Council, coffee and crystals

by Lindsay Nelson

Wake up and smell the coffee. It’s a time of sacrifice, people. The day has come for us all to grow up, stop our silly Utopian fantasizing, and get real. If there’s anything the past year should have taught us, it’s that we can’t have everything we want. Maybe you really, really want a new dog park, acres of grass and trees to roll around in, or a soccer complex for your kid and her team to play on. Well, too bad. Sometimes we have to give up something we want for something that we truly need. And here to tell you what you need and what are just trivial “niceties” is the all-knowing, all-seeing Durango City Council. They know better than anyone what’s best for Durango (stop reading if you live out in the county; you’re not really part of our community). Our esteemed representatives have deigned to provide the following list of Things You Thought You Needed, But Don’t:

• Parking spaces. See, if you put your car there, it won’t be open space.

• Public bathrooms. They’re nothing but havens for deviants to lurk and tap their feet.

• Houses. Again, building stuff takes away from open space. Unless it’s a library.

• Low-priced consumer goods. Stores like Target and Safeway are not worthy of Durango.

• Cheap trash service. If we make it expensive, people won’t throw away as much stuff. And that’s good for the environment.

• Efficient dispatch of public business. If they want to pontificate and dither about a routine contract for two hours at 9 p.m. on a Tuesday, they damned well can.

• Organized recreational activities. Nobody should be playing volleyball or soccer when they could be hiking on million-dollar scrub land on the outskirts of town.

• Separation of power. Elected officials are more powerful than God; you better recognize.

• Property rights. You want to be in Durango? You will be assimilated. Resistance is futile.

Ah, democracy.


Outside the realm of local politics, on this first quiet weekend of the season, two unique events are happening. The first, relatively new, quirky local event is the third-annual Coffee Festival. Finally, an opportunity for the addicts and obsessive users to go public with their substance-abuse issues.

A smorgasbord of specialty coffee drinks (some with milk, some with booze), food and information awaits on Main Ave. and 8th Street from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. It’s a fund-raiser for the Durango Adult Education Center, to collect money for adult literacy. Drinking lattes for literacy is lots better than swilling suds for sobriety. Am I right?

This weekend also brings the return of the fabled WholeExpo. This slightly misspelled exhibition of all things holistic and metaphysical will be happening at the fairgrounds on Saturday and Sunday starting at 10 a.m. Now in its 12th year, the WholeExpo offers us an opportunity to check out new products, services and notions relating to nontraditional medicine, spirituality, self-awareness and inner peace. Attend seminars on discovering your abundant self, reading Zen Tarot, journeying to the fifth world and learning to wear jewelry consciously. Find out what iridology is. Let your fingerprints reveal your destiny. Or just buy some incense and a crystal or two. It’s all good.

Readjust your chi with a high-caliber reggae show on Saturday night at the Summit, where Everton Blender will appear. Reggae lovers who may be sick and tired of the watered-down, re-re-interpreted American versions that typically tour small towns in Colorado will find sustenance here. Blender successfully combines the roots and dancehall styles of his native Jamaica with delicious island beats and uplifting words of struggle and triumph, on songs such as “Lift Up Your Head” and “Ghetto People Song.” The tiny stage of the Summit will likely be barely able to contain the energy and presence of the man. Tickets are available now and can be had for $15. Don’t wait until the night of, you might miss out.

The Summit comes through again on Monday night with The Toasters, third-wave ska pioneers from NYC. For 25 years, they’ve been showcasing their 2-Tone inspired sound to the world and show no signs of quitting. Known for their independent spirit and unique sound, The Toasters have been called “The Ramones of Ska.” Experience the legend Monday at the Summit. (Call first; there’ve been a couple of cancellations lately).

The Abbey Theatre hosts The Reel Rock Film Tour — featuring a new film about Chris Sharma, the man of the decade when it comes to rock climbing — on Tuesday and Wednesday at 6:45 p.m. The film was produced by Colorado filmmaker Peter Mortimer, in collaboration with Josh Lowell. Both have won numerous awards for their films. Get your chalky palms sweaty as you watch bad-ass rock climbers go at it on the big screen.

Since we’ve already mentioned coffee twice, might as well make it an even three. Sunday afternoon you can catch a free showing of the film “Black Gold,” an award-winning documentary about the plight of poor, Third-World coffee farmers and the evil multinational corporations that screw them over. See the film and find out what the fair trade coffee movement is all about, and why it’s worth the same price as a ¾-pound bag of bitter Starbucks beans. The movie shows at 4 p.m. and is brought to you by Desert Sun Coffee Roasters.

Breathe deeply of the calm, late summer air, finally a little quieter, cleaner and freer now that most of the visitors have departed. For a little while anyway, we can remember what a sleepy little mountain town feels like. Sort of. Except for Laptop Guy and the trophy homes. •



In this week's issue...

July 18, 2024
Rebuilding Craig

Agreement helps carve a path forward for town long dependent on coal

July 11, 2024
Reining it in

Amid rise in complaints, City embarks on renewed campaign to educate dog owners

July 11, 2024
Rolling retro

Vintage bikes get their day to shine with upcoming swap and sale