Archive for April, 2006

That Ship’s Mast Thingie Downtown

I’m a Boulderite, OK? I don’t come down to Denver too often, and when I do, it’s typically a very goal-oriented trip. Wham, bang, Highland Square! Wham, bang, The Fillmore! Not a lot of time for walking and gawking.

So every time I come to downtown Denver, somewhere between the Wham and the Bang, I look over yonder and go, “What the hell is that ship’s mast looking thingie? I swear, it looks like a big freakin’ boat just sailed up the Platte.”

Today I had occasion to find out. Biking back down the hill from 32nd & Lowell to Union Station, I decided to go right to the big ship’s mast thingie and find out.

It’s a pedestrian suspension bridge.

It links the two halves of Riverfront Park (I didn’t know that was there, either) by allowing pedestrians to get across the train tracks. It’s all wooden floorboards and wire-grate benches up there. And these huge floodlights lining the stairs on either side shine straight up and keep the ship’s mast thingie all lit up, because whoever designed it knows that suspension bridges are beautiful.

I had my bike, so I took the elevator instead of the stairs.

There’s a bunch of very cool, very expensive looking cafes and bars and restaurants on the west side of the bridge. One of ’em’s called “Ink! Coffee” which is such a writerly sounding name. I oughtter go there sometime. When I’m not all Wham! Bang! Destination Now!

(This post brought to you by the wi-fi available from the Riverfront Park.)

In Defense of 3.2

or, What I Did For My 30th Birthday: Friday
(Backdated for your archival pleasure)

Friday nights are Dr. Who night. (If you didn’t know this, there’s your clue. Turn the TV on. If you don’t get the SciFi channel, bloody well find someone who does, yeah? It’s fun.) This Friday night, the Dr. Who viewing was to take place at my place, what with our usual hostess being off at a convention in town doing Shatner Karaoke. (You don’t want to know more than that. Trust me.)

This Friday day, I had someone to meet at 30th and Walnut in Boulder as a follow-up to an interview. Writerly stuff. Y’know. I got there early, and what with the Albertson’s 30th Street Market right there, I figured, what the heck. Groceries. Feed the Dr. Who-watching troops. I got deli salads and soda and beer. I’ve grown rather fond of the Tommyknocker’s Maple Brown Ale.

So here I come out the grocery store a few minutes later, my left hand full of plastic bag handles and my right hand full of Tommyknocker’s and an envelope I’m trying not to get wet on the celery, when This Guy does a double-take at me and goes, “Man, what’re you buying the 3.2 beer for?”

Er. “It was there,” I said.

“Yeah, but you could have bought the real stuff.”

“Meh. I’m not in it for the alcohol.”

This apparently caused another double-take. “…Oh. OK.”

Later that evening, before Dr. Who came on, I related the odd conversation to a friend. “Oh, I bet that was the guy who owns the liquor store on the corner there. He’s always razzing people like that.”

“Really? So he was just trying to drum up business?”

“Yeah.”

“Oh. That’s OK, then. I guess. I thought he just wanted to see me get smashed.”

Project Angel Heart

On Thursday April 27th, Project Angel Heart’s ‘Dining Out for Life’ is taking place around Denver and Boulder. If you’ve not heard of Project Angel Heart, they are an organization which assists people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.

If you dine – or stuff your face – at one of the participating restaurants, on the 27th, (the full restaurant list is posted on their website) 25% of the food and non-alcohol sales go to Project Angel Heart. Most restaurants are participating with their lunch and dinner dining sales and some with breakfast too.

Unfortunately, I will be out of town and unable to ‘dine-out’ this year, but I hope that ‘you’ locals will go out and eat that night (at one of the participating restaurants, of course).

The Real World Denver

Reports are flying about, that the MTV “The Real World” reality show is coming to Denver. According to the Denver Post, CBS4 News and Reality Blurred, the 18th season will be taking place in Denver’s LoDo area. To be more specific, the building that used to house that fun nightclub, B52’s.
(I had not realized that B52’s is no more, when did this happen?)

While I admit to having watched “The Real World” in the past, I think I may have to watch the new season, when it does eventually air. Just to check out scenes from our wonderful downtown Denver, of course.

I wonder what the public opinion is, on this show coming to Denver. I am undecided, but I think it might be fun to watch.

So Colorblind, It’s Now All Black and White

My generation was one of the first to really have the concept of equality pounded into our heads in high school. Even though it’s been almost a century and a half since Lincoln abolished slavery, the weeding out of racism has been a very gradual process.

By the time my sophomore year arrived in 1995, the idea that any form of discrimination was unacceptable, whether on the basis of race, religion, sexual preference, or disability, was being drilled into students with a very intentional effort. I actually took a class during my junior year called Diversity. And the way my teachers and counselors all approached the issue of racism, you would think that it was a relic, buried far back in our past and now scorned by everyone.

But I would argue that racism is still alive and well in the United States, and the only real difference is that we’ve turned our attention away from black people and focused it on brown ones instead.
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Stricken City

It’s now been a full work week since the beginning of the transit strike that stranded Denver and put us in the national spotlight.

I’ve been taking the bus from Broomfield to Aurora and back almost every work day for the past nine months. For a distance that great, driving during rush hour takes about 70 minutes, and riding the bus takes 90. Even though it takes longer, I’ve found it to be worth the extra twenty minutes each way for two reasons: 1. It’s cheaper, not only on fuel, but also when I calculated the wear and tear that an extra 80 miles a day would put on my car; and 2. It lets me spend that time doing something other than watching the road and flipping the bird.

But on Monday, that all changed.
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The Season Is Coming To An End

Despite many not liking ‘spring’ skiing, you can get lucky and find that one day where everything is just right. Keystone on Sunday was perfect skiing weather. It was sunny and warm enough that you did not have to go inside and warm up constantly. The snow was a little slushy around the ski lifts but other than that, perfect. Plus, it was empty. Not sure why this was, seeing as it was a weekend. But there were no lines at the lifts and we had the runs to ourselves for the most part. The only thing that did not go right was the nasty traffic, there AND back.

I think that it is time to pack up the skis for the season. Sad.

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