Best of Shopping

Antique Store

1ST PLACE

Nicholby’s Antiques

404 E. Main St., Ventura

653-1195

2ND PLACE

Times Remembered

467 E. Main St., Ventura

643-3137

3RD PLACE

Avenue Antiques

826 E.Main St., Ventura

653-7732

Gardening Store

1ST PLACE

Green Thumb

1899 S. Victoria Ave., Ventura

642-8517

2ND PLACE

Oasis

33 S. Palm St., Ventura

641-9909

3RD PLACE

Baron Brothers

7568 Santa Rosa Road, Camarillo

484-0085

Gift Shop

1ST PLACE

Plum

401 E. Main St., Ventura

641-0113

2ND PLACE

B on Main

337 E. Main St., Ventura

643-9309

3RD PLACE

KB Roberts

2415 E. Main St., Ventura

643-3333

Home Furnishings

1ST PLACE

For Your Home

443 E. Main St., Ventura

641-1919

2ND PLACE

Fusion Home

418 E. Main St., Ventura

652-7017

3RD PLACE

Urban Home

2801 Paseo Mercado, Oxnard

604-7445

 

Best place to reconsider the American Revolution:

Rosie Lee Imports

673 E.Main St., Ventura, 643-5832

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Rosie Lee

When the United States seceded from the British empire in 1776, we gained a lot of great things: a democratic political system, individual liberty, freedom from the tyranny of the tea industry. But historians rarely pause to consider what we gave up. Namely, decent tchotchkes. Let’s face it, stars-and-stripes is a passable motif for a flag, but it screams “fledgling nation.” The Union Jack, though, now there’s a symbol you want on your T-shirts, coffee mugs and candy tins — just a big fucking cross with an X behind it. No wonder these guys ruled the world for centuries.

It’s no surprise, then, that despite being our oldest enemy, Britain is the most fetishized foreign culture in America. Granted, it’s adored mostly by snooty English lit majors who read Victorian murder mysteries and insist the BBC version of The Office is better than the American remake. But at Rosie Lee Imports, Ventura’s epicenter of anglophilia, the focus is exclusively on the endearing iconography of our former oppressors. Like The Beatles, whose faces adorn items from lunch boxes to alarm clocks. And the Tube, the famous London subway system, with its boldly minimalist logo — a blue circle bisected by a solid red line — and cute catchphrase, “Mind The Gap.” And the chocolate! Owner Susan Malloy has stockpiled a Wonka-esque inventory of confections, presumably so she can barricade herself inside the store for a few days if there is ever a sudden flare-up of anti-British sentiment. Not like that would ever happen — at least, not if everyone had a chance to try a Crunchie bar, a chocolate-dipped honeycomb so knee-bucklingly good it must have been knighted at some point. It’s enough to make even the most red-blooded Yankee forget about that whole War of 1812 thing. Almost.

— Matthew Singer

 

Thrift Store

1ST PLACE

ARC

265 E. Main St., Ventura

653-0271

2ND PLACE

Salvation Army

155 S Oak St., Ventura

648-5032

4100 Telegraph Road, Ventura

658-7671

650 Petit Ave., Ventura

659-3598

3RD PLACE

Goodwill

3351 Telegraph Road, Ventura

650-9339

330 W 6th St., Oxnard

483-2511

130 Lombard St., Oxnard

485-2867 ·

Bridal Shop

1ST PLACE

Camarillo Bridal    2121 Pickwick Drive, Camarillo

389-1515

2ND PLACE

Unique Boutique

2833 E. Main St. Suite A, Ventura

653-1818

3RD PLACE

Sew What Tailoring & Design

433 E. Main St., Ventura

653-1920

Adult Store

1ST PLACE

Diva Passion Boutique

3431 Telegraph Road, Ventura

658-8011

2ND PLACE

Three Star books & NEWS     359 E.Main St., Ventura

653-9068

3RD PLACE

Salzer’s

5801 Valentine Road, Ventura

639-2169

Shoe Store

1ST PLACE

Wild Planet

560 E.Main St., Ventura

643-5238

2ND PLACE

Well Polished

554 E. Main St., Ventura

648-1234

3RD PLACE

Blooming Deals

4756-4 Telephone Road, Ventura

650-0505

Womens’ Clothing

1ST PLACE

Blue Moon

600 E. Main St., Ventura

643-2553

2ND PLACE

Cara Mia

424 E. Main St., Ventura

641-2556

3RD PLACE

Tiki Lounge

379 E. Main St., Ventura

641-0515

 

Best place to buy a miniature bidet:

Margo’s Miniatures and More

2237 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 482-2219

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Bidet

I was strolling along Ventura Boulevard in Camarillo when I came upon a virtual stuffed-animal petting zoo. Tigers, giraffes, pandas and several dogs stood guard outside of Margo’s Miniatures and More. My curiosity compelled me to see what else was inside.

