the view above ground

WindowI love Denver. I love it more than I love any place I’ve ever visited and, while it might not be my forever home, I’m really happy I made the crazy decision to pick up my life and move here 3 years ago.

Now, I’m moving again. But this time it’s not across the country, it’s across Colfax Avenue and you would think that this would be child’s play for me now. I mean, the last time I moved it included me, my dad, a 1970s truck and my sedated cat spending a memorable night at a Kansas motel called Not the Hilton (true story). My dad is a saint, by the way.

But it’s not easier. In fact, I’m freaking out. This time I’m moving from my slightly slum-lordy, ”charming in its own way if you like holes in walls” basement apartment to a beautiful vintage place above a cake shop. I am excited and it’s going to be such a positive change for me. No more neighbors stealing my Christmas presents (a real thing that happened) no more drunken people filing out of the bar across the street and having loud philosophical discussions right outside my window at 2am. Peace. Quiet. Natural light. It’s going to be glorious, but I’m having hard time with the transition.

I can’t stop thinking that my current place is the apartment where my friends came for a fateful visit that ended with a broken window, a red-eye flight back to Chicago and a missing person’s report (another true story for another day). This is the apartment where I spent my first Christmas away from my family, eating Chinese food and scrapbooking and not feeling as sad as I thought I would feel. These walls have seen me at my happiest and my most inconsolable. I love this place, but I know it’s time to move on.

So, I’m packing up. The cat loves it, all the boxes everywhere. (I, however, do not.) I am stressed, frantically comparing moving company Groupons on my lunch and making lists of IKEA furniture I might buy. There are floor plans sketched on Post-It notes and to-lists piling up in my purse. There are never enough hours in the day to get it all done.

But, I’m grateful. I’m grateful for the 3 years that my little basement nest gave me and I’m excited to start making memories in a place where you don’t need a camera flash at high noon.

I can’t wait to see what the view looks like above ground.

Thump Coffee


Three years ago I was new to Denver and felt very much like a small country mouse who had been plopped down in the middle of city mouse’s super hip neighborhood. Down the block from my beloved, basement, slum-lord apartment was a new coffee shop that seemed like a place where I could meet some friends.

Just kidding, one does not meet friends in a hip coffee shop unless you’re on a 90s sitcom.

That new coffee shop was Thump Coffee (13th and Downing, Denver) and it’s become one of my favorite spots. Not because the coffee is good (It’s really not. There are a lot of “notes of lavender” on their coffee menus which is a giant red flag for a woman who once ran out of coffee filters in college and used paper towels. I do not need lavender, I need caffeine and to be left alone) but because the food is amazing.

Thump has biscuits and gravy. I repeat, Thump Coffee has biscuits and gravy. And it’s become my biggest and most treasured vice. Forget smoking, sex with strangers or heroin. Just give me that gravy.

I feel like it’s my civic duty to tell everyone that staff do call carry out orders of their biscuits and gravy “B&G on Wheels” –  which is especially mortifying when you’re standing there in your pajamas waiting to carry your slightly gross breakfast back to your basement apartment without all the beautiful people on their Mac Books noticing. Please quit yelling “B&G on Wheels” barista. I beg of you. It’s weird, it makes people look up from their computers and it draws attention to the fact that I’m wearing fleece pants with candy canes on them and it’s March.

But besides their weird code names of things and their too cool vibe, Thump Coffee is a pretty amazing neighborhood asset. They are (hilariously) pulling out all of their laptop plugs later in the month, in an effort to keep the crowds cycling through, but an hour of coffee drinking and people watching at Thump Coffee is about as long as you need to be in the space before you realize it might be good to be out in the real world. A world that doesn’t smell like Madewell denim and lavender coffee. A world where biscuits and gravy is not “B&G on wheels” and a world where wearing candy cane pants in March is considered chic and daring*.

Give Thump a go, it’s fabulous. Just don’t say I didn’t warn you.

*Sadly, this world does not exist.