Tuesday, August 3, 2010

My Adventures on the 16th Street Mall

A beautiful day on the 16th Street Mall

Last Thursday I finally decided to take the free hotel shuttle to the 16th Street Mall.  First you need a little background information.  There was a huge conference going on at the Convention Center for Scentsy sales people (a wickless candle that I got the whole sales pitch for on my shuttle ride).  Many of these people, mostly ladies, were staying at our hotel.  They told me there were 6000 in attendance!  These ladies were taking advantage of the free shuttle to get to the Convention Center which is a few blocks away from 16th Street.  Also there was an afternoon, home Rockies game that day.  Coors field is in lower downtown Denver (LoDo it is commonly called)  where the south end of the 16th street mall is.  I'm not sure what part of LoDo the Coors field is in but it is not right around where I ended up!

One of the fountains on the mall.  The children are drying off on the blocks around it.

Anyway,  I got on the shuttle with a group of ladies headed for their meetings so the first stop was the Convention Center--That is where "The Big Blue Bear" is looking in the 4th or 5th story windows!  I did not get a picture but we will HAVE to go there when JJ and Carla come down to stay with us so you can see this HUGE bear!  Next we went over to Glenarm Street and 16th where I got dropped off.  The driver informed me there were 2 places they could pick me up when I called.  This one on the North end of the mall and on Market Street at the South end of the mall.  I was OK with that and off I went.

A beautiful blue piano.  There is one in each block of the mall.  Anyone can sit down and play if it is open.

First stop was at one of my favorite places, The Fresh Food Market.  It is a very yuppie grocery store in downtown Denver for the people that live in the very pricey condos in the large office buildings.  They have all kinds of wierd foods--ethnic things, overpriced soda pop, beautiful pastries, a deli for the lunch crowd, local produce and meats (at premium prices, I might add--Kathi and Danny need to get some of their chickens and beef in that store, they'd be set up for life!) Colorado home made food items and much, much more!  I looked for some tahini so I could make my own hummus at home but to no avail.  Silly me!  They had a whole refrigerator case of ready made exotic hummuses!  It was time to move on.

One of the decorated steers placed around the tourist areas of Denver.

 I was getting hot and thirsty and didn't want to pay their prices for a bottle of water so I strolled along enjoying the piano playing and watching the kids playing in the fountains.  It is so fun to people watch here!  I made my way to another favorite place that I could spend a whole day at, Barnes and Noble Bookstore.  This is a big one with a Starbucks on the second floor.  I headed for my cold drink but as usual I had to stop here and there to check out this book or that one!  I finally made it to Starbucks and got a mocha, coconut frappachino.  I had picked up a couple books to browse through as I sat and sipped my drink.  It was totally refreshing and reminded me of the tropics a bit.  When I was finished I browsed through a lot more books and finally started writing down names of books that I thought Bob or I might want to read on our Kindles.  Is that ethical??  I don't know but I did it anyway!

Another blue piano!  They were really kind of pretty.  The music was very good too!

It was time for me to move on.  I headed south, taking pictures and checking out restaurants and shops along the way.  It was such a beautiful day and many people were out and about.  I had one photo incident that I thought I might get into trouble for.  There was this little food wagon selling Thai Food.  It had like stained glass fake kind of windows on 3 sides of it.  I wanted to take pictures but this man on a bike kept getting in my way.  Mind you I was focused on looking through my camera for the perfect shot.  Slowly I realized there were 4 men on bicycles--policemen!  They were apprehending 2 young men with big backpacks and trying to make them sit down right in front of my stained glass windows!  I think they had been shop lifting but who knows.  I had snapped a picture before I realized what was going on so I quickly slipped away in case there was going to be some sort of security or privacy issue!  Anyway, here is the picture!

 A police and the culprits!  Notice the pretty "windows".

