A psychogeographic exploration of Downtown and Old Town reveals a bevy of retail treasure troves, but maybe you’re in a rush, and San Pasqual’s stocks graceful santos and retablos. Existing in a space beyond commodity art, the santo functions as a web of situation, connecting the space it occupies with heaven, past with present, divine with mundane, sacred with secular, image with object, and, ultimately, object with community. San Pasqual’s purveys the familial and familiar saints of New Mexican santeros Peter Ortega and Hector Rascon, Lynn Garlick’s retablos and artist Carolyn Johnson’s minature replicas of New Mexico churches. If your giftee doesn’t appreciate religious art, San Pasqual’s also carries Dan Packard's Brūen Pottery, Taos Twist and Gingko flatware, uncommon goods from Mariposa and loads of awesome kitchen gear. Situated in a centuries-old building in Old Town, San Pasqual’s offers a colorful and inviting space to wrack your brain for the perfect trinket.
Located inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center at 2401 12th Street NW 843-7270 Store hours: Mon.-Sun. 9am-5:30pm shumakolowa.com
Whether in search of a precious objet d'art or a pair of earrings—and who says one item can’t be both?—make tracks to Shumakolowa Gifts. Housed inside the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center, Shumakolowa offers everything from apparel to books to jewelry to pottery, and prices range from affordable to pricey. Looking for curio items like smudge bundles ($9), dreamcatchers ($13) and sweet grass braids ($9)? The shop also stocks bath and beauty products from Medicine of the People, Sandia Soap and Sister Sky. For the book lovers in your life, score one of Joe Sando’s history tomes, fiction by Sherman Alexie, Leslie Marmon Silko or Tony Hillerman, or nonfiction art or poetry books. But what about the bling? From classic turquoise and coral to metalsmithing with an edge, there’s no shortage of ooh-inducing jewels at Shumakolowa. If none of the preceding items pique your interest, how about flutes, Zuni fetishes or puppets? If your giftee has any interest in Southwestern culture and history, you can find the perfect present here.
Man’s Hat Shop
511 Central NW 247-9605 Store hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:30am-5:30pm, Sat. 9:30am-5pm manshatshop.com
The Man’s Hat Shop remains a vibrant example of Downtown shopping destinations, and it has an earthy, unpretentious vibe. The inventory? You guessed it. Lots and lots of hats. Dressy straw hats are always a classy choice, especially Panama, safari and gambler styles. This shop carries derby hats, fedoras, crushers, cowboy hats (of all shapes and sizes), berets, engineer caps, yacht caps, ball caps and military hats. Whether the hat lover in your life leans more Kangol or Cossack, the Man’s Hat Shop is sure to have chapeaux that will blow their hair back. Traditional and modern hat cases, hat bands and hat retainers are the only accessories a well-dressed hat man or lady needs to step into the bright New Mexico winter sun with a smile. While they’re not technically classified this way, I’ve always considered hats a health and beauty aid; they protect luscious locks and sensitive skin from sun and weather damage and also shield wearers’ eyes from harsh UV. Over time, that adds up to a lot of fancy-shmancy anti-aging products that those who regularly rock hats will never need to apply.