Farewell to the Queen City of the Plains

Today is my last day in Denver.  It’s been a wonderful trip and I have no reservations in saying this was a fantastic vacation destination.  Not only did I get to see a lot of amazing sights, but got to know two friends a bit better and we shared a lot with each other.  I also got to see an old friend that I haven’t seen in about a decade!

On Monday, I drove up to a small town named Longmont to see my friend Tanya.  She and I worked together at my first call center in Topeka, KS back in 2000/2001.  It’s amazing how so much time changes some things drastically while other things remain completely static.  When I think back on myself at the turn of the century I see a kid with unkempt hair, poor fashion sense, and zero self confidence.  As we talked about what events shaped our lives since we last sat down together, I took a moment to appreciate how far I’ve come.

During our late-night diner conversation, Tanya mentioned I should go take a look at the 16th Street Mall in Denver.  It’s a giant outdoor shopping pavilion right in the heart of the downtown district and, though I wasn’t keen on packing my suitcase with MORE stuff, drove down yesterday to look at a few of the stores that we don’t have back in Tulsa and do some people watching.

Once I was satisfied with my visit, I drove down Colfax Avenue and finally got some pictures of a building we’d passed by a few times that really called to my camera:  The Bluebird Theater.  The Bluebird was built in 1913 and was originally a movie house.  It was converted to a concert venue in 1994.  Although I wasn’t in a place where I could purchase tickets and see the show, I was still pleased to take a few minutes and capture the marquee.

Today, I have no plans and am using my time to rest up for the whirlwind that is Dragon*Con.  I fly out tomorrow and will be greeted in Atlanta by my friend Rose.  I met Rose the first year I came to D*C (2010) and I am thankful for her generosity.  I will be in downtown ATL until Labor Day, enjoying the festivities and sharing in the passions of thousands of fans from all sides of pop culture along with five of my good friends from home.  It’s gonna be great!

About rhysfunk

Rhys Martin was born in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 1981. In 2009, he sold everything he owned and left the country, living out of a backpack for ten months. He discovered a passion for photography while traveling throughout Southeast Asia and Europe. After returning home, he looked at his home town and Oklahoma heritage with fresh eyes. When he began to explore his home state, Rhys turned his attention to historic Route 66. As he became familiar with the iconic highway, he began to truly appreciate Oklahoma’s place along the Mother Road. He has traveled all 2,400 miles of Route 66, from Chicago to Los Angeles. He has also driven many miles on rural Oklahoma highways to explore the fading Main Streets of our small towns. Rhys has a desire to find and share the unique qualities of the Sooner State with the rest of the world. Cloudless Lens Photography has been featured in several publications including This Land, Route 66 Magazine, Nimrod Journal, Inbound Asia Magazine, The Oklahoman, and the Tulsa World. In 2018 he published his first book, Lost Restaurants of Tulsa. Rhys loves to connect with people and share his experiences; ask him about enjoyable day trips from Tulsa, locations along Route 66, and good diners or burger joints along the way.
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