As well as being a friendly, easy-going city, Denver is also a city of Peyton Manning adorers. I saw this dude's face everywhere. Behind bars, on car windows, painted in murals, in stuffed-animal form, as a bobble-head, on t-shirts. Denverites don't mess around when it comes to their Broncos, and the sheer sea of orange I saw around me on a game day was testament to that.
Football holds little interest for me, however, so I carried on my explorations of the city's typography and architecture. From the lovely slate-blue of the Capitol Building to the orange bricks of Lower Downtown, Denver is a mix of styles and colours, and even has an amusement park right in the center. Which is fabulous, though due to the freezing temps was left off of my To Do list.
Instead I continued around, sampling cocktails at the lush speakeasy Williams & Green in the Highlands (you go behind a sliding bookshelf panel to get in, which thrills me to no end- I've wanted a sliding bookshelf secret room since I was little), eating Southern food at Bayou Bob's (why did nobody tell me about Hush Puppies before?! Or the ensuing "Itis*"?), and trying coffee in nearly every café I passed.
Another favourite was The Green Russell, which I visited on New Years Eve, and enjoyed thoroughly. The bartenders blew flames from little spoonfuls of rum, the atmosphere was cosy, and the drinks were perfection. I particularly loved the Sage Against the Machine, which was a charming concoction involving (among other things) spiced pear liquer, white peppercorn vanilla, and of course, a sage leaf. They even had sloe gin on the menu, which is always a good thing.
So while these places don't leap out at you (several were underground, hidden behind other places, or behind bookshelves!), I was pleased to find that Denver has a good share of little tucked-away gems. Now if only I could have found Beatrice & Woodsley! I got sidetracked searching for the restaurant every time. I suppose I'll have to go back, eh?
+ Itis is apparently the name given to the trance-like beanbag state you enter after eating copious amounts of Southern grub.