Best Shopping and Porn

Photo by Tenaya HillsBEST PLACE TO EXCHANGE MONEY FOR SEX

Parking-lot blowjobs are so 2002. In the future, sex is just the natural progression from shiatsu at massage parlors: all you gotta do is not dress like a cop, say you've been there before and gently intimate that you want the "full service." You even get to shower afterward, though the filth will no doubt remain on your soul. But don't take our word for it. Says one experienced prostificiado: "With all of the massage parlors proliferating in LA County, many of which are staffed by young, gorgeous, voluptuous women of exotic ethnicity, why would you want to go to a scruffy streetwalker anyway?"

BEST GARDENING SUPPLY

You know Denman & Co. is serious when the man who works there starts telling you about his hose—handmade to your specs from hard Goodyear rubber. His hose is hard, he says, and that's good—'cause "don't you hate it when you're out on the end of a 100-foot hose, and it kinks back at the faucet?" Just nod and walk away. And maybe buy a hose handmade to your specs. Don't make eye contact. But check out all the bitchen garden tools laid out for you, including old-timey Rain Bird-style sprinklers and hand-welded razor-sharp trowels made by the owner. They just won't break. 401 W. Chapman Ave., Orange, (714) 639-8106.

VINTAGE FURNITURE

You can still find vintage furniture in thrift stores—but you can't find it like this. Woody's specializes in unearthing vintage Heywood-Wakefield, furniture by the American maker whose work came to epitomize postwar modernism, with its organic shapes and gently rounded corners. You'll pay around $700 for a full-size bed and a tall dresser from Heywood-Wakefield, but hey, it beats blowing it at Jennifer Leather. All this, a warehouse with more that's just a few blocks away, and tchotchkes out the wazoo: ashtrays in abstract shapes, lamps that should be able to defy gravity, chrome electric ice crushers just waiting to put your eye out. A vintage geek's fantasy. 169 N. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 744-8199 or (714) 971-3014.

VINTAGE HARDWARE

It ain't cheap, this vintage hardware: Depression-era glass kitchen-cabinet handles, screws of every shape and size, more glass door knobs than you've ever seen, vintage gardening and cook books, plus a host of vintage kitchen accoutrements stuffed into an amazing variety of old cabinets. But Muff's is pretty much the only place to go for old-school light fixtures, towel racks, soap dishes and light-switch covers for your flat-topped '40s modern house or your Orange-area bungalow. Unless you wanna hit La Brea Avenue. Didn't think so. 135 S. Glassell St., Orange, (714) 997-0243.

STRIP CLUB FOR A REAL MAN Cherry's. It's really small. It's hard to find a woman in there who doesn't have a C-section scar. It's for strippers either just on their way up or on the way down. And they all have real boobs, so it's not fun to look at. Seriously. And there's more cheese there than Wisconsin. How many times have you been there? 1189 E. Ash, Fullerton, (714) 447-0692. CHEAP WEDDING RINGS

If they'd set the Reservoir Dogs robbery in Orange County instead of North Hollywood—and actually shown the robbery—it could have happened here. Not to say that there's anything wrong with the security at the Jewelry Exchange, which bills itself as one of largest diamond importers. It's just that this place is so charmingly . . . seedy.

Set in a strip mall not far from where the 5 and 55 freeways intersect, this place is more a crossroads of the world for people who like cheap bling than it is a place where you'd take the delicate flower who's about to become your wife. (We took our delicate flower there, though, and so far, at nine months, we've outlasted damn near all of J.Lo's nuptials.) A pair of simple white-gold rings will set you back less than $150, which explains the hubbub.

Hordes of folks of all ages, some toting the kids, many talking loudly on cell phones, others wearing a b-boy's baggy sports jersey, still others in the kind of slick Sansabelt-sport shirt combo favored by real-life Sopranos. Surprisingly, all are waiting rather patiently, proving we can all just get along, clutching numbered tickets as their jewelry's sized and reshaped on the premises. It's like a B-movie come to life, and at times, it feels like a powder keg that somehow never pops. 15732 Tustin Village Way, Tustin, (714) 542-9000.

MILF HUNTING

Just before Friendster and eating-is-not-cheating entered the national lexicon (and probably sometime after cosplay and hentai), there was something called a MILF—Mom-I'd-like-to-fuck, monsignor—and before there was something called a MILF, there were just a lot of studly young parking valets and pool men with desires they couldn't quite name. In Canada, they call MILFs "cougars": confident, sexy older women who happen to like younger dudes. In America, we're so much more crass. But we still have them—and rumor has it they hang out at the Foxfire restaurant. 5717 E Santa Ana Canyon Rd., Anaheim, (714) 974-5400.

TIKI GEEGAW STORE

House of Tiki bridges the gap between people like veteran tiki carver Bosco of Whittier, who makes giant tiki gods from things like dead palm trees, and the local Hallmark store, which will sell you everything Shag—greeting cards, stickers—until you just wanna roll over and die. With an excellent supply of all things exotica, from prints and paper ephemera to hand-carved idols to mugs, swizzle sticks and barware, House of Tiki will let you get your Polynesian on. 1860 Newport Blvd., Costa Mesa, (949) 642-8454.

BEST PARKING LOT TO GET CATCALLED IN
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