Dec. 7 2011 02:55 PM

Seven super gift ideas for the cool, hip and fabulous

Marrimekko tea pot

know Scandinavian design is to love it. Products produced by artisans
in Sweden, Finland and Norway somehow manage to be cute, elegant and
edgy all at the same time. Ahead of the upcoming NortheStars exhibition,
which opens Jan. 29, the gift shop at Balboa Park's Mingei Museum has a
decent collection of items by famed Finnish designers Marimekko (pictured) and Iittala—tea pots, coffee mugs, serving plates, dish towels, clutches and some lovely goblets. Prices range from $12 to $85.


Govino calls
its products the “go anywhere wine / cocktail glass.” But they're not
glass. They look like glass. And, when you pick one up, you might
momentarily think it's glass. But it's actually a polymer that's
shatterproof, recyclable and reusable ( just don't put them in the
dishwasher). It's a perfect gift for friends who like to picnic or
camp—or who have large dogs with tails that can clear a coffee table of
all glass objects in mere seconds. A four-pack costs around $12.95. Find
them at Solo (309 South Cedros Ave., Solana Beach),
Grounded (897 S. Coast Hwy. 101, Ste. 105, Encinitas) and Mixture (2210 Kettner Blvd., Little Italy).

Armchair traveler

Fans of The New York Times Sunday
travel section know the “36 Hours” feature well. A travel writer with
impeccable—yet not too expensive—taste in hotels, restaurants, shopping
and stuff to do does a perfect weekend's worth of time in a cool town.
Taschen, publisher of books that are awesome and lovely, recently came
out with The New York Times, 36 Hours: 150 Weekends in the USA & Canada. Since
the columns go back to 2002, editor Barbara Ireland updated information
where necessary. Find it at Warwick's (7812 Girard Ave., La Jolla) and Solo. 

Analog to digital

Take one step forward and
two steps back. How else to explain the recent embrace of retro-looking
photos (e.g., the iPhone Hipstamatic app) despite massive advances in
digital photography? A couple of years ago, the new toy for shutterbugs
was a plastic Holga camera—at least until they realized it required
sending the film out to get developed. A better option: the Holga 60mm lens
for Canon and Nikon DSLRs. It's only around $25 and worth every penny.
Look for it at George's Camera (3837 30th St., North Park) and Nelson Photo Supplies (1909 India St., Little

Dog a la mode

(1053-B S. Coast
Hwy. 101, Encinitas) Univ has perhaps the cutest logo of any
local independent retailer: a little Dachshund wearing a bowler hat and
smoking a pipe—kind of like a little Sherlock Holmes pup. Pair the logo
with one of the shop's super-soft, not-too-bulky hoodie pullovers and you have the perfect gift for guys who appreciate understated cute. Or like detective novels. Or Dachshunds. Univ also offers a Chargers-themed T-shirt version.

Snarky stickies

Knock Knock's been
around for almost a decade and still manages to come up with an
evolving line of s
illy / funny / incredibly useful stationary / office /
get-yourself-organized products. For your giftee with a crummy job, try the WTF sticky pad. For the person who travels for work, or works to
travel, the Pack This! checklist. And for
the procrastinator hoping to
get organized, the “Someday” sticky set with “Never,” “Whenever” and
“Now” tabs. Find Knock Knock at Upstart Crow in Seaport Village, Aztec Shops at SDSU, Solo and Grounded

This charming box set

It's likely that the person for whom you'd buy The Smith's Complete box
set already has every one of the band's albums. But that doesn't
matter. Fans of The Smiths are collectors (and, all the albums in this
collection were re-mastered by guitar hero Johnny Marr). Available in CD
($69) and vinyl versions ($250), if you can scrape together $500 for
The Smiths Complete Deluxe Box Set—and can find one (they're limited to
4,000)—then go for it. Check local shops like M-Theory Music, Lou's
and Off the Record to see if they have any of the sets in stock.


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  • 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