August 25 2010
Whenever I’m stumped for an inventive gift – especially as that two-page-long Christmas list of relatives starts to loom at the end of summer – I rely on A+R to help me out. This is a tiny, tightly curated store in Venice Beach, California, that’s an Aladdin’s cave of groovy, never-seen-these-elsewhere goodies. Its motto is “Global Design. Edited”, and the owners – pop-culture and style journalist Rose Apodaca and her husband Andy Griffith, a film editor (hence A+R) – scour the globe for weird and beautiful treats (Apodaca’s background is a bonus: she writes the store’s superb and offbeat blog that I check often).
I’ve bought the IceOrb (pictured) for countless people: it combines an ice tray and ice bucket for just $16, while Neil Poulton’s Space 1999-like speakers ($66) are more stylish next to my Mac than anything Apple has managed to produce. I only wish the pair would open a branch on the East Coast so I could spend an afternoon idling there instead of hunched over my computer.