Sunday, March 21, 2010

This Street Has a Name

I've always loved Denver.

I can remember as a little girl, packing up the family car and heading down here for a summer weekend of frivolity at Elitch Gardens and Casa Bonita for one of my sisters' birthdays. I also remember feeling twinges of jealousy at having been born in January when the roads were too bad to travel any great distance and when amusement parks were closed for the season.

As I grew older, it was Denver - specifically Tabor Center and the 16th Street Mall - that would open up a world of strangeness I would crave and later immerse myself in in the form of punk. Blue mohawks, green liberty spikes, black leather, spikes and chains. It was 1984, I was 12, and I was fascinated by this subculture teaming the streets of downtown.

But it wasn't until I was old enough to drive and lived close enough to Denver to make day trips down with friends from Cheyenne that I discovered the flavor of Denver...on Colfax Ave.

I'm fairly certain every major metropolitan area has a street like Colfax Ave. It's one part skid row, one part red light district, and one part urban redevelopment. It extends the entire east/west length of the city - from Golden to the west and Aurora to the east.

If you're looking for prostitutes, no tell motels (NSFW), bathhouses (NSFW), sex shops and arcades (a review site but still...probably NSFW)...this is the street you want.

If you're looking for the best liquor store in town, you'll find it between Washington and Clarkson in the form of Argonaut. The wine selection and prices can't be beat here. Plus, there's a free wine tasting on Friday afternoons. The clientele may be buying muscatel or champagne, wearing Prada or Salvation Army, scented with cat pee or Chanel No. 5. That should be your indication it is the best.

If you want ethnic food, Colfax has got it.


If you want a great pub, there's:

Kinga's - mmmm...Polish food
Irish Snug
Cheeky Monk - for Belgian beers, baby
Streets of London - the best jukebox on Colfax

You want a fancy coffee followed by a glass of wine? Hooked on Colfax
What about a coffee shop that doubles as a lesbian bar? Go tHERe
What about a country western gay bar? Ha! Colfax has you covered with the offering of Charlie's
Cupcakes anyone? Try Lovely's or if you want the choice between a cupcake or cold cereal try The Shoppe
24-hour breakfast? Pete's Kitchen

Looking for a book? The best bookstore in the region is right here on Colfax at The Tattered Cover.
How about a record store? Try Twist and Shout. Check out their vinyl collection.
Do you want comics? How about All in a Dream?

What about concerts and plays? There's the Bluebird, the Ogden, the Aurora Fox.

What about a finer dining experience, you ask? Try Solera or Encore.

Oh yeah...guess what else is on Colfax? Casa Bonita.

It's got just about everything you'd ever want...except maybe Applebee's or Home Depot.

I think you get my point.

Colfax Ave, to me, is the real heart of the city. It's not downtown or LoDo, it's not Cherry Creek. It's Colfax. The street that teams with all varieties of life 24 hours a day. It's seedy and trendy, hip and horrible.

And it never disappoints.

It is a good lover.

I'm within walking distance. Should that come as any surprise?

1 comment:

Kristin said...

I love it too! Hard for me to believe, but in all the times I visited and lived in the Denver area, I never experienced Colfax until last Summer when I stayed at the Castle Marne B&B. Now I don't want to stay in any other area! I'll be just fine without Applebees. :)