BEST NEW PIERCING STUDIO
It might be the new kid on the block, but there’s nothing amateur about Iris. Co-owners Jesse Dobbs, Nick Lott and Dustin Robbins worked in other established studios before launching their own business, impaling willing customers with kindness and sterile care. The trio is equally passionate about form and function, their stylish studio displaying titanium, niobium, glass and organic jewelry that they install in happy patrons with 100-percent disposable equipment. Now, if they could only do something about the pain.
2431 Highland Drive, 486-0112
BEST KIDDIE HAIRCUTS
That’s right. While Bikini Cuts is best known for the scandalous apparel of its hairstylists, it’s also brilliant with kids. Any parent knows the nightmare of taking their spawn for a haircut, how the kids climb the walls, hurl themselves through windows rather than sit calmly for 20 minutes as the shears are wielded. But at Bikini Cuts, the children are too busy eye-popping at the wild beach atmosphere and the sweet way the hairdressers treat them to cause a fuss.
10295 S. 1300 East, Sandy, 495-2887; 1709 W. 7800 South, West Jordan, 562-2887
Ray Francom, Ray’s Barbershop
No shampoos, no metrosexuals, few women. Just a game on the television, a twirling barber pole and Ray, a 20-something, second-generation barber who re-opened a boarded-up barbershop and is doing his best to resurrect the profession. A master with the clippers, Ray is also a student of barbering history. His shop is filled with collections of extinct hair tonics and ancient barbering tools he picks up at antique stores, including a prized Civil War-era battlefield barber chair. Shaves at Ray’s are given with a straight razor and the aid of an ancient refurbished shaving cream warming machine.
1328 S. 2100 East
BEST FITTING JEANS
Chloe Lane Denim
True story: A San Francisco hipster artist we know makes an annual trip to Utah to buy jeans at this upscale Park City boutique that has found a special niche in the women’s fashion market. One side is devoted to couture fashion marketed to the Sundance-addled wealthy. Another contains at least one pair of every designer jean in every conceivable size. The hardest-to-fit can park themselves in a dressing room while attendants hand in jeans after jeans after jeans until finding the pair that fits perfectly. It’s an experience that, to some, is worth the price of a plane ticket.
556 Main, Park City, 435-645-9888
BEST SNOWBOARD HAVEN
Devoted customers praise the store as “a bunch of punks who know about snowboarding,” but Salty Peaks is really Disneyland for boarders. The tuning work is unrivaled, and it’s a one-stop shop for the boarder: street wear, videos, skateboards, long boards, carve boards, mountain boards, dirt boards, snake boards, balance boards, freeboards, even themed condoms. Salty Peaks is home to the Utah Snowboard Museum, a collection of more than 1,000 vintage boards. One word of warning: Skiers should go in disguise. Store founder Dennis Nazari is on a mission to convert all resorts in the “snowboarder hater” capital of the world.
3055 E. 3300 South, 467-8000
BEST POLITICAL NOVELTY
Progressive Student & Youth Council’s “Lawmaker Trading Cards”
The Pentagon used the playing card prototype to help capture members of Saddam Hussein’s regime. Why not use them to possibly change the face of Utah politics by engendering politics with a sense of fun among youth? These come in five-card packs, and feature not just each lawmaker’s mug, but their contact information, recent activities on the hill, and handy parenthetical catch phrase. Sen. Chris Buttars’ tag is “Sun Revolved Around the Earth.” Hopefully these will become a product updated after every election cycle.
The King’s English Bookshop, 1511 S. 1500 East, 484-9100
BEST TILE & STONE INSTALLATION
Robin Zocco brings an old Italian artisanship to his job. You can imagine him doing the delicate tile inlays at the Medici palaces in Florence. Meticulous in detail work and demanding about level surfaces, Zocco won’t cut corners—unless the end result of doing so would be beautiful. He also makes some of the best sausage in Utah, once a feature of the Judge Café.
BEST BMW BIKE SERVICE
Motorcycle Repair & Rendezvous
Take it from a satisfied customer, who wrote: “I recently cracked the front fender on my 1995 BMW R1100GS and took it into Motorcycle R&R to see what they could do. They could order a new (read expensive) part from BMW in Germany, or they could have their guy do some sort of awesome plastic weld for much cheaper. I chose the latter, but their specialist happened to break his friggin’ leg the day I brought in my bike. So owner Ron Schmidt, knowing that I had a motorcycle trip coming up, took it upon himself to fix the fender. On top of taking care of my bike quickly and at a very fair price, they’ve been great at offering tips and advice to make sure I ride safe and have fun.” Gear, parts and Saturday morning seminars are also available.
7021 S. Commerce Park Drive, Midvale, 255-1444
BEST PHOTO ENLARGEMENTS
Borge Andersen Photo Digital
Started by one-time newspaper photographer, namesake and proprietor Borge Andersen, this small 38-year-old photo lab is one of the oldest and most experienced in the city. It’s where ad agencies go for their most important work. But Borge will also work on a picture of your Aunt Fanny—for a price. Borge is expensive—but less expensive than having the job botched by several cheaper places before taking it to people who know what they’re doing. Borge will put his large staff of experts on your pet project to produce perfect reproduction.
234 S. 200 East, 359-7703
BEST RUNNING SHOES
Salt Lake Running Co.
The staff at this 10-year-old store are all experienced runners, and, with clothing, supplements, hydration equipment and books, the store is a one-stop-shop for those serious about their sport. What singles the running company out is the way they fit shoes. Customers run on a treadmill while staff watch or videotape their feet, checking for high arch, low arch and pronation, before putting them in the appropriate shoe.
3142 Highland Drive, A3, 484-9144
BEST CHRISTMAS ORNAMENTS
Art Access Gallery
Located in Artspace, Art Access is in the business of providing art activities for adults and children with disabilities. Proceeds from purchases go to support the good cause, but the purchasing from the talented artists is anything but charity. Art Access Gallery’s annual holiday show every December is particularly fun. Last year’s collection included found-object ornaments, including a top-of-the-tree angel made of old car parts and an eggbeater.
339 W. Pierpont Ave., 328-0703
BEST CAR CLEANUP
Clark Executive Detailing
If the girl you love most was born in the 1960s and has a steel chassis, if you know what we mean (we’re referring to a car), then you should treat her like the lady she is. Scott Clark knows and loves classic cars. His detail shop is a health spa for your car. Buffing, waxing, steam cleaning the engine, detailing inside and out, Executive is the answer to keeping a classic car from falling to pieces in the salt-covered streets of Utah. They will even store your car for the winter, starting it each month so it won’t feel neglected, if you know what we mean.
