Here’s another batch of some of my favorite stores at West Portal…
[Edited to Add: Read HERE for the previous batch.]
I love this toy store for its charm and warmth; it feels like a place from a children’s story book. I think the half-door helps… It also has a fun selection of toys, often as quirky as the store itself.
And here’s another, larger, toy store. This has enticing window displays, an area displaying glow-in-the-dark stuff, and dolls and toys of different cultures. Again, a pleasant stop when I’m seeking a gift for a kid.
This store elevates my blood sugar just by existing… it’s wonderful. It has an unusual selection of candy, including liquorice allsorts and fantastic designer chocolate. On a hot summer day, there are often school-kids on the bench outside with ice-cream.
The shop for interesting greeting cards, seasonal decorations, and cute stuff… it’s got a fun, modern vibe. [Edited to Add (June 2012): This has now transformed into a more formal stationery store, the Desk Set. Not sure if it’s the same ownership.]
This might be the most romantic, feminine store I’ve ever encountered. Scented soap. Candles. Delicate gifts and flowers. If I’m buying something for a girl, this is a place I browse.
As long as we’re talking about gifts for girls… this is a nice little family-owned jewelry store. We’ve bought small things here now and then. But they also help us with things like ring re-sizing, changing watch straps, and replacing batteries.
This is an eminently browseable place, with a really eclectic bunch of stuff. Furniture. Glassware. Jewelry. Art. Silver. All kinds of collectibles. Again, a great place to get a unique gift for someone.
Every couple of months or so, these people battle my genes to make my hair stop resembling a bird’s nest. I’m Grateful, notwithstanding the pun.
Half our family needs glasses, and we’ve bought a bunch from here… it’s a personal touch, unlike some of the big chain names. [Edited to Add, June 2012: This store has also changed hands, but is still selling specs.]
The perfect place to pick up some veggies for dinner, or fruit for desert. Again, family-run, small, easy, and not expensive. The fruit displayed outside all tempts me.
The perfect place for a cup of coffee and freshly-baked bread… and a selection of pastry and cookies. [Edited to Add, July 2012: Disappointingly, this place closed overnight some months ago. I believe Goat Hill Pizza is coming in instead.]
Walgreens. Walgreens? Yes, Walgreens. It’s like the anchor store of a mall. Open late, stocks everything you might need in a hurry. Once upon a time, this was a Woolworth’s; then it was RiteAid, and then Walgreens bought RiteAid.