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InSider 2011 

One of the best sights we've seen in 2011 was a copy of last year's InSider, ripped and bent and liberally dog-eared. It was in the hands of a local nonprofit leader who told us that for her first six months of living in Colorado Springs, she kept it with her almost constantly.

We would like nothing more than for the copy that's currently in your hands to be similarly defiled. If it's at all persuasive, we'll say that we think this "annual manual" is even better — more in-depth, engaging and sensibly organized — than any of the previous five that we at the Colorado Springs Independent have produced.

The overall mission has remained unchanged: to provide newcomers a resource that'll help them cut through the clutter that clogs up any metro area of 600,000-plus people. That means identifying restaurants worth your time and money; stores that'll give you good deals on things you actually want; places to go to commune with nature, or friends, or people who very well could become friends.

Whereas a publication from our (totally capable) Convention and Visitors Bureau aims, at least in part, to serve city businesses, this one is single-minded in serving the smart and savvy reader. It's the same philosophy that has allowed the Independent to grow and thrive during its 18 years as the largest locally owned newspaper in the Pikes Peak region.

All that said, we've structured this particular publication a little differently in 2011 than in years past.

In the first 40 or so pages, you'll find information on the "big" stuff that knits our entire community together. This encompasses our shared history (represented in the timeline that starts below), the cultural attractions that draw people from every neighborhood to a singular place, and even the much-maligned local governments that can't help but carry on, trying to please.

The remaining pages go a level deeper, profiling the people and places that give each part of town its own unique identity. Here you'll find maps of each area, as well as some picks for eateries, neighborhood bars, indoor and outdoor haunts and more.

Because the city is always evolving, and because we make oversights and mistakes, we expect to have missed a few things. We want to know about them. If you're familiar with, or become familiar with, a local treasure that deserves attention, please send an e-mail to scene@csindy.com, or comment at csindy.com.

It'll help your fellow man, and it'll help us be better prepared for next year. Because we're serious in our commitment to making the most useful sponge for spilled coffee that you've ever folded and indiscriminately jammed into your glove compartment.

— Kirk Woundy

Click here for a map of Colorado Springs!
  • Welcome to the Independent's annual manual to living in Colorado Springs.

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