d e n v e r

[ 17:37 tuesday 6 november – united 732, denver airport, colorado ]

one hundred and fifty-six business people squeezed into a tube that will carry them from denver to san jose. serried ranks of standard- issue wheely cases line the overhead lockers. denver airport is an hour’s drive from the city itself, though all that lies between them is a vast empty plain. driving across this expanse from denver the spiky airport building slowly rises on the horizon like a giant white armadillo.

denver felt strangely derelict with a chill bone-dry wind blowing through vacant streets. it feels as if the city has some rather serious social problems. on each of the nights i was in town there was a fatal shooting within two blocks of my hotel, which was right in the city centre. to balance this rather bleak picture, on sunday night i walked out to a place i’d heard of called the “mercury cafe” and it was a gem. i ate a superb meal in its organic cafe with a riotous series of performances going on in the theatre next-door and a swing dance class continuing upstairs. a frail-looking gentlemen in full wizard regalia came in and sat down blandly at a table.

i flew in from san francisco on sunday evening to talk at a conference about social networks. now i’m heading to san jose to give a lecture at another conference.

departure is announced. time to close my laptop.

: c :

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