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  #101  
Old 03-27-2017, 01:13 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned vape shops.
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  #102  
Old 03-27-2017, 01:15 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Originally Posted by thelurkinghorror View Post
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.
https://www.vomfassusa.com/

They sell oils, vinegars, spirits.
  #103  
Old 03-27-2017, 01:30 PM
scr4 scr4 is online now
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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.
A constant flow of tourists has the same effect. I think I've been to an oil & vinegar shop in Savannah GA. And I stopped at a hot sauce shop in New Orleans.

By the way, in Tokyo there is a bookstore that only sells 1 book. Each week they pick one book to promote and sell.

Last edited by scr4; 03-27-2017 at 01:30 PM.
  #104  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:19 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned vape shops.
Many of those also sell leaf tobacco products. Now, if you want to compare them to cannabusiness ...
  #105  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:41 PM
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Right by my office just outside Portland, OR is a store called Nothing Bundt Cakes. I haven't been in there, but I have wondered just how sustainable a business that could possibly be.
  #106  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:46 PM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Originally Posted by pabstist View Post
"The Leftorium", owned by stupid Ned Flanders. He only sells things for left handed people.
There really are many such stores in a lot of cities. My favorite name is Left-Handed Complements.



I know that condom stores has already been mentioned, but Condom World has been operating on Newbury St. in Boston's Back Bay for decades now. But it doesn't sell only condoms, despite the name.
  #107  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:57 PM
running coach running coach is online now
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There really are many such stores in a lot of cities. My favorite name is Left-Handed Complements.



I know that condom stores has already been mentioned, but Condom World has been operating on Newbury St. in Boston's Back Bay for decades now. But it doesn't sell only condoms, despite the name.
That's just a cover for their main business.
  #108  
Old 03-27-2017, 02:58 PM
apollonia apollonia is offline
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Right by my office just outside Portland, OR is a store called Nothing Bundt Cakes. I haven't been in there, but I have wondered just how sustainable a business that could possibly be.
If you can believe it, Nothing Bundt Cakes is a nationwide chain with well over two hundred locations. I guess cake is good business.
  #109  
Old 03-27-2017, 03:41 PM
Johanna Johanna is online now
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When I went to the Maryland Renaissance Fair about 10 years ago, and saw all the medieval stuff for sale—including some truly gorgeous dresses, which, however, could only be worn in a medieval setting—I came to the conclusion that renaissance fairs sell medieval gear whose sole purpose is to be worn at renaissance fairs. A totally circular process that feeds only itself. Anyway...

The example of "most oddly specific retail" I ever saw was a shop selling only one kind of item: imitation Harry Potter wands. That was it. This was not some cheap fly-by-night vendor stand either. It was a solid wood purpose-built edifice.

Now considering the profits to be made, vendor space at a renaissance fair must be frighteningly expensive, let alone a fancy structure of solid timber. How on earth could they afford that expense, let alone turn a profit, by selling nothing but little sticks of wood? How much market for that product could realistically exist anyway? The most baffling economics puzzle I've ever seen.
  #110  
Old 03-27-2017, 03:59 PM
Morbo Morbo is offline
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If you can believe it, Nothing Bundt Cakes is a nationwide chain with well over two hundred locations. I guess cake is good business.
Wow! I had no idea.
  #111  
Old 03-27-2017, 04:11 PM
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That's just a cover for their main business.
Heh.
  #112  
Old 03-27-2017, 06:55 PM
Dr_Paprika Dr_Paprika is offline
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Have seen many of these stores. Selling:

1. Just salt water taffy
2. Just skipping ropes
3. Just one specific car part -- mufflers
4. Different stores with one specific car part -- tires, hubcaps, doors, etc.
5. Just Skateboards
6. Just clown shoes
  #113  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:02 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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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.
Oh, I did too. I literally walked 5 miles from Brighton to Newbury Street some sunny days just to see if it was open. The owner was obviously passionate about gargoyles and other religious iconery especially of the grotesque sort.

If you saw something you liked, he would tell you all about it in detail before he asked he how much you thought it was worth to YOU (again, there were no set prices). I ended up buying a small gargoyle, a Green Man and a few other smaller items over the years. I wish I had a place for some of larger, more macabre and bizarre items but I didn't at the time or I would have bought those too.

