Today in South Florida it is cloudy, breezy and a bit cool, seventy-five degrees cool. I am blissfully aware of the fact it is thirty-two degrees back in New Hampshire and I have heard reports of snow. Last night I walked the beach, today the raindrops kept me on the sidewalk in Delray under the awnings of outdoor cafes along Atlantic Avenue.
As I walked, I also talked to my daughter in Denver (I wish you could hear my Rhode Island accent wrapping itself around those two words: walking and talking). After I said goodbye, I thought about Denver. It is not a classically beautiful city, such as, Paris, Rome, Boston or Savannah, but I love it nonetheless. There are the snow covered mountains in the distance.
Sometimes referred to as the Queen City of the Plains, it has a very Western feel. The skyline lacks drama when set against the backdrop of majestic mountains. It would be hard for any city to compete with nature’s splendid skyline.
Denver has a population of 634,254, which puts its ranking at 23rd in the nation. The median age is 33 years old and if you walk the streets of Denver you will notice this right away. It is a very young city. Opportunities to see inexpensive live music are everywhere. This music festival took place in Sculpture Park.
Lots of people ride bikes.
One of my favorite walks in Denver is to find and photograph old buildings with signs painted right on the side of the brick walls.
There is a large campaign in Denver to get people to stop smoking. Cigarettes, that is.
These old buildings mingle with the taller, newer skyscrapers peering over their shoulder.
Denver is a residential city. They don’t roll up the sidewalks at night and head home to the suburbs. There are countless neighborhoods I would love to live in. One is Larimer Square and nearby LoDo (Lower Downtown).
They like to light up the town here, not just at Christmas.
But all year long.
The railroad is a big part of the romance of the west. I love the sight of a train traveling across the wide open landscape. Denver’s train station is getting a face lift.
You could spend a year in Denver and never eat at the same restaurant twice. Chefs have flocked to this city, attending Johnson & Wales University and opening every type of restaurant imaginable. There is Hi Rise where you can dine on delicious sandwiches, pastries, and coffee.
Ace has Asian inspired cuisine, a juice bar and a ping-pong hall.
The art museum is definitely worth a visit. It’s collection of paintings from the West will certainly make you want to take a road trip through this amazing country of ours.
During a time in our nation’s history when some people are determined to make voting more difficult, I was very impressed when during one of my walks I stumbled upon a drive by voting center.
Denver, making voting easier, not harder. Gotta love it.
Searching for music to listen to while I wrote this blog, I came across a Warren Zevon tune. I saw him years ago at the Metro in Boston. He’s no longer with us, another one who died too young, but his music lives on. I love his rebellious, crazy, dark sense of humor. And of course, having the same outlook, what I take from his song about Denver is, you need to live for today.
On my next visit to Denver, for I surely will be back as my younger daughter lives there now, I plan to visit the Clyfford Still Museum, an American painter from the west, who once said:
“How can we live and die and never know the difference?” More Carpe Diem. Words to live by. Pluck the day (as it is ripe).