On Saturday I began my exploration of Capitol Hill, but other things kept intruding. Like Denver’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. Everywhere I walked along Colfax (the northern boundary of Capitol Hill), I saw teenage girls in Ugg boots and cute green shorts and miniskirts. (Ugg boots are apparently the new uniform for teens, which makes me glad that I’ve only ever bought Ugg clogs.)
Even one old lady in sweats, who was pushing a stroller doubling as her suitcase holder, wore a green elf’s hat.
I wish I could have snapped a picture of the pedicab babe whose green feather boa floated behind her in the breeze she created, but even though I waited around for her to come back by Tattered Cover and was prepared to bribe her for a picture, she must have gone another way. At least she smiled at me. I got this guy’s head instead.
Of course, every journey needs the proper send-off, so I stopped at Indulgences, Etc. (otherwise known as Belvedere Belgian Chocolate Denver and located on Colfax between Sherman and Grant) to get their buttercream truffle and a Curaçao-filled bullet-shaped thingy that exploded in my mouth. In a good way, with orange flavor and sugar crystals and chocolate. I had to restrain myself from trying all the free candies they were offering. Reminding myself how I wanted to lose 17 pounds didn’t help, but the presence of several staff gossips did. From what I could hear (and yes, I did strain my ears), someone who works there flounces around a bit too much. Clearly, all Denverites need to gird up their loins and buy chocolate to un-grump the staff and bolster the revenues. Or they could buy pastries. Or drinks (non-alcoholic) and the glasses they come in.
After I’d cleaned all the chocolate off my fingers, I checked out Capitol Hill Books and found the book by Patricia Dubrava that opens with the poem I posted Monday. I was tempted to buy the two books by Marilyn Krysl (one of my favorite poets, and a local too), but I had to save money for lunch. Plus I have at least 25 books in my office waiting to be read, and then there are all the classics I’ve neglected lo these many years…
Thus chastened, I ventured through the forbidding door of Jerry’s Record Exchange and was assaulted by a wall of smoke. Wait, I thought, isn’t there a no-smoking law in Denver? I didn’t dare to ask the man in a blue cap (Jerry?) if that was so. Instead, I meekly inquired if he had “Cardboard Box” by the Blue Aeroplanes, only remembering later that it was a song (the album is Beatsongs). He had 5 of their albums, but not the one I wanted. Amazon, I guess. Or Wax Trax (also in Capitol Hill). Or I could try the going-out-of-business sale at the Virgin Superstore on the 16th Street Mall, but go there for a 1991 album? Seems like a waste of time.
If you’re a vinyl collector, or you want an out-of-print CD and you don’t mind that the looks-like-plaster wall covering is peeling off in places, by all means check it out. I think Record Exchange exemplifies the kind of place that used to exist up and down Colfax. They’re getting prettied out of existence.
This end of Colfax, just a few blocks from the Capitol, is a stately street, with a lot of old buildings. Go east from Pearl to Downing (the eastern boundary of Capitol Hill) and you see the beginning of 1970s “redevelopment” (read: fast food restaurants).
When I was cruising Colfax Sunday morning on my way to Fluid Coffee Bar, I had to detour around a cop car double-parked. A couple of officers were arresting an old bearded man at 9 in the morning. That’s Colfax.