Well, I know it’s been a while, but I haven’t found much to inspire me lately.
After attending First Fridays:
(as always, you can click for bigger semi-decent photos)
But I couldn’t find a whole lot to do during the weekdays! (It’s one of the sad signs that summer is winding down here in Colorado. ;( )
However, whilst wandering around downtown in search of something interesting, I ended up fairly close to one of my favorite spots. So instead of moping about the excess of free exercise I got meandering atound, I decided to share one of my favorite places in downtown Denver with you.
Nestled in between 19th Street and Larimer Street, Sakura Square is a bitty little taste of Asia displaced among the skyscrapers and business buildings. Primarily, it serves as a small shopping center and entrance to the Tamai Tower apartments that loom over it, but there’s little points of interest for everyone.
A small Japanese garden rests in the center, which I always find a calming retreat from the bustling route of 16th street which I generally travel to get here. In this beautiful and simple garden are the busts of Ralph L. Carr, Minoru Yasui, and Yoshitaka Tamai. Each has a nameplate and a bit of history if you are interested in that, and it’s an enjoyable read just to get a taste of Japanese-American history in Colorado. I find Ralph L. Carr’s bust to be of particular interest; he was the only elected official in the US to issue a public apology to the Japanese Americans for their internment during and after WWII. (The *only* elected official to do this! What a fantastic guy. I always thought that was amazing, especially having seen the desolate site of Colorado’s Camp Amache/Granada War Relocation Center for myself.)
In the square, there’s also a Buddhist temple, a restaurant (Yoko’s), and a book store (and dental places, for some reason…). Aside from that, Sakura Square also hosts the Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival in June, with traditional food and dances! It’s wonderful!
Personally, I can never pass by Sakura Square and not go buy myself a little treat!
Here is the Pacific Mercantile Company, an Asian grocery store located at the base of Sakura Square. They have things here I haven’t been able to find locally anywhere else, especially at such low prices. (And when I went this time, the huge blocks of curry mix were even on sale! ヽ(*▽*)ノ ) They’re only open until 6, so if you have work that day, you might have to book it, but it’s totally worth at least stopping by and giving this place a look-see.
They have cards, drinks, food, and cooking and dining supplies, along with a few beauty products and assorted miscellaneous stuff. (Try a Ramune, you have to push a marble into the bottle just to drink it! Or a Calpico drink. Or a delicious kiwi or mango-flavored mochi cake! ^w^ YUM!)
However! If you can’t make it out to my lovely Sakura Square yourself, I am pleased to announce…
SERAH en VOGUE[ish]’s VERY FIRST GIVEAWAY!
Alright, to enter, just use the widget at the bottom. To enter, you simply have to leave a comment on this blog post. (It does have to be *relevant*! Or it won’t count. 😛) Why not leave your favorite place? Favorite Asian treat? Something you like about the blog?
EDIT – **NOW ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO WIN IS LEAVE A COMMENT!**
You will be entered to win the Sakura Square Prize Pack!
(aka, I bought a bunch of small things any self-loving fashionista shouldn’t be without!)
This prize pack includes:
1. An *adorable* eraser shaped like sushi. Sushi is so trendy, erasers are such a staple for designers, no?
2. A set of eyebrow tweezers- featuring an adorable manga-style print girl! Reminding you that beauty is maintenance.
3. Chopsticks featuring a schoolgirl motif. I couldn’t resist; sailor suit and all, her long socks make up the length of these fun chopsticks, which can be used as an eating utensil or to pull up your hair! (but please only do one…)
4. What fashionista isn’t a dragon inside?! These year of the dragon tags feature the Chinese zodiac figure along with writings on their attributes and dates. Who cares if you weren’t born year of the dragon- celebrate a strong year anyway!