You don’t always hear much about it, but I really like the Museum of Contemporary Art. It’s small, very chill, and awesome for kids (especially the top floor, where there’s currently a “Bubble Garden” (I really want an astroturf rug for Soren’s room one day) and a butterfly making area. It’s a great place to take kids when it’s cold outside and you want to do something cool instead of going to the mall (I hate the mall), plus there’s always something there that makes me think, which is awesome because I don’t always see things that make me think, in that “hmmmm thinking about this thing I wouldn’t otherwise have thought about is kind of fun” kind of way. You know?
After visiting MCA yesterday, we got Soren all hyped up about getting a pretzel (at Denver Beer Co.). The problem with Denver Beer Co. is that you drive past and see that it’s all crowded in there. It was a bummer of the highest order when we’d been all “Yay let’s get a pretzel” and then we were all “Sorry it’s too crowded” and Soren was all “Waaaaaah!” So I searched “pretzels” on Foursquare and Freshcraft was one of the nearby results, which was awesome because I’ve wanted to go there forever. It did not disappoint. The atmosphere isn’t very exciting (it’s kind of long and narrow and nondescript, kind of like a bar you’d wander into in Vail, although the bathroom lighting is remarkably flattering) but the beer selection is fantastic and the food is awesome. They have several great vegetarian selections that don’t involve mushrooms or olives and the food is inventive without being annoying or trying too hard. I had G’Night and the quinoa cakes and was blissfully happy. If you’re in Denver, go there! (Another awesome thing about Freshcraft is that you can look at their menu on the website without downloading a pdf. Why don’t more restaurants do this? I don’t want your damn pdfs!)
After doing some social shit on Sunday, Monday was all about hanging out with just the family. We thought about going to Nederland, but the thing with Nederland is that it’s a bit of a drive (about an hour each way) and we usually end up going all the way out there and don’t do much but walk around a little, ride the carousel (which is fantastic), and go to the barbecue place to eat tofu and sweet potato fries and drink IPA (which is awesome). The thing is, though, when you live in Denver, you don’t need to drive an hour to walk around a little, eat good food, and drink good beer.
So we went to Wash Park for swings and dipping feet in the water. Then we got takeout from Jerusalem (Warning: cheesy website that plays music and you can’t stop it), which is fantastic. I could roll around in a vat of baba ghanouj (or however you wanna spell it) because I love it so much. I proposed having a week where we eat and drink only things that start with the letter “b.” So baba ghanouj and baklava, which, holy shit is the best thing in the entire world. Beets, bananas, berries. Beer. Bcoffee. We took our takeout and some beer from home to Observatory Park, which I suspect is the nicest place in Denver. It’s a small park with picnic tables and a playground and there are toys you can play with that just . . . stay there. And I guess nobody steals them. It’s a fancy neighborhood. (No really I busted out my Zillow app and houses are near or over $1 million.) Around here, the toy trucks at the park would get jacked or have gang signs spray painted all over them. Oh well.
In other exciting news, Ben has a remix of Hearts by Psychobuildings that’s available on iTunes. It’s here (it’s the Discmann & Sixtraxx remix). This is awesome and you should buy it but please know that if you do, Sixtraxx doesn’t get any money as a result. Artists are totally oppressed in our society.
Do you have a favorite “sick food” — the thing you want to eat when you have a cold? Chicken soup is a popular one, but what about when you don’t eat chicken and, truth be told, aren’t the world’s biggest soup eater (and anyway, who in the hell wants to feed a toddler soup1)?
Without fail, right around day 2 of a cold, I want spicy-ass Thai food. It clears up your sinuses and it kind of soothes your throat or, if it doesn’t really soothe your throat, it makes your mouth feel like it’s on fire, which at least distracts you from how much your throat hurts for a while. I love that!
Being sick and pathetic also helps me convince Ben to get Thai food. It’s not that he doesn’t like Thai food — he does — but as a general rule, he prefers food that involves cheese (he could survive on nothing but pizza and burritos until the end of time). He’s not the world’s biggest Asian food eater, which is too bad because I love it. I think we have Chinese food maybe once a year, tops, which is tragic (although I can’t get too upset about it because I haven’t found the world’s awesomest Chinese food in Denver).
Anyway, our new go-to Thai place is Tommy’s. Our default pick-up order is:
pad kea mow (drunken noodles) with tofu, medium (Soren likes the tofu in this)
panang (red) curry with tofu, hot
Ben and I share everything and Soren eats the tofu from the non-hot stuff (he actually might enjoy the hot stuff but we haven’t given him any; he does like reasonably spicy green chili and when I was pregnant I often craved big fat jalapenos). You can order your food mild, medium, hot, or Thai hot. I like to think I’m pretty bad ass, but I haven’t even attempted Thai hot. “Hot” is plenty hot enough to make your nose run and your lips catch fire.
Mmmmm, spicy-ass Thai food. It’s good for what ails you.
1. Every day he goes to daycare, Soren comes home with a sheet that tells us about his day, including activities, diaper changes, nap, and food. Some days it says he had soup. I do not understand how this is possible, nor can I even imagine feeding soup to a room full of toddlers.
