December 17, 2014 by unclespike218
Reasons why yesterday was so, well, pleasing.
- My partner in crime from college flew into town for a quick, quick traipse around Denver. A little back story here: we met soon after we moved into the same dorm. We shared the same repugnance for the college we had, uh, chosen. We consciously avoided fellow students aside from our friends, if at all possible. And we bonded over this one night at the college coffeehouse until the place closed. She bought. I indulged in a raspberry triple mocha with all the whipped cream and sprinkles you could hope for. Hey…if you’re gonna start drinking coffee, start with the least coffee-ish drink and move up from there, right? At any rate, she flew in doing a mileage run. Chicago was too close to make her 25K mile limit, so Denver it was. Incidentally: BFF is way too girlie and enthusiastic a term to call us. She in no way is a fruit fly or a fag hag; her raison d’etre does not revolve around the gay crowds. She is just plain her own person, solid and confident. And I love that about her. So: partner in crime it is.
- We went to Thump, a coffeehouse downtown. Hipster central…except these seem to be the industrious hipsters…mainly a younger crowd, many college and grad students, with few older than 35. Lots of laptops on communal wood tables. The menu is short but reliable. The baristas are bearded, manly, and look like they should be sawing trees instead of serving espresso. She approved. I bought…a minor gesture since she ponied up the money to fly here in the first place. She put up little resistance. She’s cool with others paying if need be. None of this annoying, “But I insist!” “No, I insist!” She’s cool that way. And the opposite applies, too…if she insists on paying, I won’t fight it. And we caught up, enjoying the people-watching, both inside and outside.
- We went to Racine’s, a fabulous if rambunctious restaurant. I’m used to going there with friends, often after choir concerts or for brunch. Yes, I so gay! Great drinks, and their enchiladas are stellar, too.
- We then went to Tattered Cover, a local Denver bookstore that makes Powell’s (in Portland) the overrated, warehouse-like book depository that it really is. Honestly, whenever people rave about Powell’s, I just shake my head internally and feel sorry for them. And yes, I did spend four years in Portland, so I am quite familiar with Powell’s. Tattered Cover, with its lush green carpet, dark wooden bookshelves, and fabulous location in what used to be an orchestra hall, kicks its ass. At any rate, I digress. Along the way…
- We saw a young man, solid and well-dressed, crossing the street with his head down, seemingly not paying attention to much. But he wasn’t texting on his phone. He wasn’t even looking at a tablet. He had an actual, honest-to-God book in his had…a big hardcover one, almost textbook-like. It’s a sad commentary on life nowadays that this is so remarkable, but it’s still a beautiful thing.
- We then saw a rather plump older gentleman, wearing a blue oxford and a sweater vest, riding his bicycle along the sidewalk. I’m not sure what about it made us smile, but we both took delight in this sight. Maybe it’s that he was on his bike instead of in a car. Maybe it was that he looked pleasingly old-fashioned. Maybe it’s that he was on his bike in December. Either way, it was great to see.
- In Tattered Cover, once we saw all the books we wanted to see (well, not really, because one could spend HOURS there), we went to the coffeeshop once again. And I got a birch beer. I’ve never had one before. But it was delicious. Think root beer, but with wintergreen as the main flavor. Delightful.
- As we were about to leave, I saw the best-dressed gentleman I’ve seen in quite a while. One who really raised the art of dressing well to heights seldom seen nowadays. A perfectly-tailored tweed sportscoat – with an understated pocket square, no less. A peacoat on his chair, for perfect layering. Another great oxford. A matching scarf. Thick-rimmed glasses. And a hat by his side, somewhere between a fedora and a homburg. He was reading some rather engrossing tome. He looked like a professional writer who travelled through time from the 1940s. And I was inspired to dress more like him. To be sure, he could pull off the look better than I can; he was rather slim, while I’m quite beefy, and curves and bulk don’t obey a well-tailored sportscoat too well.
- On the drive back to the airport, we listened to Christmas music of all sorts, including that maybe-maybe-not homage to holiday rape, “Baby It’s Cold Outside,” as performed by Chris Colfer and Darren Criss, and a kickin’ (seriously) version of “Here Comes Santa Claus” by Ray Conniff.
Probably the best day of the holidays. Even if Christmas is still a week away.