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IQ: Springs after dark 

Night owls, beware: Tripping the lights fantastic becomes a fine-tuned endeavor as you get older. Yes, middle age has its rewards, but it tends to mean a retrospective, those-were-the-days approach to carousing, rock 'n' rolling, driving home in dawn's early light (the Mary Hopkins song in the background here).

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Derek Loftin
Pizza cook
West Side

Which is your bent these days: party 'til you drop or home by 10:30? It's more along the lines of party rationally and home by twelve. These days I'm trying to conserve a few brain cells.

How long since you last seriously tied one on? Four to five months, at least. I have a few friends in bands in Denver, so I saw some shows and went to some after-show parties and stayed up to 5 a.m. and went to breakfast.

What's a typical night out these days? A few beers at a friend's house. Maybe a movie, maybe not.

Where's the best place to let your hair down? My house.

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Birch Foster
UCCS student
West Side

Are you more given these days to partying 'til you drop or being home by 10:30? Definitely home by 10:30. The Springs has little to offer for those not into the bar scene.

What's a typical night out these days? Go for a walk downtown. Get a cup of tea and read a book. Maybe meet up with some friends.

What's the best local night spot? Utopia, maybe Jack Quinn's -- though there's a new place called Shuga's that's very low-key and mellow. It was the best night-out experience I've had in the Springs for years.

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Joanne Fritz
Retired junior high teacher
Manitou Springs

Which is truer of you these days: party 'til you drop or home by 10:30? Home by 10:30, though I've been known to take the 2 a.m. bus home if I'm gambling at Cripple Creek.

What are your fondest nightlife memories? San Francisco and the North Beach coffeehouses back in the folksy days -- especially this place called Pinocchio's next to City Lights Bookstore, where they played chess and guitars. It was also a lot of fun to go hear the Grateful Dead, Jefferson Airplane and Pink Floyd at the Fillmore. We were neighbors and good friends of David Cohen, the keybordist for Country Joe and the Fish, and we went to Barry Melton's (CJ&F lead guitarist) wedding. And then there were all those antiwar marches and teach-ins in Berkeley, with tear gas in the streets. We still have a big stack of Berkeley Barbs at home.

What's a typical night out nowadays? Go out to dinner, take a walk in Old Colorado City or Manitou, and then home. As you get older, the things you used to like to do aren't as much fun.

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