Many of my pals have reported that just hanging out downtown and near the Pepsi Center has lead to a ton of cool and funny stuff to see and laugh at. My dad did just that and wrote me this funny email.
This week, I’m glad I live in Colorado. My Dad’s letter follows:
For those of you who decided to leave town for the DNC, you missed a fine time in Downtown Denver yesterday (Sunday). Nancy and I rode our bikes to the Art Museum for a look-see, then had a salad on the museum patio, watching ex-Governor Romer, the Mayors of Newark, Denver, and lord-knows-where-else talk about education. Big crowd, reporters and big men in black suits. I asked one of the suits if he was “security”. No, sir, he said. I wondered why so many in black suits, to which he replied, “There are mayors here from all over the country.” Oh, I said, and you are here to keep them safe?” “Yes,” he said.
Then we walked our bikes through Civic Center Park, jammed with vendors, people, including Am. Indians doing a dance, and a couple of kids holding a sign that said they were “Pro-Protests.” I said, “me too,” and they laughed.
The atmosphere was festive, and though we saw no parade, it felt like a parade and who doesn’t like those?
We wondered how we’d cross 15th street, heading for the 16th street mall, but as luck would have it there were several hundred people, some with bull horns, protesting the war right in the middle of the street, blocking both lanes. Horns honking, but no one really angry, and we managed to walk across the usually busy street with no problem, just in time to see a phalanx of battle rigged police heading for the crowd. They had no shields, but all manner of weapons, some of which I’d never seen before. All were holstered, and I saw only one tommy gun. The crowd quickly and quietly dispersed, and we continued to 16th street–just in time to avoid about 15 mounted police trotting down the way.
The police who dispersed the crowd, then walked back towards us and got into vans (red, white, black) with dark glass windows and drove off. There were also a couple of other vans(?) which had running boards on the sides and in the rear, on which about 10 policemen were hanging, ready, I suppose, to charge any big-disturbance. I’ve never see so many police in one spot before. My guess is that they were all pumped with adrenaline, but everything was peaceful.
On the 16th street mall, we saw several men on bikes wearing shirts saying, “Medic”. One told us they were ready to treat most anything from diabetes to heat stroke.
Nancy’s neighbor works downtown and will try to keep his law firm going during the convention. The firm was visited by Secret Service (or somesuchfolk) and told that there would be strict requirements for going in and out of the building, that snipers would be on the roof, and to report to them anything and anyone which looked like it (or they) didn’t belong there.
By the way, we heard a black suit at the art museum tell his guards that if anyone even looked like they had a big purse or backpack to send up a flare.
Although we intended to see the museum, have lunch, and take only a quick look, we stayed all afternoon. Great fun. Bikes were the way to do it.
Hope it stays calm.