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Carroll: Exiled from Main Street

8:35 a.m. — Arrive at the new Aspen Times office on Hyman Avenue. Phones aren’t hooked up, Internet connection not set up, and my new desk won’t fit in my new office. I’m told they’ll have to saw it off to make it fit. Awesome.

9 a.m. — Time for some coffee, so I set foot outside. I spot restaurant owner and County Commissioner Rob Ittner twice within 45 minutes — last time I saw him was nearly a month ago. A two-block move is like moving to another town.

9:04 a.m. — Visit Franck Thirion Pastry & Cafe on Hopkins Avenue for a cup of black coffee. The days of grabbing the cheap stuff — just one buck for 12 ounces of dark magic — from the Conoco gas station next door are over. Note to self: Inform wife we’ll need a second mortgage in order to continue supporting my coffee habit.

9:20 a.m. — Publisher Gunilla Asher is in the house. We give each other that blank yet telling look, as in, “How in the hell are we going to get our work done today?” A subsequent blank exchange affirms, “How awesome is that? You don’t know, either?”

9:45 a.m. — My first visit to the new Aspen Times bathrooms. They’re like a Ritz-Carlton suite compared with the dilapidated johns in the purple building, complete with a motion-sensory flush system. I think the NSA is watching, which is highly preferable if it also means no more staff-wide emails lecturing us on the virtues of flushing — and the consequences of not.

10:36 a.m. — I hear Publisher Asher from across the office. “I don’t know what’s going on,” she says. Which, by my calculations, is twice as much as I know, so thankfully she’s in charge.

10:45 a.m. — Internet remains down. It’s almost enjoyable being off the grid. Almost.

Roughly noon — Grab two slices from New York Pizza, less than a block down the street. “Where the hell have you been?” asks Earl, one of the pizza shop’s proprietors, projecting a hint of guilt in my direction. “I just had a whole different routine on Main Street. You’ll see a lot more of me now,” I say, to which Earl replies, “So what were you eating then?” Note to self: Uh, work a little harder on making excuses on the fly.

12:42 p.m. — Reporter Andre Salvail texts me, “How’s it going?” “Slow,” I reply.

12:50 p.m. — I take a stroll to the courthouse. This extra three-block walk is going to cramp my style.

1:05 p.m. — Nothing happening at the courthouse. I walk by Gucci and a host of other handbag stores. Nothing happening there, either — at least for me.

1:06 p.m. — I miss the J-Bar.

1:06:30 p.m. — And Carl’s.

1:15 p.m. — My desk is now intact. It’s feeling more official now. Guess that means I should get to work.

1:25 p.m. — Internet is up, network is up, phone display still reads “Configuring IP,” whatever that means.

1:45 — I deliver one of my violent sneezes. And with the new open floor plan, it’s even audible in the sales department. “Bless you,” says Louise in sales. Soon after, there’s chatter on the police scanner for all to hear. “We’re going to have to do something about that,” says David in sales. This will be interesting.

2:15 p.m. — Copy editor Karl (soon to be a reporter) laments the “long” two-block walk to Carl’s. “Where will I get my drinks?” he wonders. These are First World problems, for sure.

2:30 p.m. — I’m done editing letters for the day. One thing that hasn’t changed are the voices of our letter writers — they are either irked, remorseful, thankful or promoting an event. Just like every day.

2:55 p.m. — Time to put this column to bed. Now the real work begins.

Rick Carroll is editor of The Aspen Times. He takes comments, complaints, questions and news tips at rcarroll@aspentimes.com.


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