Last week I went to Denver for a work trip. I didn't really know what to expect, but for some reason I was thinking it would be along the lines of Portland. Now, I've never been to Portland, but I've watched "Portlandia," and so I *know* Portland is full of hipsters, crunchy granola hippies, and the 90s are alive there.
Welp, Denver had the crunchy granola thing down. Healthy, organic food everywhere you turn, recycling bins on every corner. That was cool. But to be honest, I have no idea why anyone would visit Denver. OK, that sounds a little harsh. I can understand why you would visit Colorado, but there wasn't much to Denver (unless I missed something, which is entirely possible, given that I spent most of the time in the convention center). It was a pretty generic city with one main drag. I guess people fly into Denver to go elsewhere and experience...uh...nature. (?)
I could smell the scent of weed wafting around everywhere, and I wasn't really a fan. One night after I was done at the conference, I took some time to walk around and explore (read: take photos for the purpose of this blog). As I was on my way to visit one of the largest indie bookshops in the country, the Tattered Cover, some gutter rat-looking teenager asked me if I wanted to buy some acid.
Uh. Really, what makes you think that I, in my head-to-toe Banana Republic business attire, would want to pop some acid?
So in elementary school, I was deathly afraid of high school. They used to show us those after-school special kinda movies where peer-pressuring drug dealers would lurk in corners and pop out of lockers trying to get you hooked on drugs, and that's what I thought high school would be like. Of course it wasn't, but this skater kid offering me acid took me straight back to those movies. The 90s are definitely alive in Denver.
Anyway, aside from that weirdness and the overall kind of boredom I experienced in Denver, it wasn't a total waste. I mean, I didn't dislike it. The altitude gave me a perma-headache and I couldn't drink enough water, but it redeemed itself in other ways. For one thing, my hotel gave me all this aromatherapeutic shit that was supposed to help me relax and sleep at night (it didn't, but it was a nice touch). For another, I had some FANTASTIC food while I was there. If you visit Denver, I recommend the Squeaky Bean (which has Bingo brunch and insanely beautiful and delicious food!), Stout Street Social, and the 9th Door (which has Madrid-level tapas and a bomb-ass bartender named Erin -- ask for her -- who made stellar food recommendations and comforted me while I cried into my glass of sangria). I also do recommend visiting the Tattered Cover and not taking acid on the way. It's a comfy old-school bookstore with handwritten book recommendations on post-it notes, spots to play checkers and chess, and cozy chairs for settling in and reading in a place where you won't be tempted to distraction by your own TV.
So here you have it -- my latest business trip out west!