HOLIDAY SHOPPING, PART TWO First, some gifts that keep on giving ...
A special Penn tradition is finding what friends and loved ones want to do, and making them a year-long gift of the opportunity to do it.
Gift Ideas for People Who Love ...
. . . Anthropology/Archaeology: Those who treasure the past will be delighted with a full year's membership in the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Those special people will enjoy free admission, Museum Shop discounts, and Expedition Magazine; and they will be kept up-to-date about the latest discoveries from the Museum's worldwide fieldwork and research. The gift membership will be packaged in an Egyptian-style decorative tin. Individual membership is $45, household $50. Information: 898-4026.
. . . Art: All members of the Institute of Contemporary Art receive free admission to the exhibitions, invitations to preview opening receptions, a calendar listing lectures, programs, tours, and special events, private "Curator's Perspective" tours of each exhibition, 10% discounts on ICA catalogues and prints, lectures, symposia, performances, family workshops and special events. Students, artists, senior citizens, Penn faculty and staff $20; individuals $35; dual/family $65; other membership categories from $100 to $1000, with additional membership bonuses for each . Information: 898-7108.
. . . Books: Members of Friends of the Library are invited to a variety of special events and receive the publication Bibliotheca. Membership fees: student $10, regular $35, sponsor $100, patron $250, benefactor $500, Benjamin Franklin Society $1000, or life membership $1500. Benefactor, Ben Franklin and Life members receive a year of book borrowing privileges. Information: 898-7552.
. . . Cookies: A variety of gourmet cookies from An American Kitchen, mailed in a special Penn box tied with a Penn ribbon and accompanied by a gift card, can satisfy a craving for biscotti, brownies, or other fancy treats, even lactose or wheat-free. These orders support the Association of Alumnae and its scholarship program for Penn women. Order forms can be faxed to you for easy shopping; call 898-7811.
. . . Dance: The Dance Celebration, presented by Dance Affiliates and the Annenberg Center, will present six different companies during the spring semester, with two in JanuaryParsons Dance Company and O Vertigo. You can buy a set of four Select Tix vouchers for $40. Each ticket you buy when you redeem the voucher will cost only $10, a $2 saving off the regular student price. Select Tix can be ordered by phone with a credit card. Call 898-6791.
. . . Films: International House's Neighborhood Film/Video Project sells discount passes for their screenings, $20 for four shows. Information: 895-6542.
. . . Flora: Give a membership to the Morris Arboretum, the state of Pennsylvania's official arboretum and you'll receive a gift certificate good for 10% from the gift shop. With membership comes: free admission, 15% course discounts, the quarterly newsletter, all the plant sale benefits, access to the Reciprocal Admissions Program, gift shop discounts, invitations to events and lectures, and use of the shuttle for the disabled. Your gift will be `announced' with an Arboretum tote bag. Membership fees: Student $20, Regular $45, Franklinia $65, Chestnut $125, Holly $250, Oak $500, and Laurel $1000.
Or for your favorite rose-lover, give a copy of The Encyclopedia of Roses or Gardening with Roses ($29.95 each) by Arboretum rosarian Judith McKeon. For that person who wants to know about local flora, how about a copy of The Vascular Flora of Pennsylvania: Annotated Checklist and Atlas ($50) by the Arboretum's director of botany Dr. Ann Rhoads and William McKinley Klein, Jr. All are available by calling the Morris Arboretum Gift Shop at 247-5777 (ext. 0).
. . . Flowers: Pre-planted Holland bulbsamaryllis, crosuses and paperwhitesmailed to your special friends and relatives by the Association of Alumnae, are guaranteed to bloom into a spectacular holiday splendor and support the Association's activities. Order forms can be faxed to you for easy shopping; call 898-7811.
. . . Food: Dining Service offers ten-meal coupons for convenient meals on campusbreakfast $43, lunch $72 and dinner $108. Another option is to give a Value Card, in any denomination, for use at CHATS. Information: 898-7585.
The Faculty Club is offering a special as an incentive to join: faculty and staff who have not been members get the first year of membership free; you could make a deposit into a declining balance account for the new member to enjoy meals at the Club's cafeteria or Hour Glass restaurant. Information: 898-4620.
Hillel Foundation offers a Jewish Activities Card for $25, good through the end of May, for their Kosher meals which are served daily. Information: 898-7391.
