Talking Shop

Cool ideas for loft-dwellers.

Martinis and lemonade. It puts me in the mindset of cool, comfortable, sophisticated Lilly Pulitzer shifts or a summer breeze lifting the lace curtains, stories above the street, in someone's ritzy loft. That's the atmosphere mother-daughter team Patricia and Cassie Brown created when they opened their new Highland home-decor boutique, Martinis and Lemonade, 3219 Zuni Street, in a hundred-year-old brick building set in the middle of a quiet neighborhood.

They'd looked elsewhere, at spaces in LoDo, Uptown and the Ballpark neighborhood, before settling on what had formerly been a dairy barn, warehouse, butcher shop and flophouse. When they first found it, the building was little more than a squalid, empty space with a dirt floor, but "there was the 'fell in love with' issue," Cassie says. After months of renovation, they've got the kind of space plenty of folks would die to live in, with an east-facing picture window, shining wood floors and two-story exposed-brick walls.

It's the perfect home for their handpicked, contemporary, loft-ready wares, including framed original ad art, smooth rectangular ceramic lamps in gorgeous colors, blown-glass vases, Mexican church candles, appliquéd felt wall hangings and pillows, reclaimed-steel office furniture, brightly painted metal lockers and an achingly simple, eco-friendly line of white furniture from Sweden that is so exclusive it's only carried by eleven stores in the United States.

Inspire your lofty ideals: Call 303-455-7711 for more information. -- Susan Froyd

Dig It
SAT, 5/21

From visible dinosaur prints left at Red Rocks 160 million years ago to remains of the Anasazi, who disappeared off the face of the earth in the thirteenth century, Colorado's rich history is still being uncovered. As part of the Ancient Voices: Stories of Colorado's Distant Past exhibit at the Colorado History Museum, the Colorado Historical Society is sponsoring "Archaeology," in which students of history can participate in a mini-dig. Come by the museum, 1300 Broadway, today from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., and see how stone tools were used, put pieces of broken pottery together, and do some time travel through the museum's theater program. Admission is $5, free for kids twelve and under. For more information, call 303-866-4686 or visit www.coloradohistory.org. -- Jerri Theil

A Sure Bet
Break out your poker skills for troubled teens.
FRI, 5/20

Non-profit counseling agency Healing From the Heart is hoping for a full house at tonight's Poker for the People and Texas Hold 'em Tournament benefit at the Walnut Foundry, 3002 Walnut Street. Poker patrons will have to ante up a cool hundred dollars to play in the goodwill games, but they won't necessarily have to be high rollers to win: The night's jackpot prize, a getaway for two to Las Vegas, will be raffled off.

"This event is not just for people who play professionally," says Healing From the Heart executive director Lesly Terrance. "There will be beginner tables for people to sit and learn, too."

Healing From the Heart provides free and sliding-scale mental-health services to disadvantaged youth who have experienced extreme trauma. So tonight's winner may only bag bragging rights, but all participating poker philanthropists will score in the knowledge that they are providing a winning hand for troubled kids and their families.

The $100-per-person admission includes entry in the tournament, food and drinks. Registration is at 6:30 p.m., and the cards will be cut an hour later. For more information, call 303-733-1176 or visit www.healingfromtheheart.org. -- Kity Ironton

Park It Here
Everything's arty in Mr. Weiss's neighborhood.
SAT, 5/21

It's a beautiful day in Mr. Weiss's neighborhood. For the fifth year in a row, Paul Weiss and City Park West have organized the City Park Festival of the Arts. The locals-only showcase includes more than 140 artisans, three stages of non-stop performances, interactive play areas for kids and pups, and the likes of M&D's Cafe and Bastien's providing full-course meals for just five bucks. "And we're not just talking about a hotdog bun and some chips," Weiss assures.

The non-profit festival focuses on metro-grown talents like musicians Wendy Woo, Bop Skizzum and Marty Jones, as well as offbeat performers the Dirty Laundry Dance Company, Coyote Poets of the Universe and the Raging Grannies. "The great thing is that every penny goes back into this event," Weiss says. "We believe in building cooperation and community through the arts, and with its continuous entertainment, it truly is a non-stop wow."

Today's festival is free; it begins at 10 a.m. and closes with a drum circle at 6:15 p.m. in the City Park Pavilion, 17th Avenue and Colorado Boulevard. "There are no other events that are 100 percent locally focused and truly give our local artists a chance to shine," Weiss says. "This is the coolest event I've ever seen in Colorado. But I tend to be biased because, you know, I get a free T-shirt."

For more information, call 720-205-6506 or visit www.cityparkfestival.org. -- Kity Ironton

 
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