Thursday, July 10, 2008

It just got a lot more dangerous to shop in Bethesda. Ground zero: Bethesda Lane -- 44,000 square feet, 16 new shops and restaurants, tucked into a chic downtown corner.

This is not good news for those of us who are trying to watch the bottom line. Trust us when we tell you: This isn't bargain-basement shopping. You'll spend many pretty pennies -- 65,000 of them, to be exact -- to snare a "Sex and the City"-style Magrit jeweled sandal at the Little Shoebox. Wannabe sommeliers will find master classes and no shortage of chi-chi poo-poo wine at the Wine & Cork. Spa facials and wraps are to be had at Bluemercury, along with a dizzying array of makeup and potions, from Nars to Bumble and Bumble to the seriously decadent concoctions from Bliss. You can get your suburban hipster on at Urban Chic, which stocks gear for everyone in the family from baby on up, or get all preppy with it at Tickled Pink. For ladylike frocks, there's the exceedingly civilized Ginger. There's French cast-iron cookware in a riot of colors at Le Creuset or, if cooking is not your style, head on over to Redwood Restaurant Wine & Bar. After a few glasses, you won't even remember that you were supposed to be on that thing, whatchamacallit . . . oh yeah, a budget.

(But the economy will thank you for it just the same.)

-- Teresa Wiltz

© 2008 The Washington Post Company