Sophie is our new summer intern in the Education Department from Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. She enjoys art, anime, & martial arts and has carefully curated a day in Carrollton Town Center for you all!
During the weekend you will almost always find me at Carrollton Town Center shop-hopping to my heart’s content. There are tons of places to eat & shop! On your first arrival, you are presented with a wide array of categories to which you can “treat yourself”. It’s almost overwhelming, that is, until your inner sense of adventure and curiosity kicks in, that’s when the real fun begins. You’re surrounded by stationery stores, like Kinokuniya, 99 Ranch and H-Mart for groceries and lunch, 85 Degrees for a little dessert, and Daiso for everything in between!
Now, Daiso is pretty special. It’s essentially its own shopping center in and of itself. From snacks to stickers to school supplies Daiso has got it all for absurdly low prices. Literally half of the store consists of items under $1.50. Daiso is the dollar store of Japan and will cater to all of your basic needs. When I go I’m always sure to pick up a pack of charcoal pore-care strips, face wipes, and a couple of face masks. Pocky, chocolate cream covered biscuit sticks, are my Achilles heel, striking those taste buds with dark chocolate with notes of almond. The sweet taste of the classic strawberry Pocky melts in my mouth and finishes off with a satisfying snap! If sweets aren’t your style then try the salt and vinegar chips that Daiso carries. While prancing around the store with your basket of goodies you’ll be happy to find cute little trinkets like waving Maneki Nekos or surprisingly durable kitchenware. I could go on and on about Daiso but let’s move on, shall we?
Kinokuniya, ah yes, the wonderful maze of books, writing utensils, and manga for all of you anime fans like me! One cannot even begin to fathom the amounts of manga there. Both popular and obscure; Kinokuniya has all of the latest volumes, not to mention the limited edition merch! Colorful posters and magazines with all of your favorite characters are a fan’s best friend. Drawing comes easy with the crazy amounts of pens, colors and art supplies, I can hear those watercolors calling out to me now, “Come and buy me!”. Who needs a savings account when you have fanart to make! Not only are the utensils good for drawing, they give your class notes some spunk and your letters a personality all their own.
You should know by now I have more than just a sweet tooth, so all of those out there who totally relate will appreciate 85 Degrees bakery. Honestly, even if you don’t like sweets, you will leave satisfied with a refreshingly tart smoothie… or two. The artistic integrity of the bakery is truly one to behold. The delicate chocolate pieces provide a visionary depth to your dessert, making it a feast for the eyes and the stomach! You can get bubble tea to compliment that tiramisu or slice of fruit-and-fresh-cream cake. Beware, once you try a cake, you’ll never taste anything the same again. All of the sudden other cakes don’t taste so good anymore, too sweet or lacking in flavor profile. You don’t necessarily have to be a food connoisseur to know when your tums are having a good time at 85 Degrees!
99 Ranch and H-mart are most definitely the stores that’ll raise the bar for the quality of ingredients at your regular old grocery stores. Both of these stores have fresh veggies and all the greens you could ever need. You’ll certainly discover some uncommon fruits and veggies that spice up that stir fry or add a little color to that salad. A simultaneously healthy and delicious meal doesn’t seem so hard after you’ve come across these stores. Both of them have good meat options if you’re in need of some protein that packs a punch. The toppings are conveniently located near the meat section… almost as if they KNEW you wanted that sesame-seaweed seasoning or that siracha everybody has been raving about. The coolest part about 99 and H-mart is that they’ve had everything you need for that unicorn/mermaid food trend before it was cool. Who knows, maybe YOU will start the next trend with the help of these stores!
Carrollton Town Center is located at the southeast corner of President George Bush Turnpike and Old Denton Road in Carrollton, Texas.
Crow Collection Education Intern