Once inside, I saw miniature houses everywhere: two- and three-story mansions and even an adobe hut. Several jewelry cases held thousands of tiny accessories for the houses, from a tiny bowl with exactly three small yolks with egg whites to little throw rugs and exceptionally small sinks.

But Margo’s isn’t just a place to modestly deck out my small-scale dream home, but Margo’s also takes keeping your Barbie clean to a whole new level: On one of the shelves of the jewelry cases, one little bidet sat waiting to become the latest addition to the perfect but tiny dream bathroom.

For craft lovers who can’t get enough of those tiny accessories, check out Margo’s. I don’t think there is one thing they haven’t already thought of for your miniature dollhouse.

— Michael Sullivan

Men’s Clothing

1ST PLACE

Wetsand

446 E. Main St., Ventura

652-1706

2ND PLACE

Bob Kildee

606 Las Posas Road., Camarillo

482-2124

3RD PLACE (TIE)

Parts Unknown

394 E. Main St., Ventura

648-4654

Patagonia / Great Pacific Iron Works

259 W. Santa Clara St., Ventura

648-6074

Ciao Bella

401 E. Main St., Ventura

643-3415

Children’s Clothing

1ST PLACE

Ladybug & Caterpillar

451 E. Main St., Ventura

641-2229

2ND PLACE

Drool

2959 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks, 557-1177

3RD PLACE

Blooms

2538 E. Main Street, Ventura

648-6744

Place to buy a swimsuit

1ST PLACE

Ventura Swimwear

1559 Spinnaker Drive. #102, Ventura

642-6281

2ND PLACE

Tiki Lounge

379 E. Main St., Ventura

641-0515

3RD PLACE

Wetsand

446 E. Main St., Ventura

652-1706

Lingerie

1ST PLACE

Aphrodite’s

477 E. Main St., Ventura

652-0082

2ND PLACE

Diva passion boutique

3431 Telegraph Road., Ventura

658-8011

3RD PLACE

Mrs. Jones Boudoir

2068 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo

484-9800

 

Best place to buy plumbing material and get your spook on:

Camarillo Plumbing

2401 Ventura Blvd., Camarillo, 482-8963

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shop plumbing

If you are ever in search of just the right tool to reach that annoying leak in your bathroom, then you should head on over to Camarillo Plumbing. Not only will you find the right piping to replace yours, which has rusted out from Ventura’s salty air, but look up! Yikes! In just about every corridor of the store, a mummy or a ghost or a bloody-toothed shark will confront you on your shopping endeavor.

The folks who run Camarillo Plumbing have been putting on a haunted house for the last several years. Although they will not be hosting a fright show this year, if you talk to any of the people at the counter, they will give their freaky haunts some juice while you shop. My favorite was the scary guy wrapped in chains with eyes bugging out, hanging above the back aisle on the left side of the store.

Not only does this unique scenery beg for attention, but the walls are decorated with dozens of truckers’ hats — an old tradition whereby the former store owner allowed construction workers to trade in their mesh caps for hard hats. And for those of you who think you can’t find that small piece of your 1970s thermostat, well, Camarillo Plumbing has some of the oldest plumbing parts (along with the latest and greatest) to be found in the county. The big-box chains simply can’t compete in aesthetics, parts or service.

— Michael Sullivan

Formal Wear

1ST PLACE

California & Main

481 E. Main St., Ventura

643-6200

2ND PLACE

A/C Formal Wear

140 W. Fifth St., Oxnard

483-1181

3RD PLACE

Sew What

433 E. Main St., Ventura

653-1920

Jeweler

1ST PLACE

Lynn’s Jewelry

6100 Telegraph Road. Suite C, Ventura

642-5500

2ND PLACE

Fox Fine Jewelry

210 E. Main St., Ventura

652-1800

3RD PLACE (Tie)

Joseph’s

3301 E. Main St. Ventura

Pacific View Mall

650-0808

Toy Store

1ST PLACE

Serendipity

221 E. Matilija St., Ojai

646-2585

2ND PLACE

Harbor Wind and Kite

1575 Spinnaker Drive., Ventura

654-0900

3RD PLACE (Tie)

Blooms,

22 S. Catalina St., Ventura

648-6744

Toys and Trains,

1974 E. Main St., Ventura

643-8697

Wild Planet

560 E. Main St., Ventura

643-5238

Ventura Hobbies

2950 Johnson Drive., #128, Ventura

658-8138

Flower Shop

1 ST PLACE

Passion Flowers

920 E. Main St., Ventura

641-1076

2ND PLACE

Sweet Peas

2855 Johnson Drive. Ste Q, Ventura

644-9992

3RD PLACE

Ashwood on Main

3051 E. Main St., Ventura

653-6929

 

Best firewood source:

Craftsman Woodworks

5960 Valentine Road., Ventura, 642-4200

With energy prices skyrocketing, Ventura County residents this winter will be looking for alternative heating fuels. Firewood, if used thoughtfully, is a good choice, but buying good firewood can be a tricky business.

