With spring spreading like a bag of spilled gravy, now is the ideal time to throw open the windows and get home-care projects underway. Pick up a Stanley six-piece screwdriver set for $6.99, a VPT rip hammer for $8.49, and a whole bunch of screws, anchors, and bolts (prices vary), and you'll be ready to finally mount every buffalo nickel and steel penny in your coin collection. Illuminate the newfound décor with a 12-pack of Ace light bulbs ($21.48), the better to see by as you make use of a Purdy four-piece premium paint-tray kit ($19.99). If you need to match paint to a favorite coverlet or choose a hue that complements a pleather recliner, each store offers a paint-matching service free of charge. Get keys made for $1.99 a pop, or clean a barnacle-encrusted carpet with the help of a carpet-cleaning machine ($30 a day to rent).
For more than 35 years, Cactus & Tropicals has livened up sparse plots and reinvigorated depressed patios with a vast, verdant variety of cacti, flowers, and gardening gear. Focusing as much on sprouting seeds as fostering field creativity, the lush storefront boasts an elaborate display area showcasing high-end floral fashions. Winding catwalks guide buyers through crowds of leafy house plants ($3.95+), annuals ($1.79+), and a colorful gathering of orchids culled from around the globe ($16+). Growers with a history of prickly relationships with plants can learn how to care for a cacti garden ($1.95+ each), get paired up with an easy-to-please perennial ($4.29+), or adopt a well-behaved bonsai guaranteed to sit still during fussy grooming sessions.
Forsey's Furniture Galleries gussies up living quarters, stocking its two stores with furniture, art, and home accessories from high-end designers such as Stickley, Copeland, Dale Tiffany, and Global Views. A Fred and Ginger sculpture ($105) pays tribute to the human form with an abstract rendering of two dancers in midtwirl, and the Aarhus box ($147) stylishly protects documents and jewelry from dust, light damage, and thieves who don't know how to open boxes. Customers can cast a multichromatic glow over living spaces with lamps from Dale Tiffany ($197), each channeling the spirit of Frank Lloyd Wright with geometric patterns forged from richly hued stained glass.
A 3.5-acre horticultural haven, Millcreek Gardens gives bloom-seekers a means to realize dreams of colorful, lush outdoor spaces by presenting a wide array of shrubs, trees, and assorted flowerpot inhabitants. Stroll amid verdant rows of plant life, perusing prettified foliage ranging from the serene cerulean hues of a delphinium to the cheerful, bubbly blooms of a hydrangea. Accent a lovely lawn with a classic apple tree ($40+), make the bed for a plot of fragrant flowers ($2–$20), or cover up barren yards with a symphony of shrubbery ($6.50–$50). The one-stop shop also stocks organic plant foods, soil amendments, and fertilizers for keeping growing greenery as strong as a box of oxen.
A fluffy cat and an elephant stand side by side opposite a terra-cotta warrior who sternly glares at an Asian sea dragon. A scene like this can only exist in Hunter S. Thompson’s dreams or at Cast in Stone, where cast-concrete garden figures arrange to form whimsical, imaginative lawn scenes. The artistic concrete smiths shape and sell each product at their retail facility, creating wondrous, durable works in the shapes of animals, religious icons, and classical figures. Molded benches and planters can make a backyard more welcoming to guests, and fountains and birdbaths can provide an alternative place to bathe when the shower is in use.
Fats Grill fills its space with all the ingredients of a good time, including a menu populated with burgers, pizza, and sandwiches, a fully stocked bar, 12 flat-screen TVs, and seven pool tables, a setup that has won the hangout City Weekly's Best Pool Joint 13 years in a row. Twelve is the number of its burgers, all served on toasted sheepherder rolls with toppings such as bacon, jalapeños, and pastrami. Toasted sourdough builds the foundation for the grill's sandwiches, and pizza crust keeps italian sausage, red onion, and pineapple chunks from gracing the floor with their presence. Fats Grill also houses a newly renovated basement concert venue, a place where local musicians take the stage every Friday and Saturday night to belt out the name game using every audience member's name.