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  #51  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:02 PM
wolfman wolfman is offline
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Maybe they are more common, and I have never noticed before but places that sell only popcorn strike me as wierd.
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  #52  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:12 PM
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Here in Portland, we have Ingrid, The Rune Woman. I have no idea what she sells; woo, probably. There's also an ionized water store in my neighborhood, where you can get a foot bath treatment. And there are the ubiquitous crystal stores. A new place just popped up down the street called "The Sacred Well". Haven't been in there, but according to their website:




My city has a similar store called The Enchanted Willow. I shop there once in a while to buy incense sticks. They have the biggest variety around.
  #53  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:14 PM
Asuka Asuka is offline
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I would suspect that the higher the city's density is the greater chance of finding very specialized stores since there will be enough people close enough to make the store viable. That being said I always thought that the hot sauce store on cannery row in Monterey is pretty specialized.
Also heavily visited tourist towns tend to have some really specific stores.

I think Las Vegas still has that hot sauce store that was two stories tall. I also remember Circus Circus having a storefront that exclusively sold magic trick kits.
  #54  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:23 PM
Projammer Projammer is online now
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I suppose vintage candy really doesn't qualify as oddly specific, but it is definitely a niche market.

Rocket Fizz Candies

Last edited by Projammer; 03-25-2017 at 08:24 PM.
  #55  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:29 PM
Infovore Infovore is online now
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I suppose vintage candy really doesn't qualify as oddly specific, but it is definitely a niche market.

Rocket Fizz Candies
There's another one around here called Powell's that does the same thing. They're a chain, but I don't know how big a one. They have Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on endless loop on a screen in the back. I like them.

I thought Rocket Fizz was more known for weird and vintage soda (though they definitely have candy too).
  #56  
Old 03-25-2017, 08:33 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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The Bone Room in Berkeley. Now closed, though they still have an online presence.
  #57  
Old 03-25-2017, 10:15 PM
hogarth hogarth is online now
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There are multiple stores in the Greater Toronto area that sell only various types of lucky cat figurines.
  #58  
Old 03-26-2017, 02:40 AM
erysichthon erysichthon is offline
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I visited a store in Seattle that sold nothing but socks. I don't remember what it was called. (This was in the late 90s, so it might be gone.)

Last edited by erysichthon; 03-26-2017 at 02:41 AM.
  #59  
Old 03-26-2017, 03:03 AM
nightshadea nightshadea is offline
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There's another one around here called Powell's that does the same thing. They're a chain, but I don't know how big a one. They have Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory on endless loop on a screen in the back. I like them.

I thought Rocket Fizz was more known for weird and vintage soda (though they definitely have candy too).
we have a vintage/normal candy store here and they sell rocket fizz soda ......
  #60  
Old 03-26-2017, 03:13 AM
Smapti Smapti is online now
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I think Las Vegas still has that hot sauce store that was two stories tall. I also remember Circus Circus having a storefront that exclusively sold magic trick kits.
Not sure about that one, but the Strip does have an all Coca-Cola store and an all M&Ms store.
  #61  
Old 03-26-2017, 04:35 AM
Gary T Gary T is offline
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Speedometer repair shop. (WTF? Wouldn't it be cheaper to buy a new one?)
No, not by a long shot.

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I suspect that their real business is in resetting odometers so a car can be fraudulently sold as having fewer miles on it.
No, it's a legitimate business model.
  #62  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:49 AM
bubba001 bubba001 is offline
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I suspect that their real business is in resetting odometers so a car can be fraudulently sold as having fewer miles on it. Obviously, the car companies take measures to make this more difficult, so a specialized skill set and/or tools are needed to pull it off. That specialized skillset/tools are what the shop is advertising.
I think most of thier business is in older cars. I needed a tach cable for a old tractor, I ended up at speedometer repair shop. Resetting odometers is illegal, and you aren't going to invest in a store to do it. The skills have changed, also. New odometers are electronic, and I doubt that they can be reversed mechanically.
  #63  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:59 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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I visited a store in Seattle that sold nothing but socks. I don't remember what it was called.
Darn.
  #64  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:46 AM
williamweigand williamweigand is offline
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I used to go to a store in Midtown Manhattan that sold nothing but seashells.
It should be by the seashore, especially if it's a woman selling them.
  #65  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:07 AM
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There used to be a store in downtown Dallas that sold nothing but ties. I don't remember their name but their slogan was "Come in and tie one on."

