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Best of WNY 2011: Shopaholic IV

Most fun place to shop, year-round
We love to wander around here, smelling soaps and lotions, touching luxe throws and silky scarves, and tasting cocktail nuts, open at the counter for sampling. Like guests at a sumptuous party in someone’s swanky apartment, we forget the parking meter is ticking somewhere out there in the cold, cruel world. Do we really need a Buddha butter dish? Need it/want it/must have it—lines blur at the fabulous NEO gift store. 512 Elmwood Ave., 884-1119


Most fun place to shop during the holidays:
Broadway Market
While the Market is probably always the best place to find meats, particularly specialty meats no supermarket ever carries now, the experience of shopping there during the Christmas or Easter holidays is unparalleled. We love to pause by the top of the escalators and gaze in wonder at the milling, happy crowds. www.broadwaymarket.org


Best bedding
Homeward Bound
Known for their one-of-a-kind prints, crisp linens, and exquisite duvets and shams, Homeward Bound has everything you need to make your dream bed a reality. Trust Maria and Elizabeth to help you find the perfect accent pillow or accessory. 927 Elmwood Ave., 873-4764


Best antiques
Dana Tillou
Many “antique” places in WNY could be more accurately termed second-hand stores, but Dana Tillou is the real deal. What we particularly love about this gracious store in Allentown (the building itself is worth a visit) is the large selection of historic paintings and prints. Considering the quality of the merchandise, the prices here are reasonable. 417 Franklin St., 854-5285


Best secondhand store
A hop, skip, and a jump—Reimagine has recently moved to the corner of Breckenridge and Elmwood. The store is still a vintage adventure, with a brilliantly composed display of blast-from-the-past furniture and accessories. 732 Elmwood Ave., 796-7058


Yard sales
Every now and then, longtime residents of Allentown decide it’s time to get rid of a lot of very cool stuff. Watch for these sales, and be ready to get there early. Just like the historic architecture, the contents of these houses can be quirky, beautiful, and utterly unique. A neighborhood-wide sale is usually held in August. www.allentown.org


Best place to buy your outfit for the World’s Largest Disco

This website is run by the Allen Street Dress Shop. They occasionally show a selection of vintage wear in either of their two storefronts, but online they have pages and pages of it—a veritable bounty. They had us at Funky 1970s Palazzo Jumpsuit.




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