This . . . for every unpleasant restaurant/access encounter we’ve ever had.

The whole thing is about 1:50, but the fun part starts at 1:21, if you’re really impatient.

From the USA Network series “Complications,” Ep. 6.   Here is a captioned version — in a link, not the original, because I’m not very good at screengrabs and the audio is messed up.

New year random photo dump

My 2014 New Year’s resolution is to blog more.  I was inspired by my cousin’s resolution to cancel her gym membership and my brother’s resolution to drink more.  Why should resolutions be designed to bum you out?  Start the year right with a resolution that will make you happy!  So I’m resolving to blog more, play with the dog(s)* more, and eat more pasta.  That first one may increase the down-scrolling and notification-deleting burden on you, my five loyal readers, but just think of it as additional exercise for your typing fingers!

In a move that is essentially burning through a month’s worth of good resolution-keeping material on the first day of 2014, herewith a photo dump from the back half of 2013, that is, random cellphone photos that entertain me without actually being worthy of an entire blog post.

From our favorite Denver deli, The Bagel Deli:  cheesy jalapeño knishes.  Just another reason I love the west!

{Image:  photo of handwritten sign advertising "Knishes!!! Cheesy Jalapeno."}

More Denver/Jewish humor:

{Image:  lighted sign on the side of a bar reading "Drink Gin & Tonikah/Happy Hanukkah."  Above that sign is a vertical sign showing that the bar is The Hornet.}

Behind the bar at Cholon which, besides having scary creatures in wine bottles, has amazing small plates like duck spring rolls.

{Image:  a wine bottle with yellow-colored roots and a snake inside.}

Green tea chai latte fail:

{Image:  overhead view of cup filled with slightly foamy green liquid.}

Saguaro explaining that it’s time to stop vegging in front of the computer and start throwing the tennis ball.

{Image:  photo of laptop keyboard.   In the upper right hand corner is a tennis ball and just to the right of that, a dog's nose.}

A little light reading on my way to my cousin’s bridal shower in Portland, Maine.

{Image:  photo of newspaper headline, "Shark off Boothbay likely a great white, B1."}

When shopping for yard clean-up, I had to admire the attention to detail in the browser tab icon for Pet Scoop:

{Image: long horizontal clip from the tabs that appear at the top of an internet browser indicating the open tabs. On the left, the tab contains the Google logo of a bright red M, and reads "Inbox - amyfrobertson." On the right, the tab contains an icon resembling a document and reads "Untitled document." In the middle, the tab reads, "Denver Pooper Scoop" and includes a logo resembling a pile of dog poop.}

I know on some level I should be offended by this, but I found myself more amused, and admiring the entrepreneurial spirit.

{Image:  signage from front of the Denver strip club called "Shotgun Willie's."  The sign reads, "Topless Gift Wrapping Thurs & Fri."  The Shotgun Willie's logo above the sign is an oversized shotgun, arcing downward.}

We were very sad to say goodbye to our favorite tapas joint, Ondo’s, where we had a typically amazing meal last night, its last night before closing.  Really hoping the owners will find a good space and reopen elsewhere.

{Image:  painted mural with a waiter carrying a tray with a bottle, viewed from the back, and a store front with the logo "Ondo's"}

Then we closed out the year in typical party-animal fashion:

{Image:  a few of a sofa, dog and television from the perspective of the person stretched out in the sofa.  So along the left side, legs in sweatpants ending in feet in striped socks.  Next to the legs a golden retriever; in the background, a tv showing a hockey game.}

Happy New Year to all and onward to 2014!

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*New puppy coming later this month!  Will make the “more blogging” resolution really easy!

Because the biggest f*****g problem with the ADA is too many f*****g drive-by plaintiffs

This evening we went back to the completely gutted and remodeled Izakaya Den restaurant and found that they installed a raised sushi bar with no ramp.  Here’s a photo from Westword with my added mark-up.

Photo of the inside of a restauarant.  To the lower left of the photo, a raised area is visible with seats at a lowered sushi bar.  The raised area is circled in red, with an arrow pointing to it from text that reads "Step up to sushi bar."

Sigh.

Just that, by itself, is deeply frustrating.  As we’ve discussed in connection with our lawsuit against the El Diablo restaurant, you can’t take an empty space and make part of it inaccessible.  While this should be obvious, it’s also illegal.