I have a faint memory of a butcher shop somewhere in Washington state that sold only horse meat.
  #66  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:39 AM
GrumpyBunny GrumpyBunny is offline
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There's also an Eyebrow Threading Place. One woman and one chair in an otherwise empty store. I actually stopped and stared, waiting for a punchline. I did not get my eyebrows threaded, nor do I know what that means. The signage was an 8x10 piece of paper taped to the window that proclaimed, "Eyebrow Threading".
Eyebrow threading is torture masquerading as grooming.

It's like waxing, but instead of ripping the hair off with wax, they trap the hair between two pieces of thread and then rip it out.

I've had my eyebrows (and bikini line) waxed for decades, and I was shocked at how uncomfortable threading was.

On a side note, she probably threads other regions as well. People get their upper lip, cheeks, chin, eyebrows, and sideburn areas done.
  #67  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:21 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Saw a bird seed place as mentioned above. Huh.

One that was GREAT was a spaghetti store. And they sold sauce.

But you could pick from different kinds of fresh dough (infused with different flavors) they would cut it to your liking (linguine, angle hair, whatever) to be cooked at home.

It was great. Nothing like REAL fresh spaghetti. I make it at home (rarely) and make quite the mess. I thought it was brilliant.
  #68  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:23 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Darn.
Well done.
  #69  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:34 AM
running coach running coach is online now
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It was great. Nothing like REAL fresh spaghetti. I make it at home (rarely) and make quite the mess. I thought it was brilliant.
So there were no impastas?
  #70  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:20 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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There is a small store I drive past frequently called TRI Con Bolt Company. No link as they have no website. It has been there at least 25 years. It is all alone on a nice piece of property with a lake on one side and the only major road around on the other. It is a legitimate business. The one time I went in, the guy there said "What can I do for you?"
I got very happy and said "I need some bolts."
That sounds nuts.
  #71  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:37 AM
Saintly Loser Saintly Loser is offline
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David Letterman used to do a bit about a store that only sold light bulbs, called Just Bulbs, and another store called Just Shades. There is still a Just Bulbs and a Just Shades in NYC, I think they are the same businesses, but not in the same locations that were featured on the show. Every time I pass Just Shades, it's like I hear the entire sketch in my mind.
Just Bulbs is still in business. Great store. They have every kind of bulb there is, as far as I can tell. I go there once in a while for 24-volt bulbs for this weird track lighting in my apartment.

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  #72  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:42 AM
Chefguy Chefguy is offline
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I visited a store in Seattle that sold nothing but socks. I don't remember what it was called. (This was in the late 90s, so it might be gone.)
There's one of those a few blocks from here called Sock Dreams. They've been in business for several years now.
  #73  
Old 03-26-2017, 01:21 PM
Son of a Rich Son of a Rich is online now
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There's a store in Lincoln, Nebraska that sells nothing but licorice.
  #74  
Old 03-26-2017, 01:22 PM
Amateur Barbarian Amateur Barbarian is offline
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New odometers are electronic, and I doubt that they can be reversed mechanically.
I believe they work by sequentially burning out cells in a chip - something like a very large one-bit memory chip or PAL. The process is not reversible and the chip cannot be replaced without leaving identifiable serial number changes. I suppose there are hacker/mechanics out there who can do a passable job.
  #75  
Old 03-26-2017, 01:31 PM
Dr. Girlfriend Dr. Girlfriend is offline
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There's a store in Lincoln, Nebraska that sells nothing but licorice.
I've been there! I don't like licorice but my Mom loves it, so I brought her back a bag full of stuff.
  #76  
Old 03-26-2017, 01:49 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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I remember going to The Purple Store.

