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!

Traffic school sounds like a farcical way of avoiding points on your license. You speed a little, you maybe crumple someone's fender, you cut across three lanes of Federal Highway and smack your moving truck into a garbage truck -- whatever you did, it doesn't matter, because for a mere four hours on a Saturday (and the cost of your ticket), the state absolves your stupid ass. Comedy Traffic School at least recognizes the farce at work, then proceeds to give you your money's worth. Among the nuggets dispensed by one instructor, a former cop and standup comic: Making eye contact with a road-raging driver is a good way to get shot; acceding to a vehicle search saves time, because a determined cop will search you regardless; and driving with Florida tags automatically makes you suspicious to cops in any non-Florida state. What does this have to do with your doing 80 in a 55? Bupkis, really. But a refresher in common sense, delivered with a couple of jokes tossed in, doesn't hurt, and if you already know everything about driving, Mr. Andretti, exactly how did you wind up in traffic school?

Well, no shit, right? Also Beanie Babies, jigsaw puzzles, Raggedy Ann dolls, Pokémon day planners, Mickey Mouse dolls in safari outfits, and stuffed plush purple hippos. A standard 18-inch Mylar balloon will run $3.50. Want to get some gigantic heart or teddy bear? You're looking at $25 and up.
Age: 54

Hometown: Gouverneur, New York

Claim to fame: Owner and founder of Jezebel, a popular Fort Lauderdale vintage clothing and rental store.

What she's done for us lately: Cheerleader jackets, '50s-look sunglasses, rhinestone shoes (like Joan Crawford used to wear), bakelite belt buckles, turquoise headbands, poodle skirts, dozens of items adorned with that shovel-mouthed monkey (the familiar Paul Frank trademark), which are presently jumping off the shelves. They're all in the store that Ptak opened 18 years ago (16 years in its current location on Sunrise Boulevard). Ptak has become one of South Florida's mavens of conceptual retailing. Sure, Jezebel is just stuff -- but stuff that's all somehow connected by Ptak's discerning vision.

What it takes: "Changing constantly. You can't stay satisfied. I'm easily bored. I get so bored, I have to change things."

It started out quirky and has gotten weirder since. Built in the '70s, the Corner Store was initially envisioned as a futuristic, octagonal-shaped market manned by robots. The original owner ringed the place with conveyor belts with the idea that customers could select items from computerized terminals that would then pass along the belts and into their cars. The Jetsons-like system bombed and was torn out 20 years ago. But since, that odd outlook on convenience has permeated this place. The Corner Store's current owner, Robert Lamelas, now sells a bizarre collection of goods, including ammunition, live bait, designer sunglasses, and imported beer. The ammo is stacked haphazardly on a shelf in the back, sold frequently to tournament shooters who pay a little extra to avoid Wal-Mart. Nearby sit tanks filled with live crabs and live shrimp. And in the coolers that line the back side of the small store are rows and rows of exotic beers, ranging from $2 Abita to the $10-a-bottle Dogfish Head stout. Weirdest of all, Corner Store employees are required to carry their own guns, Manager Mike Papadatos says. This gunslinger approach to shopkeeping has given the store a unique advantage, Papadatos says: "I think we're the only corner store that has never been robbed." We'll drink to that.

Like any other segment of the quasimedical world, chiropractic care has its share of detractors and swear-bys. If you believe the spinal-alignment and vertebral-subluxation pseudosciences are about as valid as the Raelians' views on cloning, read no further. But for those with back problems seeking a cure for pain, chiropractors can make the difference between living the good life and existing with a wicked-ass pain in the neck. Too many doctors of chiropractic will suck you into a system of unnecessary, triweekly visits -- or confuse you with sales pitches for micronutrients, diet aids, magic pillows, or special vitamin supplements. But Dr. Bruns (conveniently located just blocks from downtown Fort Lauderdale) won't waste your time or money. Instead, he'll give you what you need -- a spinal adjustment -- with a modicum of bullshit. After seeing stars for a second, you'll be on the road to recovery, with no pressure to schedule additional visits until that little lightning bolt between your shoulder blades tells you it's time. OK? Good. Now get crackin'.

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