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Behind local screen printer Adam Sikorski's take on the Colorado flag, one can grok the mountain skyline we enjoy every day in Denver, the city's sunny bike paths and greenways, the food-truck parties and the freewheeling downtown life. It's all there in one simple emblem — and that's Coloradical!
Those "Native" bumper stickers are so last-century. So how can Denver natives and Colorado-loving transplants rep their city today? With ink, baby. From 3 p.m. to 3 a.m. last March 3 (3/03), the artists at Th'ink Tank offered one-inch tattoos featuring the Mile High City's mighty area code for the discounted rate of $30 each. And while you can make your allegiance permanent on any day — Th'ink Tank came up with 33 designs to choose from — the studio plans to make the event an annual one.
The bride looked ravishing in white — even if it was really green. The average wedding produces over 400 pounds of trash — but there's no reason your big day has to have a big carbon footprint. The Green Bride specializes in conscientious wedding wear, with bridal gowns — many of them high-end or couture — bridesmaid dresses and tuxes all in stock, with many of them "pre-loved" and sold on consignment. You can even save some green by going green: Both the environment and your future mate will love you for it.
Tucked away a block from the main drag in downtown Golden, Kerry Swanson's Rewind has a little of this and little of that, from better women's clothing and jewelry to furniture and other household items. Cozy, with the merchandise displayed in a number of small themed rooms, Rewind is a fun place to wander through, and your chances of finding a flamboyant tutu-and-jean-jacket duo or a swell pair of cowgirl boots are better than average. When in Golden, do as the Goldenites do: Veer away from Washington Street and keep your eyes peeled for treasures like this one.
There are plenty of chefs who rise to the top by graduating from the school of hard knocks, forgoing culinary school to hone their skills in real-world kitchens. But culinary schools aren't just for aspiring chefs; they're also for consumers, and at Cook Street School of Culinary Arts, the curriculum caters to both, offering a full-fledged professional program for aspiring toques and hands-on recreational classes for those who want to sharpen their knife skills, learn the fundamentals of deboning a leg of lamb or plan a romantic dinner for two with more know-how than Rachael "Thirty Minute Mistakes" Ray. Cook Street also has a fleet of instructors — former Z Cuisine chef de cuisine Pete Ryan and Mark "Meathead" DeNittis, the owner of Il Mondo Vecchio, among them — who are some of the best in the industry, and with new courses on the horizon, including butchery and cheese, the school keeps up with the food movements that shape the way we eat.
Denver-based Omerica Organic is all about the O's. And at least among the growing circle of body-art-inclined folks who cultivate stretched holes in their earlobes, it's becoming the go-to place online to buy the jewelry needed to do it. Made from beautiful hand-finished hardwoods decorated with inlays, jewels or cutouts and finished with beeswax or, for vegans, jojoba oil, Omerica's ear plugs all benefit from a human touch, as do the company's newer forays: wooden belt buckles and dog tag pendants. This company, led by entrepreneurial war veteran Ryan Lorenz, cares.
Humans spend an ever-increasing amount of time poking at their phones, something that might not be good for their health in the long run — unless they have the iTriage app. Healthagen, the Lakewood developer that created the app, claims that iTriage helps answer these two pressing questions: "What's wrong with me?" and "What do I need to do, or where do I need to go for treatment?" The app lets users look up symptoms and causes, as well as locate appropriate medical care. It can also fill out forms before you arrive at the hospital and locate emergency rooms with the shortest wait time. It's not 911, but it might be smarter.
Forget all the pious exhortations to eat local, organic, seasonal. They're all real enough, but they're not the reason we eagerly anticipate the opening of the Boulder County Farmers' Market in early April and visit faithfully, week after week, as the offerings change from tender lettuce and spinach to the corn, eggplants and tomatoes of full summer, and then the September apples, pears and hard-shelled squashes that push us into an orgy of freezing, canning and storage. Produce isn't the whole story: The market also offers beef, chicken, duck, cheeses, eggs, honey and a variety of prepared foods, from tortillas to chocolates, all of it — and this is a strict and crucial rule — locally sourced. We go for all of that, to be sure, but we go primarily because the market represents an important coming together of the community, where farmers offer growing tips, buyers commiserate with farmers about the weather and exchange recipes with each other, friends connect, and everyone remembers just how vibrant and important a role food plays in our lives.
Brandi Shigley of Fashion Denver is all about shining a spotlight on her favorite local designers in her Golden Triangle retail store and encouraging them to follow her own credo as a style entrepreneur: "Do what you love and love what you do." One way she gives her stable a push is by hosting quarterly seasonal markets with a fashion show — most recently at the elegant Grant-Humphreys Mansion — where designers, jewelry makers, milliners and the like can sell wares directly to the public in a festive setting. Expect the unexpected: Shigley's next market is May 15.