Simple Gifts: Local Holiday Shopping

December 1, 2012 |

Time is money, Benjamin Franklin once wrote, and his words ring truer during our modern era of information overload and relentless scheduling than ever before. Feeling pressed or stressed to get all of the holiday shopping done? Let Zocalo be your guide! Read now; thank us later.

Remember the “book”? Among the many inventions to be rendered obsolete in this digital age of blogs, tablets and smartphones, perhaps none will be so fondly missed. Whatever the genre, its bound pages provided an undeniable sense of cozy companionship not found in the cold glow of a Kindle Fire HD screen. Fortunately, a magical portal to the age of the printed word exists: The Book Stop, 214 N. 4th Ave., specializes in hard-to-find used titles be they rare, signed or out of print. A replacement copy of a favorite childhood fairy tale makes a thoughtful gift for the young-at-heart grownup in your life! The Book Stop rings up customers Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-10pm and Sunday noon-5pm; learn more at

Meanwhile nearby at Antigone Books, 411 N. 4th Ave., hardcovers and paperbacks are only the beginning. Here within the nation’s first 100% solar-powered bookstore, the possibilities are practically endless in any search for presents to make this year’s festivities memorable. Classy academic planners and a myriad of other colorful calendars, “Magnetic Personalities” finger puppet refrigerator magnets, unique apparel and a wide selection of magazines are available alongside the latest “Captain Underpants” tale. Antigone Books (so named for the circa 441 BC tragedy by Greek playwright Sophocles) is open Monday-Thursday 10am-7pm, Friday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Browse authors at

Wilde Rose Coffee is truly, as roaster Ron Rose likes to proclaim loudly to anyone who will listen, “not for wimps!” His signature dark blends such as The Dog Pound, Cowboy Joe and extra-strong high octane Rocket Fuel are sure to please the caffeine fiend on your nice list. A gift-giver can order online at, but Rose is a riot in person. For the better experience find him and his vintage Diederich drum roaster at both Tucson weekend farmers’ markets: Saturdays behind Maynards Market & Kitchen, 400 N. Toole Ave., and Sundays at St. Philip’s Plaza, 4280 N. Campbell Ave. During your visit, why not check out the other vendors too? They’re listed in full at

For those whose gift recipients prefer more calming beverages, Tea and More in the Many Hands Courtyard at 3054 N. 1st Ave. is the best local source for fair trade herbal, fruit, green, white and jasmine teas. The “more” consists of elaborate and ornate measuring spoons, filters, pots, candles and infusers all designed to make tea consumption as pleasant as possible. Taste the peaceful life Tuesday-Saturday 11am-5pm or fill a virtual shopping cart at

A vaster array of spatulas, silverware, aprons, egg beaters, dishes, cookie jars and potholders than that found at A Perfect Pantry, 21 E. Congress St., would be difficult to locate inside the city limits. Throw in toys, cards and accessories and this is quite the spot to shop for the foodie in the family and/or homemaker in your circle of friends. A Perfect Pantry’s hours are Monday-Friday 10am-6pm and Saturday 11am-4pm. Visit them at

Game Trader, 2500 N. Silverbell Rd. Suite #140, is run by gamers for gamers and it shows. Here the focus is on fun, with the latest role-playing games and first-person shooters available on launch date alongside PlayStation and Atari classics. Imagine your loved one’s delight at discovering their previously dusty and nonfunctional Nintendo GameCube console under the tree sporting an optical drive replacement and new power supply courtesy of Game Trader’s repair department. A purchasing pro tip for the non-gamer: this month’s hot new release is “Far Cry 3.” Game Trader’s doors are open Monday-Saturday 10am-9pm and Sunday 11am-6pm. Get your game on at

For the odd collectable or knickknack it’s impossible to beat This, That and the Other at 3419 E. Grant Rd., where you never know what you’ll be taking home until you look around. As the name would imply, anything might be found at this boutique…although every item tends to be cute, affordable and unique! Jewelry, toys, watches, clothing, furnishings and footwear fill every corner of the store. A new service known as a “special occasion makeover” is now being offered for those seeking to impress at a scheduled appearance. This, That and the Other welcomes bargain hunters Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday 11am-5pm. Find them at

At The Old Market Inn Tile Shop, 403 N. 6th Ave., hand crafted decorative tiles are the order of the day and come in countless sizes and designs. From bar tops to garden walkways, artist Carly Quinn has vast experience creating custom tile murals that easily brighten any corner of a home or business with Sonoran flair. Drop by Tuesday-Friday 11am-6pm and Saturday noon-4pm; see examples at

The good folks at Pop-Cycle, 422 N. 4th Ave., have made it their mission to produce and distribute remarkable art crafted from discarded and recycled materials. Purses fashioned out of vinyl LP records, lampshades made of license plates and durable duct tape wallets are but a few of these clever creations. Garments and accoutrements from the iconic Monster Booty Threads upcycled clothing line and high-quality wooden furniture by DDco Design are found in abundance as are candleholders, wall hangings and frames of many sizes. Pop-Cycle invites you in Monday-Thursday 11am-6pm, Friday-Saturday 11am-7pm and Sunday 11am-5pm. Pop into for more information.

Really feeling the crunch? The Tucson Museum of Art museum store at 140 N. Main Ave. has such an enormous variety of groovy gifts that, should it become absolutely necessary, even a last minute impulse buyer can cover everyone who was good this year in one fell swoop. The store is open during regular museum hours; has details.

Santa Claus delivers globally; Zocalo shops locally. Happy (fill in the blank)!

Category: Business, Shopping