Moss Pink
There are flowers and then there are flowers — the sort that transport you to another time and place with their alluring placement or hint of exotic scent. Jil Schlisner of Moss Pink deals in the latter, designing elegant bouquets with an eye for both the unusual and the delicate, which might mean a prickly thorn apple will be juxtaposed with a fragrant rose, or a gentle fall of jasmine peeks from between artichoke-like protea blossoms. Right now, you're as likely as not to walk into Moss Pink and find beautiful golden and pink ranunculus, waxen hyacinths and striped tulips befitting an Old Master still life — but that varies, as Schlisner hand-picks every blossom daily. Walk in and vase the consequences.
Sous Le Lit Shoes and Accessories
Cheap and chic, that's how we like our shoes, and that's how we get them at Sous le Lit, where the latest thing in fine footwear fits every budget. Offering such young, trendy brands as Restricted, Report, Chinese Laundry and Blowfish, as well as classics like Nina, Sous le Lit (which means "under the bed" in French) proffers the style of a California girl, with lots of peep-toed, strappy pumps in bright colors, sling-backs, vegan shoes and dainty skimmers. To finish the look, there are lots of big bags and bling belts, too. Stroll on in — the shoe fits.
Goodwill
Courtesy Goodwill Industries of Denver Facebook page
Goodwill glitz? Who'da thunk it? This SoBo Goodwill outlet is the closest thing we've ever seen to Rodeo Drive in a thrift store. Okay — we jest. But the shiny, new, extra-large, two-floor budget boutique has plenty of racks ripe for the picking, with overflowing shelves of knick-knacks, a coffee nook, a book shop and a basement full of sports gear and furniture finds, as well as a hardworking staff with an out-of-the-ordinary Baker vibe. Our favorite section, though, is the "Trends" rack, where some of the store's best hand-me-downs hang. Anyone with a good imagination will know exactly what to do with these.
The personable partners of Bixa — Charles Pitchford and Darrel Dewitt — returned to Denver after a long stint in Aspen to open their tiny new storefront on Colfax. It's named for Bixa Orellana (an Amazonian plant identified by its red-orange stones, better known as Annatto seeds), and for their so-monikered cat. But the front is painted purple, and that paradox is just one of the many rare delights this retail anomaly brings to the street. What's in Bixa? It's a biodynamic/recycled paradise, the future of the corner drugstore, where every item on every shelf is sustainable in some way, from the high-end (and beautiful) South African telephone-wire baskets to cheaper pleasures, including all-organic fruit-flavored hot-chocolate mixes and cinnamon cotton candy. But the core product of the store — which is divinely littered with bracelets made from linked lapel buttons, necklaces of rolled-paper beads, pop-top wallets, bottle cap lamps and aromatic rose syrup — comes from Intelligent Nutrients, offering organic and healthy "nutraceutical" foods and supplements, infused flower waters and more.
The brainchild of Denver's self-appointed "thriftymamas" TaRosa Jacobs and Rebekah Adams, Thriftonista is an online clearinghouse for hard-to-find vintage apparel that the pair seeks out at estate sales and thrift stores. Jacobs and Adams, both new moms who met at a home-birthing class, clean up the clothing and post it online for a negotiable asking price. Each shipment comes wrapped with Thriftonista's special brand of love — typically a package of kettle corn or a bunch of brownies.
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You may lose your luggage at Denver International Airport, but you'll never lose your car. DIA's public-parking-lot elves do their utmost to ensure that you'll remember not only which of the eight overnight lots you parked in, but what row and spot, by handing you a reminder note as you embark on the airport shuttle. But should you lose that slip of paper and find yourself wandering among the Siberian SUV wilderness of the Mount Elbert lot, never fear. The elves log every car, by its license plate, into a database at night. Just call the lot's emergency number to get your vehicle's exact location. You really auto try it.
Traditional Mexican sweets, music and decorations for a quinceañera party are available at lots of locations on Denver's west side. But how many places also offer an impressive array of piñatas — from SpongeBob to Spider-Man to Hello Kitty — as well as phone cards and the services of a notario público? This job is somewhat weightier than the Anglo notary public, since it involves handling a range of paperwork, from immigration and taxes to translation and divorce. The idea of picking up a piñata with your divorce papers sounds, well, smashing.
Stoners do stupid stuff. And for the most hard-core smokers — those who toke up before weddings, funerals and job interviews — the Gift Shop could be a lifesaver. Say your bong breaks at the last minute and you spill bong water all over your only good jacket. Or maybe you're a procrastinator-on-the-go who needs a pipe and an outfit. The Gift Shop is one-stop shopping for dudes like you. Just duck behind the Scarface poster on the front door: It's like a head shop and the men's department all rolled into one. Puff, puff, pass.
Okay, this team isn't exactly new. Because just as older men have long frequented the bars of Cherry Creek, hoping to grab hold of some sweet young thing to comfort them in even older age, older women have used those same watering holes as their own happy hunting grounds. But never before has the hot-flashing set been so hot. And so Chez Jose, the longtime Mexican joint in the heart of the Creek, decided to honor this prowling pack by naming its flag-football team the Cherry Creek North Cougars, selling T-shirts bearing the team name for twenty bucks each.
It's easy to put on airs at most open-studio art classes. Think classical music, a perfectly still model and a slew of pretentious artists poised behind their easels. Not at Rene Farkass's class. Denver's longest-running figure-drawing course is held in a slumped brick building that doubles as Farkass's art storage space and features a number of his large, colorful "naked lady" paintings. There you'll doodle to indie tunes or ambient rock while the models strike five-, ten- and twenty-minute poses. The artists — amateurs, retired art teachers and a few Denver greats — sit on small wooden chairs, rising during the breaks for a cookie, a cup of milk or a quick chat with Farkass, who is as flamboyant as his paintings. The classes run from 7 to 10 p.m. on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and cost just $8 a pop, plus a tip for the model, which means that even starving artists can afford to attend.

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