The store is gone now for reasons I don't know but I do have a copy of the piano music that played in the background if you are interested (it is freely distributable according to Lou, the owner and creator). It won't get the store back but you can recreate the same creepy feel in your own house with some dry leaves and The Anatomy of Melancholy - No beginning and No End playing on infinite loop.
  #114  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:10 PM
thelurkinghorror thelurkinghorror is offline
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
The store is gone now for reasons I don't know but I do have a copy of the piano music that played in the background if you are interested (it is freely distributable according to Lou, the owner and creator). It won't get the store back but you can recreate the same creepy feel in your own house with some dry leaves and The Anatomy of Melancholy - No beginning and No End playing on infinite loop.
I found a link
  #115  
Old 03-27-2017, 08:16 PM
MagicEyes MagicEyes is offline
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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.
No--I think this is the only location for this store. It's actually been here for a while, so it must be doing just fine. This kind of store wouldn't surprise me in a larger city, but I live in a large town/small city, and there are several other gourmet grocery stores, so there's no shortage of places to buy fancy olive oil and balsamic vinegar (like Whole Foods, which is just down the street from this store). And Wegman's is coming. I've never been to Wegman's, but I'm excited! We're spoiled when it comes to grocery stores.
  #116  
Old 03-27-2017, 09:46 PM
Joey P Joey P is offline
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When this guy (Curt) stopped doing what he was going and told us he was moving to another town to open up a store and sell [nothing but] olive oil, we all thought he was nuts too. You can get olive oil anywhere. That was like 15 years ago, then he opened up a bunch more, I see he's set it up as a franchise, then all of a sudden I see him on Shark Tank a few years ago. I assume he's doing well for himself...but really...it's a store that sells olive oil. I'm always curious about that. I can, I guess, understand stores that sell just spices (like Penzey's), but I just can't imagine going out of my way to get olive oil or vinegar.

Last edited by Joey P; 03-27-2017 at 09:47 PM.
  #117  
Old 03-27-2017, 11:25 PM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by apollonia View Post
If you can believe it, Nothing Bundt Cakes is a nationwide chain with well over two hundred locations. I guess cake is good business.
I'd never heard of them until just now, but you are right.

http://www.nothingbundtcakes.com/
  #118  
Old 03-27-2017, 11:28 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Joey P View Post
When this guy (Curt) stopped doing what he was going and told us he was moving to another town to open up a store and sell [nothing but] olive oil, we all thought he was nuts too. You can get olive oil anywhere. That was like 15 years ago, then he opened up a bunch more, I see he's set it up as a franchise, then all of a sudden I see him on Shark Tank a few years ago. I assume he's doing well for himself...but really...it's a store that sells olive oil. I'm always curious about that. I can, I guess, understand stores that sell just spices (like Penzey's), but I just can't imagine going out of my way to get olive oil or vinegar.
Olive oil is an odd business. It literally runs like a cross between a cartel and a blood diamond store. Years ago, my ex-father in law (who looks exactly like a real Godfather) got the exclusive contract to distribute Olio Carli in the United States. It is one of the top Italian brands that is delivered door to door in Italy but didn't exist in the U.S. until then. That started out fine but ended about as well as you can expect with a bunch of Italian businessmen looking to get their cut (no pun intended).

A large percentage of olive oil is fake, adulterated or mislabeled. Much of it is diluted with lower cost oils or intentionally misgraded. This isn't a new phenomenon. It has been going on since before Jesus was a thing.

I can see the need for a store that stands by the purity of their products because some people want that and are willing to pay for it.

Last edited by Shagnasty; 03-27-2017 at 11:29 PM.
  #119  
Old 03-27-2017, 11:30 PM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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You know, thelurkinghorror posting a link to that place is disturbingly appropriate.
  #120  
Old 03-28-2017, 07:54 AM
Hari Seldon Hari Seldon is offline
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Inside the Marche du Nord in Montreal, there is a store that sells only oil. Mostly many many different kinds of olive oil, but others as well. There is also a limited tasting. They used to have a spice section but the last time I was in there, it had disappeared, although they directed me to a spice store a few doors away.
  #121  
Old 03-28-2017, 12:04 PM
DrCube DrCube is online now
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned vape shops.
Like tobacco and marijuana shops (and liquor stores, in some states), these are limited to selling one specific kind of merchandise mostly by state and municipal law, not the owner's decision to narrowly focus.
  #122  
Old 03-28-2017, 01:43 PM
Tapiotar Tapiotar is offline
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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.
It seems like almost every small town has a fancy olive oil and vinegar store these days. I've been to the one in Canadaigua, an offshoot of its parent store in Rochester, and another branch opened in Ithaca. Tiny Owego has an oil and vinegar store, and I've seen one in Skaneatles, and those are just in central NY State. I've seen them in other small cities around the country, too. The flavored olive oils and exquisite balsamic vinegars are delicious, really fine quality and wonderful flavors. But really, how much fancy oil and vinegar can a person use?
  #123  
Old 03-28-2017, 01:47 PM
Tapiotar Tapiotar 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.)
The Joy of Sox...I don't remember if it was in Seattle or Minneapolis, but I do remember the name of the sock store!
  #124  
Old 03-29-2017, 12:48 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Originally Posted by Shagnasty View Post
Olive oil is an odd business. It literally runs like a cross between a cartel and a blood diamond store. Years ago, my ex-father in law (who looks exactly like a real Godfather) got the exclusive contract to distribute Olio Carli in the United States. It is one of the top Italian brands that is delivered door to door in Italy but didn't exist in the U.S. until then. That started out fine but ended about as well as you can expect with a bunch of Italian businessmen looking to get their cut (no pun intended).

