Exploring Denver from A to Z

By Mindy Sink

I learned something new about Denver!

Before I tell you what it is, let me explain why this is exciting for me. As the author of two Denver guidebooks (three, if you count the second edition of Moon Handbooks Guide to Denver coming out in Spring 2013), I have researched quite a lot about the Mile High City. I have lived here for twenty years and for the past seven years have thoroughly enjoyed getting to know it through my daughter’s eyes too.

My discovery came this month when I participated in the History Colorado Center’s fun promotional scavenger hunt for their latest exhibit, Denver A to Z. You might be thinking along the lines of my daughter: prizes? No, sorry. This was a history lesson, not a hunt for pre-Christmas presents. Using an app for the game, we set out with my mother and stepfather for a Saturday morning of walking and exploring in LoDo and downtown. There were options: take a picture, answer a challenge question, say something, and more, at multiple destinations. As we wandered past Union Station, the Oxford Hotel, the Tattered Cover, it was all very familiar territory. I have lived near downtown and worked in downtown for decades. I have held three different jobs in historic Larimer Square—one in my teens, one in my 20s and one in my 30s! And yet….I learned something new here.

The challenge question was to name the two animals on the mural in the Kettle Arcade in Larimer Square. What mural? We set off, with me talking about when we came to see Santa here before, and then we looked up and there it was—the mural. How could I have never noticed this before? Certainly the figures depicted here—General Larimer, for one—are familiar to me, but I had never known this was here. This is a prize of sorts—to live in a city with so much public art, some of which dates back to Denver’s early days. We only completed about one-third of the game and yet we saw a lot of public art and made a few discoveries about the history of our city.

So, I’m impressed and more curious than ever to go to the History Colorado Center and find out what else I don’t know about Denver.

Learn more about History Colorado Center and the Denver A to Z exhibit here, http://www.historycoloradocenter.org/adults/denveratoz.

Mindy Sink is a freelance journalist and author in Denver. Learn more about Mindy at www.mindysink.com.