The Market is something of a Denver institution. My husband brought me here for a weekend brunch when we were first dating, and still living up in Vail. It's a bit of local flavor in Larimer Square, with its Aegean-blue awnings, its tiled floors and well-worn woodwork, its massive old-world sandwich menu and its expert, no-nonsense coffee bar.
Though we don't often eat downtown anymore, when a sunny Sunday comes along, it's nice to venture into LoDo and revisit an old haunt.
There are no servers - it's strictly counter service, but nothing you could dream of is missing from the numerous menus and chalkboards.
The sandwich board is, as I said, enormous. But when I saw this COUS (creampuff-of-unusual-size) in the pastry case, I had eyes for nothing else. Mike claims that, had it been a creampuff of ordinary proportions, its siren song might have been less strong. But I disagree. Is this not a spectacular creampuff in every way? The touch of marzipan in the cream was my undoing. Fortunately, Q was there to inhale half of it before I got my spoon anywhere near it.
Basking in the sun with daddy.

I love the doors. Do you not love the doors? They make me want to ride a carousel...or eat an oversized creampuff with my bare hands.
When daddy stood to re-button his overshirt before leaving, Q tucked herself inside. Nothing like the warm safety of a daddy's embrace.
Crossing through Writer's Square into the 16th Street pedestrian mall.
The lobby of the clock tower, which unfortunately was not open to the public this year. You can see the disappointment on  Q's face. She loved it when we visited last year...climbing the steep metal stairs between the gargantuan cogs and gears of the great clock, standing on the balcony at the very top for a few vertiginous gun-turret views of the city...
But the lobby has a jazz-age flair to it, and there's a cabaret downstairs. We've never been, but we peeked in, and it's like stepping into Lauren Bacall's dressing room. Or maybe Lotte Lenya's. We might have to get tickets one of these nights.
I don't know the name of this park, though I'm sure it has one. It's actually rather dangerous, and clearly not intended as a playground, but it looks straight out of a Tarsem film, and I couldn't resist snapping some photos...
...while Mike ran around trying to act as a human freefall cushion in case she decided to launch herself over the edge of something high.
A final walk through, escorted by mommy, for everyone's peace of mind.

Lastly, a stop into Union Station, one of Denver's most recognizable landmarks (and perhaps my favorite, visually. But then, I love trains. I really, really love trains.)
The picture at bottom right is actually a scale model, and not the station itself. 
I love the names of the various railroads, and Mike and I both always swoon over the California Zephyr. Can you imagine a name more evocative of a far more optimistic and misty-eyed era of travel? A time when the West Coast was still newly-minted and full of hope, when Restylane had yet to be invented, and no banks of irrefutable smog hung dankly over the orange groves.
For the first time this year, we were able to make our way downstairs to the basement, which serves as home to the model train museum (and a few very impressive safes).
Last year, when we tried, the wait for entry was a minimum of 45 minutes, and the line contained so many double, triple and quadruple strollers that I immediately broke out in hives.
To tell you the truth, I wasn't 100% sure I even wanted to see the model railroad. I mean...
But I have to tell you, after the fact, I'm a card-carrying convert.
Sign me up, I'll join the club. This place is amazing. Just look at that little Indian trading stand, with clay pots on the ground and strings of dried chilis hanging from the rafters. Look at the tiny "Shell Oil" sign. The Sinclair station...
I have a confession to make. If I had money to spare, I would probably be at the antique toy store down the street buying vintage toy cars from the Vietnam vet with one leg, half a dozen medals and a sweeter-than-chess-pie disposition. I know - it's weird. I don't even know how to change my own oil. But I have a thing for vintage cars - particularly toy ones, since they don't require alternator repairs. I blame my parents (and grandparents). My grandfather drove a Bugatti in his 20s, and had a Bentley shipped over from Europe in the early '60s after he relocated his family to the US. One of my mother's first cars was a yellow MGTD. When I was three or four, my parents bought a 1960s Bronze Green Land Rover in which we roadtripped through Europe and then the US. When I was in middle school, my parents sometimes drove me to school or play rehearsals in one of their MGBs (though the brakes were always tricky).
Don't get me wrong, I am not a vintage car person. I can neither fix them myself nor afford the specialty garage fees. I drive a 2008 Subaru Outback with a roof rack and mud mats. But...well, you can see where I get my vicarious fascination.
In any case, judging by the avid look on her face, I'd say the model train museum was a hit with the Q.


Anonymous said...

I am lurking for a while!!! Love your zest for life. Amazing post! Q is so adorable in her little kaftan and red shoes! Where did u get the kaftan from?

The Wanderers' Daughter said...

Thanks for un-lurking ;)
I love to hear from readers!!

The kaftan is from Alejandra Kearl

Her collection is still quite small but I wish she would do many more. We have and adore two of her kaftans, and would order more if she had them!!

Merisi said...

Last night, I had serious "firm tofu envy" (reading your husband's recipe and realizing that - for once in a blue moon - I had only silky soft tofu in the fridge), now I wished I could come and visit your fair city! What wondrous places await the visitor there. I'd be there on Sunday morning with you, clamoring for the biggest cream puff ever! ;-)

kenza said...

Love it all! Especially the set of four photos with the Lauren Bacall like set. Your little one amazes me every day! Thank you for sharing Maia, really thank you.

Alejandra said...

Thank you for sharing this great day and for sharing my website! It is such a pleasure to see Q wearing my designs, she is so beautiful and sweet.
I'm working on more designs, I will have new styles in June and more in July. Thanks again!

Yoli said...

Swooning here. I don't know which image I love the most. I don't but pressed it would be two, by the blue door and under Daddy's shirt.