Sunday, June 30, 2019. Denver, Colorado.
After witnessing this beautiful and omnipresent infrastructure gone awry, we fled the mall. In retrospect, there’s never been a time in my life that “flee the mall” wasn’t the best move.
On the bank of the river, we encountered more modern art. It was less explicable than the factoid cow.
Even before we saw the bus run that dude down, even before my knee-jerk reflex to tear that bald kid’s ribcage clean out of his body, and the subsequent herculean force of will required to repress the urge, the shadow of death had been firmly ingrained in the day’s plans. Our lunch plans were at a place called Linger, a former mortuary turned restaurant.
A morgue cocktail bar downtown is dead-center my aesthetic, which is a carefully cultivated 50/50 blend of Gomez Addams and something I like to call “apocalypse flannel”. More so, because in college I was briefly the singer and bassist for a band called “Mad Dog Motch and the All-You-Can-Eat Autopsy”.
I say briefly because our guitarist, the eponymous Mad Dog Motch, thought the name “Team Battle” was more in line with both the kind of music, and the amount of Smash Bros, we were playing.
In my deepest heart, I was kind of hoping the tables would be made out of gurneys, or the place would be decorated with those big body drawers you always see in police procedural dramas. No such luck. It was a well-appointed, tastefully decorated multi-floor cocktail bar, and it was poppin off even at 2 pm. The tables were absurdly tiny, though not as bad as in Rhode Island. Can you imagine if I didn’t fit in the morgue? Grimmer and grimmer.
They sat us in a window overlooking the gargantuan metal milk bottle demarcating the LoHi neighborhood. LoHi was named for the lower part of the downtown surrounding Highland Bridge. Denverites love giving the areas with high craft brewery density little two-syllable grunt names, like “NoDo” and “SoBo”.
This turned out to be Little Man Ice Cream, and we would wait in line for thirty minutes in order to get some, once our mortuary dining experience drew to a close.
I wasn’t in a cocktail state of mind, considering the events of the previous day. I was giving myself some recoup time. I drank the clearly labeled water, and we wound up splitting a plate of tiny, tiny burger portions.
Pro strat: If you’re exploring a city, don’t eat anything huge unless you’re about to call it a night. Tiny tapas let you experience more of the city, and you’re less inclined to get all slow and logy.
This is less advisable on long-term trips. I came back from my six weeks in Yurp about thirty pounds lighter.
Just looking at this picture, I remember the way my soul sang biting into these little microburgers. That cow did not die in vain.
We left the morgue with spirits lifted, though not in a necromantic way. Ladygirl insisted on the ice cream. I made low moaning noises of disapproval, as I was still hungry for real food and didn’t want ice cream, or to stand still. She used her rhetorician’s degree to make some persuasive arguments, such as “It’s right here!” and “Come onnnnn”, and she was the eventual owner of a giant hipster spin on a cookies and cream cone.
The celebration of life continued by drinking our way hither and yon across LoDo (Lower Downtown).
Wynkoop was my favorite, and we would revisit it a few times over the next two days.
It was a very laid-back vibe. They leaned heavy on Dad rock, so there was a lot of Bruce Springsteen and AC/DC playing, but not very loud. Like elevator music. They also had a giant wood carving of a gorilla, and I cannot believe I didn’t take a picture of it.
As we looked out the window, killing time before our dinner reservation by drinking several obscure beers, a dude on a motor trike rolled up to the light, blasting his own, conflicting Dad rock.
We exchanged thumbs up and he roared off into the late afternoon, presumably on a highway to Hell.
Next episode: A torrent of meat at The Buckhorn Exchange. Both rootin’ and tootin’. Stay tuned.