The Charm of the Patty Jewett Neighborhood

The beginning of summer of 2001, I moved to Colorado Springs. I actually drove, all by myself, a 22’ diesel U-haul truck into Colorado Springs. That’s a different and much longer story.  I had visited Colorado Springs once or twice before, and this young, recent college grad was thrilled that this town was going to be my own. I quickly fell in love with the grand spectacle of Pikes Peak and all this town had to offer. As I settled in on the east side, I began exploring my new found home.

Being from the south, I quickly began to swoon over Downtown Colorado Springs, the Old North End, and Old Colorado City. I loved the old victorian homes with their porches and tree lined streets. It made me feel at home. And I’m a sucker for old houses and buildings, even old people are the best! I love anything with a story, and you have to have some age to have a story!

Many times driving from the east side of town, with it’s exquisite views of the mountains, I would be overcome with awe. Look at that view. What a gorgeous place this is!

How I Discovered Patty Jewett

As I would make my way to downtown, a trail head on the west side, or a restaurant in Old Colorado City, I would drive through this perfect little neighborhood with it’s mostly early to mid 20th century homes and tree lined streets. It quickly became a favorite of mine. I would intentionally plan my routes to drive through this part of town. And back then, you did have to plan your routes by getting directions from an actual person perhaps. Crazy!

Then one day, a friend invited me to go hit golf balls at the driving range. They gave me directions to this little public golf course. And there I was driving through that fantastic little neighborhood again, and I arrived at what I would say is one of the most fantastic and lovely places in the Springs -- The Patty Jewett Golf Course.

So, we hit some balls and made a plan for coming back to play a round of 9 in a couple of weeks. Before we left, we sat and enjoyed a drink at the Clubhouse with one of the best views of Pikes Peak you’ll find in town! And I figured it out, this neighborhood that I loved so much was called Patty Jewett. A number of years later I bought a house in what I would call part of the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood, a little neighborhood just on the northside called Bonnyville.

Where exactly is Patty Jewett?

Generally speaking, the greater Patty Jewett neighborhood is bordered by Union on the east, Uintah on the south, Wahsatch on the west, and La Salle in the Bonnyville area on the north. Why do I say generally speaking? Well, parts of Wahsatch are in the Old North End. And the boundary between Old North End and Patty Jewett is really the alley between…. Anyway, I won’t bore you with those details. We can have coffee sometime, and we can cover these nuances.

Map of Patty Jewett

The Patty Jewett Charm and Appeal

The Patty Jewett part of town is full of charm and character. And it’s connected to major history in our city. The golf club was established in 1897, and predates all but two other golf clubs in the country. The golf course was built in 1910, and then in 1919 the course was given to the city of Colorado Springs by W.K. Jewett in honor of his late wife, Patty Stuart Jewett. Now we know the neighborhood around this course by this same honor.

I said I loved a good story! And this neighborhood sure does have a GREAT one!

My Neighborhood Tour of Patty Jewett

My colleagues at Springs Homes asked if I would like to make a video about my favorite neighborhood. “Oh, you mean Patty Jewett?”, I laughed as if there is any doubt that this is my favorite area. Preparing to make this video gave me a great chance to dig a little bit into the history of the area, think about all of the reasons that I like living here, and summarize why I feel this is such a good neighborhood for such a wide variety of people. And now you have a chance to watch a personal tour of Patty Jewett given by yours truly. My only regret is I wish my hair was behaving better during the filming.

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Choosing the Right High School

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Well, I am about to enter completely unknown territory!!!!  My only child, my son, will start his 8th-grade year and subsequently his last one in middle school.  Time to get down to business and start thinking about what high school he will be entering this time next year. (Uh, YIKES)!  Time to start preparing a checklist, or at the very least, a guideline, for what his Daddy and I will use to help make this next big step in our son's life that much easier.  I thought I would share my family's personal checklist for choosing the high school our son will attend. (Disclaimer, this list is prioritized first to last in what we determined, as a family, was most important for our own son).

Are any of his closest friends attending the same high school? 

As our son has gotten older, we have realized that the quantity of friends is not as important to him as the quality.  He has three or four close friends, but he has always put one particular friend above the rest. If he can have this type of strong, loyal, intense friendship with this other boy all the way through high school, he will have more than most.  (I am actually friends with the Vice Principal of one of the two schools we are considering, and I ran this sentiment by her.  It was a relief to receive her affirmation of how important this type of friendship will be, for both my son and his best friend, during their final four years as a child).

