Monkey Fist Tattoo

Rule: Pretty much everything is better if you add a monkey to the equation. And a fist is pretty much the most badass part of the monkey, so that only helps. Owner Ortavio Griego thought of the name when a friend told him his hand looks like a monkey's fist when he's tattooing. Monkey Fist is also a type of knot and a kung fu style that uses monkey-like movements, which conjures images of monkeys tying knots and doing kung fu. What's not to like?

Cajun's, named for a one-eyed orange tabby who originally roamed the place, has long been dealing used clothing and other merchandise in support of the Cat Care Society. But its incarnation of the last few years, since doubling the store's space in 2005, really shows what good management can do for a place: The current regime not only shows off an excellent eye for quality, but it's also done much to build up the shop's stature, with delightful seasonal displays, great deals and a veritable used book store set up for perusal in the back room. Discounts are offered for donations of canned cat food, and it doesn't hurt that the funds raised there go to help Cat Care Society denizens at the adjacent no-kill, cage-free shelter.

Tomboy Tools are pink, practical and, in the case of their signature magnetic hammer, designed so you don't smash your finger while building shelves or hanging photos or kicking ass and taking names. Started by two local women who hatched the idea over beers, Denver-based Tomboy Tools aims to empower ladies to do it themselves with their line of pink power tools, pink jumper cables, pink paintbrushes and pink garden shears. Don't know how to repair drywall? No sweat! Tomboy Tools will teach you fix-it basics at one of their Tool Parties, which are just like Tupperware parties, only way less lame.

Bus fares keep rising, but the Regional Transportation District offers various discounted annual passes through employers, neighborhood organizations, colleges — even a community-wide bus pass for residents of Lyons. An internal debate has brewed at RTD for years over whether these Eco Passes make economic sense for the agency, but they're definitely a bargain compared to individual annual passes — and good news for the region as more commuters tired of battling traffic and high gas prices climb aboard.

Lesley Temple makes tutus for little girls. But she makes them for big girls, too, and not necessarily for ballet dancers. Nope, Temple is totally egalitarian about her tutus: As far as she's concerned, anyone should feel free to walk through life in cloud of tulle, in any color of the rainbow. That said, you're as likely to find her fluffy skirts at Kazoo & Company as you are at Cali & Mo. Hey, baby — and we mean that in every sense of the word — get dressed!

Lollicup Denver

Purikura, the ultra-cute Japanese take on the old-fashioned photo booth, was tailor-made for thirteen-year-old American kids, especially girls, and it's hard to understand why it hasn't swept the nation yet, in this age of the photo-booth renaissance. But in Denver, you can have your purikura at Q Club, a little bit of Tokyo located in a Colorado Boulevard strip mall. Just step inside the extra-large booths, which can accommodate a fairly large group of brace-faced giggling girls, and take your shots. But the fun really begins afterward: The photographed gaggle moves to a screen where they can embellish pictures with glittery backgrounds, clip art, drawings and other delightful nonsense. That done, the machine spits out pages of the sticker-backed photos, which come in sizes from ultra-teensy to wallet-fitting. Scissors and other cutters are provided, and the cutouts can be affixed to cell phones, in photo albums, on foreheads or wherever else a silly photo might be desired; if needed, copies are available for an additional price. Finish the experience with a round of candy-colored boba drinks and some foosball at Lollicup, which is just a few doors away.

Jil Cappuccio and her friend and colleague Kirsten Coplans, of Pearl Clothing, go together like a rather stylish Mutt and Jeff, creating two unique lines of clothing using vintage fabrics that are both very different and incredibly compatible. That the duo is showing up regularly now at gift and fashion markets around town is proof that some unions are just meant to be: Pearl's recut and embellished sweaters do look sweet over a swingy flowered Cappuccio shift, especially when tied all together by a solid pair of vintage Frye boots, which the pair also collects and sells. Visit the websites for news about where they'll turn up next.

Hotel Monaco

Hotel Monaco is known for its pet-friendliness; the upscale spot offers all manner of four-legged comforts, including a doggy boutique, dog room service and in-room bowls and pet beds, among other things. But the hotel can also provide pets — of the fishy kind — for anyone who didn't bring a pet but would like a little company. The staff keeps a hundred-gallon tank full of goldfish in the basement, and they'll bring you a complimentary one upon request. Afraid it might end up in the toilet bowl? No worries: Hotel employees are trained to feed and care for your fish. Just keep your own paws off your new pet. "Some of them are in danger of being talked to death," a hotel spokeswoman says, "but no one has eaten one, to my knowledge."

Crème De La Couture

Nicole Schaap loves vintage, but for her, it's got to be the real thing, not a knockoff. Schaap, who admits to having gotten teary-eyed once when she practically stole a Dior hat for five bucks at a yard sale, did time at Nordstrom and Neiman's, but is now turning a hobby into a business at her Englewood storefront, Crème de la Couture. The resale shop with a lot of personality exudes Schaap's true love for couture and antique garments, but there's more to Crème de la Couture than her favorite designers: You'll also find more affordable vintage and near-new high-style duds. "Let's all stop wearing jeans to the opera" is Schaap's credo. Crème de la Couture is the place to start heeding it.

The Original Wrangler Store

When Wrangler opened its first-ever retail store here this past fall, executives gave several reasons why they picked Denver: the beautiful weather, the city's adventurous spirit, and because once a year, Denver turns into Cowboy Central for the National Western Stock Show. And if that's not reason enough to scoot your boots to Lone Tree, maybe seeing rodeo clowns and suburban moms shopping side by side is.

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