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Best of the Twin Cities 2009

How to play. Where to shop. What to eat. Who to hire. Got it? Good. Go.

Best of the Twin Cities 2009

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Women’s Boutique

» You know those shops where the salespeople never acknowledge your presence? Where everything in the store is nice, but nothing is exciting? Where you’re afraid to look at a price tag—and usually leave without buying anything? Stop. It doesn’t have to be this way. At Picky Girl, you’ll be greeted by the adorable store owner (or one of her perky sidekicks), dazzled by the killer clothing and accessories, and overjoyed when you realize that most of it costs under $100. It pays to be picky. 949 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-698-4107

Skincare Product

» Take one part garbanzo powder, a handful of ground oats, a sprinkling of ground flax seeds, a dash of turmeric, and what do get? No, not curried granola, but the recipe for a mind-blowing facial cleanser from Hooked Studios Skincare. It turns out this wholesome, organic concoction can clear up acne, boost radiance, and diminish the signs of aging. We’re hooked. hookedstudios.etsy.com

Resale Shop

» If digging through piles of someone else’s old clothes is your idea of “treasure hunting,” then by all means—go to a garage sale. But if perusing a well-edited selection of next-to-new designer shoes, handbags, and clothing in a charming, vintage-y setting sounds more appealing, then add June to your list of places to shop. 3406 Lyndale Ave. S., Mpls., 612-354-3970, juneresale.com

Shopping Site

» Babies. Puppies. Cookies. Some things just make us smile, and Olive & Myrtle is one of them. For this eco-conscious online shop, proprietor (and former Target art director) Aaron Porvaznik insists on good design and good products—and we’re not complaining one bit. From baby gifts to home décor, everything is sustainable or certified-organic, some of it is locally made, and all of it is fun to look at. Happy shopping! oliveandmyrtle.com


» Wallpaper is back in a big, bold way and nothing makes us want to jump on this trend like the artist-designed coverings from Hygge & West. The graphic, retro-tinged patterns from this Minneapolis-based online shop could transform a room—and convert any colorphobe. You may never look at paint the same way again. hyggeandwest.com

Best-Kept Secret

» If you’ve ever stopped for a scone at Turtle Bread Company in Linden Hills, you’ve probably noticed Rick Rack, the big red house next door, and wondered what was inside. Please, allow us: room upon room of cozy knits, statement jewelry, affordable but equally stylish handbags, cheerful tableware and linens, shabby-chic furniture, gift-worthy wall art, and European flea-market finds for the home. Wandering the nooks and crannies of this neighborhood spot is half the fun of discovering its hodgepodge of treasures. 3413 W. 44th St., Mpls., 612-746-4160, rickrackliving.com

Gift Store

» When it comes to out-of-the-ordinary gifts (or things you don’t need but really want) the Walker Art Shop delivers in spades. Browse the deep collection of art books, the local- and globally sourced jewelry, the cool minimalist gadgets, the contemporary home décor, and the creative toys and games, and you’ll be a patron for life. 1750 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-375-7633, walkerart.org

Outdoor Furniture

» Duluth-based Loll Designs’s contemporary and eco-conscious take on the classic Adirondack chair might be a runaway hit with designers and environment-enthusiasts (everything is made from recycled milk jugs), but all you need to know is that Loll’s colorful, durable, clean-lined, curl-up-with-a-book-comfortable loungers are the most compelling argument for endless summer in Minnesota. lolldesigns.com

Local Finds

» The fact that I Like You features the works of more than 60 local and independent artisans is just the beginning of its charm. Set in a rehabbed Nordeast warehouse outfitted with whimsical, grass-like carpeting and a wooden playground swing, this little-shop-that-could elevates quirky, handmade goods (think sock-monkey T-shirts and cheeky greeting cards) from crafty to collectible. 501 First Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-208-0249, ilikeyouonline.com

Personalized Stationary

» Leave it to Lunalux to modernize old-fashioned correspondence. Once a month, the celebrated letterpress shop on Loring Park fires up a printer for Stationary Saturdays. Owner Jenni Undis selects a design and color for the day; you show up and personalize it with initials, a name, or a message before the cards are printed on the spot. Cost: $29 for set of 10 cards and envelopes. 1618 Harmon Pl., Mpls., 612-373-0526, lunalux.com

