Steve McQueen loved motorcycles, Nicolas Cage covets comic books, and Bob Barker has a fetish for military men. No, not in that way. We're talking about collecting, of course, that uncontrollable passion to possess.
A multitude of memorabilia will be herded into the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street, today as the Collectors' Extravaganza returns to Denver. Throughout the weekend, hundreds of vendors from across the country will offer up everything from tin pull toys and antique fishing lures to advertisements and collectible coins from the late 1800s through the Summer of Love. Just don't expect to find any Beanie Babies.
"We like to say vintage collectibles," says Extravaganza manager Nancy Johnson. "We don't offer a lot of contemporary merchandise, reproduction or anything like Colombian artifacts. The best thing about our show is that you can buy with confidence. With all the fraud on the Internet, we guarantee that our dealers stand behind their merchandise. We're the only show in Colorado to put that in writing."
And unlike with eBay, you can actually experience the press of humanity as buyers and sellers swarm around you, clutching at merchandise and swapping tales about their found treasures. "This is a very tactile and visual show," Johnson notes. "Very few of our dealers have showcases, so you can actually touch and hold the items."
There will also be booth lectures this year, and the 20th Century Bride traveling display of frothy vintage wedding gowns and decadent bridal accessories is sure to satiate even the most Charlotte York-ish of brides-to-be. Five bucks gets you a pass for the entire weekend, and kids get in for just two dollars (admission is free for those five and under). Doors open at 11 a.m. and close at 9 p.m. Friday, 7 p.m. Saturday and 5 p.m. Sunday. For info, call 303-595-0812 or visit www.collectorsextravaganza.com. -- Kity Ironton
Food, glorious food!
The vendors on the 3600 block of Lafayette have a lot in common with United Postal Service: Come snow, sleet, rain or giant robots made of old washing machines, they're out on Sunday mornings. The streets are lined with giant Ford F-350s, beaters, even a stretch Hummer. Sometimes two. And they're all waiting. Waiting patiently for services at Annunciation Catholic Church to end. When the doors to the mammoth building swing open onto the Cole neighborhood, parishioners emerge to the first sounds of life. A horn here, two bell rings there. There's the tamale man. The corn lady waits on the opposite corner. The ice-cream cart stands at the ready.
Throughout the week, vendors can be heard hawking their treats up and down the streets, but on Sunday, everyone congregates on this corner, waiting for the onslaught of hungry customers.
The jubilant, competing noises are familiar to this up-and-coming 'hood, which is situated just above Whittier and just east of Curtis Park. The neighbors all know that in a pinch, dinner will come to their doors. When the horn honks, it means fresh, hot tamales are coming down the block in a black canning pot nestled in an old grocery-store buggy. When the bell rings, two bucks will get you corn on the cob. Tell them you want it with everything: smothered in mayo, then covered in white cheese, with butter squeezed on top and a final coating of hot chile pepper. Sounds gross. Tastes divine. And when you're done, top it off with a Big Ed or a lime soda.
Get Your Goat
The year of the goat is on its way out, and there's no better way to mark the celestial turning than by attending Capricornicopia, a celebration of all things Capricorn and a fundraiser for The Other Side Arts. "The Other Side Arts is an all-inclusive situation to integrate art and community in Denver," says Jeff Ball, president and co-director of the two-year-old non-profit venue. "We want to build public support and awareness of our gallery and our work with kids' programs at Warren Village, Rainbow Alley and the Women's Bean Project."
Festivities begin at 9 p.m. tonight at The Other Side, 1644 Platte Street. Local superstar DJs Zac' Reclipze, Bill Divine, Gary Givant and Cougar will rock you into an astral projection while the gallery hosts giveaways from Denver Out Post, Madeline's Herbs and Arts and Oh My Goddess Coffee House.
We predict an eclectic evening spilling over with artistic fun -- and it's all free, so grab the year by the horns and donate generously! For more information, call 303-561-3000 or go to www.capricorn13.com. -- Kity Ironton
Made in Manhattan
A Tribeca state of mind
A little bite of the Big Apple has made its way to LoDo, thanks to a new store that takes its name from New York's Tribeca neighborhood (that's Triangle Below Canal Street, for the uninitiated). And much like a tony loft in that district, Tribecathe shop is an intimate, studio-like space whose countertops and sidebars overflow with unique goods. It's a sophisticated soiree of home furnishings, with comfy chaise lounges resting under snuggly afghans, and blown art-glass vases sitting atop tables alongside locally crafted handbags, elegant candleholders and hip children's garb. The custom furniture proves that Denver homes can be something more than just Pottery Barn and Sofa Mart imitations. "We really do have an eclectic mix," says shopkeeper Julie Kesti. "You could easily find the perfect gift for anyone in here."
Tribeca is at 1499 Blake Street; hours are 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 to 6 Saturday and noon to 5 Sunday. Call 720-904-9500. -- Kity Ironton