Shopping for Santa
A few doors down, Crown House of Gifts has a raft of great gift ideas. Kids will love the Sweet Machine, a miniature version of those arcade cranes where you manipulate a steel claw to try and pick up prizes. It's $40, but unlike the arcade version it doesn't take money to operate-so when the claw comes up empty you won't feel ripped off. Impatient beer drinkers will wonder how they ever got along without a twenty-ounce beer mug that has a kid's bicycle bell mounted to the rim. Just don't be surprised if the person who fetches your beer hurls the mug at your head when bringing it. It's $16.
If you know any skateboarders who risk their necks on rickety homebuilt ramps, the Red Belly Boardshop in the Courtyard Shops sells collapsible ramps starting at $200. (Note: they collapse when you're ready to put them away, not when you're actually using them.) Starter skateboard sets start at $120. How-to-skateboard DVDs start at $17.
In addition to books on everything from Aristotelianism to Zen, Crazy Wisdom on Main Street has a selection of hand-held massage and muscle-relaxing implements starting at $5, none of which require batteries. The most fun? Bonger tapping balls. They look like something you'd use to play the xylophone, but instead you play someone's back-the tapping motion breaks down muscle tension and stimulates circulation. They're $19.