Best of Phoenix®

Best Of 2002

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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Chick-Friendly Head Shop
Hippie Gypsy

Even girlie-girls need a place to buy their pipes, screens, pokers and papers, and some are intimidated by shelves of monster-size bongs, ultra-pierced salespeople, tweaker gear, and other non-girlie things liable to adorn the inside of the typical head shop. If you're more tree-huggin' than skull-wearing, you can literally spend days in this Valley looking for a good selection of "pretty" ways to smoke your herbal tobacco blend amongst the angry-looking wares of most shops. The Hippie Gypsy has pipes shaped like flowers, embedded with glitter, and sporting seashells in their shanks. The salespeople are friendly, and let you browse through the incense accessories, clothing, and Jerry artifacts as long as you like. They have an incredibly diverse selection of hand pipes, water pipes and everything else you need to make the 4:20 meeting in style, but they cater to people who are looking for a bit more "pretty" in their paraphernalia.

601 S. Mill Ave., Tempe, 85281
MAP
480-858-0400
Readers Choice

BEST BOOKSTORE -- NEW TITLES
Borders Books & Music
several Valley locations

BEST BOOKSTORE -- USED TITLES
Bookman's Used Books, Music and Software
1056 South Country Club Drive, Mesa
480-835-0505

BEST SECONDHAND SHOP
Buffalo Exchange
227 West University, Tempe
480-968-2557

730 East Missouri
602-532-0144

BEST BIKE SHOP
Tempe Bicycle
330 West University, Tempe
480-966-6896

BEST MOVIE THEATER
Harkins Theatres
several Valley locations

BEST PLACE TO RENT A SUPERHERO COSTUME
Bert Easley's Fun Shop
509 West McDowell
602-271-9146

Best Party Garden

Boojum is long known as a premier nursery for beautiful, exotic plants. Named after a tall, spiny tree known only to the Sonoran Desert and Baja, the gardening shop is evolving into a romantic escape for get-togethers. After 18 years, the family that owns the spot is transforming the five-acre property into lush gardens for special events. We love the mini Mexican village, resplendent with artifacts, fountains and greenery. We love the greenhouse, lush like a tropical island. We can't wait to see what's coming soon: a lake, an English garden and a Zen garden. We love knowing that once, Boojum was surrounded by raw desert, and now, as civilization grows, it will still proudly carry forth our Southwestern spirit, rich with indigenous plants and local charm. Boojum, you're beautiful.

Best Downtown Bookstore

If you're a book freak and you have some time left over after tucking into that brown-bag lunch, it's hard to find a brainier downtown work break than the Book Island. Nestled neatly at the foot of the Luhrs Building, the Island is a triple treat for any nerd with some spare time to kill. Not only is it a decently stocked secondhand book shop, but it's laced with some especially unique antique volumes. And to make the trifecta complete, if you look hard enough, you can sometimes find some jaw-dropping bargains.

Looking for a copy of Robert Payne's Life and Death of Lenin? Probably not, but they have it. Interested in an original edition of O. Henry's Roads of Destiny from 1922? It can be yours for eight bucks. And while most libraries may be complete without the first edition of Charles Knight's William Shakspere [sic]: A Biography -- circa 1880 -- it must be said that the Book Island not only has it, but it has it for a mere $25. Also keep your eyes open for its small stash of Little Leather Library books from the 1920s; tiny leather-bound classics, like Man Without a Country and Courtship of Miles Standish, each about the size of a cigarette pack, go for $10 apiece. Just the right size for you to devour during your next sack lunch.

Best Chicano Store

If you like lowriders but the family car isn't ready for the change, how about just starting with a model? That way, you can get as elaborate as you like, as you customize your plastic dream, and not worry about how the family's going to get around in the meantime. Homies Hobbies is the perfect place for fulfilling your mini lowrider dreams.

When you're ready to work on a more human scale, Homies Hobbies can also help you build a lowrider bike. Custom seats, frames, springs, whitewall tires embossed with the word "lowrider" and a ton of chrome can be found here to help you make or customize your own low-to-the-ground bike.

And if playing with Barbie and Ken is becoming too boring for the kids, then Homies is still the way to go. It has a huge selection of the addictive and collectible "Homies" dolls. From Smiley to El Flaco, the complete collection of little homies is available, as well as the stickers, key chains and doll houses -- but we'd rather call them mini-cribs. And forget Barbie's Corvette -- you can lowride your Homie in your own customized minicoach!

Best Scenic Resort
Four Seasons Resort Scottsdale at Troon North

In the bastion of beauty and newness that is far north Scottsdale, it's only fitting that the neighborhood's shiniest new resort, perched in the foothills of Pinnacle Peak, showcases the Valley's most stunning views.

Though it's unquestionably classy, this Four Seasons isn't your typical Scottsdale resort. Rather than rooted in glitz, its grandeur rises from nature. The patio adjacent to the Lobby Lounge and the elegant Acacia restaurant presents a postcard-perfect view of the High Sonoran Desert, which -- wonder of wonders -- still looks like a desert. The resort's construction emphasized efforts to preserve the land's natural beauty. (Natural beauty? In Scottsdale?) Even the few surrounding developments are earth-toned and modest, designed to complement the terrain.

Beyond the resort's lawn, the entire Valley stretches in the distance, framed by mountain ranges rising like fortress walls. On the right, the sun sinks behind Pinnacle Peak, painting the sky over the facing mountains. Order a fuchsia prickly pear margarita and watch the sky take on its color. Sit a bit longer and see that, in Scottsdale, even the stars show off.

10600 E. Crescent Moon Dr., Scottsdale, 85262
MAP
480-515-5700
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Best Chick-Friendly Head Shop: Hippie Gypsy

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