Yes, all they sell is purple items.
Link didn't work for me. Was it this Purple Store in Seattle?
  #77  
Old 03-26-2017, 03:30 PM
The Butterfly's Ghost The Butterfly's Ghost is offline
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There's a store in Lincoln, Nebraska that sells nothing but licorice.
There is one in Cologne as well: Die Bärendreck-Apotheke. The name literally means "Bearpoop Pharmacy".
  #78  
Old 03-26-2017, 04:05 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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There used to be a "store" in Boston called. Gargoyles, Grotesques and Chimeras. I put that in quotes because it wasn't a conventional store at all. It was on posh Newbury street but it wasn't marked and it was only open some of the time during irregular hours. You just had to show up and look for it among endless rows of brownstones to figure it out yourself.

The only person that worked there was the (very nice if not extremely eccentric) owner. It was like stepping into the storeroom of a European cathedral. There were often leaves on the floor, this strange musty smell and this very odd, slow tempo piano music recorded by the owner on infinite loop called "The Anatomy of Melancholy" playing in the background. It was possible to buy things because I did it a few times but nothing had a price tag on it and the selection of the day was just laid about in seemingly random patterns that probably weren't.

Here is a picture of what some of it looked like but this photo only shows a small part of the "store". Still, if you needed any combination of gargoyles, grotesques OR chimeras, this was the place you needed to go as long as you could figure out where it was and when it was open.

https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/the-...95ktYyY5Dqc8RQ
  #79  
Old 03-26-2017, 05:04 PM
MonkeyMensch MonkeyMensch is offline
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without going off to see if there still in business there was a map store not too far from me and it was heaven to go visit. I got my brother an upside=down world map for Christmas one year and it was wonderful how strange all of the landmasses looked just by swapping N and S on the map. of course all the names and labelss were orinted correctly.
  #80  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:10 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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There's a store in my home town that sells nothing but buttons:

Exclusive Buttons

Out of curiosity, I stopped in there once and talked to the owner. Her husband used to be a traveling button salesman with a route that covered northern California. The internet cut into his business so much that he quit, and she created a brick-and-mortar store with his remaining inventory.

The woman was quite proud of the fact that she sells no plastic buttons. Her buttons are made from metal, glass, wood, shell. . . but no plastic.
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  #81  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:34 PM
Tim R. Mortiss Tim R. Mortiss is offline
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without going off to see if there still in business there was a map store not too far from me and it was heaven to go visit. I got my brother an upside=down world map for Christmas one year and it was wonderful how strange all of the landmasses looked just by swapping N and S on the map. of course all the names and labelss were orinted correctly.
There used to be a Rand McNally store in Chicago, right near the Wrigley Building. Alas, it is long gone.
  #82  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:43 PM
jasg jasg is offline
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Here in the PacNW we have a small chain of four Root Beer stores.
  #83  
Old 03-26-2017, 06:52 PM
Dewey Finn Dewey Finn is offline
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Originally Posted by Jeff Lichtman View Post
There's a store in my home town that sells nothing but buttons:

Exclusive Buttons

Out of curiosity, I stopped in there once and talked to the owner. Her husband used to be a traveling button salesman with a route that covered northern California. The internet cut into his business so much that he quit, and she created a brick-and-mortar store with his remaining inventory.

The woman was quite proud of the fact that she sells no plastic buttons. Her buttons are made from metal, glass, wood, shell. . . but no plastic.
Similarly, there's a button store in Manhattan. And there's another store that specializes in zippers, although that's not all it sells.
  #84  
Old 03-26-2017, 07:28 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Also heavily visited tourist towns tend to have some really specific stores.

I think Las Vegas still has that hot sauce store that was two stories tall. I also remember Circus Circus having a storefront that exclusively sold magic trick kits.
Does Las Vegas still have the store that sells nothing but M&Ms in every color, and M&M merchandise?

ETA: Saw a later post.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 03-26-2017 at 07:31 PM.
  #85  
Old 03-26-2017, 07:51 PM
JohnT JohnT is offline
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Map stores used to be a thing in most cities - this is one of those things that has largely disappeared over time.

Last edited by JohnT; 03-26-2017 at 07:51 PM.
  #86  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:13 PM
RickJay RickJay is offline
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Well, hell, there's all kinds of stores around here that sell paint.

I still have no idea how a paint store stay in business when there's invariably a Home Depot within five minutes. You can buy ten different brands of paint at a Home Depot, from the cheap shit on up to the really, really good stuff, at prices that will beat anyone.

