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A Peek at Polk

There's many a diamond-in-the-rough that is Polk Street. For those who only travel to the street for pilgrimages to the Red Devil Lounge, Green's sports bar, or the Alhambra Gorilla Sports, you're missing out on some prime shopping spots. Polk has everything from antiques to high fashion. Cris, Molte Cose, Bella Cose, Girl Stuff, and Prize top the 'greatest hits list' of what you'll find on this sometimes forgotten street.

It's easy to ogle the window display at Cris and try to convince yourself your budget won't allow a trip inside. Ever wondered how columnist Carrie Bradshaw of Sex and the City affords her amazing wardrobe? (Besides the fact she's imaginary). If there's a New York version of Polk Street's Cris, you've got your answer. Offering the crème de la crème of consignment, Cris carries top tier labels from Marc Jacobs, Prada, Gucci and the rest of the high fashion heavyweights that clutter every stylist's list of must-haves. Fashionistas in search of the cutting edge can also scoop up finds from labels like Voyage and Chloé. Spread out across a two-room space, Cris stocks men's and women's clothing, and covers the spectrum of accessories.

Exit Cris, high off your triumphant fashion finds, and you just might miss Molte Cose. Stocking new and vintage offerings, Molte Cose and adjoining Bella Cose carry specialty items so unique you'll swear they were picked out just for you and yours. With sunshine yellow walls and a friendly, helpful staff, Molte Cose is composed of treasures you wish you found in your attic. From vintage cocktail party dresses to antique lamps, jewelry and knick- knacks, Molte Cose has it all. Wander next door and check out the selection of new and vintage men's clothing for the man who's not so secretly inspired by Rat Pack fashions. There's also an assortment of retro desk supplies. If that wasn't enough, their lingerie section completes the triple threat. Admire their selection - so beautiful it begs to be worn out on the town.

Turn down the street and over to Girl Stuff. There's no false advertising here. Girl Stuff carries all kinds of feminine fodder - from beauty products to jewelry to clothes - in sizes, from baby to full grown woman - this ultra-femme outpost is the perfect stop for all your lady-like purchases. Check out their sizable collection of jewelry from designers including Viv & Ingrid, Zoe Chicco, and Sydney Evan. Admire the selection of A-wish clothing, including pricey white tanks decked out with satin ribbons and hip kids' ensembles to match.

Now that you've found some high-class semi-affordable buys, it's time to spend a little time on your humble abode. Duck down Green Street and keep your eye on Prize. True to its name, this is the kind of store that makes you feel like you've won within a few minutes of browsing. Literally a hop sans the skip and a jump from Polk, Prize offers innovative products for inspired decorators. Perfect for the retro-phile seeking eye-catching design ideas at purse-friendly prices. Pick up conversation pieces ranging from a reproduction vintage map of Paris to school charts from the 1950's. Invest in breathtaking mirrored furniture from the 30's or 40's, or keep it on the cheap with glittering silver letters ideal for transforming that blank wall.

Pay a visit to Polk Street's stores that offer some tricks and treats. Sure, it's no Union, Chestnut, Fillmore or 24th, but then, you wouldn't want it to be. These stores are the perfect destination for the shopper looking for originals. And what good shopper isn't?

2056 Polk Street
Mon - Fri 11 am - 6:30 pm
Sat 11 am - 6 pm, Sun 12 noon - 5 pm

Girl Stuff
2255 Polk Street
Tue - Fri 11:30 am - 6:30 pm
Sat 11 am - 6 pm, Sun 10 am - 5 pm

Molte Cose
2044 Polk Street

1415 Green Street
Tues - Sat 11 am - 6 pm
Sun 12 noon - 5 pm