A large percentage of olive oil is fake, adulterated or mislabeled. Much of it is diluted with lower cost oils or intentionally misgraded. This isn't a new phenomenon. It has been going on since before Jesus was a thing.

I can see the need for a store that stands by the purity of their products because some people want that and are willing to pay for it.
I've heard this too. I use the Paul Newman brand; I figure if any company is going to use the real thing, it's this one. Let me know if I'm wrong.

ETA: I've heard similar things about the Canadian maple syrup industry.

Last edited by nearwildheaven; 03-29-2017 at 12:50 AM.
  #125  
Old 03-29-2017, 12:49 AM
nearwildheaven nearwildheaven is offline
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Like tobacco and marijuana shops (and liquor stores, in some states), these are limited to selling one specific kind of merchandise mostly by state and municipal law, not the owner's decision to narrowly focus.
It's not so much that they exist, but that at least around here, there are so danged many of them.
  #126  
Old 03-29-2017, 01:29 AM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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I've heard this too. I use the Paul Newman brand; I figure if any company is going to use the real thing, it's this one. Let me know if I'm wrong.
According to this article, researchers at UC Davis tested many brands of olive oil and found Newman's Own to be one of the brands that did not meet the standards for extra virgin.

This only covers olive oil from California, but any bottle that has the California Olive Oil Council certification seal is guaranteed to be true 100% extra-virgin olive oil. Their certification process involves a taste test as well as purity and oleic acid tests.
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  #127  
Old 03-29-2017, 07:10 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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There have been quite a few stores that sell nothing but Hot Sauce. There used to be one in Boston, but it's now gone. Suzie's Hot Shop is still going in New Hope, PA, although it's changed owners.
  #128  
Old 03-31-2017, 12:27 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I saw a condom shop in Tokyo.
  #129  
Old 03-31-2017, 02:15 AM
eschereal eschereal is online now
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In Wisconsin, they have the National Mustard Museum, which is also a rather specific retail outlet (there is no admission fee). They may sell other things, like some kind of souvenirs, but their product is mustard. And fun. We visited it in Mt. Horeb, but it looks like it has moved to fancier digs near Madison and may have lost some of it absurd charm.

Last edited by eschereal; 03-31-2017 at 02:15 AM.
  #130  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:46 AM
CalMeacham CalMeacham is online now
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Originally Posted by nearwildheaven View Post
I've heard this too. I use the Paul Newman brand; I figure if any company is going to use the real thing, it's this one. Let me know if I'm wrong.

ETA: I've heard similar things about the Canadian maple syrup industry.
Odd thing about Paul Newman Oil and Vinegar Salad Dressing -- I looked at the ingredients on the label, and it has sugar in it!

I don't mean to single out Newman's. Just about every brand of Oil and Vinegar salad dressing I checked had added sugar. In fact, I turned to the Newman brand because I figured it, because of its reputation, would be better than the others. I was shocked to find that it wasn't.

I'm still amazed at all those brands that added sugar to "Oil and Vinegar" salad dressing. To my mind, the name of it ought to be the same as the list of ingredients -- it ought to have Oil and Vinegar in it, and nothing else (except possibly for some preservative, or emulsifier. I'll cut them that much slack).

The only Oil and Vinegar dressings that I found without added sugar were the "Lite" formulations.
  #131  
Old 03-31-2017, 07:53 AM
Cardigan Cardigan is online now
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Anyone else remember the SNL "failing scotch tape store" skit from the late 70's?
  #132  
Old 03-31-2017, 08:10 AM
enipla enipla is online now
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Anyone else remember the SNL "failing scotch tape store" skit from the late 70's?
Sort of like the 'Change Bank'.

"How do we make a profit?, volume"
  #133  
Old 03-31-2017, 11:14 AM
Crybaby Boobie Crybaby Boobie is online now
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There was a store that only sold Maile mustard down the street from me. But it couldn't cut it.

Lots of people mocked a store that only sold mustard, but it was delicious.
  #134  
Old 03-31-2017, 12:43 PM
jnglmassiv jnglmassiv is offline
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While browsing Reddit this week, I came across this photo of a store that only sells pillows and other softgoods that resemble meat .

