Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mile High Denver

I was in Denver last week receiving training in the fun and exciting subject of Cost Estimating for Construction Modifications. It's an intense class with a lot of homework and reading after the class sessions. I had been doing the homework and required readings during class breaks and lunch breaks just to be able to have the opportunity to explore downtown Denver after the class is over at 5PM.

On Monday and Tuesday during the late afternoon/early evening, I was walking around the city center to sightsee. The city center is about 20-minute bus ride from my hotel.  Denver's downtown area is quite impressive -- good mass transit system, pedestrian friendly, and quite a bit of revitalization projects even through the economic downturn. Three major sports facilities (for the Rockies, Nuggets, Avalanches, and Broncos) are all located nearby. There are many apartments, condos, and townhomes in the heart of the city. Museums abound in a designated area near downtown as well as other individual locations around downtown. Parks and smaller green spaces dot the area. There are nice shopping areas, myriad of restaurants of all types, hosts of cozy cafes, and plenty of interesting bars and mini-breweries. In my opinion, downtown Denver is a lot better than Seattle's.

Weather was fair during Monday and Tuesday.  By Wednesday and Thursday, it got wet, cold, and stormy -- even worse than the dull spring weather that Seattle is experiencing.  I stayed in my hotel Wednesday night to catch up on required reading and to finish the class project. It was too wet on Thursday evening to venture outside.  After the class was dismissed at 1130 AM on Friday, I headed straight to downtown Denver to do more sightseeing.   I had wanted to tour the US Mint, but there were no openings until July.  Apparently, it is a fairly popular tour taken by tourists and the tour must be scheduled and reserved way ahead of time.  The Denver Mint is the largest producer of coins.  Weather in Denver on Friday was glorious.  I had five hours in the afternoon to walk around downtown Denver before my flight out later that night.

I will post more photos in my flickr page, but the following is a sampling from Denver's city center:

Denver Art Museum.

The state capitol building and the "one mile above sea level" marker on the capitol steps.

Coors Field, home of MLB's Denver Rockies.

US Denver Mint tour entrance.

Pavilions Mall.

Convention Center facilities.

16th Street Mall, pedestrian and bus thoroughfare.

Sculpture in Civic Center Park.

Denver in the early evening.

Hard Rock Cafe.

Convention Center facilities.

Civic Center Park Sculpture.

Downtown Denver sculptures.

Sculpture in front of Denver's Main Public Library.

Denver Art Museum.

Falling Rock Tap House.

Pedestrian Bridge near the Union Train Station.

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