Archive for March, 2011
The Red Brick Center for the Arts in Aspen is painting the town red – and blue and green. Housed in a former school, The Red Brick Center for the Arts exhibits art from local artists. The center also houses artists from the Aspen/Snowmass Village community, providing them with the space and opportunity to create within an artistic environment. The Red Brick Center for the Arts provides the Aspen/Snowmass Village area with affordable studio space to rent for artists, performers and other members of the community. Throughout the year there are activities and opportunities held at the center to enrich the lives of residents of the Aspen and Snowmass Area.
One aspect of the mission statement of The Red Brick Center for the Arts is to benefit the community with quality art demonstrations and exhibitions. True to this objective, in mid-April, The Red Brick Center for the Arts will open their annual ArtStart Kids’ exhibition. The exhibit will display the art of school-aged children. Opening night will be April 14, complete with free pizza and a violin performance by young, local violinists. Other events such as the Eco Art exhibit in June feature socially relevant art. The Eco Art exhibit focuses on environmentally conscious pieces from artists all along the Western Slope of Colorado. In July, The Red Brick Center for the Arts will host work from this year’s resident artists. Late July will round the summer out with an annual art auction and festival. The warm weather months bring out the art and the artists at the Red Brick Center.
The Red Brick Center for the Arts is also committed to making art accessible to the general public through education and artistic opportunity. On April 16th and 17th there will be a ceramic painting class focused on middle-eastern design. Later in April the center is offering a collage workshop. Participants in this workshop will be encouraged to think about and incorporate symbolism into their pieces. In June classes will focus on mixed media art, in which students will learn to combine different mediums in two-dimensional pieces. A class in over-painting photographs will be held on-site in July. A poster making class for children will be held in August. All classes have limited number of places, for those interested, contact the center to sign up and receive details concerning the classes.
The art within The Red Brick Center has been divided into four areas of interest. The first, The Red Brick Gallery features the work of prominent artists from the Roaring Forks River Valley. The West End Gallery holds primarily three-dimensional pieces, while the Conference Room houses the special exhibits featured that month. Finally, the Sculpture Garden presents outdoors exhibits and pieces. Local artists interested in displaying their pieces and becoming part of the community within The Red Brick Gallery are encouraged to contact the center for more information.
Thomas Merton once said, “Art enables us to find ourselves, and lose ourselves at the same time.” Within the walls of the Red Brick Center for the Arts, this can be seen each and every day. The local art found here reflects the ways Aspen and Snowmass artists and residents have lost themselves in the beauty and life here, and in turn have found their artistic voices.
Find your voice in Aspen and Snowmass Village, and then find the perfect home, investment property or artist’s studio in the most beautiful place on earth. Click here to see all of Greg Rulon’s properties in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Get lost, be found and become enriched by life in the most beautiful place on earth.
The robin warbles cheerily from the tall aspen tree, singing to welcome spring in the Rocky Mountains. The longer days, budding tulips and the sharp smell of spring in the air call to the green-thumbed residents of Snowmass Village and Aspen reminding them the time has come to plan their own little Gardens of Eden.
A primary virtue necessary to plant a vegetable garden in Aspen and Snowmass Village is patience. Gardeners here have a significant challenge due to the extremely high elevation of their Eden. Inevitably, frosts can stretch all the way into the last week of May, creating a short growing season. The blog HighAltitudeGardening.blogspot.com recommends planting in raised beds after the first of June in order to improve vegetable growth. The author also recommends planting Heirloom varieties of vegetables. Bush beans, carrots and certain varieties of tomato have been known to be especially productive at high elevations.
Some gardeners rely on green houses to plant seedlings indoor earlier in the spring. After the last freeze of the year, these plants can be moved out into the garden proper. Some gardeners with especially green thumbs, or good luck as the case may be, have been able to produce lettuce and spinach all winter long in such green houses.
When planting flowers in Colorado, it is essential to be prudent. The flowers on the covers of gardening magazines simply will not grow here. The best flower with which to start a flower garden in Aspen or Snowmass Village is the Columbine. The state flower, this lovely blue, white and sometimes yellow flower springs up naturally along the Rocky Mountains, and can be found throughout the mountainous West. Named after the Latin word for dove, the Columbine flower is a must have in every Aspenite’s flowerbed. It is a hearty wildflower, which blooms all summer long, allowing homeowners many weeks to relish in its delicate beauty.