I can understand in a weird way what a sock store or a purple store would do a sort of quirky trade, but how do paint stores makes it? It's not from contractors, because I've asked four contractors now this very question and to a man they all said "I get my paint from Home Depot (or Lowe's, or some similar outfit) and so does everyone I know. No idea how paint stores are still a thing."
  #87  
Old 03-26-2017, 08:46 PM
cmkeller cmkeller is offline
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The Bone Room in Berkeley. Now closed, though they still have an online presence.
Do they sell all sorts of bones? Because if they do, I think Skulls Unlimited beats them out for specificity.

(Kidding - actually, they sell all bones as well.)
  #88  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:26 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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We have a store that sells oil and vinegar. I'm sure it's very nice oil and vinegar, but I don't know how they can pay the rent (even for a tiny little store) by selling oil and vinegar.
Long shot, but is it called Oilerie? I think it's set up as a franchise (so they're getting out of my home state and the midwest), but before he doing the oil thing, I did a lot of business with Curt.
  #89  
Old 03-26-2017, 09:27 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Do they sell all sorts of bones? Because if they do, I think Skulls Unlimited beats them out for specificity.

(Kidding - actually, they sell all bones as well.)
Well, until someone makes the Boner Room ("Baculums and only baculums!")
  #90  
Old 03-26-2017, 10:57 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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Link didn't work for me. Was it this Purple Store in Seattle?
Yes. In Greenlake.
  #91  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:18 PM
Colibri Colibri is online now
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Map stores used to be a thing in most cities - this is one of those things that has largely disappeared over time.
Islamorada here in Panama specializes in nautical charts and other nautical publications. Of course, the Panama Canal is a logical place for such a store.
  #92  
Old 03-26-2017, 11:20 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I know of a long-running vintage map store in Bangkok too. Some fascinating stuff in there, and it ain't cheap either.
  #93  
Old 03-27-2017, 07:55 AM
GrumpyBunny GrumpyBunny is offline
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Well, hell, there's all kinds of stores around here that sell paint.

I still have no idea how a paint store stay in business when there's invariably a Home Depot within five minutes. You can buy ten different brands of paint at a Home Depot, from the cheap shit on up to the really, really good stuff, at prices that will beat anyone.

I can understand in a weird way what a sock store or a purple store would do a sort of quirky trade, but how do paint stores makes it? It's not from contractors, because I've asked four contractors now this very question and to a man they all said "I get my paint from Home Depot (or Lowe's, or some similar outfit) and so does everyone I know. No idea how paint stores are still a thing."
Better training? Last time I was in a Home Depot, someone was trying to match a specific Pantone color to ANY paint and got no joy. Seems the all-paint shops can do that.
  #94  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:08 AM
enipla enipla is offline
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Better training? Last time I was in a Home Depot, someone was trying to match a specific Pantone color to ANY paint and got no joy. Seems the all-paint shops can do that.
Yeah. There is a <name redacted> in the town that I work. Five minutes from my office. The big box store is in another town, but just about 15 min away.

Since I don't paint that much, I much prefer going to the specialty place. And it's damn damn good paint. Service is good, and matching is no problem at all.
  #95  
Old 03-27-2017, 09:07 AM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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Well, hell, there's all kinds of stores around here that sell paint.

I still have no idea how a paint store stay in business when there's invariably a Home Depot within five minutes. You can buy ten different brands of paint at a Home Depot, from the cheap shit on up to the really, really good stuff, at prices that will beat anyone.

I can understand in a weird way what a sock store or a purple store would do a sort of quirky trade, but how do paint stores makes it? It's not from contractors, because I've asked four contractors now this very question and to a man they all said "I get my paint from Home Depot (or Lowe's, or some similar outfit) and so does everyone I know. No idea how paint stores are still a thing."
When you talked to contractors, were you talking to contractors that just called themselves that but were actually just guys running their own business with no employees or people with 10+ employees? IME, people with lots of employees like to use actual paint stores (ie Benjamin Moore) because they can keep a line of credit there. Then, they can call, order the paint they need for a job and have their guys pick it up on the way there. Or if the someone out on a job needs a new part for the paint sprayer or some roller covers or whatever, no one is running around for money or a credit card to run to Home Depot, they can just go down to Benny Moore and have them put it account.

