Boulder County Farmers' Market
Juliet Wittman

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.

Fashion Denver Showroom

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.

Although Von's Violin Shop sells violins, it's made particularly beautiful music as a repair shop. Musicians from around the country swear by Von's, bringing their fiddles of all sizes in for diagnoses and repairs — all at reasonable prices. Have an instrument that needs help? Von's won't string you along.

Margo Cheroute and Rose Whitlock are lovers of all things vintage and the art of shopping for the good stuff; lucky for us, they've done the work, and all we have to do is buy it from them. The trick is in finding them: We did last summer, during First Friday on Santa Fe Drive, when their Airstream trailers dropped out of the sky like little UFOs from another era into a lot at Eighth Avenue and Inca Street to sell their wares as Cha Cha Muchacha. Cheroute explained then that Cha Cha Muchacha is meant to be a flash venue, which is apparently even more ephemeral than a pop-up shop, so there's no telling if we'll see them there again, but a girl can hope. If you love Bakelite and circle skirts and other anachronistic goodies, keep your eyes peeled.

Horseshoe Craft and Flea Market

Promoter Amy Yetman, who test-ran the concept of the Horseshoe Market — a classic flea market crossed with a quality craft fair — on a sunny day last October, couldn't have hoped for better results. Called "horseshoe" because of the object's lucky connotations, the market offered nearly 100 booths of sheer serendipity: s, handmades, jewelry, clothing, plush toys and just about anything else one could imagine. It rocked the Berkeley 'hood like nobody's business. With that under her belt, Yetman's opted to bring it back for three Saturdays in 2011, beginning with a spring market on May 7. Be there or be square.

At the beginning of the year, the Federal Reserve Bank opened a 7,000-square-foot museum showcasing — you guessed it — money. The museum is free and open to the public on weekdays, and visitors can learn how to spot counterfeit money or take a peek at $30 million in cash stored in a box. But you don't have to settle for just looking at the green stuff; you can leave with a bag of straight cash, homie. Granted, it's $165 in shredded bills, but that doesn't mean you can't hit the local strip club and make it rain.

Whether you're a regular at the Crypt or just dropping in to buy a gift for that special horndog in your life, you can indulge your passion for porn while shopping, thanks to the good-sized screen flashing videos behind the checkout counter. While a sign in the store's back room, which is lined with rentals, asks that patrons keep their perusing to a chaste twenty minutes, there's no such limit up front.

The City of Denver only has 26 street sweepers — which is amazing considering the fact that parking-enforcement officers dole out twenty bazillion tickets every year to the scofflaws who forget to move their cars on street-sweeping days. Wanna beat the odds? Sign up for the city's free Street Sweeping E-minders, which will alert you via e-mail (April through November) the day before your street is swept. It's dirt cheap.

A lot of local mom Jennifer Carabetta's inspiration for her unique, handmade clothing comes from daughter Izzie: Girls need tutus, lounge pants and reversible skirts (for a messy spaghetti night); moms need reasonably priced durability; and nobody wants boring clothes. These are made-in-USA items, sewn in limited quantities from hard-to-find fabrics that are whimsical and practical at the same time. Available online or at several local retailers.

It's time to stop living in a throwaway world: That's the whole premise of Gone for Good, a local business determined to keep your usable junk from ending up in a landfill. This is how it works: Gone for Good picks up your unwanted stuff, and then one or all of three things will happen to it: They'll sell it online and give you 30 percent of any proceeds, or, if it hasn't sold after thirty days, they'll give it to charity or break it down for recycling. Win, win. You lose your junk, somebody else gets it. The ecologically correct, sustainable junkman is here.

Best Of Denver®

Best Of