2202 S. McClelland, 485-6283
BEST NATIVE PLANT LANDSCAPING
Gayle Weyher Landscape Design
So you want to do the right thing and fill your garden with native plants instead of water-guzzling Kentucky bluegrass but hesitate because your neighbor’s drought-tolerant rock garden looks like an abandoned parking lot? Weyher is the solution. She brings a Master of Fine Arts degree to her landscape work, crafting yarrow, sagebrush, chokecherry and ponderosa pine into a yard you can be proud of. Her Grow Wild nursery has every kind of native plant imaginable.
581-0575; nursery at 372 E. 2100 South
BEST SERIOUS BIKE SHOP
Revolution Mountain Sports
Custom-fit bikes and high-end gear for the serious biker: Owners Ryan Keating and Matt Happy provide great service and seldom charge regular customers for follow-up work. They’ll even help ship bikes when you’re traveling. Revolution sells both road and mountain bikes.
8724 S. 700 East, Sandy, 233-1400
Zipping around town on your custom-electrified bike, you won’t have AC or rolled-up windows to protect yourself from chunky inversion air. But the rest of Utah will thank you for not forcing them to suck on your tailpipe. Eco Moto can make you part of the solution by putting an electric motor on just about anything with wheels from bicycles, to skateboards to scooters. The motors give you the boost needed to get through the rough, hilly patches of a Utah self-propelled commute. The store also sells a cool selection of electric mopeds.
248 S. 1300 East, 583-3390
BEST RETRO TOYS
Jitterbug Antiques & Toys
If it was a cool toy in the late ’70s—or in the ’50s for that matter—you’ll find it at this Broadway antique store. The store appears small from the outside, but entering is like a trip through the back of C.S. Lewis’ wardrobe. Behind each find on one of the shelves is another better one behind, like a cookie jar shaped like 1962 Mercury Friendship 7 capsule. But come with cash and prepared to dicker: When it comes to something like Kiss action figures, the owner is reluctant to separate Ace Frehley from Paul Stanley.
243 E. 300 South, 537-7038
BEST BEDROOM JACUZZI
Armstrong Mansion Inn
Smack in the heart of downtown, The Armstrong isn’t cheap ($99-$229 a night), but where romancing your honey is concerned, why let money be an object? Ideas of romantic abandon are promoted by rooms such as June Bride (each is named after a month), where the sheer size of the jacuzzi beggars belief. The sleepy, flushed looks of honeymooners and anniversary celebrators at the little tables for breakfast next day confirm that the faux-Victoriana of the décor summons ribald energies in many of the overnight guests.
667 E. 100 South, 531-1333
BEST $10 LATIN AMERICA TOUR
Here are food products from all over Latin America, be it Argentina, Uruguay, Columbia, Brazil or Peru. So when you fancy reading The Motorcycle Diaries, Garcia Marquez, Vargas Llosa or just vegging out with Madonna in Evita, go and stock up on Argentine “alfajores” (heavy, caramel-laced, chocolate-coated biscuits), sodas from Brazil (“Guarana”) or Peru (“Inka”) and let a little Latino spirit seep into your Yanqui soul.
2740 S. State, 484-2980
BEST SCALP MASSAGE
Brick House Retreat
Close your eyes, forget about the price of the upcoming haircut (men start at $20; women at $30) and get ready for the scalp massage of a lifetime. It makes you purr with pleasure and when the stylist finishes and you open your eyes, ready for the scissors, it’s as if to a different world.
10965 S. State, 545-0445
BEST PLACE TO PUT YOUR DOG DOWN
Mountain View Animal Hospital
MVA Hospital regulars say this full-service veterinary’s true métier is as much the support of owners as it is providing compassionate treatment of animals. This includes pet euthanasia. The decision to send your pet to its maker is more traumatic for the owner than the pet, which gets an anesthetic overdose. But the doctors at MVAH are as likely as the bereaved to be balling their eyes out, along with the clinic’s technicians.
9414 S. 1335 East, 523-1176
BEST HEART DOC
Dr. Peter Weiss Utah Heart Clinic
With Princeton and Stanford on his résumé, Dr. Weiss’ specialty is nevertheless as much about bedside manner as it is the latest in cardiac patient care. For the legions who live with A-Fib (atrial fibrillation), where the heart jumps in and out of different rhythms and can cause lethal blood clots, Weiss’ quietly authoritative, at times tongue-in-cheek approach (in response to problems with health-insurance costs, he stage-whispers “Move to Canada”), at least helps take the sting out of what can be a painful situation, both financially and psychologically.
324 10th Ave., Suite 206, 408-3900
BEST UPSCALE SLUMMING
While the prices can sting, the fun of this gourmet store is browsing the extensive range of goodies they’ve brought in after shopping expeditions ranging from Chicago to the West Coast and stops in between. There’s a pleasantly European feel, an unspoken invitation to hang out and marvel at the 200 different cheeses, or the sheer number of hot sauces and relishes. The manager says they’re going for a Floyd’s barbershop kind of feel, for those old enough to remember The Andy Griffith Show. Either way, it works.
2050 E. 6200 South, 272-1212
BEST PERKY REALTOR
When it comes to buying a house, finding a realtor who is willing to bear with you, months if need be, until you find that special abode is a demanding process. Kathy Rothe gives so much of herself in terms of hours and pure, upbeat energy, you wonder how she does it. Best of all, given that she quickly puts together a view on what you’re looking for, she doesn’t waste your time. Just enter the house for sale, glance at the set of her features after she’s had a quick look-see and you know immediately whether it’s time to leave or start talking numbers.
Coldwell Banker Residential, 6995 Union Park Ctr. Ste. 100, Midvale, 651-1600
BEST DOLLOP OF DEDICATION
Davidson’s Antique & Doll Hospital
Have a cherished doll in need of a cosmetic makeover, major plastic surgery or even an emergency eye transplant? One call to the doll hospital, that’s all. Mary Davidson, 93, has been repairing and restoring precious dolls since “before the war,” her son Don Davidson said. More to the point, since before World War II! Don said that his mother, out of town until the end of April, began painting figurines during the Great Depression, and she’s been fixing dolls at the State Street hospital for 61 years. She’s amassed more than a thousand rare dolls in her personal collection, many of which are for sale, and she has apparel and accessories dating back to 1840. Must take one to know one, know what I’m saying?