Yesterday, Ben was in charge of coming up with something fun for us to do. Does that sound weird, that someone has to be in charge of coming up with something fun for us to do, as if our lives our filled with drudgery and sorrow? They’re not really, but take last weekend for example. One or more of us was constantly busy doing shit like helping a friend move, going for a run, going to the gym, cleaning the house, going grocery shopping, going to the beer store, etc. All of a sudden it’s Sunday night and you’re all, wait what, the weekend is over and we have to go to work tomorrow and where’s the fun?!
So this weekend, there had to be at least one fun thing. Matters were complicated by the fact that it was pretty cold out and we don’t have big wads of cash to spend.
Ben suggested that we walk to the Great Divide Tap Room to have a beer. This sounded good. We packed up a few things for Soren (including markers and paper in response to the “What the hell is Soren going to do at the Great Divide Tap Room?” question). We had a nice, scenic walk past Curtis Park and down Arapahoe and I briefly ooohed at the arepas cart outside the tap room. (I’ve had arepas exactly once in my life, and it was at a restaurant in Chicago [Wicker Park/East Village-ish area?] a friend took me to a long, long time ago. The restaurant [Colombian? I wish I could remember the name.] had no menu and the chef just made whatever he felt like making but he wasn’t snotty about it and totally hooked us up with the most awesome, vegetarian meal, like, ever, in part, I suspect, because my friend, who by the way was smokin’ hot, went there all the time and he was probably secretly in love with her. I wonder whatever happened to her. She was cool. Also here are more commas because this aside didn’t have enough already: ,,,,,,)
Unfortunately, the tap room, which is tiny, was packed and probably not really toddler friendly. By then I was getting that light-headed hungry feeling (and already forgot about arepas) and also our timing was terrible because the Rockies game (which I’d turned off innings ago because they were getting killed) wasn’t over but apparently it was so bad everybody was leaving anyway so it was like, oh crap, everything is going to be packed. We settled on Blake Street Tavern anyway, because it was close, we like it, it’s very kid friendly, and we didn’t think it would be too crowded because who in the hell is really at a Rockies/Pirates game on a crappy day, anyway.
On the way we passed Hi Rise, which wasn’t open, and I reminded Ben that we have to go there for waffles soon. They’re my Twitter pal and vegetarian friendly.
At Blake Street, we settled into a table (it wasn’t crowded) with a colorable place mat and some crayons. Ben and I had a beer (FYI they are phasing out their Flying Dog selection now that Flying Dog is no longer local) and Soren had water. We shared an order of hummus. We also chatted with some peeps who had a 20-month-old daughter and were so cool we’d love to hang out with them sometime but Ben and I are both completely incapable of closing the deal on random new friend pickups (it’s so much more complicated than dating or maybe we’re just not good at it).
The best part of the day was walking home, because Soren acquired a new word. (It’s funny how physical development, which seems to come easier to Soren, has these big milestones, like learning to crawl or learning to walk, and verbal development at first is just a gradual, little stream of new words that eventually, I suppose, becomes a babbling brook or some such if you want a tortured metaphor and then a full-on ocean of talkity talk.) The word was “tree!” and it comes complete with its own exclamation point (!) because it’s so exciting. As we walked up Blake Street, each time we passed a tree, Soren yelled, in the cutest, high-pitched babyvoice you’ve ever heard, “twee!” He also made up his own sign for “twee!” This involves throwing up his arms with the fingers on his right hand all extended and the fingers on his left hand forming an L. Every time we passed a tree: “Twee!” Arms up! Hands in proper formation! (Full disclosure: Sometimes his interpretation of “tree” was overbroad and included utility poles but I’m not gonna hate.) Ben and I said “tree!” along with him until eventually we ran out of trees for a while (but don’t fret, by that time, even though we each had only one beer, we had to “pee!”).
I’ve been getting my hair done at the Aveda Academy on Market Street for years (it’s the best place in the world, seriously). Whenever I go there, I think about how I should check out the cute little breakfast place next door, someday. Today, B met me after my 8:30 (!) hair appointment and we got our butts over to the Delectable Egg.
It’s adorable inside, with exposed brick, lots of art, and high wood ceilings. It was crowded, but not too crowded — there was no wait, so this is a good alternative to trendy spots like Snooze, where the masses congregate every weekend morning and wait and wait (although Snooze is awesome, sometimes you just want to get in and eat). I ordered the Tex-Mex omelette, which has diced green chiles, refried beans, avocado, a flour tortilla, cheese, and sour cream (well done). It comes with pork green chili, but I got salsa instead. It was yummy, and I’ve never thought of putting a tortilla in an omelette but duh, it totally makes sense. I want to try making something like this, maybe with black beans (although B insists black beans will be too messy). Their coffee was good, too (and I’m a total snob about coffee).
Next on the agenda, now that we’re well-fed and up at at ‘em at a reasonable hour: a trip to Target (fire pit); Home Depot (plants, dirt, pots, maybe paint for the living room if I get my way); and Paulino Gardens (plants).