BEST PLACE TO GO ON SHOPPING SAFARI Phoenix 2003 - Gold Coast Imports
If it came out of Africa, chances are this place sells it. With walls of several rooms plastered with artworks -- copper reliefs, paintings, masks, woodcarvings -- Gold Coast is almost more museum than store. Imported from 26 African countries, loot ranges from CDs and sculpture to clothing and musical instruments (the bebo balafon xylophone is handcrafted from wood, gourds and leather). While dolls, drums and jigsaw puzzles provide a playful touch, photos of the artists -- many of them pictured in dreary working conditions -- accompany some of the artworks, putting a human face on creations from half a world away. And by offering one-of-a-kind decorations -- wicker furniture, hand-woven baskets, blankets and bean bags -- Gold Coast frees Arizonans from that ubiquitous kokopelli creature.