Best of Broward-Palm Beach®

Best Of 2009

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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best Yoga Studio
Red Pearl Yoga

Try as you might, you lack self-control. It would be nice if you were part of that specially selected few with the ability to follow a yoga routine at home, without a guide coaxing them through completion. But you are not. The flipside, of course, is that you can stretch and bend in the company of South Florida's finest yogis: the staff of Red Pearl Yoga. More than a traditional yoga den, this loft space is warm, breezy, and forever inviting. It's a judgment-free zone where lost sheep aren't shamed after months of absence. Instead, diehards simply smile and scoot over so you can pick up where you left off — clumsily folding yourself into pretzel-like shapes before promptly tumbling over. In this magical studio, sunbeams reach through the open windows and extend along the floor, allowing you to roll around and warm yourself like a cat while opening up your chakras. Caring leaders, like Karen Gavrilov, roam as they guide, gently repositioning you from "ugh" to "ahh" postures. But the best thing about Red Pearl? Here, exercise doesn't feel like work. It feels like a welcomed reward.

918 NE 20th Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 33304
MAP
954-828-1651
Best Adult Video Store
Tropixxx Video

In better economic times, you shopped differently. You felt quality transcended quantity. Nowhere else was this more apparent than at your local adult video store. It was there, in that high-ceilinged, well-lit den of sin that you slapped wads of dead presidents on the counter in exchange for Debbie's misadventures in Texas, Marilyn Chambers' cultish crossover, and, of course, the musing romps of Bimbo Cheerleaders From Outer Space. But now might be the time to explore the bargain bin at Tropixxx. More a fetish graveyard than a fertile garden of potential climax, this collection of castaways is priced in a way befitting our current recession. Five dollars will get you (VHS) videos of feet squishing ground beef, feet squishing green Jell-O, or even feet squishing mashed potatoes. Now, a smart shopper appreciates bargains, and because you are the smartest shopper around, you'll stash these treasures away like a perverted squirrel waiting for winter and give them out next holiday season to your nearest and dearest. Imagine the joy they'll get unwrapping that $3 copy of Tijuana Madness; it might not be high-brow, but the price is right, and in these tough times, that alone is pretty damned sexy.

1514 Northeast Fourth Ave., Fort Lauderdale, 33304
MAP
954-522-5988
Best Body Shop
Chassis Master

If you’re unlucky enough to need one of the body shop services, it’s tough to weed out the fly-by-nights from the real pros. Chassis Master is definitely one of the latter. Staffers are superpolite, they know how to handle insurance companies, and most important, they’re superb craftsmen who can turn a crumpled wreck into a work of beautifully contoured art, often making it look better than it was before the accident. And they might just save their recession-beaten customers a few bucks on having to buy a new car.

2400 Southwest 60th Terrace, Miramar, 33023
MAP
954-985-0900
Best Boutique
Jezebel

Dear Diary,

First off, I'm sorry I haven't written in so long — I just haven't found anything really juicy and crush-worthy to share until today. I was wandering along, underwhelmed by my shopping options, certain that I would never open my heart again, and that's when it winked at me. Jezebel. With its pink trim and dazzling window display, it drew me in like a tractor beam. I've always heard that's how love happens, but I never thought it would happen to me. If I could, I would marry the shop, move it into my home, and merge assets. It understands me. Upon first fondle, I found racks and racks of adorable vintage dresses, negligees, and skirts. Boxes were stacked high and filled with '50s gloves and embroidered hankies. And if I discuss the collection of candles, home goods, and shiny things, I might just break down with emotion. I took home mementos of our first date: Now my scrapbook is filled with bacon Band-Aids and pictures of my new, ultrafeminine wardrobe. Jezebel assured me that it's been awaiting my arrival for more than 20 years, and now that we've connected, I'm never letting it get away. I'm no longer seeing other boutiques. My wallet is off the market. I promise to write soon!

Me.

1980 E. Sunrise Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, 33304
MAP
954-761-7881
Best Café to Boycott
Starbucks in Wilton Manors

Less than four years ago, this Starbucks opened between two locally owned and vastly superior coffee shops — Stork's and Java Boys. Since then, the corporate storefront has been competing for one-third or more of Wilton Manors' coffee dollars and waiting for the competition to fold. Before Starbucks, the property housed a charming little café that served a perfect salmon Florentine breakfast and good booze at night. And before that, it was home to another neat breakfast joint, Health Nuts Cafe, and two pubs (one English, one Irish). All of these places enhanced the neighborhood and helped make Wilton Manors the quirky, lovable town it is today. By feeding our dollars to the wholly unnecessary Wilton Manors Starbucks, we help make this town more bland, more like every place else. So stop spending money there. Right now.

1015 NE 26th St., Wilton Manors, 33305
MAP
954-566-1304
Best Cheap Thrill
Intoxiskate at Gold Coast Roller Rink

Remember the old-school brown skates from your childhood days at the roller rink? Recall the disco ball and the Moonlight Skate? Remember how they always trucked in cases of beer and liquor... Hey, wait a second! That nifty little addition has only been part of the skating experience since the Intoxiskate party launched under the radar a couple of years ago. A $5 entry fee (and $2 skate rental) gets you six hours (!) of rink time, from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. And games at 11! But wait! That's not all! The weekly party is fun enough, but in a spectacular bonus that could be matched only by a set of Ginsu knives, the peeps behind Intoxiskate kick things up a notch with a themed blowout once a month. For Saint Patrick's Day in March, there was a Beer Pong tournament; in April, the cause célèbre was Underwear Night. (Yes, it is what you're thinking: Sexy people. In hot pants. On wheels.) The most remarkable part of all this? Organizers report that even with partygoers fueled by vodka and Hokey Pokey, injuries are no more frequent than your average, sober roller-skating casualty rate. Amazing!

2604 S. Federal Highway, Fort Lauderdale, 33316
MAP
954-523-6783
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Best Yoga Studio: Red Pearl Yoga

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