Sunday, October 28, 2007

Friar's - Canterbury

The cutest used car dealer ever.

4-5 The Friars
Canterbury, CT1 2AS

Tel. 01227 462977

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Boots - Canterbury

While some may find it appalling to find a Boots in a Tudor building, I find it quite fitting. Isn't that what Canterbury Tales is all about, the commerce and trade that sprung up around the pilgrims?

10 The Marlowes

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Hot Topic - San Bruno

It's about the music, or so they say.

This is one of those stores targeted towards teenagers that sells individuality through heavily branded merchandise. Much of what they sell is music oriented. It is a good place to buy a band t-shirt, but shelves are also filled with Nick-knacks, toys and other clothing covered with wry sayings references to TV, movies and popular culture. It's a combination of the type of merchandise found at Urban Outfitters and Spencers Gifts.

Overall, a good gift shop for teens and the occasional old person who's looking for a Ramones t-shirt.

Tanforan Mall
San Bruno, CA 94066

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Hard Wear - Islington

A catchy name for an Army/Navy surplus store.

70 Essex Road, Islington
(Angel Tube)
London , England N1 8LT

Sunday, October 14, 2007


There's nothing much remarkable about the shops in Cheltenham. It's got the usual shops seen on every high street, plus a few department stores like The House of Frasier and M&S. What's special is the setting. Cheltenham is a historic spa town in Gloucestershire that has been a health and holiday spa resort since 1716. It's also the site of the annual Cheltenham Festival of Literature.

As this photo suggests, many of the main streets are closed to traffic on the weekends, making the shopping district particularly pedestrian friendly.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Formula Foam - Upper Clapton

Open to the public - NOT!

There are times when you may need a piece of foam to pad a window seat, reupholster a chair or add a layer of comfort over a dodgy mattress. It's times like these that you appreciate a specialty supplier. I was in need of a piece of foam. Formula foam was in the neighborhood, so I stopped by one morning. I walked down the alley, past a couple of workshops and a mechanic to what looked like a foam warehouse. The door was blocked from the inside. So I thought, "Oh well, it must be wholesale only," and started to walk away.

A man came out, "Do you want something?"

I explained what I wanted.

"Wait a minute," he said.

I waited outside for 15 minutes. Did I mention it was cold? Finally, I was led in to a back room with a man at a computer. After some discussion he looked up a price on the computer that made my eyes pop out.

It wasn't exactly wholesale either. I left and bought my foam on eBay.

Upper Clapton
end of yard
London, E5
020 8442 9327

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jessica Simpson Hair - At a Top Shop Near You

Is there any limit to celebrity products? Does Jessica Simpson really want people walking around in bad extension with her name on them. What's next, Amy Winehouse tattoos?

Saturday, October 06, 2007

James Selby - Holloway

James Selby is a charmingly weird old department store. Unlike Liberty which is graciously old, James Selby just seems like it hasn't been redecorated since the 80s. It's a bit like a DIY project that's been added to bit, by bit over the years with none of the new construction matching the old. The merchandise follows the same principle. Upstairs, shoppers can buy sewing notions, polyester granny smocks and aprons, low end Wedgewood lines, Pyrex, and linens. A nice range of linens is offered from practical no-iron percale to sheets and pillows by Monsoon. On the ground floor, clothes are grouped into boutique-like clusters. Evans has a section, so does Monsoon, so does Top Shop. Cosmetic counters in the front sell everything from Fashion Fair to Corres.

386-400 Holloway Road
N7 6PR

020 7607 2466
Nearest Station Holloway Road

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Holloway Market - Holloway

If you have to buy nets, it seems must more appropriate to buy them from a stall at the market, from a bloke who sounds like he belongs on Eastenders, than to buy them at John Lewis from a woman who has mastered the art of talking without moving her mouth.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Waitrose - Canary Wharf

Any Waitrose is a nice grocery store, with good produce but the Canary Wharf shop is the best Waitrose I've been to, so far. It's even better than the company's new jewel in the crown below the flagship John Lewis on Oxford Street. Unlike the Oxford Street food hall under John Lewis, The Waitrose at Canary Wharf is nicely laid out with large aisles, and a huge selection of everything, from artisanal organic cheese, to Duncan Hines cake mixes, to long life milk. If you're hungry, you stop for a snack at the the deli or the sushi bar. Need to buy a new outfit, a mini John Lewis is upstairs.

Canada Place
Canada Square, Canary Wharf, London
E14 5EW

020 7719 0300