Street scenes from Denver in preparation for big night

By Evan Anderson – Here are few hastily compiled street scenes from Denver as the Iowa delegation prepares to ship out for Invesco:

The Hard Rock Café has been turned into a rolling boulder gathering no moss, but plenty of onlookers. Although Oscar nominee Angela Bassett has been already spotted at the DNC convention, rumors of her appearance within the Hard Rock are misinformed. In fact, the surging crowds outside the brassy entrance doors are eagerly informed that they are all lying in wait for a brief glimpse of even bigger stars, if the police escorts will allow it. According to Denver security, Oprah and George Clooney are hosts to a gathering inside the Rock, although with all the cops surrounding the building one might think it was Obama and George Bush instead.

Nearby on the 16th Ped-Mall, religious protestors abound in a renewed presence. With signs calling for “War on Mormons,” “Guns for nuns” and “Follow Jesus” these activists are slowly followed by cautious police, hoping that no arrests will have to be made so close to the Invesco rope-drop. Up a few blocks on Curtis St., religious protesters wielding huge yellow banners are quietly rerouted to the sidewalks in front of our hotel, so as not to protest directly in front of the Federal reserve bank branch.

Up further on Curtis, “No Snowmen Left Behind” protestors have left ice sculptures out on the street corners and in front of The Curtis itself. The ice snowmen sculptures are symbolically standing out in the full sun, “gently twisting in the wind” for all environmentally-concerned delegates to see and reflect upon. Perhaps the dignitaries further down the block at Baur’s Restaurant are smiling at the sight. Although it is unclear just who is currently enjoying a wet lunch at Baur’s, the black limo with Time-Warner magazine placards plastered discreetly on the windows makes one wonder if we’ll see these snowmen in Time’s Sept 1st issue.

Back on the Ped-Mall, the Republic Plaza is calm and surprisingly vacant, no protestors here, at the moment. However, just steps away the large Starbucks has a strong police presence outside, as many of the delegates from the Sheraton Hotel across the way come here to chat and watch the protestors walk past.

Outside the Virgin music store, protestors are calling for an end to amnesty for immigrant workers. Up the street outside the, now, legendary Hyatt Regency, protestors with Immigrant Justice are gathering together to make their walk around the Colorado convention centre. Inside the Hyatt, the hotel’s Strata Café, located in the lobby offering full-length window viewings of the nearby protestors, congressional handlers and delegates sip sleek drinks while sitting on even sleeker high-backed chairs or leather benches.

Walking back to the hotel, one might sniff occasionally, trying to figure out if they have a cold or if there is some sort of odorous protest in progress. The later is true on the corners of Champa St. where activists calling for the legalization for marijuana give off a familiar musty honeydew aroma.

Finally shuffling back into the hotel, one immediately notices that the courtyard is now fully energized in anticipation of Obama’s acceptance speak at Invesco. Many of the fourth floor windows are covered in Obama placards and signs reading, “McCain, mores of the same.”

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