And if I see something l like, that’s where I’m going

Liz F —

After a nice good morning arm chew from Opie, we spent the entire day in Denver. As the heart of the group is formed of current and very recently departed New Yorkers, we went to the nearest NY-style bagel place in Five Points, Rosenberg’s Bagels & Delicatessen. The breakfast was good and had us in good spirits to start the day.

Good morning, Opie,

In the morning I put together a walking tour using Atlas Obscura; my brother turned me on to this publication of the points of interest that don’t necessarily make the other top ten lists.

This guy didn’t write any of the zines, but I gotta share his lovely ad

The first stop on our tour was the Denver Zine Library. It was essentially the corner of an art studio, floor to ceiling packed with DIY self-published pieces of literature. Some were comics, some simply drawings, some poetry, music reviews, environmental health suggestions, they went on and on and on, all published by folks who have the base goal of being heard, or read. There was a sense of “spent time” while flicking through the pages, knowing that I was merely passing through, and giving not one single zine its due patience.

The streets of Denver then took us to the capitol building, where they’ve marked on the steps of the building exactly where Denver is one mile above sea level.

Hungry, we tried to go get a bite at the Buckhorn Exchange, alas they don’t open until 17h00 on Saturdays, so I guess I’ll be missing them this trip. We opted for Lowdown Brewery where we reunited with Julia who’d been at practice all morning.

A beer, and some of the world’s tiniest tacos, later, we headed to Fifty-Two 80s. It’s a store that sells every little trinket you can imagine from the 80s. Strong decade. I bought a WonderWoman pin that reminds me of my mom, and a Garbage Pail Kids sticker that reminds me of me, and a pack of Street Sharks cards that reminds me of my brother. What a wonderful little shop. They even had, as Olivia figured out by purchasing, Penthouse Magazine cards, complete with a trifold card of some nude blonde from the 80s. What a store!

Olivia, Julia, Kristie, me, Harsha and Wes with our pockets full of knickknacks from the 80s

The last stop on my list was the International Church of Cannabis, but my time ran short. Kristie, Julia, Olivia, Harsha, and Wes went in my stead. I’ve been told by them that it is worth seeing even if its just to awe at the beautiful artwork and not take parts in their official religious sacraments.

I headed off to meet up with my cousin Shelly and my Uncle Kev. It’s been probably about 15 years since I’ve been to their house. The last time for a funeral of my cousin Bryan. It’s hard not to think about that when I pass through Denver, be it for ultimate or on a journey through the country. I think about him from time to time and how he helped inspire some of my desires to tear things apart and rebuild them. Bryan, my brother William, and I used to play with a toy I’ve never seen anywhere else called Capsela. Like Legos if Legos could propel themselves and go underwater.

When I arrived I was greeted with steaks on the grill, and a fridge full of “pop.” I love the Michiganian word, “pop.” It means soda for those of you who are illiterate. “Pop” got beaten out of me when I used to hang out with my coast cousin, Jamie, at soccer camp every summer, so I too say “soda” more often than “pop,” but damn I miss it.

I shared a meal and conversation with my family. How refreshing it is to catch up. To talk about the state of the world. To ponder the solutions; to wonder at the problems. My Uncle Kevin is a symbol of my desire to move west. He’s the person in my family a generation back, that went on a helluva road trip, and settled here in Denver. It was no challenge at all extracting some of his favorite stories from his trip.

I also got to catch up with Shelly, meet her boyfriend Dan, and hear a bit about the marijuana industry in Colorado. The complexities of the laws, the paranoia of being raided and shut down, and how it really is just like any other industry. Where employees want healthcare, and time off, and managers that have an ounce of a clue.

The main event of the evening was at Red Rocks Amphitheater. Early in the morning we bought tickets to the Pretty Lights show. I drove from my uncle’s house back to Julia’s and picked up my squad. Julia and Opie walked us to a local brewery named Our Mutual Friend. Kristie and I enjoyed a sour beer, and then with Wes and Olivia in tow, leaving Harsha to explore the Denver nightlife, we headed to the Red Rocks.

That’s a good beer

A fantastic experience if I’ve ever had one. The music was loud, and fun, and the lights shone on the surrounding environment. This concert venue is in the middle of Red Rocks Park, and the stage is surrounded by the most beautiful red sandstone outcroppings. People go mad about the acoustics in the amphitheater. I don’t know if I have quite the trained ear but I definitely like to dance to loud music.

It was so much fun.

Like a party in the middle of nowhere, with thousands of people. I don’t have an experience in my books to compare it to. This is one of those things that I was on the border of doing up until the last minute, figuratively. But with your encouragement (!!!) I did it. And I couldn’t be more happy that I did.

You’ve always been a listening ear, providing person, and a friendly encouraging hand. Thank you for adding something so truly memorable to my Denver experience, and to my greater trip.

It’s hard to overstate how much I admire your work ethic, your attitude. It’s not, however, hard to admit how much I fanboy over you every time your name gets brought up. Since the first time you introduced yourself to me on the way to a tournament I’ve admired your kindness. You exemplify pieces of humanity that I want to work on, and see in myself. In the hopes of not over-complimenting you, I’ll just again say, thank you.

Yours —

IAN

Noted:

  • This is our last night stationary for a while, time to hit the road in the morning
  • I’m getting a good amount of practice in, parallel parking wise, I think I could park with some of the greats now