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Categories: Best of Denver

Twist & Shout
Gary Hart, John Elway and Stapleton International Airport. All three of those blasts from the past won awards in our Best of Denver issue back in 1988. So did Colfax Avenue, which won Best Neon Strip that year. And while the longest, wickedest street in America has changed a lot in the intervening years, Colfax has continued to light up the night. Last year, the venerable Twist & Shout won Best Store on Colfax -- again -- while the Sie FilmCenter next door won Best Movie Theater -- Programming. And that's just the start.

See also: Best of Denver 2014 Winners

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Ten Best Commercial Signs on Central Colfax

The Pete's Kitchen sign is a Colfax landmark.
The Colorado history contained in the 26 miles of Colfax Avenue, the longest main street in America, is thick with truth and tall tales. You can read some of this history in the commercial signs that still exist on Colfax; we've already profiled the best commercial signs on West Colfax and the best signs on East Colfax.

But it's the stretch between Colorado Boulevard and Broadway that is the most strange and storied, and so we've collected the best commercial signs that can be found along the busiest part of Colfax -- some old, some brand-new. Keep reading for an illuminating look at main street America. (Also, honorable mention to Trattoria Stella, Atomic Cowboy and Argonaut Liquors, for contributing more good signs to Colfax culture!)

See also: Keeping Colfax weird: Ten spots that give Denver's main street its culture and character

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The Five Best Womenswear Boutiques in Denver

For women, the shopping options in Denver can seem overwhelming -- but that's a good thing. Who doesn't like to look in their closet and see choices? From Cherry Creek to LoHi to RiNo to South Broadway, this city is one walk-in closet filled with big stores and charming little shops. We've looked at them all, and rounded up our five favorite places for women to shop for fashion -- and simultaneously stimulate the local economy.

See also: Five Best Menswear Boutiques in Denver

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The Ten Best Tattoo Shop Names in Denver

Tattoo by Travis Koenig from Bound by Design
For some, it can be scary to finally decide to get a tattoo. Where do you even start? When it comes to researching a shop, its name is probably the first thing you'll come by--whether you hear it from a friend or you find it on social media. So tattoo shops have to pick a name that sets them apart from the rest, that tells clients who they are and what kind of experience to expect. Denver has its fair share of tattoo shops, many of them with original, witty, weird and memorable names. Here are our top ten.

See also: Top Five Interviews With Denver Tattoo Artists

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Ten Best Commercial Signs on East Colfax

To know the story of Colfax is to truly understand the personality of the Denver metro area. The gravel-and-tar artery that once ushered visitors in from the open road now hosts a variety of people and cultures along America's longest main street. Westword is taking a look at Route 40's history through the signage found in each section of the strip; this edition covers the stretch from Colorado Boulevard to east of Havana. Stay tuned for a final list of central Colfax's greatest signs.

See also: Ten Best Commercial Signs on West Colfax

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Ten Best Commercial Signs on West Colfax

Bree Davies
Colfax Avenue's sordid and fascinating history provides a road map for the evolution of the metro area. The longest uninterrupted main street in the United States, Colfax coasts from Aurora to Golden with chunks of Denver and Lakewood in between, providing an excellent cross-section of Colorado commerce, culture and community. And since this strip formerly known as Route 40 was here for both boom and bust, during the good times beautiful architecture, structures and signage appeared -- much of which survived the busts.

Westword is taking a look at Colfax's history through the signage found in each section of the strip. Starting from the west end at Kipling and heading toward downtown Denver, we've captured just some of the great signs belonging to current and former businesses that give West Colfax its visual character.

See also: 40 West Arts Is Capturing West Colfax's History Through Commercial Architecture

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The Ten Best Resale, Vintage and Thrift Stores in Denver

Goodwill's upscale sister store, Déjà Blue, in Cherry Creek.
There are plenty of thrift shops and resale boutiques in the Mile High City and sometimes it can be hard to navigate them all. From upscale consignment to vintage apparel and up-to-the-minute styles, there are boutiques and bargain storefronts crammed full of clothes. To help navigate our fashion-forward recycled clothing shopping scene, we've compiled a list of some of the best and most diverse stores to find gently worn women's apparel -- and some spots for men's and children's attire, too.

See also: Goodwill to open two stores this spring, including the thrift boutique Deja Blue

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Ten best free fountains where you can get wet and wild on a hot Denver day

Beat today's heat. Where? Keep reading.

No need to sweat the rising temperatures: Your next kid-tastic adventure is just a fountain away. That's right, the Denver metro area boasts some of the coolest, child-friendly fountains known to man, most adjacent to day-trip-worthy family attractions -- and all free. What are you waiting for? Grab the kids, suits and swim diapers, and start splashing.

See also: Boulder's Meadow Music offers a fun way for families to connect with nature and each other

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Ten best dates in Colorado this summer

Stephen Cummings for Westword.
Romance is always in the air, but Colorado is especially enchanting in the summer, when you can have a lovely time outside -- or inside, escaping the heat. With so much to do during the warmer months, we've narrowed down the options to this list of ten of the best outdoor (and indoor) places to go with your beau or babe on a dream date -- with plenty of cheap or free options, too!

See also: Ten things you didn't know about Lakeside Amusement Park in Lakeside, Colorado

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Taylor Gonda and Kevin O'Brien celebrate two years of the These Things Matter podcast

Kevin O'Brien and Taylor Gonda are the voices behind These Things Matter.
Two years ago, friends Taylor Gonda and Kevin O'Brien realized that they didn't just enjoy discussing popular culture, but that they also reveled in the High Fidelity spirit of connecting it to personal experiences. Thus the These Things Matter podcast was born, and Gonda and O'Brien began bringing special guests into their home studio to talk about "pop culture, autobiographically," covering topics like Caddyshack, Weezer, zombies, R. Crumb and more.

Tomorrow night, Westword's Best Podcast in 2014 celebrates two years and one hundred episodes with a live broadcast at the Sidewinder Tavern, inviting past guests back to talk about songs that, for them, represent singular moments in time. In advance of the big live show, Westword spoke with Gonda and O'Brien about what works and doesn't work for a podcast with as wide a scope as These Things Matter.

See also: For These Things Matter's first birthday, its hosts discuss their ten favorite episodes

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