Walking into Lehrer's Flowers is like walking into a massive botanical garden. This 30,000-square-foot facility stacks its pathways with plants from floor to ceiling. Down one aisle, the light bouquet of roses tantalizes the nose while a wall of green delights the eye in the next. Customers can pick and choose individual flowers or order specialty arrangements to celebrate weddings or mourn a passing. The shop also runs flower design classes for those who want to use their individual artistic touch to create their own arrangements.
Julia Blackbird's New Mexican Café is the culmination of two of chef and owner Julie Siegfried’s deepest passions: cooking and New Mexico. To this day, her mother recalls Julie standing on a step stool, trying to peer into a soup pot and giving her grandmother directions about what to put in. And on her first trip to New Mexico, she used up 10 rolls of film snapping pictures. She fell in love with the region's unique vibe—the people, the artwork, and, of course, the food.
Today, she shares both of her loves with diners at Julia Blackbird's New Mexican Café. Her kitchen is stocked with New Mexican ingredients such as blue cornmeal, goat cheese from the San Luis valley, and piñones. For her signature dish, the Tres Hermanas, she stuffs a trio of blue-corn enchiladas: one with chicken and green chile, one with beef and red chile, and one with cheese and chile caribe. To make sangria, the staff soaks seasonal fruit in rum, then splashes the mixture with wine and sparkling water. The menu also features beers, mojitos, and top-shelf margaritas, which encourage diners to linger in the warmly lit space, admiring brightly colored artwork or arguing about whether red should be added to the list of primary colors.
Having filmed their own skate, surf, and snowboard movies for years, Matt D’Amico and Jeff Barrett acquired a taste for digital videography. When Matt and Jeff launched Valley Home Movies, they combined their passion for video editing with their knowledge of antiquated and modern video formats. Using high-capacity computers, they transfer every frame from aging formats such as 8mm and VHS onto reliable DVDs and convert old photos and slides to digital files, ensuring prom pictures may be ridiculed by future generations.
The pair also puts their editing skills to good use, laying down beats for accompanying DVD soundtracks and crafting individualized DVD menus. Videography services and sound engineering round out the company’s offerings, though the staff also shoots still photography, repairs computers, and develops websites.
The destination becomes second-fiddle thanks to 303PartyBus. The action begins the second the driver starts the engine of this 44-passenger party on wheels. Long, curving leather booths hug the walls of the bus with room for passengers to kick back in style, but there's also plenty of room to dance, and party lighting to set the mood as well as a standup bar to fuel the festivities. 303PartyBus's driver is sequestered from the rest by a partition, so the passengers can party in private and the driver remains undistracted as he steers the vehicle toward the destination. And even though the destination might be an afterthought, there are plenty of options: Broncos games, tailgate parties, brewery tours, bachelorette parties, and concerts at Red Rocks or the Fillmore.
A lot has changed in the century since the Paramount Theatre was founded, but the theater's crowd-pleasing entertainment wouldn't have been out of place in Aurora's turn-of-the-century theater scene. When the Venice-inspired art-deco venue was first built, it joined an already-bustling local tradition of vaudeville, silent films, concerts, and circus acts. Photographs dating back to 1931 guided a 1976 restoration, in which artisans completely retraced and repainted eight original murals, re-gilded the fluted columns, and patched up the sheets of every ghost. Concerts, comedy, and community events fill the theater when it's not occupied by the dazzling production values of a professional musical-theater company, which launched what the Chicago Tribune called a "thrilling debut season" in 2011.
Sometimes the right backdrop is what makes a party or photo shoot come alive. So Flipp N Studios designed a handful of loft-style spaces that can be rented for photo shoots, film projects, workshops, or social events. The 1,000 sq. ft. creative studio features white walls, freestanding paper backdrops, and plenty of natural light to help photographers to capture subjects at their best, as well as a full kitchen, full bathroom and wardrobe area, and client seating. The event space offers a similar aesthetic, with walls of windows, natural wood floors, and wood beams throughout the white, high-ceilinged space. And for parties full of hungry guests, local catering is available.