I want one. Bad.
  #135  
Old 03-31-2017, 01:11 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is online now
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I saw a condom shop in Tokyo.
Huh, I once saw a dick in Wal-Mart. Maybe they should get together.
  #136  
Old 03-31-2017, 10:02 PM
Lamar Mundane Lamar Mundane is offline
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I have a friend who's business sells springs. Just springs. It's mostly wholesale for manufacturers and repair shops but it has a tiny retail counter (although you have to ring a bell to get someone to wait on you.) Bring in a spring, damaged or not, and he'll find a match for it.
  #137  
Old 04-01-2017, 09:06 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I saw a condom shop in Tokyo.
I think it was Condomania. That link is to their online store, but their brick-and-mortar shop is big. More on that here.
  #138  
Old 04-01-2017, 09:33 AM
enipla enipla is online now
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Well, how about marijuana shops? The do sell lotions, salves, tinctures and some accoutrements. But it's pretty specific.

Vap shops seem to sell more smoking paraphernalia that the old head shops used to sell. Don't seem to find pipes and bongs and such in a MJ shop.
  #139  
Old 04-01-2017, 12:06 PM
BaldDudePeekskill BaldDudePeekskill is offline
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I went into that store once and didn't like it at all. The two people who ran it were very unpleasant. One was tart to me and the other was oleaginous.
Let's just toss these comments before they get out of hand
  #140  
Old 04-01-2017, 12:08 PM
BaldDudePeekskill BaldDudePeekskill is offline
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My friend worked for a button cover store in the garment districting NYC....I patronized Vanni bookshop which only sold Italian textbooks and novels in Greenwich village
  #141  
Old 04-06-2017, 09:25 PM
Kevbo Kevbo is offline
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Albuquerque used to have "Stomps & Threads" which sold shoes and costumes to strippers. I never got around to stopping in before a fire shut them down.


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  #142  
Old 04-07-2017, 02:15 PM
Doctor Jackson Doctor Jackson is online now
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Those must have been some really hot outfits...

Maybe that's what was really stored under the I-85 bridge in Atlanta

Last edited by Doctor Jackson; 04-07-2017 at 02:16 PM.
  #143  
Old 04-07-2017, 02:56 PM
Weisshund Weisshund is online now
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Originally Posted by Chronos View Post
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.
No, they actually repair speedometers.
Replacing your whole dash is expensive, rebuilding your mechanical speedo is not.
Any of them that i know of, the only way you are getting a zero odometer is you had it replaced, and then you had to sign a form stating such.
  #144  
Old 04-07-2017, 03:43 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is online now
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Albuquerque used to have "Stomps & Threads" which sold shoes and costumes to strippers. I never got around to stopping in before a fire shut them down.


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The Broadway play "Kinky Boots" is based on a real-life English shoe factory that specializes in footwear for shoe fetishists. In the play, the factory makes boots for drag queens.
  #145  
Old 04-07-2017, 03:55 PM
Jeff Lichtman Jeff Lichtman is offline
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Here's one that wouldn't have been odd forty years ago:

California Typewriter

It's not just a repair shop. They sell old typewriters to collectors.

Someone made a documentary about this place. It's currently showing on the festival circuit.
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  #146  
Old 04-09-2017, 08:32 AM
Carryon Carryon is offline
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I was in a mall near San Francisco and they had one of those 'kiosks or stands' (I don't know the proper term, they are in the hallways between stores) and it sold only Mustard. Apparently there are over 100 types all homemade....
  #147  
Old 04-09-2017, 01:39 PM
Rick Kitchen Rick Kitchen is online now
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I was in a mall near San Francisco and they had one of those 'kiosks or stands' (I don't know the proper term, they are in the hallways between stores) and it sold only Mustard. Apparently there are over 100 types all homemade....
Was it next to a hot dog stad?
  #148  
Old 04-09-2017, 01:44 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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Albuquerque used to have "Stomps & Threads" which sold shoes and costumes to strippers. I never got around to stopping in before a fire shut them down.


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Originally Posted by Doctor Jackson View Post
Those must have been some really hot outfits...

Maybe that's what was really stored under the I-85 bridge in Atlanta
There are one or two little shops like this in Bangkok's Patpong red-light area.
  #149  
Old 04-09-2017, 10:26 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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A constant flow of tourists has the same effect. I think I've been to an oil & vinegar shop in Savannah GA. And I stopped at a hot sauce shop in New Orleans.

By the way, in Tokyo there is a bookstore that only sells 1 book. Each week they pick one book to promote and sell.
I'll only go the week they sell Ethel the Aardvark Goes Quantity Surveying.

But I can't read!
  #150  
Old 04-10-2017, 12:06 AM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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By the way, in Tokyo there is a bookstore that only sells 1 book. Each week they pick one book to promote and sell.
Makes sense. After all, you can only red one book at any given moment.
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