Tattered Cover LoDo
The 16th Street Mall is a shopper's paradise -- that is, if you're in the market for some overpriced, faux-Native American souvenirs or maybe a nice wig. For those who actually live and work downtown, there's no beating Walgreens for sheer practicality, economy and reliability, not to mention great people-watching. Housed in a vintage building in the heart of downtown, the store -- which has been there for fifty years -- draws a cross-strata of humanity united by a shared drugstore dependence. Where else can you fill a prescription, develop film, catch up on some magazine reading and buy actual groceries, as well as the latest near-the-register novelties, all during your lunch break? Walgreens hawks the stuff of life in a lively part of town.
Chinese medicine has become increasingly popular the last few years, and the Colorado School of Traditional Chinese Medicine is your one-stop shop for alternatives to Western health care. When the acupuncturist upstairs prescribes Chinese herbs, you'll be able to find them at the school's pharmacy, an alternate universe of remedies and potions that have been used in China for centuries. The names alone will transport you to the back streets of Hong Kong: Heavenly Emperor's Formula, Two Immortals Blend and Bluegreen Dragon Formula are just a handful of the hundreds of different kinds of herbs in stock. With every variety of ginseng imaginable and things you never imagined you'd need (Tiger Balm for sore muscles and "bone tonic" for aching joints), this is the best place in town to get your qi gong goin' on.
Apothecary Tinctura
Change is good. While Apothecary Tinctura has already earned a reputation for having an ocean of potions (just kidding about those lizard lips), the shop's move from its Congress Park location to a new 6th Avenue spot added some zing to its yang. But you'll still find the necessary ingredients to make yourown holistic remedies or face masks, and the folks there, as always, are eager to share their knowledge of mixology. Come bask in this sunny space as you save a little face.

Peace of Mind, Body & Soul owner Mary Beal calls her place a "self-improvement and self-care boutique." And such improvement and care comes easy with the offerings at Peace of Mind. In addition to on-premises massages and psychic readings, you'll find incense, candles, aromatic oils, crystals, wind chimes and fairy figurines. An assortment of knowing tomes on the subjects of astrology, feng shui, reiki, chakra healing and contemporary Christianity round out the inventory. Walk out a new, improved you.

Indulgences Day Spa
We guarantee that Indulgences won't rub you the wrong way. Unlike those hoity-toity spas that make you feel like you should shower before you enter, Indulgences is down-to-earth, even boisterous. The owner is friendly, the employees are friendly, the other customers are friendly. And one of the friendliest amenities here is a couples' massage. Usually a very private, personal activity, a massage is a completely different experience when your beloved is lying right alongside, getting pummeled, rubbed and stroked at the same time. Double your pleasure, double your fun.
Offering up to three massage chairs and occasional live music, the Feature Park Entrance almost makes FlatIron's "retail resort" designation believable. "The massage has been really popular," says mall marketing director Chris Stallman. So has an aqua-massage kiosk (located near the food court), which layers patrons with plastic before spraying them down with soothing water. "People are getting more interested in taking care of themselves, and it's kind of a quick fix that they can do really easily," Stallman says. If only our bank accounts were so easily restored.

Cargo's merchandise appeals to browsers who share an affinity for far-off lands: East Indian and Tibetan artifacts are among the most popular items. And even if you adhere to a monk-like budget, you needn't leave the store empty-handed. Because Cargo's owners know that a spiritual quest doesn't have to break the bank, inexpensive items abound in their new Highland location, from handmade stationery and calendars to prayer flags. Our favorite cheapo option? The baskets full of small, square prayer stones, each engraved with an image of the Buddha. They're so reasonably priced, you may want to pick up a couple of handfuls. Just remember that desire leads to suffering

Members of the flock and vampire hunters alike will delight in selecting a cruciform to suit their individual taste, budget and wall space from among the treasure trove of icons for sale in this warehouse-sized religious-supplies store in the heart of the historic Baker district. Though Gerken's boasts fine selections of communion-wafer plates and ceramic statues of the Archangel Michael slaying various demons, it's the hundreds of crucifixes hanging on the walls that will make the shopper feel truly blessed. The artifacts range in price from $7.95 (a tiny plastic Christ on a six-inch cross) to $3,000 (a four-foot bronze Christ on a six-foot oak cross) and come in all models: head up or down; crown of thorns or bare coiffure; full robe or loincloth. At Gerken's, the cross marks the spot.

Incredibly, the folks who create Thangkas -- generally Buddhist monks who live with their heads in the clouds at the top of the world -- don't consider them works of art. Rather, each intricately complex banner, colorfully depicting mandalas, Buddhas or bodhisattvas, is intended as a kind of spiritual lesson, prayer or charm for their Himalayan constituents. But damn if they aren't beautiful to look at, too. Melissa and Dinesh Shakya, the young owners of Nepali Bazaar, hand-pick theirs from the streets of Kathmandu, and their taste and care are evident in the selections they offer. And did we mention the reasonable prices? That excellent selling point spreads to the rest of the not-to-miss exotic merchandise, which includes brass Buddhas, bright ceremonial masks, gorgeous pressed-wool handbags, raw-silk wrap skirts with an elegant drape, fringed hand-knit cardigans and an unexpected trove of things for children, such as carved-wood rocking horses, tiny embroidered overalls, ethnic dolls and shiny brocade jackets. Enough to make you say Namaste!

For the past dozen years, the Colorado Jewish Social Network has been playing matchmaker for Denver singles looking for a soulmate. Members of the network, who pay annual dues of $90, can peruse binders full of questionnaires and pictures of other Jewish singles in search of Mr. or Ms. Right. Under the direction of Roslyn Rudnick, CJSN brings the couples together in a non-threatening way; the rest is up to them. The network also sponsors social events and workshops throughout the year. Hey, it couldn't hurt.

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