All too often, wood cut just weeks earlier will be falsely described as “seasoned,” and many woodcutters seem to think a cord is whatever happens to fit in their pickups. Given these unfortunate facts, the best firewood lot in

Ventura County turns out to be surprisingly convenient and fairly run, though not easy to find.

It’s visible from both Victoria Avenue and Highway 101, but it has no official name, and seems to fly under the radar. It’s a side business run out of a woodworking shop named Craftsman Woodworks, located in an industrial zone off Valentine Road, and can be found at the end of an unnamed alley.

If you want delivery, they will give you a full cord at a standard price: $180. But if you can beg, borrow or steal a pickup, you can fill it up for between $60 and $80 (depending on the size of the truck and your negotiating skills), save yourself substantial sums and have a hand in choosing the wood yourself. To find the lot, head down Valentine Road, past Salzer’s video, and turn right at the last paved alley, past the mailboxes, under a Citrus Industrial sign and before the end of the road.

The lot is at the end of the alley, or you can go to Door #11. It helps to habla some Español, but the shop is run by a hipster named Bobby, who can joke with you in at least two languages. The best time to show up is early November, when the lot will be stacked with small mountains of split firewood.

— Kit Stolz

Arts and Crafts

1ST PLACE

Ojai Creates

606 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai

640-6558

2ND PLACE (Tie)

Firefly Ceramics

1580 Saratoga Ave., Suite C, Ventura

650-1468

Cottontail Creations

1744 E. Main St., Ventura

643-1700

Anacapa Fine Yarns

4572 Telephone Road. #909, Ventura

654-9500

3RD PLACE

Fabrictown

2686 E. Main St., Ventura

643-3434

Pet Store

1ST PLACE

Linda’s Claws & Paws

1865 E. Main St., Ventura

648-6060

2ND PLACE

Ventura Pet Barn

3004 Telegraph Road., Ventura

585-2276

3RD PLACE

Naturally Four Paws

1766 E. Thompson Blvd, Ventura

648-7297

Motorcycle Accessories

1ST PLACE

RPM Cycles

1495 Palma Drive. Suite B, Ventura

644-7159

2ND PLACE

CalCoast Motorsports

5455 Walker St., Ventura

642-0900

3RD PLACE

Ventura Harley

1326 Del Norte Road. Camarillo

981-9904

Motorcycle Dealer

1ST PLACE

RPM Cycles

1495 Palma Drive. Suite B, Ventura

644-7159

2ND PLACE

Ventura Harley

1326 Del Norte Road. Camarillo

981-9904

3RD PLACE

CalCoast

5455 Walker St., Ventura

642-0900

New Car Dealer

1ST PLACE

Vista Honda

6450 Leland Drive., Ventura

654-0066

2ND PLACE

Ventura Toyota

6360 Leland Drive., Ventura

650-0510

3RD PLACE (Tie)

Barber Ford

3440 E. Main St., Ventura

642-6701

Bunnin

1501 E. Ventura Blvd., Oxnard

351-3005

Used Car Dealer

1ST PLACE

Cars 101

2000 Lockwood St., Oxnard

604-9400

2ND PLACE

Barber Ford

3440 E. Main St., Ventura

642-6701

3RD PLACE

Ventura Toyota

6360 Leland Drive., Ventura

650-0510

Tire Shop

1ST PLACE

Big Brand Tire

3850 E. Main St., Ventura

650-3290

2ND PLACE

Five Day Tire

804 E. Main St., Ventura

648-2712

3RD PLACE

Fred’s Tire

545 Ventura Ave., Oakview

649-2830

Cigar Store

1ST PLACE

Smokers’ Castle

1824 E. Main St., Ventura

643-7894

2ND PLACE

John T’s

3301 E Main St., Suite 1024

Pacific View Mall, Ventura

654-1570

3RD PLACE

White Star

1504 E. Thompson Blvd., Ventura

641-4100

Headshop

1ST PLACE

Salzer’s

5777 Valentine Road, Ventura,

639-2160

2ND PLACE

Wild Planet

560 E. Main St., Ventura

643-5238

3RD PLACE

Wild Side

2850 Johnson Drive, Suite F, Ventura

644-4060