Thursday, April 28, 2011

Street Walker - Abbot Kinney Part II

A phrase on the window of an Art Gallery in progress.
I had to take a picture. 
Most of my personal revelations can be regarded as common knowledge, depending on who you ask and when.  Whether they like me or not often adds another dimension to the obvious. 

That being said, as we continued our stroll down Abbot Kinney, I found it to be completely charming.  Beautiful people rode by on their beach cruisers, while more beautiful people sauntered along tethered to their four legged friends, often saying hello to someone they knew in a cafe or shop.  It was all so wonderfully communal, and slightly European with it's slow paced atmosphere and congenial pedestrians.  There are very few ways that Los Angeles can conjure Europe, so when they come up, you tend to take notice.

I fell in love with the buildings that lined the streets.  If they weren't retrofitted turn of the century red brick buildings ripe with period charm and detail, they were ingeniously repurposed Arts & Crafts Bungalows (an architectural evolutionary map ending with the few Green buildings that had popped up).  Many of the boutiques like Alternative Apparel, Jack Spade, Alexis Bittar and Robert Graham had done this with great results.  The spaces were intimate, quirky, and welcoming.  You felt instantly at ease, and sometimes even familiar with the homes.  Little Craftsman houses like those are certainly commonplace in older sections of LA, and they all share the same general layout.

An interior at Plantation.  I am in love with that Armoire.
And they had a Malachite specimen on that cocktail table
I am in serious lust with.
 Speaking of homes, there were a few great home shops on AK.  The previously mentioned Bountiful, and on the other side of the street, the very chic Plantation.  Where Bountiful was packed to the gills, Plantation (Visit Plantation) was a cultivated collection of Furniture and accessories.  I am an accessory freak, so a place like this was Mecca to me.  Cocktail tables and Credenzas were artfully arranged with unique objet like Malachite stones, adjustable magnifying glasses and Moroccan trays inlaid with mother of pearl.  Foo Dogs shared the floor with Garden Stools.  Chinoiserie cabinets cohabited with tuxedo sofas, both sharing clean lined silhouettes.  They also had a great collection of candles and very unique candle holders and hurricanes.  This is a great place to find something special, and in a sea of Pottery Barns, finding a beacon of individuality is a cause for celebration.

Like all good things, you wonder what took you so long to discover them.  Such is the case with Abbot Kinney.  There are restaurants to try, bars to hop, galleries to visit, and unoccupied weekends and evenings that would be just perfect for such activities.  Though it is somewhat removed from the freeway, I think that's part of what makes it so great.  You really do leave your world and enter into something new and wonderful that is off the beaten path, and isn't that where all the best stuff lies?

- Ian

A turn of the Century brick building houses The Stronghold,
a shop specializing in custom denim.

The Stronghold interior, feeling very much like
a Victorian era Emporium.  A second room houses
beautifully made English shoes, as well as
bolts of fabric for custom jeans.
Visit Stronghold

The display at Alternative Apparel.
I wish I could have been the one to chainsaw
the Rococo sofa.  Opportunities like that come
so seldom.  Don't get me wrong, I j'adore
Rococo, but I also j'adore creative destruction.
Visit Alternative Apparel

Little Gifts

OK kids, I'm not going to sugar coat this; sometimes life can hand you a big steaming pile of crap.  No.  Wait.  Sometimes life can shoot a big steaming pile of crap at you, out of a canon, when you're wearing dry clean only clothes, and suede shoes you paid retail for.  Life can be a bitch.  No matter how much you try to see the sun through a clouds, it's still raining and your umbrella just turned inside out.  It's easy to get down in the mouth; it's easy to want a life other than your own because the universe just isn't cooperating.  No matter how wonderfully simple it is to let yourself think like that, don't do it.   

 Instead of allowing yourself to grow content with discontent, think about the good things in your life.  The things that are easily forgotten and utterly common, but for a moment, or a day, make you smile; the Sunday comics and the way they've smelled the same since you were a kid, the dog that loves going with you to Starbucks on a Spring evening, the phone call from a friend you haven't spoken with in ages.  Welcome opportunities to be happy; be aware of the little gifts that are there for the taking if you allow yourself to see them.  Live in those small moments and make them just as significant as those unpleasant times we all tend to let rule our days.

