Our current time zone: GMT +8 (We're home in Singapore!)

Sunday, May 10, 2009


The 16th Street Mall is a pedestrian promenade cutting one mile across downtown, designed by I.M Pei - that's the guy who designed The Gateway buildings along Beach Road back at home.

I love pedestrian malls for the simple fact that they are closed to private vehicles and are perfect for a daydreaming nincompoop like me. It's not completely car-free though, cos this wonderful 2-way free shuttle service runs down the mall, with buses coming every 90 seconds! (I got tooted at a couple of times for blindly trying to cross in front of an oncoming bus.) And these are hybrid buses too. Score points for being pedestrian- and environmentally-friendly. The buses stop at every street corner, but the mall is very walkable too and can be easily covered on foot.

I think if Orchard Road in Singapore could be converted into a pedestrian mall, similarly with a free shuttle service, the shopping experience would be greatly enhanced. And people won't have to spend so much time traversing an underground labyrinth (especially the stinky pee-smelling Lucky Plaza underpass) just to cross the road. Dan doesn't agree though. Maybe the Land Transport Authority pays him to disagree with me. Humph.

Walking or riding, Dan's always a happy man.

The scenery along the mall changes as you go along. At one end are the super tall, super modern, super shiny commercial buildings.

I think all buildings should be designed to reflect blue skies and fluffy clouds like this.

Then somewhere in the middle, you get the the shorter buildings housing street-side cafes, retail stores, snack shops, fast food outlets, etc. But what caught my eye (because it reminded me of work) were the abundance of wooden benches which provided comfortable rest stops for tired legs, and movable chairs. Basically, the latter are just scattered around the promenade, there for anyone who wants to grab a seat. Or maybe two, so that he can prop his achy feet up too. Or for groups of three, four, six, nine, etc. who want to gather for a chat. Heck, or even have an impromptu game of Musical Chairs! The chairs weren't secured to the ground or to the trees or lamp posts, and yet I didn't see anyone trying to steal a chair.

Musical chairs, anyone?

Further down along the mall, we saw a group of people playing chess. The chessboards are part of a row of stone tables, separated by interesting art pieces. So anyone can just bring their chess set (we even saw some pairs competing using timers - so pro) and sit down for a game.


At the far end of the mall, the buildings take on a more historical and Victorian feel, with many of them making up Writer's and Larimer Squares. Larimer Square is the oldest street in Denver. And it now houses the chicest and most stylish cafes. Once again, I wonder what type of jobs people in this city have. It's 4pm and the street-side cafes are packed! I want a life like this!

Oh the life!

Some shop selling napkins for every occasion

Then Dannie took to sulking on the sidewalk. I've no idea why...

What's with the long faces?

Banned bears

My first Starbucks coffee on this US trip. I'm not allowed to drink coffee again. Ever. Only decaf.

Streetside parking in Denver is all metered (US$1 per hour) although there are some free parking spots, but most of these are located further away from downtown. The other option is to park at private parking lots, which can consist of simply a sandy, unmarked, fenced-up lot or a multi-storey garage. Parking charges range from US$3 per hour to US$12 for an entire day.

We went for streetside parking as it was more flexible and cheaper for the couple of hours we spent in town each day. So from persistently trying to empty his pockets of jangling coins by giving exact change when paying for items, Dan suddenly morphed into a coin-hoarding maniac so that we could have enough metal to feed these hungry machines. (Or, as so interestingly stated on the meter, so that we could "purchase time". As if precious time could be bought for just a few coins.)

So when we saw this campaign to end homelessness, which involved asking passers-by to drop spare change into a donation box shaped like a parking meter, we thought it wouldn't work. Sure, it was refreshing, interesting and pretty creative. But if the parking system here requires you to have loose change, who's going to let go of their coins? I guess you could always squeeze in a Tenner or Twenty though.

Feed me!

Of course, as with all our shopping trips in the US, no trip is complete without a visit to THE APPLE STORE! We located one at Cherry Creek (what a pretty name!) a distance from the city centre and shelled out US$79 for a power adapter for our MacBooks *Ouch* Mine had conked out before we left for the US and we had been making do with one power cord between us. Unlike what marriage counsellers would like to have you think, some things just cannot be shared in a marriage.

The Apple of his eye (and mine too. Humph)

So our biggest purchase in the States so far is a power cord. Whoop de doo.


Forever Living

Forever Living
Read about the products, then contact our wellness sponsor!
Related Posts with Thumbnails