+ Red Rocks Amphitheater
+ Native Roots Dispensary
+ Orta Vez Restaurant
+ Red Rock and Roll Hall of Fame/Gift Shop
+ Sexy Pizza (GrubHub Delivery)
+ King Sooper
+ Simply Pure Dispensary
+ American Cultures Kombucha Bar
Lyft / Uber Stories
From Airport to AirBnb: Lindsey
Stepping out of her car in red plaid and jeans, she was the perfect introduction to the midwest. Mentioning our trip to Vegas to see Britney Spears on Saturday set the soundtrack to the rest of our ride to full-blown 90’s pop. I learned a lot about Lindsey: her first concert she attended sans parents was *NSYNC, she convincingly argued that NSYNC created more successful singers than Backstreet (although her opinion that 80’s music sucks cost her some music opinion credit in my eyes), recently drove her 12 year old daughter Kansas to see 21 Pilots, comes from a family of pot heads, was in Vegas a few years ago for a friend’s 21st birthday, saw David Copperfield, and has a sister and a brother. Born and raised here, I asked her what she would suggest to anyone coming into Denver for the first time – “Red Rocks!” – was her immediate response, so it was the first thing we did the next morning. (That and to have chili – states the mexican food is amazing)
From AirBnB to Downtown Denver: James
After a brief argument of Lyft versus Uber, I won and booked James in a towncar to drive us downtown. Well, we all won. Come to find out that James used to own a restaurant in Denver, and only recently closed; said it was getting too expensive ($80k a month for rent). On mention of being from Upstate NY, he tells us that he makes his own wing sauce and sells it (https://captainspongefoot.com/Captain-Spongefoot-Products.htm), and recently won the best wing sauce contest in Buffalo. Anyways, all of that information came as part of the suggestion to go to a particular dispensary called Native Roots.
From AirBnB to Red Rocks: Benjamin
We lucked out with this one. Pulling up in a Jeep Wrangler, Ben was about to escort us into the mountains with the most perfect mode of transportation ever (I – also – own a Jeep). Ben had two bottles of water in the cup holders in the back seat, and very quickly proved himself to be an alternate universe version of a good friend which made me feel at home immediately. Driving us up through Red Rocks, we find out that Benjamin moved to Denver 4 years ago. He’s in between jobs right now, and had a bad experience driving at night with Lyft- a person got out of a car at a red light and started pounding on the roof of their own vehicle.
From Red Rocks to Thrift Store in Suburb: Martin
Awkward silence and driver-excluded conversation…. nice guy.
From Thrift Store to AirBnB: Rick
Yet another collision with our alternate universe. This snow-haired Benz driver almost appeared out of nowhere, and upon entering his vehicle he offered us to plug into his power source if our phones’ batteries were low. Rick was a radio personality in Denver for years, and before that – a comedian. He even won 1st place in an episode of America’s Funniest People, which yielded him $10,000. With a classy flair in his demeanor, he hands us a business card and encouragement to give him a call while we’re still in town.
AirBnB to Kombucha Bar: Joseph
Immediately friendly, and after some of the basics are taken care of (just got into town yesterday- only here until saturday, from upstate ny, etc etc) he segway-ed into a political test statement (you know what I mean). When he realized what “side” we were on, it was revealed that he has a degree in political science and the current state of affairs is frustrating to him. What I found most amusing is when he was speaking, he approached a word in a sentence that he had to hesitate before censoring himself. Noticing his hesitation, I then followed up with a sentence with the expletive he censored – giving him free reign to use it: and use it he did. He spilled out his distaste for the political actions being publicized in our society, and sparing no colorful word. It actually made me smile more than anything, knowing the unspoken relief of freedom of speech I had allowed him to have.
Grocery Store to AirBnB: Ashley
She passed us on the other side of the road, and yelled from her window that she was turning around to get us. After pulling a (probably illegal) U-turn, she arrives and we pile in with groceries. Again, we speed through the “visiting from out of town” spiel and she tells us about how traffic was insane trying to get in and out of the Broncos game that night. Thankfully, it had slowed down around our time (~7ish). She tells us we have to go to as many dispensaries as possible, and that’s all she’s suggest. Completely swooned over the fact that we went to Red Rocks already, talked about how any band there is worth it to see. We pulled on to our street, and Ashley was extremely intrigued by our tiny temporary abode, and we told her she HAD to see the decor – so we invited her in. She drifted around with her laid-back mid-west, hippie aura and expressed her appreciation of the thoughtful design. Leaning against the wall for a few minutes to talk about the benefits of THC v Alcohol & Cigarettes, and then ultimately ended with another “isn’t the world crazy right now?” conversation, and back on to her Thursday night Lyft shift. Felt like a friend came over to visit.
From Airbnb to Goodwill: Zeke
Cool right off the bat, Zeke arrived in the morning in the red version of my car back in NY. Talked about music, red rocks, and the like. It is then revealed that our own driver is a musician, and has played the Red Rocks stage. Friends with a guy who used to play drums for 311.
From cafe to Airbnb:
From Airbnb to Viewhouse: Simone
Curly blonde hair, we got a lot of positivity from our mid day Lyft driver. Mentioning our intention of attending the tattoo convention in town, we start chatting about our ink experiences. She mentioned the age-old “young and dumb” term that many people who used a tattoo as a form of rebellion at 18 and regret it. Except this one was slightly different. Simone told us that she believes that the energy of the artist, their point in life, their life force comes out in all of their art. Her first tattoo was done by a man who had owned a tattoo shop that closed, but was desperate to get back into doing it- it was painful, jagged, blown out- was supposed to be a vibrant lotus flower but instead she described it as a dying flower. Not 6 months later, her tattoo artist took his own life. She said they all knew he was struggling, but never thought he’d get to that point. Simone carried anger for over 4 years when she found out that he decided to take his life in front of his 2 year old, and while the other child was in the house. Her empathy for his children shook her to the core, and even turned into a “Aunt Simone” to them, offering as much comfort and support that she could through that period in her life.
I found it crazy- similarity between her concept of artist’s work reflecting their point in life really was amplified by her artist’s inability to give her a vibrant flower. She didn’t even think of it that way before I mentioned it.
She mentioned she has approached tattoo artists in the past about designing, but has never been satisfied. I have to wonder if that’s a mental restriction she’s put on herself because of her prior experience …. inability to connect with an artist emotionally since then.
Simone mentioned to us that she also barely is making rent these days. Tattoos are an expense she can’t justify.