We've long been fans of Topo Designs' gear, and finally there's a place to browse their whole catalog at once. The new flagship Topo Designs Store gives you an opportunity to browse their range of bags, apparel, and accessories, from accessory pulls and wallets to klettersacks and duffel bags. Also on offer are some choice outdoorsy magazines, as well as a range of camping and outdoor equipment and a solid selection of sunglasses. And as you might expect from an outdoor-focused company, the store itself is easy on the environment, as it's built from two recycled shipping containers, giving it an appropriately rugged feel.
Sure, Michigan might not be the first place you think of for a surfboard shop, but anyone who's ever been out on the Great Lakes can attest to the surfing being just fine — if you know where to find it. Third Coast Surf Shop seeks to outfit these hardy lake surfers, offering a full compliment of wetsuits, leashes, wax, racks, carriers, surfboards, paddleboards, skateboards, magazines, books, surfing DVDs, and self-branded shirts, hoodies, sandals, and hats. In addition, the company runs another location in New Buffalo, so you have more than one place to get geared up.
Most people might know it better by the name of the TV show it was featured on — Miami Ink — but by any name, the artists at Love Hate Tattoo Studio are some of the best in the business. Owned by Ami James and Chris Nunez, this shop is located just where you'd expect — in South Beach — and is home to a dozen artists, each with their own strengths. While they still handle walk-ins, they're rather popular (as should be expected), so it's probably best to make an appointment if you plan on getting work done while you're in town.
Opened in 2001, Turntable Lab isn't just a store — it's a destination for DJs and music lovers alike. Set in the East Village, this tiny store offers an excellent of turntables (of course), speakers, and other audio equipment, as well as a vast collection of vinyl, ranging from new releases to undisputed classics. Having trouble making a decision on your purchase? Not to worry, as the store also boasts some of the most knowledgeable staff around. Oh, and be sure to keep your eyes open for well-known musicians — after all, they have to shop somewhere, too.
Did you know that Muléh means "to come home" in Javanese? Neither did we, until we made a stop by this Logan Circle shop. The name comes from owner Christopher Reiter, who returned to the states after four years in Southeast Asia to create a store that reflected the design sensibilities of the region. Inside, you'll find intriguing, original furnishings, including couches, chairs, tables, beds, dressers, and lighting, all with a distinctly Asian flair. Have a lady in your life? They also have a selection of women's fashion designed in NYC, LA, Paris, and Milan, and for out-of-towners, there's an outpost in Chelsea, as well.
If you're just looking to get a tiny, silver dollar-sized star, heart, or some other clichéd mark on your body, there are plenty of shops you can go to. But if you're looking for an actual piece of art, on a scale commensurate with its quality, try getting an appointment at Analog Tattoo. Staffed by world-renowned tattooists, this shop specializes in large-scale projects like sleeves, back, shoulder, and side pieces — but is of course capable of cranking out terrific smaller work as well, provided they like you. As with any great shop, you might have to wait a while to get in, but in the end, it's well worth it.
It doesn't matter what sort of gift you're looking for — artwork, fragrances, flowers — you're likely to find something at Grange Hall. This curious Uptown shop offers a bit of European flavor in the middle of Texas, with unique objects that can border on the bizarre but tend to fall on the right side of the weird line by adding a touch of whimsy to the proceedings. Oh, and the store is also home to Urban Flower, arguably the best flower shop in the city and supplier to many of the area's best hotels/restaurants/party hosts.
It doesn't really matter what it is you're looking for — or if you're looking for anything at all, for that matter — Agora is worth the stop. Located in downtown, not far from the 40 Watt Club, this locally-owned co-op features vintage and antique goods from nearly 50 sellers. In addition to the expected clothing, the shop also offers mid-century modern furniture, LPs, turntables on which to play those LPs — including some great console-style players — jewelry, art, and knick knacks. As with all vintage shops, the selection can be hit or miss depending on what you're looking for, but expect far more hits that misses — enough so that we'd also make you you leave extra room in your vehicle for hauling your unexpected bounty home.
If you're expecting to find chicken coops and other farm-related items at Roost, you might be disappointed. But then again, you might not. This killer Andersonville vintage store stocks all sorts of items, from carefully-curated and displayed knick knacks on the first level to a full on retro furniture explosion on the second level. The prices aren't cheap, but neither is spending all weekend driving around to yard sales trying to find just one thing worth buying. Trust us. We've tried. And the only thing worthwhile we ever seem to bring home is a six-pack to calm our nerves.
While the name of the place couldn't be more vague, there's definitely a distinct vibe to General Store. Located in Outer Sunset, this quaint shop offers a well-curated selection of goods both new and vintage. Inside the brightly-lit space, expect to find everything from furniture and books to clothing, housewares, and even plants. While you're not going to show up and furnish an entire dwelling, you're certainly likely to find a few items that will transform your personal space into something a bit more refined. For those living in the southern part of the state, there's also a location in Venice.
We're not sure what constitues a mile of books — there's several ways you could calculate that — but we are sure that when the Strand Book Store says they have 18 miles of books, they're mean a lot. Opened in 1927 and still owned by the same family, this Greenwich Village is the only remaining survivor of the city's previously thriving Book Row. Inside, you'll find over 2.5 million new, used, rare, and out-of-print books, covering topics as diverse as cooking and the occult. With a friendly, knowledgeable staff and good prices, it's a must-see for any bookworm.
Upon arrival, you might ask yourself why you're spending your Friday night in a small town on top of an Appalachian mountain, but once the music gets going, you'll forget all about that. The Floyd Country Store is more than just a store — although it's one of those, too, selling everything from enamelware and pie dishes to games, clothing, CDs, DVDs, and tons of local products like soaps, lotions, preserves, and crafts. But the big draw is the live music and dancing Jamboree, held every Friday night both inside and outside the store. If you're lucky, you just might find someone willing to give you a sip or two of moonshine — and not the kind they sell at the liquor store.