LA Weekly on GR2

Cool Kitsch

Sometimes you get invited to a party thrown by one of those people who have it all. Incidentally, those are usually the swankiest and best parties. Where do you go? GR2. It’s an offshoot of the original Giant Robot store, the brainchild of Eric Nakamura and Martin Wong that started as a cult indie zine. GR2 celebrates Japanese pop culture, and what’s more hipster than that? The store is tiny, and everywhere you look there’s another tchotchke to play with. They have a ton of cool stuff. Your hostess can grow her own herbs in an anime egg, or “Taterpot,” for $12. You can buy T-shirts by 2K with artwork by David Shrigley, stationery and books illustrated by Yoshitomo Nara and a plethora of other artists, an “Ugly Doll” plush toy from $10-$75, and a variety of salt-and-pepper shakers shaped like dachshunds, robots or weird figurines for $12. There are banks shaped like houses and even a Buddha Machine, a small music loop gadget that was hugely popular in Asia (and we hear Brian Eno bought eight of ’em). I liked the Gama Go Fliperoo Clock for $60 and was partial to the Lomo Camera, which uses regular 35 mm film but has a fish-eye lens, so you never know what kind of picture you’re going to get. They range from $50 to $200. 2062 Sawtelle Blvd., W.L.A., (310) 445-9276; Mon.-Sat., 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.; Sun., noon-7 p.m.