WICKER PARK — There is no reason to leave the neighborhood to shop for holiday gifts, especially if you are lucky enough to live in Wicker Park, Bucktown or West Town.
We rounded up 12 gifts from local boutiques that have given the area its eclectic vibe. Let us (and other shoppers!) know what we should have included in the comments section.
Fidgety Blocks For Restless Hands
For those who like to keep their hands busy, these six-sided blocks ($19.99/pair) let fingers click, glide, roll and spin. Perhaps the perfect stocking stuffer for anyone who likes to fidget, the blocks fit nicely in a coat pocket and are available in black, green and gray. The blocks are exclusively sold at Building Blocks Toy Store in Wicker Park, 2130 W. Division St. and Lakeview, 3306 N. Lincoln Ave.
For A Feminist Who Has Everything
Looking for the perfect gift for your feminist lady friend? Head to boutique Rocky + Luella, 1919 W. Chicago Ave., for a boob-shaped ceramic pot. Made by Brooklyn-based studio Group Partner, the hand-painted pot is the perfect vessel for a cactus, looks amazing on a shelf and celebrates the female body. What more could you want? The pots come in banana, leaf or natural designs and cost $65 each.
A Black Blackhawks Hat
This black flannel Blackhawks cap ($35) will not be found at any sports shop or United Center. Part of an NHL Special Edition Black Series, the cap is a collaboration between street wear company New Era and Frank & Oak, a menswear shop at 1953 W. Wabansia Ave. in Bucktown that recently added women's clothes, too.
Skyline From Top Of Northwest Tower T-Shirt
For any Wicker Park booster, a shirt featuring the skyline snapped from the top of the art deco Northwest Tower will be a conversation starter. The shirts by Andrew Miller are $20 at Volumes Bookcafe, 1474 N. Milwaukee Ave., or $22 on the Wicker Park Committee's website. Really in love with the neighborhood's architecture? We suggest a copy of Elaine Coorens' "Wicker Park From 1679 Thru 1929, a Walking Tour Guide," ($26.95) also at Volumes Bookcafe.
Give The Gift Of Dance
Shapiro Ballroom, 1612 W. Chicago Ave. in West Town, located inside a converted movie theater and owned by Dee McCord, hosts monthly "date night" dance lessons for $40/couple in advance or $50 at the door, as well as onsite childcare. Dance Spa in Bucktown offers dance lessons by Christa Herman-South, who says she has taught many people the fun art of dancing in a "no-judgment zone." Dance Spa offers discounted holiday packages expiring on Dec. 25.
Spices For Cooks Of All Cuisines
At Epic Spice, 1725 W. Chicago Ave., select from more than 400 spices and ingredients to create your own gift, or grab a festive "spice bag" ($10) or gift box ($25), grouped by "spicy hot flavors," "grill and BBQ," "peppercorn assortment" and more. Epic also carries cooking rubs and sauces from other vendors, such as Spicemode's popular "Vindaloo Cooking Sauce" ($9.99), which can also be bought online.
Chicago Flag Dog Leash And Hoodie
Surprise your favorite dog (or dog owner) with a canine hoodie, in several colors from neon to black ($28) at American Apparel, 1563 N. Milwaukee Ave. Then, add a Six Point Pet's Chicago Flag leash ($32) from Transit Tees, 1371 N. Milwaukee Ave. For the pup who plans to be outdoors throughout the long winter, consider a dog "chore coat" ($38.99) that has pockets, so dogs can tote their own poop bags. At Carhartt, 1518 N. Milwaukee Ave.
Hats for All Occasions
Established in 1895 and arriving in Wicker Park a few years ago, Goorin Bros., 1533 N. Milwaukee Ave., is the place to go for the hat lover in your life. We suggest a gift certificate since styles and tastes vary. Hats range from $30 to $180 and there are about 200 styles to choose from for men and women.
Eye Catching Cell Phone Case
Street wear boutique Veyron Calanari, 744 N. Damen Ave., offers apparel and accessories designed with bold graphics and an urban edge — even Rapper Twista has been known to shop there. A colorful phone case ($25) features a bright and shiny mosaic that's sure to get admirable looks. Available for select iPhone and Android phones.
Onesies for Infants and Toddlers
Bucktown's T-Shirt Deli, 1739 N. Damen Ave., sells onesies, shirts, hoodies and jerseys, plus plenty of adult apparel. Shoppers can customize a message, e.g. "I love my aunt ____," or announce a tyke's name on a nametag, or select premade "Lil' Brother" and "Big Sister" shirts, among other "Manager Specials." Most customized onesies cost $25 and the floor premade samples are less than that. Shirts come wrapped up like a deli sandwich.
Locally Made Jewelry For Your Sweetheart
A "tiny hearts" necklace on a vintage brass charm ($40) and a 14-karat gold "Selene" ring featuring an emerald set between two black diamonds ($345) are both made by Carlee Nestelberger, in-house jewelry designer at Eskell, 1509 N. Milwaukee Ave. Eskell's website says emerald promotes friendship and balance, while black diamonds are said to be "helpful in integrating and accepting the shadow side."
Help Your Child's Teacher Buy Classroom Supplies
With so many teachers spending their own money or crowdsourcing to pay for extras in their classroom like learning materials and display boards, a gift certificate will likely be put to good use. Call 773-252-8200 to purchase any amount; certificates can be emailed, too. Chicago Teacher Store, 1855 N. Milwaukee Ave.
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