Sunday, September 25, 2011

"Keys to the City," Denver


When I was in Denver, Colorado, last month to go shopping with my daughter for her wedding dress, I spent a day on the popular 16 Street Mall.  Built in 1982, the Mall is a mile long tree-lined, pedestrian promenade that runs through the center of Downtown and is lined with outdoor cafes, renovated historic office buildings, shops, restaurants and retail stores. Free shuttle buses cruise up and down the Mall seven days a week, making it very convenient for visitors to shop in many of the stores along the route.



Inspired by similar programs in London, Sydney, Sao Paulo and New York City, seventeen colorfully painted pianos were placed on the 16th Street Mall as part of the "Your Keys to the City," a public piano art program created by the Downtown Denver Partnership. Hand-painted by local artists, each piano has a theme and are available for the public to play from 8 am to 10 pm, seven days a week.



It was fun to see the variety of creatively painted pianos and listen to the people who stopped to play them. It definitely made the 16 Street Mall feel more intimate and friendly.You can read more about the pianos and the artists that painted them at this link.

I thought they made a pretty mosaic for "Mosaic Monday" event on Mary's blog The Little Red House, and "Blue Monday" event on Sally's blog Smiling Sally. Please visit both blogs and see the links of all the participating blogs for their happy events.



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58 comments:

Sea Witch said...

Wow, I'm the first post. Can't believe my luck. Wanted to again say that I always love reading your posts. I made the vodka gnocchi you provided the recipe for a few posts back. Fantastic! always love when you provide recipes. Blessings to you and those you love. Sea witch

Cat & Cricket said...

Ok.. I see gorgeous blue pianos.. and then Sea Witch mentioning vodka gnocchi.... heaven!
Smiles~
Cat

Ginny said...

What a great idea this is! Your piano pictures are very good, they are amazing. I would have sat down at each one and played, even though I can't play!

black eyed susans kitchen said...

Great post Pat. There is a town in Vermont that has a fund raiser every year by giving different artists something over-sized to paint or decorate. One year it was horses, another cows and then there were rocking chairs and Adirondack chairs. All of these items are then auctioned off. The pianos are such an interesting twist...music and a fun work of art! Denver looks like a beautiful city.

Pondside said...

What a great idea for a public space - I love it!

Sara said...

When I was out in Denver they had the cows - I bought one (a small one) in one of the gift shops.)

The pianos are Gorgeous! I love the 16th Street mall - and loved riding the buses every day...

Carol said...

Love the piano mosaic, you always find the coolest things to capture! The mall sounds awesome.

M.Kate said...

Helloo Pat, what a lovely post! I like those painted pianos very much..its so fun to see and definitely fun to be there. Hugs...MK

The Gathering Place said...

I have never been right in Denver, but I have driven by on the freeway. It looks lovely and the colorful pianos look fun.

Riet said...

Wow, what a wonderful idea, putting the lovely painted piano's in the street. I am sure it makes everybody smile that passes them. And such a clever idea is the shuttle bus so that you will be able to visit ALL the shops and no need to go home early with hurting feet.lol\Have a nice day
Rietx

Tracy said...

OH, what fun... and these pianos are just incredible! I love the two all-over with turquoise... especially the one with butterflies! Glad you had so much fun--Denver sounds wonderful! Happy week, my friend ((HUGS))

Happier Than a Pig in Mud said...

The pianos are really neat Pat! How fun to walk around to music:@)

eileeninmd said...

I really love the painted pianos. Lovely tour of the promenade. Sounds like a lovely place to visit and shop. Thanks for sharing your lovely mosaics. Have a great week!

PⒿ @ $ € € ₦$ ₣®0₥... said...

First of all - you sure do get around!!! :)


And that piano mosaic is one of my all time favorites!!

GrandmaK said...

Enjoyed your photos...We did enjoy our trek down 16th street when we were there this summer! And the pianos being played do make it a fun place to be. Thanx for the memories! Cathy

Old Kitty said...

Oh yes!! There was one piano at London Liverpool Street Station that was very popular and got played on alot - but it was nothing as fun looking as these pianos!! These are brilliant!!!!

Thanks for these pics - hopefully if the piano at the station returns, it'll be as colourful too!! Take care
x

Cathy said...

I love your photos of the painted pianos, Pat. Denver is a great city to visit and the surrounding country is so beautiful. My son went to college in Boulder so we visited many times during his 4 years there.

Snap said...

Pat,

Wonderful, fun post. The pianos are colorful and I bet a lot of fun ... from chopsticks to sonatas!!!! And, shopping too! WOW! Noticed the cow .... !!

Kim, USA said...

Love your mosaic. Those pianos are awesome to put it out close to the road ^_^

The Rose

Betsy from Tennessee said...

Hi There, I'm back after a few weeks off from blogging. Hope you are doing okay. I have missed all of my blogging friends --but needed that break!

Denver is a gorgeous city for sure --but your area of NY is gorgeous also!!!!

Hope you are doing okay. I've missed you.


Hugs,
Betsy

Tanna at The Brick Street Bungalow said...

How neat is that?!?! There is more fun in Denver than just those adorables! ;) blessings ~ tanna

chubskulit said...

Those are lovely!

Please come see my blue, have a great week ahead!

Lorrie said...

I love the idea of these painted pianos available for anyone to play. So much fun!

Naturegirl said...

Great idea and creativity! Don't know which I love the best!
Thank you for sharing!

SmilingSally said...

That sounds like a take-off on Cows on Parade, Chicago, 1999. Thanks for sharing this beautiful blue.