2804 S. State, 467-6644
BEST MASTERPIECE THIEVERY
Brooke Adams & Elaine Jarvik’s “Purloined Passages”
What better way for a journalist to exorcise, or exercise for that matter, that pesky temptation to lift the work of a writer who said it best than to practice with the classics? That was the idea behind a joint effort hatched between Salt Lake Tribune reporter Brooke Adams and Deseret Morning News reporter Elaine Jarvik, which resulted in “The Rearrangement,” a composition cut and pasted word for word from books on Random House’s list of the 100 best novels. The Salt Lake City Library, Community Writing Center and Random House have since sponsored “Purloined Passages,” a short-story competition with passages stolen from at least 50 of the 100 best books. Well, if you don’t want to join the Jayson Blairs and Stephen Glasses of journalism, might as well beat ’em and get in some good reading along the way.
BEST STROKE OF GENIUS
Duffers rejoice. There’s a new game in town, and they promise to shave at least two or three strokes off of yours. This state of the art facility, launched by pro golfer Henry White and pro photographer Michael McRae, employs numerous camera angles to diagnose slices, hooks and poor putting form. Golf Lab also has a simulated driving range and provides professional instruction and club fittings. Fore a heck of a swinging time, link up with a buddy and make it a twosome—at Golf Lab. Otherwise, pack a beach towel and an extra pair of socks the next time out, ’cause you’re liable to get all wet and sandy.
925 S. West Temple, 746-1291
BEST PLACE TO BURY YOUR DEAD
Lake Hills Cemetery
Choosing the right cemetery requires a perspective that in the pain and misery of loss can often be lacking. What the pleasantly Gothic-sounding Lake Hills has to offer though is something that other city plots can’t quite compete with—the illusion that you are in the middle of the country, as long as you turn your back on State Street. Wander up a driveway that curves round the outer rim of the cemetery and you see nothing more than wild grass and the mountains. It’s almost unbearably peaceful and makes those return visits just a little bit easier.
10055 S. State, 566-1249
BEST DRESS-UP RUN AMOK
Wright Costume & Dancewear
Owner Susan Stonebreaker Wright is so caught up in her work, she wrote a book about it called The Enchanted Costume Shop. A synopsis from Wright’s Website describes the story of a regular customer who donates a dress to the shop and soon encounters magical times. The girl, Wright writes, “gets acquainted with all of the costumes, and to her amazement, realizes that they are able to communicate with her, with each other and with children under the age of 4. Each costume has its own personality. … They are all involved in adventure and intrigue.” Wright’s shop has more than 1,000 costumes waiting to carry you away.
4874 S. State, 266-5999
BEST FEEL-GOOD VETERINARIAN
When a vet isn’t above getting down on all fours for a heart-to-heart with your pooch, you know he’s in it for the love. When the moody bitch takes a chunk of his flesh, you wonder if he wished he went to med school instead. But no, Dr. Good abides. That’s why loyal clients followed the good doctor in droves from Salt Lake City last year, when he started his own practice in Midvale. So if you’re shopping for the consideration that your beast of burden deserves, Dr. Good is accepting patients at the Alcor Cresta Veterinary Hospital.
7407 S. 900 East, 255-7159
BEST STRIP MALL FAMILY THERAPY
There aren’t many intact nuclear families anymore, but this serendipitous tract of retail space may be just what Dr. Phil ordered. In one stop, Dad renews the insurance policies and gets his tennis racket restrung at Net Set while Relief-Society Mom browses patterns at Sew Right. Mom-who-hits-on-her-teenage-daughter’s-boyfriend, however, is more apt to go in for a tarting-up at Steve’s Style Setter Salon and Wig Boutique. Meanwhile, the budding debutante shops her little booty off at All My Favorite Things, a fine clothing shop for children, while junior picks up a Dog Log for Sparky at the Dog’s Meow. Then the rug rats rendezvous in the middle for a parade through the Red Balloon Toy Store. And if you can persuade them to look up from reaping and sowing their filthy seeds, the adolescent blights on this and every American dream could do worse than spending their allowance at Gamerzz Internet Cafe or Dr. Voltz Comic Connection.
2019-2045 E. 3300 South
BEST PANTY RAID
Salt Lake City police raided Dr. John’s Lingerie downtown location in February and seized some 700 DVDs suspected of violating state obscenity laws. Store manager Josh Henson insists the movies are not hardcore. “They’re normal adult films, the classiest stuff you can get,” he told City Weekly. (Who wouldn’t pay money to get on that jury?) Fortunately for kink buffs, charges haven’t been filed against the 24-hour lingerie and sex-toy shop. So if you find yourself frisky at 3 a.m. and wondering, “Where in hell can I get me an edible thong this time of night?” Dr. John’s, that’s where.
677 S. 200 West, 746-1417; 6885 S. State, Midvale, 561-5390
BEST POOCHY PIG-OUT
Ma & Paws Bakery
As Janeane Garofalo said in The Truth About Cats & Dogs, “We can love our pets; we just can’t love our pets.” And it wouldn’t be crossing that line to drop a few extra bones on Ma & Paws canine confections. Spoil the foot-warmer in your life with hand-rolled, hand-cut cookies, baked fresh daily. Even if your dog takes an occasional sip from the toilet, Ma only uses human-grade ingredients, and no artificial colors, flavors or preservatives. So don’t fret sampling Sparky’s peanut butter and carob swirl, pizza stick or chicken bone (made with real chicken, but not real bones). It’s true what they say: Nobody does it like Ma.
1215 E. 3300 South, 487-3838
BEST FAMILY MATERNITY GROUP RATE
Sherri Callister & Chelsee Bushman
Where else would you expect to find a unique story of family fecundity besides in Utah County? On Feb. 15, 2006, 42-year-old Callister and her 22-year-old daughter Bushman both gave birth at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center. Due to pregnancy complications, the mother and daughter delivered within 90 minutes of one another. Bushman’s new daughter Bentley is now slightly older than her new brother Dakota, and the uncle and niece will be in the same school class.
BEST BIRD FEEDERS
Your fondness for feathered friends has a friend in this charming shop for birders veteran and newbie. Lovely birdhouses and feeders of every possible material line the shelves; bulk seeds and millet are available for purchase. Grab a bird-watching guide to identify the critters that come to visit, or protect your flying guests with a little powdered predator urine to scare away the cats. Garden gnomes and other yard decorations are available as well, but aren’t they just to make a prettier place for those birds to congregate?
2698 S. Highland Drive, 467-7222
BEST PLACE TO TEACH YOUR INNER PSYCHIC
School of Medium Arts
“Psychic” is such a loaded word; think of it in terms of being in tune with the spiritual realm. If you want to get more in tune with your own ability to understand the unseen, try Murray’s School of Medium Arts. Ever wanted to know how to give a tarot reading? Perhaps the throwing of rune stones suits your fancy. Or reading palms. Tracey offers beginner-through-advanced classes in all of these and more, in addition to performing her own readings. It’s bound to be of greater value than an English degree.
