For the hopelessly tech-dependent, the battery-powered Segway may just become the city vehicle of choice. Four grand gets you one of the self-balancing, no-pedaling-required human transporters that go -- and park -- anywhere. Belmar shopping center's security forces are rolling on them, and now they're being spotted on the most fashionable LoDo streets. That's because Len Osmond recently opened Segway of Denver in the Waterside Lofts building, just across the street from the Pepsi Center, gambling that urban hipsters are tired of battling downtown parking meters. Just be sure to stay on the city's sidewalks: Segways only go 12.5 mph.
All hail Rodney's, the parking savior of Cherry Creek. While all the usual suspects provide valet service for their gas-guzzling guests -- Whole Foods even offers it on weekends -- nobody would expect it of this divey fern bar. Still, Rodney's is offering it up for free -- yes, free! -- after 5:30 p.m. when customers come in for, at least, a cocktail. All the more reason to visit this outpost of smoker culture hidden in the basement of ritzy Cherry Creek North.
Mile High Harley Davidson
Airport retail shops capitalize on the wretched disposition of the procrastinator. Usual suspects such as the Body Shop and the Discovery Channel Store offer travelers a chance to hurriedly snag something meaningful for the family before boarding the flight home. But if Grandma has been hinting at some leather biker chaps for her birthday, head to the mezzanine of Concourse B, where Mile High Harley-Davidson has a selection of biker apparel, including T-shirts, leather wallets and jewelry. They also carry enough shot glasses to keep you stocked in gifts till next year.
Miss Talulah's has hit one out of the park. After almost five years in the Ballpark neighborhood, the dainty shop filled with all things ladylike and out of the ordinary headed to a new home in the just-built Stapleton Town Center. You'll still find the thoughtful mix of beautiful jewelry, artisan handbags, brocade slippers, Mariebelle chocolate products, soaps and lotions, but the bigger, more modern space also means more stuff. For the new shop, owner Robin Lohre forayed into patio furniture decorated in funky stripes and polka-dots, and she's taking a cue from the Uptown Talulah Jones by stocking children's toys, books and adorable baby clothes. Welcome home.
Ten Thousand Villages
All the goods inside Ten Thousand Villages bear the "Fair Trade" stamp, which means the artisans who created them -- women, mostly, from Third World countries -- were justly compensated for their labor. So you can feel very, very good about dropping a little coin in this globally minded boutique. You'll certainly want to. The store is a wondrous place to find unique items for the home, from hand-woven floor mats and crockery from Southeast Asia to colorful bedspreads from India. At Ten Thousand Villages, you'll have the whole world in your hands.
The Denver Metro Convention & Visitors Bureau outpost on 16th Street was located a few blocks down the mall until three months ago, when it moved into new digs on California Street. While the inside is all new, the services are the same: Tourists can come in, get free coffee, look at maps and buy Denver-related trinkets. For natives -- or native wannabes -- there's a Ticketmaster and RTD outlet as well as little-known factoids about the Mile High City.
Where The Buffalo Roam
Most stores on the 16th Street Mall are souvenir stores, which is why any visiting businessman who suddenly needs a shirt to wear to an important meeting may wind up wearing a T-shirt displaying a well-endowed woman and the saying "Get a load of these peaks." Sure, Where the Buffalo Roam has some of the same stupid trinkets, but it also has a stash of University of Colorado memorabilia that includes soon-to-be collector's items. There's no Ward Churchill doll, but will a teddy bear wearing a pink sweatshirt with the football team's logo and the word "Mom" do? Go, Buffs!

Best Store on Boulder's Pearl Street Mall

Atmosphere

The Pearl Street Mall may be close to wholesale commercialization, but in the trendy West End neighborhood adjacent to the shopping mecca, there's still an independent flavor in the air. That holds true for nearby Atmosphere, a loft-looking "lifestyle" store that combines furniture, fashion accessories and baby clothes. The swank amalgam includes Mueller refrigerators from Germany (available in 200 colors), retro diaper bags, playful Offi birch furnishings for children, furniture upholstered in '50s-era fabrics, and tons more stuff that might be right at home in these stainless-steel modern times.
When David Bolduc, owner of the Boulder Book Store on the Pearl Street Mall, decided last year that he wanted to promote local shopping, he imported a slogan from Austin, Texas, which has had a successful "Weird" campaign going for years. But that's really no competition: Can Austin be one-tenth as weird as Boulder? Bolduc printed up 10,000 bumperstickers that say "Keep Boulder Weird: Support Local Businesses," which he hands out gratis. He also sells hats, T-shirts and mugs with the message.

Best New Store on Broadway (Since March 2004)

Chielle

Wendy Marlow, Alisa Dowell and Sara Thurston -- better know as DJ Sara T -- made big alterations to Denver's fashion scene this year by giving South Broadway staple Sugar an extreme makeover. The result: Chielle. The name is a combination of Thurston's and Dowell's dogs' names, but it also adds up to the very clever "girl energy": "Chi" means "energy" in Chinese, and "elle" translates to "she" in French. The new shop features designs by locals along with national brands, and the prices are a steal, with bright-colored leather cuffs for spring at just $15, rings galore at $10 and shoes for under $50. If only all makeovers were this good.

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