Case in point; when I was in Pasadena with Alma (See my earlier post on The Folk Tree for more) we pulled into the Vroman's parking lot, wanting nothing more than a pleasant visit to a favorite shop to round out or day, when we were overcome with delight at what lay before us: an Ice Cream Truck giving away Ice Cream.  Ice Cream.  For free.  For us.  Just because.       

Firefox, the web browser, partnered with the ultra hip, ultra good, Coolhaus and their Ice Cream Truck to sponsor a PR/Community outreach event.  They were travelling around the LA area promoting the brand and giving away Ice Cream Sandwiches as a symbol of good will.  As it happened, that day was the day to be in Pasadena behind Vroman's.  It was a little gift, just for us.

The Hipster ice cream man and a party of two.
 Kids, parents, students all waited patiently in line to order their treats.  A man in a knit cap took their orders at the window as arms passed out the finished product through the rear door with the call of a name.  Wrapped in a ribbon of edible paper, two soft baked cookies held in place gourmet ice cream in flavors like Horchata, Dirty Mint Chip and Blood Orange Sorbet.

Firefox was even there for photo op's, or rather, a guy dressed up like Firefox was there.  Of course I fell victim to the thrill of having my photo taken with an anthropomorphic fox in a parking lot behind a bookstore on a Saturday afternoon in Pasadena.  Who wouldn't?!

Le Menu.  Special varieties for the Firefox promotion.
I had the Awesome Bar, Alma the Beta.
It's things like this that make life a little better.  We're all so serious, our days filled with endless phone calls to people we don't want to talk to, our nights nothing more than an all too brief respite from paid monotony.  We intentionally strap on blinders that allow us only to see the unpleasant situations we have to face.  Will there ever be anything else?  Any relief?  Any alternative?  Yes, but we have to create the opportunity, we must be the catalyst in our own lives.  We prevent ourselves from seeing what else is out there.  I'm not saying we should deny responsibility or dedicate ourselves to avoidance techniques, but there's a lot more going on in this world that just spirit crushing drudgery, and it's OK to be happy.

Maybe we should treat every day like it's Saturday.  On Saturday, the world is yours.  You're free to live.  Good things just seem to happen on Saturdays.  Fun happens on Saturdays.  People smile and the weather is always perfect, whether it's pouring rain or hotter than hell, it's perfect beause it's Saturday.  Try to imagine a week of Saturdays, exude Saturday's spirit and charms, see what happens.  Look for opportunities in your war-torn day to smile, to make someone else smile, to make a memory.  Your day will go faster, you'll feel better, and you just may find an Ice Cream truck in your parking lot.
- Ian

PS - For those in the Westside, rejoice.  Coohaus is slated to open a brick and mortar Ice Cream Shop in Culver City very soon.  For more info, click here.

The google-y eyed Firefox stares
back at you from the wrapper.
It's just the right amount of
branding and adorability.
Dirty Mint Chip ice cream with Fudge Cookies. 
The addition of sea salt as a garnish
cut the sweetness and emphasized the
Minty flavor of the ice cream.

One of the arms, embellished.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Hot Flashes and Trigger Fingers

A typical Flash Sale Email alert.  You  get zero warning, so
it's like a little time bomb in your inbox.  These go out
to Department Store card holders who have shopped
recently online.
I was out to lunch with my friend Holly a few weeks ago and we were lamenting the Internet.  Well, she was lamenting it; I was agreeing with everything she said, making her feel like she wasn't so past her prime that learning all the ins and outs seemed futile, while simultaneously making myself appear concerned and responsible.  It's a give and take relationship built on lies and half truths, without the hassle of community property or conjugal visitation.

As Holly is one of my long time shopping comrades, the conversations took a hard left and went to Internet shopping, one of my favorite vices (especially when it's an online sale).  I really do think it's the 8th deadly sin.  I'm one to send people web links of things they need (well, what I think they need) whenever I am online perusing websites, and Holly is always at the top of my list.  Much to her chagrin, her inbox is always host to a number of my emails imploring her to make a judgement call she doesn't want to make when confronted with a beautiful necklace from Saks (it's on sale!  charity starts at home!  screw the kids!) or some clearance shoes at J. Crew (saying no at this price would be irresponsible!  Jesus hates cheap people!). 

I brought up the new 'innovation' known as the 'flash sale'.  She thought it was something you physically attended, like a sample sale in the middle of the desert, or a paternity hearing.  I enlightened her by saying it was all online, and she didn't have to put her good face on or slip her husband a mickey to get a piece of the action. 

