In the Upper 15th Street shopping district, centered around 15th and Platte streets, low-key commerce thrives to the distant tune of freeway traffic and an unmistakably downtown beat. The shops here are all about marching to your own drummer, whether that's expressed by what you wear, what you feed your dog, or what you stock in your kitchen.
Take your time. Browse the bottles at Corks, 1620 Platte Street, where the wines are all hand-picked, priced at $15 or less and displayed by descriptive categories: sensuous, sassy, crisp or voluptuous, to name a few. Across the street, at the Savory Spice Shop (1537 Platte Street), the delicious odor of freshly ground herbs and spices will encourage you to refurbish your larder with spiced vanilla sugar, Saigon cassia cinnamon, adobo rubs, Dutch cocoa and every kind of curry under the sun. Denver's metrosexuals can pamper themselves at MetroBoom (1550 Platte Street), a men's salon with personal shopper services and trendy clothing and accessories, or try on the uber-stylish specs at the nearby DisRespectacles, an eyeglass shop with a New York City pedigree. Up 15th Street and across I-25, shop the Mona Lucero Design Boutique (2544 15th Street) for graphic Asian-motif tees or adorable mini-handbags in dozens of fabrics. And don't miss Suzanne Blaylock's Red Door Swingin' (2556 15th Street), a mishmash of a gift shop that's all about color, shape and lots of whimsy.
Finish your spree over good English tea at the House of Commons (2401 15th Street), or a sip of wine at Paris on the Platte (1553 Platte Street). Splendid! -- Susan Froyd
Author and Christian mythic C.S. Lewis wrote a scathing satire on the crass consumerism of Christmas, so he'd probably be less than thrilled by the sight of images from his beloved children books, The Chronicles of Narnia, decking the halls of a shopping mall. But don't let that stop you: Beginning today, scenes from Disney's new film, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, will fill Cherry Creek Mall's Santaland. Take a break from long lines and cranky kids to wander through the wardrobe that leads into a constant snowfall and giant snow globes filled with movie images, costumes from the set and other special effects. The first 100 people to stumble on the magical world at 3000 East First Avenue get a free copy of the book. For details, visit www.shopcherrycreek.com or call 303-388-3900. -- Michelle Baldwin
It's a Guy Thing
Indulge your inner machismo at G3.
The sponsors of the third annual G3 -- Gears, Games & Gadgets Expo have guys all figured out. It's about time, right?
They know dudes love muscle cars, violent sports and video games, not to mention BMX bikes and skateboarding. Sure, sure, you're saying every guy is a free-thinking, sentient being, but truthfully, that whole individuality thing gets pretty exhausting. So slam the rest of that domestic beer, let TiVo catch the rest of WWE SmackDown!, and hustle your lackluster muscle downtown for the two-day bro-fest.
Feeling stereotyped? Don't feel bad -- they've got women pegged, too.
"It's geared toward men ages 18 to 45, but the women like to come shopping, too," says Willie B, a representative of Clear Channel, which is sponsoring the event. "Forty percent of it is cool things you can do -- jump in, have fun, do-it-up stuff. The other 60 percent is demos with a sales pitch behind it."
The free expo runs today from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and tomorrow from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. in Exhibit Halls A and B of the Colorado Convention Center, 700 14th Street. Get more information at www.startcolorado.com/3G. -- Drew Bixby
Suzan Lori-Parks kills with her new novel.
Suzan Lori-Parks's words are usually crafted for the stage. Since the early '90s, the Kentucky-born playwright has produced scores of scripts, many of which examine African-American characters and the role of history in their lives. But she's found a muse in other mediums, too: Spike Lee brought her Girl 6-- the story of a savvy phone-sex operator -- to life on the screen in 1996; and last year, Parks penned the adaptation of Zora Neale Hurston's Their Eyes Were Watching God for the Oxygen Network.
In 2002, Parks became the first black woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play, Topdog/Underdog, a tale of sibling rivalry that killed on Broadway and cemented Parks's stature as one of the theater's most important contemporary voices. That accomplishment surely pleased her mentor, James Baldwin, who encouraged the young Parks to pursue playwriting while an undergrad at Mount Holyoke College. Parks recently followed Baldwin's creative lead in another way, with the publication of her first novel, Getting Mother's Body. Tonight, she reads from her book and discusses her life as part of the Post-News Pen & Podium Series at the University of Denver's Newman Center for the Performing Arts, 2344 East Iliff Avenue. For more information, call 303-357-ARTS. -- Laura Bond