Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Things to Do in Denver When You're Only Half Dead

So, as a reward for all my hard work and also the insect genocide whose carnage is still visible in my laptop screen, I got to go to Denver and hear people almost as pretentious as myself talk about things that should be interesting to me, like achievement gaps and tracking and forecast modeling and whatnot, and I imagined someone other than myself sitting in that airport shuttle listening to the people all around her droning on about their local school context and the vagaries of job-hunting with a PhD and feeling very energized, but instead I felt tired and wondered whether I had passed my econ final, which I turned in in outline form, rather than essays, because I ran out of time, and I know what you're thinking, which is "She writes outlines? That implies she organizes her thoughts!" But you should realize that blogs are different than PhDs, or at least I hope they are, because otherwise all this nonsense isn't really worth it, since I already have a blog.

Anyway, all I got to see of Denver was downtown, with the exception of the shuttle ride to and from downtown, during which I decided that the rest of Denver looks a lot like the town I grew up in, which is to say short, quaint to outsiders, and covered in dust from the feed mill and canning factory. Downtown, on the other hand, was boring, as downtowns usually are, and mostly populated with other conference-goers, wearing their badges around like it would get them a better table at the TGI Fridays. Houseboy and I are walking folk, so we walked about 17 miles and saw most angles of downtown, I think, the very best of which was this place called Cafe Berlin, which is the best German food I've had since living in Minnesota, where even the Hispanics are German. They apologized profusely for making us wait for 5 minutes at the bar for a table, but at the bar they had this:

Which is a LITER of beer, and they recommend you pair with a Schnapps, so we did, and then ordered mushroom cutlets and dumplings and something meat for Houseboy and some spatzle and then the resident German Mother-type yelled at us for not finishing our spatzle and offered us more beer to help with the problem, which it did.

So, all in all Denver is all right if you avoid the people with PhDs and hang with the Germans, which is just a good rule of thumb in life as well.



  1. Holy hell. AERA? My friend from school got yelled at for not finishing his German food (by a kindly Germanic matron) while at AERA this week.

    I cannot imagine that downtown Denver boasts two excellent German restaurants featuring kindly, food-pushing women.

    Maybe you were even there at the same time. Spooky.

  2. It's entirely possible! This place was just down the street from the convention center, so I hope it got lots of business this week.