Best Workspace for Greenies 2010 | Green Spaces | Best of Denver® | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Denver | Westword

When former Wall Street banker Jennie Nevin moved from New York to Denver last year, she brought a great idea with her. Like its flagship in Brooklyn, Green Spaces is a collective workspace where eco-preneurs share space, vision and inspiration — as well as copy machines, recycling bins, land lines and even interns. Located in an appealingly open former warehouse in the RiNo district, Green Spaces triples as a workplace (desks and cubicles are rented by the month), event hall and gallery of furniture and art fashioned from reclaimed materials. Most excitingly, it's an incubator for some of the city's forward-thinking new businesses. Open to everyone who's willing to maintain a code of sustainable practice in the workplace, Green Spaces is an idea that's catching on: The next one sprouts in Los Angeles later this year.

Since a lot of folks are trying to find new ways to change the face of how we travel through the city, here's an idea whose time might just be now: Go online, join eGO CarShare and gain the ability to reserve and borrow a Prius or Fit for a day. The fee includes gas and insurance coverage — and freedom from the headache of car ownership. eGO currently has cars available downtown and in west Highland (with more to come in Denver), as well as numerous locations in Boulder.

The seminal roots of steampunk, the stuff of Victorian vibes paired with airships and fabulous machines, lie in the literature of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells, while the subcultural movement's takeoff in more recent times owes its sensibilities to such modern authors as Philip Pullman and William Gibson. But one of steampunk's more delightful physical offshoots is the cultish costumery embraced by modern followers: a peculiar thing highlighted by its use of watch gears, reassembled machine parts and curiosities from nature cast in metal. And Denver jewelry maker Melissa Tomerlin has it down cold: Her fabulous Gold Bug brooches, constructed of gears ticking away among skulls, dragonflies and other winged embellishments, ARE steampunk. Find them at Peppermint, 1227 East 17th Avenue.

Rockmount Ranch Wear, housed in a red-brick 1908 LoDo building since it opened more than sixty years ago, represents the soul and spirit of downtown, standing tall through decades in a changing metropolis. The Western-wear emporium's own history begins with founder Jack A. Weil, a stalwart businessman who invented the archetypal snap-button Western shirt and worked nearly every day of his 107 years. Pure legend. As are those shirts, embraced by locals as much as celebrities, and classic in every stitch and detail.

The brainchild of a quartet of Downtown Littleton retailers — Marsha Asheim, Sue Coffey, Peggy Cooper and Amy Doherty — this distinctive market sprung right up along the town's Main Street during its first go-around last year, an attempt to bring back the spirit of A Paris Street Market, which began in the heart of the Littleton business district before moving to the roomier Aspen Grove a few years ago. The good news is that the market — more of an arts fair crossed with a sidewalk sale than a typical flea — worked. The Olde Town, which developed its own inimitable character during last year's run, will be back beginning in May with some experience under its belt and a similar mixture of new, vintage, girly and artsy wares.

There's something soothing about a purse made entirely of one continuous nylon zipper; in moments of anxiety or reflection, what better release than to zip-unzip, deconstructing your handbag down to its core and then reassembling it? Architect Beth A. Metsch designed the prototype for her mother years ago, and the orders have been multiplying ever since. Having successfully battled to protect her patents, Metsch's Denver-based company now offers a full line of Zippurses, from wristlets to messenger bags, and their stylishness received the ultimate recognition last year when they started showing up as Oscar-party swag. Shop online or consult the site's lists of local retailers, including the Denver Art Museum and Meininger's.

Nederland crafter Karin Platt seems to have a lot of time to herself during those long, cold mountain winters, but we're thankful for that. Karin's Kitsch is Karin's shtick: book bags, wallets, magnets and more, all made out of repurposed Little Golden Book titles such as The Poky Little Puppy and The Shy Little Kitten. She also makes totes strung with necktie handles from old album covers and classic game boards, and cool record-label coasters backed with cork. Relive the past in funky style; go to Karin's website for more information.

It's not easy being single. And when you would rather enjoy an intimate chat over a cup of coffee or glass of wine than rub up against some complete stranger in a nightclub — well, let's just say that kind of preference can severely limit your chances of finding somebody to love. But thankfully, there's the Overdue Love Club, a monthly Fresh City Life program hosted at Michelangelo's Wine & Coffee Bar on South Broadway and featuring Janice Hoffman, author of Relationship Rules, who kicks things off with a short talk and guided icebreaker. So even the shiest among you shouldn't have any trouble. It's casual, it's easy, it's intelligent and it's fun. Who knows what you might find?

Since its founding in 1918, Goodwill Industries of Denver has been known for moving a lot of stuff, fast, but 25 display cases in the administration building are dedicated to items that aren't going anywhere. This is the company's official doll collection, which includes everything from a 1790 rag doll from England to a yucca wood doll that survived an Indian raid to a bisque doll that once belonged to Baby Doe Tabor to a doll portraying Melissa Briggs, founder of Goodwill.

Cowboy couches with wagon-wheel arms were all the rage in the '50s — but after five decades of dealing with Denver's dry air and squirmy kids watching TV, many of these Western classics look more tired than an old Conestoga, with cracked frames and sprung springs. Ackerman & Sons will get you back in the saddle again. Although this venerable furniture shop works on more elegant pieces, too, it's made a sideline specialty of restoring these Atomic Age artifacts. Sofa, so good.

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