Don't Fence Me In

The world may be in my back yard — but it's not easy to join the party.

On Monday, I decided to go green and hike along Speer Boulevard to the Pepsi Center for the start of the Democratic National Convention. Although Speer had already been closed to motorized traffic outside of a few hours during morning rush hour, I could swear I'd been told that pedestrians could use it. But no, a cop told me as I approached the bridge from the north; the Secret Service had decided to close off the bridge entirely. So I had to go down the stairs to the parks by the Platte — right by where the meditators were zoning out near the 9/11 Truth movement, which has created large replicas of the Twin Towers — and head over to the bridge by Confluence Park.

My trek was not without irony, since I'd just touted Confluence Park as a must-see site for any visitor. This urban park marks the spot where gold was found exactly 150 years ago, inspiring the birth of Denver. And I had plenty of time to contemplate this irony — how could baby Denver possibly host its first Democratic convention just fifty years later, when we can't get useful traffic signs up today? — as I continued trudging down the Cherry Creek bike path, which I shared with a half-dozen motorcycle cops and mounted police officers, none of whom bothered to tell me that I was essentially caged like a rat by hastily erected metal fences. But this bike path is also one of the undeniable amenities of this city — Denver has more bike paths than any other city, Mayor John Hickenlooper was about to tell the crowd assembled in the Pepsi Center — so I decided to enjoy the walk and the fact that the homeless folk who are usually landmarks on this route apparently found it too daunting to bother with.

Eventually, I was allowed to emerge at Auraria Parkway, where I was merged into the metal chute channeling people to the Pepsi Center.

The whole world's watching.

 
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