From Barack Obama to Carl's Pizza

Carl's, please don't change!

Change can make a person hungry.

And after standing in line in the sun for two and a half hours, watching speeches and bands for another five (Yes We Can!), hearing constantly about change, and then being funneled nearly a mile in the wrong direction by angry police officers around Invesco Field on Thursday night after Barack Obama’s acceptance speech, I was starving.

Yes, I’d had a bratwurst up on Level 5, where my wife and I were sitting -- but no beer since the taps were shut for this historic night. And I needed another kind of sustenance, anyway, something comforting, something that hasn’t changed in a long time.

The audacity of normalcy. Carl’s Pizza.

We finally made it back to our car – parked at Lake Middle School on 18th Avenue and Lowell Street (“Forty dollars,” the security guard said. “They’re charging $120 a few blocks away. Good luck with that”), and turned it north to 38th Avenue at about 10:30 p.m.

Thankfully, Carl’s, 3800 West 38th Avenue, was open until midnight.

We used to come here all the time, years ago, before moving out of the neighborhood, before the kids were born, for pitchers of beer and some of the most satisfying, comforting pizza in Denver. Luckily for us, nothing has changed.

The Budweiser was served icey-cold and in frosty mugs, and I downed my first glass in three gulps. The pizza was served piping hot and perfect, and we ate an entire pie.

We also enjoyed the company of several other groups of speech attendees who’d found Carl’s (one group said they’d followed us looking for a place to eat). So the little red-sauce joint went from being dead to being bright and full of people.

Change is terrific. But thank god some things stay the same. – Jonathan Shikes

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