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Best of 2001: Best Alternative To A Strip Mall On One Block

Fir Street Between India and Columbia, Little Italy

These brightly painted homes, circa 1900 to 1930, now enjoy a new identity, housing shops as diverse and colorful as the paint adorning them. On the corner, the Gargoyle Gallery and Café (1845 India Street, 619-234-1344) is the anchor and the palette's inspiration as the neighboring shops' exteriors mirror the café's interior. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, outstanding French-press coffee, or dessert and peruse the ever-changing artwork or the gift shop filled with Moroccan-flavored wares. Next door is Villino Galleria (621 West Fir Street, 619-696-5059), a consignment shop with furniture ranging from '40s to '70s. Just up the sloping street is the sister-owned women's boutique, Sorella (619 West Fir, 619-232-9322). Next door you'll find a skin and body boutique, Felicia (619 West Fir Street 619-239-0631). The neighboring shop is La Bella Vita (615 West Fir Street, 619-237-6033), a hair salon. Under the same ownership of Hillcrest's popular candle shop, Cathedral, is Cathedral Home Store (611 West Fir Street) featuring a collection of linens, towels, dishes, glassware, and other home furnishings. At the end of the block is the Carol Gardyne Studio (1840 Columbia Street, 619-233-8066) featuring hand-painted silks.

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Fir Street Between India and Columbia, Little Italy

These brightly painted homes, circa 1900 to 1930, now enjoy a new identity, housing shops as diverse and colorful as the paint adorning them. On the corner, the Gargoyle Gallery and Café (1845 India Street, 619-234-1344) is the anchor and the palette's inspiration as the neighboring shops' exteriors mirror the café's interior. Stop in for breakfast, lunch, outstanding French-press coffee, or dessert and peruse the ever-changing artwork or the gift shop filled with Moroccan-flavored wares. Next door is Villino Galleria (621 West Fir Street, 619-696-5059), a consignment shop with furniture ranging from '40s to '70s. Just up the sloping street is the sister-owned women's boutique, Sorella (619 West Fir, 619-232-9322). Next door you'll find a skin and body boutique, Felicia (619 West Fir Street 619-239-0631). The neighboring shop is La Bella Vita (615 West Fir Street, 619-237-6033), a hair salon. Under the same ownership of Hillcrest's popular candle shop, Cathedral, is Cathedral Home Store (611 West Fir Street) featuring a collection of linens, towels, dishes, glassware, and other home furnishings. At the end of the block is the Carol Gardyne Studio (1840 Columbia Street, 619-233-8066) featuring hand-painted silks.

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4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
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