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[whitespace] Moon Zoom Great Garb: Those in search of vintage deals declare Moon Zoom in San Jose a hit for local bargain-finders.


Goods & Services

Best Place to Expand Your Musical Tastes Without Spending a Buck

Hear Music
153 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto 650.473.8142

Weighing musical options has never been easier since the controversial birth of Napster. But with the threat of legal trouble, perhaps it's wise to also have a backup plan in mind. That's where Hear Music comes in. Sure, all the usual pop suspects are here, but what sets Hear Music apart is its ability to offer access to uncharted musical territory, which includes Bay Area artists and the latest in Indian and Celtic music. Employees are extremely friendly and knowledgeable about all kinds of music. And once they get a hint of a customer's tastes, they tend to offer up a dozen albums that might also catch the ear. The best part: listening stations of all kinds--techno, classical, rock and jazz, among dozens of others--are set up around the store. A row of headphones at the front counter is open for people to sample any album in their collection. RC


Best Place To Eat Barbecue And Buy A Wind Chime

De Anza College Flea Market
Parking Lot, De Anza College, Cupertino 408.864.8414 first Saturday each month, 8am-4pm

It's good to know that in this era of standardization, where one mall looks drearily like the other and retail stores differ only in the names pasted above the doors, there is still room for quirkiness and choice in the shopping world. That's the beauty of the De Anza College Flea Market. With single stall spaces renting for only $30, vendors can afford to be eclectic. Find everything from New Age original paintings--with the artist standing by to offer an explanation--to antique wood-carved desks and pottery. Tools. CDs. Handmade scarves. Hey, the food booths by themselves are worth the trip. So bring a couple of dollars, spend half a day walking in the sun, expect to find something you want to bring away. JDT


Best Place to Escape Dotcom Drudgery

Harmonie European Day Spa
14501 Big Basin Way, Saratoga 408.741.4997

I went into this place one day thinking I would spare five minutes to have my eyebrows brutally ripped off, but to my surprise, I was blissfully wrong. I filled out a form detailing my allergies and skin care regimen while the receptionist offered me Kudos, Grandma's Cookies and hot tea. Most of the wax-rippers I visited before didn't even bother to say hello, let alone ask if I was using Retin-A. A French woman soon led me upstairs, down a hallway of cream-colored rooms with cushioned tables. I lay on my back, and it was wax-pluck-pluck. We chatted about France, Silicon Valley commutes, housing prices and how American women just didn't have time for beauty anymore. After paying, I glanced at the clock and walked--not ran--to my car, as carefree as Gene Kelly singing in the rain. GR


Best Place to Stock Up on Vintage Home Accessories

Moon Zoom
1630 W. San Carlos St., S.J. 408.297.5876

Give any home a time warp by furnishing it back to the '50s, '60s or '70s at Moon Zoom. The vintage shop has classic salt 'n' pepper shakers that look like Florida oranges, cheese wedges, and bowling balls and pins. After choosing from dozens of shakers, a retro kitchen table might be in order. Treasure hunters will uncover oval coffee tables, classic lamps and oversized ceramic ashtrays in all different shapes and sizes. Complete tea and dish sets straight out of Grandma's house are good finds, too. For cocktail hour, grab some retro martini glasses and a shaker. Check out couches, curtains and funky coffee mugs. Moon Zoom also carries vintage clothing and lots of classic toys. Get nostalgic with Strawberry Shortcake or Incredible Hulk lunchboxes. Moon Zoom keeps it fresh, with a constant influx of new items. CL


Best Salon for Pre-Launch Party Primping

diPietro Todd Salon
2307 Birch St., Palo Alto 650.328.4545

Whether you're looking for a classic Fekkai fringe or a trendy post-punk deconstruction, diPietro Todd has an army of hip, helpful stylists and colorists to hook you up with a hot 'do. The salon is a formidable satellite of the San Francisco flagship (there is a Mill Valley location, too), so you'll find its esteemed two-year in-house training program in full effect--the sign of a truly high-end salon. Plus, on any given afternoon, you're sure to run into a few dotcom celebrities in the spacious, mod salon--but, of course, to recognize them you'd have to be an E-celeb yourself. TB


