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Antiques

Aaron's Antique Gallery -- 1400 St. Charles Ave., 568-0630; 2207 Magazine St., 523-0630 -- Furniture and estate finds (St. Charles), vintage clothes (Magazine) and friendly proprietors. Both open 10-5 Mon-Sat, Sun by appointment. (G-6)(F-6)

Art Supplies

David Art Center -- 3828 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-3630 -- Open since 1969, this shop supplies professional artists and students with supplies including canvas, paint, sculpture supplies, professional wood-carving sets, portfolios and presentation materials, architectural supplies and more. (E-3)

Auto Care

Uptown Auto Specialist -- 501 S. Carrollton Ave., 866-8392 -- Covering all your maintenance needs, from body work to an oil change to new shocks (potholes!), the friendly folks at Uptown Auto Specialist have it covered. (F-5)

Cigars/Smoking

The Herb Import Co. -- 5055 Canal St., 488-4889; 711 St. Peter St., 525-HERB -- Groovy pipes, detox products, incense. Canal open Mon-Sat 8:30-8, Sun 11-6; St. Peter open 10-10 daily. (F-4) (T-3)

Computers

Nerd Services -- 3841 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Suite 102, Metairie, 888-6373 -- Personalized, friendly computer services at a reasonable price for businesses and residential users. Sales of computer equipment, custom-built computer systems and expert advice. (E-3)

Eyecare

Uptown Eyecare -- 3640 Magazine St., 899-3937 -- A full-service optometry office with an eye toward filling the vision needs of the college crowd, with a wide variety of frame styles, contacts, student specials and reasonable prices. (G-6)

Vision Plaza -- 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 834-4806; 197 Westbank Expwy., Oakwood Shopping Center, Gretna, 361-3934; 910 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 467-7095; 1133 Tchoupitoulas St., Riverside Market Place, 891-9314; 1400 Poydras St., New Orleans Shopping Centre, 586-8904; 9851 I-10 Service Road, 241-8318 -- Full-service optometry office with a doctor on site until 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, lots of glasses frames to choose from and contacts as well. Conveniently located all over the city.Aegean -- 800 Metairie Road, Suite R, Metairie, 831-9325 -- Started in Baton Rouge in 1993, this women's clothing store provides easy-wear stylish fashions in cotton, linen, washable silk and tensel for beauty and comfort. Fashion accessories, jewelry and gifts also are available. (E-4)

Fashion

B. Women's Apparel -- 5513 Magazine St. 269-3355 -- For women looking for trendy but uncommon apparel as well as those who go for classic styles with an edgy twist.(F-6)

Decor/Couture -- 4608 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-9060 -- Whether you want to dress up your home or yourself, or both, you'll find what you need here. The shop offers a range of clothing styles, a bridal shop and home decorating accessories. (E-3)

Frock Candy -- 520 St. Philip St., 566-1133 -- Focusing on the L.A. look: young, funky and colorful, at decent prices. Open 10-6 daily. (U-4)

Funky Monkey -- 3127 Magazine St., 899-5587 -- *Voted 'Best Vintage Clothing Store' in the 2000 Gambit Weekly Readers' Poll* -- Hip retro clothing/ costume boutique. Open 11-6 Mon-Sat, noon-5 Sun. (G-6)

Gargoyle's Clothing/ Gargoyle's Shoes -- 1205 Decatur St., 529-4387; 1209 Decatur St., 529-4386 -- Goth outfitters with a frighteningly huge selection of "all that is dark." Both open 11-6 Sun-Thu, 11-7 Fri-Sat. (U-4)

Limbo -- 1125 Decatur St., 523-3435 -- "Alternative" clothing, leather, drag, adult toys and accessories, Gothic wear and other costumes. Open 11-6 Mon-Fri, 11-7 Fri-Sat. (U-4)

Linda Lee Bridal & Boutique -- 3829 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-1889 -- A complete bridal shop that provides a large array of styles for the bridal party to choose among as well as a full-service staff, excellent prices and a boutique filled with clothes for all the other occasions. (E-3)

New to You Designer Consignment -- 2311 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 838-0029 -- Designer clothing at affordable prices in a consignment store that carries formal and cocktail apparel, plus sizes, maternity, leisure wear, accessories and more. (E-3)

Nicole Miller -- 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 828-1925 -- A fashion shop with an array of styles by its namesake designer, Nicole Miller specializes in bridal and evening wear, men's apparel and fashion accessories. (E-3)