A bolder mountain flower is the John Cabot Rose. Bright red or pink, this climbing rose can grow up to 9 feet when given a trellis or support. Exceptionally beautiful, the John Cabot Rose blooms multiple times. If the flowers are left on the stem after bloom, rose hips will form. These make excellent teas and perfumes.
Lavender makes a fragrant addition to any high altitude garden. It also does well in the full, bright mountain sun of summer. Tiny, purple blooms explode out of the grayish leaves throughout the summer drawing humming birds and bees alike.
For a truly successful garden in Aspen and Snowmass Village, the most critical virtue is persistence. Every garden and yard is different. Every season and summer changes from than the last. This is the challenge – and the joy of gardening. Despite the varying results year to year, the sweet-smelling earth, the warm sun on your back and the fruit of your labor make high elevation gardening a deeply satisfying experience. As an added bonus, the gardens in Aspen and Snowmass Village have a huge advantage over gardens in the rest of the world, their backgrounds are so beautiful that even if the flowers never bloom, or the plants never produce, the garden will still be gorgeous.
After you plan your garden, click here to see the homes, residences and investment properties available in Aspen and Snowmass Village. Stop, smell the roses and see how sweet life can be in this real-life Garden of Eden.
It may be the crystal clear water running down the Rocky Mountains. It may be fertile fields rippling with wheat and barley. But however it came to be, there is no question – Colorado is beer country.
Home to major brewing companies such as Coors and Budweiser, Colorado has a long history with beer. However, small and local breweries tend to more accurately portray the tastes, values and interests of Coloradans. Across the state, small, high quality breweries function as a hub within the community where the locals gather to relax, and celebrate. In 2008 the Aspen Brewing Company revived the local brewery scene in Aspen and the good times have been rolling ever since.
The history of beer in Aspen begins in 1885, back when Aspen’s claim to fame was silver mining. The original Aspen Brewery was founded just steps away from the current location of Aspen’s local brewery. According to Aspen Brewing Company’s website, the original brewery was founded to satisfy the thirst of miners dragging out of the mines each day. Unfortunately, prohibition in Colorado, a full four years before the rest of the nation, in 1929 closed down breweries across the state. For almost 70 years there was not a local brewery in Aspen, until the Flying-Dog brewpub opened in 1990. An instant success, the Flying-Dog was quickly too large for a production facility in Aspen and after three years, it relocated operations to Denver and then later to Maryland. However, the Flying-Dog reminded Aspenites of the significant role a local brewery plays within a community. Perhaps it also reminded them of how good a fresh, locally brewed beer tastes! The Aspen Brewing Company filled the void in 2008, offering tours, tastings and several delicious varieties of beers.
Located in downtown Aspen, the Aspen Brewing Company has become an integral aspect of community life in Aspen. Live music from a wide variety of bands fills the calendar. Stand up comedy acts and televised sporting events can be seen, enjoyed and celebrated at the brewery. More than just a good, clean time, Aspen Brewing Company is going the extra mile for its community and its country. In an effort to keep moral high within the troops in Iraq, Aspen Brewing Company sent piles of beer gear to them.
Locally owned breweries in Colorado are important not simply because they form a social hub and deepen a sense of community, breweries within Colorado have lead the way in creating environmentally friendly companies. Interconnected with their communities, local breweries know that their customers and their town want tasty beer, but not at the expense of their beautiful surroundings, or the health of the planet. Aspen Brewing Company has followed this precedent by recycling water within the brewery, encouraging customers to use growlers, rather than purchasing multiple bottles and to then reuse the growler in subsequent visits. Aspen Brewing Company also works with a local farm to re-use the malted barley from the brewery to feed animals and to compost, thereby reducing their waste, and contributing to the well being of the local community.
