TATE'S 6,800-square-foot pop-culture paradise unveils a staggering selection of collectible comic books, graphic novels, toys, and memorabilia, which has earned the shop numerous accolades including the Will Eisner Spirit of Comics Retailer Award in 2009. Leaf through comics chronicling the crusades of Spider Man and the Fantastic Four, as well as Sonic the Hedgehog’s uphill ascent from family pet to Olympic gold medalist ($2.99+). Collectors can adorn empty mantles with inimitable Dr. Who collectibles ($12.99+), or peruse the cases safeguarding Star Wars collectibles, such as vintage action figures ($14+) or a lightsaber signed by star Mark Hamill ($799.99). Nosh on an exotic assortment of Japanese snacks ($0.99–$6.95) while admiring TATE'S selection of plush and vinyl toys, key chains, and figurines crafted by the toy tinkers at Kidrobot ($2.95+).
Masquerade Costumes outfits the getup-seeking masses with its plethora of costumes, wigs, masks, and more. The costume emporium stocks its shelves with glamorous and gaudy men's, women's, and kids' garb appropriate for a variety of occasions, including Mardi Gras, quinceañeras, proms, Renaissance festivals, and religious holidays. Dazzle a pair of peepers with a wide selection of Mardi Gras–style masks, perfect for making a sequined, feathered impression on the partying masses. Modest masks start at $2.99 and run between the $10–$30 range for more extravagant countenance-camouflaging creations. Masquerade Costumes also boasts a selection of accoutrements for Purim.
It's hard to imagine that there's a libation out there that Crown doesn't carry. With a selection that spans vineyards, distilleries, and breweries from around the world, the bottles lining each location come from both small, artisan makers and those universally famed for their grapes or techniques. Home mixologists can cull inspiration for cocktails from a selection of top-shelf-brand mixers or pair their tipple of choice with gourmet snacks, from bush-pepper macadamia nuts to dirty martini party dip. But tastings may be the most distinctive thing about Crown Wine & Spirits. Whether customers stop in to try each location's daily offerings of wine or spirits—or for special tastings that cover dozens of wines, bourbons or beers—Crown's staff makes it easy to find a new favorite or to make up to your tongue for forgetting so many of its birthdays.
It's easy to feel good about dropping dough at Singh's Fashion Closet, since the shop donates 50% of the money each customer spends to a local charity of his or her choice. Peruse a collection that includes delicate stone-studded jewelry, bright-colored pumps, and even accessories for pets before making a purchase and directing funds to charities such as The Salvation Army, Girl Scouts, and the Woman 2 Woman Breast Cancer Foundation.
At each of its three locations, Shoe Time’s shelves overflow with thousands of pairs of women’s designer shoes, men’s dress shoes, and kids’ sneakers. Designs such as Nakari's peep-toe heels highlight the legs' sensuous curves, and the svelte straps of sandals from Around and Ibiza show off fresh pedicures and grape-stomping stains. Available in hues such as mahogany, crimson, and ivory, knee-high boots add swagger to every step while shielding feet from the rain.
TigerDirect.com's vast virtual warehouse distributes computer parts, software, and gadgetry around the world, backed by their brick-and-mortar stores around the nation. Home to PC and computing experts, the stores dole out repair and advice in equal sums, answering questions about virus issues such as pop-ups or nasty computer-sneezing fits. Founded on the principles of putting the consumer first, TigerDirect offers same-day shipping and business-to-business sales, and they boast a spyware-tight website security guarantee that will cover customer liability up to $50.