mudcub (mudcub) wrote,

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Self Addressed Stamped Envelope

When I was in Denver last weekend, one of the coolest things I did was tour the Denver Zine Library:

It's a great place, and I hope they get lots of free funding and donations to remain open. I was *huge* fan of zines in the nineties. Before the internet, it was the only way to connect with artists and other people who were into alternative culture. There were fanzines, "perzines" (personal zines full of drama and life stories, like a precursor to LiveJournal), music zines, comics, and strange stuff. I would read "Factsheet Five" cover to cover, sending little envelopes full of dollar bills all over the world, and getting these exotic handmade magazines and photocopies back. It was like a lifeline to this young homosexual.

The library is small, just a tiny room located in the "Other Side" arts center. But it's better than the tiny shed in the back of the founders' house that it used to be stored in. They let you sit inside for as long as you like and peruse the zines, though donations are always welcome. I bought some gay zines for a few dollars... they are becoming trendy again, and are sometimes quite pricey (over $10 for a magazine!) Proof that everything comes around again in popularity. The Fourth Annual "Denver Zine Fest" is coming up at the end of May, and it will be a fun weekend full of music, art, and lots and lots of little xeroxed paper books.

If you live in Denver, I think you should stop by. The place is on the Platte, just across from the longstanding Paris on the Platte coffeeshop. Though, I'd rather go three doors down and have tea instead at the excellent (and very fey) House of Commons tea room. Afterwards, check out the two VERY woofy bears who run Wen Chocolates. Their truffles are pricey, but with weird flavors like rosemary and mint fennel, I'll be ordering from them online (especially now that Joseph Schmidt and Scharffen-Berger are closing here in San Francisco).

Finally, check out the Savory Spice Shop on the Platte, or go watch the kayakers on the river at the Confluence park near the REI. Avoid the nasty burgers at the overrated My Brother's Bar, but at least step inside to see the original letters Neal Cassady wrote to Jack Kerouac while drinking excessively at the bar. See? I've planned out an amazing day for you in Denver. You've never been there, and you *live* there, but it takes an out-of-town tourist to show you what amazing things there are to see in your own city!
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