Neighborhoods: Downtown/Central
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A rainbow hangs over downtown Colorado Springs during a recent evening rainshower Friday, June 19, 2015. This and other Gazette photos are available for purchase at bit.ly/gazettephotos Photo by Mark Reis, The Gazette

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Downtown Colorado Springs continues to be a great place to live, work and play. New lofts, many above shops in historic buildings, look down over the downtown action. Just a few blocks away is the new Blue Dot Place, designed for urbanite living and walking or bike riding to work and play.

Parades, festivals and special events often call for the closing of the main street through downtown, Tejon Street, where no one is surprised to see daredevil motorcycle riders catapult off ramps high into the air, Olympic athletes demonstrating their skills, race cars revving their engines or people of seemingly all ages climbing walls taller than buildings.

Downtown bustles every workday. And on the first Friday night of each month, sidewalks are filled with people strolling, shopping, visiting art galleries and shops, eating outdoors at the many restaurants and listening to sidewalk musicians. Week-ends call for visits to restaurants, a movie — even on the roof of the parking garage in summer weather — craft brew specialty watering holes or just walking around. A new addition, The Mezzanine, offers music and performance in an intimate off-the-alley setting tucked above a nightclub. Outdoor concerts are the norm downtown, and there’s ice skating in the park come Christmas.

On Tuesdays, hundreds take to the down-town sidewalks and Monument Valley Park for the regular Jack Quinn’s Runners Club.

On medians, street corners and side-walks, public art is absolutely everywhere, thanks to a local program. Some pieces honor prominent figures from local history. Others are annually juried sculptures that sometimes cause onlookers to stop and quizzically try to put their own spin on what they might be. Murals pop up along alleys and on prominent buildings.

Parks include Monument Valley Park, which has trails that hook into an area-wide system. Downtown’s Acacia Park is a popular gathering spot with its musical, tuba-playing Uncle Wilber Fountain, which entertains children throughout the summer. America the Beautiful Park will soon be the site of an educational setting where kiddos can learn about the life along Monument and Fountain creeks.

Museums also populate the area, including the Colorado Springs Pioneers Museum, the Fine Arts Center and the American Numismatic Association Money Museum. And Colorado College offers numerous opportunities for performances and special entertainment.

Delightful housing abounds near and north of downtown, including the historic Old North End with its mining-era mansions, apartments carved out of towering old homes and cozy, beautifully kept neighborhoods.

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