Conventionist: The Long Hot March to the Pepsi Center
The Pepsi Center is located only a little over a mile away from the center of downtown Denver, but for credentialed delegates and media, getting inside the facility is a process that takes about one hour.
The Democratic National Convention Committee and the city of Denver arranged for shuttles to the Pepsi Center from prime spots downtown, like major hotels. Unfortunately the traffic jams caused by the convention makes the shuttles move at a snails pace. Maybe that's why the articulated shuttle bus we jumped on was nearly totally empty apart from a handful of other convention attendees and equal numbers of orange-shirted transportation organizers. Or maybe it was just because the shuttle stop was actually pretty hard to find.
After exiting the shuttle, we still had a good 15 minute walk before we reached the outer security entrance. A large perimeter has been set up around the convention site, with no vehicles allowed inside. A smaller, inner perimeter is further limited to people with any kind of convention pass. Along the walk, companies, protesters and convention enthusiasts were setting up in the hopes of capturing the attention of the entire press corps, who are forced to make the same walk. Lots of Trojan and Lifestyles reps were handing out condoms. Two guys from Missouri holding a sign that read "Rednecks for Obama" were getting the most attention during our walk.
Once we reached the security tent, the line was long, but passing through the metal detectors was actually a pretty smooth process. Total travel time: about 50 minutes. Tomorrow, we'll likely walk the whole way.
Stay tuned for more from the convention floor!