Best Geek on the Cheap 2005 | Zeus Toys & Comics | Best of Dallas® 2020 | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Dallas | Dallas Observer
Yes, we're somewhere between a quarter and half a century old and, no, we'd rather not discuss which we're nearer to. Despite our years of wisdom, our past spent studying tomes of philosophy and other generally impressive things, we love some good time just playing with our toys. Action figures, comics, dolls, you name it. It's just that, well, even though we've got all that wisdom, we don't exactly have the paycheck to prove it. That's why we love the boys over at Zeus for almost always having a bargain bin where we can find a gem or two for around a buck apiece. The clearance comics are also a Marvel-ous (Ha!) idea for unusual and affordable prizes, favors or decorations for kids' parties...or, um, your house. (Not that we'd know anything about that, of course. We're adults, thank you!)
Don't mind the employees' looks of dismay as a large, excited group of you and your posse come running into the store with a mission. You have to get the next item before the rest of your competition does! The vault that used to hold Sterling Jewelers' exquisite diamonds and pearls has now become Half Price's nostalgic National Geographic collection and a key location for many adolescent sleepovers. But the first thing most people see upon entering the store is the information desk located smack dab in the middle. If you're creating the list, add a specific magazine issue or out-of-print book to the hunt. Average book price: $5.98. Seeing the grimace through the grin: priceless. Now, if only you were there when the group behind yours enters the store.
First, a clarification: If you are one of those people who circles addresses in the classifieds Friday night, gets up at the crack of dawn on Saturday and fights over estate sale items with foam-at-the-mouth antique dealers, stop reading now. We are speaking to folks who simply like to piddle around on weekends in search of a bargain. Stay within the borders of Greenville Avenue, McCommas Boulevard, Abrams Road and Vanderbilt Avenue, and you'll find plenty of 25-cent paperbacks, $1 record albums and maybe even a cute wooden box or two. Caution: Stay away from used underwear, because that's just creepy.
When we drag friends to The Shake Rag on a given weekend, their reaction falls into one of two categories. The first is a squint-eyed "hmm" and a quick perusal of the store, acting as if they'd just gotten a bad sweater from Aunt Ethel. The second is helluva lot more appreciative, combing through the cherry-picked vinyl selection organized by decade, testing out the vintage music instruments and amps, drooling at the music memorabilia strewn across the walls and haggling with the owner over prices. It's not the cheapest place to beef up your musical collection, but just about everything in the tiny shop will whet music snobs' appetites. Even if you fall into the "first reaction" category, stop by this hidden gem off Lower Greenville to find a unique gift for the music snob in your life.
Your Singer getting a little creaky? Can't find your zipper attachment? Perhaps you're just in need of a lube job, if you know what we mean. No, we're not being rude; we just think you need a reliable, honest place to get your sewing machine worked on. The Sew & So, located near the downtown Garland square, is the place for sewing machine repair and reconditioning, as well as collectable machine sales and trade. The storefront may appear nondescript from the street, but within it lies a wealth of knowledge on all things related to those refined beasts that at one time graced every household. Our inherited Singer Portable Electric 221-1 received a new lease on life after a near fatal internal tangle, but this so-and-so got it purring like a kitten--and even offered us a pretty penny for it. We held on to our treasure, and though the good doctor played disappointed well, we suspect we saw a little glint in his eye that such a fine specimen would be well-used and returning, of course, for annual check-ups.

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