Best Of :: Shopping & Services
Some people in these offices snidely refer to NorthPark as the rich, white people's mall. We have a lot of class anger here at the Observer. You might have noticed. Obviously, some of our broke-ass, reverse-snobbish staff haven't been to NorthPark in awhile, because a trip there is a like a world tour in air-conditioned comfort, with no TSA and more familiar food. Walk NorthPark's long, art-filled halls, and we promise you'll hear more languages and see more saris, hijabs, stylish sagging and straight-up high and avant-garde fashion than anywhere this side of Manhattan. Goth girls and punks, hip-hoppers and models rub shoulders with hoi polloi, the rich and the in-between here, making for the best people-watching in Dallas, inspiring us to quote Willy Shakes: "O, wonder! How many goodly creatures are there here! How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world, That has such people in't!" Fancy, eh? And, ya know, the shopping is pretty freakin' awesome too. Think NorthPark is uniformly out of your price range? Well, yes, it can be, but when you're done watching people, take a look at what's in the shops. You'll be surprised at what you can walk away with, feeling fancy without going broke.
Beverage Depot is the size of a grocery store, but the food groups here are "vodka," "whiskey" and "Scotch." Checkout lines are long and aisles crowded on Friday nights as customers load up on bargain booze from the well organized selection of wines, beers and spirits. Imported wines at low prices are a specialty. Looking for a fine Australian vintage? They have more than 25. We'll drink to that, mate.
Occupying prime retail space in Deep Ellum, Epocha boutique and art gallery specializes in men's hard-to-find sneakers. Rare editions of Pumas and Asics are there, along with lesser-known brands. Steps from the colorful shoe rack hang a large selection of men's vintage coats. Shop here for unique streetwear and hip-hop looks and quality goods from the recent past. Epocha sometimes hosts events, serving drinks to Dallas' most fashionably offbeat folk. If you can't afford the footwear, you can at least enjoy the free people-watching.
Oliver Peck is the local ink star who founded the Friday the 13th tattoo marathons. On those nights on the calendar, Peck and his coworkers at Elm Street Tattoo put on a show. With lines snaking out the door, people wait to get a tattoo for just $13 — on the condition that it must have the number "13" somewhere in the design. (The store also asks for a $7 tip, so it's a $20 deal). The bargain night has become a rite of passage for body art enthusiasts. Peck's the top talent but his assistants are masters, too. You're lucky to get ink from any of them.
One Saturday a month, the back room of the independently owned Pet Supplies Plus on Lower Greenville offers discount vaccines, drawing lots of dog owners and yapping, furry friends who sense that something's up. Be assured that the vets here work with sensitivity, patience and care. This store is open every day of the week and often holds adoption events.
Jewel Ybarra is a Dallas cyclist who taught herself to sew. She is the creator of Ellum Bag Works, selling handmade, locally sourced gear and apparel to local bike shops and from her Etsy page. Her specialty is cycling caps — light, breezy caps that absorb the sweat under a helmet. No corporate logos on these, just Ybarra's unique fabrics (batiks, tweeds, moleskins) and designs that appeal to all sorts of riders. Good stuff for getting your head straight and keeping it dry for a long ride.Transit Bicycle Co., 1915 Greenville Ave., 214-219-2453 (and other dealers), ellumbagworks.com