Ragin Daisy -- 3125 Magazine St., 269-1960 -- Very cool vintage and contemporary clothing/ costume spot. Open noon-6 Mon-Sat, by appointment Sun. (G-6)

Red Lantern -- 1133 Decatur St., 561-1017 -- Local fashion designer offers fabulously stylish clothes and shoes with an Oriental influence. Open Daily 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. (U-4)

Weinstein's -- 333 Canal St. (Canal Place), 522-6278 -- Classic designs with a playful edge. Open 10-7 Mon-Sat, noon-6 Sun. (R-4/5)

Health Clubs

AAerobic Cardio Kickboxing -- 6116 Magazine St., 897-3881 -- High-intensity women's classes that pack a punch; includes American tae kwan do and karate. Call for class times. (F-6)

Salvation Studio -- 2917 Magazine St., 896-2200 -- Offers urban hip-hop, tae bo, yoga, Pilates and other in-demand classes. Call for class times and reservations. (G-6)

St. Charles Avenue Athletic Club & Premier Physical Therapy Clinic -- 1600 St. Charles Ave., 523-6181 (physical therapy), 523-2582 (fitness center) -- Massage therapy, aromatherapy, personal fitness training, tanning, sea salt body scrubs, exercise equipment, strength machines, free weights, cardiovascular training, upper-body cycles, resistance pool and more. (N-4) Blue Frog Chocolates -- 5707 Magazine St., 269-5707 -- This classy confectioner keeps candy lovers hopping with delectable imported chocolates, truffles, novelties and gifts. Open 10-5:30 Mon-Fri, 10-4 Sat. (F-6)

Home & Gifts

Futonia -- 3811 Magazine St., 899-4356 -- Futons galore, plus pillows, screens and accessories. Open 10-6 Mon-Sat, noon-5 Sun. (G-6)

Magazine Mattress and Bed -- 3446 Magazine St., 899-4615 -- Huge selection of wrought-iron beds and more, plus good linens. Open 10-6 Mon-Sat, noon-5 Sun. (G-6)

Prince and Pauper -- 3308 Magazine St., 899-2378 -- A vast space filled with spectacular finds on home furnishings, both contemporary and antique. Open 10-6 Mon-Sat, 12:30-4 Sun. (G-6)

Malls

Lakeside Shopping Center -- 3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-8000 -- *Voted 'Best Shopping Mall' in the 2000 Gambit Weekly Readers' Poll*-- Tax-free suburban zone anchored by Dillards and J.C. Penney's, featuring more than 120 stores including Ann Taylor, Eddie Bauer and the Nature Company. Open 10-9 Mon-Sat, noon-6 Sun.

Music Stores

Louisiana Music Factory -- 210 Decatur St., 586-1094 -- THE source for local music. Check out its live Saturday-afternoon performances. Open 10-10 daily. (S-4)

Mushroom -- 1037 Broadway, 866-6065 -- Live and rare import CDs and videos, plus T-shirts, jewelry and more, highlight this trippy music outpost. Open 10-midnight daily. (E-5)

Tower Records -- 408 N. Peters at Decatur St., 529-4411 -- *Voted 'Best Music Store' in the 2000 Gambit Weekly Readers' Poll* -- National chain with a nice touch: a stand-alone "Louisiana music room" filled with local CDs. Open 9-midnight daily. (S-4)

Virgin Megastore -- 620 Decatur St. (Jax Brewery), 671-8100 -- Well-stocked chain boasting CDs, videos, DVDs, books and a café, with a focus on pop and imports. Open 10 a.m.-12:30 a.m. Mon,10 a.m.-midnight Tue-Sun. (T-4)

Pets

Chi-wa-wa Ga-Ga -- 37 French Market Place, 581-GAGA -- It's all about size at this unique shop that offers anything you could possible want for dinky dogs and other small pets, including clothes, costumes, hats, collars, furniture, collectibles and more. (U-4)

Ott's Pet Shop -- 5505 Magazine St., 899-5291 -- New Orleans' oldest pet shop has been run by the same family at the same location for 50 years. Specializes in unique dog and cat items, premium pet foods, small animals, reptiles, birds and fish. (F-6) Belladonna Day Spa --2900 Magazine St., 891-4393 -- *Voted 'Best Day Spa' in the 2000 Gambit Weekly Readers' Poll* -- Yummy stuff for the mind, body and home, plus a host of stress drainers like the warm stone massage. Open 9-8 Mon-Fri, 9-6 Sat. (G-6)

