Dec. 3 2013 07:37 PM

10 cool things and where to find 'em

giftguidemain

Tote + Able beverage bags

It used to be fashionable to carry an Evian bottle. Now, some folks are advocating for a ban on plastic water bottles. Neoprene beverage containers are hip and make for practical gifts, but even cooler are these canvas beverage bags by Tote + Able. Solo (309 South Cedros Ave. in Solana Beach) carries them in a few different designs, including this Death Valley version, for $24 each. They're BPA-free, recyclable and washable.


Mason Shaker

Mason jars are turning up everywhere: as drinking glasses in restaurants and bars, as repurposed pendant lights. Progress in South Park (2225 30th St.) is selling the Mason Shaker for $29.99. Displayed alongside is the book Shake: A New Perspective on Cocktails ($25) by Eric Prum and Josh Williams—which is part how-to guide, part travelogue with lots of pretty photos. Throw in a nice bottle of booze and you have a complete package. 

 




Ecor art bowls

What is Ecor? According to the San Diego-based company's website, it's "water, plus fiber, plus heat, plus pressure." It's a chemical-free, sustainable, durable material that's used to make everything from signage to protective shelter. It's also used to make cool, design-minded products like these elegant, minimalist bowls. You can find a selection at the San Diego Museum of Art gift shop in Balboa Park, where they range in price from $70 to $150. 


Modernist earrings

The new San Diego Public Library's gift shop (330 Park Blvd.) is fantastic—everything you might expect in a hip museum shop and more. Among the well-curated jewelry selection are these wishbone earrings by Modernist ($34.95). The work of San Diegan Desi McKinnon, they're pretty but with an edge. You can find more of McKinnon's work on her Etsy site, but we strongly encourage a trip to the library—could be your one-stop shopping spot.



Museum membership

For the person who says she doesn't want more things for Christmas, what about a membership to one of San Diego's cultural institutions? Many museum memberships get you more than just admission—like, discounts at local businesses and invites to special events. New this year is the Balboa Park Explorer pass, which covers admission to 17 museums and runs from $129 for an adult to $199 for families of up to six. 



Wild & Wolf corkscrew

There are numerous products that'll help you get a cork out of a wine bottle, but nothing's quite as satisfying as doing it with an old-school corkscrew. From Wild & Wolf's "Gentleman's Hardware" series, this corkscrew / bottle opener is made of sturdy stainless steel and has a nice, sharp foil knife that too many corkscrews are lacking. Find it at Progress in South Park ($14) or the shop at the new San Diego Public Library in East Village. 


Cravory Teaser Box

Some Cravory cookies recently found their way to the CityBeat office—and were promptly devoured. They have an almost cake-like quality, are moist without being greasy and come in unique flavors like Pancake & Bacon and Rosemary Balsamic. The Teaser Box, at $11 a month, includes a half-dozen of the Cravory's newest flavors, individually wrapped. A brick-and-mortar store (3960 W. Point Loma Blvd.) opens this month, or place an order online.



Identity Suite

For folks who enjoy flipping through magazines like Dwell and Anthology, this new coffee-table book from Victionary shows the extent to which office supplies can become eye candy. The book highlights 97 companies that have taken the art of branding to a new level, creating business cards, stationary and packaging that verge on collectible items (and sometimes are). Find Identity Suite at the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego's La Jolla gift shop (700 Prospect St.). 


Utility Canvas throws

Utility Canvas is a small company started more than two decades ago by a husband and wife. Their products are practical, durable and made from canvas (natch). They're also a little tough to find. Welcome, then, new North Park store Gym Standard (2903 El Cajon Blvd.), which carries Utility Canvas throws and other smart, stylish goods. They're a little pricey—a solid throw runs $135—but they're long-lasting and classic in their minimalism. 

Salt Farm gourmet salt

Warm bread and butter with a sprinkling of sea salt is a simple treat made better with flavored salt. Local company Salt Farm has taken the infused-salt thing to a whole new level, rolling out varieties like Ghost Pepper, Havana Spice and Pumpkin & Sage. Find Salt Farm gift packs—a perfect hostess gift—at spots like Pigment (3801 30th St. in North Park), or visit Salt Farm's booth at the Little Italy Mercato on Saturdays and the Hillcrest farmers market on Sundays.


Email kellyd@sdcitybeat.com or follow her on Twitter at @citybeatkelly.

Calendar

  • The renowned Mexican black and white photographer presents an exhibition exploring the principal themes within three groups: "Bestiarium"," Fantastic Women" and "Silent Natures."
  • Presented by Pacific Arts Movement, the sixth annual mini film fest features 14 film programs from 10 countries that includes everything from docs to romantic tearjerkers. See website for full lineup and...
  • Debunk some of the stereotypes surrounding cannibalism at this new exhibition that takes a hands-on approach to the subject. Includes video games and interactive activities where patrons will have to decide...
  • The former local boy and creator of the highly influential blog, Advanced Style, will be signing and discussing his third book, Advanced Style: Older and Wiser, which features inspiring pictures and stories...
  • C.J. Chenier and Bonsoir Catin headline this annual Cajun inspired festival. Also enjoy 10,000 pounds of crawfish, dancing and cooking demonstrations. Held at Spanish Landing Park, across from the...
  • A Cinco de Mayo party featuring $2 tacos, cocktails and live music from Bostich+Fussible, Javiera Mena and Gepe
  • A spoken word showcase hosted by English instructor Karla Cordero and her City College students. There will also be a special reading from poet Mercedez Holtry, as well as an art and photography show....
  • Widely known as host of "Weekend Update" on Saturday Night Live and for his role in the Showtime dramedy Weeds, Kevin Nealon brings his unique humor back to the stand-up stage
  • New works from over a dozen UCSD undergraduate students. Participating artists include Charity Algarme, Richard Lin, Joseph Maas, Ignatius Nguyen, and more
  • This video art exhibition from UCSD MFA candidate Stefani Byrd features two installations that explore the themes of breath, mediation, and the nature of time. Takes place in the VAF Performance Space,...
See all events on Thursday, May 5