It is more that just good beer. It is good community – a true reflection of the people of Aspen. Come on by, grab a glass of Brown Bear ale, settle in for a good time, and when you’re ready to see investment properties, homes and residences in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. Let Greg Rulon introduce you to the wonderful people and beautiful places within Aspen and Snowmass Village and then, come home to Aspen and let the good times roll. www.GregRulon.com
Music fills the air of Aspen and Snowmass Village during late spring and through the summer. Jazz cats from around the world flock to the Roaring Forks Valley to collaborate, educate and to take a deep, refreshing breath of mountain air. It is a well-known fact that the arts flourish in Aspen and Snowmass Village. The community’s deep commitment to music can be seen in their on-going investment in the future of music. It is also apparent in the free, good quality music and musical opportunities available to the general public.
Jazz Aspen Snowmass is an organization dedicated to the preservation of American music. In order to achieve this goal, JAS hosts festivals and performances, and offers educational opportunities for music students and teachers in the Roaring Forks Valley. JAS’s educational initiative functions to supplement existing public school music programs, and provides programs to schools who have lost their music programs due to budget cuts. Additionally, JAS provides high school and middle school music students the opportunity to meet and work with professional jazz musicians in the classroom. JAS also offers interested students the opportunity to take private lessons in the ‘Pays to Play’ program. Through this program, a student enrolls to take private lessons with a local instructor. JAS pays for the first three lessons, enabling interested students to take private lessons and learn to play an instrument. It also helps to sustain local musical teachers in the area.
Beyond educational opportunities, JAS is a major component in the musical performances of the Aspen/Snowmass Village area. This year’s first event kicks off May 6th with the LEI Student Showcase, collaboration with Aspen Music Festival and School at the Harris Hall. The next day, May 7th, JAS will host the Band Battle 2011 in Carbondale, where 20 bands will play in 4 hours. June 24th, just a few weeks later, Jazz Aspen Snowmass will kick off its annual June Festival. This year’s event will feature Sheryl Crow and Jennifer Hudson. In addition to the headline acts, the JAS Academy Bands will play both free and paid events throughout the ten days. The closing weekend will feature a small venue of shows. Tickets are already on sale for the ten-day event.
Snowmass Village partners with Jazz Aspen Snowmass and takes the commitment to community music a step further by offering the Summer of Free Music series for the 17th year running. Every Thursday night a different musical guest will perform on Fanny Hill. Members of the community gather together on blankets and lawn chairs with picnics or take-out to enjoy the beautiful summer evening, fabulous music and great community.
Join the Aspen/Snowmass Village jam session; click here to see homes, properties and investment opportunities in the area. Find out how great life can be when you stop and enjoying the music.
Before the backdrop of the beautiful Rocky Mountains, hang rich, purple grapes in row upon row of vines – not the image that usually springs to mind when one thinks about wine country. However, Colorado is on the up-and-coming list of excellent areas in which to grow grapes and produce excellent wine. As warm spring days give way to the still frosty evenings in Aspen and Snowmass Village, it is the perfect time to come in and explore all Colorado has to offer the wine world.
Wine has had a long history in Colorado. Since 1883 grapes have been tucked into the river valleys of Colorado’s mountains, particularly the Grand Valley of the Colorado River and the West Elks along the North Fork Valley of the Gunnison River. The grapes grown in Colorado, between 4,000 and 7,000 feet in elevation, are some of the highest grown grapes in the world. Due to long and cold Colorado winters, the growing season on Colorado grapes is short. However the warm, intense sun of Colorado summers help the grapes develop complicated and layered flavors. Excellent soil in the mountains and river valleys contribute to the quality of the Colorado grape. Today, Colorado boasts of 650 acres of grapes on 80 different vineyards.
