October 12, 2010

Ghosts, Politicians, and Beer: A Brief Tour of Lodo

Last Saturday, Kortney and I met for coffee (and chai) at the hipper-than-hip European cafe, Leela's. What makes it a European cafe? Well, we deduced it is because the barista/bartender judges you and makes you come to her to place your order. Nevertheless, their drinks are thick and tasty, and where else can you have a shot of whiskey added to your latte?

And it was here that our photo shoot began. Here's the thing about Kortney: she is not shy in the least. When I said, "Ready for me to take your picture over and over while people watch with curiosity?" She said, "Sure, where do you want me to sit?" Everyone needs a friend like her. But not her. Because she's my friend. Back off.

I don't consider myself shy, but I am certainly more introverted and reserved. So getting in front of the camera is always a feat. Especially while in public. Which is why I end up looking like I just farted in front of a crowd, no matter the situation:

After downing our drinks (and returning the empty mugs to the counter ourselves, natch), we headed toward LoDo--the historic district of the city.

And now, how about some fun facts?

- In the 1880s, Holladay Street had become a sordid place, lined with brothels and saloons. The family of the man for whom the street was named petitioned to have it changed, lest it sully their good...well, name. In honor of the many businesses operating in the area, it was changed to Market Street. (Or rather, Flesh Market Street.)

- In the picture below, the building on the right side houses Wynkoop Brewery. One of the original founders of this pub and restaurant was John Hickenlooper, Denver's mayor (and hopefully soon, governor...cross your fingers!). That's right: even our politicians love their beer.

- Recently, a woman suffered 2nd- and 3rd-degree burns after stepping over a steam vent (such as the one from which you may notice Kortney safely distancing herself). According to Xcel Energy, the steam can reach temperatures of 200 degrees. When asked for a comment, the company replied, "[We have] been operating steam systems in Denver for more than 130 years. Instances of public contact....are very, very rare. We do not put warning signs on these locations because, by definition, steam is very hot and it generally is something public will try to avoid." So, basically, don't go steam-vent-hopping or the electric company will make you look like an ass.

As you can see, the vent has now been barricaded, which is basically like being put into steam-vent prison. Bad steam vent. Quit being such a jerk and blow some cold air, already.

- Like the steam vents, alleys are littered around town. Or rather, I should say "scattered." Alleys are scattered around town. But they are also full of litter. And sometimes bodies, it seems. Alleys and murders go hand-in-hand like new lovers who have never lived together. Beginning with the first alley murder, a prostitute (see Fun Fact #1) in 1896, these dark walkways are ideal for committing atrocities or for capturing just the right amount of sunlight with your camera.

- In the not-too-distant past, a postman stopped at the Oxford Hotel's bar for a beer. He talked with the bartender while drinking, then left to "deliver gifts to the children". The bartender reached over to pick up the empty bottle, only to discover it was still full. (Clearly, the postman was not from around here.) Later, a researcher discover that, in the early 1900s, a postman had died while trying to deliver presents to children in Central City. You know what that means? It was a g-g-g-ghost who was in the bar that day. And you know what that means?

Even our ghosts love their beer.

Alright, folks, that is enough of story hour today.

Check out my Etsy shop, Bitter o'Clock, for more fantastic (and occasionally awkward) pictures around Denver.


misskortney said...

You know who else loves beer? ME.

I'm such a sucker for some great Colorado facts... Thank you so much for this post!!!

Kelli said...

Denver: Making Mormons into Beer Snobs.