While checking out the shoes at True Love (read about it in Night & Day, for Wednesday, 12/20), I took a few minutes to walk the boulevard and see what's hot on Broadway this holiday season. Here's what I found:
At the designer-toy hut, Plastic Chapel, the always-enthusiastic Dea Webb is gaga over such new arrivals as Dr. Ledoux's Critter Splitters, blind-box toys by former Sub Pop records art director Jesse Ledoux with interchangeable parts and tiny accessories (such as a tiny pillow with the itty-bitty "don't remove" tag still sewn on).
Also on her list: UNKL's two-faced UniPo series, affordable new Gorillaz figures series; the Rolitoland Safari Series (also interchangeable and featuring a mystery component that will fit together with related pieces paired with future releases to create a whole new Frankenstein monster); a limited-edition, do-it-yourself Christmas Munny with its own present box, santa cap, candy cane, and booze bottle; and the new Insurgents Wilderness Gruppo flocked vinyl lovers Yeti and Sasquatch, brandishing weapons in their animal eco-battle against earth-destroying humans. A portion of all IWG sales, by the way, is donated to a conglomeration of wildlife conservation groups. Plastic Chapel is at 8 W Ellsworth Avenue, and don't forget to visit Plastic Chapel's new outlet at A++ Boutique de Force in Belmar.
Head toward Broadway, turn the corner and you'll find yourself walking straight into Fancy Tiger, which is literally at the center of Denver's DIY universe. Along with just about everything you'd need to create your own handmade holiday gifts (as well as classes on what to do with the stuff) Fancy Tiger has plenty of unique gift items on its shelves. Craft co-owner Jaime Jennings favors Canadian artist Tara Campbell's hand-painted Odd Bird domino pendants and the cheeky "Happy Fucking Holiday" cross-stitch kit by Subversive Cross Stitch maven Julie Jackson.
Jennings also points out a unique line of product-care cards, some embossed with a sparkly ball of yarn, that you can tuck in with a handmade gift to a friend. And partner Matthew Brown, who oversees the boutique end of the business, is high on hand-printed cotton knit scarves from Little by Jenny, blue and red-trimmed canvas bags detailed with huge red buttons from 31 corn lane, and a line of herringbone and tweed hipster hats for the terminally cool. He's also featuring a new bag line of big denim or wool totes with simple appliques and vintage buttons, as well as his dream denim product: "Good men's pants for less than $100." Find Fancy Tiger at 1 South Broadway, next door to Sputnik and the hi-dive.
Across the street and down the way at 55 South Broadway, everybody's favorite street boutique, Decade, is beautifully decked out for the holidays, with armies of wind-up Santas, festive holiday notecards, and glittery wreaths and table trees made from giant silver sequins. Proper gifts for your honey include handknit mittens and scarves, cozy wool tunic-style Fair Isle sweaters from Free People and sexy, rhumba-ready boy shorts from Honeydew (black mesh with a flounce of tiered, leopard-print ruffles), while the little bitty ones in your life will surely love hugging a stuffed alien creature from Rock �N Raddle.
A few doors down at 65 South Broadway, Plume has plush, faux-fur newsboy caps and reasonably priced recycled necklaces.
As you continue walking south, stop into the strange, nameless candy store for a stocking-full of retro candies. For those with long memories and penny-candy nostalgia, they've got Fizzies, Pop Rocks, stick candy in different flavors, Smarties, root-beer barrels, giant Lemon Heads and goofy Taffy Tongues. They should keep you occupied until you reach CaShi, where, back behind the gallery's Chinese and Philippine antiques, you'll find a fragrant selection of rare and exotic teas, as well as elegant accoutrements for brewing and serving it.
And at Cargo, the import shop yet a few more doors down the street, there's an incense-tinged treasury of body-hugging Asian-print tees, brocade messenger bags, glitter-shot scarves and 1930s Shanghai lady posters. CaShi and Cargo are at 200 and 210 South Broadway, and more Asian wares can be found across the street at T Trove Asian Decor.
Believe me, these only a few highlights on the street. Boho SoBo is hoppin' with more shops than I had time to peruse, including She She, Denver Book Mall, All American Vogue, the Crypt and Apocalypse Boutique. There's something for everyone, and all of their peeps, too.
So go on, but remember: Wear good shoes, and have fun. -- Susan Froyd