Susan Henderson's hobby — importing European antique lighting from South America — is Denver's gain. (You read right: These one-of-a-kind treasures have typically been on three continents.) Each piece, whether it be full-on Gothic, iron and curlicued or dripping with hand-cut crystals, is a standout on the level of something you might find in a shipwrecked galleon. Add to that stash the singular modern chandeliers by Tracey Barnes, who has a studio in the same building, and Trog de Lights will light you up.

"When Girls Take Over," the motto of the Southern California chain Love Culture, which just opened its first Colorado store at Park Meadows, really says it all: It's girlish and a little bit Melrose, yet appropriate for a range of stylish generations, featuring a fun selection of affordable, color-heavy mix-and-match separates categorized by themes, from glam to prep. Plaid jumper skirts and tube dresses? Check. Animal-print bustiers? Peep-toe platforms? Got 'em. Leather shorts? Those, too. Not to mention the taxi-yellow hooded wool jackets, wool fedoras and distressed everything. Forever 21 fans, who appreciate the value of cheap, trendy duds that are good for one season, now have another shopping alternative in the metro area.

Through a collective buying process, Groupon, a national phenomenon that launched a Denver site last year, is able to offer a new deal from a local business every single day, which might vary daily among discounted restaurant meals, dog-training classes, exercise sessions, lube jobs, spa services and more. But it all hinges on the level of participation: If enough Groupon subscribers sign on for the day's deal, it's theirs for the taking; they can buy the deal online and print the Groupon voucher online. If not, well, try, try again.

You'll feel like time has stood still when you venture into Myrick Watch Repair, which has been fixing faulty timepieces for decades. Although Myrick specializes in repairing antique and vintage watches, the owner is also happy to do quick fixes and battery switches — at a price that really takes you back in time.

If you've already made the linguistic leap of referring to your dog or cat not as a pet but as an "animal companion," you may be on your way to exploring emerging euthanasia services that claim to be more humane — or, at least, less traumatic for the humans paying for it — than the traditional unpleasant final trip to the vet. A Peaceful Passage offers at-home hospice care, at-home euthanasia and assistance with burial or cremation arrangements, as well as an experienced veterinarian, Dr. Christine Daigler, who responds to middle-of-the-night house calls and has an impressive bedside manner with ailing four-legged friends.

Best Place to Learn How to Be an Urban Farmer

The Urban Farm

The Urban Farm

If the thought of getting manure on your Manolo Blahniks makes your heart race, then it's time to make a run to the Urban Farm. This 23-acre piece of Colorado countryside (located right next to the Den­ver County Jail) was created to provide urban kids with rural opportunities and give city slickers a good introduction to dirt. Beginning on March 15, the farm offers plots to would-be gardeners, along with workshops on composting, hoop house construction and worm farming. Kids can participate in the urban 4-H Fun on the Farm and Embracing Horses programs. And if that's not incentive enough, there's unlimited access to mountains of free manure.

Dragonfly EcoGoods

Dragonfly EcoGoods is a friendly neighborhood business devoted to sustainability and local or fair-trade products. Wander in for a visit and you'll find all manner of recycled, organic, ecological and just plain cute products, from bamboo dishcloths and reusable, dishwasher-safe lunchbox pouches to handcrafted scented soaps, herbal oils or dangling glass earrings made from dumpster shards. The community-friendly shop offers discounts for riding your bike or bringing your own bag, while online buyers get "Karmic Offset Credits" for every $20 they spend at the website. Green's never been easier, or as much fun.

Grateful Meds

Some people say that smoking marijuana enhances creativity. Hard to believe, seeing as how so many medical marijuana dispensaries seem to have stopped after combining some variation of the words "green," "kind," "cannabis," "medical," "room" or "care." Not Nederland's Grateful Meds. If we have to explain the joke to you, then you wouldn't find it amusing anyway. For those who do, keep on truckin'!

Lower Highland, and specifically the burgeoning west Riverfront area around 15th and Platte Streets, has captured something fleetingly new and different when it comes to neighborhood shopping districts: a hip, funky, bohemian feel that bristles with urban electricity. From the citified couture of Mona Lucero Design Boutique to the grassroots bike culture of Salvagetti Bike Workshop to the exotic aroma of the original Savory Spice Shop, LoHi's got a little bit of everything...and more.

Goodwill

Goodwill Industries of Denver stores have long been known for their bargains, but this past year, they made a good deal even better when they opened up two Goodwill Outlet World locations. At these casual, sometimes chaotic spots, most merchandise that hasn't moved at the local Goodwill stores is sold by the pound rather than the item. For nineteen pounds or less, the fee is $1.49 per pound; above nineteen pounds, your haul drops to 99 cents a pound. (TVs, books and furniture still have a per-item price tag). Such a deal!

Best Of Denver®

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