Sense of Direction

I’ve been roaming downtown Denver for years. I ran catering for a BBQ place on the 16th Street Mall when I was 14. I worked for Greenpeace one summer and covered the Mall, Lodo, Sobo, Lohi, Bilbo, and anywhere else. One of my favorite things to do is just get on my bike and just roam around the city.

But I never drive it, and for biking and walking, one-way streets, sidewalks, intersections, parking lots, alleyways, and parks all fall into a kind of wilderness in which the trails aren’t always marked and cars become nothing more than Frogger-style obstacles. I know it by feel and instinct, and never bothered to learn, like, streets. You wouldn’t expect a deer to know the different branches of Appalachian Trail.

That’s right, I’m a deer.

This map show’s how I have seen downtown Denver (at least, my main pedicab area) for the past decade.


1: Streets that start with “C”
2: Streets that start with “W” (except Welton)
3: Some hotels are up here
4: Unknown wasteland
5: There’s a McDonalds in here somewhere
6: Watch movies here!
7: Jerri’s Tobacco and Wine
8: Tewksbury Tobacco and Wine
9: Enter here on bike
10: To library
SB: Starbucks

But with pedicabing, people expect you to know downtown better than a Google Map. When they say,

“Where’s a good place for 30-somethings, lively, but not crazy?”

I’m supposed to say,

“Oh, you may try The Firepot at 18th and Curtis, they have Latin jazz with mild 50’s-era undertones, but blues every Tuesday and Thursday. You can also check out Forest Room 5, tonight they’re featuring blah blah blah blah blah”

And so on ad infinitum.

Unfortunately, the places that people most like to go, bars and hotels, are places I know the least, me being a native and my idea of a good time being Egyptian Rat Slap with people who go to college in New England. It usually pans out like this:

Why don’t people play more Egyptian Rat Slap? It’s a quality game.

30 thoughts on “Sense of Direction

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