Our offices are located just a stone’s throw from the convention center here in Denver (not that we’ll be throwing any stones due to security), and as such, we were right in the middle of it all. So we thought we would share our own [fun] observations. (We’ll leave the political commentary for everyone else.)
- The city has definitely seemed prepared and at least from our vantage point, everything seemed to go as smooth as could be expected with such an event.
- Denverites really seemed to take it in. We were essentially tourists in our own city checking out the police in their body armor like a tourist would check out the guards outside of Buckingham Palace in London. Or crowding around protests like street performers on Pier 39 in San Francisco. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd.
- People were also chipping in to help. Giving directions, recommendations and tips seemed standard. Our own analyst, Geoff, had already assisted several delegates and news reporters with directions by only 8am on the first day of the convention. We didn’t even need an ad campaign to make us do it.
- Just like any area with crowds, there were street vendors. Buttons by the thousands, t-shirts, bobble-head dolls.
- In addition to the spectacle on the street, there was also great art to be seen.
- The crowds were so big along the 16th Street Mall that the buses could hardly get by. It was probably quicker to walk, but with such great weather, who would mind?
- With all the celebrities, it felt like we were on the west coast.
- But it felt decidedly dressier too; don’t they know Denver has a casual dress policy?
- And our local shoe shine guy, Claude, outside our office kept everyone looking good – he even brought out the big shoe shine chair.
And of course the security. Wow. You knew it would be high, but who knew there were even this many law enforcement officials in the area?
- Wondering what hotels the “important” people were staying at? Just look for the uniformed officers on the corners surrounding it, or the police vehicles lined up for a quick evac. Of course, some people missed this.
- Don’t leave your backpack laying around for even a second.
- Even the horses had riot gear.
- The police were filming the protestors, the protestors were filming the police, and the tourists (or just locals) were filming both.