Street Savvy: Clay Terrace
Secrets and discoveries—like local shops and a micro library—at Carmel’s outdoor mall.
Homegrown glitz-casual fashion boutique AH Collection (1) may be just a rhinestone’s throw from Ann Taylor, but aesthetically it’s miles away. This is where you find that furry vest, the faux-leather leggings to go with it, and the bedazzled fan gear—all while shopping local. 14511 Clay Terrace Blvd., 580-0370
Head off wails of boredom from the young’uns (or arm yourself for a langorous lunch) with a book from the Carmel Clay Public Library kiosk (2)—handily located steps from Starbucks. It’s a take-one, leave-one situation. Near 14490 Clay Terrace Blvd.
Knife skills lacking? Croissants heavy? A new demonstration kitchen at Sur La Table (3) has room for 16 and gives students not just show-off kitchen chops, but some nibbles, too. There’s at least one class every day, and “date night” for couples who make foreplay of French cuisine. 14400 Clay Terrace Blvd., 575-0969
So many mirrors everywhere—that dry skin is hard to avoid. Duck into Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa (4) to forget about it with a hot-stone massage ($70 per hour). An impulse hot-towel foot treatment cranks that “I just needed new socks” shopping run up a few notches. 14405 Clay Terrace Blvd., 559-0915
Amid all the furniture, fluff, and frippery at Z Gallerie (5)—the best place to buy a gift for the person you don’t know very well—a selection of swanky globes ensures that absolutely every item in your home can match your aura. Ahem—sofa. 14405 Clay Terrace Blvd., 818-0836
Moochie & Co. (6) keeps finicky dogs feeling swell (the store specializes in foods and treats for sensitive systems) and looking dapper in, say, an intricately detailed shark sweater. The last Saturday of the month is when the big dogs appear, as Forever Friends Great Danes Rescue offers $16 microchipping. Make Marley feel like a good boy afterward with a baseball … cookie. 14395 Clay Terrace Blvd., 614-526-3152
You know how it is at the mall—Sunglass Hut, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Steinway Piano Gallery. No, really: Clay Terrace has one of the very few dedicated Steinway (7) stores, full of gleaming grands (Steinway patented the concert grand nearly a century and a half ago) and a steady stream of adept hands. You won’t stump the salespeople with a question or a request, and they’ll resist shuddering at your clangy Polonaise-Fantaisie. 14300 Clay Terrace Blvd., 575-9588
If you find nothing to tick your boxes among the quirky cards and sumptuous stationery on offer at locally owned Oliver’s Twist (8), you’re not looking hard enough. (But who could choose, when so many stylish giftables keep snagging the eye?) Do not give up on your personal paper vision: Just sit down with one of the in-house graphic designers. Because, yes, it’s high time a gold-embossed unicycle graced all your envelopes. 14390 Clay Terrace Blvd., 569-8420
The inescapable gong of grandfathers marking the passage of time offers a clue to the traditional vibe of Village Clock Shop & Home Furnishings (9). And now, the shop piques another sense with the scent of high-quality American leather. After 40 years in Zionsville, a move to Clay Terrace meant a massive expansion into furniture. But the shop is still where you want to bring your heirloom when it’s right only twice a day. 14299 Clay Terrace Blvd., 569-0035
Perhaps it’s not the aroma one normally associates with a store that sells fishing tackle, but Frasier fir candles and soaps perfume Orvis (10) and fly out the door year-round. The outfitter focuses on fly-fishing and offers seasonal classes. Quarterly events generally feature bourbon and discounts; what goes on around that might be a Cajun boil, a silent auction, or simple camaraderie. Wear your Barbour jacket. 14250 Clay Terrace Blvd., 249-6000