4070 S. 65 West, 293-3342
BEST SURFACE-TO-AIR LANDMARK
General Army Navy Outdoor
For some businesses, getting noticed is half the battle. But it’s probably considerably easier when you can tell prospective customers, “Just drive down Redwood Road until you see the huge missile.” That’s the military hardware that marks the spot for this purveyor of surplus goods and outdoor gear that fills out 30,000 feet of retail space. You’ll know you’re there when you begin to wonder whether we’ve just gone to DEFCON 1.
4974 S. Redwood Road, 966-5556
BEST IN-HOME PET DOCTOR
A Visiting Vet
The house call may seem like a relic from a time when physicians rode around in horse-drawn buggies and prescribed tonics. But Dr. Kathy Howell brings that tradition of in-home care to your pets. If your pet gets unusually jittery in a vet’s office—or if you, the pet owner, have trouble getting around—A Visiting Vet will perform vaccinations and examinations in familiar environs. They’ll even provide transportation to appropriate facilities if X-rays or surgical procedures are required. Your four-legged friend will appreciate the bedside manner at his or her own bed.
BEST GREEN FURNITURE DESIGNER
Talented furniture designers—the kind who get chosen by the DesignArtsUtah jury—don’t just grow on trees. But even trees don’t grow on trees quite as readily as they once did, so it’s even cooler that local designer Gleason has turned his attention to earth-friendly design concepts: no- or low-VOC paints and finishes, wheatboard cabinetry and reclaimed hardwood. Gleason has created unique works on individual and commercial-scale projects, but it’s his interest in the global scale that might be most impressive.
630 W. Girard, 635-4619
BEST PLACE TO DISPOSE OF YOUR AMERICAN FLAG
Colonial Flag & Gift
Some may disagree with the near-religious reverence with which some Americans treat the Stars and Stripes, but it’s clear that proper flag etiquette is a serious business to many. Wind and weather can tatter your Star-Spangled Banner, and when that happens, it should be destroyed in the appropriate manner. This Sandy retailer will do the job for you in an appropriately respectful manner—and will provide a 10 percent discount off a new flag if you bring in your old one for disposal. And what’s more American than a good bargain?
9390 S. 300 West, Sandy, 562-0123
BEST PLACE TO GET A PICTURE OF POPE BENEDICT
Mancuso’s Religious Goods
The world’s Roman Catholics lost a beloved, revered religious leader in 2005 when Pope John Paul II passed away. Those who celebrate their pontiff with a wall-mounted image also had to replace John Paul’s picture with one of Pope Benedict XVI. In addition to its supply of devotional literature and statuary, Mancuso’s stocks an impressive supply of artfully framed photos of the new pope to keep that special spot on the wall up-to-date.
1816 S. State, 466-5623
BEST HUNTER SCENTS
Human smell bad; animal smell good. At least that’s true if you’re one of Utah’s many sportsmen and sportswomen. “Outdoor Bill” Jarvis has designed a range of scents designed either to attract game (various urine-based compounds) or to mask that undesirable human scent (aspen, pine, cedar or sage), many of which are reusable. What trip into the forest is complete, after all, without “Elk Cow in Heat Spray”? And it’s not just for hunters: nature photographers will never get closer to their subjects.
275 E. State Road, American Fork, 866-756-6063
BEST TECH CONSULTANTS BUSINESS NAME
Good business names make it clear what they can do for you; great business names crawl into your head and refuse to vacate. Any doubts about what kind of services might be provided by “Rent-a-Geek?” Or about whether you’ll think about them next time you’re in the market for their brand of services? Technical support and Web design are certainly worth the reasonable $20/hour rates. But a memorable moniker like that? Priceless.
BEST WEST-SIDE RAWK SHOP
The Heavy Metal Shop has faithfully served wavers of the finger-horns for years—but what if you live on the west side and need a quick replacement when your black-light fixture conks out? Never fear, Metal Mayhem can serve your every need, whether it’s a T-shirt or poster, the latest metal magazine or your favorite music. And for the distaff headbanger, those special garments that make heavy-metal girls the hottest girls in the world.
Currently relocating, 563-8125
BEST BRINE SHRIMP WEBSITE
The Great Salt Lake’s brine shrimp, otherwise known by its Greek-sounding name, “Artemia,” never gets the respect it deserves. So what if their cysts are used for fish food and other commercial aquaculture ventures? Betcha didn’t know they’re also used for bioassay testing of toxins and drugs. Biology geeks can get the full rundown online, or phone for a brine shrimp informational centerfold.
Div. of Wildlife Resources, 538-4769
BEST HAPPY MANNEQUINS
Haight’s selection of high heels, pumps and ballet flats is fun, sexy and retro, and extremely out of the ordinary. So are its handbags and jackets. Too cool for school and all that. The wearing of said sexy and chic footwear and accessories may bring a maniacal grin to your face. Maybe that’s why the mannequins are so insanely jovial. Each one modeling Haight’s attire has a killer grin and wavy plastic hair. They should probably be called Manic-Kins.
2126 S. Highland Drive, 487-7771
BEST MIXOLOGY MASTERS
Rocky Mountain Bartending Academy
Those men and women behind the bar weren’t born knowing how to make a Salty Balls or how to interpret the state’s convoluted liquor laws. For that you need training from somewhere like the Rocky Mountain Bartending Academy, which offers day, evening or weekend courses that will help you realize that dream of slinging drinks, dispensing sage advice and calling cabs for inebriated customers. And graduates also get access to a 24-hour Utah job lead phone line, as well as nationwide employment assistance.
350 S. 400 East, 532-7127
BEST MODEL RAILROADER HAVEN
The Train Shoppe
Remember when kids played with things that didn’t have hidden sex scenes? Celebrate a time of simpler hobbying at this repository of all things locomotive. The beginner can pick up a box set with a little of everything; the more advanced railroader can pick up scale buildings, human figures, additional tracks, landscaping and switches. With a supply depot like this, you need not train in vain.
470 S. 900 East; 322-2729
BEST REPTILE SELECTION
There are pet stores for furry things, and pet stores for chirpy things, and pet stores for swimmy things. Mark’s Ark has all of that, plus a ridiculous array of scaly things. Boas and pythons of all imaginable kinds slither through their cages, and where else might you satisfy that lifelong urge to own a Honduran milksnake? There are plenty of the four-legged variety, as well, with geckos and monitors by the score. Plus, don’t forget the accessories—you can even pick up a specialized harness and leash to take your iguana for his daily constitutional.
