The rule is simple: always follow the parade of Lexii and Prii to find their favorite destinations when searching for a gift, any gift!
We don't have a Tar-Jay or a Sprinkle's Cupcake ATM machine here in Studio City (ethnic breakdown 78% white), but we make the best of it.
It might take a little extra effort to score a parking space at TJ's (Trader Joe's to you non-cognoscenti) or Whole Foods, but it'll pay dividends in the end. Once inside the emporium of your choice you can relax a bit knowing you've made the right choice for your gift-buying expedition. TJ's has done away with 2-buck Chuck, sad to say. Instead of $1.99 that bottle will now cost $2.49.
People living in Studio City have a mental list of their favorite items. You can't go
1. Any and all items made by Tom in Maine (New Hampshire or Vermont respectively).
4. Sea Salt
6. Pretty Bottled waters
7. Vegan cookies
8. Kitchen gadgets from Bed, Bath and Beyond
9. Doggie Hoodies for their dogs (naturally)
10. They also have a fondness for picking their own fruit, buying New Balance at Big Five, scarves, listening to NPR, recycling, bicycles, wearing jeans, Yoga, meatless Mondays, writers workshops, Netflix and Farmers Market, pancakes at Du Par's, specially-blended smoothies, wheat grass shots, listening to black music that black people don't listen to anymore and anything labeled "organic."
If you don't mind spending $15-plus for a hamburger - a Umami gift
The big draw is always coffee whether it's Starbuck's, Peet's, Coffee Bean or Aroma Cafe (if you can score a table for your laptop, cell phone, messenger bag and other office paraphenalia you have struck the motherlode! You can work on your screenplay or produce the great American novel and hog a table for the entire day without paying rent. Be sure to keep the used, nearly empty cup on display).
You can save yourself big bucks by wearing workout clothes and jogging down Ventura Boulevard to give the impression that you own a current membership to LA Fitness. With the money you've just saved you can buy personalized license plates for your car (W8ER or PRDCR) as long as it's black.
Candy -- too caloric! Flowers -- they die! Better off with some tomato plants or veggie seed packets!
The final trending touch is to inquire in Italian restaurants, "Can I get that Gluten-free?" No doubt you'll endear yourself to the wait staff and become their primary topic of conversation.
Use this post as your guide and you'll hit a homerun every time, I guarantee!