September 7, 2007-And home is just a place to hang your head.
Today was my day in town. I tried to take Kelli’s advice and headed over to Meade Street Station to have lunch. She grew up here, so she should know a few good places to eat. Unfortunately, they were packed. So, I ended up at Heidi’s Bagel Shop…or something like that. Turned out to be [...]
Today was my day in town. I tried to take Kelli’s advice and headed over to Meade Street Station to have lunch. She grew up here, so she should know a few good places to eat.
Unfortunately, they were packed. So, I ended up at Heidi’s Bagel Shop…or something like that. Turned out to be a chain of Brooklyn bagelries. Oh well. It wasn’t bad. Good sourdough.
I tooled around that part of town for a little while. I found an awesome used book store that looks like the kind of used book store you see in movies. Lots of shelves just packed in any way they could pack ‘em in. I think that if I had looked long enough I would have found an old man to give me The Neverending Story. It was awesome! You just don’t see those in Austin anymore…if you ever did. It may be a big city phenomenon.
I really wanted to hit the Denver Art Museum, though. So I took off for downtown to check it out.
The building is pretty amazing. It’s not Frank Gehry, but it sure looks like it should be. What’s really crazy is that the old section is even awesome: it looks like a castle or a prison or something.
It cost $13 for an out-of-stater like me to get in, so I skipped the actual museum. Too bad, too. Why in the fuck does it cost more for non-Coloradans to go in? That makes no sense! Fuck it. I’ll go next time when I’m not broke.
Instead, I just walked around downtown for a little while. I’m really glad I did, too. I like downtown Denver quite a bit. One great thing about it is that they really seem to take pride in their civic buildings. Not only is the Art Museum awesome looking, but the Public Library right next door is beautiful!
(Just imagine Hunter Thompson banging on the door at midnight until a janitor arrives. Perfection.)
There’s a garden/park area kind of right in the middle of everything that’s downtown. On one side is the Museum and Library, another side is the Capitol, across from that is the Courthouse and the last side has (a few blocks away) the Convention Center. All of these buildings are very pretty. In Austin, our Convention Center is crap. It’s just a big ol’ box with no real character. And we’re the ones who are supposed to be all artistic! What the fuck?! All we get is Tony Hawk’s City Hall. I just don’t get it!
(The other gold domed building in Denver besides Casa Bonita: the Capitol. At least they have their priorities straight.)
(The courthouse and the garden in front.)
(More of said garden. Note the Library and the Museum in the background. A bunch of homeless people live in the archway there. Which…I guess makes them not really homeless. HEY! Problem solved!)
There’s art everywhere, too. Not just outside of the Art Museum, but outside of the Denver History Museum, the Courthouse, the Capitol…everywhere. And it’s all cool art.
(This art is protesting America’s treatment of Indians. I liked it.)
(Outside the Museum.)
(Outside the Library. Not a clue what it’s about. In fact, I overheard some older ladies asking each other what the fuck it was all about. Nobody had a clue.)
(This is outside the courthouse.)
(The Denver History Museum.)
(In the park in front of the Capitol. It’s a replica of the Liberty Bell (before the crack, apparently) dedicated to the memory of a man who died in the Holocaust.)
(The fuckin’ Convention Center! How cool is that?! Why can’t we have a giant bat on ours?!)
After walking around for a while I decided that I had had enough and was ready to go home. I headed back and waited for Randall and Jessica to get back.
And that’s when tragedy struck…my laptop power supply developed a short. A really nasty one, too. It sucked. How the hell would I get back home?! (Well, I guess I could look at a paper atlas…but where’s the fun in that?)
When Randall got home I asked about Best Buys and where they might be and we were able to get another one. $80. Shit. I guess that’s what credit cards are for…emergencies. ‘Cause I certainly don’t have that in my bank account anymore since I haven’t gotten one of my checks from work yet. (Long story that I won’t go into right now.)
Well, I’ll survive.
Randall and I ended up heading back downtown to eat and check out some of his old haunts. We ate at Pete’s Diner, which is a (literally) greasy spoon that was established in 1949…and it looks it. And I totally mean that in a good way. It was pretty awesome. Although, I kind of wish that I had gotten something besides the Hamburger Steak. It’s “smothered in chili and hash browns.”
Ugh. I’m feeling that now.
After that, we drove further downtown and parked near the Performing Arts Center. (Not before driving by the Bluebird Theatre, where Christopher Lloyd worked in Things To Do In Denver When You’re Dead. I need to see that movie again.)
(Outside the Performing Arts Center. See? Art is EVERYWHERE!!)
Not much going on there, but it’s pretty impressive. (It was dark, so no pics, unfortunately.) It’s, I think, two buildings with an archway high up above the pathway between them turning it into sort of a mall. It was kind of strange for a performing arts center, but really cool.
Then we headed towards the 16th Street Mall. This isn’t a mall-mall. It’s more of the nightlife center of Denver. Kind of like a 6th Street…except maybe a little bit cooler. There are more different kinds of people here than in Austin. Back home it’s mostly frat boys and sorority chicks. Here in Denver it’s everybody.
Traffic is, for the most part, blocked off of 16th Street, so drunk folks can walk all over the place with no fear of getting hit by drunk drivers. Good for them.
It actually seemed like a pretty cool place to hang out, even if there was a fuckin’ Starbucks every two blocks. Screw that place.
Denver is set up kind of strangely. Most of the streets run n-s or e-w. But downtown is diagonal. So, you’ll be driving along, thinking that you’re going east and all of a sudden you’ll find yourself about three miles further north than you should be.
16th Street is one of the last streets of downtown, so it’s really long. We walked quite a way before Randall finally said, “Ok, time to get back.”
I haven’t had a chance to do a whole lot here in Denver, but what I have done has been fun. I like this town. Yeah, it’s way too big, sprawling out for miles and miles until it finally hits mountains, but it’s a pretty cool town. And, even though it’s probably more conservative than Austin, it’s apparently more tolerant. It has the second highest population of gay people in the country and everyone seems to get along better here. There’s not as much racial tension as in a lot of other places. (This is all according to Jessica. So, if you have different information, let me know.) Maybe it’s because of the altitude. People just don’t have the energy to be pissed off at each other. I don’t know.
Anyway, it’s a great city. I’d like to come back here sometime and hang out again. Maybe actually go to the Museum.
As it is, I must take my leave of Denver. I’m headed to Ouray tomorrow to visit a friend and then back to Telluride to pick Jess up. After that, Durango!