Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Mythcon, part 3

There was more music at Mythcon, some of which I didn't hear because it was opposite my paper. However, the same performers did a reprise on Monday morning. Two women from what's apparently a troupe called Sassafrass sang acappella two-part duets full of tumbling counterpoint and stark open harmonies. They were very good, but an hour of it became, to me at least, overly monotonous. The lyrics were hard to make out, as were their speaking voices. When they said they were going to sing about the death of Walter, I wondered who Walter might be until I realized it was actually the death of Baldur.

Mythcon's venue was the Hotel Eleganté - not at all as sleazy a hostelry as its name implies - in Colorado Springs. It's a large, rambling property, ranging from one to four stories high in different parts, on the south side of the city right by the freeway. The ambiance of Colorado Springs is revealed in, fortunately, only one place, the front entrance where sits a huge stone tablet bearing the Ten Commandments, suggesting that Judge Roy Moore had been a guest at one time, though I realize the proximity of Focus on the Family is more likely to blame.

Otherwise the hotel was good, though some of our members with mobility issues complained about having been assigned inappropriate rooms and having some trouble getting them changed. Mythcons believe in group dining, and the hotel fed us in a glass-roofed garden room, basic but pretty good food, highlight a poached salmon for Saturday's dinner, unless you count the banquet (in a ballroom) where of 3 choices most of us ordered prime rib which was likewise excellent.

Programming was in the upper floors of a small four-story tower near the front of the hotel, reached either by an obscurely-placed elevator or even more elusive staircases. Once we found it, the running or elevating up and down the floors made for a somewhat diffuse locational feeling, but the program book made clear which named rooms were on which floors (if you couldn't already guess which floor the Summit Room was likely to be on), and some of the rooms had panel windows gazing out upon the mighty mountains immediately to the west.

Sunday morning, B. and her fellow Catholics drove out to a church in Old Colorado City, once a separate city and considerably older and more colorful than the rest of Colorado Springs of which it's now a part. "Old" seemed the operative word for this church, they reported, whose carpet had apparently not been cleaned since the 19th century and whose emissions of dust and pollen got only worse when the air conditioning came on. I'm sorry I directed them there - there wasn't a word about this feature on its website - though the mass was at a more desirable "not to miss any Mythcon programming" time than the offerings of other nearby churches.

Otherwise, though, I can recommend Old CC highly, particularly for its impressive variety of restaurants which we patronized for pre- and post-con meals. Uchenna is the best Ethiopian restaurant I've ever dined at. As all should know, Ethiopian food is eaten not with utensils but by scooping up the food in chunks of injera, the indigenous bread that comes with. It looks like a rolled-up dirty washcloth, but it's actually good and especially so here, light and tasty. Wider variety of menu offerings than I've elsewhere seen, as this restaurant offers Mediterranean food as well, and their Ethiopian entrees also seem Mediterranean-influenced. The Mason Jar is so called because they use a lot of them. Your drink comes in a mason jar, so do the crackers for your soup and the packets of sweetener for your coffee. It's midland American food, and the fried chicken is fantastic: crunchy without being overloaded, and not a trace of grease. The soups are really good too. I want to return to the city just to eat here again.

Final report, on getting to Colorado and what else we did, to come.

1 comment:

  1. Just so you know, the Hotel Elegante in Albuquerque also has a statue of the Ten Commandments out in front. After seeing the similar one in CS, I now wonder if the others feature such as well and then, of course, why and what it means.