Sunday, May 21, 2006

Honky Tonkin' Good Times

Yesterday we had a lovely girl's night out at the Skylark Lounge, down on Broadway and Maple, to see Holdon Wafford and the Hi-Beams.

It was such a classically Denver night- guys in snap shirts and cowboy hats bellied up to the bar with their girls- usually with Bettie Page bangs and lots of ink- while slide guitar and country yodels emanated from the stage. A great way to send my little sister off to Africa in true Colorado style.

This place is one of those great throwbacks- earnestly retro rather than cheesy, trying-too-hard-retro. They serve Hamm's in cans and Bud on tap. Real barflies still go to the Skylark, and sip cheap beer next to Chuck Taylor-wearing hipster kids. The bouncer still tells off-color jokes and cuts girls deals on the cover charge. I love places like the Skylark. I love a town that still has places like that.

Tara and I were discussing a recent Westword "What's So Funny" column by local comic/writer Adam Cayton-Holland wherein he describes New York with a Country Buffet analogy- sure, it's an all-you-can-eat smorgasbord of culture and food and art. But after a while, you see the ugliness of it and the way that it's been presented in a kind of artificial manner, and you get a craving for authenticity. I added that New York is only a Country Buffet if the Country Buffet charged $800 per plate.

What I love about Denver is that it has such an amazing blend of high and low culture- pretty much anything you could ever want from a big city like NYC- but with this down-to-earth authenticity and low-key attitude that makes its appeal so much broader. NYC is not for everyone. Denver can be. And in Denver, you can still partake in world-class music, theater, art and cuisine and still have laundry money at the end of the week. And you don't have to drive 60 miles to find a Target store, either.


  1. And you don't have to drive 60 miles to find a Target store, either.

    Not only that, but it makes sense to drive here. There are folks in NYC that actually brag about never getting a driver's license.

    Something this former Cali boy just can't figure out.

  2. But instead I decided to put it in terms that they, as New Yorkers, could understand: "Our homeless people be off the motherfucking chain."

    That and everything that follows is just too offensive for words. You'll excuse me for not finding the diminishing of the plight of the homeless as humorous. And when aligned with a statement like this: "Our homeless people be off the motherfucking chain," an obvious attempt to invoke if nothing else, "the ghetto," well, all I can say is fuck that dude.

    I've hung out at the Skylark on a lot of occasions. And you're right, it's a classically Denver night. There's always someone there just itching to throw some racist bullshit at the one or two people that aren't white hanging out there.