DENVER'S BEST DIVE BARS
Denver Six Shooter
I did a lot of the "research" for this book alone. Though I never crack beers by myself at home, nor would I just go sit at a bar withot friends for fun, I actually don't mind it when I have a story in mind. Like it, even, because it allows me to focus on my surroundings and take both mental and physical notes. I'm also more open to talking with bartenders and other loners, which is just one of the great joys of writing about bars.
I've known the fine fellow(s) who run denversixshooter.com for years. The concept -- hitting 6 bars in one night and living to tell about it -- was pioneered in a bygone magazine called Bias. When that went the way of the buffalo, Nate, a.k.a. Col. Hector Bravado, took it online. So glad he did.
The timing of my piece was totally selfish -- to fit in with my reading/discussion at the Tattered Cover. I was given a month's notice of deadline, but of course waited until the day before to do anything about it. I tossed around a few approaches: bars that should have been in the book but didn't make it, bars that are the complete antitheses of dives, etc. Ultimately, I decided on early-opening dives, thus ensuring I'd have to go it alone. (A good chunk of my teaching and administration work with the English Department at UCD is done online and remotely, which allowed me to essentially ruin an entire Thursday for this adventure. I don't know anyone else afforded such a luxury.)
To pull off six bars in one run with no help requires either reckless abandonment in terms of safety and the law or public transportation. I opted for the latter, plotting bus routes and times the night before and scribbling an itinerary in a little moleskine for reference.
The end result can be read HERE. The video footage captured with my little FlipHD and spliced together on top of the song "Not On My Side" by Chicago's Cameron McGill & What Army, is available on the Video page of this site.
Posted by: drew On: 1/30/10 At: 8:05 PM
In the interests of shameless self-promotion, I dressed up for Halloween as a Dive Bar. As with most obscure, hastily constructed concept costumes, nobody I ran into at parties or the Squire could figure out what I was supposed to be. So I told them. Then: BAM! Fliered.
The Anatomy of A Dive Bar Costume:
I actually don't love wearing costumes. Neither does my friend Dave. Which essentially ruins Halloween for him -- if he wears a costume, he feels stupid; if he doesn't, he's that guy. I typically end up devising something random at the last minute (like this -- I just bought a house and found the wood/carpet lying around), and then liking it a lot. Two years ago, my wife and I made miniature bean-bag toss boards out of random boxes, strapped them to our chests, and then let people play on us all night. Last year, I created a giant evil iPhone, sandwich-board style. It was cool, though unwieldy and awkward. I never know what to do with the costumes when the holiday's over, so I let 'em collect dust for a year or two before throwing 'em out.
I guess I'll do the same with this one. Unless someone wants it.
Posted by: drew On: 11/2/09 At: 10:59 PM