4875 S. Redwood Road, 261-0466
BEST VICTORIAN GIFTS
Anastasia’s Attic in Gardner Village
The wood steps creek as you enter the renovated pioneer house-turned-gift shop. Intoxicating Celtic harp or baroque music blends with scents of lavender, vanilla and gardenia to lure you into the cozy shop. You are no longer in this decade, or century for that matter. Completely unnecessary necessities such as lacey billowy hats, Victorian faeries, birdbaths, jewelry, soaps and sachets are cause for pause. The $10 purchases are wrapped as elegantly as the $200 ones.
Gardner Village, 1100 W. 7800 South, 352-1240
BEST NEIGHBORHOOD MAILMAN/GROCER
The neighbors on Salt Lake City’s east side won’t let Floyd Youngbauer even think of changing routes. He’s on a first-name basis with most of them. Knows their dogs, jokes with their kids. He watches out for the elderly. And he tells them all he loves his job, rain or shine. He’s the poster boy for the U.S. Post, fit and friendly. On his days off, he moonlights at the neighborhood grocery, Emigration Market, whose hallmark is personal attention. This is the kind of mailman everyone dreams of, and the kind who most likely won’t go postal.
BEST YARN & KNITTING SHOP
Black Sheep Wool Co.
Very wise, witty, talented, knowledgeable and dedicated shop owner and employees. If they can’t help or teach you, no one can. They also offer fantastic classes taught by the best master knitters. An intermountain knitting institute.
430 E. South Temple, 487-9378
BEST TREES & FLOWERS
Let Rod or Bryce Glover be your guide through their acres of forest and flowers next time you’re looking to landscape that yard of yours. Besides having the best and biggest selection of trees in these parts—everything from pine to shade to fruit—Glover Nursery also dedicates lots of space to flowers and shrubs. It’s easy to find your favorite perennial or annual, your favorite veggie or herb here. But don’t stop. Glover is also a one-stop shop for all things landscaping, from gravel, soil and rock to decorative stone and water features. Another favorite attraction of Glover Nursery are its billowy and beautiful hanging baskets, all perfect for instant color in the yard or home, and all handcrafted by Rod and Bryce’s father right on premises.
9275 S. 1300 West, 562-5496
BEST AVANT-GARDE MUSIC SELECTION
We bowed our heads in silence when Sugarbeats shut down, leaving one less all-ages venue available for the kiddies. But with loss came renewal, as Orion’s Music moved into the empty space, bringing rare indie and avant-garde selections. The downsized digs are surprisingly inviting, which is good considering you’ll want to wile away countless hours scouring the bins for more obscure, musical gems.
2110 S. 1100 East, 531-8181
BEST BRIBING LOTION
What better way to grease the wheels than with fragrant, goat’s milk lotion? When the newest addition to Energizing Escentials’ skin-care product line showed up in our newsroom, free for the taking, we took the bait and wrote up a third award for the persuasive small business. While City Weekly is all about journalistic ethics, we couldn’t overlook a company—no matter how blatant its bribe—that makes powerfully scented soaps for gentle men and women. No irritants. No rashes. Just pure unadulterated pleasure. Now you know why our conscience is free.
BEST BIG-CITY GALLERY IN A SMALL TOWN
Last winter, a gentleman from San Francisco thanked Kenny Riches for bringing a bit of class to Salt Lake City. “This reminds me of home,” he said. Riches beamed, for this was his goal all along. The young entrepreneur wanted to create a space where the artist’s work—not the walls, furniture or hors d’oeuvres—was the main attraction. Now up-and-coming artists scramble for a piece of the converted paint store, hoping big-city visitors might purchase some small-town creations.
315 E. 300 South, 363-1016
BEST BANGS FOR YOUR BUCK
Unlike tattoos, cheap haircuts won’t cause irreparable damage. In the rare event that one of Dexterity’s skilled stylists massacres your coif, you can rest assured knowing lovely locks will grow back with a vengeance. Tucked behind retro-threads shop Grunts & Postures, the modern salon offers thrifty hipsters a chance to pair a rare ’70s pantsuit with an equally unique and affordable ’do.
777 E. 300 South, 364-1420
BEST COMMUNITY-BIZ BOOSTER
Local First Utah
The battle of the bulge takes on new meaning where big-box retailers are concerned. Waging war against corporate conglomerates is a bit easier thanks to Local First, a Utah-based nonprofit supporting locally owned businesses. The volunteer-based organization educates the public and policymakers on the cultural and economic value of in-state companies, from art galleries to shooting ranges and independent bookstores. Look for the sticker in the window; it’s in your best interest to support them.
361 E. 800 South, 596-8977, LocalFirst.org
BEST COMIC CATS
Black Cat Comics
Comic-book fans pledge allegiance to Black Cat Comics for a hearty supply of graphic literature, from Archie and Superman to Brian Michael Bendis’ Powers and Vaughn & Harris’ Ex Machina—a “real world look at superpowers.” The store also sells posters, T-shirts and supplies. Catch one of many acclaimed author signings; newbies can whet their appetite on Free Comic Book Day.
2265 Highland Drive, 461-4228
BEST LOCKS IN A LATHER
You know that commercial for Herbal Essences? The one where some woman goes orgasmic over store-bought shampoo? Well, similar scenes unfold at Lunatic Fringe where stylists give good head … massages that is. One loyal customer claims that time stops while her locks are washed, teased, tossed and fluffed. Oh, and the actual cut is not too shabby. Not too shabby at all.
Multiple locations LunaticFringeSalon.com
BEST MAC FIXES
Need to upgrade your hard drive? Want extra memory? Go to Expercom, where a team of techies will fix your precious Mac for nearly half the price of local competitors. Located in Logan and Murray, the wallet-friendly shop is easy to find and even faster to leave. One satisfied customer was quoted a four-hour wait only to find his computer ready to go in less than 60 minutes. Expercom also offers a wide range of iPod accessories to pimp out your portable MP3 player while you wait for repairs.
256 E. 6400 South, 313-0321
BEST CUSTOM SKATE DECKS
Virgil Gabaldon at 2612 Skate Shop
Why hang works of art on the wall when you can ride them down the boulevard? Thanks to 2612 Skate Shop’s in-house artist Virgil Gabaldon, in-the-know skateboarders are cruising sidewalks and city-sanctioned parks on one-of-a-kind masterpieces. Take one part Ralph Steadman, toss in pop-cultural obsession and top it off with mild interest in post-modernism. Place on wheels. Commence stylish fun.
2612 Washington Blvd., Ogden, 801-622-2612
BEST NEW NORTH BOUTIQUE
When former banker Janet Peters left sunny Southern California to retire in Utah, she finally had time to realize a longstanding urge to open her own business. The Liberty resident chose Ogden’s Historic 25th Street to house Ume Desigms, a small boutique specializing in unique clothing, jewelry, shoes, purses and other fashion accessories from national and local designers. Those in the market for a shirt they won’t see on at least 20 other women should try Ume on for size.
