My first impression of downtown Denver: every vibrant hue of the rainbow and then some is tossed across this entire city of radiant vibes. If you’re familiar with Denver, you already know what I’m about to say next..the street art mannnn. It’s everywhere your pretty little eyes curiously wander. It’s on the secluded walls of gas stations, around the area of their outdoor mall The Pavilion, and just about anywhere with an agreeable wall whose surface will cling to paint. If you don’t want to miss a single stroke of creativity, Westword’s map of street art is your go to. You can find it at Westword’s navigation of street art: Denver edition. The other thing I noticed about downtown Denver, was all the different colors that light up their buildings at night. It’s lively, it’s alluring, and it’s a smooth elementary touch to an adult world that we tend to walk through on auto-pilot.
My second impression: the combination of booze and altitude is pretty neat. A combination that I’m not willing to complain about. Something about lower levels of oxygen, combined with higher levels of altitude that impedes our body’s process when it comes to metabolizing alcohol, making us feel like our drunk Aunt Sally at Thanksgiving dinner. Some argue you for it, and some argue against it, that it’s all bologna. I’m no expert, but I’m going to argue in favor of booze+altitude. One tall glass of beer in Colorado feels as if you’ve just shotgunned two back to back beers right out of the can; game day style, baby. Colorado Kool-Aid will in fact, make you “a little doozy when you does it.” When in Denver; go to a brewery. They say Colorado has more dispensaries than Starbucks; well, the same can be said for their slew of breweries slapped along the streets. Don’t tread on their abundant amount of craft beers your taste buds are longing for; getchu’ some.
My third impression: the people of Denver are all homies. Deserving conversations await at each seat you take. I don’t know if it’s the city’s fumes, but it feels so genuine. Majority of my Denventure was spent solo; happily making my way through town-Carrie Bradshaw style. Although I was by myself, it didn’t feel that way; I somehow found myself in lengthy conversations wherever I meandered. I stumbled into full-swing conversations while waiting to cross the street, while sitting at 5280’s bar by myself when I had to finish a paper, and with the police officer who attempted to give me a parking ticket when I was outside of Voodoo Doughnuts on Colfax Ave whilst trying to get my first Voodoo fix. I quickly learned that the people of Denver come from all over, much similar to most mainstream cities; it’s a melting pot of similarities and differences.
Another considerable aspect of Denver is its’ art scene. When it comes to art, your options are similar to a freely flowing river; running wild and endless. The Art District on Santa Fe has over 60 diverse galleries with work of all sorts. One of my favorites was Rule Gallery on Walnut Street, outside of the boundless Art District of Santa Fe. As they word it “[Rule Gallery] exhibits contemporary abstract and conceptual works, including paintings, sculpture, photography, and works on paper.” With an in-and-out concept; it’s not going to be the same exhibit each time you go, which may be part of the charm. Regional artists, along with artist from across the nation have the opportunity to display their personal work for “x” amount of time at the gallery. It caters a low key vibe, with an inventive twist of tasteful art work.
DTM? Presuming you’re a foodie, and down to munch, then you my friend are in luck. Denver’s got it all. It is beyond ready to take up the imperative task of conquering and satisfying all of your monstrous cravings. I found the Instagram account Mile High & Hungry (@milehighandhungry) tremendously useful. Although I didn’t get the chance to indulge in every sweet and salty creation Denver has to offer; but when I had the time to do so, I scrolled through Mile High & Hungry’s Instagram page. A convenient navigation through my many cravings; paving the way for all my food-ventures and gluttonous intakes of a couple thousand happy calories a day. Gaining “vacation weight” is part of the momentary journey, right?
All in all, Downtown Denver is very accessible. It’s easy to maneuver through; get where you’re wanting to go with a little bit of left, and a little bit of right. The free public transportation is also a plus if you don’t feel like walking, or need to get somewhere fairly quick. You’re bound to hop on with a smirk, and hop off with a full-blown smile.
Denver is the kind of place where you want to come back for seconds. Being graced with wonderful weather, fresh tasting tap water, art offerings of all styles and trends, beer from here-beer from there, and people you end up high-fiving because we’re all homies here. The atmosphere that this bona fide city that goes by the name of Denver cultivates raw elation. It’s a big fat hug from a city that reeks of nug.