Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Thursday, July 25

Gapers Block

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amyc / March 29, 2004 10:35 AM

When I can't make something with my bare hands, I usually go to Women and Children First, Kopi's Jalan Jalan shop, Hard Boiled Records, Uncle Fun or the Facets catalog. And then I get cards from Paper Boy or Fly Paper.

Andrew / March 29, 2004 11:04 AM

It, of course, depends on the person. Usually I go for a toy or tchachke, which usually takes be to places like Uncle Fun or an art supply store. My most recent gift purchase: Pixel blocks, picked up at the Art Store in Evanston.

Barring toy-related inspiration, I usually go with a CD.

miss ellen / March 29, 2004 11:08 AM

when i buy birthday gifts, it's usually in the form of a book.

being the true slacker, most of the time i just hit brent books & cards which is located in my building...

Ben / March 29, 2004 11:09 AM

Guess it's not "my little secret"; Jalan Jalan tucked away inside Kopi is a virtual goldmine especially when shopping for mom or girlfriend. It's also nice that they're open late so you can drop in and pick something up on the way to that birthday party that had slipped your mind until it was time to actually be at the party.

Naz / March 29, 2004 11:13 AM

I usually make something as well. Sometimes it's all hand-made or otherwise, the card is at the very least. I like to throw in some kitchsy stuff - toys and ephemera from the usual suspects mentioned above though I step into places like the Alley or Hollywood Mirror and Ragstock for joke items. Then one solid gift, depending on the person - art books, design posters, journals, etc - purchased online direct from artists or good independent design outlets.

Carly / March 29, 2004 12:06 PM

Urban Outfitters-for those slightly off the beaten path. They usually have something good on sale that doesn't look like it was actually from there.

Border's-usually for gift certificates.

And if you're competely lost, find out if they get frequent flyer miles from an airlines. United lets you buy miles, which is a bit of a different gift idea.

For cards-The Paper Trail is my all time favorite place to go.

katie / March 29, 2004 12:08 PM

i love love paper doll on division. the store is just stuffed to the gills with great journals, stationary, art and gifts. everything's really unique, they carry a lot of hand-made items. plus, if you're like me and love puppies, there's a friendly pug that hangs out at the store most of the time. added bonus.

Asrai Garden on north avenue is an exotic florist that also carries great bath / body / candle / girly stuff. it's worth a trip for the scent alone.

Ian / March 29, 2004 12:21 PM

I'm with Carly on the Urban Outfitters/Border's tip...although, more often than not it seems Red Envelope.

A lex, x, x / March 29, 2004 12:35 PM

If I'm not making the gift, I usually hit Rinky Dink, Una Mae's, Sephora or a gift certificate from a book store. It all depends on the person, but I prefer to make the present.

And when all else fails, there is always SOUR BOB'S HOUSE OF DUBIOUS CRAP!

Al / March 29, 2004 1:34 PM

nothing better than hand-made love
at Bead in Hand in Oak Park!

Pete / March 29, 2004 1:43 PM

Walgreens or Osco usually has what I'm looking for.

'That Ian' / March 29, 2004 4:14 PM

I usually hand-make a birthday card and then struggle to find something cool to go along with it. I honestly have such a hard time with birthday gifts it's not even funny....

lacey / March 29, 2004 4:37 PM

I'm all over the Paper Trail in Andersonville. They have beautiful cards and recently, I picked up some that were gorgeous--and letterpressed. Drool.

For gifts, I'm all about fandango recently. Easy, and who doesn't like a movie?

jenny / March 29, 2004 6:27 PM

My grandmother's cookbook. Date-nut balls are the perfect gift...
I'm mostly kidding. But these days, a homemade birthday cake is pretty scarce, so I'm usually all over that.

paul / March 29, 2004 9:39 PM


paul / March 30, 2004 12:36 AM

I can usually find everything I need in Evanston, whether it's chocolate, the stuff I need to make a great b'day dinner, or the stuff I need to spice things up. Okay, maybe I need to go to Skokie for that last one.

tracey / May 26, 2004 8:40 PM

The absolute best place in Chicago for gifts is RR1. They're on Ashland, just North of Chicago Ave. They literally have gifts available for EVERYONE! I have bought my sister, my mom, my dad, my fiance, my friends, my boss, etc. gifts there. AND, they wrap!

Most importantly, they have the most amazing selection of items from bath products you won't find anywhere else, to baby gifts, to candles, to journals, to the most incredible selection of jewelery from artists local and abroad. I just can't say enough about them...obviously! Trust me...check them out.

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