186 25th St., Ogden, 801-393-7326
BEST FIDO PRESERVATION
In 1986, the Internal Revenue Service ruled Modern Mummification and Transference exempt from federal taxation. Thus began Summun’s reign as the only nonprofit organization in the world to offer such services. The Utah-based entity, founded in 1975, specializes in alternatives to mainstream burial practices. For those particularly attached to their pets, Summum also provides animal mummification, a process that preserves mostly dead cats and dogs in your choice of marble patina, solid color, gold leaf or any number of imaginative custom jobs. Did we mention the $4,000-$100,000 price tag?
707 Genesee Ave., 355-0137
BEST APPLE-HEAD DOLLS
Pioneer Memorial Museum
Much like The Twilight Zone, Utah’s Pioneer Memorial Museum lies between the pit of man’s fears and the summit of his knowledge. Filled with random remnants of the past, it is truly a dimension unlike any other. Where else can you find tiny pianos, huge fire engines and dolls with heads made out of apples?! There’s also tons of requisite relics including exquisite pine furniture and intricate quilts. Best of all, the museum is staffed by the sweetest old ladies who point you toward the oddest odds and ends.
300 N. Main, 532-6479
BEST NEW DIGS
Sam Weller’s Bookstore
City Weekly staffers rejoiced in 2005 when Sam Weller’s Bookstore welcomed the Coffee Garden as its sole roommate. While the addition brought into our lives a tasty bevy of lattes, pastries and quiche, it also somewhat cramped already-tight quarters. Weller’s wasted no time addressing the awkward layout. They moved magazine racks, added new cherry-oak bookshelves and eliminated superfluous inventory. They even slapped on a few coats of colorful paint and highlighted all of the changes with new lighting. It feels just like home—or at least the home you always wanted.
254 S. Main, 328-2586
BEST REASON TO GET FLOORED
Locally owned and operated, Underfoot Floors is a consciously earth-friendly business dedicated to supplying all your flooring needs. Not only does it specialize in cork, bamboo and marmoleum, it also offers all sorts of affordable alternatives made from a myriad of renewable resources. As a proverbial cherry on top, Underfoot’s showroom on 300 West, demarcated by the large blue foot on the sign, is more comfortable and inviting than most coffee shops—and the friendly staff is always offering complimentary hot tea.
1900 S. 300 West, 467-6636
BEST DOWNTOWN AMERICAN INDIAN ART
This cozy shop is packed with enough artisan-crafted rugs, drums, fetishes and kachina dolls to make your head swim, but the south wall—devoted entirely to exquisite silver, turquoise and coral-inlaid jewelry—is where the action is. Owner David Dunn purchases directly from the artists, ensuring a market—and a livelihood—they might not otherwise find.
252 S. Main, 364-2961
BEST LOCAL NUTRITION BAR
Tired of Power Bars yet? From the Park City kitchen of Utah nutrition expert Art Eggertsen comes a tasty mix of 15 whole foods mixed—“blended not baked,” according to the wrapper—into one yummy, chewy bar sure to tickle the tummy of climbers, bikers and other gearheads. If Eggertsen’s name sounds familiar, it should be. He’s a specialist in sports nutrition and has even helped cancer patients balance food and nutrition. Try ProBar’s Whole Berry Blast, mixed with almond butter. Vegans take note: The bars are 100-percent free of animal products.
BEST CONVENIENCE STORE INDO/PAK GROCERIES
Shop ’N’ Go
Outside it looks like just another reconverted 7-Eleven. Inside, closer to the back, you’ll find a wealth of Indian and Pakistani goodies, including all the dals, paneers, spices and other Indo-accoutrements a heart could desire. Indian and Pakistani graduate students near the University of Utah know this is the place to go for all sorts of meals to cure a homesick heart during those grueling days of final exams.
365 S. 900 East, 355-1963
BEST ONLINE GAMING CENTER
Maybe you’ve got the full set-up at home: Microsoft’s Xbox, plasma screen, a well-worn joystick and perhaps even a cupboard full of your favorite munchies. But you can still do one better by finding other like-minded gamers. For that, you can walk through GoodGame’s doors and find not just a whole host of kindred souls connected through LAN parties, but a fine host for world-tournament competitions for such games as War Craft 3, Counter Strike and Dawn of War. Just wanna flirt with gaming and not go whole hog? Check out GoodGame’s daily game specials.
60 E. Exchange Place, 364-2550
BEST ROCK & GOTH INFANT CLOTHING
Throw that Baby Gap gear to the wall. Your child just isn’t living life to its fullest without an “Anarchy in the Pre-K” jumper dress, replete with skull button. Or treat your toddler to a Blondie-logoed “onesie” instead. The Goth-conscious infant will revel in his or her spider-web or skull-and-crossbones T-shirt. They’ll also thank you when they’re older, you know.
2030 S. 900 East, 466-0894
BEST GOREHOUND STORE
The Redrum Shop
Tagged after that blood-chilling anagram in Stanley Kubrick’s classic adaptation of Stephen King’s The Shining, here’s a store sure to warm the hearts of those fond of a good, solid fright. Billed as a “place for the morbid and macabre,” the shop stocks a full range of “dark queen apparel,” books, and Italian splatter flicks, including the notorious Cannibal Holocaust. Shop owners Jason Harris and Kimberley Adams also care enough to stock replica serial-killer memorabilia in the form of FBI wanted posters, along with death certificates of said serial killers. In short, the perfect place for anyone looking for David Berkowitz’ autograph. No memorabilia of living serial killers, however. There are certain lines of taste that cannot be crossed.
4901 S. State, 577-8016
BEST BOOK OF UTAH-RELATED PHOTOGRAPHY
Steven B. Smith’s The Weather and a Place to Live
Photographing Utah’s red-rock country and other natural landscapes is so old hat. Inspired by Robert Frank’s immortal photography collection The Americans, American Fork native Smith instead takes us deep into the metamorphosis of the American West from desert landscape into suburban real-estate mega-development ghost towns. People live here, of course. But does the sculpted urban landscape have a soul? You’ll either find these photographs of Southern California and Southern Utah banal and empty, or spooky and unsettling. Either way, you’ve understood Smith’s visual message.