I moved along and came upon a man playing a guitar with his case open and a bunch of money in it.  I was still a little worried about the other incident so I didn't take his picture but did enjoy his 60's songs.  There is a very old land mark along the route.  It is called the Daniels and Fisher Tower and I took several pictures of it.  I think the founder of the old May D&F department stores was also connected with that tower.  I moved along snapping more pictures and was approached by a Save the Children volunteer collecting donations.  I had a nice visit with her telling her about my experiences with the organization up in Owyhee and about Micah and Kim's efforts to adopt the 2 little Haitian girls. She finally gave up on me and I moved on! Hehehehe!

The Daniels and Fisher Tower

 A blue steer in Writer's Square on the mall.

A close-up of one side of the steer.

 A herd of artists buffaloes!

I continued on down to LoDo and another favorite place, The Tattered Cover bookstore.   It's not as cool as the old 4 story original in Cherry Creek that they had to move out of , but is interesting in its own right.  It is in an old renovated building with wooden floors and does have some old comfortable looking leather chairs to sit and read in, but they are not in little hidden nooks like the original.  I browsed through more books and took more notes.  They do have a little coffee and other drink shop in it, too.  It now was time to start thinking about heading back to the hotel.

 The store window at Rockmount Ranch Wear.   Notice the street sign.  There is a new one with 108 years on it on the street corner!

I had to walk a couple blocks back up to Market Street.  I crossed over to the other side and, as I was wandering along, I spotted another historical building in LoDo.  It is the Rockmount Western Wear Manufacturing Co.  I had read a bit about it.  It has been there for 108 years.  The founder, Jack Weil, is the guy who invented putting snaps on western shirts!  His family is still involved in the business.  The city has  named the street after him!  He died in 2008 but the street signs are still up.  I think they change them every year to put  one more year on the sign.  I went in and they have all kinds of embroidered shirts as well as the usual ones and tons of colors.  The style is western with snaps!  They have pictures of a lot of celebrities on the walls and a small museum upstairs.  A great place to spend some time!

 The front window with the building across the street reflected in it.

 Shirts and a couple books on western wear on display and for sale.

 More shirts!

 Shirts and ties.

I moved on and arrived at the pick up place.  I called for my ride and settled in to do some people watching as I waited.  After 1/2 hour I thought I better call again and I was assured someone was on the way, but they were very busy with Conventioneers and Rockies fans (the game had just ended).  I continued to people watch and when the Monster Juice truck came along handing out free juice, I ran over and got one.  It tasted so good on a hot afternoon.  After an hour I called Bob to tell him I was still waiting.  At 1 1/2 hours I thought about calling and saying I'd walk over to Coors field or the Convention Center if they thought that would help!  About that time I noticed another lady standing near me looking like she might be waiting, too.  I was about to speak to her when here came our shuttle and she WAS waiting for it.  She had called 10 minutes before and here he was!  When I mentioned I had been waiting an hour and a half the driver was very surprised.  He had been sitting at the hotel waiting for calls.  The desk had never mentioned me!
I guess the shuttle that was supposed to pick me up broke down and he forgot to tell anyone I was on his list!  Oh well, all was well that ended well. I finally made it home.  A fun afternoon in Downtown Denver.

A view from the corner I waited on for 1 1/2 hours!


  1. I feel like I am really missing out on some great adventures! Boo-hoo! How is Bob holding up?

  2. oh, and pianos on the 16th Street Mall??? How cool is that?

  3. Nice documentary Penny. For a period of time in 1990 I would go downtown nearly every day for my job and would take the shuttle along the 16th street mall to my clients offices. A lot has changed since then but there was an Italian rest. on larimer square, south of the 16th st mall that had the best Italian food (Josephina's) - Carla and I went there a few times for special occasions including a Sunday champagne brunch that was pretty good!


  4. I love being able to see the pictures of this adventure that you told me about. The picture of the hoodlums is too funny. BUSTED! And the blue pianos are awesome!!!

  5. I am glad you are not still standing on the street corner waiting for the shuttle! You are so adventerous.