Dan landes talks about old denver, new denver and leaving denver westword electricity physics pdf

It doesn’t snow in Denver anymore. At least not like it used to. As a kid, I could make a decent wage shoveling my neighbors’ walkways; nowadays, I’d starve waiting for enough snow to accumulate to justify getting paid to remove it. In the spring it could snow twelve inches overnight and be melting by noon the next day. Spring snow is wet and heavy, good for forming snowballs, snow forts and snow people. I once lost my boots in a deep spring snow; they got sucked off my feet, socks and all. I continued playing barefoot in the snow for hours. When I’m having fun, no one can tear me away from the action. But when I’m done, I’m done.

Nobody wants to talk about old Denver. You look like a crybaby lamenting the loss of something that wasn’t strong enough to survive. Object permanence is not limited to a game of peek-a-boo. “What once was” is a boring conversation that we’ve grown tired of. Old Denver disappeared along with cheap rent and ample warehouse space with no bureaucratic interference; old Denver wasn’t developed enough to withstand the influx of folks who wanted to put their own stamp on the city, bring in their own hometown comforts. Moving on.

Muddy’s was an all-night coffeehouse that had moved from Highland to 22nd and California streets, to a spot now across the street from that new apartment designed with a “build ’em cheap, the more you reap” aesthetic, kitty-corner from the Mercury Cafe. God bless Marilyn and the Merc. My kitchen shift at Muddy’s was from 4 p.m. to 4 a.m. Around 2 a.m., the jazz musicians from El Chapultepec would come by and jam. Weed wasn’t legal then, and it didn’t matter; everyone was high. One night a guest popped his head into the kitchen and asked if the green chile was vegan. It was 1992; I didn’t know what vegan was. He explained that it was food that contained no animal products. We used butter for the roux, but I told him I’d use a different fat for the next batch. He came back, liked it and told his like-minded friends.

City Spirit, in the 1400 block of Blake Street, was a gathering place for all kinds of eccentric weirdos who wanted vegan/vegetarian food. When I worked there, I continued to build flavorful food sans meat. It was 1994, and the kitchen was filled with microwaves. Nothing I’ve done in kitchens was more dangerous than standing in front of microwaves ten hours a day.

What’s an all-American boy to do? Sign a five-year lease on a recently closed, long-neglected Chinese restaurant on 13th Avenue and Sherman Street, come up with a name (WaterCourse Foods popped into my mind, as I was reading a ton of Alan Watts), put together some recipes, hire a few able bodies and hang an open sign. Capitalism 101. (If you haven’t risked everything to open a business and are tempted to leave a nasty comment, keep it to yourself. Your opinions are lightweight and wholly unnecessary.) In ’98, it cost $30,000 to open WaterCourse. No permits, no problem. Today, $30,000 will get you a crop-dusting from a passing developer and a scale drawing of what you can’t afford.

In ’98, it cost $30,000 to open WaterCourse. No permits, no problem. Today, $30,000 will get you a crop-dusting from a passing developer and a scale drawing of what you can’t afford. Even if you add another zero, you’re still far short of what it takes to open a restaurant in this town. Herein lies the problem of luxury Denver: It’s too risky to open interesting concepts. People who have the pockets to fund projects have those deep pockets because they are risk-averse. They back safe ideas, concepts that are working in other locales, thereby diluting our uniqueness. (This is not true of my partners at the Campus Lounge; they backed up the idea of turning a sports bar into a conversation-based bar. I appreciate their support and am sorry we couldn’t make it happen.)

Back in 1998, 3 percent of the population in the U.S. identified as vegetarian/vegan. Of that 3 percent, 95 percent resided near Berkeley and the other 5 percent lived in yurts. Is opening a restaurant that caters to 3 percent of the population a good business model? Apparently, yes. Twenty years later, I’ve sold three of my vegetarian/vegan businesses and I’m moving to Mexico to run Osa Mariposa, the vegetarian hostel we’ve owned since 2009 in Oaxaca.

Ethnocentricity is begat by ignorance. Turn off your TV, get off your couch, and go visit countries where people don’t look like you. Don’t go to a resort that was built to cater to your specific needs, but to where real people live. If you can’t afford to travel, see a foreign film or two. You’ll be amazed how much we all have in common. (Again, if you’re tempted to leave a nasty comment and haven’t shared a meal with a Muslim, keep it to yourself: You are ill-prepared to talk about loving thy neighbor.)

There is nothing less sexy than a bitter white guy, and I’m becoming just that. I need to check my head before I become that which I should despise. You get no pity parties from the dugout when you arrive at the game on third base. The people with whom I share a common lineage and historic privilege (read: white American males) are losing their collective minds, which is leading to great social and environmental atrocities. It’s as though the warden is slowly unraveling and the prisoners are paying the price. I want to heal. To understand the current power structure and its illnesses, I need to understand myself. Inside of me, I am many, many me’s. I am Trump. I am Sanders. I am Mueller and the Trolls. I am the hero and the villain. In business, I have had to utilize all available me’s to survive: sometimes the better me, sometimes the lesser me. Those in leadership tend to relate; those who haven’t led tend to judge.