Just a short drive from Aspen lies Paonia, Colorado, affectionately called the West Elks AVA, referring to the area’s designation as an American Viticulture Area. Here over a dozen vineyards and wineries are staking Colorado’s claim as a wine-country. Black Bridge winery grows and produces a variety of wines. Wine-lovers can see a Colorado vineyard in full swing; grapes, from the vine to the bottle, it is the complete experience. Tastings are offered in the Orchard Valley Farms Market or on site at the vineyard during the summer months. Committed to the tradition of a aging wine in a wine cave, the Black Bridge Winery has incorporated Colorado history into its wine making process by creating their wine cave from recycled mining material. Family run vineyard Stone Cottage Cellars offers tours and purchasing by appointment. The wines from the Alfred Eames Cellars can be found in fine restaurants and liquor stores throughout Colorado, and specifically in Aspen. They offer tastings at the Orchard Valley Farms Market as well, in addition to two other locations in the Paonia area. Many other vineyards and wineries dot the landscape on the trip between Aspen and Paonia mixed in among farms and orchards. The landscape is picturesque, the wine delicious and the trip is worth every minute.
Back in town, there are a quite a few options for wine-lovers of which several sell Colorado wines. Victoria’s Espresso & Wine Bar aims to create the European or Australian coffee house experience, while honoring local wines and vineyards. The Wine Spot, located inside the Hyatt Grand Aspen hotel, offers a wide selection of wines, in addition to a full bar. Wine, from around the world, is served by the glass in a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere. Of Grape and Grain, another local wine shop carries Colorado wines and more specifically West Elks AVA wines. Aspen Wine & Spirit Company, a liquor shop, offers a huge selection of over 900 wines in addition beverages. For those who know what to look for, Colorado wines are popping up all over!
Aspen and Snowmass Village are the culmination of good taste. From the best skiing in Colorado, the most beautiful views of the Rocky Mountains, fine dining and high fashion all the way to excellent wine, Aspen and Snowmass Village have it all. Learn more about life in Aspen and Snowmass Village; click here to see homes, properties and investment opportunities in the area. Come taste the complexity of life in the backyard of Colorado’s wine country.
Thinking Colorado? Think the Maroon Bells. Images taken from these peaks are some of the most iconographic images from all of Colorado. No matter the season, these mountains, the creek and the lake between them capture the serenity and breath-taking beauty of Colorado and the Aspen/Snowmass Village area.
While the snow is still deeply piled around these two 14ers, tap into Colorado’s ranching history with the T Lazy Seven Ranch, Aspen’s oldest working ranch. They offer the perfect winter or early spring outdoor activity, guided snowmobile tours through the Maroon Bells. These tours allow individuals to go into the gorgeous depths of winter. Nothing works up on appetite like snowmobiling; enjoy lunch at the Klondike Cabin after the tour. Ranch raised, and completely grass-fed beef, these hamburgers are the perfect end to a perfect day in nature. For those who prefer a non-motorized winter excursion, The Maroon Bells Stables out of the T Lazy Seven Ranch extends the opportunity to take a horse drawn sleigh ride along the Maroon Creek. Bundle up with the ones you love and head out on a one-hour ride under snow-laden branches and witness the glory of winter.
After the snow melts, enjoy the late spring and summer with a variety of horseback riding experiences. Beginning Memorial Day, Rides range from short one hour rides to a two-day and night riding and camping excursion. Many rides include campfires and deliciously prepared dinners under the gorgeous Colorado sky.
More of a hiker? During the summer months the trailhead at Maroon Bells can only be reached by bus. Buses leave beginning at 8:30 a.m. and leave throughout the day at various times. The final bus from Maroon Lake departs at 5:00 p.m. There are a variety of trails at the Maroon Bells with varying degrees of difficulty, including the famous Crater Lake Trail and the Maroon Bells Loop. Along the way there is fishing, gorgeous views, wild flowers – particularly the Colorado State Flower, the Columbine as well as, side trips to hot springs and camping. Sites are available on a first come, first serve basis. Best of all, Fido is welcome as long as he is leashed.
The Maroon Bells capture everything that signifies life in the Rocky Mountains, tall mountains, breathtaking views, lakes and creeks, wildlife and amazing outdoor adventures. In any season, an afternoon spent gazing at the Maroon Peaks reflected in Maroon Lake make it easy to understand why people from far and wide love calling Aspen and the Snowmass Village area home. Llearn more about the Aspen/Snowmass Village area, and look at real estate opportunities, properties and homes in the area. Let Greg Rulon illustrate how magnificent life here really is! www.GregRulon.com
Despite the slight nip in the air, spring is popping up all around Aspen and Snowmass Village. The sweet scent of spring stirs more than the plants in the earth and the birds in the trees; it sings to the very soul of the mountain biker. As the trails begin to emerge from their winter blanket of snow, bikers begin racing up and down the hills of the Roaring Forks River Valley chasing their demons, challenging themselves and finding their Zen.
