I’ve been having a great time here in Denver. My plan is to spend two weeks here, my insanely generous friends have been hosting me and I’ve had a great time hanging out with them, snuggling their pets and exploring their fun city.
I’ve found capitol buildings are a great “first visit” for me. It’s an excuse to see and drive around downtown and they’re typically big enough that if I get close enough I wander around looking for parking and easily know where I am. I can often get some sense of local history or priorities; an emphasis on water and natural resources was totally present in Colorado’s State Capitol.
One of my favorite things to look for in capitol buildings is what kind of art-as-propaganda they have incorporated. Denver has a great set, here are a couple of panels:
I spent another day hanging out at Erico Motorsports getting my 12,000 mile maintenance done. I’m about 500 miles early but there aren’t a ton of Piaggio / Vespa dealers in the country and I had a bunch of issues I wanted them to take a look at. Nice folks here, they got the maintenance and some of the work done but didn’t have time to address the coolant leak. But the brake issues caused by The Center Stand Explosion are fixed so that’s great, and I have another session where they’ll take a look at the coolant leak tomorrow.
When people find out what I’m doing the reactions are pretty mixed. Less so at a shop of motorbike enthusiasts, they all loved it. I spent the morning hearing a similar conversation play out as a new mechanic would come in. “That’s a 2016 and it has how many miles on it?” Given the number of (mostly small) issues I’ve had I was a little curious if they’d think the bike was adequate for the trip, but they mostly admitted to having no idea. There aren’t a lot of folks doing real touring on the BV350 (it’s also a fairly new and obscure bike, I’ve probably only seen one or two others in the wild).
On Friday night I wandered down to the Sante Fe art district to check out First Friday. I have very mixed feelings about art walks; I love that they bring so many people out to look at art, and it’s a great reminder to go do so, but they’re often not a great way to actually view the art. So I cheated and went early, arriving around 4pm which worked well.
A few pictures of my favorites below. One gallery I really wanted to see didn’t open until 6pm and as I was leaving I heard I’d missed another good one. It was a nice evening and apparently there are at least two other active areas doing similar shows once a month. So go Denver! Appreciate all the art activity. I ended the night going to City o’ City, a fun vegetarian restaurant. Line out the door but free space for one in some couches in a corner, so I chatted with my neighbors and awkwardly attempted to each delicious tacos from an overstuffed chair. I also had amazing Horsefeather and decided I should be making and ordering them more often (it’s a fairly simple cocktail; whiskey, ginger beer and bitters). It was a nice way to wind down a lovely week. For the weekend my big plan was Pike’s Peak.
Some poor photos of nice art posted mainly for Christy:
Encaustic and clay! I was excited to see the combination.
One of my favorite galleries didn’t allow photos and had all art books: Abecedarian Gallery. Worth a look online and definitely if you’re in the area (although they close for First Fridays because the art is so delicate).