Skip to main content

Queen City 16

Friends,

They say you learn something new every day (granted, when you’re my age you may have to forget something to make room for the new info). Just last week, despite living here for over twenty years, I found out Denver is the Queen City of the Plains. It happened as the consequence of a recent donut run to Pandemic Donuts –which disappointingly landed me at Queen City Collective Café (on a side note, the nom de plume used as visitor bait worked). Coincidentally, my colleague Steve Smith had visited Queen City Architectural Salvage earlier in the week – where he learned from the proprietor that the establishment was named after Denver! Pretty cool, right? So why does the grandiose moniker of “Queen City” have such a low profile? Well, it turns-out queen cities are a dime a dozen. There are 39 Queen Cities in the U.S. alone and no less than six abroad. Not as cool as I expected. Then again, maybe there is something we can do to bring some prestige back to the name. It occurs to me that with March madness over, settling the Queen City debate may be great fodder for a new tournament. In order to get to a manageable number, we can ignore the foreign Queen cities (sorry Auckland, Toronto, et al, you’re just too far) and those with no caveat (sorry, Charlotte and Seattle, you’re just too assertive) and focus exclusively on cities whose alter ego begins with “queen city of the…”). That brings us to eighteen contenders, of which we pick sixteen (sorry, Queen cities of the Ozarks and the Sound – maybe next time). The stage is set for the Queen City 16! I’ve taken the liberty of creating my bracket for how I think the tournament would play-out. The final four would feature the winner of each divisional grouping (to wit, water-themed titles, directional titles, topography-inspired titles and fun names). Denver’s route to the top starts with Sedalia, Missouri (queen of the Prairies) and goes through Helena, Montana (queen of the Rockies) to win the topographically themed queen division. Then, after a tough battle with Selma, Alabama (queen of the Blackbelt), the final showdown with Buffalo, New York (queen of the Great Lakes) would crown Denver THE queen city. As for the modality, I think a cage fight between mayors, as representatives of their proud people, would maximize entertainment value.

In any event, while the selfie by the Pandemic Donuts sign was not to be, at least I got a new piece of useless trivia from the trip – and donuts, can't forget the donuts!

Happy Friday!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Happy New Year!

  Friends, Happy new year (and, technically, still Friday). As many of you know, my household has a peculiar way of ringing-in the new year. We build effigies representing the old year and burn them at midnight. This year, although we made the tough call of canceling the accompanying annual party, I felt it was important to go ahead with the burning. The theme, of course, was CoVid. My kids and I developed a dozen mutations of the virus and staged them in our backyard. Then, at a quarter ‘till midnight, we proceeded to read the old year’s last will and testament (or, as might be expected for a year like this, an un-will and un-testament). Shortly thereafter they were summarily burned. We then proceeded to stay up way past my bedtime (which in part helps explain the unusual tardiness of my weekly note). In any event a couple of donuts and a day of rest have got me back to my old self. By the way, I’ve posted a public video of the Facebook live stream event on Facebook. Key markers on

THE Oasis

Friends, The book  Ready Player One  sent me down memory lane this week. The journey was not triggered by the author’s excessive references to the 1980s, which border on obsessive. Rather, it was the name of the massive virtual reality simulation used by characters in this dystopian future to escape their grim surroundings: The OASIS. You see, that was also the name of my grandfather’s country estate, the setting where a disproportionate share of my treasured childhood memories were created.  La Quinta Oasis was a bucolic old whitewashed house with a massive stone staircase, three foot thick adobe walls and wooden window shutters that, when closed at night, would submerge the residence in pitch darkness. With no running water, electricity, phone or indoor plumbing, the only modern convenience was the battery transistor radio on which my uncles would listen to “Chucho el Roto”, a radio soap opera. The Spanish fighting roosters crowed long before sunrise, making it difficult to fall back

Accidental Culinary Innovations

Friends, Have you ever inadvertently fermented spaghetti sauce? Yeah, me neither… until yesterday, that is! Imagine my surprise when the half-full bottle, sitting in the fridge from time immemorial, made a sound akin to opening a beer bottle, instantly filling the glass container with a hazy smoke. As the carbonation dissipated, I grabbed a spoon to conduct the obligatory taste test. How was it? I’m glad you asked! Let’s just say chunky carbonated tomato beer is not my thing (although I must admit that if I had been expecting it, my reaction might have been a little more… composed). Now, if you forgo the fermentation and switch the tomato paste with spicy salsa… that might be the next million dollar idea! Sparkling sriracha anyone? How about Carbonated Cholula?   Bubbly Habanero? Fizzy Jalapeño?? I could go on, but I have a feeling Gassy Guac might not fly off the shelves. Now, if only I could stumble on a way to improve donuts. Carbonated Jelly filling… yeah, maybe not. I think I’ll