Best Unexpected Gift Shop (2005)

Lakewood Cultural Center Artisan Showcase

Who knew that little Lakewood would bloom into such an inspirational hotbed? Thanks to the booming Lakewood Cultural Center and artsy Belmar, the old-time suburb is remaking itself. The Artisan Showcase highlights this renaissance by featuring more than the usual museum-store shlock. Lisa Janisch keeps the shop filled to the rafters with handmade items, from sterling silver jewelry to glass pumpkins. For spring, she is featuring elaborately patterned Pysanky -- Ukranian Easter eggs -- that are so delicate you barely dare to breathe on them.

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