What kind of academic programs are offered

We like the idea of schools that offer both AP (Advanced Placement) and IB (International Baccalaureate) course work.  Since his Father and I both took Advanced Placement courses in high school, ourselves, we are more familiar with them and love the way these courses focus relatively intensively on one particular subject. But with IB courses, we were also intrigued with the more holistic approach that a particular subject may be given.  In the end, both schools we are considering offer a beautiful mix of classes that use the IB and AP curriculums together, which will hopefully allow our son to benefit and grow from the strengths of both programs.

What extracurricular activities are offered

For my son, his most important extracurricular activity is sports, so we made sure that both schools we are considering have programs for the three sports he has played since starting elementary school.  Other programs we looked for the schools to have include arts, volunteer work and community service, music, governance, and clubs.  It is very important to us for our son to be involved in character building activities outside of the classroom, and regardless of his first passion, it is very important to us for him to have the opportunity to explore other extracurricular options BESIDES sports.  Diversity is definitely key, here.

What is the overall school culture

After speaking with parents of high school graduates and teachers and administrative staff, the consensus was that the only way to really get a feel for a school's culture was to "get in the trenches", to actually go to each school and physically walk the halls while a school day was in session, and do this as many times as necessary, with and without our son present.  The goal is to get a feel for what we expect the school to teach our son about life beyond academics and the classroom, itself.  The goal is to see how students and teachers interact with one another in the classroom setting, to see if students and teachers greet each other personally, to see if students and teachers greet parents, to get a feel for student mood and how students treat each other whether they know each other or not.  The goal is to just get a sense of if the school has an overall feeling of joy and hope and happiness.  No science or numbers or stats involved here....just going to give it a go and trust that Mama intuition!

What is the graduation rate and what is the college attendance rate of the school

This was our last priority as a family as we are not the kind of family to base our decision on what high school our kid attends based on numbers alone, but, alas, numbers DO (kind of) matter! Plus, certain stats can suggest how successful a particular school has been at bringing our children to the next most important stage of their life....adulthood. 

This list is not inclusive, obviously, and may not even be any of your own priorities, but hopefully, it can at least serve as a jumping point for your family's own list if you, too, have a son or daughter who will be entering high school next year. This list for us, though welcomes balance, a concept we try to practice and live by routinely and day to day. We simply hope that addressing these five issues, as we choose a high school with our son, will create the ultimate opportunity for balance for him.  

Good luck and Happy High School shopping to you all!  See you in the trenches!

One final note:  It is too cliche' to even think about, much less type into words, but when I was growing up, I do not remember my mother having the option of choosing where I went to high school. Oh, you live in Hixson, Tennessee?  Yes.  Okay, your child will go to Hixson Junior High School and then Hixson High School.  And so, I did.  Regardless, I am grateful that, in this day and age, parents have the luxury to live in a certain area of Colorado Springs, (a city I have now called home for 25+ years) and choose for their children to go to school in a completely different area!!!!     

 

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The Promenade Shops at Briargate

One of the newer shopping mall developments in Colorado Springs is The Promenade Shops at Briargate, an open air, pet-friendly, outdoor shopping center, located east of I-25 at Briargate & Voyager Parkways.

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History

In August 2003, Poag & McEwen Shopping Centers opened the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs’ first

In August 2003, Poag & McEwen Shopping Centers opened the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs’ first open-air shopping mall. The Promenade Shops at Briargate were built targeting shoppers looking for stores like Chico’s, Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma that were found in larger cities.

Since their opening, The Promenade Shops at Briargate has seen significant changes. The 2008 economic crisis resulted in some retail closure, but the center retained a vibrant tenant mix to attract shoppers. In 2013, an ownership change brought more exciting changes. Two new retail and restaurant building were constructed. They were completed and fully leased by mid-2016.

 

 

Tenants

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Some of the original tenants of The Promenade Shops at Briargate currently occupy the center including Pottery Barn, Williams- Sonoma, Talbots and J. Jill. Recent additions include Modern Market, Charming Charlie, and Soft Surroundings,

There are 55 total businesses in the shopping center, including 10 restaurants. The shopper target demographic age group ranges from 20-60 with the varied tenant mix including Anthropologie, Apple, Lululemon Athletica and Sephora.

Some of the businesses are locally run as franchises, including Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Complete Nutrition, and Bird Dog BBQ.

Before the development of the Promenade Shops at Briargate, Colorado Springs didn’t have many restaurants like Teds’ Montana Grill or P.F. Chang’s. The location of the center is intended to intercept drivers on their commute on I25 and offer a new mix of retail and food from a variety of sources that are for the most part unavailable elsewhere in Colorado Springs.

