Kisses, hugs and shameless plugs | AspenTimes.com

Kisses, hugs and shameless plugs

Alison Berkley

Happy anniversary to me!Can you believe it? I’ve been writing this damn column for three whole years now (first column ran on June 18, 2002) and haven’t run out of things to write about! (Enough about me … what do you think about me?) I do get a considerable amount of feedback on the street and at the bar (“You’re the Princess? My cousin who’s in prison thinks you’re hilarious!”), but I would love to know what you think. Is my column getting old? Irrelevant? More importantly, do you like me better as a brunette or a blonde? So much has happened over the past year: I got my first piece published in The New York Times (and have two more travel pieces that will be published shortly – one on Telluride and one on Durango). I started writing a weekly column for the Denver Post (“Up There” in the Extreme Sports section every Tuesday). Oh yeah, and I’m writing a book. No, I’m not done yet. Whatever you do, please do not ask me “How’s your book coming?” or I will whack you over the head with my purse, start crying, and run away. I’ve resolved not to talk about it until I can say I actually finished it or “I sold it for $6 million.” or “Would you like to go for a spin in my new car?”I traveled to England, Costa Rica, New Orleans, L.A., and New York. I put my dog on anti-depressants (the good news is we are going to let him live). But the thing that blows me away is how much my love for Aspen continues to grow and the ways this community has embraced me in the short time I’ve been here. I meet amazing people all the time, find new opportunities and ways to grow. Not a day goes by that I don’t appreciate the immaculate beauty that’s all around me and feel so lucky to live here. (Awwwwww, I’m gonna cry.)I just wanted to thank everyone who has stuck by me through thick and thin, who makes my life meaningful every single day (Translation: This is the one time a year I get all my shameless plugs out of the way, so read on to see if you made the list.) Thanks to:The Aspen Times for pretty much letting me write about whatever I want. (Whoever said corporate rags can’t still be liberal? Sometimes I seriously can’t believe you print this stuff). Special props go out the whole fam-damily (even Scoop) but especially my beloved night edit crew, (Chad and Dudley) for not throwing rocks at me for always being late. Most importantly, to Mike Hagan for believing in the Princess in the first place (we miss you so much) and to Tim Mutrie, my true editor and best friend (you’re No. 1). Lisa Consiglio, Jamie Abbott and everyone at The Aspen Writer’s Foundation for making me feel like a real writer. Good on ya for bringing Candace Bushnell to Aspen (Who needs literature when you can afford such gorgeous shoes?) Also thanks to Lois Smith Brady for hooking me up with NYT and inviting me over to have a cosmopolitan with Candace Bushnell in your living room – so cool!My friends in the local media: Brent Gardner Smith from KAJX, Meredith Cohen and Peter Barnes from KSNO, Jim Laurence and Sarah G from KSPN, Aspen Sojourner’s brand new editor Mike Miracle (welcome to Aspen), Alex Halperin, and Leigh Vogel from Aspen Peak, Dan Sadowsky of Aspen Days & Nights, Sterling Greenwood from Aspen Free Press and Jerry Bovino and Maura Masters from GrassRoots TV.To Jean Robert and Bernadette for whipping my ass into shape, 25 pounds and counting. I love you guys! To everyone at Bikram’s yoga for teaching me how to breathe and always making sure I have a “hot” date on Friday night.Mark Uhlfelder and everyone at Ski.com for keeping me off the streets. Ed Foran for getting me off the streets (Oh God, I don’t mean it like that. It’s not like I was a hooker or on crack or something. He helped me buy my first condo is all).The local politicians who make it easy to care: Helen and Jack, you guys are the coolest. I also love Sheriff Bob. He’s larger than life and should definitely be in the movies.The nice shop owners/retailers at all my favorite stores in Aspen who make shopping way too much fun (Would ya please stop doing that? I’m in debt up to my ears already!): the Goldies girls, the crew at Boogie’s, Pitkin County Dry Goods, B’Jeweled, and Blooming Birds.Everyone at the Skico: David Perry, Susan Darch (I miss you!) Rich Burkley and Kevin Byford for your continued support, I will never forget it.My neighbors Gretchen, Paul, JR, B. and everyone at 209 for putting up with Psycho Paws.Darrel Dewitt and Charles for being so much more than a hair salon.To all my amazing friends for always being there through it all: Sarah Murray, Clay Shiflet, John Hufker, Dina Bloom, Brady Emens, Jen and James Benvenuto, Jamie Abbott, Lisa Consiglio, Dan Bayer, Ross Kribbs, and Nathaniel Deans. To Anne Gurchick for teaching me about beauty and courage, to Adam Goldsmith for that swift kick in the pants. To my kickass East Coast girls, Denise Walters and Emily Beck, I wish you guys were still here. To my amazing family for letting me write whatever I want about them.Most importantly thanks to all my readers – nothing means more to me than your loyalty.The Princess loves you, even if she forgot to put you on this list. Send those e-mails to alison@berkleymedia.com

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