One Kings Lane is known for their Tastemaker Tag Sales.
In essence, known designers from across the US have a
classy Garage Sale online through the website.  It's their
opportunity to clear out the closet of excess accessories
and furniture, and your opportunity to buy it at a discounted
price.  Warning : 'Discount' is not the same as 'Cheap'.
There are two kinds of flash sales.  One is put on by Brick and Mortar retailers with namesake websites such as Neiman Marcus or Saks Fifth Avenue; they shoot you an email early in the morning and the sale is over in a few hours.  Neiman's calls their sale the 'Mid-day Dash', Saks calls it 'The Fashion Fix', same story, different title.  The other type of Flash Sale is put on by websites solely devoted to selling selected designer wares at discounted prices for limited amounts of time, usually a week or until the limited supply runs out.  I like Gilt Groupe and One Kings Lane, in case you're interested.

In both cases, the enforced time limit (which goes so far as to allow you only 10 minutes to hold something in your shopping bag), the dramatically reduced prices ($99.00 for a pair of A. Testoni shoes that sell for over $300.00 at Saks), and the limited quantities all combine to elicit the sort of heart pumping adrenal overload usually reserved for the more conventional carnal pleasures like fight clubs or human trafficking.  Happiness is just a few clicks away.

Gilt Group has an app for your smart phone, iPad, you name it.
So when you cause a 7 car pile up on the 405, at least it won't
be due to texting or talking on your phone!

Holly, whom I had just tutored on the ins and outs of Facebook, opted to stick to what she knew best; buying in person.  She's not one for mystery or surprises.  There is a certain satisfaction in finding your prize in the flesh, feeling the quality, assuring the perfect fit, and then sneaking it home in the back of the car.  Maybe you stuff it in your gym bag, or in with your Trader Joe's groceries.  Deceit makes the fruits of your labor taste all the sweeter, in my opinion.  For those of us who enjoy a deal and a good game of Russian Roulette, the Flash Sale is a magical invention pregnant with potential.  Let Holly play it safe; it leaves more for the rest of us.  J'adore a good deal.

- Ian

Sunday, April 24, 2011

LA Antiques Show

The Lobby, designed by Mary McDonald
with a nod to 1970's glamour (walls and floor
were painted in an Op Art style with wide
bold diagonal stripes of ivory and black)
housed vintage gowns from Decades, the
go to place for vintage couture.
Rarely does LA welcome old things into it's asphalt bosom.  If citizens aren't tearing down old buildings to make way for parking lots and palaces, they're spread eagle in the doctors office being pumped full of botulism so they can maintain that fresh from the Mothership look.  Such is not the case for the LA Antiques show, held at the famous Barker Hangar in Santa Monica.

The yearly event, always worth a visit, lasts only four days and plays host to a wonderful assortment of Antiques dealers from across the country, including some of our own hometown players like Dragonette and Downtown (both of which I love visiting when I'm on La Cienega Blvd.).  The range of objects on display, and for sale, was astounding.  Precious looking French oils, books, garden art, Tiffany desk sets, vintage and antique jewelry, carpets, architectural salvage and, quite frankly, anything you could image, was there.  They really hauled out the big guns for the show, and I'm so glad they did.  It was amazing.  So, instead of getting overly wordy, as I usually do, I'm just going to share photos of things I j'adore.

- Ian    

A wall of vintage wool swimsuits, all of them
impeccable and incredibly charming.
From American Garage.

A vintage shooting gallery game, also from American Garage.
I love the color and patina, and most important, the nostalgia.

The Dragonette booth, floors and walls are in red patent Croc.
Pieces shown include those by Billy Haines, Fornasetti,
 and Tommy Parzinger.

One of three cases at Dragonette, all filled
with vintage Chanel jewelry.

A sofa and slipper chair by T.H. Robsjohn-Gibbons at
the Downtown booth.

Fabulous Alabaster urn lamps, also at Downtown.

The Mid Century and Danish Modern selection at Reform Gallery.

Antique Chinese watercolors from Arader Galleries.
They also have some beautiful Audobon's.
McDonald's entry with it's graphic style.
A striing contrast to the ornate antiques shown
in the space.

A view into Brenner-Valdez Antiques & Interiors. 
Love the chairs and that Baroque candle stick lamp.
Actually, there isn't much that I don't love...

