3222C Central SE (on Wellesley) • 256-5252 Hours: Mon.-Fri. 9 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat. 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Closed Sun.
Kam Langdon says it's always been her dream to own a flower shop. From the first burst of fresh air that welcomes you to her cheerfully airy boutique, the experience of buying flowers here is as pleasurable as receiving them. Langdon's style is modern and made-to-order, which has won her contracts with clients like Sandia Casino, Nob Hill Bar & Grill and Heart & Soul salon. Flower vases in many chic styles, sizes and colors run about $8 apiece, and the shop delivers all over the city with a $35 minimum order.
205 Wellesley SE • 463-1988 Hours: Call for an appointment.
Instead of arthropod-like high-tech sport bikes, this lived-in shop is flooded with scuffed, lightweight metal frames crowned with ram's horn handlebars. Bicyclist carries only used commuter bikes. For good reason. "Older bikes are reliable, whereas newer bikes are not," owner Dennis Frain explains. In addition to used commuter bikes (a decent ride starts at around $300), there are the "exotics" (collectible vintage bikes that are priced in the thousands), tune-ups ($40), repairs and modifications.
Veggiegrower Gardens of New Mexico
3211 Silver SE • 217-5110 veggiegrower.net Hours: "Open by chance or appointment"
On a trip to Juárez, Chuck O'Herron-Alex saw people living on dump land, where they needed to grow a lot of food on small plots of unusable soil. So he came up with the idea for "micro-intensive gardens"--small, covered, raised-bed gardens that produce year-round. O'Herron-Alex's self-contained systems come in six sizes, from that of a doghouse to a small car; they can be bought as do-it-yourself kits or assembled on-site with soils, seeds and a year's supply of organic fertilizers; and cost between $150 (the smallest, most basic unit) and $825 (the largest get-you-started unit). The shop also carries organic, open-pollenated seeds, sprouters, composting bins and other happy garden essentials. Advice is always free.
101 Bryn Mawr SE (inside Aqui Nob Hill) • 255-2926 Hours: Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-6 p.m., Sun. 1-5 p.m.
Like any good kid, Albuquerque's newest toy store knows how to share–you'll find Puddleduck cohabiting Aqui Nob Hill's children's room. The shop deals exclusively in natural European toys. Made from wood and cloth, they spark imaginative play. Parents also love their heirloom-quality durability. Puddleduck's stacking games, roly-poly Fagus-brand trucks, German sail boats, felted flower petal hats and courageous knight costumes are designed for children of all-ages.