February 16, 2014 Updated: February 20, 2014 at 12:16 pm
It's been two months since we abandoned our corrugated steel cave on South Prospect Street and moved to the busy corner of Tejon Street and Pikes Peak Avenue, and I must admit . I was wrong.
For weeks leading up to the move, I groused about it. I moaned about the inconvenience of packing. I whined about how I didn't mind the dark, smelly old newsroom where the floor shook when people walked by and the electricity flickered when the presses fired up. I grumbled about losing my window seat and view of the mountains.
I even complained about having to use - gasp - a parking garage!
My wife, Cary, tried to convince me how much nicer it would be to go to work in a clean, bright office.
She insisted the change of environment would revitalize the newsroom crew, beaten down after years of morale-killing layoffs and pay cuts.
Cary told me there would be a whole new energy simply by shifting our operation less than a mile west into the heart of downtown Colorado Springs.
So imagine my surprise when (as usual) she was absolutely right!
From the first day, I felt reinvigorated.
I parked and admired the view of the rooftops from my spot on the fifth floor of the garage. I could see the tower of the Pioneers Museum and the mountains and assorted cool buildings. It was a great new perspective on the city.
I walked down onto Kiowa Street and straight toward a bagel shop, where I grabbed a coffee and pastry. (This is great, I confessed to myself. It reminded me a little of working for The Associated Press in downtown Chicago.)
Then I walked into our new office and settled into the cube farm, as I snidely dubbed it before I'd seen it.
Of course, I was wrong to criticize it.
It's got tall ceilings and plenty of light, and the workspaces are clean and spacious.
I love it.
And it doesn't smell. And the floor doesn't shake. And the lights haven't flickered once, yet.
Best, though, is the energy all around us. The people on the street are an interesting bunch.
I have enjoyed the street preachers. I do get panhandled regularly, but not in a way that threatens.
There's a whole new vibe you don't get a few blocks away.
I've enjoyed inviting folks over for a tour. Not nearly enough of you have taken me up on my offer.
I know a lot of readers don't get downtown much, if ever. I'd love for you to come down and see what I'm talking about.
We just had the Olympic celebration, and there will be more events that are great opportunities to explore the area. I've discovered new restaurants and old favorites. I've seen galleries that I had overlooked.
I've walked to the library to do research. And I've wandered down to the museum for fun.
I've become reacquainted with some old friends and made some new ones.
I invite you to be the next.
Read my blog updates at blogs.gazette.com/sidestreets.