Lawd luvaduck and lawks a-mercy I seem to have ignored the once cherished Ponderblog. Surely a gap of four months must constitute abandonment? Hey ho what is one to do? Well I foretell a few postings over the coming days as I wind myself up for Educause 2009 in Denver.
My first time in Denver and what to make of it? Well it sits smack bang in the middle of disturbingly flat countryside, flat that is until it hits the mountains that rise, rather majestically it must be said, skyward, breaking the monotony of the landscape. ‘Mile High’ is the slightly dubious tag of the city and as yet I haven’t spied many couples feverishly trying to join ‘that’ club, at least not in public. I wonder if, as they say, Denver is a mile above sea level does that make anyone who partakes of the pleasures of the flesh here instantly a member of the ‘Mile High Club’? But then again, frankly who cares? (is ‘caring’ the same as ‘minding’…?)
Well as it was my free day I decided to go walkabout downtown and lower downtown (although I couldn’t tell the difference). Down the 16th avenue Mall, saw the Millennium bridge, the outside of the Contemporary Art Museum (closed Mondays if you are interested), risked life and limb to cross the street to see the Pepsi Centre (home of ice hockey and basketball and venue for a double treat of Elton John and Billy Joel… mmmm… on November 22nd). Through the Performing Arts centre where the only things on offer this week are the musical (sic) Wicked and the Three Divas belting out presumably hideous ‘popular’ items…no thanks. Also strolled past the rather impressive Convention Centre (home for Educause this week) and the huge blue bear a-peering in of the window (nope, no idea why but it does look quite cool)
Stage two of the city walkabout took in the Capitol building (odd blue-grey colour and gold dome) past the Colorado History Museum or somesuch and then to the Daniel Liebskind designed Denver Art Museum. This is a spectacular building from outside (maybe if there’s time I will venture inside) its angles slicing through the sky making it an energising building after the standard glass steel efforts of downtown and the otherwise unremarkable architecture. Next the 83L bus to the charmingly (if erroneously) named Cherry Creek shopping hell. Early Christmas shopping for the lad and lassie thanks to Abercrombie & Fitch, American Eagle and (shiver) Victoria’s Secret. The bus trip is another reminder of the us and them of American society – ‘nice’ middle class people take the car and the rest ride the bus making it a slightly dispiriting experience.