Spas/Salons

Brooks & Co. -- 115 Metairie Road, Metairie, 834-1146 -- A full-service beauty salon that offers haircutting, haircolor, styling, makeup application, manicures, pedicures, facials, waxing, massages and more. (F-4)

Earthsavers -- 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; 434 Chartres St., 581-4999, 3256 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-5152 -- Indulgent products out the yin-yang (Kiehl's, Philosophy, Kneipp's, et al) highlight this remarkable full-service spa. Magazine open 10-6 Mon-Sat; Chartres open 10-6 Mon-Sat (until 8 Thu), noon-5 Sun; Severn open 10-6 Mon-Sat (until 8 Thu). (F-6) (S-4) (E-3)

Makeup Art -- 7736 Maple St., 891-6692 -- Professional makeup applications, lessons and updates using high-quality cosmetics as well as eyebrow and lash tinting, manicures, pedicures and retail beauty merchandise. (E-5)

One 2 One Salon -- 712 Adams St., 862-0010 -- Full-service salon offers facials, skin and body treatments, hair styling, haircutting and coloring, massages, nail care and more. (F-6)Electric Ladyland -- 8106 Earhart Blvd., 866-3859; 610 Frenchmen St., 947-8286 -- Stock and custom tattoos; cover-ups, body piercing, jewelry. Earhart open noon-10 Mon-Thu, noon-midnight Fri-Sat, 2-8 Sun; Frenchmen open 1-midnight, Mon-Thu, 1-2 a.m. Fri-Sat, 1-10 Sun. (F-5) (V-4)

Tattoos/Piercing

Rings of Desire -- 1128 Decatur St., 524-6147 -- *Voted 'Best Body Piercing/Tattoo Parlor' in the 2000 Gambit Weekly Readers' Poll* -- Body piercing and jewelry. Open noon-7 Sun-Mon, noon-8 Wed-Thu, noon-9 Fri-Sat. (U-4)

click to enlarge A Store For Your Inner Child -  - Gag gifts, kooky imports, Elvis nightlights, Hello Kitty, and retro gear. You can find a gift for every neo-hipster and cool kid on your list at Big Life Toys (3117 Magazine St., 895-8695; 5430 Magazine St., 899-8697). A toy store that's not necessarily for tykes, Big Life offers fun stuff for grown-up kids. Plenty of collectors' items line the shelves, from old-fashioned tin toys to your favorite Japanimation merchandise. Kool Kat lunch boxes and book bags make flashy back·to·school wear, as do glittery barrettes and junk jewelry. -  - The Garden District location (3117 Magazine St.), an adult-focused store, features novelty housewares -- how about a Jetsons martini set? -- rock 'n' roll T-shirts, costume accessories, stickers and an entire comical X-rated section tucked in back. The Uptown location is more child-focused, packing all sorts of rare Matchbox cars, fancy yo-yos, little girls' makeup, and more varieties of super balls than you can choose from. No matter how old or serious you are, don't be surprised if you get caught up in the fun. The atmosphere encourages a bit of horsing around with so many hands-on shelf samples screaming "Try me!"  -- Cristina Diettinger
  • A Store For Your Inner Child

    Gag gifts, kooky imports, Elvis nightlights, Hello Kitty, and retro gear. You can find a gift for every neo-hipster and cool kid on your list at Big Life Toys (3117 Magazine St., 895-8695; 5430 Magazine St., 899-8697). A toy store that's not necessarily for tykes, Big Life offers fun stuff for grown-up kids. Plenty of collectors' items line the shelves, from old-fashioned tin toys to your favorite Japanimation merchandise. Kool Kat lunch boxes and book bags make flashy back·to·school wear, as do glittery barrettes and junk jewelry.
    The Garden District location (3117 Magazine St.), an adult-focused store, features novelty housewares -- how about a Jetsons martini set? -- rock 'n' roll T-shirts, costume accessories, stickers and an entire comical X-rated section tucked in back. The Uptown location is more child-focused, packing all sorts of rare Matchbox cars, fancy yo-yos, little girls' makeup, and more varieties of super balls than you can choose from. No matter how old or serious you are, don't be surprised if you get caught up in the fun. The atmosphere encourages a bit of horsing around with so many hands-on shelf samples screaming "Try me!" -- Cristina Diettinger

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