Market Watch

Truth is stranger than fiction -- and even reality TV.

But while he usually carries a camera with him -- he even started his own production company at school -- he now leaves it at home with the folks when he's in Denver. "I won't even bring a camera out, for the simple fact that you don't know what you'll catch on camera, you don't know if you'll go to jail, you don't know if people won't trust you," Shannon says. "There's no credibility when it comes to cameras here."

He doesn't go to LoDo much anymore, either. Now that he's 21, he has other options. "And besides, it's just too much hassle running from people who might shoot you, running from the police," he adds. "There's nothing down there anymore, really."

Not even The Real World?

Somehow, media-savvy Shannon missed the news that The Real Worldwill soon start filming the block he captured on video that night two years ago. "That's mind-blowing, The Real Worldcoming to Colorado," he says. "The Real World will probably be a reason to go there."

But sometimes the world can get all too real. Bruce Harrell, the only bad actor Shannon recognized the night of the "wilding," was scheduled to go to trial early this year on two counts of third-degree assault and one count of engaging in a riot without a weapon.

That case was dismissed in January, after Harrell was shot to death over by the Denver Pavilions. As LoDo chills, other areas heat up.


In 1977, Westword moved into its first office, three rooms painted six colors on the second floor of a Victorian storefront that had once housed a brothel. Some people will tell you that prostitution is a more honorable profession than journalism. It's certainly older, and a hundred years ago it flourished across the part of lower downtown that would come to be called LoDo.

From our perch at 1439 Market Street, we could see Larimer Square, saved from the wrecking ball just a decade before. At the end of our block was Speer Boulevard and then Cherry Creek; in the other direction were century-old warehouses -- some occupied, some not, a few boasting longtime tenants and others ambitious eateries or adventurous galleries that would pop up overnight, then disappear almost as quickly. But aside from a few now-long-gone Japanese joints and dive bars, there was little further activity until you passed the long-ago home of famed madam Mattie Silks (right next to The Real World house) and reached the far end of the 1900 block and El Chapultepec, where then, as now, the beer was cold and the jazz hot.

The current edition of Vanity Fair cites El Chapultepec, which Jerry Krantz has run for 55 years but which existed for decades before that, as one of the town's two great bars and one of the best saloons in the world. This is not one of the spots that's signed a deal to host The Real World cast and crew. But then, from a seat at the bar here, you've always had a view of the real world.

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