Sunday Downtown
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Politics and Activism

Sunday Downtown

Denver's downtown came to life on this lovely Sunday evening.

Sunday Downtown

People On Sixteenth Street Mall

Me, late to all of my destinations by five or six minutes. The Tattered Cover Bookstore closes at 6 on Sundays, Caribou Coffee closes at 7. I didn't make it to either.

Three elderly couples holding hands. It must be a triple date night for them.

A pair of wandering men with a scrawny dog at their heels. His name was 'Fido.' I know because they kept yelling to him as they were crossing the street. What did man do to deserve dogs?

A man stopping in all of the alleyways to take photos. He had a World Wildlife Fund tattoo on his right calf and a lady waiting patiently for him to finish snapping photos to his left.

Here's where I split off for a moment, for some hot chocolate and a gift for my parents at "The Market." My favorite spot to go right off of 16th Street down on Larimer Street. It's got striped blue awnings and racks upon racks of tea.

People in The Market

A tall man in a too-tall, tan raincoat.

An older man watching me pick out a newspaper from the stand.

The nice woman behind the coffee counter. She's always wonderful and makes an exceptional hot chocolate.

A guy, probably in his 20's, looking at the menu way too seriously. It's just food dude, and everything is delicious. Go for it.

And back to 16th street, warm drink in hand.

People On Sixteenth Street Mall

Eight cop cars, so probably around 16 police officers standing and listening.

10 or so homeless people, chanting and yelling at their opposers.

30 bystanders, watching, cameras at the ready, waiting for history in the making.

One man in a red hat hits a police officer when approached within the 'protest.' He's arrested. The homeless cry out in anger "Stand down, stay peaceful."

A homeless man sitting with them says, "Occupy 16th Street." You wouldn't hear it if you weren't really listening.

A man in a green shirt continues to scream at the cops, who are standing by. "No Justice, No Peace, We Want Rest, Let Us Sleep." and "USA, USA, USA" and "Hands Up, Don't Shoot" over and over and over again.

A guy next to me who asks, "What's going on?" I tell him I'm still not really sure.

A woman behind me talks about how they're criminalizing homelessness with a curious elderly man.

A younger police officer shakes his head, waiting for the man in the green shirt to end his rant so they can leave. I talked to him. "There's no easy solution, but in the end, what they were doing is illegal. The city's making us do this. It's not what I want to be doing though. Definitely not ideal."

The police finally leave, the bystanders fade away and the green-shirt man comes by to shake our hands. "Thank you for your support." We're all a bit confused.

I go on my way. Meandering to Caribou at this point...which is closed. Back to the light rail then. The adventure was a bit more than I bargained for in the end, but an interesting way to see the life that Denver houses.

"We are not second-class citizens. We are all equal as human beings." Still ringing in my ears.

People on the Light Rail

To my left there is a man dozing off. He’s trying to keep his head up straight, but he’s failing as he almost lets his cheek rest on the shoulder of the woman sitting beside him.

That woman is wearing gray sweatpants and a black tank top while gripping plastic bags. She’s determined to carry all her groceries in one trip. That’s a vow she won’t dare break.

Standing in front of the woman is a man coming home from a beer festival in the city, the handle hanging from the metal ceiling being his only balance. His ribbon necklace is laced with pretzels, a symbol that will be his pride and joy until he awakens tomorrow with a hangover.

To my right there is a mother with two children. She’s attempting to keep them in their seats by holding onto the backs of puffy jackets probably picked up at a thrift shop, based on their conditions.

Across from me, a boy won’t stop staring and I wish he would. I’ve put in headphones to show him I want to sit here and write, blocking out all interaction, but for whatever reason, he just won’t quit looking.

Luckily for me, the boy’s attention is drawn to the man down the way who's in a drunken blur. He’s betting away his belongings to whichever 20-somethings will start a spontaneous eruption of entertainment.

A determined millennial takes the challenge and begins to sing "Don’t Stop Believing."

Not one person around me can resist the urge to remove frowns and headphones to join in; each person, unique, quirky, living their own lives, must hold on to that feeling until the next stop erases our unity and we continue down the line, heading off on our own paths.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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