Family patriarch Nordy Rockler opened the doors of his first store in 1954 to supply his fellow craftsmen with knowledge, friendly advice, and a large selection of tools for at-home woodworking projects. Now, the chain of retail outlets brims with more than 20,000 tools and specialized woodworking equipment. Next to a steely rainbow of hinges, casters, and screws, a supply of lumber and exotic hardwoods provides planks for building tree houses or just leaving around as a warning to uncooperative trees. The tenor buzz of power tools operated by newly knowledgeable guests drifts from educational sessions on operating equipment and woodworking.
With a verdant variety of shrubs, trees, roses, and vines, the friendly plantologists will help you wade through the veritable ocean of foliage. Beginning green-thumbers can take advantage of a jumbo planting kit, including ample plant food, vitamin B1, and planting compost—everything a person needs to lure an unsuspecting plant into captivity ($15.97 for the regular kit; $29.97 for the jumbo kit). Advanced yard-enhancements abound in the form of trees and shrubs, such as a selection of 5-gallon citrus trees, good for accenting a living space and forming a focal point for the worship of the Lemon Pledge gods ($34.99). Armstrong can also help organic gardeners reach full-flavored nirvana with a bevy of 3-inch plant varieties ($2.99; selections vary by season and location).
Since becoming established in 1990, Habitat for Humanity of Greater Los Angeles' workforce has constructed or renovated more than 350 homes for low-income families throughout 112 cities and unincorporated areas of Los Angeles County. The organization relies largely on volunteer labor and donations of building materials, home decor, furniture, and appliances, which are used in building projects or sold at the ReStore. These sales not only help raise funds for building projects, but have also helped save more than five million pounds of reusable materials from ending up in local landfills.
With more than 80 years of wrench-wielding experience, the home improvement honchos at Pioneer Hardware preside over a cache of more than 70,000 brand-name tools, electronics, supplies, and accessories. Equip empty tool belts with a versatile Black & Decker cordless screwdriver ($34.99) or ensure lawns are well fed with a mechanical water timer ($10.97). Shoppers can also cruise through Pioneer's panoply of cleaning and paint supplies or prepare for an afternoon of plumbing pyrotechnics with its supply of PVC piping, faucet parts, and drain fittings.
Other items include dining tables, slumber-aiding bedroom items, as well as wall art and wall sculptures to distract guests from the person-shaped hole in the wall. The Sofa Company also specializes in build-your-own sofas, for which you can choose from any size, fabric, or configuration and put together the couch that floats around the sky in your dreams (around $600+).
Sacks on the Beach serves up fresh breakfast and lunch dishes mere blocks from the Pacific Ocean, inviting diners to savor meals as they smell the ocean breeze. Visitors can lounge on the outdoor patio or inside the cozy café, where they can chew through sandwiches that teem with crisp veggies and fresh cheeses, or simply sip a cup of fragrant coffee.