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Cover Story, Shopping & Services, February 5, 2009

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Shopping & Services

Adam's Apple: The Progressive General Store A hippie general store selling everything from "tobacco accessories" and incense to T-shirts and posters. aMon-Fri 1-7:30 PM, Sat noon-7 PM, Sun 1(ish)-7 PM, 6229 N. California, 773-465-9777.

Apple the Second This modish little shop with apple-green walls is a far-north fashion outpost. Drapey silk blouses in colorful prints, bold necklaces of amber or silver, and jackets with faux-fur trim—a few high-ticket items mixed in with more affordable clothes and accessories—reflect owner Maria del Rocio Von Medvey's own mix of elegance and exuberance. Among the American, European, and South American labels are a few local designers, including Vfish (simple dresses and separates) and Jermikko (dramatic outerwear with bold flourishes). aMon-Sat noon-7 PM, 745 W. Howard, 847-424-0786, applethesecond.com. —Heather Kenny

Armadillo's Pillow Plan to spend a couple hours browsing the well-stocked wooden shelves of this welcoming secondhand bookstore, with its hand-painted sign out front, star sculptures hanging from the ceiling, and (blessedly subtle) scent of incense. The poetry and philosophy sections by the entrance set a scholarly tone, but further in you might stumble on a guide to glamorous makeup tricks. Artwork and silver jewelry are also for sale. aSun-Fri noon-8 PM, Sat 10 AM-8 PM, 6753 N. Sheridan, 773-761-2558. —HK

Cobbler's Rogers Park Shoe Repair In business for nearly 90 years, this repair shop services all types of shoes and boots as well as most leather items. aMon-Fri 8:30 AM-6 PM; Sat 8:30 AM-5 PM; Sun closed, 1424 W. Morse, 773-764-5906.

Empi Garment Custom tailor specializing in African clothing. aMon-Sat 9 AM-8 PM, closed Sun, 1322 W. Devon, 773-743-2362.

Evil Squirrel Comics This comic-book shop hosts card- and role-playing tournaments several days a week. aMon, Sat-Sun 11 AM-6 PM, Tue noon-9 PM, Wed-Fri noon-10 PM, 6928 N. Glenwood, 773-338-0899, evilsquirrelcomics.com.

Flatts & Sharpe Music Company This friendly neighborhood institution sells new and a few used instruments—everything from guitars and drums to maracas or an "authentic musical washboard." One room is dedicated to sheet music, where the offerings range from Mary J. Blige to Wicked. Survivors of childhood piano lessons will experience a rush of nostalgia at the slim color-coded lesson guides for beginners. Private music lessons are available ($36 an hour, $21 for half an hour), and the store also offers instrument and electronics repair. aMon-Thu 1-8 PM, Fri 1-6:30 PM, Sat 11 AM-6 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, 6749 N. Sheridan, 773-465-5233, flattsandsharpe.com. —HK

Gary's Cycle Shop This small shop has been servicing bikes for more than 60 years; it carries a full line of accessories and new and used bikes. aMon-Sat 9 AM-6 PM, Sun 11 AM-3 PM (Jan-March closed Wed and Sun), 6317 N. Clark. 773-743-4201.

Heartland Cafe General Store Part of the vegetarian-friendly Heartland Cafe (see Restaurants), the General Store carries fair-trade coffee (e.g., Revolution Roast), Dr. Bronner's soaps, tie-dyed silk scarves, and the like. Media offerings include selections from the local label Bloodshot Records, a reprinted book from the 30s called How to Make Love, and many, many left-leaning and indie mags and newspapers, from Bust to the International Socialist Review. aFri-Sat 8 AM-11 PM, Mon-Thu 7 AM-10 PM, 7000 N. Glenwood, 773-465-8005, heartlandcafe.com. —HK

Iqra Book Center Large store offering books and videos on Islam, including translations of the Koran in languages from Albanian to Urdu, as well as Muslim music and gift items like Koran holders, prayer mats, scarves, and calendars. aMon, Wed-Sun 11 AM-8 PM, Tue 11 AM-5 PM, 2751 W. Devon, 773-274-2665, iqra.org.

Jessica's Western Wear Aspiring caballeros will find snakeskin boots, Stetson hats, and belt buckles shaped like bulls and guns here; ladies' options consist largely of slinky dresses and strappy shoes. Cool finds include steel-toed work boots that look like a cross between cowboy boots and Doc Martens and shirts with embroidered lobsters or a bird outlined with metal studs. aMon-Fri 11 AM-8 PM, Sat 10 AM-8 PM, Sun 10:30 AM-6 PM, 7015 N. Clark, 773-465-9575, jessicaswesternwear.com. —HK

Lost Eras You might want to bring a GPS and a water bottle if you're planning to explore this massive combination costume shop/theater prop house/antique store—you really could get lost navigating its rooms stuffed with everything from gladiator helmets to pink tuxedoes. The first floor is mostly given over to costumes and vintage clothes—here's where you'll find your Yoda masks and fake butts, as well as gag candy that turns your mouth blue. The basement, a little scary when you're the only one in it, bulges with old rotary phones, tarnished silver, and stacks of plastic-ensleeved Life magazines, some of which will eventually turn up as props in local theater and film productions. aMon-Sat 10 AM-6 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, 1511 W. Howard, 773-764-7400, losteras.com.—HK

The Mustard Seed Christian Bookstore Christian books, music, T-shirts, and knickknacks. aMon-Sat 9 AM-6 PM (Thu till 7), Sun closed, 1143 W. Sheridan, 773-973-7055, mustardseedchristianbooks.com.

