It's been 100 years since it happened last, and when it finally came around again I find myself stuck in the middle. I'm a Republican and the Democratic National Convention has descended on downtown Denver. This is even more annoying than having no interest in baseball and finding myself in the midst of the World Series last fall. It does however make for an interesting walk at lunch.
Light Rail this morning was packed! (Once again proving Americans do not know how to use public transportation, but that's a rant for another day.) My building is on lockdown and I need picture ID and a keycard to get on and off my floor. On the walk in a local news crew was reporting in front of a stall called Denver-crats selling "Obama-bling".
When I snapped this shot the reporter (Chris Parente from News2, in the blue shirt) had just finished saying, "Good Morning Denver, Good Morning delegates, and Good Morning Oprah!" (apparently she's in town), and was throwing the shot over to the vendor.
At lunch Kitty, Thana and I headed out to catch some action. Not that I've been here that long, but I have never seen this many people in Denver. It was almost like being in Chicago or New York, except for the SWAT teams.
The Police are everywhere, and in huge numbers. They're not messing around.
The crowds don't seem to mind though. The atmosphere is charged, and it's a little surreal to see it all. The usual buskers are out.
I see this guy everyday, usually singing "Hotel California", but he's been joined by a slew of new street performers.
The number of vendors has also doubled. In addition to knock-off designer bags (a Denver staple), you can now get a bit of entertainment with your over-priced t-shirts.
I wonder, if you buy two shirts, will you get the third joke free?
There are more protestors out than there are delegates or tourists. PETA pigs, anti-war activists and vans with awful photos of aborted fetuses plastered across them are making their way through the streets. (Making me very happy I'm staunchly pro life.) I also ran into some McCain supporters who gave me my "nobama" sticker. I was so happy to see them I wanted to give them a hug.