I Shouldn't be Eating This - Part I

More and more restaurants are adding comfort food to their menus as small plates or side items and, to my hedonistic delight, they all seem to be adding Macaroni & Cheese.  I'm planning to sample my way though this familiar and nostalgic territory wherever it is offered, so watch for future posts if you have a soft spot for this classic.

Delicious cheese laden goodness.  Beware the the baker,
they broil it in a blast furnace.
For my first foray, I chose Bread Bar at Century City.  I have actually had their Mac & Cheese 3 times before, but this was the first time I remembered to take a photo before it was all gone.  Silly me.  Bread Bar qualifies their Mac & Cheese as a side dish, but you can make a meal of it by ordering a side salad or soup.  Like all dishes at the cafe, it arrives on a rustic wood breadboard (very cute) and the cast iron baker it's broiled in keeps it warm in perpetuity.

The chef uses Cavatappi pasta (a spiral tube) which adds a little variety from the standard issue Elbow Macaroni, and also hold an nice amount of cheese outside and inside.  The cheese sauce itself is a rich (and I do mean rich) buttery mix of several cheeses, I'm thinking Emmenthal, White Cheddar, maybe a little Gruyere Swiss.  It's not sharp at all, nor is it pungent or piquant.  It's got a great nutty flavor (from the cheese, not nutmeg, as I have seen in other Mac & Cheese dishes), and the perfect consistency; not runny and not like a custard.  It's topped with shredded cheese and broiled, so you really do get to go to cheesy town with this dish.

My cautious helping.
One word of warning, do not eat this alone.  I had it all to myself one day and it was so rich (I'm purging dairy from my diet, but I lapse every now and then) that I found myself absolutely cramped up in wretched pain within two hours.  So, proceed with caution if you have a delicate system.  When I took the photos for this, I was sharing with my friend Veronica and I had a much smaller portion, for my own safety.  True, I shouldn't have been eating it, but decadence is always more enjoyable with a soupcon of pain.

- Ian

Street Walker - Abbot Kinney Part I

I was an hour late to lunch.  This is how Nat pays me back.
Not one cooperative photo.  Yet she remains adorable.
 For being a native Angelino, I am remarkably underexposed to many of the unique neighborhoods and features of this great city I live in.  Case in point, Abbot Kinney Blvd in Venice.  I had heard about it for years, but never made it down there to check it out for myself.  I made plans to spend an unoccupied Saturday afternoon with my friend, Natalie (who will soon be leaving for a week to visit Scotland), having lunch and then hitting the pavement and checking out what the famed area had to offer.

We had lunch at a great little cafe called 3 Squares (SNL's Bill Hader sat next to us.  It took a phone call and an imdb search to figure out who he was, because neither of us could put a name to the face, but regardless of our ignorance, a brush with fame is nothing to be scoffed at, even if you live in LA).  We both ate things we shouldn't have (the Pretzel Burger is as good as everyone told us it would be, there was also dairy involved, and french fries), but our remorse was non existent.  We were seated on the patio, the ideal place to people watch (and dog watch, they were everywhere!) and to enjoy the beautiful Southern California weather.  Another perk for the patron; there's a parking garage behind the cafe, so no need to patrol for street parking if you aren't in the mood, or you happen to be running late, like I was.  I parked for 4 dollars with restaurant validation.

The back room at Bountiful.  A wonderland
of vintage charm and unique objet.  Note the
Hydrangeas and hanging plants.
We hit the street after lunch, and the first place that sucked us in was a home shop called Bountiful (  Neither of us are big members of the Shabby Chic fan club, but the shops exuberant displays and unique merchandise made us forget all that.  Set withing the confines of a former Hardware shop, still with it's original tile floor, the store is literally packed with things, wonderful things, large, small, and gargantuan. 

Vintage cake stands (stacked 5' tall on top of tables), chandeliers, lanterns, linens, etageres, bath products, furniture, candles, jewelery and the makings of an endless wish list filled the interior to the gills.  They had a great selection of unusual antiques scattered throughout, and, as if there weren't enough beautiful things to look at, the shop was peppered with fresh flowers that had been worked into the displays, giving a little extra decadence to the presentation. 