Roberts Cycle Open since the 1930s, this shop stocks bikes from Raleigh, Gary, and Fisher as well as accessories, and services all makes and models. aMon-Tue, Thu-Fri 1-6 PM, Sat 11 AM-5 PM, Sun noon-5 PM (summer hours are longer but often vary; call ahead to check), 7054 N. Clark, 773-274-9281, robertscycle.com.

Rogers Bark Pet salon offering bathing and grooming for cats and dogs as well as lion cuts, nail trims, and ear cleaning for cats. aTue-Fri 9 AM-6 PM (Thu till 9), Sat 9 AM-5 PM, 1447 W. Jarvis, 773-274-2275, rogersbark.com.

Romanian Kosher Sausage Co. This old-school kosher meat market makes its famed hot dogs, garlic sausages, corned beef, pastrami, and chopped liver on-site. Breads from a kosher bakery, a few pantry items like mustard, crackers, and baked beans, and cuts like a bone-in rib eye are also available. You grab a little basket and invariably stand in line, waiting for the unsmiling, meticulous white-garbed counter workers to do their business, act lucky when they finally get to you, then pay a cashier at the end of the line, as G-d intended. Romanian Kosher also offers sandwiches, but diehards advise buying the fixin's and making your own at home, all the better to stuff yourself. aSun 8 AM-3 PM, Mon-Wed 8:30 AM-5 PM, Thu 8:30 AM-6 PM, Fri 8 AM-2:30, 7200 N. Clark, 773-761-4141.—Kate Schmidt

Rosenblum's World of Judaica According to the owners this Jewish bookstore, which has been in the same location for nearly 40 years, boasts the largest selection of Jewish scripture and literature in Chicago and maybe the country. It also offers Jewish ritual items and gifts. aSun 10 AM-4 PM, Mon-Thu 10 AM-6 PM (Thu till 7), Fri 9 AM-3 PM (winter 9 AM-2 PM), closed Sat, 2906 W. Devon, 773-262-1700, alljudaica.com.

Sonia Roselli Esthetique Makeup artist Sonia Roselli, who has her own line, runs this cosmetics boutique and salon, which offers on-site wedding makeup services as well as makeup consultations and classes in interpreting runway trends. There's a bridal open house on Sun 2/8, with drawings for prizes worth $300-$700; see Web site for details. aTue-Sat 11 AM-7 PM, Sun noon-5 PM, 7363 N. Greenview, 773-465-7363, soniaroselli.com.

Taj Sari Palace Sari stores are abundant on Devon, but Taj Sari Palace has one of the largest selections on the strip. The fabric of the thousands of saris in stock varies in pattern and embellishment according to the region it's from, as the sales help will be happy to explain, but it's an aesthetic treat just to wander uninformed through the racks and racks of bright pink, aqua, purple, and saffron, festooned with sequins, embroidery, and traditional woven patterns. Many of the fabrics are also available by the yard from bolts stacked on shelves. The Palace also carries other forms of South Asian dress, including formal kurtas and slippers with upturned toes known as jutti for men, as well as plenty of inexpensive metal bangles. a11 AM-8 PM Daily, 2553 W. Devon, 773-338-0177. —HK

Taste Food & Wine Just over a year old, Taste offers a little Euro-style epicurean indulgence in a neighborhood where Italian pancetta and sweet Irish butter are thin on the ground. Most of the wines are under $20, and there's a small spirit collection, including grappa made in Michigan and Death's Door Spirits, made from wheat grown on Wisconsin's Washington Island. A booth lets customers dig into panini or the soup of the day on the spot, and the store holds free wine tastings every Monday and Friday from 6 to 7:30 PM. aMon and Wed-Sat noon-9 PM, Sun noon-6 PM, 1506 W. Jarvis, 773-761-3663, tastefoodandwine.com. —HK

Unan Imports This two-room garden-level shop specializes in arts and crafts, body-care products, and clothing, mostly from Kenya and west and central Africa. Alongside bags made of kente cloth and knit Rastafarian caps hang carved wood jewelry and dangling mobiles of human figures twisted from straw. The body products include several kinds of pure unrefined shea butter as well as black soap (made from the ashes of leaves, bark, and cocoa pods mixed with shea butter or palm oil, then cured), which is noted for its deep-cleansing properties. aMon-Sat 11 AM-7 PM, Sun open by appointment, 6971 N. Sheridan, 773-274-4022. —HK

Urbanimal Opened in the wake of recent pet food recalls, this store aims to provide an alternative to commercial pet foods with organic, natural foods and supplements for cats and dogs. aMon, Wed-Fri 10 AM-8 PM, Sat-Sun 11 AM-6 PM, 1257 W. Devon, 773-465-0600, urb-animal.com.

James Ewert contributed to these listings.

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