 

 

Events

A variety of events are held at the Promenade Shops at Briargate, including the summer Farmers Market on the Promenade. The weekly event starts on Father’s Day this year, Sunday June 18th. The Farmers Market will run every Sunday until the end of September, with September 24th as the last day. The market is open from 9am to 1pm, which allows two hours for farmer’s market shoppers to peruse the vendors before the shops open, and lasts for another two hours after the retail shops and restaurants open.

Farmers Market Promenade Shops at Briargate

 

The farmers market is filled with local farmers, thanks to the farmer coordinator, Chris Sniffen, a local egg farmer who owns a chicken ranch in Calhan. As a local farmer himself, he has enough connections to populate the farmers market and has been able to connect with local honey producers, herb and tea blend growers, grass fed meat producers, and an organic vegetable farm in Larkspur. The goal of the market is to offer the shoppers at the center an attractive array of locally sourced and organic food. Look for this event on the road between Biaggi’s and P.F. Chang’s.

Other events that take place at The Promenade Shops at Briargate include Bark at Briargate, an outdoor pet expo, and Parad-Ice on the Promenade, a live ice sculpture event. Bark at Briargate will be held on Saturday, August 12, from 10 am to 1 pm, and Parad-Ice on the Promenade will be held during the holiday shopping season. Visit the shopping center website ThePromenadeShopsatBriargate.com for details.

 

Parking

Parking is conveniently located close to shops & restaurants. Exciting changes are planned for late summer 2017 to enhance the shopper experience.

Check out the center website and like them on Facebook to stay informed.

 

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The Value of Colorado Springs Farmers Markets

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It’s not news to any of us that summer is here. We’re getting more consistent sunshine here on the front range. AND we just enjoyed a beautiful Memorial Day Weekend. I hope you got the chance to enjoy time on your favorite trail in town...take in a picnic or some reading at a local park...spend time in the mountains...run the BolderBoulder...catch up on some DIY projects around the house...grill out in your backyard...

Whatever you did this past weekend, not only was it gorgeous but it was the beginning of... ALL THINGS SUMMER! Can I get a big shout out!?!

Summer in Colorado Springs is grand. I’m not one to have a favorite season. I love them all for the wonderful and distinct features they each offer. In summer, I love getting outside as much as possible. I crave time in the mountains and on lakes throughout the state. The long days and cool nights are the best! I’m sure you have your favorite things too.

One of the best parts of summer is access to local produce and other Colorado local products available at farmers markets all around the Colorado Springs area. We have some fantastic markets in nearly every corner of the Pikes Peak Region. You could hit up a different market every day and get a tour of the town. How fun!? You could even make it fun summer bucket list - visit all of the available farmer's markets in town!

Why Farmers Markets Matter

Some people might think, why not just hit up your local grocery store? Besides getting a chance to combine being outside and visiting different parts of town, it’s also incredibly valuable to support local farmers and other local merchants! Did you know that your dollars go further in our community’s economy when you shop and eat at locally owned business?

Another enjoyable part of farmers markets is the chance to meet friends and neighbors...whether it’s just you or you bring the whole family. What a fantastic activity on a Saturday morning or since the kids are out of school...any ‘ole day of the week. You can hang out in your own neighborhood in town and interact and buy products from the people who live nearby. Or try visiting a new area and explore its local parks, restaurants, and coffee shops before or after your time at the farmers market. You will be supporting the people and the produce of that community.

Other Thoughts on the Value of Local Farmers Markets

I have always been a fan of farmers markets, but I thought I would see what others have to say about them. I reached out to some folks I know around the community about why farmers markets are a valuable part of our community and here is what they said. 

“Farmers markets help to connect rural and urban communities and thus are an invaluable piece of civic architecture. They are a vibrant spot for our neighborhoods, they signal the value that Coloradoans put on local food, help to keep these dollars in our state, and preserve our precious farmland. Moreover, having these markets helps community members who may have difficulty accessing fresh fruits and vegetables through programs like Double-UP food bucks, where every dollar becomes 2 when spent on meat, produce, etc. at these markets -- this is not available at grocery stores.”

Michelle Larkins, Ph.D., Food & Environmental Sustainability Researcher, Colorado Springs Food Rescue

“I like spending Saturday mornings at the market with my kids. They gain a better understanding of where our food comes from and why it's valuable. Meeting farmers and planning our meals based on what's available keeps us grounded and in touch with the realities of our sustaining resources. It's real life, real food, and real people. We need bits of that in our modern world. The farmer's markets are gifts all over our city each summer for those who will go out and enjoy all offer!”

