Denver’s Famous Author, and Good Times at the Matchbook

This will be a net-zero-energy home, right on Sloan Lake in Denver.
This will be a net-zero-energy home, right on Sloan Lake in Denver.

We got a chance to hang around the city like citizens, not journalists, yesterday as we began our Sunday in Denver.  We met up with my old friend Peter Heller, and his wife Kim, who have lived here for 15 years.

The last time I saw Pete was my last swing through Denver in 2012, he was just coming off the explosive release of The Dog Stars, which in my opinion is one of the best novels I’ve ever read.

Update to 2017:  The Dog Stars movie has the green light and Russell Crowe was one of the actors who wants to play the lead!  I don’t think he got the part, but it was so exciting chatting with Pete about the movie and his recently published “Celine”

On Larimar Street, the locals are very proud of their dozens of murals.
On Larimar Street, the locals are very proud of their dozens of murals.

which is also getting great reviews.  Like his other two novels, this one is doing very well right out of the gate.

Peter’s wife Kim said that since 2012 when they legalized weed, the city has taken a turn for the worst.  “We never go downtown anymore,” she said, “it’s too hard to park and too crowded.”

With the influx or more than 1000 people a week moving here, attributed mainly to the law and the booming local economy, it IS getting more crowded, yet others say that the law has brought on the renaissance of building boom and tourism magnet that the city has become.

This was one of our favorite stops--the Matchbook bar, on Larimar, with great music, cheap beers and the nicest people you can meet in a bar.
This was one of our favorite stops–the Matchbook bar, on Larimar, with great music, cheap beers and the nicest people you can meet in a bar.

We didn’t even try to park near Union Station, instead, we headed over to Peter and Kim’s neighborhood, West Highlands, where we had a great big breakfast at The Cozy Corner.  

Any place that has grits on the menu always gets me, and everything was tasty.

Peter showed us the house that they are building, a three-story, zero-net-energy house on the spot of their old bungalow. Quite exciting, it’s going to be beautiful, right on Sloan lake.

Then we met up with some of Bruce’s relatives and discovered a truly Denver experience, The Matchbook.  This simple, converted garage is about as basic as it gets, with $2 Coors cans and the best music soundtrack I’ve ever heard in a beer bar.  When Janis Joplin started singing “Piece of My Heart,” the twenty-somethings in the bar began furiously drumming and dancing, it was like a light switch had gone off.

A Comedian entertains at Your Mother's Place in Five Points, Denver.
A Comedian entertains at Your Mother’s Place in Five Points, Denver.

Around 8 pm, we piled into an Uber and hit Your Mother’s Place, where a comedy show was about to unfold. Not before the requisite legal light up in the basement smoking area, of course.

A parade of comedians made their way up on stage for some pretty hilarious stand-up. The vibe across the board wherever we went in Denver was friendly, curious, and helpful.

I love these people, and felt so at home. I can see why so many are making the move to Denver. I could do it!

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