. . . Sports and Fitness: The Class of 1923 Ice Rink has a discount book of 10 admission passes to any public skating session for $40 with a PENNCard. Is Santa bringing ice skates this year? Why not stuff a stocking with skating lessons? Six weeks of group lessons, beginning January 4, are available for ages 5 through adult in a variety of skill levels. The registration deadline is Dec. 28. Cost $75. Information: 898-1923.
Levy Tennis Pavilion memberships are $10 students and spouses, $20 faculty, staff and spouses, $35 alumni, $65 public, $25 senior citizens, valid through August 1998. Information: 898-4741.
The Nautilus Fitness Center in Hutchinson Gym, with two full circuits of Nautilus equipment, is the perfect gift for those who have made a New Year's resolution to get in shape and exercise. Membership through May 22 is $50 for students,$70 for faculty, staff and affiliates, $50 for community members. Information: 898-8383.
The Men's Basketball Club offers various gift levels from $25 to $1000 with benefits that increase with the level. Information: 898-9231.
. . . Theatre: The Annenberg Center has two gift options for theater-lovers. Buy gift certificates for upcoming productions or, buy a student four Select Tix vouchers for $40; the student can use the voucherseach good for one ticket to any performance in the 1997-98 season to see four different shows or take a group of friends out for an evening of theater. Call the box office at 898-6791 for more information.
. . . the World: International House lists "Ten Valuable Reasons" for becoming a member. Members receive reduced admission to all International House programs, a 10% discount on purchases over $10 at the Bazaar Shop, a 10% discount on meals at the Gulf Coast Restaurant, discount parking at 36th and Market, the International House Newsletter and Calendar with advance notice of upcoming programs and Members Only events, free admission to holiday parties, exhibits, lectures and the Annual President's Reception, priority seating at concerts and priority access for meetings and functions in the Yarnall Conference Center, participation in discussions on current issues and the opportunity to join conversational English classes, the opportunity to purchase an International House Passport, and the chance to meet with graduate students and visitors from over fifty countries studying at Philadelphia universities who live at International House. Individual Member $30, Student Member $25, Family Member $50, Contributing Member $100, Sustaining Member $250, World Member $500, International Member $1000 or more.
--M.S. and M.F.M.
...and more local shops to browse
The Alumni Society
Okay, it's not really a shop: It's the Sweeten Center, the Penn General Alumni Society headquarters. But at holiday time it is a popular place to shop for friends and family who went to Penn or otherwise feel close to it. Jewelry and desk accessories are high on the list of useful items featuring University insignia. There are cuff links $17.50, money clips $7.50, tie bars $7.50, and dagger bookmarks $8. Marble paperweights with the Penn shield come in black $10 or green $13. Black marble bookends are $60, desk clocks in a dome shape $27.50 and pyramid $40, and there is a polished brass business card case at $10. Any member of the Penn community would be thrilled with one of the several styles of mens' or ladies' Penn watches (one is metallic with leather straps, $99.95).
The Alumni Society also offers wearable Penn paraphernalia, such as the embroidered sweater $65 S-XL, $67.50 XXL, short-sleeved polo shirt $39-$41, navy and white turtlenecks $30-$32, and two varieties of Penn baseball caps $18. For denim afficionados: a long-sleeved denim shirt $45-47.25 or an embroidered denim jacket with tan sleeves $70.
Worth dropping into Sweeten Center for is a color lithograph of College Hall Green by David Keeling, taking in the view from Fisher Fine Arts Library to College Hall itself, with the Ben Franklin statue at center stage. Lithographs are printed on museum quality vellum and are all hand-signed by the artist. Two versions are available: an open edition print (10" x 16", $35) and one of a 1,500 piece limited edition (18" x 30", $130). The same lithograph is also available double-matted behind glass in a handsome wooden frame (overall 16" x 21" for the open edition, $75; overall 24" x 36" for the limited edition, $195).
One very special item that has to be ordered ahead is the Pennsylvania chair ($295 including shipping and handling), available in both straight up (known as "academic") and rocker models. The familiar polished black wooden chairs are adorned with the Penn crest in either hand-stenciled silk screen or laser seal, and can be ordered with either black or cherry arms.
Those interested can contact the Alumni Center by phone at 898-7811, or stop at the Sweeten Center, 3533 Locust Walk.
