Top of the shops

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.


Emeralds to Coconuts

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

3211 Knox St.,

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

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.

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.

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