"The Wondering Jew"
Jun. 21, 2007 - 18:49 MST
Things change with time, thinking about downtown Denver when I was a sprout.
On most corners downtown were drinking fountains, running continuously, a bowl at the lower end for dogs and horses to use. What a boon that was in the summertime for me, not having the change to buy a cold drink I could drink of our cool mountain water.
Along Fifteenth and Sixteenth Street there were big clocks near the curb which usually agreed plus or minus a minute or two, most of them were in front of jewelry stores. There were a few clocks mounted on the corners of buildings as well.
And the show windows of the stores on those streets delighted my eyes. I could see what the well dressed man or woman was wearing that season, and swing by Cottrell’s and look at suits and ties. Wander around and look at the shoe fashions and check out Thom McAnns where my shoes were usually bought. Always a browse through the three dime stores, a smell as I passed the seed stores and Spray Coffee store where the smell of unbrewed coffee was enchanting, the spice store who’s smell reeked of the far East. A walk by Heiser Saddlery at 15th and Larimer and a look at the saddles in the window and other leather goods.
No trip downtown on my own was complete without going through the string of pawnshops on Larimer Street. The ones that had rings, bracelets and watches in the window were too uptown for me. I haunted the ones that had tools and devices. I learned a lot about the use of some of the exotic ones (exotic to me) from asking questions of the owner or clerk in a shop.
An amenity of downtown that I loved to the max, because I didn’t have to go into a store and find out where it was, was the downtown public restroom. On each side of the steps up into the building of the old Post Office which became the Customs House were steps down one side for women and one side for men. I would descend into marble heaven. It seemed so posh to me then and probably would today. But for a kid with a small bladder and an incurable thirst the public restroom was a blessing.
Not to speak of the book stores in the downtown area, oh gee . . . . .
For me as a kid, downtown had the bounty of AMENITIES . . . . . . . . . . . . .8 comments so far