There are a plethora of trails for every level of rider in the Snowmass Village and Aspen area. Great books such as, Mountain Biking Aspen Guide Book by Bob D’Antonio; give details on the trails, their difficulty levels, and their attributes. D’Antonio recommends The Lincoln Creek Road as a great beginner’s ride, from Lincoln Creek to the Grizzly Reservoir; this ride offers the opportunity to hop off the bike and into the refreshing water alongside the trail.
Climb up Little Annie Road for a scenic view from Richmond Ridge or the Aspen Mountain sun deck. Meander through the old mining town of Lendo on the Lenado to Four Corners trail. After confronting the ghosts of Colorado’s past, this trail connects to other more strenuous rides in the area.
For the serious rider, D’Antonio suggests Pearl Pass or Light Hill Road. Light Hill Road is a short, extreme ride with amazing views. Pearl Pass offers a longer, tough ride up to mountain heights, where riders can stretch their physical limits and encounter vistas that evoke spiritual epiphanies.
New riders, or tourists in the area can take a bike tour of the Maroon Bells Wilderness on an easy, paved-road, which leads right to Aspen. For more advanced riders there is an intermediate ride to the Snowmass Divide or advanced rides on single-track trails on Rim Trail, Government Trail or Tom Blake Trail. For more information on mountain bike tours in Aspen and Snowmass Village, go to www.stayasspensnowmass.com.
Grab the bike, get away from the cares of the day and come out to commune with nature. It is just part of the better way-of-life that Aspen and Snowmass Village offer. While racing down the hills of the Roaring Forks River Valley, breathing in the crisp mountain air and seeing the world the way it was meant to be seen, reach your own personal Nirvana. Then find out all out all of the ways the Universe is in balance here, by contacting Greg Rulon and taking a look at the homes, properties, and real estate havens in the Aspen and Snowmass Village area. www.GregRulon.com
Aspen is the kind of town where an outsider might stumble into a store and not know if they had stumbled upon an art museum or a thrift shop. This confusion could be a testament to the thrift stores in town, or a testament to the Avant-garde nature of art in Aspen – or both. This double entrendre is especially felt when Dutch artist Mark Manders’ work is in town. His work is currently being displayed at the Aspen Art Museum, and will be through May 1, 2011. He also has a piece being displayed in the Aspen Thrift Shop, if you can find it.
For those unfamiliar with Manders, he began a series called “Self-portrait as a Building” in 1986. This continuous project uses everyday items in unusual and unexpected ways to sculpt and to portray Manders’ unique artistic perspective. He plays with the scale of day-to-day items. Rather than noticeable distortions, he typically alters size or one aspect of the sculpture just slightly. Text on the walls of the exhibit demonstrates his preoccupation with the theme of time. For example he states in a quote on the wall, “All of my work exists in one moment.” Also remarkable are the sculpted faces he creates, timeless, stoic and beautiful. To see samples of Mark Manders’ work, or to learn more about him go to http://www.aspenartmuseum.org/mark_manders.html.
Manders’ work is an example of the relevant and contemporary art the Aspen Art Museum has been known for since 1979. The Aspen Art Museum’s dedication to up-and-coming and socially pertinent art and artists reflects the highly sophisticated nature of Aspen as a whole. Despite its small size, Aspen is host to artists and exhibitions of the same caliber as major art hubs around the world. So well established is the art community within the city that a piece of art placed in a thrift store can be appreciated by art connoisseurs, tourists and shoppers alike.
After an afternoon milling about the Aspen Art Museum or the Aspen Thrift Shop taking in art and hunting for bargains, click here to see homes and residences in the Aspens and Snowmass Village area and start living the Avant-Garde lifestyle, where art and day-to-day life are one in the same.
The citizens of Aspen are not content to have the best skiing and snowboarding town in the world. Aspenites want their home to be the very best town in the world. Period.
