Record/CD Stores -- Whatever type of music you're into, there's a store out there that will cater to your audial needs. Mushroom (1037 Broadway St., 866-6065) is all about indie rock, punk, alternative and used CDs. All-inclusive music superstores include the Virgin Megastore (620 Decatur St., 671-8100) and Tower Records (408 N. Peters St., 529-4411), while Jim Russell Rare Records (1837 Magazine St., 522-2602) is a vinyl collector's paradise. For Louisiana and regional music, the place is the Louisiana Music Factory (210 Decatur St., 586-1094), which offers in-store performances with free beer on Saturdays. Rap and hip-hop fans shouldn't miss Odyssey Records and Tapes (1012 Canal St., 523-3506), while Magic Bus Records and CDs (527 Conti St., 522-0530) has a great vibe and used records and CDs of every genre.
Vintage/Thrift/Consignment -- Retro-hip threads are on the racks at Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587), Turncoats Clothing Exchange (1926 Magazine St., 299-9004), Trashy Diva (829 Chartres St., 581-4555), Miss Claudia's Vintage Clothing and Costumes (4204 Magazine St., 897-6310), Cream of the Frock (2137 Carrollton Ave., 865-1665) and The Grace Note (900 Royal St., 522-1513). On The Other Hand (8204 Oak St., 861-0159) and New To You Designer Consignment (2311 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 838-0029) carry classic, elegant pieces. If you're in the mood to go digging for some diamonds in the rough, check out St. Vincent de Paul (various locations), Bloomin'Deals (4645 Freret St., 897-9128) and Thrift City (4125 S. Carrollton Ave., 482-0736).
Malls -- It's all at the mall. In New Orleans, visit the Riverwalk Marketplace (1 Poydras St., 522-1555), The Shops at Canal Place (333 Canal St., 522-9200) and New Orleans Shopping Centre (1400 Poydras St., 568-0000). The burbs offer Lakeside Shopping Center (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 835-8000), Oakwood Center (197 Westbank Expy., Gretna, 364-0410) and the Esplanade Mall (1401 W. Esplanade Ave., Kenner, 468-6050).
Specialty Groceries -- Life's too short to live on mac and cheese, so when you need to stock up on exotic, hard-to-find, or good-for-you groceries, grab a basket at Whole Foods Market (5600 Magazine St., 899-9119; 3135 Esplanade Ave., 943-1626) or Eve's Market (4601 Freret St., 891-4015) for organic and vegetarian options. There's also Foodies Kitchen (7457 St. Charles Ave., 865-8646), Martin Wine Cellar (3827 Baronne St., 899-7411; 714 Elmeer Ave., Metairie, 896-7300) or Chez Nous Charcuterie (5701 Magazine St., 899-7303) for gourmet goodies. Those seeking specialty and ethnic groceries can try Union Grocery (4129 Tulane Ave., 482-5390; Latin), Kosher Cajun Deli (3520 N. Hullen St., Metairie, 888-2010; kosher); Asian Gourmet Market (3239 Williams Blvd., Metairie, 466-0077; Asian), or Mona's Cafe (3901 Banks St., 482-7743; Middle Eastern).
Costumes and Formalwear -- Whether you're going for a look that's crazy or classy, we've got you covered. Scoop up some fun costume finds at Funky Monkey (3127 Magazine St., 899-5587), Uptown Costume & Dancewear (4326 Magazine St., 895-7969), and Humbug/Brides by Liz (2707 Williams Blvd., Kenner, 469-3339), which also carries formalwear. Other stops for glam eveningwear are Chatta Box (4114 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 454-1527), Yvonne LaFleur (8131 Hampson St., 866-9666) or Just for a Day (4312 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 888-5711). The guys can find all the chic formal styles they need at Rubenstein Bros. (102 St. Charles Ave., 581-6666) and Perlis (6070 Magazine St., 895-8661).
Computers/Technology -- When you're ready to kiss your old system goodbye, check out the frequent sales and packages on laptops, Macs and PCs -- not to mention other computer equipment and accessories -- at Best Buy (1601 Westbank Expwy., Harvey, 364-0411; 6205 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 780-0172), Circuit City (4945 Lapalco Blvd., Marrero, 348-2279; 2421 Veterans Memorial Blvd.. Kenner, 467-3339; 6011 Bullard Ave., 245-6366), or Office Depot (1429 St. Charles Ave., 561-8846; 1500 Westbank Expwy., Harvey, 368-9731; 755 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Metairie, 889-6661; 9851 I-10 Service Road, 243-2127). If your computer doesn't need replacing, but just a little TLC, Rent-A-Nerd (454-6373) is the local go-to guy for maintenance, troubleshooting and repair.
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- Find hot looks for him and her at places like Style Lab for Men on Magazine Street.