Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Denver Recap part 1

06212008295Now that I've had a chance to recover from my trip to Denver, here's the scoop. Not only was this my first trip to Denver, as well as my first chance to visit my friend Paul (on the right) since he moved back to Denver several years ago (he's visited Phoenix a few times in that span), but it was also my first chance to meet Paul's partner, Michael (on the left), in person. We've gotten to know each other via e-mail, chat and over the phone, but it was a great experience being able to meet someone in person and have the friendship already be there in part and yet take a more concrete form.

06212008294Denver had a very familiar feel -- it's a western city and felt like a combination of being in Phoenix and Flagstaff at the same time. Unlike being in Philly, where I took the train almost everywhere we went, Denver was very car based, although we did think about taking the light rail at one point... but we never quite made it. It's a difficult mindset to change in the west -- whereas some of the people I met in Philly didn't even own cars.

06212008281I had heard many good things about Denver's downtown. Coming from Phoenix, I'm always interested in experiencing more of a big city feel, as Phoenix's downtown has never been very interesting. I was impressed with the architecture of Denver's art museum, which is much more adventurous than anything we have currently in Phoenix. I also liked the open, grassy plaza areas around the capitol and city hall. Having open, enjoyable public space is a very good thing. Phoenix, take note.

06212008285Another similarity between Philly and Denver is the availability of funnel cake. I had never heard of such a thing before my trip to Philly, which rather surprised Eric. I guess the closest Arizona equivalent that I am aware of would be Indian Fry Bread. No matter where you go, if you're at some sort of outside fair, there must be plenty of fried dough available in one form or another. For the record, I didn't eat any funnel cake, though I did end up having a sopaipilla at Little Anita's for lunch. (The sopaipilla was good, the rest of the food -- not so good.)

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