For awesome Asian antiques that will make everyone green with envy, head to R.J. Seidel's "mini-warehouse of country furniture and cultural objects from China, Tibet and beyond." Comfortable and inviting, this Bucktown shop is built for browsing among its 18th and 19th-century objects. Unusual gifts abound, such as red lacquer, hand-carved grain scoops from Burma and 100-200-year-old terra cotta urns from Turkey. An assortment of hand-woven baskets from Northern China line the walls and ceiling, most hailing from the '20s.
Particularly beautiful are the hand-painted, Tibetan marriage boxes, seed boxes and food trays. Though not Asian in origin, wooden sugar molds from Mexico also make excellent gifts. These molds, once used to boil sugar cane into cone-shaped sugar cakes, can now hold candles, tools or kitchen utensils, while still adding a touch of rustic style.
Centerstage Reviewer: Genevra Gallo