Sansom Street Sampler and the Shops at Penn
If specialty coffees are your recipient's cup of Java, try shopping at Starbucks. Jump start a friend for under $10 with a pound of the upscale coffeehouse's own Christmas Blend. Or if variety is the spice of life, there's the "6 for the Season Sampler" to keep coffee breaks interesting. The shop has a lot of little gifts that are perfect as stocking stuffers or just to brighten someone's day at the desktop, such as seasonal thermoses and tumblers; bags of candy ($5), 95-cent coffee clips to keep bagged coffee fresh, and a holiday greeting card that includes a latte coupon ($2.95). Higher on the food-for-thought chain is the coffee press ($28), and for the undecided there's a $10 gift certificate, or a set of five $3 coupons for $15.
Give the gift of dining-out this season. Le Bus offers gift certificates for dinner-fo- two, or for a specified dollar amount. Its eclectic dishes are served deli-style which makes for a casual, yet delicious culinary experience.
To step inside Avril 50 is to experience the smells and tastes of other worldsas well as the magazineswithout leaving campus. Why not share the news of other nations with a friend and give them a gift certificate? Or coffees by the pound ($12) or half-pound ($6). Avril 50 also carries aromatic loose teas, from Earl Grey to passion fruit, averaging $5 per half-poound, with some from from Japan a bit higher ($12 per half pound). While stuffing your stockings, stuff your face with chocolates from Belgium, Holland, Germany, England and Switzerland for under $4. Calendars and engagement books make timely and sophisticated gifts, and Avril 50 has them both, as well as pretty paper to wrap it all up in. Their elegant seasonal stationery $12.95-$15.95 complete any holiday package.
Expect to be swept away in a whirl of almost indescribable housewares, jewelry, art objects and everything in-between upon entering the Black Cat, that anything but average boutique on Sansom Street. The store meanders from room to room in a real Philadelphia rowhouse lovingly converted to a playhouse for those hooked on shopping. In the dining room/sitting room, you'll find picture frames $25-$40, colorful wine glasses and serving trays, and aromatherapy candles to adorn your home for the holidays. The kitchen has everything from an anatomically correct cow-motif tea set to placemats shaped like dogs or cats. The nursery is full of toys and puppets as well as Christmas tree ornaments at once quaint and exquisite. In the bathroom complete with a tub full of frog toys, a toilet brims with rubber duckies, and the best-smelling soaps and bath products are ready to be giftwrapped. Most of their merchandise, such as art d'vine boxes made by street kids in Brazil, colorful knit booties by Bosnian refugees, distinctive "yarta" hats by Tibetan refugees, or aromatic cinnamon boxes from Vietnam (to name a few) are "Whole World Products" which indicates fair treatment and payment of the workers who produced them. The earrings at Black Cat are all hand-made by local artists and, for $25-$65, make beautiful as well as thoughtful gifts. Be prepared to spend quite a bit of cash in this place, but rest assured that you're getting more than your money's worth.
Advancements in computer technology now open up the range of gift possibilities at holiday season as surely as a blockbuster movie will hit the holiday screens. With so much out there, it's easy to get confused or even discouraged when shopping for that computer buff on your list. Luckily, Software Etc. is shopper-compatible. With Mac and PC entertainment to educational and self-improvement programs, Software Etc. has something for anyone with a computer. To make things easier, they offer gift certificates in multiples of $10, $25 and $50 for those hard-to-shop-for people. (Kids these days are pretty vocal about what they like and dislike in computer games, so why disappoint them?) But if you have the will to choose, Play Station games are heating up the season with the coolest graphics, while Nintendo and Sega games still remain the popular all-around leaders. They have them all, in a $20-60 range. There's also a selection of pre-owned games that fits shrunken budgets. This year you can even stuff your loved ones' stockings for under $5 with a CD ROM ranging from gardening and golfing tips to financial planning guides; Nintendo Beanie-Babies are also available. The "Etc." in the store's name could stand for the Japanimation Videos new to their stock of sale itemsor maybe the virtual pets on a keychain they sell behind their counter, or their Sega digital watches. All of that plus an in-store Nintendo 64 demo interactive CD entertainment unit makes a trip to Software Etc. fun and painless.