BEST TRANSLATION OF THE BOOK OF MORMON
Thomas Johnson’s Modern Revelation
What’s that, you say? The Book of Mormon was already translated? Sure, but not if you count the text’s numerous forays into Jacobean gobbledygook and countless repetitions of phrases such as “and it came to pass.” Johnson’s work Modern Revelation: The Book of Mormon Concisely Translated Into Plain English not only rids the 19th-century text of cobwebs, but also presents the book within a framework of current historical and scientific knowledge. This makes it something of a milestone, not to mention some serious competition for the LDS Church version sitting on so many bookshelfs.
BEST EVIDENCE THAT SCO IS MORE THAN LINUX LAWSUITS
SCO’s EdgeClick platform
There’s just no telling how long this Lindon-based software company’s $5 billion lawsuit against IBM, RedHat and virtually every Linux user the planet over might drag on. In the meantime, at least it’s unveiled some new product while attorneys toil. The company’s EdgeClick platform connecting computers and hand-held computer devices into wireless Internet may, or may not, be the greatest thing since sliced bread. But should it really take off, the powers at SCO might find that developing and selling products is a lot more satisfying than interminable lawsuits that have won them the enmity of code-crunchers worldwide.
BEST AIR PLANTS
Paradise Palm Inc.
This 300 South store carries exotic plants of all types: kentia palms, money trees, coffee plants and even mosses. The most curious of offerings here, however, is the “air plant,” which needs only a bit of water and a well-circulated room to grow, bloom and prosper. It’s almost enough to make you believe in Intelligent Design.
1597 S. 1100 East, 582-3212
BEST HOMEMADE MCMUFFIN
Egg & Muffin Toaster
Bluffdale-based Back to Basics Egg & Muffin Toaster is an overnight sensation. The toaster’s ability to simultaneously steam-poach an egg while browning a muffin and heating up a sausage patty in about four minutes made it a “must-have” holiday gift item. Nearly 500,000 units have been sold since its introduction in September 2005. It’s been a while since Utahn Philo Farnsworth invented the TV, and now while watching that contraption, you can munch on the ultimate breakfast sandwich made in your very own kitchen.
BEST CAFFEINE & NICOTINE SCENE
Lucky Daze Specialty Coffee/This is the Place Smoke Shop
How apropos for a smoke shop and a coffee shop to take up opposite sides of a converted gas station—source of that other particularly American addiction. The shared patio would’ve made a brilliant backdrop for a conversational vignette in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee & Cigarettes. A fire-haired vixen straddling a neon cigar leads the way into This Is the Place, where an array of premium tobacco beckons. And, fortunately for the wheezy, a high-octane brew at Lucky Daze is only steps away. Now, talk amongst yourselves.
791 E. 3300 South, 484-5339
BEST RETURNED-MISSIONARY WINE MERCHANT
Victor Gener, Downtown Wine Store
There are a lot of sources you might consult for wine information. But the shortest distance between two points, as they say, is a line. The wines rest on the rack, right there. You’re walking the store, right by those racks. So ask someone who stocks the wines and knows the wines right there on those racks. Gener is a wandering oenophile’s best friend, personable enough to approach with any question, sage enough to navigate any concern or contention. Most importantly, he’ll keep you up to date on what’s new, what’s good, and what’s in stock. You’d never guess this New England native served a mission. Thank goodness for the DABC that he discovered the gospel of wine.
255 S. 300 East, 533-6444
BEST GIFT BOUTIQUE FOR HER
Two Dancing Cats
Prepare for this boutique to charm you right out of your Crocs. From toiletries, purses, baby stuff and ceramics to seasonal goodies and decorations, this store, located in an old house with an apothecary in the back, overflows with original gifts that you yourself would like to be given. Owner Sandee Oliver can even create a custom gift bag or basket filled with your recipient’s likes and interests. City Weekly’s Paula Saltas swears by the Private Harvest gourmet oil and vinegar and holiday ribbon candy. Intimate and inviting, this is the little shop that could.
1586 E. 3900 South, 272-4673
BEST GIFT BOUTIQUE FOR HIM
Cahoots Card & Gifts
It’s a good bet that a store known for its risqué novelty items and adult section will keep the men in your life smiling. Sure, there are plenty of cards, wrapping paper, party supplies, books and gags for women. But the store more or less throbs with masculine vitality. The helpful staff can help you imagine the possibilities for the men in your life, straight or gay—from a cursing toy parot to a Playboy martini set. Go ahead, push the envelope. We live in Utah, but Cahoots helps us deal with it.
878 E. 900 South, 538-0606
BEST HAIRCUT WITH EYE CANDY
Here, gorgeous men named David and Trinity give killer scalp massages along with some of the best haircuts in town (and they’re straight, ladies). Meanwhile, Jenne handles the spa services, including permanent makeup and waxing. Time spent gettin’ your propers at this salon cannot be deducted from one’s life. Take it in.
215 S. 400 East, 355-0968
BEST SWANK JEANS
Here’s a boutique that’s achieved the look and feel of an L.A. boutique. Lolabella is the place to design an outfit around jeans—and not just any jeans. All of Lolabella’s come with a designer’s stamp averaging about $150 a pair; a few are $300. But you’ll walk out with a great fit and a veritable religious experience with labels like 7 for All Mankind, Citizens of Humanity, True Religion, Da-nang and Juicy Couture. Locally owned by the founders of JMR stores, Lolabella also carries women’s jewelry, shoes, hats and glasses.
The Gateway, 14 S. Rio Grande, 328-2760; Fashion Place Mall, 6191 S. State, 747-3191
BEST UTAH FABULOSITY
Need an outfit? This is where you can create one: unique, trendy and dramatic skirts, tops, jackets, boots, shoes, belts, hats, even Baby Phat jeans. Women who love to shop often experience a warm glow upon sighting the store. Can buying clothes really equate to happiness? In that a woman’s clothing is an expression of her soul, yes. When it’s time to update yourself from head to toe, Whimsy is pretty much your one-stop.
2005 E. 2700 South, 485-9900;
1685 Bonanza Drive, Park City,
BEST BASTION OF STYLE
Koo De Ker
A lovely little shop in the 9th & 9th area, Koo De Ker exists to solve your fashion emergencies in the form of hip jeans, skirts and tops featuring names like Trina Turk, Yanuk Denim, Taverniti, Ben Sherman, Paper Denim and Blue Cult. This is a place where you enter as a poor college student who has been wearing the same pair of saggy-ass jeans for two months and a sweater from the DI and emerge as an urban goddess ready for a night of Thai food and a live band.
1037 E. 900 South, 359-4870
Glide Deluxe Fashions
Take a load off and treat yourself to a visit at this quirky shop. Feel the instant tension relief as you take in the space, the spectrum of colors and the vibe of vintage and hip clothing that pulses throughout the store. Even if proms ended for you in high school, how about a formal for a dinner party? The prices are rock bottom as some lines are discontinued or might contain a slight defect. The vintage numbers are high quality, retro chic and simply fabulous. A visit to this boutique could change the way you live and think.
