Tastes in Halloween costumes change quickly, but the team at Halloween Club knows that some staples never go out of style. Taco costumes, for instance. Creepy masks, police uniforms, and pirate apparel aren't forgotten either, allowing patrons to finish their cosplay outfit, celebrate Halloween, or put together a really spectacular excuse for not going into work. To round out the store's selection, there's outlandish props, too, such as seven-foot-tall haunted tree automated to flail spookily on its own.
Hennessey + Ingalls's eclectic bookstore sells tomes covering visual arts, such as photography, as well as interior design, landscaping, fashion photography and architecture. The founding family still owns and manages its paper-based stock, ensuring that volumes remain well organized according to the length of authors’ moustaches. Originally founded in 1963 as a refuge for rare and out-of-print books, the massive store—the Santa Monica location spans 8,000 square feet—supplies vital reference materials for local architectural firms, museums, art galleries, and schools. Hennessey + Ingalls also runs a small publishing division, which produces and distributes six titles each year, most of which are reprints focusing on California's modernist architecture and postmodernist oil paintings of avocados. They also offer a large selection of journals and notebooks. Hennessey's bibliophiles also purchase good-condition used copies and rare editions from independent owners.
To promote wellness, Wilshire Spa gathers earthly elements believed to have healing properties, designs entire rooms around them, and then heats them to soothing temperatures. Cozy quarters lined with mineral salt help enhance the skin's oxygen absorption, whereas rooms of pure onyx are designed to improve metabolism and relieve muscle stiffness. The mid-temperature charcoal room, meanwhile, provides a quiet space in which to meditate and detoxify, and surrounds patrons with yellow ocher imported from Korea. After spending time in each room, guests can reinvigorate themselves or test the resolve of their mood ring by plunging into a cold bath.
The spa further encourages renewal through massages and facials. Its signature massage combines a Korean full-body scrub, a Swedish-inspired mineral-oil massage, and a shampoo and conditioning treatment for the hair, as well as a cucumber facial mask and warm dip in a milk bath. The decor also serves up tranquility: Renaissance-style murals and an abundance of pink orchids create a sense of calm, and the women's lounge area features pale-green walls crisscrossed by white outlines resembling trees.
Just like the organism from which it takes its name, Amoeba Music’s stock of tunes has no definite form. At each location, expert music gurus amass thousands of new and used CDs and LPs from the most mainstream artists to the most obscure underground bands around. LPs, posters, and memorabilia surround the musical inventory, which, like Ringo Starr’s pants, changes every day. Amoeba buys goods from customers, meaning that on any given day the store might usher in a rare vinyl LP, DVD, VHS, or even LaserDisc. Visitors can sign up for any number of contests while admiring Amoeba’s enduring dedication to its green practices and community outreach. Amoeba couples its huge selection of entertainment with visits from the artists themselves, welcoming past guests such as Paul McCartney, Bret McKenzie and Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords, and Elvis Costello to play in-store.
If you walk into The Little Knittery and its floors and tables are neat and tidy, don't worry. They won't be for long. The knitting shop is usually abuzz with a flurry of activity and scraps of material as student stitchers learn to purl, crochet, mold felt, or even spin their own yarn in a slate of weekly classes. A kaleidoscopic selection of yarns from Cascade Yarns, Berroco and Knit Collage line the walls, their neat piles often collapsing as customers grab a favorite style to start a knitted scarf, a crocheted coaster, or a likeness of their own hand, knitting as professional instructors offer tips and guidance. Project patterns developed by the shop's yarn-impassioned staffers, meanwhile, provide the basis for more advanced group or private lessons.
Like a massive loom, a circular wine rack curves through the dining room of Vinotéque on Melrose, its warps threaded with hundreds of bottles of vintages from around the world. To complement everything from Vermont chardonnays to Chilean cabernet sauvignons, executive chef Sheila R. Gomez serves up a full menu of tapas, cheeses, and decadent desserts, all prepared with seasonal, locally sourced ingredients. The café's oenophiles also helm weekly sampling sessions and lessons in the garden patio, as the ivy vines creeping up the lattice look on jealously, no one taking any interest in their leaf-flavored liqueur.