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It's Jerry Springer time, and as Jerry introduces everybody on this day's show, Rose herself returns from a lunch run, dropping the food in order to bustle over and help with the manicure. She and the other beautician work in companionable silence. There's nothing like being pampered by two people at once, hand and foot, especially while you're watching an episode of Springer titled "Babysitters and Battling Broads."

"Jerry Spring crazy show," says Rose. "The people crazy. Two girls fight over ugly man."

If you ask, she might tell you about the episode when the ugly and obese man took his shirt off, and how his upper-arm fat drooped and jiggled while he made love to the camera. Rose watches Jerry Spring every afternoon, to kill time until the customers arrive. Most people come in after work, she says.

But for now, she has Jerry Spring to keep her company. "Why they have audience?" Rose wonders. "For laughing and yelling?"

Even with "Babysitters and Battling Broads" in the background, the beauticians get the job done, and once my nails are dry, I have to tear my eyes away from the screen and focus on payment. For a mere $30, Rose and company have done a fantastic job on my hands (French manicured) and feet (shiny and blood-red). And with the ultimate in trash TV thrown in, it's a real bargain. -- Amber Taufen

Newsland
9295 Federal
2:37 p.m.

With just two ceiling fans for relief, the sweet, familiar scent of newsprint and books with yellowing pages hangs heavy in the heat. A few regulars navigate the maze of wooden magazine racks with ease, making small talk with the employees as they pass.

Kit sits at a desk behind the front counter. She looks like a librarian is supposed to look -- glasses, a makeup-free face and a loose jean jumper that stops just shy of her ankles -- and says that this store has just about any periodical that anyone could want. There's a wide variety of sudoku and crossword puzzles, as well as rows of magazines from as far away as England that cover crafts, quilting and home decor. There are Sunday papers from every major American city, even Maui, although most don't come in until Monday or Tuesday. The gun-related reads -- with titles like Small Arms Review and How to Make a Silencer for a .45 -- take up almost an entire wall. There are shelves for politics, art, music, cars and every sport imaginable, plus tip sheets. Lately, customers have been flocking to the section that contains dozens of magazines dedicated to fantasy football. And of course, people come in looking for smut, Kit says, motioning to the hand-lettered "XXX" sign peeking out over a corner.

Kit, who's worked at Newsland for seventeen years, moved with the newsstand from its former home at 92nd Avenue and Sheridan Boulevard to this nondescript strip mall six years ago. Newsland now occupies the former home of Clay Drug, which Kit remembers well. "The changes I've seen," she says, then tells how when she was a kid living at 73rd and Lowell, she'd walk over to this spot on Federal. Everyone knew Clay Drug back then. "Clay was the standard," she says. "Old Man Clay" himself slept in the back of the drugstore in a room with an intercom, so that customers could wake him to get prescriptions filled any time of the day or night.

That half of the building is empty now, except for a few desks. Kit walks over to the window, and then by Clay's old room, to point out the bullet holes left by people trying to rob Clay Drug. If anything like that were to happen today, she says, you'd need to remember which side of the street you're on before calling 911. Westminster ends on this side of Federal. Across the street is Federal Heights. -- Jessica Centers

Fiesta Plaza
1320 South Federal
6:02 p.m.

Drive along this stretch of Federal, and it's like you've joined a highly graphical representation of the American immigration debate. This is International Street. It's not Mexico, not Vietnam, not Korea or China or Costa Rica or any of those places in their entirety, but neither is it entirely the United States. It's a game, like a jigsaw puzzle, an American smash-map where things like borders and capitals and national languages have ceased to matter. Drive it, and you're in the middle of the engine of the new economy, the new nationalism, the new multiculturalism.

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Sara Behunek
Drew Bixby
Patricia Calhoun co-founded Westword in 1977; she’s been the editor ever since. She’s a regular on the weekly CPT12 roundtable Colorado Inside Out, played a real journalist in John Sayles’s Silver City, once interviewed President Bill Clinton while wearing flip-flops, and has been honored with numerous national awards for her columns and feature-writing.
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Jessica Centers
Amy Haimerl
Dave Herrera
Contact: Dave Herrera
Jared Jacang Maher
Alan Prendergast has been writing for Westword for over thirty years. He teaches journalism at Colorado College; his stories about the justice system, historic crimes, high-security prisons and death by misadventure have won numerous awards and appeared in a wide range of magazines and anthologies.
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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
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Jason Sheehan
Contact: Jason Sheehan