As newlyweds four years ago, Tatiana and Marty Zidtowecki started Archives, a used bookstore and café. Now the cozy shop around the corner still feels like a labor of love. With worn, antique-style furnishings and wrought iron tables out front, Archives could be the sitting room of your well-read aunt. Pick up a used copy of the latest Helen Fielding novel, then choose from a large selection of Bridget Jones-like snacks; Archives recently added a selection of British delicacies such as Cadbury Milk Tray and wine gums. Located near a 24-hour Laundromat in the Gateway Shopping Center, it's the perfect place to while away a Sunday -- or a spin cycle.
Taking your unwanted CDs to a store to pawn them off can be a discouraging procedure. Some humorless retailers subject your platters to severe scrutiny, holding them up to the light to look for scuff marks, soliciting a second opinion from the stock boy, or even using an electron microscope to scan for irregularities. The harder they look, the less likely you are to garner good money for your rejects. At the busy stores, you and your castoffs may sit for an hour before someone gets around to perusing them -- only to offer a measly $2 or $3 per disc. It's not so at CD Trader. The clerks will quickly look over your castaways, take what they want, and fork over a princely sum (as much as $5 apiece) for the keepers. Not only that, but the stock at CD Trader is comprehensive for a modest-size store. Trade your hand-me-downs for some goodies from the large reggae and dance-music bins, or just take the cash and run. Either way you'll leave richer than you arrived.

This tiny white building across the street from a Rolls-Royce dealership appears an unlikely place to stop for fine wine. But drop in anyway and you'll find one of Fort Lauderdale's smallest wine shops may also be its most authentic. Owner Patrick Mevel was born in France to a family of wine connoisseurs and moved to South Florida five years ago with the dream of bringing his country's love of wine to America. Francophobes can relax; Mevel emphasizes education, not arrogance. He has plans for winetastings, and on the wall of his shop, he's posted a map of France's wine regions, a welcome sign for wine beginners. He also sells champagne and cigars. But the real reason to shop here is Mevel. Under his capable direction, you can be certain your dinner party selections are toujours à propos.
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.
Borders Books and Music (Sunrise Blvd)
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.
Gray Taxidermy
If you've ever wondered what happens to the ones that didn't get away (and that weren't eaten), check out the big, blue glass building on I-95 with the dancing swordfish in front. It's Gray Taxidermy, probably the world's largest marine taxidermist. Like Apple computer, Gray's was started in a garage 35 years ago. Today founder William Gray has retired to Stuart and the business is run by his former apprentice and partner of 22 years, Ian Hall. Stuffing fish isn't what it used to be, Hall says. Only 10 to 15 percent of the 1200 specimens produced monthly are "skin mounts," the actual fish that someone caught, dried or froze, and delivered to Gray's. The rest are made from Fiberglas; some anglers catch a big one, snap a photo, and instruct Gray's to make a double. Others do the unthinkable; they simply call, request a 24-foot hammerhead shark or a four-foot barracuda, and then wait three months until it shows up on their doorstep. Hotels, restaurants, and movie companies (and maybe even a few, um, exaggerators) do it. The original jaws from Jaws hang on Gray's wall. Even so, the big charge for these guys, who spend most of their time molding, sanding, and painting, is when a parent brings in a kid clutching his first catch and proudly says, "Stuff it, please."

Doris Italian Market & Bakery
Grocery stores around South Florida are pretty boring. You have your Winn-Dixie, your Publix, the occasional Albertson's, and a handful of independents. And that's about it. Seems as if there should be more competition in a region with five million hungry souls. Thank God for Doris's places. These stores, which are located in Hollywood, Sunrise, Plantation, Coral Springs, and Boca Raton, pack a lot of great food into little spaces. Each deli is a delight to behold; it features trays of lasagna, sausages, subs, calzones, and other Mediterranean dishes. A seafood counter offers fresh fish daily (we can personally recommend the tuna steaks), and a bakery turns out huge, soft loaves of bread for less than a buck each, not to mention a cornucopia of desserts. If you're looking for hot dogs, potato chips, and beer, hit the mainstream stores. If it's a touch of ethnicity and epicurean style you seek, visit Doris.

Jezebel
Upon entering Jezebel, look up and note the hats. They are only the beginning. Need an outfit for that ABBA retrospective? How about a '20s Dupont car coat? Maybe a little something authentic for Mardi Gras? No problem. It's all here -- wigs, gloves, dresses, hats, shoes, suits, ties, jewelry, Hawaiian shirts, even nighties -- for as little as $5 or as much as $2500. So come prepared with time, an open mind, and a reasonable amount of cash. Something charming and whimsical is bound to capture your imagination.

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