A night-time view of the Lower Highland neighborhood’s Little Man Ice Cream in its iconic, giant milk jug. Prior to this place opening in 2008, I watched the construction progressing daily since it was right on my bus route to and from work. I remember thinking, “What is that thing?” Well, that thing became an instant urban hot spot. The middle of winter is one of the few times you will see this place with only three people standing in line. During the summer, the line frequently snakes out their front gate onto 16th Street halfway up West 30th Avenue to Umatilla, almost a block away. (Remind me to post that photo.) Love it for the ice cream or love it for the scene. Either way, Denver’s Little Man demonstrates the people-pulling power of a smartly conceived combination of product, location and architecture.
This is the first in my Third Places series. Third Places are those comfortable, small, nooks in the urban fabric, neither home nor work but where one goes to find community, reconnect, dwell or sometimes just for all important people watching. I believe William Whyte would approve. What’s your third place?