Niki Parks, Local Colorado Springs Resident, Gleneagle

"Farmers market season is exciting because we get to experience the bounty of our local region. From the Pueblo Chile to Rocky Ford melons, we have rich and diverse agriculture in southern Colorado. By buying local produce, you are supporting family farms and strengthening our community. Palmer Land Trust partners with farmers to ensure our region has a vibrant local food base, resilient farming communities, and protected land and water resources."

Rebecca Jewett, Executive Director, Palmer Land Trust

"Shopping at markets that sell locally sourced food provides a valuable outlet for farmers who are mostly small, family operations. Their fruits, vegetable, cheeses and other products retain the flavor and nutritional value that is lacking in supermarket products. Do something good for yourself, your family and your community and buy locally produced foods."

Matt Heimerich, Lower Arkansas Valley Conservation Director, Palmer Land Trust

Go Meet A Farmer!

So, get outside this summer (and into the fall at some markets!) and meet a farmer. Enjoy a slow Saturday morning picking out some Palisade peaches or finding that perfect Pueblo chile or scoop up some local honey. Yum!! And at every market, you’ll find local and regional vendors offering other creative, unique products for your kitchen as well as your home in general. Right in your own neighborhood!

Colorado Springs Area Farmers Market Schedule

Here’s a rundown of the Colorado Springs farmers markets that might be around you. Some markets opened this past Memorial Day weekend. Others will be opening throughout June. Some only go through the summer. Others will run through the fall. So, make sure to check the links, if provided, to get more details on dates and to stay in touch as markets will make last minute changes for holidays, weather, etc. Hope you find your local, neighborhood market! And enjoy the adventure of another neighborhood’s market features.

I frequent farmer's markets a lot during the summer, so if you see me browsing around, stop and say hi and we can talk a little about zucchini recipes and the latest about the Colorado Springs Real Estate Market.

Monday

Tuesday

Wednesday

Thursday

Friday

Saturdays

Sunday

Other helpful links to get information on farmers markets in the Pikes Peak region as well as around the state.

https://www.springsfarmersmarkets.com/

http://www.colorado.com/co/food-wine-beer/farmorchardsfarmers-markets

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Things to Do in Colorado Springs this Weekend (May 20-May 21)

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One weekend before the Memorial Day holiday and we're still getting snow, freezing overnight temps, and cold breezes to make you think winter is back. No matter! There are still plenty of fun events happening in Colorado Springs this weekend. 


Things to Do This Weekend

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Colorado Public Lands Day Celebration -  Sat May 20, 8:00am, Red Rock Canyon Open Space Ridge Rd. & US-24

Admission: Free. We are the first state in the nation to have our own state holiday to recognize Colorado public lands! Join together to work on improving our trails followed by a guided hike tour and other outdoor activities. Minimum age is 16, or 13 with a parent/guardian. For more info, visit: Rocky Mountain Field Institute.

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Tesla’s Toolbox: Water Widget Races -  Sat May 20, 10:00am - 12:00pm, Space Foundation Discovery Center 4425 Arrowswest Drive

Admission: Included in admission ($5-$10). Engineer your own self-propelled boat and race it against others! For more info, visit: Space Foundation Discovery Center.

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Run to the Shrine -  Sat May 20, 7:30am - 5:00pm, Cheyenne Mountain Zoo 4250 Cheyenne Mountain Zoo Rd

Admission: Registration fee $30-$55/person. Take advantage of the one day of the year you can view Colorado Springs on foot from the scenic road leading up to the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun. Proceeds benefit the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo! For more info, visit: Cheyenne Mountain Zoo.

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Colorado Springs Philharmonic presents Carmina Burana -  Sun May 21, 2:30pm, Pikes Peak Center for the Performing Arts 190 South Cascade Avenue

Admission: $21+. Enjoy the medieval cantata Carmina Burana performed by the Colorado Springs Philharmonic. For more info, visit: Colorado Springs Philharmonic.

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City Wide Gaming Event Benefit -  Sun May 21, 10:00am - 8:00pm, Imagination Space 750 Citadel Dr. E

Admission: $7/day. Come play role playing games, board games, card games, and miniature games with proceeds benefiting the Imagination Celebration and Dragon Theatre. All skills levels welcome. For more info, visit: Facebook Event.

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