A whole new frontier: Denver, Part I
by Heidi Obermeyer
Here’s a strange fact: I have never really spent a lot of time in Denver. I grew up in Colorado, but Denver was kind of this mysterious land where the zoo was that you could see on the way to the airport. I may or may not have taken my first ride on the light rail this year. That’s a super Denver-y thing to do, if you’re not from there. And I definitely hadn’t done it before. I was more nervous buying that ticket than I ever was trying to figure out transport in Europe! Hehe. Situational awkwardness is the greatest.
Denver is one of the places I’m thinking about moving to after grad school. That’s the first time I’ve actually put that thought into words on a screen, but it’s a pretty predictable one. Now if only there were a bazillion international jobs in Colorado! At least there are a bazillion international restaurants, which is sort of the same thing, right? Anyway, when I finally arrived via Light Rail to Emily, we got some delicious Syrian food. Here’s some Baba Ganoush, which I don’t remember liking before, but loved at this place. Mmmmm! Eggplant.
We got hummus too, of course. Hummus always reminds me of this really funny mini web series I watched freshman year called Dorm Life. There’s an episode at the beginning where one of the students at the first floor meeting says something like, “Who’s going to have some fun tonight?! Hummmm… us? Hummus!” And then they eat hummus and pita bread to get to know each other. It’s delightfully cheesy. So I think of it every time I eat hummus. And then I found five dollars. Moving on.
After that we went exploring around southish Denver. I’m being terribly unspecific, and I’m sorry. I’ll try and do better next time. We were near this theater with a cool sign, if that helps any? It’s an up-and-coming area, according to Emily, who is a total Denver expert. I’d listen to her.
We stopped into this really cute and indie craft store on our way to ice cream called Fancy Tiger, which was a total inspiration to finish the scarf I’ve been working on since I was in Ireland in March. New goal: Have it done by the time it’s actually winter. I think I can do it. Anyway, they had tons of great fabric and yarn all over and they do crafty classes! I will definitely be returning.
After that we stopped in to Sweet Action Ice Cream, which had been hyped up to me for ages by Emily. This place is on lists of top ten ice cream shops in America. ALL OF AMERICA people. That means that it beats like half the fancy ice cream shops in San Francisco and New York, where there’s a WAY higher concentration of hipsters who want some ice cream. That’s super impressive! Guys, I would venture to say it was as good as my all-time favorite ice cream shop, Bi-rite in SF. This is serious business.
It was also the weekend of Great American Beer Festival in Denver, so some of my flightmates on the way out were headed to the brewski-themed convention and Sweet Action had a bunch of beer-themed/flavored ice creams that were surprisingly awesome. I got a scoop of sweet action ale and a scoop of Em’s favorite, salted butterscotch. So. Good.
We browsed the craft class menu for Fancy Tiger while we were chowing down on our ice cream. There’s a ton of neat stuff- even a craft night for men! Hehe.
The next morning we got breakfast at a delightful pancake joint near Highlands Ranch. Sometimes it is just awesome to get breakfast somewhere where the coffee refills are endless and it’s so American your freedom bone hurts. We even got pumpkin and chocolate chip pancakes. Life is good.
The next day we had completely free, so we decorated Emily’s house for Halloween. What can I say? We’re cool like that. Full cobweb coverage is important at this time of year, people!
Emily, in addition to her extensive Denver knowledge, is also a master cobwebber. It’s a little known fact! Even little Max got in on the action. He was maybe, possibly slightly less amused than we were.
So there’s Part I of my Denver adventures! It was tons of fun to explore a new place in my home state, and to connect a few more Denver dots in my mental map. Have you eaten any yummy ice cream lately? What about hummus? Am I missing some other amazing ice cream in Colorado? Have a happy happy rest of your Thursday!