Happy Blue Monday, Pat.

Oliag said...

How wonderful!! Did you play a tune?

ellen b. said...

Great photos of Denver. How fun to see all those painted pianos...

Joni Nickrent said...

This is awesome...just started following. Followed your link from the Boomer Bloggers Tribe! Look forward to your posts! Pop Art Minis

Pamela Gordon said...

Pat, what a wonderful mall! I love the pianos and I'm sure my hubby would sit at one and play a tune if he were there. Very interesting post! Pamela

Ingmarie We said...

Fantastic mosaics. The one with pianos are fabulous. You are so talented always posting wonderful mosaics.

pam said...

What a gloriously wonderful idea...pianos around town to play on. They really had fun painting them didn't they. Hope you have a great week Pat!

Jill from Killeny Glen said...

What a CLEVER and CREATIVE idea...these pianos! SO COOL!

deb said...

what a beautiful street and I LOVE the pianos...how fun to sit and listen to folks play!!!!
theres a town in CT where my daughter lives and they have painted cows on the main street....all we have here in So Cal is graffetti...and NOT the good kind...lol

LV said...

I had the pleasure of visiting here a long time ago. Was nice seeing it again.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I do remember all the cows and some other animal - dogs maybe? when that happened in various cities around the world. I LOVE the piano idea - somebody with inspiration just can sit and entertain everone? brilliant.

SavoringTime in the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful idea. I love the whole concept of art and music together!

Vee said...

Oh I would love to see those pianos! My mother painted one gold and then glazed it one year. That was rather special, but look at those. And, btw, I am loving being back to "normal" in the photo viewing department for now. Did you hear any good pianists or were they most parlor players?

Annesphamily said...

Great post Pat! I really love the 16 th Street Mall. When I worked for an ins. co years ago I use to spend a lot of time there waiting to go home with my hubby. He works downtown. I have lived in Denver since 1983. But Colorado is my home and I love it here! We have the best weather anywhere! Thanks for sharing. Anne

Sandi @the WhistleStop Cafe said...

key's to the city...
I love it!

Lovella ♥ said...

That is such a unique mosaic post Pat. I wonder if they leave those pianos our year around? And here. ..I've always been careful to keep my piano on an inside wall. .as per my mothers instructions to prevent a chill on its back.

Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

A left over cow parade cow horned in on the piano's big moment.

Denver's best feature is the mall and the free shuttle bus service. Otherwise I prefer Colorado Springs, and my own SLC over Denver!

From the Kitchen said...

What a wonderful area! I've never been to Denver but it's on my list. I love seeing the pianos. Chicago did cows about ten years ago. They were a huge hit!

Best,
Bonnie

Jeanne said...

Great photos Pat. I love the painted pianos. My grandson, would love to play those pianos. I would love to be there and listen to the music. Big question...did you find your daughter's wedding dress? Smile! How exciting planning a wedding. Especially your own daughter's wedding.

We skied in Colorado for many years.
I had a friend who lived there years ago. Fun times.

Have a wonderful week.
XO, Jeanne

Pamela Terry and Edward said...

Shopping for a wedding dress.
How much fun!

Kris said...

I love this! The TV show Glee did something similar on their show. What a great thing to do!!

Sheila said...

The 16th street mall looks like a fabulous place to visit in such beautiful weather. I can just imagine listening to all the pianos being played. It must be fun to wander along and pop into stores now and again and to be able to ride back to where you started if needed. It must have been great fun to be with your daughter for those days too.

podso said...

We have oversized rocking chairs in our city. These pianos are great! thanks for the photos. But I wonder what happens if it rains? Well it probably doesn't rain there much, does it.

nanny said...

How neat to see the pianos!!! I can't play a note but know I couldn't resist a bit of chop sticks....lol

Yvette said...

Just beatufiful, Pat. Denver looks like a gleaming city in these photos. Sort of like The Wizard of Oz's hometown. :)

Those pianos are fabulous!

Cindy said...

What a fun mall to visit! Those pianos are so unique, I haven't seen anything like them at least.
I love the mosaic.
Hugs, Cindy

Vicki/Jake said...

So glad I got over here! Thanks for following my silliness. I love the Denver post. Never been there, although I have a daughter living in GJ..Looks like a mall I could spend a day or two.. or three at:) I'll be coming over more now...

From Beyond My Kitchen Window said...

I loved this post. What cool pianos. You always take such fun and interesting photos on all your travels. I enjoyed my visit tonight.

Lisa@GrandmasBriefs said...

So cool! I'll have to head there with my daughter next time I'm in Denver. Funny thing, I bet the pianos were in place when I recently attended Bloggy Boot Camp at a hotel on FIFTEENTH street, one block away from the display.

I love that I learn things about MY state from you each time you visit Colorado.

RNSANE said...

What a neat idea! I have no musical talent whatsoever but I would certainly have to sit at some of those pianos and pray for inspiration! They are so delightful!

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

I love the painted pianos! Very unique 'keys to the city' of Denver. The mall looks like a fine place to spend some time!

~Lavender Dreamer~ said...

Oh, I love your photos! And I like your new profile pic...very pretty! ♥

Just a little something from Judy said...

Whenever I get to visit Denver, I am happy, but this piano display in definitely an unique way to add more charm to the city. You are right, they do make a lovely and unusual mosaic. Thanks for sharing. I am interested in seeing tidbits from your daughter's wedding journey.

Claudia said...

How I love seeing the world through your eyes. Those pianos are wonderful and love the melding of art and music. (So, when are you moving to Denver?)