A month has passed since my workplace change. I’ve departed downtown Denver for the first time since 1980. I’m loving my new DTC law firm and mini-commute.
My brother Bill and Grandpa Harry were downtown Denver lawyers. So was my father.
Bill and Harry only departed because of diabetes and heart attacks respectively. They were younger than I am now when they died. Daily dining at downtown diners can be dangerous. But delicious.
Shelly Silverman retired in his early seventies. My dad enjoyed working downtown at 1601 Blake. He liked action. Thankfully, I’m feeling great, and ready to work for decades, but not from downtown anymore.
During childhood in Virginia Village, I’d catch intriguing glimpses of Denver’s budding skyline. Early on at Ellis Elementary, I required game-changing eyeglasses obtainable seven miles away at Denver’s 12-story Republic Building.
My great-uncle Nate owned Republic Optical, located ground-level beneath numerous eye-doctor offices. Cousin Mort, a World War II vet, worked there, too. Since I was rough on spectacles, my magnificent mother, Barbara, and I were regulars.
May D&F was so close. We’d walk down 16th Street sidewalks to compare prices at the Denver Dry and Neusteters. We’d cross downtown intersections diagonally, courtesy of fascinating “Barnes Dance” pedestrian signals.
One August day before fourth grade, I rode my Sting-Ray northwest from our 1651 S. Glencoe home to my Silverman grandparents’ duplex at 1437 Quitman. My mother was mortified when Grandma Goldie called. But it was less than 10 miles, and mostly downhill.
It’s not like I rode down Speer or the Valley Highway. Denver had uncrowded side streets then. 15th Street and its viaduct were a little tricky. I’d ridden by the City and County Building, amazed at its beauty, even without ornaments.
We annually attended the multi-day AAU National Basketball elimination tournament at Denver’s amazing Auditorium Arena. We’d feast nearby at the world’s largest Woolworths beneath Grandpa Harry’s law office in the gigantic, eight-story Symes Building.
In 1967, downtown Denver grew further. The Security Life Building exceeded 30 stories with a thrilling outside glass elevator I rode often. Several blocks south, Denver pro basketball took off with the ABA Rockets playing at our beloved Auditorium Arena.
My dad got season tickets. Several years later, I was rocking #42 for our top-rated George Washington Patriots. We won many thrilling Denver Prep League victories on that same basketball court, albeit with many fewer fans.
As a Denver courtroom prosecutor for 15 fantastic years, I worked daily in Denver’s City and County Building. My first post-law school residence was a 21st floor studio apartment at 42-story Brooks Tower.
Denied my Denver DA bid in 1996, I moved just outside Denver, but LoDo became my decades-long work-spot. Dad and Bill worked nearby. They had season tickets at Coors Field, 19 rows behind home plate. We were all there when Dante Bichette hit his snowy Opening Day walk-off.
My oldest son, Ben, was age 8 when we witnessed Matt Holiday’s famous slide. Soon thereafter, my father’s failing 80-year-old legs walked just fine from the Rockies’ National League clinching win to his old office. Ben’s Bar Mitzvah party was five years later at Coors Field.
Last Thursday was mercifully overcast. When I emerged from my morning deskwork, it was after 12:30 p.m. I needed lunch and exercise.
My home and bicycle were five minutes away. Downtown’s only 12 miles, and mostly downhill. Where would I eat? So many old favorite restaurants were gone.
My choice was The Delectable Egg, which has weathered four decades of downtown Denver vicissitudes. Could I get there before they closed at 2 p.m.? It would be easy.
At 1625 Court, shaded by the 56-story Republic Plaza, my regular sausage and cheese omelet was wonderful. The conversation and service were even better. My waitress, Dezra, fresh from Philadelphia, was thrilled to have discovered downtown Denver, where she felt safe and welcome.
Armando, the hard-working busman, has worked there since 1983. Veteran General Manager Amy Vigil-Manzanares came over to visit after her long, busy day.
“You have to fight for it,” she told me when I asked how her two downtown Delectable Eggs survived crime and the pandemic. “You have to treat your workers and your customers right.”
She felt safe as ever, and told me business was booming, especially in tourist-rich LoDo. My business is booming, too. I needed to hustle back to the DTC.
From Union Station, my bike and I returned to the DTC. It took 30 minutes via a senior E-Train ticket. Back working by mid-afternoon, I felt reinvigorated.
All these new downtown restaurants to explore. So many more cases to win in downtown courthouses. Senior (55+) Rockpile tickets cost only $1. Familiar faces everywhere. Yes, I left downtown, but not really.
Craig Silverman is a former Denver chief deputy DA. Craig is columnist at large for The Colorado Sun and an active Colorado trial lawyer with Craig Silverman Law, LLC. He also hosts The Craig Silverman Show podcast.
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