Denver’s Alley as Art & Secondhand Shovels

Bridge along walking path in Morrison, Colorado

Things to do in Denver? See alleys as canvas, buy shovels secondhand, get out of town and Save-a-Lot (seriously a lot).

1. Most underrated town 25 minutes from Denver

David, who is in a constant state of confusion re: the lack of 1) a “center” in most US cities and 2) lack of people on the streets or sidewalks found himself a little piece of solace in Morrison,  CO.

Morrison has its tourist trappings it also has lots of cute restaurants worthy of a lunch, a heavy dose of small town charm, a river with an adjacent walking path AND much to David’s satisfaction – people walking on the streets. A quick walk along the river leads to a little playground and a BBQ set up.

2. Get Your Second Hand Shovel (or saw or axe or screwdriver or …)

Amongst all the bars and restaurants popping up on Larimer stands old faithful – Charlie’s 2nd Hand Tools. The 22nd and Larimer shop offers shovels for $6, screwdrivers for $3, a saw for $7, axes for $10. A visit to the place feels like a walk through grandpa’s garage. At Charlie’s you get what you need, keep your $$ in the community and avoid dealing with the brain (and environmental) damage of buying new at Homey Depot.

3. Alley Art

Some people have so much art in them they need to get it out wherever and whenever the mood hits them. The alley off of 13th between Grant and Sherman seems to be such a place.

4. Save-a-Lot (Seriously A LOT)

One of David’s most FAQs aside from, “Where is the town center?” – “Where do the Latinos shop?” Figuring Latinos are far too clever to pay the grocery store Things to Do in Denver: Save a Lot prices he was seeing, he surmised that if we could just figure out where his Latino brotherhood and sisterhood shopped we could save some serious $$.

It was on a trip back from our accountant on Federal (little known fact when you are married to a Latino who was not born in the US you have to also do your taxes where the Latinos do because they are the only ones who can sort out how the hell to do such mind f’ing things) when we saw the Save-a-Lot (and Latinos!).  Dudes, Save-a-Lot isn’t just some cutesy marketing. It is the serious real deal. An entire grocery cart of food? $50. Spices? 79 cents. Thirty four (yes 34!) ounces of Valentina? 1.29.


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5 thoughts on “Denver’s Alley as Art & Secondhand Shovels

  1. Blair agrees with David on the city centers and people on the streets! That is funny about find where the Latinos shop. I have noticed … if you are in a cheaper country but in the touristy areas – find where the locals eat and live & everything will be cheaper. Conversely, if you go to an expensive country find where the immigrants eat and live & everything will be cheaper! Usually both are just outside the hub of it all.

  2. Terrific site, Linda. Some additional info to above: Shop at Longmont Packing, 55th & Federal, all the Mexicans go there. Careful of the different cuts of beef, you won’t recognize many. And careful of the calf’s heads (whole) in one bin. Some trivia–LP was sued by the feds for bringing up bottled Coke from Mexico. Seems the water down there tastes different and many Mexicans missed that taste, so LP brought it up, against Coke rules.
    Charlie’s is terrific, Steve the son runs the place and fixes everything properly. Been there since 1947.
    Disagree with David on Morrison. Full of drunk bikers dining on awful Tex-mex food, except for Cafe Prague, which is incredibly good. Cheers!

    • Mike, Thanks so much! We must have been there either on a drunk-biker-free day or perhaps they had not arrived yet. 🙂 Will definitely check out LP. Thanks for the tip!

      Charlies? Where is that? I will have to see what it is all about. Hope you are well! Cheers, Linda

  3. Actually, Mexican Coke is now pretty widely available, especially along Federal both in restaurants and markets- and it’s not the water- it’s the sugar. Real cane sugar instead of corn syrup.

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