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You Can Always Get What You Want: Shopping Main Street

Forget what you've heard - there is a surprising diversity of shops on Main St., and you're sure to find what you're looking for.

If you haven't shopped Main Street lately, it's easy to be amazed by the variety and high quality of the offerings on display.  It's a far cry from days gone by, when the only options for last-minute Christmas gifts could be found among the slim pickings at Valco Drugstore.

A quick stroll down Main Street this week confirmed it: this season, there's really no reason to shop anywhere else.

Start at the (630 Court Street at Main.)  Operated by the Martinez Arts Association, the co-op gallery and store has hand-dyed T-shirts in rainbow colors ($10, $25 for four-pack.)  Also on display: original paintings and photographs, pottery, fabric arts and jewelry.

Martinez is known for its many antique/collectible stores, but for a one-stop experience, you can't beat (720 Main.)  Anyone who remembers the 60s will love the store's reproductions of psychedelic posters ($6.50-$20.)  Also in stock: vintage lps, cashmere sweaters, silk ties, bakelike and sterling silver jewelry.

Need a sugar rush to get through the holidays?  For a small shop, Main Street Sweets (815 Main) has a dizzying array of treats.  Pick up handmade, individually wrapped caramel apples ($5-$10) or custom gift baskets ($15-$30.)

For luxury items, try Pandora's Box (613 Main.)  Owner Tuncay Esener took us on a tour of his "Curious Turkish Boutique," which has richly colored carpets, mosaic lamps, pashminas, boots, jewelry, bags and (what Mrs. Santa wears to relax) belly dance outfits.  We loved the handpainted Turkish plates and bowls ($10-$225) and Mother-of-pearl inlaid boxes ($35 and up.)

Martinez music lovers flock to the (511 Main) for good reason.  Buy your sweetie a harmonica or a CD by local artists.   If s/he's been really good, get a gorgeous Orpheus Valley classical guitar ($765.)  Or dive into the Hawaiian music revival with a new ukulele ($30-$225.)  The shop has the instruments, and an ukulele teacher on staff.

Anne Mobley December 12, 2010 at 09:18 AM
Don't forget the rest of us on the 500 Block of Main Street. White Rabbit Boutique has great unique clothing and unique gifts which make wonderful Christmas presents. We also have AA and NA Recovery Birthday Chips, Recovery Jewelry, and Self-Help Books. Check us out. There is Main Street Quilts, Char's, Le Shoppe, Studio Triskellion, Haute Stuff Bistro, Lemongrass Bistro, La Tapatia, American Embroidery Shop, Pacifica Pizza, and Luigi's.
Hope Savage December 12, 2010 at 03:45 PM
We have an antique light fixture in our kitchen which my husband found floating down main street in the middle of a flood. True!! I shop on Main Street every opportunity I get. Two years ago I bought a beautiful pashmina scarf at White Rabbit which I wear at least three times a week. My little cinnamon-colored Ibanez guitar (which a certain editor covets) was purchased at Good Stuff Guitar Shop and my Blueridge Gospel came from there as well. Our antique dining room table and chairs came from Mike's on Main Street. Just yesterday I bought a case of persimmons to use for baby food for my baby granddaughters at Luigi's 99¢ and up, as well as a lovely, fresh sandwich from the new deli counter! Stop me 'cause I can go on and on on this topic
sonja snavely December 12, 2010 at 04:56 PM
more unique shopping at 700 block on main street. noodles for kids where most of the products are made here locally by different designers. hand made booties- hand embroydered by pamela stewart of Maritnez. Handknit and crechetes hats by Krafty design Aprons by Sassy Design and woodwork and Holiday ornaments by famous reuse Designer Ms Davidson. Childrens wear all designed by local Sonja Snavely
Anne Mobley December 12, 2010 at 07:47 PM
Thank you, Hope. Without our locals, like you, shopping with us, we w0uld have to close our doors forever. Shop local. Keep our tax dollars in our own community.
Elizabeth Sandoval December 12, 2010 at 11:29 PM
We love shopping DTM, you can alway's find what you are looking for, but for me the best part is the small town feel you get when you go into one of the shop's. Walk into White Rabbit and you will find Anne or Becky sitting right up front, always with a friendly smile and time to help you find just what you were looking for.Go into Luigi's store and he know's your name, your kid's name and your grandkid's name , and if your looking for something and he doesn't carry it, you can bet the next time you go in he will have it for you. You go into Char's and tell her how much you have to spend and she will put togeher a beau tiful bouquet for you. Whether shoping or dining DTM you feel like you a part of a big family.
Anne Mobley December 13, 2010 at 02:41 AM
Thanks, Lizzie. You can't find that personal touch in the big box stores where you are only a number. We relate to our customers and we love that the locals shop downtown.
karen cadle February 11, 2011 at 10:55 PM
I love Ambiance! You can find something special for yourself or a gift for a friend! Mary Ann, the owner, is one energized friendly shopkeeper! I also like White Rabbit and the owner there found me something perfect to wear fall. It's a tad crowded for me, especially in the back, but worth it.

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