So I’ve been writing about what I’ve experienced being in Denver for this public radio conference (PRPD). It’s been a great experience and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every day. I’ve spent a lot of time walking the 16th Street Mall, and I came to this realization. Tell me what you think, if you’ve been to both of these places (both of what places? Wait, I’ll get there).
As I walked down the 16th Street Mall, noticing groups of people walking together, being kind to each other as they board the free public bus, the street musicians performing various kinds of music, and even the characters hustling for change, I thought that this is what Hollywood could have been. The atmosphere was welcoming and peaceful. The stores and shops were well kept and high classed, even if what they sold wasn’t. The smell of the street wasn’t putrid. I wasn’t constantly looking at the man or woman on the street as if they might be one to try and jump me or something. I felt safe. This was a great thing.
Two years ago I went to LA for the same conference. We were in Hollywood for the whole thing and it was very interesting. I’d heard all this hype about how great that town was, even taking into account stuff like 90210, Saved By The Bell and so forth. But my experience in Hollywood wasn’t anything close to what had been advertised through the cultural TV shows.
Aside from the walk of fame with the Hollywood squares on the streets, and some of the sites, it was a trashy, dumpy place. When the wind blew (and sometimes even when it didn’t), there were wafts of human waste in the air. The people on the street were obvious junkies. No one was really kind to each other. The atmosphere was very chaotic. I enjoyed meeting and getting to know some great people, people I’ve been reconnecting with this week. But I wanted to get the hell out of there.
I told a friend from CA yesterday that our trip to LA was good because they (friends) were there, but I never want to go back. The opposite is true for Denver. I want to come back here and hang out again with my friends Jud and Shannon. I want to bring my wife with me for her to experience all this stuff. And I want to go into the mountains and see the elk, bison, and wildlife from the pictures in the magazines in the hotel room. But the mountains are a bit away, and I won’t get to them on this trip. But I will on the next one.
In the next post, I’ll recap the great food I’ve had in the past few days including Lamb Chops and Elk Burger. Yummy!