Like the 24-hour flu or a sudden outbreak of gonorrhea, Rockies fever can strike when you least expect it. Two guys wearing Rox jerseys chest-bumping in the Safeway checkout line? Expected. Three blondes in the daycare parking lot gushing over how dreamy Matt Holliday is? Expected. But five post-office employees spontaneously breaking into Coors Field's favorite nine-clap Troy Tulowitzki cheer (clap, clap, clap clap clap, clap clap clap clap: Tulo!)? Complete with cardboard signs bearing his name and number? Unexpected.
Yet that's exactly what our Off Limits operative discovered on a recent visit to the Denver Downtown Station, at 951 20th Street. Flabbergasting as it was to see five employees helping customers at the same time, it was even more astounding to watch them drop everything to pay tribute to Colorado's golden-boy shortstop. For the first time in our operative's long history as a United States Postal Service customer, he not only didn't want to reach across the counter and strangle the poor, low-wage workers, he wanted to hug them. All five of them. He wanted to jump up and down and hi-five them. Pour beer over their heads and playfully whip them with his purple-and-white Rockies towel.
And even though supervisors at the Denver Downtown Station are discouraging the employees from continuing their hourly chant — "They don't think it's very professional," one employee confided — we've been assured that the ten-second chant will continue. "Can't get rusty with all this time off," the same employee remarked.
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There goes the neighborhood: The Ballpark neighborhood has changed a lot since ground was broken in October 1992 to actually put a ballpark there. But a few reminders of that time — back when no one confused NoDough with LoDo — remain. El Chapultepec and the Star Bar, for example. The Mexico City Lounge and Mori. But many classic saloons have dried up and disappeared, as did Johnnie's Market, where Ed Maestas, the unofficial Mayor of Larimer, helped urban planner Karle Seydel promote his idea of putting a ballpark in this almost forgotten part of town.
No one's forgetting it now. Those blocks are full of new bars and businesses, including Market Central, at 2046 Larimer, where you can pick up a pack of the historic Denver Ball Park Cards that Seydel created sixteen years and a World Series ago.
Scene and herd: Last week, John Hickenlooper looked like the luckiest man in Denver (if one of the worst-dressed, in that sweater he wore to the final Diamondbacks game) when the ballots for an alphabet soup of expensive bond measures arrived in mailboxes the same day the city learned it was in the World Series, putting voters in a very happy, and magnanimous, mood. He'd better hope they mailed their ballots back before Monday, when crashing computers brought back memories of the electronic election-machine debacle last November.