Best Place for a Soundtrack

Streetlight Records
980 S. Bascom Ave., S.J. 1.888.330.7776

For years the eclectic record collector's paradise, Streetlight Records has been the store of choice for used CDs and hard-to-find gems. And the same is true when it comes to classic movie music. On one recent shopping trip, while scouting for music to play on "A Fistful of Soundtracks" (a movie music program I host and produce for KZSC-FM in Santa Cruz), I walked in looking for just the Peter Gunn soundtrack and left with not only Peter Gunn but the loungey, '70s, Italian exploitation movie music compilation (Italian Girls Like) Ear-Catching Melodies, an unavailable-on-disc LP of musical numbers from Mel Brooks comedies, and used copies of Prince Paul's ingenious hip-hopera A Prince Among Thieves and De La Soul's underappreciated De La Soul is Dead. And that's only a third of what I bought. JA


Best Place to Come Out as a Children's Book Lover

Hicklebee's Children's Books
1378 Lincoln Ave., Willow Glen 408.292.8880

Kids, book snobs and right-wingers can say what they will about Harry Potter, but even staunch Wicca-phobes can't deny that the little witch-boy has both children and adults reading in record numbers. Now that the Potter trend has finally helped grown-ups break the silence and come out as children's book lovers, Hicklebee's book haven offers up a perfect spot to find support and buy the best in both new and classic kiddie lore. From fantasy fiction greats like The Chronicles of Narnia to biography and Maurice Sendak creations, the 21-year-old Willow Glen institution has it all. The well-read staff is always ready and willing to help find the perfect books for all humans, both big and small, and they do free gift-wrap, making it a great place to shop for a favorite kid. MS


Best Outdoor Monument to Discount Capitalism

San Jose Flea Market
1590 Berryessa Rd., S.J. 408.453.1110 or 800.BIG.FLEA

The family of the late George Bumb Sr. buried him earlier this year with a souvenir: a Flea Market baseball cap. The eccentric entrepreneur co-founded the flea market in 1960 (a conservative Catholic, he also started his own family church where mass is still done in Latin). According to family legend, Bumb got the idea for the flea market while working in the landfill business. He'd see all these seemingly fine goods being thrown away and knew there must be a way to make a buck off selling this stuff. Forty years later, the San Jose Flea Market isn't the glorified garage sale it used to be. Some 2,000 vendors come each week peddling mostly new merchandise, from socks to CDs to car parts to furniture to Guayabera shirts. Did we mention the quarter-mile-long row of fresh produce? If you come (especially during the weekend), be prepared for a crowd: an estimated 80,000 people wander through the flea market's eight miles of Byzantine alleys each week. It costs $5 to park in the huge lot across the street. WH


Best Place to Spend the Spoils

Oakville Grocery
715 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto 650.328.9000

Prosperity consciousness is a powerful thing. Just equipping the kitchen with the trappings of designer success can attract commodities coups and stock splits like flies to cow pies. Oakville Grocery--the one at Stanford Shopping Center--is awash with opportunities. Bill Gates loves sea salt from Brittany, so pick up a few jars of the stuff. Niçoise olives are the favorite of Alan Greenspan. They should send the right message to lunch guests when served along with a few ounces of Petrossian caviar. Oakville is the place to pick up a case of Puligny-Montrachet to serve with that slab of aged tellagio, and a few tiny, runny cakes of St. Marcellin from Lyons. These make an amusing and costly snack along with slices of Parma ham and Scottish smoked salmon. Make sure to stock tall bottles of Tuscan olive oil and white balsamic from Modena. Perhaps a heavy crock packed with kalamatas from Crete and a jar of lavender honey from Provence. Condiments are some of the most potent accessories of financial success. Oakville Grocery has them all to buy and use liberally. CW


Best Meat Market for a Bull Market

Schaub's Meat, Fish & Poultry
The Street Market, 395 Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto 650.325.MEAT

It's hard to find a good hometown butcher these days, what with all of the massive grocery chains eating up the Mom 'n' Pop stores. Schaub's, however, still rises to the occasion, offering every kind of high-end meat known to man (well, to the mainstream American man, anyway)--with excellent parking to boot. The helpful staff will give you any advice you need, and should you need sauces or spices for your per capita meat rations, they've got those, too. You think their selections of rack of lamb, rabbit and escargot are cool? Just check out the hot-food line as well: mac and cheese served piping hot, perfect for curing a pre-dinner party trashy-food craving. TB


