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.