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A Clove Shave
For knife-wielding whizzes, mincing garlic is no big deal; for the rest of us, it's a messy hassle. At least, that was before the advent of the Genius Garlic Cutter. This German-designed gizmo works like a pepper mill: Remove the top, insert a freshly peeled garlic clove, replace the top, and rotate it. With every turn you get uniform little squares that sprinkle out onto a tiny stainless-steel tray. Dishwasher safe, the Genius is made of high-impact plastic; it has a stainless-steel blade and comes with its very own rubber garlic peeler ($14.99).
BED, BATH AND BEYOND/620 Sixth Avenue, at 18th Street/212-255-3550
But Where's the Corkscrew?
Trust Victorinox, the Swiss Army Knife folks, to come up with nifty hiking gear. Lausanne, a roomy 420-denier-nylon day pack, has parallel zippers that make for easy access to its foam-backed main compartment. Eight pockets provide ample space for such old-fashioned hiking necessities as water, a sweater, binoculars, a knife. But there's room, too, for what modern ramblers deem essential: cell phone and CD player. The only problem may be in remembering what pocket you stashed what stuff in ($139).
THE CIVILIZED TRAVELLER/2003 Broadway, at 68th Street/212-875-0306; and 864 Lexington Avenue, near 65th Street/212-288-9190
Thank Heaven for
Little Girls' Dresses
Grown-up girls in their summer dresses inspired an Irwin Shaw short story; little girls in these just might trigger a novel. The tops are cotton and Lycra and very bathing-suit-ish, and the cotton seersucker skirts are gingham-checked. Could anything be cooler -- or cuter? ($45; in sizes 12 months to 7 years.)
E.A.T. GIFTS/1062 Madison Avenue, near 80th Street/ 212-861-2544
Glam on the Lam
Tuck Kimball & Young's travel makeup mirror into your backpack and you can look glamorous even when camping out. Like its bigger cousins, this chrome mini lights up and offers 5X magnification; unlike them, it's battery-operated, so it can go with you no matter how far you roam ($25; batteries included).
S. FELDMAN HOUSEWARES/1304 Madison Avenue, near 92nd Street/212-289-3961
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