If what you want is a bicycle -- not an ass kissing, not a motivational speech, not a new best friend -- then go to Bicycle. Wayne -- the awesomely coifed (think '80s skater haircut on a tall, skinny, gray-haired dude) proprietor who runs the one-man show -- is serious about these machines. Whether you want a road bike, a hybrid, a mountain bike, or a cruiser; whether you want to buy components or have your bike tuned up, Wayne is the man to see. He may not smile; he may not sweet-talk you; he might even tell you to go away if you're not the serious kind of customer he's looking for. But there are two things Wayne never has to worry about: (1) dissatisfied customers and (2) having to wipe brown stuff off his nose.

Most of the plants at Tropical World Nursery didn't just pop up in some mass-produced South Florida farm. Many of the bromeliads, cacti, and orchids have traveled farther than you did on your last vacation. Tropical World grows most of its stuff a few thousand miles away, on the side of a dormant Mexican volcano. The nursery's South of the Border location, at 3,500 feet above sea level, allows it to produce plants that won't grow to maturity in South Florida's heat. Once of age, the plants can survive in local backyards, says owner Michael Marino, who makes regular trips to Mexico to retrieve the full-grown specimens. Many of the rare varieties are shipped via suitcase on domestic flights. That overhead doesn't make Tropical World the kind of place most folks will go to landscape the entire homefront, but the unique blooms of one-of-a-kind plants make it ideal for a yard's finishing touches. And they do have some deals. Check out the $6 cape primrose, or streptocarpus, a relative of the African violet. They also have carnivorous pitcher plants (sarracenia) that grow in burgundy colors with orchid-looking leaves for $5. The best part is that you can brag to the neighbors that your new shrubbery is volcano-grown.

For those of you looking to furnish your pad like a seafood shack, this is the place to go. Culpepper & Co.'s crowded yard of goods has reams of nautical-themed antiques pulled from the hulls of boats and shipyards the world over. Owner David Culpepper spends two months a year combing shipyards and wrecking facilities in remote places, usually in Asia and the Near East. He returns with one man's trash and another man's item to piss off the wife when it ends up in the living room: rusting anchors, glass buoys, aging harpoons, and dresser drawers full of sailing flags. Just about every wall of the small showroom is covered in life preservers that look as if they've come in handy a few hundred times, and there are piles of oars scuffed from years of use on long-forgotten boats. Some stuff even still has that saltwater smell. Mmm. And it's cheaper than you may think to make your home look like Red Lobster. A fishing basket runs $15 and a brass porthole about $250. The wooden ship's wheel will set you back a few hundred as well, but you're not going to let her say no, are you?

Ragtops has come a long way from its early days, when it began in 1980 as three classic cars for sale outside a West Palm Beach gas station. Now the two-block-long business in West Palm Beach is packed with antique autos as part of its permanent museum collection or waiting for a good home. Ragtops sells about a dozen cars a month to collectors, who pay anywhere from a few thousand for an old MGB to six figures for rare finds. Ragtops salesmen don't give test drives of the precious rides easily, but the informed consumer can find a way behind the wheel. It might help to know the difference between a carburetor and a fuel injector, wear something from dad's closet, and mention that home in the Hamptons you've been meaning to buy. Ragtops allows cars to be cruised through the neighborhoods nearby, requiring a leisurely pace, but it'll still get your blood flowing to throw the shifter on one of these beauties. Take, for instance, the 1950 Austin A-90 Atlantic convertible, a tiny, cherry-red drop-top with a swooping back end and tan interior -- and a $38,900 price tag. Ragtops also stocks modern classics like the $89,500 Lamborghini Countach, a 1989 model that'll cause its driver to dress Miami Vice-style. Sure, it's nerve-wracking to test-drive a car that costs as much as a condo, but there are few better places to be on a fine Florida day than behind the wheel of a Marlboro-red '65 Stingray. The classic 'Vette might cost $46,500, but the test drive is free.

Lonely on a Friday night? Looking for some hand-held action? Well, the minute you walk into the brightly lit confines of the Adult Video Boutique, angels will sing on high. Oh wait, those aren't angels: That's Power 96 blasting over the speakers. That's right. Nelly is talking to you. He wants you to buy that shiny, double-headed dildo and get down to bizznaaas. With two whole walls and four rows of sex toys, the Adult Video Boutique has you nailed. Are you a novice? You might want to try the Sterling Stroker, the Chili Pepper Spicy Multi-Speed Dildo (shaped like a chili pepper), the Microwavable Hot Cock (the world's first!), or the Flying Eagle (a tiny, eagle-shaped contraption that goes over your no-no parts and, er, spreads its wings over your majestic mountaintop). For the more advanced, there's the Traveling G-Spot Tickler, the Vibrating Port-a-Pussy, the Xtreme Sports Penis Pump with Action Grips (for the snowboarder or windsurfer on the go), or the Ecstasy Rope (it's very Victorian). And if you need some favors for the party in your pants, you can also pick up a Pecker Party Whistle or Sammy Schlong the Singing Dong (picture that annoying singing trout but with balls). And you don't have to worry about wearing that trench coat and sunglasses at the AVB. The clientele buys their Mr. Stud Inflatable Party Dolls and Grape-scented Vibrating Jelly Vaginas with pride.

