URBANIST’S GUIDE TO LAST-MINUTE GIFTING IN SAN DIEGO
Haven’t bought presents for the most important people in your life yet? We’ve got you covered. Not only will these totally doable last minute gift ideas get you all the credit in the world for being thoughtful and generous — they give you a chance to shop from local shops and restaurants. And spas and salons. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves…
For the tough to please:
Looking for that something to surprise the person who’s seen it all? Get with some local boutiques that actively seek out the beautiful, rare and original. Adams Avenue lifestyle shop Maven, above, offers unique and interesting gift ideas including handcrafted perfume, sculpted candles and a range of decorative home objects.
For one of a kind items, look to Mr. Blue Skye in Little Italy. The Etsy shop come to life features singular goods hand woven by shop owner Rachel Ehlin-Smith, who also offers in-shop weaving classes that need to be booked months in advance.
If you’re shopping for a girlfriend, another Little Italy boutique, Stroll, has some great gift jewelry that shows affection and good taste, but isn’t so extravagant it makes it seem like you’re rushing a commitment or seeking forgiveness for something. If you’re shopping for your girlfriends, book yourself and the gals a private Shopping Party, where Stroll’s clothes and accessories come to you for a $350 spending minimum.
For the foodie:
It’s tough to go wrong with a fine meal, and it’s impossible to go wrong with a gift card to somebody’s favorite restaurant. Hit up Bracero Cocina, Waypoint Public, Ironside or Starlite and grab gift cards of any denomination for your friends, and if you’re lucky they’ll invite you along for a killer dinner in the new year.
Bonus points if you also get them a gift card to The Heart & Trotter, North Park’s whole animal butchery that offers quality meats to prepare at home.
For the drinker:
You can buy someone a bottle of wine, a six-pack of beer or a bag of fresh roasted coffee beans — all fine gifts. But if you’d like to be remembered for your gifting prowess, month after month, opt for a gift subscription. Bottlecraft features exceptional seasonal beers that tend to sell out fast. Their New Arrivals mixed six-pack subscriptions ship hand-picked bottles of the shop’s latest special issues for $45/month.
If it’s coffee that gets your giftee’s day going, Dark Horse Coffee Roasters offers a monthly coffee subscription starting at about $20/month. You decide how many pounds of fresh beans they receive, depending whether your recipient prefers to be jittery or full on amped.
For the music fan:
East Village music shop FeeLit Records offers a curated range of CD’s, vinyl and even cassette tapes. There’s plenty for music fans to love, but we’re particularly fond of the local music section of the shop.
One great gift idea is the DVD It’s Gonna Blow, a documentary about San Diego’s music scene in the late-80’s and early-90’s, featuring interviews and performances from memorable acts including Drive Like Jehu, Rocket from the Crypt, the Locust, Three Mile Pilot, No Knife, Swing Kids and more.
You can supplement that with a gift pack of recent local records, whether it’s the instrumental soul of Sure Fire Soul Ensemble, the throwback garage rock of Shake Before Us, or cholo goth duo Prayers.
For the art lover:
Gaslamp’s Sparks Gallery always shows distinctive work by local artists. Currently, it just so happens to be hosting a small works exhibition comprised of 10×10-inch paintings. Going for $200 apiece after taxes, each individual selection makes for a wonderful artsy gift. Featured artists include Eric Wixon, Hill&Stump, Alexander Arshansky and more.
For those in need of a little self-care:
You’ll keep your friends forever if you hook someone up with gift certificate to get pretty or get pampered. For example, North Park’s The Lab A Salon can take care of all any hair cut color and style needs, while nearby Hello Birdie Nail & Lash Lab ramps up the glamour with nail art and eyelash extensions.
At Hyde-Edwards Salon & Spa in Little Italy, ladies may opt for a litany of personal care services including facials, peels, waxing, make-up and hair and mani-pedis. But guys needn’t be left out. The Dover Honing Co. in East Village offers men’s haircuts, hot towel shaves and beard trims. Even Girl on the Go Night Spa offers massages, skin treatments and hair removal for men. It offers daytime appointments too, though clearly the Golden Hill shop can be a tremendous asset to those girlfriends working too hard to properly pamper themselves during business hours.