Denver, Colorado The Mile-High City: weather, food, and art

Mile High City, DenverI was in Denver last month for work and decided to stay a couple more days to see a little more of Denver and visit my college housemate who now lives in Colorado Springs (about an hour south of Denver). I didn’t do very much but there were a few things I really enjoyed. The weather was interesting for April, we went from a beautiful 70 degree day to snow the very next day but I’m happy I still managed to see Denver.

Mile-High City

Denver is officially located at 5,280 feet above sea level (exactly one mile above sea level) and therefore nicknamed the “Mile-High City.” And just to make it official you have to make it to the fifteenth (15) step of the Capitol Building where it actually states that you’re on “One Mile Above Sea Level.”

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The Weather

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Day 1 = 70 Degrees!

I checked the weather about a week before leaving for Denver and I remember it saying 70/40. It wasn’t until I arrived in Denver did I hear it was going to snow?

We had a beautiful day one, and had a great time just walking (our hotel was one mile from the convention center) in the nice 70 degree weather. But I woke up to see it snowing outside the very next morning. When talking to my friend who lives near Denver, she simply said “that’s Colorado weather.” In one moment it could be beautiful and warm and the next it can start snowing; it rains when it’s not quite cold enough to snow. Sometimes, you can get a little bit of everything in one day; snow, rain, sunshine, wind, etc. That’s just how unpredictable it could be.

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And then there was snow.

At least I was somewhat ready with a few layers on (I went to H&M at The 16th Street Mall). I actually ended up enjoying the snow. It’s not like I have to live with it, plus my cousin reminded me that if I wanted beautiful weather I should stay at home in San Diego. haha…

The Food

I actually didn’t get to eat very much on this trip. During work days, I just picked up food from what ever that was close. But there were a couple places that I did try and really liked.

The Kitchen Denver

Top Right: Anson Mill Risotto, butternut squash, sage, chevre, mushroom broth. Bottom Right: Patte wrapped with bacon (can’t find what it was called on the menu) (Left pictures photo credit to thekitchen.com)

The Kitchen Denver is a community bistro located on 16th Street Mall Downtown Denver in the historic Sugar building. Co-founded by the founder of PayPal (interesting…). My Denver host Michele took us out to dinner here at this little restaurant. I was excited because it was also recommended by several others. It was going to be a 45 minute wait for the three of us, but we got lucky and managed to snag a table in the bar area.

The Kitchen Denver
1530 16th St. 

Denver, CO 80202
http://thekitchen.com/the-kitchen-denver/

Tazu Sushi Cherry Creek Denver

Bottom Left: Chirashi Bowl. Right: Udon that came with the Chirashi Bowl.

Tazu Sushi is located in the (fancy) area of Cherry Creek. I don’t know why, but I suddenly really wanted sushi, even though I was in land locked Denver. Our friend took us to her favorite sushi place in town. I ordered a Chirashi Bowl to share, which came with a small bowl of udon as well. Unlike other Chirashi bowls, the sashimi over (brown) rice was served 3 compartment bento box container. We were served with a variety of sashimi etc., some of which I would not have expected to get with my chirashi bowl. I thought this was a good deal with some pretty good sashimi.

Tazu Sushi
300 Fillmore St.
Denver, CO 80206
www.sushitazudenver.com/

Green Russeel Denver

It was too dark inside to get any good pictures from my phone. Photo credits to the internet. Top Left: the entrance as you walk down to the basement. Bottom Left: The “No Entry” entrance to the bar. Top Right: The booth seats that can seat up to 6. Bottom Right: drinks and bartender.

We had orginally planned to go the Peaks Lounge on the 27th floor of the Hyatt Regency Denver for drinks of views of downtown Denver and the surrounding Rocky Mountains but they were closed for a private event. So our friend did a quick search and found Green Russell in Larimer Square. This place is somewhat hidden in a basement like location behind the kitchen doors of a pie shop (It takes a few minutes to get adjusted to the dark bar). There are some pretty interesting cocktails, and if none of those really interest you, you can easily tell the bar tenders what kinds of drinks you like and they’ll make something to your taste. This place reminds me of a few bars I like in San Diego. Do note that drinks are a little pricey. Oh! And the ice is awesome, they actually freeze their own there and the ice is served perfectly clear with not bubbles or cracks or anything. Our bartender explained exactly how it is done, but it sounded quite complex and scientific to me.

Green Russell (Larimer Square)
1422 Larimer St.
Denver, CO 80202
www.greenrussell.com/

Oh yeah, and do you know what Rocky Mountain Oysters are?

The Art

During our first day in Denver, we immediately notice how much public art there was. I later found out that the City of Denver has a Public Art Program that supports the arts. I managed to snap pictures of a few of the many pieces of art I found throughout the city. There are tours that will take you around the city to see all of the public art, but I think it was fun to just see how many you can spot. Below are a few that I found interesting. Check out what other public art pieces are in Denver at ArtsAndVenuesDenver.com.

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This sculpture is located outside of the Wellington E. Webb Municipal Building. It represents a double-headed Janus of Greek Mythology. I just though it was pretty interesting when I walked by.

Big Blue Bear Denver

This 40-foot Big Blue Bear named “I See What You Mean” stands at the front of the Colorado Convention Center peeking into the lobby. By Lawrance Argent.

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As we were leaving Denver, this is what we saw right outside the Denver International Airport. This blue Mustang is actually somewhat controversial. You can’t tell in my picture, but it has red eyes and when the sun reflects off the eyes its kind of devil-ish.

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Just outside of the Denver Art Museum is the “Big Sweep” a really big broom and dustpan…

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This piece was in the Native American Art exhibit and caught my eye almost immediately.

We also made our way to the Denver Art Museum (for more art). It is one of the largest art museums between Chicago and the West Coast with two buildings, over 70,000 works of art divided between 10 permanent collections (African, American Indian, Asian, European and American, modern and contemporary, pre-Columbian, photography, Spanish Colonial, textile, and western American art).

We only managed to spent a few hours at the museum going through four exhibits (American Indian, European and American, Textile, and modern and contemporary). I want to come back to see the other exhibits.

Although it is a major city in the US, I think I covered quite a few things in just a couple days. There is much much more to do outside of Denver and I would love to return when the weather is nice to go hiking etc.

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The Denver Art Museum even had a few fun interactive things. There is a station where you can make your own post cards with stamps and colored pencils. Stamps are available (to be purchase) and a mail box is right there for you to send off. How did we do?

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