Longform

Paint the Town Read

Page 5 of 6

The early snow on the not-yet-fallen leaves on our morning walks through Washington Park. An evening walk downtown, a stop into the Body Shop to buy cranberry lotion that made her skin sparkle, a short dip for me in the man-made waterfalls along Cherry Creek, a single scoop of sweet cream ice cream at Josh and John's with a peanut butter cookie on the side. Some nights she'd take in a hockey game, buying only one ticket, which I thought especially brave.

18. Cherry Creek

That Old Ace in the Hole, 2002

Annie Proulx

"Bob! These look like your size, ten double E. Try em on. In a bag of stuff from some Cherry Creek fat cat. Probably the maid dropped them off."

19. Union Station

Leave It to Beany, 1950

Lenora Mattingly Weber

Sheila's train was late.

As Beany came hurrying into the station, with only five minutes to spare before train time, an official was standing in front of the schedule board.

20. Stapleton International Airport

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: A Savage Journey Into the Heart of the American Dream, 1971

Hunter S. Thompson

I was asleep when our plane hit the runway, but the jolt brought me instantly awake. I looked out the window and saw the Rocky Mountains. What the fuck was I doing here? I wondered. It made no sense at all. I decided to call my attorney as soon as possible. Have him wire me some money to buy a huge albino Doberman. Denver is a national clearing house for stolen Dobermans; they come from all parts of the country.

Since I was already here, I thought I might as well pick up a vicious dog. But first, something for my nerves.

21. Denver

Sky Bridge, 2005

Laura Pritchett

"Listen to this. Old Spirit died right next to where that new banker built his house, and the banker's wife called, and she said she was so happy to finally be out of Denver and they sure loved it out here and they had such a nice view, but you know, there was a horse carcass out there with the birds picking off the flesh and their little dog -- one of those little yippy things -- came home one night with a chunk of dead horse there and could it be moved."

"You know what my dad said? He said, ŒUh-huh, that's part of the package. You city folk want to come in here and have us provide a free view. I'm not in the business of free views. I'm in the business of managing a ranch, and sometimes that includes dead horses.' And he hung up on her.

"So then the banker calls and says, well, something has to be done. And Dad said, ŒYour ugly house has ruined my view. Your ugly house is equivalent to my dead horse. Only I'm a better neighbor, because mine is temporary. Now we're even.' Isn't that hilarious? I think that's hilarious."

22. Denver Rescue Mission

Totally Dead, 1999

Michael Stone

Now, opening the huge wooden front door directly beneath a broken neon Jesus Saves sign, Streeter turned around to see his partner walking toward him on the sidewalk.

23. D.F.D. Station 4

1890 Lawrence Street

"Uptown Downtown Rhapsody"

Big City Freight Train Blues: Denver Poems, 2005

Gregory O'Toole

...20th Street west to Larimer, joyous half-sorority girls on cell phones

singing on the sidewalks, drunk to their minds, smoking Marlboros

boys playing tag-a-long will you get me in bed games

hero status blue shirt firemen on dim-lit drive in front

of the shiny chromaly monster red machines on lawn chairs tipping

back watching the Saturday night freaks and drunkards passing by.... [full poem online]

24. 1916, 1942 or 2009 Market Street

Breath and Bones: A Novel, 2005

Susann Cokal

If only she could sit and catch her breath and wits, she could devise a course of action. It was not as if she could go into the next building -- the bright blue tiles on the doorstep spelled out M. Silks --and ask for advice. Indeed, she saw only men passing through that elaborately carved door, and with a quick suspicion of what the place was, she walked briskly on until she could turn a corner.

[Madam Mattie Silks had houses at each of these addresses.]

25. Welton Street

One Day I Saw a Black King, 2003

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Amy Haimerl