Located in posh Park Cities, NorthPark Center is like the Time Warner Center on steroids. An ongoing $235 million expansion has introduced new shops from Valentino, Bottega Veneta, and Oscar de la Renta, plus major art acquisitions from Mark di Suvero and Claes Oldenburg that have turned a conventional (if massive) shopping mall into glittery cultural destination. Nearby, 76-year-old Highland Park Village has gotten new life with the recent arrival of Noble Boutique, a more affordable version of its outrageously expensive sister, William Noble Rare Jewels, known for its over-the-top diamonds, estate jewels, and custom-designed pieces.
The talk of Uptown is Victory Park, a new residential and retail development that’s part South Beach (blond-streaked valets in blue shorts and white tennies), part Times Square (eleven massive LED billboards). Less flashy is the center’s home-décor boutique Haven , where ex–New Yorkers Jon Tutolo and John Bassignani peddle one-of-a-kind and small-production items like Samuel Moyer’s recycled-wood daybed and former model Dayna Decker’s wood wick candles that crackle like a fire when lit. A few doors down, Noka’s single-plantation cacao truffles are only available here and in Tokyo.