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Brandon Wenerd's blog

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Aspen’s Winter Words

By and large, literary festivals do not enjoy the same sex appeal as music festivals. Very few readers expect or can imagine an erudite and inkhorn author who pens substantial and weighty bestsellers to possess Keith Richard’s mercurial swagger, the tattoos and hubris of Tommy Lee, or the anarchic drug-fueled frenzies of Sid Vicious.

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Cloud Nine Alpine Bistro

Geographically, the 12,500-foot Aspen Highlands ski area is tucked into the heavenly clouds of the Elk Mountain Range. With a 3,635-foot vertical drop, over a thousand ski-able acres, five lifts, and one of the most pristine powder bowls in the country, Highlands is an almost mythical Xanadu, particularly to the scores of locals who love and frequent these expert slopes on a daily basis. Cloud Nine Alpine BistroCloud Nine Alpine Bistro While whisking down Highlands, take a minute to bask in the sweeping vistas of the 14,000 foot Maroon Bells, one of the most majestic peaks in Colorado. Maroon Bells is the Western Slope’s Mont Blanc, inspiring artists and photographers around the country.

The dizzying heights, moguls, and altitude of skiing Aspen Highlands will surely leave adventurers with the appetite of an athlete. However, lunching and dining options can be somewhat limited when surrounded by snow pack at 10,740 feet.

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Aspen Fashion Week Round Up: Hedonism and Haute Couture

Never doubt Aspen’s ability to feast on issues of vanity, even amidst a crippling national recession. “Aspen” –as an idea– is elevated in the American public’s imagination as the self-actualized pinnacle of the American Dream. This remote mountain retreat of soaring peaks, powdery slopes, and wide-open skies righteously touts Gatsby-like success and excess, be it après-ski soirees or outrageous real estate prices. Valentino and Lisa Johnson at Aspen Fashion Week: valentino-lisa-johnson-aspen-fashion-weekValentino and Lisa Johnson at Aspen Fashion Week: Need more proof? Take a walk past the chichi shoe, fur, and handbag boutiques with easily mispronounced French and Italian names.

Designer-thread retailers are big business in Aspen, a town eponymous for international self-trumpeting festivals and celebrity charity events. Thus, it was merely time and starry-eyed destiny before the fashion world descended on Aspen with the good intentions of hosting an “official” winter fashion week.

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The Slow Food movement has a robust presence in Aspen, thanks to superstar chefs with industry pull utilizing farm fresh and local ingredients. The core philosophy of Slow Food is mindfully grown produce and livestock that is raised and cultivated with as little environmental impact as possible.

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Aspen History Week

In 1890, as silver mining boomed in the snowy footholds of the Elk Mountains, Aspen’s population ballooned and a rustic mining camp became the third-largest city in the state of Colorado. Boasting a population of 13,000, only Denver and Leadville were bigger. The Aspen area was the single largest silver producer in the country until the mine-town era came crumbling to a halt.

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Buenos Aires Fusion

For decades, travel and fashion writers have long dubbed sophisticated and stylish Buenos Aires as “The Paris of South America” for its broad avenues, au courant garment district, provocative evenings of tangoing until morning, strolls past plazas lining the Rio de la Plata, and lazy afternoon polo matches.