Nowadays, HTC owner Steve Haworth is better known as a "3-D Modification Artist," famous for epidermis-pushing experiments in extreme body modification such as subdermal implants and penis beads. But Haworth originally established his reputation as a pioneer of safe, sane and sterile piercing techniques. The instruments used at HTC were personally designed by Haworth to be less painful and more accurate, ensuring a relatively non-agonizing experience for your targeted navel, septum, nipple, or whatever. Though HTC tends to be a bit expensive compared to tattoo parlors that offer piercing as a side-order item, wise men opt for spending a little more when what they're paying for includes a guy pointing a sharp instrument in their direction. Think about it.
Plenty of print shops have color copiers out on the floor, but if you're looking for lifelike skin tones, Lena Flores will be happy to do your bidding. She's Alphagraphics' assistant manager and, when she isn't busy answering stupid questions ("Will your color copier make my black-and-white photos come out in color?"), she'll be delighted to assist you with your custom enlarging, photo Christmas card, or wedding invitation design. Lena has improved more than one commercial artist's portfolio with her skillful assistance, and proves that a fancy $40,000 color copy machine is only as good as its operator. Tired of being waited on by bored, surly college students at your neighborhood copy house? Lean on Lena.
Toys, dog accessories, books and novelty items fill this smartly appointed store, where our four-legged friends are always welcome to sniff barrels of bulk treats and sampler gift boxes. But it's Three Dog's baked goods that get your doggy drooling. They look so yummy, we want to taste them, too. The most endearing feature of Three Dog Bakery is the weekly Yappy Hour, in which man's best friends (many of whom arrive at this Biltmore shop stuffed into the Louis Vuitton handbags of society ladies) and their owners gather to swap stories, enjoy fresh-from-the-oven goodies, and listen to canine-themed comedians and speakers. Occasionally, a certified pet psychic is on hand to assist in better reading the inner workings of your dog's psyche -- although it won't take a professional to tell you what Rover's thinking: "I'll take a dozen rawhide chews to go!"
Sure, most newspaper food sections will tell you that you can make a great meal in 10 minutes or less using what "everyone" already has in the kitchen. But we can't figure out how to make five-star fettuccine with leftover ketchup packets from our McDonald's Happy Meal. So we just let the experts do their thing: We call Delicious Deliveries, which has contracted with participating restaurants to deliver a fine meal, for menu prices, plus $4.49 per order within a four-mile radius of the restaurant, and tip. Just a few of the participating restaurants include Bamboo Club, Royal Barge Thai, Avanti's, Don and Charlie's, Jewel of the Crown, Malee's on Main, Mr. C's Chinese, Miracle Mile Deli and George and Dragon English Pub. With service like this, you'd have to be a ding-dong to fire up the stove. The only ding-dong we want is the sound of the doorbell.

It's hard to get good incense now that Jerry Garcia is gone and the Grateful Dead aren't touring. We used to pick up a year's supply of our favorite cones and sticks from Deadhead parking-lot vendors, but those days are over. Well, almost. We've found a swell, smelly stash at Hippie Gypsy, an upscale head shop busting at the seams with black-light posters and clove cigarettes and water pipes. Entire walls of this fragrant shop are devoted to displaying incense and sages, along with a vast array of paraphernalia for safe burning. The store's homemade incense is of superior quality, and the commercial versions aren't bad, either. (There's even a line called Liquid Blue Grateful Dead Incense with fragrances like "Campfire Jam" and "Fractal Steal Your Face.") And unlike the Dead show vendors, the clerks at Hippie Gypsy can actually make correct change and focus on their clientele without seeing double. Whoa, dude!
More fun than a Toys "R" Us, the often-bizarre aisles of ABC Cakes are our favorite place to find party favors, stocking stuffers and just plain goofy weirdness. They've got the full range of cake pans, decorative icing tips, and those papery things called glassines (they go between your cake and the big pink bakery boxes sold on the same rack). But ABC's "Toppers" aisle is the real icing on this proverbial cake. Here's a box full of little plastic African-American infants. There's a wee '50s barbecue. Look! A tiny zoo with little cages and trees. And a handful of Barbie-size champagne bottles! How about a "Sexy Doll," a little vinyl naked lady in a teeny teddy? (Or, if budget is a concern, opt for the "Mini Sexy Doll," also available in brunette.) Or a plaque bearing a hooded death mask and the legend, "I Only Came for the Cake!" We could neither fathom nor pass up a banner reading, "Caution! Wedding Cake Being Delivered!" Let them eat cake. We'll play with the toys!

Best Place To Buy A Shirt With The Name "Chet" Embroidered On It

Johnny's Used Work Uniforms

The sign says "Johnny's Used Work Uniforms," but we'll settle for "My Blue-Collar Heaven." A working stiff's dream haberdashery, this would-be New Wave warehouse is crammed to the rafters with industrial-style shirts, smocks, pants and jumpsuits, many emblazoned with "can-I-be-of-service-ma'am?" monikers like "Chet," "Billy Bob" and "Flo." All pants are $3, shirts are $2, and if your name doesn't happen to match up with anything on the rack, the store carries dozens of name tags that can be sewn on for an additional $1.75. Whether you're suiting up for your new gig at the gas station or greasy spoon, or just wondering what to wear to the Devo reunion, Johnny's has something with your name written all over it.
The name of Michelle Zekanis' shop may suggest architecture or interior decorating, but her appointment-only business is about creating fresh and silk flower arrangements for weddings large and small. Zekanis favors arrangements designed by the customer -- and within the customer's budget. Photo albums display flower-adorned ice sculptures, floating pool bouquets and elaborate flower arrangements that brides have designed themselves, right down to the length of each flower stem. The only thing Zekanis insists on is that you not throw the crowning piece of her work, the bridal bouquet, during the flower toss. She has a separate, smaller bouquet for that.
Imagine being a guest at an afternoon tea in the Hamptons, where your hosts happen to be a friendly, knowledgeable and accessible group of gardening professionals who are eager to share their love of flora. That's what a stroll through Berridge is like. It has all the traditional aspects of a well-stocked nursery: long flats bursting with annuals, herbs and vegetables, bare-root roses in season, native landscaping plants, succulents and indoor tropicals. But this carefully tended nursery at the base of Camelback Mountain also offers an unparalleled combination of charm and expertise. You'll find rare plants here, but no sniffy attitude: If you don't know a begonia from a bougainvillea, an affable staffer might point you to the miniature amphitheater, where a variety of demonstrations and lectures are hosted for both the novice and seasoned enthusiast. Berridge, established in 1938, gets a two green thumbs-up rating.
This relatively new addition to north Scottsdale is a quaint shop with a turn-of-the-century general store ambiance. Rows of self-serve bins display bath salts and beads, as well as potpourri and a whimsical line of bubble-bath confetti (a confetti that cleans up after itself -- what a concept!). Bailiwicks also carries a full line of perfumed and highly moisturizing soaps made from stuff like goat's milk and shea butter, as well as your standard glycerin and cocoa butter bars. There's even a line of bar soaps for your dog. Sample a rich selection of body products including scrubs, lotions and lip balms, then sign up to make your own. Bailiwicks offers a variety of classes in soap-making and home spa products, and will even arrange a private soap-sniffing party in your home.

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