It was all a mix of English and French Country with a little Americana thrown in.  As ladies browsed through the labyrinth of rooms, the men they arrived with stayed near the entrance, paralyzed from fear; tapping the smallest wire work basket made one afraid of an impending and financially crippling landslide.  It really was a wonderland for someone who appreciates chipped paint, old mirrors and chandeliers...I happen to be just that sort of someone. 

Amid jewelry and vintage hats, something
truly breathtaking; a chandelier hung with
equal parts crystals and champagne hued
Christmas Ornaments.
An open armoire displays an extensive collection
of stoneware, transferware, and ceramics in all
shapes and sizes (note the chamber pots on the
bottom shelf and the vintage kitchen canisters
on the second).  Of course, the flowers and fruit
add just that extra 'something'. 

A sideboard scattered with candle sticks and accessories.
The mirror reflects a glass front armoire stocked with vintage

Bittar's interior, complete with Venice Hipster salesgirls.
 One of my must visit shops was the newly opened Alexis Bittar (  Several of my friends and clients have fallen for his work, and I can see why they love it so much.  Pieces are bold, unique, and attention grabbing.  Bittar's signature medium is hand carved Lucite, but he also works in metal, crystal, and semi-precious stones.  The larger more avante garde styles naturally fit in with the lifestyle of LA and the Arty/Hippie/Boho chic vibe of Abbott Kinney. 

Situated in a remodeled Beach Bungalow with French doors flung open to the Boulevard, the shop is set up gallery style with chic custom cabinets (with button tufted interiors) hung at eye level along one wall, and windows open to the street along another.  Natural light pours in, showing the jewelry off beautifully.  The exposed rafters and bleached wood floor gave a lofty feeling, while the use of Deco style pendant lights, raised paneling, and hand painted cherry blossoms on the walls added the formality and glamour usually associated with a jewelry boutique.  In addition to Bittar's own label, there's also a fun selection of antique jewelry and accessories, most of them small and delicate Victorian pieces.

Stay tuned for part two.

- Ian

Bittar's cabinets were filled with his
elegant pieces, such as this necklace
of shell pearls and Lucite studded with
Featured just as prominently were his
bold styles, like this statement necklace
of graduated gold-plated sphere cages.
It's very Samantha Jones.

The window display to the street featured
taxidermy Bears dressed in Pearls and Lucite.

Friday, April 22, 2011

How Green was My Valley? I'm not Sure...

A little while back, my friend Karen (you'd love her, she's adorable) asked me if I knew where she could get a Green sofa; Green as in the lifestyle, not the color.  As much as I love being asked questions (ego stroking) and as much as I love helping people (self induced ego stroking), I was actually at a loss.  I had no idea where to get Green furniture.

A green sofa from  I love that they're
doing the sustainable thing, but it looks like a park bench
with padding.  What if you happen to like arms on a
 If you hadn't figured it out, I'm not especially enamored with the Green lifestyle that has come into fashion.  I am proud to say that I recycle absolutely everything, my light bulbs are CFL's, and I walk, rather than drive, as much as possible.  I do not, however, want to live in a rehabilitated shipping crate with a windmill in my front yard and corn growing on my roof.  I feel I'm a normal person with environmental concerns, but I'm realistic in my capacities.  I am in no way a Green Living super hero.  So while Karen's inquiry made me feel highly capable, I wondered where on earth she got the idea that I'd know anything at all.

The 'Swamp Thing' dining set from DB Furniture. 
Made of reclaimed wood and metal.
For times when you don't want company to stay
very long, or enjoy themselves.
Not wanting to look like an idiot, I began a mad hunt for Green furniture.  It wasn't pretty.  It was plywood.  It was post consumer product.  It was hideous.  If people really want Green to consume the masses, it needs to be attractive so they'll want it.  It does not need to look like Sanford and Son.  I assumed Karen wanted something attractive, and I just wasn't finding it.

In a fit of frustration, I found the solution, which was glaringly obvious.  I told Karen to go to a Thrift Shop, a Vintage shop, or a Garage Sale and get her Green fix there.  While I'm sure this shocked her, the logic made perfect sense.  Instead of buying something Green and new, be Green and buy something old that would eventually end up in a landfill.  You can not get much Greener than by reusing something old, and you will end up spending less, as anything tagged 'Green' is usually three times the price of what it's actually worth. 
Tuxedo sofas like this one are classics and work in any
interior.  Look past the blue Velour and think of a
bold graphic or a sublte Suede.
I instructed her to look for a size and profile that she liked and ignore what fabric was on it or if the springs were shot (most people can't get beyond orange velour or Naugahyde, but I told her to try).  When she finds a frame she likes, she can have it reupholstered in a Green fabric and have the best of both worlds.  Thankfully, companies like Schumacher, Robert Allen and Kravet are all making Green fabrics with Earth friendly dyes and sustainably harvested natural fibers (synthetic fibers are muder on the environment).  And as a boon to people with taste, they're actually attractive; cotton velvets, beautiful printed linens, and matelasses abound. 

