Best Free Entertainment 2004 | People-watching on the 16th Street Mall while we still can | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword
We miss the old 16th Street Mall. We miss Skip and Amy, the nail-in-nose panhandlers. We miss the skaters at Skyline. We miss the homeless people, who are increasingly being pushed out by metro boosters who don't want to scare away tourists. We miss them because if there is one truth of people-watching, it's that only interesting people are worth watching. Tourists are not worth watching: When's the last time you saw one do a good gross-out trick or ride a handrail on a longboard? Better get a seat now, before the Denver City Council bans panhandling altogether from the mall and several blocks around it, and turns what had been the city's greatest voyeurism spot into a sterilized tourist playground.
Barry Melnick had been slingin' suds for the Zephyr Lounge's early-morning crowds for 56 years when he was sidelined last spring by a car accident and heart attack. Now his son, Myron, is keeping the Zephyr's 7 a.m. happy hour alive. With the nearby Fitzsimons campus being redeveloped into a biopark, there just aren't many people left in the area who need to tie one on after the night shift. No matter: As long as Barry's around, the Zephyr will always be open to great customers, even if they come in a few at a time. Need a wake-up call? Try the house specialty: rocket-fuel coffee (Kahla optional). Rise and shine.
When the first Dada Manifesto was ratified in Zurich on July 14, 1916, little did Hugo Ball and company know that one day their revolutionary aesthetic philosophy would wind up being applied to the grimy wall of Gabor's men's room. In perfect accord with the Dadaists' credo of contradiction and nonsense, some patron used the popular Capitol Hill watering hole as a blank canvas upon which to scrawl the sublimely absurd phrase "Super organisms are responsible for 99% of kung foo [sic]." Just think about that while you're piss-drunk and swaying in front of the urinal at 1:30 in the morning. Of course, after a few weeks, the graffiti was painted over. Thankfully, the rationalist censors have yet to find the surreal epigram inscribed above the toilet-paper dispenser: "You chop parsley like a bitch."

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