Home Décor

» Kerry Ciardelli makes it easy to travel the world without leaving Minnesota. The Victory proprietress and interior designer has an eagle eye for exquisite vintage and modern home décor, which she handpicks on her own adventures. Victory’s elegant mix of gilt chaises, John Robshaw bedding, fashionable coffee-table books, and private-label pillows ensures you will leave with a unique piece. Glean more design inspiration (and special store discounts) from Ciardelli’s personal blog, Kerryciardelli.com. 3505 W. 44th St., Mpls., 612-926-8200, shopvictory.com

Pop-Up Shop

» In the case of Greed Gone Wild, desire is more of a virtue than a sin. At this biannual high-end garage sale, some of the Cities’ most notable fashion and tabletop stylists team up to sell the fantastic loot they’ve acquired from photo shoots and endless shopping expeditions. At Greed Gone Wild, their good taste is your good fortune. Fashionistas have been known to scoop up Pucci dresses, and interior designers can score all manner of vintage furniture—all at huge discounts. The next sale is November 19­ to 21, but you’ll also want to sign up for e-mail alerts for future events. 2014 Central Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-789-6006, greedgonewild@gmail.com

Yoga Clothes

» When you’re jetting from office to om, there’s nothing worse than forgetting your stretchy pants. Brandyn Herbold and Mario Negri stock their Sigh Yoga + Boutique with gorgeous gear you can wear for the day’s downward-dog pose and beyond. In addition to Yogitoes towels and Jade mats, Sigh sells insanely comfortable clothing from locally made Foat Design, chic and colorful Cura pants, and private-label headbands and tees. For on-the-go students, that’s a huge you-know-what of relief. 612 W. 54th St., Mpls., 612-824-1317, sighyoga.com.

Wall Art

» If you fantasize about decorating your living room with high-art photos but are on a poster budget, head to Viewville.com. Started by a band of local ad-agency veterans, this slick site peddles professional photographers’ gallery-quality prints at affordable prices. The artist gets 50 percent of the sale and you get to hang a surreal landscape by Linda Plaisted or sophisticated still life by Phil Bode for less than $100. viewville.com


» Intoto’s designer selection reads like the who’s who of Fashion Week: Paul Smith, Etro, and Rogan for men, and 3.1 Phillip Lim, Marni, and Dries Van Noten for women. While prices usually reflect the lofty labels, they seriously drop during the store’s final sales in July and January when everything is marked down 50 to 70 percent. Our advice: Join the mailing list for sale dates, then arrive early. High fashion moves fast. 3105 Hennepin Ave., Mpls., 612-822-2414, intotogetdressed.com

Retail Corner

» Over the past few years, the block of early 20th-century buildings at the corner of Selby & Snelling in St. Paul has been renovated and modernized to accommodate an exceptional collection of locally owned boutiques. Shop for message onesies at Rebel Ink, vintage frocks at Lula, party clothes at A. Michele, pretty lingerie at Flirt, and hip gifts at Patina. Then refuel in the leafy courtyard with a latte from Cosmic’s Coffee and melt-in-your-mouth peanut butter hideaway cookies from Two Smart Cookies. You’ll never miss the mall. A. Michele, 651-917-6966; Cosmic’s Coffee, 651-645-0106; Flirt, 651-698-3692, flirtongrand.com; Lula, 651-644-4110, stpaulretroloop.com; Patina, 651-644-5444, patinastores.com; Rebel Ink, 651-647-0655, rebelinkbaby.com; Two Smart Cookies, 612-384-1069, smartcookieshop.com

Green Fashion

» With a name like hers, Stephanie Green was probably destined to open an earth-friendly shop. At Ecotique, Green—who also owns Shu Global Footwear—excels at stocking sustainably made clothing that doesn’t sacrifice style. There are super-soft tees and tanks from Alternative Apparel, color-blocked dresses by Kelly Lane, and free-range-bird-feather hair accessories from local label Bethany Lorelle. For organic beauties, the store hosts a mini-shop of makeup and skincare products from Nature of Beauty. 1045 Grand Ave., St. Paul, 651-222-3127, natureofbeauty.com/ecotique

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