Best Natural High

Saso Kids Fruit Stand
Monterey Road at Palm Ave., S.J. 408.463.0192

Nowadays, the sprawling suburbs of San Jose may be more known for wealthy gated communities than friendly farmers wielding fresh fruits. But a trip south on Monterey Road leads straight to the Saso Kids Fruit Stand and it should not be missed. During summer, Ken Saso and family stock the old-fashioned wooden stand with peaches, plums, nectarines and some of the best cherries known to the Central Coast. Farming may soon be extinct in Santa Clara County, even in the beautiful hills of Coyote Valley. But for now the Saso stand proves that some of summer's greatest pleasures still spring from Silicon Valley soil. MS


Best Insider Inner-Beauty Philanthropist

Violet Johnson's Wellness Spa
1314 Lincoln Ave., Suite 2F, S.J. 408.297.4899

Violet Johnson's Wellness Spa in Willow Glen can make any body feel better, from head to toe. The small spa concentrates on skin and body services that seem to help ease the mind as well as those tense shoulders. There is one insider secret many people don't know about: the popular spot's generosity. Violet Johnson often lends her massaging hands to the residents of homeless shelters in San Jose. Noting that homeless people face many of the same stresses as the movers and shakers of Silicon Valley, the owners and employees of the spa hope a relaxing massage might just give them a little extra motivation to rejuvenate their lives. The unique spa treats multi-ethnic skin, and specializes in anti-aging services and menopausal treatment. The spa also offers body and prenatal massage, and pain relief sports massage by a certified massage therapist. CL


Best Place to Soak Away the Market Correction Blues

Watercourse Way
165 Channing Ave., Palo Alto 650.462.2000

If a bear market has you down, soak away the blues, preferably with a partner or a group of homies, at lovely little Watercourse Way in Palo Alto. There are about 10 private hot tub rooms, the best being the rooms with large, six-to-eight-person tubs, skylights and a cold plunge, steam room or sauna. The decor is Miami Vice meets Scandinavian Hippie Steam Cottage, and each room has its own subtle look. The tubs aren't expensive, but for those who want to splurge, the spa offers wraps and scrubs, massage, Ayurvedic treatments, facials and pedicures. Before or after tub time, many choose a nice brunch or dinner at St. Michael's Alley, a well-respected little bistro nearby, although to flirt with any SiliValley boys or girls, the Whole Foods around the corner might look more promising. TB


Best Small Investment

Exclamation Point!
14510 Big Basin Way, Saratoga 408.867.7550

One of the drawbacks of living in a boom-boom economy is that we're so wired we can't sit still for a minute. There we are, nervously tapping our toes in business meetings and concert recitals. The solution? Needlepoint! Go ahead and smirk, but stitchery has moved out of the realm of the grey-hairs and into the multitasking fingers of Type-A, Attention-Deficit-Disordered worker bees who need something mindless to occupy their hands. Think of it as active meditation. The hands-down best place for needlepoint paraphernalia is Exclamation Point! which specializes in hand-painted canvas designs from 250 artists around the country. They also have a huge, 7,000-color inventory of thread. Unlike cross-stitch or its fuzzy cousin, knit-and-purl, needlepoint is as simple as paint-by-number. Even so, Exclamation Point! offers classes for both the fumble-fingered and the advanced student. KL


Best Before and After

Dolce Vita Day Spa & Salon and Zig Zag Bail Bonds
630 N. First St., S.J. 408.287.0200

It's time to get those nicotine-stained rolling fingers over to 630 N. First St. and kill two birds with one stone. Located near the IHOP in an elegantly refurbished Victorian, Zig Zag Bail Bonds, named for--yep, those filterless cigarette skins used to roll wacky backy--offers a 24-hour, 5 percent down bond service, marijuana not included. Feeling stressed that Johnny's in jail again? Why, just step next door to Dolce Vita Day Spa. Indulge in a variety of salon treatments: body-calming massage, skin-soothing facials and flesh-ripping waxings; just name the region. Once a customer has fully relaxed, she can slip her cucumber-scented self back to Zig Zag. And voilà! This bail bond beauty now has exactly what it takes to spring any man straight out of jail. DC


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From the September 28-October 4, 2000 issue of Metro, Silicon Valley's Weekly Newspaper.

Copyright © 2000 Metro Publishing Inc. Metroactive is affiliated with the Boulevards Network.

For more information about the San Jose/Silicon Valley area, visit sanjose.com.




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