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Negen Straatjes, Amsterdam

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In the heart of the Western Canal Belt, "the Nine Streets" are a tic-tac-toe board filled with small, specialized home, fashion, and art boutiques. At Laura Dols, vintage organza party dresses look ready to float out the door and table linens are hand-embroidered with garlands of candy-colored flowers (6-7 Wolvenstraat; 31-20-624-9066; Two doors down, the long-running H. J. van de Kerkhof, which opened for business here in 1938, is stocked with only the trimmings—silk ribbons, bows, and a taxonomy of tassels (9-11 Wolvenstraat; 31-20-623-4666). Continue down Wolvenstratt across the Keizersgracht canal to browse Mendo's oversized fashion, photography, and graphic-design books—themselves a study in flawless taste (11 Berenstraat; 31-20-612-1216; A block to the north from Mendo's, de Weldaad is filled with the recovered detritus of old canal houses, such as end-irons, Delft tiles, and neoclassical busts (1 Reestraat; 31-20-627-0077;; if you're shopping for something richer, but lighter, head south a block to stock up on green-tea chocolates and Dutch butter cookies from Pompadour patisserie and tearoom (12 Huidenstraat; 31-20-623-9554).

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