Best Of :: Shopping & Services
We're tempted to say, "Any place other than Fry's Electronics," but that's a cheap shot. (OK, not really: We once had a Fry's salesman talk us into a $2,000 computer that was out-of-date 13 minutes after we bought it. Then, when we got it home, it didn't work. When we brought it back, the salesman insisted there was nothing he could do for us, despite the fact it was under warranty and a piece of crap. We vowed never to return, and he said only, "Fine.") And, yeah, fact is, the best place to buy a computer is probably online, from the likes of Gateway or Dell--or just buy yourself a Mac and save yourself all that trouble. But Best Buy has always done us right: The salespeople have some idea what they're talking about, and if they don't, they get someone who does (unlike another store...ya listening, fellas?). And fact is, Best Buy's one of the cheaper computer outlets in town: A monitor we were going to buy at...well, somewhere else, was $50 cheaper. Seriously--50 freakin' dollars. And we didn't have to drive to Garland, park in Rockwall, and wait in a line that backs up all the way to Wylie.
The glitzy black-and-white dcor is a grand setting for the two walls piled high with an overwhelming array of perfumes. Don't go looking for something as mundane as White Shoulders; this is the place to pick up Jean-Paul Gaultier's new perfume encased in a snow globe with, of course, gold snow. Vivian Westwood's Boudoir might be the ticket if the Versace Blonde thing doesn't work for you.
Hallmark Cards probably thinks it has secured coolness with Fresh Ink, its new line of bizarre and unconventional cards similar to the ones independent gift and bookstores have sold for years. In this realm, however, if you care to send the very best, Hallmark Gold Crown Stores are not your destinations. Independent cardmakers are still making the most stylish and funky cards around, and Gifted in Deep Ellum offers a great selection from several designers. From cards with "Thank You" spelled in neon letters to minimalist ones with thick, grainy paper and black-and-white photos, Gifted carries everything from the simply sublime to the wonderfully wacky.
No matter what the occasion, you can find a card depicting a young, bare, muscled torso at Nuvo. We don't mean to say that all their of cards are for gay men (or, for that matter, straight women with an aggressive appreciation of the male form). Some of them are all pecs and butts, but there are plenty for the straight shopper, including several lines of one-of-a-kind hand-printed art cards that tell someone that you not only care, but that you're the kind of person who'll spend $7 on a card.
A Dallas institution, Dallas Costume Shoppe is the place to go if you're in need of an outfit for that gala costume ball or a Halloween bash. Producing a stage play? They can outfit the entire cast. Period costumes from as far back as Shakespeare and Greek mythology days, Roaring Twenties--you name it. If they don't have the costume you're looking for, you might reconsider your search, or take up sewing.Texas Costume (pictured below) is a theatrical supply company with clients across the country. They rent costumes to the general public as well as professionals and TV types. They sell and rent technical supplies, wigs, and make-up, but costumes can be rented only. Time periods of the costumes vary from biblical to the '70s. Costumes range from $59.95 to $79.95 for three days. And on Halloween, they'll hook you up. They have thousands of items, so if you want to be it, then damn it, they have it.
If you get off on garage sales, you'll love this place. It's large, dusty, and hot, but treasures can be found at almost give-away prices. Just plan on digging and browsing. From household appliances and furniture to costume and antique jewelry to a stuffed animal barrel where a quarter buys your choice, a visit to Sarah's is a little like a scavenger hunt for grownups. If you don't find what you're looking for, don't give up. It just might be there the next time you visit.
This longtime establishment has been a favorite with art collectors and galleries for years. Its clientele (including Rita Clements, Lupe Murchison, the Edith Baker Gallery, and Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs) ranges from serious collectors who need to preserve their expensive treasures to everyday customers who treat their children's art like original masterpieces. No matter what the customer request, Frame Masters can fill the need. What makes them such a hit with the society set is their attention to detail and the entire staff's excellent taste. If you have no idea how to frame something, owner Terry Nelson and his staff can always provide you with alternatives that showcase your art and pictures in the best of borders. The real selling point to this shop is its competitive pricing. You can consistently get a better deal on your framing needs compared with equally tony shops. They even beat some of the lower-end mass-market frame outlets.
Ducky Bob's has been in the business of renting equipment for parties and events in the metroplex for almost 30 years. It simply provides the best amenities for a throwdown. From simple requests for tables, chairs, and large-scale outdoor tents, to full-scale kitchens and supplies, this longtime Dallas institution (which recently purchased former rival Cannonball Party Rentals) is able to satisfy many of the best event planners in Dallas and Fort Worth. Call them for an estimate, and send us an invitation.
Sure, there are places with more selection and places with cheaper prices. But for charm, service, and originality, this corner mainstay in East Dallas deserves some credit. Specializing in organics, it has a great selection of herbs and perennials, plus all the natural fertilizers and pest controls you need to unplug from the chemical factory . Many of its garden accessories are locally made, including its great heavyweight cedar arbors and trellises.
The fashions never get stale at Arden B at the Dallas Galleria. Styles are typically geared toward women ages 18 to 40. The wide variety of looks--and competitive prices--make this the perfect place to shop for formal and casual occasions.
Used CD marts abound in Dallas, and merchants ranging from Wherehouse Music to CD Warehouse to Half Price Books have selections of used product. But where do the most fervent music lovers go to locate their much-desired discs? We point to CD Source in the Old Town Shopping Center, which boasts excellent selections of jazz, folk, blues, Latin, and other genres as well as good old rock and roll. CD Source seems to defy the cardinal rule of used CD shops, which is that people trade in crap they don't want, making for crappy selection and plenty of copies of Live's Throwing Copper.
This lovely store sells all sorts of unusual items for the garden and home. We saw some angel sculptures and large-scale urns that would make almost any outdoor setting look classical. It also carries a nice assortment of iron works and other small collectibles for home exteriors.
Piled in the row of glass display cases are thongs for every occasion and to match every mood. Workday thongs in black teem from the case alongside lacy and satiny bits in lavender, cobalt, peach, or lime for color coordinating with super slinky dresses and skirts. When the time is right, pick from the fierce jungle prints or the sleek black and red numbers, or maybe one in pink lace with little bows for a very good bad girl.