Readers' Choice for Best Bookstore -- New Titles: Borders Books & Music
Crystal octagonal knobs? Pewter library pulls? Hand-painted ceramic handles shaped like wee soccer balls? Our decision was made easier by knob-savvy staffers who can recite knob styles and dole out warm advice about what to buy. The friendly, knowledgeable staff treated us as if we were old friends who'd dropped in with good news. We had: We found our thrill with Clyde, and can't wait to return.
So imagine our delight when we discovered that we can have our very own fog, on demand, any time of year our damp little hearts desire. Thanks to the folks at Arizona Fog Wizards, all it takes is a high-pressure pump and motor module connected with high-pressure, 1,500 psi hoses, stainless steel tubing with aircraft welded stand-offs, and high-pressure mist nozzles (don't ask, just leave it to the pros). The fog created through the misting system lowers the air temperature 20 to 30 degrees, which is great. What we really like, though, is the look -- billowy mist, moody, Casablanca-style haze, vapory lace dancing through the air and clouds licking the ground.
Most people have fog "installed" to add drama to their pool, spa, waterfall or fountain. We're too poor to go whole hog like that, so imagine our joy to find that there's also a "mist rose." It's a small system designed to look like a flower that puffs spurts of fog wherever we set it down. Next time we have a party, we're going to see how they work in the house, maybe set in front of a strobe light or something.
Hey, it sure beats dry ice.
Readers' Choice for Best Video Rental Store: Blockbuster Video
Okay, providing that kind of care is probably normal. But Golden Paw also coordinates pet field trips to parks "for health and socialization," shopping for pet groceries, pet spa treatments and massages, health care and "stylists" from the Valley's "top" vets and pet groomers, personal shopping at pet boutiques, pet travel arrangements, pet videos and, of course, pet birthday party planning.
It's no surprise that this service focuses on the high-dollar areas of Paradise Valley, Gainey Ranch, north Scottsdale, the Biltmore and Arcadia. It is surprising that to contract their attentions, we and our pet have to undergo an interview. Hey, if it really is a dog's life, we want to be our dog.
Sure, e-mail is quick and cheap, but hard to adorn with just the right illustration, and impossible to emboss. This small shop is packed with cards, notes and paper for any occasion, from barbecue to baby shower, and party accouterment from birthday candles to cocktail napkins. You can fill out your own invitations, or custom-order them from a huge selection. Every piece of merchandise seems hand-chosen, with wit and whimsy. Even a tiny enclosure card is a piece of art, edged with glitter and a drawing of a perfect bride.
Beware: We walked out with way more than we planned to. And with a lot of plans, suddenly. We'll be throwing a garden party sometime soon (couldn't resist the invites) and now have dozens of people to thank with just the right card.
Thanks to you, M & Co.!