So, next time you're faced with the overwhelming urge to be extra special Green, don't get caught up in the trend and look past the obvious.  The easiest solution is sometimes the best, for you and the environment.

- Ian 

Vintage sofas like this can be found at almost any Salvation Army.
While it's covered in a very awful floral Brocade, it would be a gem
if recovered in Mohair, Tweed, or Leather.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

The Folk Tree

Walls of The Folk Tree are evenly coated with art.
A few weeks ago, I found myself in Pasadena with my friend Alma.  We had just finished a Saturday morning seminar (those are always painful) and we were planning to go to Green Street for lunch.  Before we headed out, she asked if we could first stop in one of her favorite little shops, since were were so close and it was on the way to the restaurant. 

She proceeded to tell me how amazing this little Folk Art place was and how each piece was hand made and no two were alike and I would be totally amazed at the treasures I would behold (my embellished wording, her enthusiasm).  Even if we were just in for five minutes, that would be enough for her.  She was obviously smitten, and who am I to turn down shopping?  It was just across the street, so I figured even if I didn't like it (I'm not a huge fan of Latin American Art), at least I wasn't being totally inconvenienced by travel.  I know that's not a very friendly thing to say, but I was hungry.

For some reason, I really like this one.  I think it's the due
to the apathetic man in the feathered hat.

The Folk Tree, as it is called, is a charming little shop crammed with an unimaginable number of things, all of them from Mexico or Latin American Artisans.  Punched tin lanterns, papier mache objet, charms, pottery, votive figures, sculptures, and the like, start on the floor in baskets and crawl up the walls and onto the ceiling where they are suspended like aged meats.  It was like traveling to a wonderful Bazaar with art direction by David La Chapelle and no aggressive locals barking at me. 

I jokingly asked the sales girl what inventory was like, and she replied with the sort of nervous laughter that makes Jack a dull boy.  I shared with her my tale of getting shanghai-ed into doing inventory in the Lingerie department at Nordstrom, and the though of me untangling thong underthings sent peals of laughter through the shop.  I think we had a connection...I think we had a moment there.

A canopy of tin stars in the Gallery space.
The art, which is really what it all is, from the smallest clay trinket to intricately painted hand carved sculptures, shows the chutzpah, creativity, and dynamism of the Latino culture.  Alma would pick up random pieces, some of them no more that brightly painted tooth picks and bits of clay, and wax poetically about their individuality and the cultural heritage behind it and the joie de vivre that it reflected. 

It really was amazing to see how something beautiful could be made out of what we would consider nothing.  But there it was, a brightly painted skeleton of a burro wearing a sombrero and grasping a rose between its exposed teeth.  My hard heart, the same one that has a soft spot for English antiques and Oriental carpets, grew three sizes that day and began to appreciate something I would normally have dismissed as loud and vulgar (I know, the irony is glaring, isn't it?).
Rocky, the proprietress, travels frequently to Mexico to bring these little treasures to Pasadena. She also collaborates with notable Artists such as Sergio Martinez, Enedina Vasquez, and Victor Hernandez and coordinates exhibitions held in the gallery at the back of the shop.  At the time of our visit, she was prepping the space for a Saints and Sinners show.

Hand made jewelry on consignment from the artists.

For those of you looking for a new and unique place that has as much character as it does content, you should definitely check out The Folk Tree.  It's got the artistic quality you have come to expect from Pasadena, but it's delightfully located away from Colorado Blvd, so you won't have to put up with maddening parking or rogue pedestrians.

A polychrome wood carving that's pure whimsy.
The two baby Opossums swing independently.

I'm a sucker for pottery.  These pieces with their natural forms
and Olive green glaze I found especially striking.

The shop is a repository of Dio de los Muertos art.
Yes, that is a skeleton of a dog wearing a Mexican wrestlers
mask and cape.