Location, location, location. It's what they say about real estate. But it's what they should say about adult video stores. Take, for example, Platinum Plus Video. Located on Federal Highway, between two of the area's most popular strip clubs -- Spearmint Rhino and Pure Platinum & Solid Gold -- this sinful store titillates with ceiling-to-floor windows displaying piece after piece of naughty lingerie. Walk inside and browse through the video selection. Just as wine connoisseurs like a particular vintage and region, porn aficionados like their fetishes. Big tits, oral, anal, gangbang -- Platinum Plus carries whatever you need to get that, well, inspiration. Trust us: There'll come a time when you'll need this place, which is open 24/7. We've been there. It'll be 1 a.m. on a muggy night. You just slipped all your cash into the G-string of some stripper named Destiny. And there, as you walk out disappointed, lit up on Federal Highway like a glow-in-the-dark rocket pocket, will be Platinum Plus Video. You'll have a credit card and a big, well, uh, itch that Destiny just wouldn't scratch.

Do you want to get drunk but need a self-esteem boost? You gotta love it when you get encouragement from your friendly neighborhood liquor merchant. Nine times out of ten, you'll get a hearty greeting from the guys at Wilton Beverage as you walk in the door. They're always willing to help with beer selection, prices, gift ideas -- and they offer free samples! Located off Wilton Drive in the heart of Wilton Manors, WDB is small and intimate, a boozehound's paradise. Don't let the narrow aisles and precariously stacked mountains of boxes scare you off. The lack of space just puts you closer to the liquor, which is especially helpful if you've got a pesky case of the delirium tremens. And the prices are decent to boot. You can get a top-shelf bottle of Patron Silver for $39.99 or a six-pack of Singha for $6.99. Readers' Choice: ABC Liquor

Best Place to Endure Excruciating Pain in the Name of Beauty

European Wax Center

OK, ladies, let's say you need some, uh, landscaping done downtown. Having someone pour hot wax on your nether regions and rip the hair out doesn't sound pleasant, but the aestheticians at the European Wax Center make it so. With their white coats and cheery smiles, they chat you up nonchalantly as you lie on the table in one of the salon's immaculate but cozy, high-ceilinged back rooms. This salon uses a special kind of French wax, which hardens and doesn't require removal with messy cloth strips that are the norm in most salons. There's also no reverse discrimination here. Back and eyebrow waxing are done on dudes as well as dudettes; a gentleman even works at the counter. The center offers a variety of memberships so you can come back unlimited times. For $1,190 -- the most expensive membership -- you can come in every day and have your whole body plucked. So, go forth -- do cartwheels, perform karate kicks, and play volleyball in your G-string, confidently knowing that you're not shaggy anywhere and that no one is staring at your unibrow.

In 1630, Mumtaz Mahal died as she gave birth to her 14th child. So moved by the loss was her husband, Shah Jehan, a powerful emperor in the northern part of India, that he built for her the architectural tribute of the ages, the Taj Mahal. Does your cockatoo deserve anything less? Of course not, and thankfully, the Bird Depot has created the Taj Mahal -- whose advertising slogan reads: "When only the best will do." Standing eight feet tall and almost four feet wide, this wheeled ode to birdhood is welded up by hand and topped off with an onion dome of bars fit for royalty. The cage is furnished with natural wood perches and ladder, and optional plexiglass panels are available for high-strung cagelings with a penchant for kicking birdseed around. Naturally enough, the Taj Mahal carries a regal price tag, with the top-end version pushing $2,600.

Welcome. Not what you were expecting, hmm? You didn't think you'd find wide, spacious aisles just waiting for you to dance up and down like an actor in a big-budget musical, did you? Well, that's because National Pawn and Jewelry is not your average pawn shop. In fact, it's not a flea-bitten "pawn shop" at all. It is a superduper megaplex pawn superstore, a veritable cavernous clearinghouse for secondhand merchandise. It's a clean, well-lighted place for dubiously acquired goods. Check out the glass counters filled to the brim with bling, as bespectacled jewelers appraise merchandise for clients wearing basketball jerseys. Paw through the CDs -- they start at $2! Amateur musician outfitting your home studio? Guitars, violins, horns, drum kits, old Roland keyboards and drum machines and cowbells and harmonicas and tambourines and... did we say cowbells? Almost anything you're looking for (tools, stereo components, DVDs) can be had on the cheap. Did we say cheap? We meant inexpensive!

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®

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