Last Minute Shopping: Handmade Galleries night I went to Northridge Mall in search of a Hollister hoodie for my niece. Let me simply say: OMFG. Just finding a parking place was an utterly ridiculous chore. And then the mall itself! Oy vey! It was a total Ellis Island experience. I thought they were going to give me a new last name by the time I reached the registers in Hollister (which is the seventh circle of shopping hell for anyone over fourteen, I am convinced).

So I say to you: Don’t go. Do all your last minute shopping at Handmade on Ventura Boulevard in Sherman Oaks (see the map after the break). It’s like an antique mall only for new stuff. There are a bazillion different vendors selling evil eye jewelry, sock monkeys, hipster onesies , framed (dead) butterflies and spiders, and all other manner of giftie goodness. I got everything from freshwater pearl earrings to dashboard ninjas there. It rocks. Between Wacko (see below) and Handmade you should be able to pretty much tackle your list without ever stepping into the mall.

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