Shopping for clothes without Greek letters or the word PENN printed on them? The Gap is one of the few places left on campus where you may find them. Being a part of a big chain lets The Gap work to your advantage providing gift certificate options for any amount which may be redeemable at any Gap, Gap Kids, Baby Gap or Gap Outlet. Quick, easy and convenient shopping seems to be the motto: all of their staff have undergone special "holiday training" to accommodate the shopper on the go. Checklists delineate gifts under $40 for men and women. If you visit Gap on-line at www.gap.com, you'll learn that fleece is very big this season and the Gap have decked their halls with everything from fleece jackets and pullovers to scarves and even trousers! Fleece slippers at $24-28 make a great gift for dad, and at $12.50 the Pro Fleece hats and gloves are red hot upscale stocking stuffers. Gap merchandise is mostly casual and sporty, but there are some elegant gift sets that seem tailor made for "Secret Santa" or "Pollyanna" purposes. This year, the Gap introduces "GapScents" with "dream" (a unisex scent), and "Blue No. 655" for him and her. GapScents come in gift sets from $12.50 to $29.50, where in an attractive silver mesh carrying case they package such items as votive candles, fragrant bath beads, terry wash mitts and bars of glycerin soap. Of course, if boxers and PJ's are more your style, they've got those, too!
To feel decadent this holiday season, indulge your urge to shop for beautiful and exotic things at Smile. Guilt-free shopping is possible with jewelry priced from $15 to $150, and earrings in the range of $12 to $32. Smile showcases decorative items from all over the world: Indonesian wood-carved puppets under $20; wooden horse statues from Thailand for $29 and $45; affordable hand-crafted silver and semi-precious stone work from Mexico. And especially for the holidays, Smile features festive cherub candlesticks and blue wine glasses filled with aromatic candles ($16), a ceramic musical angel ($25), and seasonal painted miniatures. With such romantic and fascinating things as essential oils from Africa, carved stones holding perfume solids, brass and wooden wind chimes in all sizes, and scarves unique in designall within reachshoppers definitely have a lot to smile about.
Here's a gift idea: a haircut ($24) for dad, a manicure ($12) for mom, a pedicure ($20) for little sis, and a waxing ($9) for Aunt Josephine? Well, she's your Aunt Josephine, so you decide. Metro Hair performs all of the aforementioned services plus coloring ($25) and offers gift certificates for each one. Their special deala manicure and pedicure for $25is a nice way to reward yourself after an intensely laborious day of shopping.
But (let's hear it for equal time), another place to find gifts of beauty and personal comfort is The Saturn Club, which has discounted gift certificates for facials and manicures. Facials, regularly $40, are half price on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Manicures are $5 (instead of $12) on Mondays. Full price gift certificates are available for pedicures, waxing, and hair styling ($25-$30 for a cut and blow-dry).
If you thought 9 & Co. sold only shoes, think again and check out the jackets and bags. This store is as "funky" as it gets around campus since Urban Outfitters closed down. And whether you're shopping for your sassy teenage daughter or a "with-it" 30-something boss, a gift certificate from 9 & Co. should work. In lieu of stockings, there are clear plastic tote bags ($5) to be filled with your choice of "stocking stuffers" such as Santa Claws kitten print T-shirts, hair mascara, stockings (the kind you wear) or their own hot-pink hair care products. Coming back to the real world, you could get your mailman a shoe-shine kitin its own clear plastic drawstring case; it's a thoughtful way to say season's greetings and, for $10, it'll make your holiday as well.
Don't forget to stop by Footlocker, though. It may be one of the smaller stores along the Walnut Street shops at Penn, but it has a good selection of athletic shoes and apparel. Stuff a stocking with brand name head bands, sweat bands or socks. If there's a Michael Jordan admirer on your shopping list, they have right stuff to put a twinkle in his or her eyefrom Air Jordan sneakers and jerseys to Michael Jordan Perfume and even boxers.
Anything and everything you might possibly need pertaining to gift-givingfrom ribbons and wrapping to greeting-cards and the actual gift itselfyou'll find at University of Cards. The place is more of a universe than a university, really; it's brimming with rubber duckies, wind-up toys, key-chains, stuffed animals, mugs, candle paraphanalia, chocolate, jelly beans and, of course, cards. It's like Willy Wonka meets FAO Schwartz with a little Hallmark thrown in for good measure. If you're a minimalist who finds beauty in simplicity then this is definitely not a place for you (though Winnie-the-Pooh connoisseurs will find an entire display case dedicated to Pooh's world via stuffed animals, picture frames, miniatures andmy personal favoritethe charming Pooh snow globe). You may have to be a little bit on the wild side to appreciate some of the other items the U. of Cards has to offer: Aside from being the only headquarters for Ty Beanie Babies on campus, the shop carries things like snack bowls shaped like cows and pigs that moo or oink whenever you reach in for a cookie or potato chip. Don't forget to bring a sense of humor along with your credit card.