But what made this depressing, frustrating, infuriating and really sad was that we have been patronizing Izakaya Den and its sister restaurant, Sushi Den, for years.  They know us in both restaurants, well enough at Sushi Den that we had a table where we always sat, and most of the waitstaff had served us so often they automatically brought me a phone book to sit on.*  We had participated in a private sushi tasting with a chef visiting from Japan, and at that point (and others) met the owners.

It’s bad enough that Izakaya Den got seriously bad architectural advice.  It’s really depressing that no one ever stopped to think, this isn’t just a theoretical legal question; we have a regular customer who will want access to the sushi bar.   And what’s funny:  they have an elevator.  They added a second floor and an elevator.  Very fucking cool.  But damn!  Why on earth add an unnecessary, new, inaccessible raised area?

We proceeded from Izakaya Den to Kaos** pizza, which was also inaccessible,  then*** on to the Black Pearl which had this gorgeous ramp

Photo showing front of restaurant with a ramp to the front entrance adjacent to a patio area with tables and seats.

as well as truffle fries, an excellent cheese plate, and a nice refreshing bottle of 90 Shilling.

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*  Yes, I’m that short and have that little pride.  But it’s nice to be able to look my fellow diners in the eye.

** Sounds like Maxwell Smart should be nearby, talking on his shoe phone.

*** I’m leaving out the part where I crossed the street from Kaos to where Tim was waiting, swearing my ass off, while he made “maybe you don’t want to use those words just now” eyebrow motions.  Turns out he was chatting with a nice woman — hidden to me by a parked car — and her cute Lab puppy.   I was embarrassed, she was understanding (“that’s OK; let it all hang out!”), and the puppy was really really cute.

I think Google and I are not communicating

Google search for "Moroccan restaurant south colorado blvd" with the following results (accompanied by thumbnail photos):  Mataam Fez Restaurant; California Pizza Kitchen; Teddy's Restaurant; California Pizza Kitchen; The Corner Office Restaurant; and The Black Cat.

{Image description:  Google search for “Moroccan restaurant south colorado blvd” with the following results (accompanied by thumbnail photos):  Mataam Fez Restaurant; California Pizza Kitchen; Teddy’s Restaurant; California Pizza Kitchen; The Corner Office Restaurant; and The Black Cat.}

El Diablo closed. Donate to CCDC. QED.

This may be the strangest charitable donation request you’ve ever gotten.  I’m asking you to donate to the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition because the El Diablo restaurant closed.*

photo(65).JPG

Huh?

CCDC’s legal team of Kevin Williams and Andrew Montoya represented CCDC and several Mexican food enthusiasts who use wheelchairs in challenging the fact that the owners of El Diablo took an accessible space — in, btw, a beautiful old building in a booming neighborhood — and turned it into a largely inaccessible restaurant by adding raised areas that were not originally there.

Two years, summary judgment for plaintiffs, and a couple hundred thousand in legal fees later — just at the point where the judge was about to order El Diablo to restore accessibility — the city shut it down for (unrelated) code violations.  It reopened, reshut, reopened, reshut, declared bankruptcy, reopened, and — after the latest violation notice from the city — closed for good.

Bottom line:  CCDC spent a lot of attorney time on this case, won the case on summary judgment, and will not see a dime in attorneys’ fees.  Please join us in contributing to CCDC.**

If you’ve heard enough, just click on through to the donation page and send them some cash.  If you want to know more about this case, here are some links:

  • More snarky commentary about the defense counsel’s accusation that alleging discrimination when an accessible space is rendered inaccessible constitutes defamation.

This part of the ADA — requiring businesses to be accessible — has no damages remedy.  The only way lawyers can bring these cases is because the ADA makes defendants pay the plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees when they lose.  But lawyers like the great team at CCDC always work under the threat that they’ll spend years on a case — and achieve excellent legal results — only to have it disappear.  That happened here.

Please support CCDC’s excellent legal work.  Thanks!

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* This photo is actually from January, but it’s more dramatic than anything I could find for the Final Shut Down.

** If you’re not comfortable with the online donation site — which seems highly unlikely if you’re reading a cutting edge blog like this one! — you can send a check to CCDC at 655 Broadway, Suite 775, Denver, Colorado 80203.