Unique Shops extensive guide to Berkeley and San Francisco area, plus inspiring articles about trips around the world

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BERKELEY ‚óŹAttractions

UNIQUE SHOPS
These shops are all one of a kind.  More shops are found sprinkled throughout this section, with a large concentration on Telegraph Avenue and Fourth Street.

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ACCI Gallery  1652 Shattuck Ave.  Representing the work of more than 100 artists, this is the oldest arts and crafts co-op west of the Mississippi.  It displays ceramics, jewelry, paintings, and more, and it is the go-to place to find the perfect gift. 

East Bay Vivarium  1827 5th St.

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Eastern Classics  1330 10th St.  This shop is filled with antique and new Asian furniture--a lot of which is made in Shanghai--as well as books on origami and sweet potholders made of classic blue fabric. 

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Hida Tool & Hardware  1333 San Pablo Ave./Gilman Ave.  This small specialty shop stocks exquisite Japanese tools for woodwork, gardens, Bonsai, and kitchens--everything from long-reach pruners to teapots. 

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Lacis  2982 Adeline St./Ashby Ave.  My jaw dropped when I entered this immense emporium and saw the racks of ribbon, wall of scissors, and assortment of thimbles—to name just a few items.  The shop is literally filled to the rafters with antique lace clothing as well as contemporary tools and materials.  You will want some time to browse. 
         Lacis Museum of Lace and Textiles is adjacent and admission is free, but it is not always open.  It displays an extensive collection that focuses on lace, textiles, and costume and includes more than 12,000 items. 

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Laura & Kiran 1425 Fourth St./Page St.  Lovely fabrics are available by the yard as well as already made up into pillows and table linens.  Indian textiles include recycled sarees made into quilts, scarves, and pillows.  Cute stuffed animals also make beautiful gifts for children. 

Lhasa Karnak herb company  2506 San  Pablo Ave./Dwight.   This unusual shop opened on Earth Day, 1970, when they shared a small space with long-gone Shambhala Books.  After several moves, it has now taken over the entire space.  This shop offers “the largest selection and the highest quality herbs, essential oils, and other natural products to be found anywhere.  We specialize in Western medicinal herbs and culinary spices, but we have a nice collection of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbs as well.”

The Potters’ Studio Gallery 1221 8th St.  Artists work in the studios here and display their items for sale in this gallery.  Semi-Annual Seconds Sales are held in August and December. 

Urban Ore
  900 Murray St.

Your Basic Bird   2940 College Ave./Ashby Ave., Elmwood.  Even if you’re not in the market for a bird, this sweet shop offers a wonderful interactive browse.  A few other small animals are also sometimes available, including floppy-ear rabbits--my personal favorite 

 

 

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travel writer Carole Terwilliger Meyers