Savvy Shopper November 2013

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Monkeying Around

The little spit of Chestnut just around the corner from The Avenue in Hampden is blossoming, with the new child-ren’s store Mono Azul (Blue Monkey) now in the mix. Named after a resort in Costa Rica, where owner Dominique Croke often travels, the little shop is stocked with both new and consignment children’s clothing for ages newborn through 10. Why people spend gobs of money on clothes that the wee ones grow out of in five minutes will always be a mystery to Savvy. Especially when they can come here and get adorable red snowsuits with leopard print by Rothschild for $35 (sold for lots more on Rue La La), denim jeans by DKNY and items by Baby Gap and The Chidren’s Place. Don’t miss the darling little handmade sheep soaps and sparkly nail polish, which should keep your daughter occupied while your son is riding the blinking, talking green triceratops just inside the door.

3528 Chestnut Ave, Hampden

Scrub A Dub-Dub

Why should your mani-pedi be rushed and take place in a little corner off to the side, as if it were an afterthought? Or, if it’s the main attraction, why should it be in a space swirling with headache-inducing fumes? Jasmine Simms thinks it shouldn’t. That’s why she opened Scrub Nail Boutique. Exclusively devoted to manicures and pedicures, Scrub is an airy, elegant, luxurious salon on the second floor of a classic rowhouse in Fells Point. It features gel polish only—no acrylics—and is 100 percent fume-free. Whether you want a classic pale neutral or more Goth deep navy, Scrub can set you up—and give your legs a rubdown with fancy organic masks and exfoliants. Complimentary tea, coffee, water and Diet Coke (there have to be some concessions to the real world!) add to the air of relaxation. And they have memberships available to ensure you keep your nails and tootsies in tiptop shape.

722 S. Broadway, Fells Point

Look on the Bright Side

When one successful boutique is good, how can two not be better? That’s how Savvy sees the women’s clothing and accessories boîte Brightside, which has launched a satellite store from the mother ship in Federal Hill into the orbit of Fells Point. Offerings are just as cheeky as ever, with tattoo-inspired prints by the L.A.-based UNIF (fancy a Day of the Dead sweater?) and a leather-blocked dress by Lucca Couture, along with more traditionally feminine attire such as floral miniskirts by MinkPink and dresses by BB Dakota. Though the shop definitely boasts a younger vibe, Savvy isn’t too old to appreciate the so-called “offensive” T-shirts, which have been selling like hotcakes. (Sorry, hon, language too naughty to reprint here.) Bonus: everything is under $100.

732 S. Broadway, Fells Point 

Bizarro World

Savvy has long lamented the loss of the dear-departed American Dime Museum, repository of all things weird, wonderful and sometimes downright creepy. So imagine her delight to discover a kind of reincarnation in Hampden. Called Bazaar (love the play on words), this little shop of homey horrors is like a 19th-century gentleman’s curio cabinet. Greg Hatem says that he and co-owner Brian Henry take pride in offering items that are not only odd but also educational. Take the Lucite Specimens, for example: embedded in them are colorful insects, a frog’s heart, a fiddler crab—even a four-leaf clover. Or the Lantern Fly Shadow Box with a Pyrops Pyrorhyncha inside. The bleached Springbok Skulls will surely remind people of Georgia O’Keeffe’s paintings of the American Southwest. And the sequined Voodoo Flag will bring bling to any décor.

3534 Chestnut Ave, Hampden

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