I am a real wimp about pain and took a long time deciding whether or not to get a tattoo. When I finally decided to bite the bullet, I asked around and the unanimous recommendation was for the Tattoo Museum. I'm so glad I asked first! The artists there are really artists - they are proud of their work and make sure you are fully satisfied. Highly recommended
If you are like me, you dread having your car serviced (or worse, repaired in an emergency situation) more than dental work. I feel like I have a sign on my head that tells auto repair places just how little I know about cars. Brentwood Auto Service is different - when I take my car there, the staff are patient and take time to explain what needs to be done and why. Their prices are about average in my experience, but the quality of their communication puts them a notch above.
I love Video Americain. The selection, the decor, the staff - even the clientele - everything seems elegant and serene and so unlike any chain rental experience I've ever had. Dinner and a movie can become takeout and a rental and seem just as romantic and special if the rental is from Video Americain.
The Sound Garden is almost a legend in Baltimore among the music savvy population. Unfortunately, I am not very knowledgeable about music, so it is a bit overwhelming for me. The staff know their stuff but can be a bit brusque to the uninitiated (me, again). I find it to be the most fun with a friend who knows a lot about music.
Normals has an enormous selection of used books and records at more than reasonable prices. Go with time to spare, because you can really get sucked into searching the displays. Stock rotates quickly and finding something specific can be a little hard to find, but the thrill of the hunt is part of the fun of Normals.
Atomic Books is the place for bibliophiles. Convenient to both city and county, Atomic is located in eclectic Hamden. Its somewhat underwhelming exterior conceals a vibrant interior teeming with books and staffed by people who really love their work. Atomic is a great place for hunting down something hard to find or meeting new friends.
I am not handy, so when I first lived on my own in Hamden, every little maintenance need was a huge problem. Then I discovered Falkenhans (by word of mouth - they're a real local institution). The stock is more than adequate, and well displayed and priced, but it's the staff that really make the difference. They are so knowledgeable and friendly, and really took the time to make sure I got what I needed (and knew what to do with it!).
I just love shopping at Nouveau, even if I am just browsing. The store is bright and colorful and full of the most eclectic yet cohesive design elements. The stock ranges from elaborate (and fairly expensive) large scale furniture to small trinkets, post cards, and homemade soaps. There are always new things to see and the staff are incredible. Highly recommended!
Ma Petite has the cutest, most current shoe styles every day. Best of all, they have gourmet chocolates as well! Ma Petite is a great shopping experience - wonderful helpful staff and endlessly tempting stock. Parking can be an issue, but walking around Hamden is a treat in itself.
Cloud 9 seems a little out of place in Baltimore - it's a larger city shopping experience. The selection is varied and fashionable and is updated regularly. The prices are not unreasonable, though high enough that I shop there just for the occasional splurge (then again, I tend to be a bargain shopper in general).