2153 E. 2100 South, 467-2930
BEST MEAN JEANS
The story goes like this: Two 40-something women work for Nordstrom for a long, long time. They depart, taking their knowledge of designer jeans and their love of discount prices to an East Bench strip mall. There they open a funky store chock full of jeans of every label, with prices that appeal to the proletariat. These ladies are stickin’ it to the Man, whoever that Man is. But he is someone who thinks you should pay three figures for a pair of jeans. The revolution is afoot: If you’re looking to cover your ass in style, here’s your store, at a price you can afford.
2919 E. 3300 South, 486-5326
BEST LIVING COLORS
Just like the name implies, this Sugar House home furnishings and accessories store is the breath of fresh air your anemic abode has been looking for. Owner Sheri Lermusiaux experiments with bold and brave room displays, helping you see how wall color, carpet, furniture, art, lamps and vases work together. Did we mention popping colors, mind-addling textures and intricate patterns? The displays are always changing; if you snooze, you loose, says Sheri. It’s new, it’s hip, it’s affordable, it will resuscitate your living quarters.
1987 S. 1100 East, 487-2111
BEST MODESTY LAYER
“The problem women face is trying to stay on top of current fashion but also follow moral standards.” So says a press release for Shade Clothing, a local company that produces undershirts for Mormon women that can be worn under the low necklines and short waists of most fashionable tops, thereby keeping church garments under wraps. Shade sells a strap camisole that tucks into low-rise pants, so that when you bend over, the shirt stays tucked in. Capped-sleeve and baby doll T-shirts are also hot items. You can even host a Shade party. It’s a veritable modesty movement, allowing Mormon girls to spend even more money after buying vampy designer threads.
BEST SHIRT FOR LOCALS
Cabin Fever’s “SL,UT”
Are you a SL,UT resident? If yes, you can proudly wear this T-shirt, designed by Aliece Lindsay and sold at Cabin Fever in Trolley Square with pride.
Trolley Square, 363-0828
BEST LUXURY LINENS
Details Essential Comforts for the Home
This Sugar House boutique carries Sferra Italian sheets, sheets with some of the highest thread-counts around. But thread-counts aren’t everything. Sferra uses long-staple cotton grown on the banks of the Egyptian Nile, which is spun into yarn woven into sheets in Italy and mercerized to plump the fibers. Finally, the design on most of its top sheets is made with a mitered corner, and then continues 22 inches along the side of the sheet. This “European return” creates a finished look when the top sheet is turned down. A luxury purchase for when you finally get your sheet together.
1993 S. 1100 East, 364-8963
BEST FLORAL ARCHITECTS
OK, first a disclaimer: Pam Ostermiller, one of the co-owners, is the main squeeze of City Weekly’s computer geek—but that said, let it be known that this company arranges some of the most amazing, arresting and startling flower arrangements imaginable. Yes, they use traditional flowers, but they are built into cones and balls and accented by grass loops. It’s all about structure with TriFecTa. They’re truly one-of-a-kind, Zen-infused and remarkable in every way. Next time you need something totally original for your loved ones, your office or your special event, make the flower call.
Clarity Coaching with Kathryn Dixon
Got an issue? Mad at the world? Got a problem with “what is”? Kathryn Dixon can help you straighten out your little noggin. Specializing in a technique developed by Byron Katie called “The Work,” Dixon shows how judgment, gripes and resentment get in the way of living and how much freer we can be by “turning it around.” So turn your phone around and call her, because the first 20 minutes are free.
BEST WAY 2 B FAST & FURIOUS
If you’ve successfully skirted adulthood and have no mortgages, student loans or day-care providers to pay, this store offers is the best way to spend your disposable income and pimp your ride. Get yourself a Sirius satellite radio, car stereo or a remote car starter. If you do have kids in tow, that should qualify you for a headrest DVD player in your minivan, no? With locations on State Street, in Ogden and in Orem, this locally owned company has been around 27 years. The staff is not just selling “stuff” but actually tries to get into your head and figure out what you need. Not exactly a big-box strong suit.
BEST WAY TO STRUM UP BUSINESS
Jack’s Drum & Guitar Shop
Buy an instrument such as an Ibanez guitar or an Argent or Tama Drum from Jack’s, and they throw in two free lessons on guitar, drums, string bass, electric bass, African drums, dumbecks, conga, djembes. This family-owned business is also a hand-drum specialist. Check out the congenial vibes at the Sugar House shop; these are the real musician’s friends.
2154 Highland Drive, 467-7982
BEST SHOPPING FOR A CAUSE
The Free Speech Zone
How’s your social activism these days? Got a decent T-shirt or bumper sticker than adequately conveys your sentiments about the war in Iraq and the Bush administration? Here’s where you buy all your sweat-shop-free stuff. Pick up the latest fliers on antiwar demonstrations and rallies. There’s also a free meeting room for nonprofits that also moonlights as a screening room on Friday and Saturday nights for films such as The Battle of Algiers, The Oil Factor and Thirteen Days. Hippies of yesteryear, come home to your roots.
2144 S. Highland Drive, 487-2295
BEST DOWNTOWN VARIETY SHOP
AJ’s Kwik Mart
Need a donut, a hard-boiled egg, a souvenir shot glass or a copy of the Quran? Or perhaps some Afghan clothing, a Persian rug or an Italian leather jacket? All this and more can be yours at Omar Mullahlchel’s downtown variety store. While it’s a small shop, it contains a universe of miscellany. As in practically every spice, seasoning, oil and grain needed to prepare any Middle Eastern dish, from chickpeas to red lentils to five-gallon tins of imported olive oil. With bulk teas, Turkish coffees, figs, pickles and dates to bananas, tampons, birthday cards, office supplies, electric switch-plate covers—it’s hard to stump Omar. Go ahead and try. He’s even got chalk.
260 S. Main, 355-3335
BEST ART START
Visual Art Institute
Are you weary of washing your children’s magic-marker drawings off the wall? Remember, when the student is ready, the art institute will appear. Founded in 1978, the nonprofit Visual Art Institute is the place for kids who love to draw, from the ages of 5 to 18. Offering after-school and summer classes in drawing, acrylic and oil painting, ceramics, comic-book illustration, mixed-media pop-up books, intaglio printmaking and more, students build portfolios they can use to pursue university admittance and scholarships. Not all artists eat their paint and slice off their ears: These kids have it goin’ on.
1838 S. 1500 East, 474-3796
BEST HIPSTER FURNITURE
If your hipster life and hip friends resemble an Andy Warhol 16 mm, then