finding success in going green and against the grain

  Omerica Organic has defied traditional businesses practices more than once, and by going green, and blazing new trails in their industry, their intrepidness has paid off. What began as a one-man operation in a garage in Palisade, Colorado in 2004, has grown into a 6,000 sq. ft. warehouse in North Denver, at 3360 Walnut St., that is well-equipped with an array of high-tech machinery and a staff of over a dozen. Omerica Organic has dealers in 20 states across the country, international representation in 11 countries and a bustling online retail shop at http://www.omericaorganic.com. Omerica Organic’s founder Ryan Lorenz says that, although commercial success is important, following eco-conscious practices, maintaining the human element within his operation and fostering progression is what lies at the heart of his company. “[Our] direction is quality, efficiency and our staff. We have continual goals, and strive to always become better. Our process is one that a hand plays a major role in the product’s creation. I take pride in that!” The Omerica Organic warehouse, located in the RiNo …

Peaches Malmaud: The Garlic Queen of New Mexico

Peaches and garlic. It’s a serendipitous combination that could only be found at the Santa Fe Farmer’s Market. Peaches Malmaud, 66, moved to the Southwest in 1970 to teach ceramics at the University of New Mexico, but shortly after her arrival she had a change of heart. Her passion had shifted from molding clay to cultivating crops. Malmaud feels that life down on the farm is her true calling, an artform in its own right and a lifestyle that keeps her connected to the earth. “As long as my hands are in dirt, I feel good.” Malmaud has been farming in Placitas, New Mexico for 15 years. After a failed crop of amaryllis early on in her agricultural career, Malmaud felt that choosing a more resilient bulb would be a good idea. She went with garlic, a choice that has worked out quite well for her. Her Valley Garlic Oil business employs three full-time workers during the June harvest season, and droves of Malmaud’s labor-ready friends show up biannually to help plant and pluck the garlic. …

A World Unto Itself: San Francisco’s Chinatown

I wandered through the streets of San Francisco with a swelling sense of anticipation and nervous energy. I was headed to Chinatown with hardly enough knowledge of the place to fill a fortune cookie, but I knew for certain that it was crucial I go there and that it would be a riotous attack on my senses. Tempting smells wafted from cramped, sidewalk restaurants and drifted up past bulbous red paper lanterns festooned across Grant Avenue. Buildings with ornate oriental facades corralled the dense flow of humanity through the streets. I forgot I was still in the 21st Century America after a few minutes, but I’ll never forget being in this part of the City by the Bay. More photographs and full article coming soon.

Huckleberry Roasters: Brewing Up Community Through Coffee

Huckleberry Roasters was founded in Denver, Colo. in 2011 by two friends simply known as Koan and Mark. They were acquaintances when they first met in 2006 at, you guessed it, a coffee shop. One was the barista, while the other was on the other side of the counter as a customer. The two bonded over their shared passions, which included music and all things coffee, and in 2011 they began roasting their own coffee beans. They believe that coffee shops create a special environment that inspires meaningful conversations and true communal interactions. It is this ethos that percolates through their work and is the desired effect of their creation. “We believe that a coffee shop can play a dynamic role in our communities—that enjoying a cup of coffee leads to creative inspiration and impactful experiences,” their website said. Huckleberry has two cafes in Denver, 2500 Larimer St. and 4301 Pecos St., the second is also home to their roasting room.

Yours Truly: My Time Studying Abroad

I walked into my advisor’s office on campus one day, looking to do more in the Journalism department or maybe set up an internship in town. He sent me half way around the world instead. It was more than a trip. It was more than a semester abroad. It was more than I could have imagined. It was an adventure, in the truest, sweetest sense of the word. “I know your type. Come on, follow me,” he said as he came around from behind his desk. He took me to the Office of International Studies where my journey began. It ended in Tuscania; a small town in central Italy where I would call home for four months. This old town had a medieval center, surrounded by massive, rough hewn stone walls that cradled a maze of cobblestone roads. Breathtaking scenes of bustling piazzas, gorgeous landscapes and daily life in small-town Italy played out everyday right before my eyes. I was humbled and electrified to be a part of it. But I wasn’t just passing through. …

LIKE NOTHING BEFORE: MY TIME IN MARRAKECH (PART 3 OF 3)

Part 3: Do I Know You Morocco attracts a rare breed of traveler, no doubt. A wild weekend in North Africa is our idea of a fun getaway. Part romantic, part explorer and as some uninformed cynics would venture to say, part lunatic. Those of us here find pleasure in adventures off the beaten path. And if Morocco was off the radar of your typical excursion, then the backstreets of Marrakech was like trekking on the dark side of the moon. A mysterious place rarely ventured to or, better yet, seeked out. This is where I wanted to go. We began our walking tour of the old part of town with lunch near the city center. I surveyed Jemaa el-Fnaa square from a second floor restaurant window. Its presence in the midday sun faintly resembled the spooky nocturnal form I crept through the night before. The small islands of illuminated food stands and heaving masses of people milling around have all vanished in the daylight. There are countless routes jutting off from the square. Each …