Just a few quick suggestions from a recent trip Nathan and I made (as well as a couple old favorites):
Super rad little boutique down in the South End (On Tremont Street). Mostly men’s clothing, though a couple things for the ladies as well. The highlight of this place is definitely the t-shirts– they have a full rack of kickin’ designs, and as an added bonus, when we went everything was on sale. Also a great variety of bags, both messenger and otherwise, for that special someone on your list who needs to carry something. They (because how could they not?) also had a great selection of funky little accessories (Stocking stuffer, anyone?). Pricey, but not any more so then similar stores.
Super nifty little “cool shit” design shop with locations in Harvard Square and Beacon Hill. It’s difficult to really describe the merchandise here aside from to say that if you want a whole lot of interesting, design things in one place, this is that place. Great for little knick-knacks, as well as semi-ironic gifts for your semi-ironic friends. They also have a ton of Tin TIn related items, from very nice watches to t-shirts to posters. As a side note, the Black Ink also has a link the Museum of Useful Things, which apparently has ceased to exist as a non-digital entity, but where you can continue to spend some digital cash. Speaking of cash (both digital and the paper variety), you will spend a lot of it if you shop here and buy more then one or two things. The problem is that you’ll want to do just that.
One of the very few record stores in Boston that is not either Newbury Comics or CD Spins, off of Harvard Square on JFK St. They have a ton of cds and records in a very small space, and a fairly comprehensive collection (though, of course, typical used record store rules apply. Which is to say, the only stuff they have is that which other people apparently do not…). The best thing about this place is the wicked cheap prices, you can get most any cd for under ten dollars, and the records are an even better bargain. They were also selling little packs of 5 cd’s wrapped up in white paper for 1$ (and I believe 7 records for 1$). Of course, you can’t see which cd’s it is that your buying, if your in the mood for a little bit of excitement, they’re fun at the very least.
My absolute favorite book store in the world. Off of Mass Ave. just south of Harvard Square, they have an absolutely world class selection of books in English, Spanish, French, German, Russian, and a few others to boot. If you are ignore the fact that it’s a recession, these guys carry first edition copies of books by authors such as (in case you might have heard of them) James Joyce, Samuel Beckett, Friedrick Nietzsche– you get the idea. Oh, and did I mention most of those first editions are signed? The best part is that the proprietor (a truly fabulous individual) is always eager to show off the collection, so even if you don’t have an extra 20 grand in your pocket, you can still check out some of the most incredible books you will ever see. Of course, they have a great selection of used books of sightly less scholarly interest, but still, don’t walk in if your not willing to drop at least $50 on a book. For the bibliophile in your life, the one who will love you forever after you get them something from this gem.
One of my favorite places in Davis Square, they have one of the better collections of the aforementioned “cool shit” in town. Of particular note are the great t-shirts (for both men and the ladies), some awesome posters and postcards of Davis Square and Greater Boston, and these super cool blank journals that are made out of re-purposed library books. They’ve got lots of great little things, and most won’t quite break the bank (though, they will, of course, come closer to that then you’d like).
So there’s a few little ideas to get you started heading into the last shopping weekend before the holidays. I’ll be finishing up back here in Albuquerque though, so expect a South Western version of the previous post (or something like it) in the soon.