The sidewalks stretched out across the landscape, endless walkways about the city. Bits of glass glinted in the light. The air smelled of beer and urine with a hint of marijuana outside the warehouses near the tracks. We dropped our car off for repairs and began to walk towards the bustling south Broadway. The familiarity of Denver streets and sidewalks made us reminiscent and oddly comfortable as if we had just put on a pair of comfortable old socks once again discovered. The birds were singing, the trains and Lightrails were in full swing. Hobos left their things by the road in borrowed grocery carts near restored small Victorians in the historic Baker district. The houses were bunched together in an effort to fit more friends in and the yards were the size of my quaint kitchen, partially shaded. We noted gardens and stopped at a large lot that had been converted into a community garden. Each plot holding the personality of its occupant. Creative trellises of t-posts and wire, lingering fingers of pumpkin vines slithering into walkways and a small child of perhaps three carrying a grocery bag whilst carefully placing tomatoes into it. Her treasure held close to her chest. Her blonde hair glistened in the morning sun as her mother removed weeds from the garden.
We walked on towards the roar of traffic and the busy coffee shop that we were to meet my friend at. I hadn’t seen Partha in at least seven years. We had shared classes together in college and had quite a bit to catching up to do. After a lovely visit Doug and I went to eat a Czech restaurant we had walked past. We figured if we were gallivanting around the city we may as well try a new cuisine. We sat on the patio but could not hear a word each other was saying for the massive decibel of the street. We forgot how very noisy a city can be.
We continued on to the funky shops and specialty stores perusing books in old storefronts with massive stacks upon stacks and dusty corners. A treasure hunt of sorts and I came away with several Beatrix Potter books to read to Maryjane. Prized oil cloth was found at a fabric store. A housewarming gift for Andrew and Megan at another charming store filled with glistening treasure-like tchotchkes and delights for the senses. Five hours and several miles of walking went quickly by. We had enjoyed our trip to Denver but we were ready for the comfort and rest of the country, our loud road in front of the house not so loud in our minds anymore.
On our way back to the car shop we crisscrossed through the neighborhood and found unexpected minute pieces of farm. A heavy laden plum in one scant front yard, herbs growing in the greenway by the street. Yellow squash intermingled with large tufts of ornamental grass. Pumpkins in corners and across sidewalks. Wooden framed raised beds in the middle of a gravel parking lot near a warehouse. Large leaves of chard and cabbage growing beautifully along with trellised green beans. In front of a decrepit office building, quite near the tracks, surrounded by cement and street, in select sections tall stalks of corn waved proudly as if they were new forms of ornaments and at their base the beautiful pumpkins crowded out the unsightly ground and thrived, right there in the dusty, smelly city of cement. Bits of farm making their way back to the urban field. It was pleasing and exciting indeed to see the local gardening and food movement in unlikely places. Seeds long to be planted.