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Sometimes it's downright difficult to live in Dallas. The heat, pollution, and traffic are out of control. People don't trust the city government. And, darn it, there's just no place to shop. But keep your chin up: There is hope. In the name of research and goodwill, we sacrificed an entire part of an afternoon to search for high-quality outlets for buying essential goods.

We started at Emeralds to Coconuts on Henderson Avenue. A warning, though: If you want to buy emeralds or coconuts, save yourself the trip; the range implied in the shop's name is not inclusive. We weren't sure which items fall between emeralds and coconuts, but we figured it out. A sampling: Oriental soaps, pretty crystal jewelry, "see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil" key chains, Christmas ornaments and other little dangly things, and a whole lot of flax clothing. Our purchase: a very loud silk purse from Nepal.

Need to stock up on kitsch? Check out Froggies 5 & 10. In addition to selling toys, you know, for kids, this Knox Street store has all manner of supplies for midcentury nostalgists and adult-escents. Here you can acquire fuzzy dice and Slinkys and Pez dispensers--all fine old standbys that will most certainly make you think, "Gee, that's keen." But there's much, much more. Like rubber rats and punching-nun puppets and metal lunch boxes. Froggies has too many can't-live-without items to mention. Our purchase: Barney Fife salt and pepper shakers, Necco wafers.


Emeralds to Coconuts

2730 N. Henderson Ave.
(214) 823-3620

3211 Knox St.,

Sur La Table
4527 Travis St.,
(214) 219-4404

Perhaps we overdosed on all this childishness, because our next stop was the very adult Sur La Table. Have a kitchen? There's something for you here. So maybe you don't need to buy top-of-the-line copper pots. There's a a huge selection of cookbooks, place mats, cookie cutters, knives...well, there's a huge selection of anything associated with eating (except food). Best of all, every kitchen gadget known to man is stocked here. Our purchase: flavor injector (a sort of hypodermic needle for fowl and chops), butter slicer (as much as we would like to have a $40 cherry-pit remover, we just couldn't justify it).

If you had any doubts about our fair city's shopability, they certainly must have vanished. It wasn't easy, but we did it: We found things to spend money on in this city. And remember, dear readers, we did it for you. Coming next week--we take time off work to find a decent massage in this godforsaken town. In the name of research and goodwill.

Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.