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Retail Revolution: Gifts, Gadgets & Guitars

lomography

 

Limonaia

In Italy a limonaia is the room where lemon trees are stored for the winter. World traveler Jessica Goldfarb loved the idea of a sanctu- ary for the fragrant greenery. her shop is a haven for handcrafted gifts from far-flung lands: French linens, Peruvian stuffed animals, english gardening tools. For fellow jet-setters she stocks spa kits and cashmere throws in bags. Hotcake: 1,000-piece puzzles of vintage Gourmet, New Yorker, and House Beautiful covers, $16 to $17. »1325 Montana Ave., Santa Monica, 310- 458-1858.
 
 

Lomography Gallery Store LA

More than a passing fad, toy camera photography has spawned a shop-cum-community center here in town. In addition to carrying plastic camera brands like Diana, as well as film stock, accessories, and books, the venue functions as an art gallery: 17,000 analog camera images of L.A. cover one wall. the space also hosts workshops and events, such as the Diana World tour, scheduled for October. Cheap thrill: action sampler camera, which creates four images in one print, $30. »7998 Santa Monica Blvd., West Hollywood, 323- 654-2617.
 
 

Vertu

At this, California’s sole Vertu retailer, the Cadillac of cell phones goes for $5,100 to $112,000, so it’s appropriate that the goods are spotlighted under glass. The shop is small and meticulously designed, with the wide, low “V” motif re- peated throughout. For those of us happy with the free phone that came with our wireless service, there are cuff links, pens, and phone charms. Exclusive: Units in white, yellow, or rose gold. »214 N. Rodeo Dr., Beverly Hills, 310-385-7647.
 
 

The Fretted Frog

Offering mostly acoustic instruments—guitars, banjos, man- dolins, ukeleles—this music shop sells “no Martins, no Taylors, no Gibsons,” according to owner Roland Belloir, who stresses that you don’t need a famous name to get great sound. Not that he doesn’t have some pricey strummers on the wall. Velvet couches invite customers to stay and play, repairs and lessons are on-site, and a stage in the window promises live music. Cheap thrill: Guitars by the French brand LÂG, $220. »1200 N. Alvarado St., Echo Park, 213-353-0734.