Let's say you need an impertinent little Cretan wine to entertain some visiting Greeks -- say, a 1998 bottle of Kretikos white. You can find it for just $10.99 at 67 Wine & Spirits, along with vino from such places as Israel, Hungary, Transylvania, and Georgia (the former Soviet republic, not the state). Did we mention that 67 also carries an enormous selection of wines from France, Italy, Australia, and the United States, as well as a full six shelves of sherries and ports? From high-end offerings (a 1994 Chateau Mouton Rothschild Pauillac for $219.99) to run-of-the-vineyard fare (the ones with twist-off tops), you'll find them at this jam-packed little store. The store also has an equally diverse selection of liquors, along with gourmet items, prepared foods, and even a tiny cigar room. Three other 67 locations in Broward and Palm Beach counties offer comparable goods, but we prefer the one on Federal for the perverse thrill that comes from buying forbidden fruit just a few feet from the Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, headquarters of the ultraconservative Rev. James D. Kennedy.
When it comes to shopping meccas, scale is everything -- upscale and small-scale. Ever since they put a roof over the Sunrise Shopping Center in 1980 and renamed it the Galleria, the managers have done their darnedest to maintain the place's status as "Fort Lauderdale's most fashionable address." Despite the fact that the mall's drab linoleum floors and dull architectural features look every second of their age, snazzy anchor stores such as Neiman Marcus and Saks Fifth Avenue ensure the Galleria's continued chi-chi-ness. Even so, we like this cozy shopping destination even more for what it doesn't have: a monster movie theater (a modest four screens here), and noise. Even when the place is bustling, it's quiet as a tomb. When compared with the no-holds barred bedlam of Sawgrass Mills, this sounds awfully appealing.
You have to admire the salesmen at R.S. Lords. Surrounded by thousands of suits and sport jackets, they gracefully put up with a sweltering climate that makes wearing a suit and tie tantamount to death by smothering. That's not to mention casual Fridays and beachfolks' aversion to anything that ain't shorts cum flip-flops. But persevere they do, with all the dignity of a double-breasted jacket. Weather and fashion fads notwithstanding, all men sooner or later must don a suit for a wedding, funeral, bar mitzvah, job interview, or a mother's satisfaction. When your day comes, you can't go wrong with this one-of-a-kind store that imports a large selection of Italian suits and offers on-site tailoring and alterations. Whether nature made you tall, short, or portly, Lords carries your size at a reasonable price -- how about an Italian suit at $199? If that's not enough, salesmen Art, Artie, and Kenny take great pride in guessing a customer's size before whipping out a tape measure.
When we think newsstand, we conjure up the image of a dingy, cramped place where the closest thing to a scenic view is the girlie magazines stacked by the cash register. Not so the newspapers and periodicals sections at Borders. They're included in the big, bright Fort Lauderdale bookstore perched on the banks of the New River, with six sections devoted to every conceivable magazine and all the usual suspects in newspapers. When you're done with the local rags, grab a copy of the Denver Post, Corriere della Sera, the London Times, or Le Monde. Then thumb through several hundred periodicals you never knew existed. A section labeled "Culture & Society" features magazines ranging from The Advocate to MAD and provides an enlightening glimpse into how Borders defines American culture. When you've selected your reading material, claim a table in the adjacent café for a latte and croissant, or better yet, take it outside to one of the umbrella-topped tables on the shaded deck, where you can check out the yachting parade while cursing at the day's news.
Other people's misfortune is your felicity at National Pawn & Jewelry. And judging by the inventory at this vast warehouse of all things pawned, a lot of people are in need of quick cash around here. On a recent visit, this shop had everything from chop saws to scuba tanks, bicycles to go-karts, vacuum cleaners to fax machines. It had dozens of guitars, hundreds of cameras, scores of stereos, and a jewelry section bigger than most gem stores. We even found a couple thousand CDs from which to choose, priced at $5.95 each or $4.95 if you buy ten or more. (We can't imagine who was desperate enough to pawn his Kiss collection.) Last time we stopped in, we were impressed to see a vintage Harley-Davidson for sale. Perhaps the previous owner needed bail money. Who knows? Who cares? It's all here, the store guarantees what it sells, and the prices are pretty good.

Busy Sunrise Boulevard might seem an unlikely place to find Serenity, but that's part of the charm of this cozy day spa. Open in the evenings, the spa makes it easy to find time for a little peace. It even issues an order for bliss: "No cell phones," declares a sign at the door. The walls are the color of daffodils; the scent of Aveda oils wafts through the air. Sink into a comfy chair tucked into a cubby space while the affable, black-clad staff pampers your feet. Try not to think about your to-do list, because too soon your perfected feet will be back in action. This moment will be a memory. In fact maybe Serenity should put up another sign: "Relax. No Multitasking."
Ever wander into the pet aisle of your local grocer and want to eat the treats? Well, you might get the urge to do so at Bone Appétit, which smells like cookies rather than decomposing pig ears. Mouthwatering, home-baked goodies for dogs fill silver trays in a glass display case; kitty-cat treats boast real salmon and come in flavors such as seafood gumbo. You also might find yourself wanting to sleep atop the pet chaises, sofas, and daybeds for sale. Upholstered in your choice of various fine materials, they cost as much as $465. That's right -- more than what many of us pay for human furniture. And the Bark & Bath shampoos and conditioners are comparable to human salon products in content, not to mention price. More-practical owners can check out the cute neckerchiefs and eye-catching toys, as well as gifts that really are for people. Why should pets have all the fun?

Ever walk into a pet peddler, wander into the back room, and feel you've entered the cantina scene from the original Star Wars movie? That's what you'll get at this joint -- enough bizarre fauna to transform a Kitty Litter run into a scintillating journey. Take the red tegu, a two-foot-long rusty-red lizardish creature; its limbs are in constant swimming motion (alas, he's kept in sand), and his whipping tongue is as busy as a politico's jaw on the campaign trail. At nearly $300 you'd have to be a tegu fanatic to take him home, but he's an alluring inmate to visit. Not far from Mr. Tegu is an albino Pac-Man, a froggish soul best compared to a raw omelet with eyes. The Chinese water dragons are fluorescent green and proudly show off their footlong tails. More conventional animal companions -- kitties, puppies, and cockatiels -- are situated near the store's entrance and, craftily, in the front picture window. Owners Robert and Patricia Kesselman keep enough pet food, cages, aquariums, and supplies on hand for whatever, or whomever, you adopt.
Before the good lord calls you home, make sure you go see Ricky Williams at Community Monument & Casket Company. Williams can save you some big bucks from his small store. Not that you'll care, you'll be dead. But think about your loved ones. With the money they don't spend on your casket -- Williams can lay you out in a 20-gauge steel number for $550 compared to $2000 or more from a funeral home -- the family can throw a really nice party. You know, get the top-shelf liquor instead of the cheap stuff, hire a band, do it up right. If none of the ten or so boxes on display appeals to you, Williams can special-order one that will arrive in 24 hours. He's been selling containers for your earthly remains since 1989, so you can rest assured he knows the business.
Proprietor Rich Sandler closed his used-book warehouse in Miami-Dade last year and moved north to a tiny building in Davie, bringing with him an idea the time for which is long overdue: reading material sold by the pound. There's precious little method to his madness. He divides titles only into fiction and nonfiction. Beyond that you simply wander around, find something that interests you, and toss it on a scale. Sandler charges $1 per pound for everything, two-pound minimum. We picked up the Encyclopedia of World Travel volumes one and two and a copy of Chapman's Piloting, Seamanship & Small Boat Handling, all for $7. Such a big, heavy deal.

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