December 22, 2011 at 9:49 am EST | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Last-minute gift ideas

Editor’s note: This is the final installment of our five-part holiday gift guide. Previous installments covered pets, media, local shops and gadgets

We’re getting down to the wire here and unless you’re Martha Stewart, you’re probably like us and have a few last-minute gifts to buy. So whether it’s your boss, your niece from Oklahoma or the hostess of that party you’re attending this weekend, several local shops have great quickie gift ideas for that special gay someone on your list.

Poinsettias from Flowers on Fourteenth. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Flowers are always a safe bet. Gay-owned-and-operated Flowers on Fourteenth (1718 14th St. N.W.) has lots of options for quick and thoughtful gifts (

Cork Wine Bar interior. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Wine is another guaranteed winner. It’s fast, easy and even if the recipient doesn’t drink, it can always be taken along or served at the next dinner party. Cork Wine Bar in Logan (1720 14th St., N.W.) is a great place to pop in. They have cute holiday-themed gift bags as well (

Gifts don’t get any “giftier” than a gift basket — it’s all in the name. Many local shops have them or go to for the ultimate array of options — Christmas, corporate, snack, chocolate, wine, fruit, etc. — for the D.C. area.

Looking for an out-of-print gay book but don’t have time for eBay or Amazon — there’s a good chance G Books (1520 U St., N.W.) has it. But prepared to dig — the small shop is crammed floor to ceiling with piles of old books and vintage erotica. It also — don’t ask us how we know this — has the best prices on new and used porn of any outlet in the city. But back to thinking of others, whether it’s Greg Louganis’s autobiography, a long-discontinued Tom of Finland coffee table book or first edition Armistead Maupin or Paul Monette hardcovers, G Books is the place to go.

Melody Record Shop in Dupont Circle. (Blade photo by Michael Key)

Sure, iTunes makes gift cards but they don’t pack the tangible wallop of giving someone a CD, DVD or even, gasp, an LP. Melody Record Shop (1623 Connecticut Ave., N.W.) in Dupont Circle has a staggering array of options for its size. Gay owned, there’s literally something for everyone here from the new Gaga remix album, Britney’s new live DVD, the most extensive collection of Christmas and classical music of any retail shop in the region and more. And good luck trying to get out of there without an armful of discs from the $7.99 bin up by the register. There’s always a bounty of classic titles reasonably priced there.

Another fun sure-fire win is Second Story Books (2000 P St. N.W.) in Dupont Circle, which specializes — as the title implies — in used books and antiques. Its sister space out in Rockville (12160 Parklawn Dr.) has about five times the space of the D.C. shop and is well worth visiting. Whether you want a first-edition signed copy of Bill Clinton’s autobiography, a vintage poster or something out of the always-overflowing sidewalk bin, this is a store that won’t leave you empty handed. And if, by chance, you’re looking for a used classical CD, this is your stop. There’s an entire wall in the back crammed with thousands of used classical CDs. They have pop too — in fact, it’s kind of a mystery as to why they’re so outnumbered by the highbrow stuff here — but if you want to compare recordings of, say, the Bach Christmas Oratorio, you can’t go wrong here (

Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (Blade photo by Michael Key)

For new books, check out Kramerbooks & Afterwords Cafe (1517 Connecticut Ave., N.W.), also in Dupont. If the homogeny of Barnes & Noble makes you want to pass out from boredom, this is your shop (

Switching gears radically, Capitol Hill Bikes, across town, has everything any bike enthusiast on your list could want ( Check them out at 719 8th Street, N.W.

If you’re in the Eastern Market area — and it’s an easy Metro ride if you’re not — make it a point to stop in Hill’s Kitchen (713 D St., S.E.). They have an eye-popping array of kitchen gadgets that make great gifts (

You also can’t go wrong at Homebody (715 8th St., S.E.), which specializes in home furnishings, gifts, local art and design (


Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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