Also, as someone else said, you get a lot more experience from the people that have owned the paint store for 25 years than the people that have been working at the Home Depot counter for 3 months.
  #96  
Old 03-27-2017, 09:45 AM
Ann Hedonia Ann Hedonia is offline
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David Letterman used to do a bit about a store that only sold light bulbs, called Just Bulbs, and another store called Just Shades. There is still a Just Bulbs and a Just Shades in NYC, I think they are the same businesses, but not in the same locations that were featured on the show. Every time I pass Just Shades, it's like I hear the entire sketch in my mind.
I work in the lighting industry in New York. Just Bulbs is one of those places that I don't use much -( mostly because of retail pricing ) but when you need them you really need them and they've pulled my butt out of a fire a couple of times. Most of my cohort feels the same way.

They really do stock EVERYTHING.
  #97  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:06 AM
Fuji Fuji is offline
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There's an oil and vinegar store in Canandaigua and they've been in business for several years. They sell aged balsamic and spice-infused oils and I think the cheapest pints is around $10. The only times I've been there was during the holiday season but they are always busy then (with around 4 other customers in there.)
I had no idea such stores actually existed. In fact, I opened this thread just to see if anyone had mentioned one of my favorite fake stores from the Simpsons - Just Vinegar.
  #98  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:23 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is offline
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
There used to be a "store" in Boston called. Gargoyles, Grotesques and Chimeras. I put that in quotes because it wasn't a conventional store at all. It was on posh Newbury street but it wasn't marked and it was only open some of the time during irregular hours. You just had to show up and look for it among endless rows of brownstones to figure it out yourself.

The only person that worked there was the (very nice if not extremely eccentric) owner. It was like stepping into the storeroom of a European cathedral. There were often leaves on the floor, this strange musty smell and this very odd, slow tempo piano music recorded by the owner on infinite loop called "The Anatomy of Melancholy" playing in the background. It was possible to buy things because I did it a few times but nothing had a price tag on it and the selection of the day was just laid about in seemingly random patterns that probably weren't.

Here is a picture of what some of it looked like but this photo only shows a small part of the "store". Still, if you needed any combination of gargoyles, grotesques OR chimeras, this was the place you needed to go as long as you could figure out where it was and when it was open.

https://www.yelp.com/biz_photos/the-...95ktYyY5Dqc8RQ
I LOVED Gargoyles. The floor of the store was (deliberately) covered in dry leaves. I bought several inexpensive plaster of paris gargoyles there as inspiration for the "Gargoyles" chapter in my book.


Across the street there used to be another store called The Gods, which sold nothing but statues, paintings, and bas reliefs of gods from various pantheons around the world. There was another store in Provincetown.





There's Rita Ford Music Boxes at 18 East 65th Street in New York City, just off Central Park. I don't know if it's still there (the current website gives an address in New Jersey -- http://www.ritafordmusicboxes.com/ ), but it was fabulous store that sold only music boxes, including some enormous room-sized devices that sounded like organs. Little old Rita Ford used to run the store, but I'm sure she's dead by now. There are several recordings available made from the music boxes in her store.
  #99  
Old 03-27-2017, 10:38 AM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enipla View Post
Yeah. There is a <name redacted> in the town that I work. Five minutes from my office. The big box store is in another town, but just about 15 min away.

Since I don't paint that much, I much prefer going to the specialty place. And it's damn damn good paint. Service is good, and matching is no problem at all.
My uncle actually ran a paint store for many years. We broke a leaf spring on the truck helping him haul all his stuff from one place to another. One of the pieces of equipment he had was a large color mixer, so if he did not have the right shade on the shelf, he could cook it up for you. A big box store usually cannot offer that kind of service/skill.
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Old 03-27-2017, 11:32 AM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Fuji View Post
I had no idea such stores actually existed. In fact, I opened this thread just to see if anyone had mentioned one of my favorite fake stores from the Simpsons - Just Vinegar.
I feel like that's a place that could thrive IRL, given the right market (Whole Foods crowd). They'd probably sell olive oil, too though.
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