Fluid Coffee Bar
501 East 19th Avenue
Bus directions: take the 12 or 20 up 17th or the 28 up 19th from Market Street Station
On Sunday, Todd and I visited what I took to be the “new” part of Uptown, bounded by 19th Avenue, Logan, 20th Avenue, and Washington.
Reminded me of a line from an REM song: “Shiny, happy people holding hands…”
Though the only relationship action I noticed was, apparently, a breakup. I was outside Fluid Coffee Bar, angling for a picture of the Warwick Hotel, where Todd and I had a weekend getaway. I loved it because it had a pool on the roof. And tall glass walls around the pool area, so you could model your swimsuit for the people down below, but there was no danger of you jumping and giving the hotel a bad name.
So here I am wandering across an intersection trying to compose a photograph, while across the street a man has a tense conversation with someone, I assume a woman. He was angry, then pleading, and I could hear his words clearly.
I felt bad for listening to his conversation, even though I had come over to the endless parking lot (another product of Denver urban renewal in the 1970s) partly to avoid him.
Finally I walked off.
But to get back to “shiny, happy”: it definitely applies to all the new condos rising everywhere on 19th and 20th west of Park. In coming years they’ll be rising east of Park too, in the hospital district, where the Children’s Hospital used to be.
And what’s wrong with that?
Except they probably cost half a million dollars. I can’t afford one. And how many of them are designated as affordable units?
Probably not many. A building has to have at least thirty units before “affordable” comes into the picture.
I found myself gazing through a gate toward a firepit flickering in one nice stucco building. Part of me wanted to be in there…part of me wanted to go down to 17th Avenue and find some 1890s house. Or a dive.
Except there aren’t really any dives along 17th, not anything that screams “dive,” anyway. (Maybe the Wrangler, next to the dry cleaners at Logan. But I didn’t go in there.)
I don’t really know what my problem is sometimes. I like new, shiny, pretty, tidy…I’m a Virgo, with my fair share of Virgo moments.
But I like the historical air of Uptown farther south. I like the old houses, the trees that shade the streets (even it they’re nothing like the elms that used to shade my street in Kansas City).
Excuse me while I have a moment of nostalgia for the city where I grew up. Where I really don’t want to live ever again.
I discovered that the Painted Bench, the restaurant my screenwriting class used to frequent in 2003, has turned into Jonesy Eatbar. I never felt comfortable at those after-class gatherings, but the pâté was good.
The best discovery of all: Fluid Coffee Bar.
It really does have the air of a bar. I enjoyed the cement floor, the little niches with “just-come-and-sink-into-me” seats, the fireplace with a mosaic design above it, the counters for laptops along the walls.
Illegal Grounds is like an old, comfortable boyfriend, but Fluid is nothing if not a lover.
Even if you have to dump him on a street corner later, it was still good while it lasted.