This commitment to excellence in every echelon of Aspen society is apparent in their city code, called the Aspen Area Community Plan. This document expels the vision of Aspen, which constantly recommits the town to appealing to tourists and creating events, which will be beneficial to the long-term goals of the Aspen area.
As evidence of this commitment, Aspen has added yet another major event to her calendar. According to the Snowmass Sun, Aspen will be hosting the final stage of the Quizno’s Pro Challenge professional cycling competition this upcoming August. The Aspen City Council voted unanimously in early March to sign the contract with Classical Bicycle Racing LLC, ensuring Aspen’s place in the race.
Bicyclists and supporters are hailing the decision as yet another draw to the picturesque Colorado town. The Quizno’s Pro Challenge Tour will join other big name attractions such as, The Aspen Food and Wine Classic, Aspen Fashion Week and the X-Games. These major events prove that Aspen can hold its own with any city in the world for events, fashion, and fame. However Aspen holds the distinction of being gorgeous as well.
As an added bonus to the race, the City of Aspen is also planning to have several women’s bike races in the weeks and days leading up to the Quizno’s Pro Challenge Tour. With hundreds of miles of biking trails, paths and roads and a laundry list of residents that belong in the “Who’s Who of the Cycling World,” Aspen is the natural finale for the Quizno’s Pro Challenge.
August is the perfect time to add an event to the calendar, as the tourist season slows down during the summer months. The Quizno’s Pro Challenge Tour will bring the 128 riders in the race to Aspen and Snowmass Village. However, more importantly it will also bring spectators, cycling amateurs, as well as friends and family of the competitors. Such an upsurge of cyclists and tourists in the area, during this traditionally slow time in Aspen will boost the economy and energize the town during the once sleepy summer month of August.
The Quizno’s Pro Challenge Tour will focus the world’s attention on Aspen during the gorgeous summer, where all can see there is much, much more to Aspen than simply winter and winter sports. Once wooed by the excitement of the Quizno’s Pro Challenge Tour, the beauty of the Rocky Mountains and the continued excellence of Aspen, it will be easy to fall in love with the homes, residences and real estate opportunities found here. Experienced and knowledgeable realtor Greg Rulon can then introduce Aspen and Snowmass Village properly. Learn more the Aspen/Snowmass Area and call the very best of the best home! www.GregRulon.com
It doesn’t take a fortune teller to predict that the record levels of snow this winter in the Roaring Forks River Valley will translate to amazing white water rafting conditions this spring and summer. As the longest ski season in Aspen/Snowmass Village history begins to wind down, outdoor enthusiasts are beginning to think about packing up their skis, polishing up their paddles and forming their plans for their warm weather adventures in the Roaring Fork River.
According to the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, snow pack in the Colorado River Basin is up 164% over last year’s levels, while the Roaring Fork River Basin is up 127% from its annual average. The piles of snow on the mountains now can only mean one thing in just a few short months – ice cold, wet, fantastic fun.
Just five minutes outside of Aspen, the Roaring Fork River offers some of the best white water rafting conditions in the Rocky Mountains. A variety of companies in Aspen offer guided rafting excursions of varying degrees of intensity and difficulty.
Slaughter House Falls is the most exciting 6-mile white water ride imaginable! Three intense rapids make this natural roller coaster an experience of a lifetime. More mild experiences are trips through the Upper, Middle and Lower Roaring Fork River. Some excursions are designed for children as young as six years old, allowing the entire family the opportunity experience the exhilarating splash of the rapids. The more difficult rapids are reserved for older and in some cases, more experienced riders. For the more independent rafter, inflatable kayaks, or ‘duckies,’ are available for use in the solo rafting experience. Guided tours are available for ‘ducky’ excursions as well.
Before the ski season is over dash down the slopes a few more times and build a snowman, because it won’t be long until this same snow is rushing over rocks, and splashing into the kayak as spring and summer take over the mountains. Experience the best of every season outdoors in Aspen and Snowmass Village by clicking here to see real estate opportunities, homes and properties in the backyard of Nature’s greatest playground. www.GregRulon.com