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Jessie O’Brien’s articles

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Two weeks near the Mexican-American border

Shouting “Build that wall” might have been invigorating for some, but the repercussions of building a barrier across the America-Mexico border are far more complicated than a three-word chant implies.

Local artist and photographer Michele Sensing wanted to investigate the potential repercussions for herself. She packed...

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What’s in your sixer? Steamworks head brewer Ken Martin’s top six picks

It’s impossible to try all the craft beer on the market, and taking a chance on an unknown label can be a crapshoot. To help you out on your next trip to the beer store, we asked Steamworks Brewing Co.’s head brewer, Ken Martin, what he currently has packed in his sixer. From regional IPAs to a cask-aged Flemish Red, Martin’s...

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Apartment hunting in Durango is a lot like bad dating

Like when first entering the dating scene, finding an apartment in Durango is initially exciting. You are at the start of a fresh chapter, and are full of positivity because the newness overshadows the harsh reality of what’s to come. That harsh reality is a test of will, and it forces one to renegotiate their standards until...

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Get outta town: The ancient ruins of Hovenweep

Distance and travel time from Durango: 90 miles, 1 hour and 43 minutes by car.

The shell of an ancient civilization sits on the Utah-Colorado border. According to the National Park Service website, Hovenweep was first inhabited over 10,000 years ago as a place for...
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A word that, like, invaded speech

Of all the verbal tics, there is one that is, like, really annoying. The word “like” has crept into the middle of many sentences as a filler word, used in lieu of non-word fillers like “um” or “uh.” It’s being used instead of “said,” like when FDR said to his buddies, “And I was like, ‘The only thing to fear is fear itself.’”...

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A guide to dive bars

There isn’t an exact science for calculating the precise components that qualify a bar as a dive. You know one when you see one. It’s a place where the regulars and the bartenders are just as much a fixture as the weathered bartop. The stools are worn, the company is fine, and the drinks are cheap.

Chip Lile, co-owner...

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Strong and gentle hemp

Hemp and marijuana both have tortured pasts. Both are part of the cannabis family, and both were outlawed in the 1930s, but when examined, the prohibition of hemp is even more bewildering than marijuana. Unlike marijuana, hemp contains an insignificant amount of THC, the psychoactive component found in marijuana. But due to...

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Boozy breakfast in a glass

As cocktail culture has taken off over the past decade, mixologists have had to get more creative with their concoctions. A sole mint sprig and a torched citrus slice is child’s play in 2018. One of the most savory new techniques to emerge from this creative climate is fat-washing. Fat-washing is the process of infusing a...

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The Myths, Tall Tales, and Legends of Durango

In old towns, there is no shortage of stories, but whether they are true, or just old tall tales passed down from generation to generation, can be hard to decipher.

“History is not an exact science, and it is rarely a black and white thing, so getting at the truth can be hard thing to do,” said Robert McDaniel,...

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The velvet voice of Jeremy Lavender

James Earl Jones doesn’t hold a candle to the velvet voice of Jeremy Lavender. You may not recognize his name, but any Durango citizen who has shopped at south City Market would recognize the warm, romantic vocals spilling from the PA system at 4 p.m. – the time when Lavender alerts shoppers to the fresh-baked French bread in...

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The legend of the Purple F@$ker cocktail

There are legends born in these hills – ghosts, outlaws, and heroes – but none are as famed as one radioactive cocktail found on Main Avenue: the Purple F@!ker. This drink has been altering states since 2005, when mad scientist Heidi Orio conceived it.

Orio has been slinging drinks for over 20 years, working at...

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The right way to be offensive

Cancer isn’t funny. One-liners about the second leading cause of death hit too close to home for just about everyone. Still, Durango comedian Wes Stein, in a moment of arrogance, thought he could pull it off and found out the hard way. He couldn’t.

Stein’s wife has a rare genetic cancer syndrome that isn’t...

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