2901 NE Alberta St., 281-2675,

Cork is much more than a wine shop, with a careful selection of beers, Champagne (arranged in a clawfoot "bubble tub"), fine chocolate and extra-virgin olive oils sold in bulk. But there is a glorious amount of wine. Head to the "under $20" section for a bargain, or splurge on your favorite bottle of Leonetti.

Buy this:

Catalonian porró wine pitcher ($25).


2314-B NE Alberta St., 281-1809,

It's the coziest occult joint around. Find prayer candles, tarot decks, mandrake root, cow skulls and handcrafted Dia de los Muertos Calaveras. Go just to be there: Owner Jes Rega builds beautiful altars in the window display, and her space is lit just softly enough to put anyone in a trance.

Buy this:

Misc. bones ($5-$7), holy water ($2).

Monograph Bookwerks

5005 NE 27th Ave., 284-5005,

Half gentleman's study, half artist's library, Monograph is a warm, quiet refuge full of art and design books from international publishers and super-local presses and antique pieces of a typographic bent. You'll feel smarter the moment you step inside.

Buy this:

German craft booklets ($6), antique book press ($275).

Redbird Studio

2927 NE Alberta St., 593-0833,

Most everything in Redbird is made by owners Melissa Rau and Paul Evans, and you can tell it is done lovingly. Handmade cards and stationery fill one corner, delicate baby clothing and a storytime tent another. You'll be tempted to buy one of Redbird's soft baby cloches even if you don't have a baby.

Buy this:

Fish-printed origami set ($10), Knitting Takes Balls tote ($36).

Green Bean Books

1600 NE Alberta St., 954-2354,

Kid-wonder kicks into overdrive upon entering this ultra-cozy bookshop. Long, skinny bindings of picture books beckon, from Richard Scarry classics to Patricia Polacco's politically relevant titles. You've got your Beverly Cleary, your Roald Dahl, your J.K. Rowling, but there's also a "grown-up" bestsellers shelf. "Most of my customers are toddlers," says owner Jennifer Green, "but a surprising number of adults come in here, too. A lot of people stick around to play." And who could resist the various vending machines (moustaches! babies!), plush food toys and shadow puppets that pepper the place? In the back corner, leading to the secluded outdoor patio, is the "secret book room," featuring more toys and puzzles as well as discounted book sets for teachers. Green Bean's freshness may be attributed to its own toddler age of one year; the inventiveness is all thanks to Green, who was an elementary-school teacher for 10 years before opening it. She enlists her Doberman-Dalmatian mix, Sebastian, to help run the store, proving that Green Bean really is for every age and species.

Buy this:
Dick and Jane and Vampires