Thanks to Ed Hardy and one too many trendy discount shops, Melrose has been dying a slow and painful death for some time now. Ironically, Necromance — L.A.’s premier one-stop shop for all things dead, morbid and museum-like — is thriving. So much so that owner Nancy Smith opened a second shop a couple spaces down not too long ago. The original store first opened a block away back in 1991, and while it’s always carried an impressive array of skulls (human and animal), taxidermy, encased insects, jewelry, books and T-shirts, the stock has definitely expanded to unique findings (teeth, bones, feathers, pelts and claws from animals plus collectibles from the 1920s and ’30s) over the years, which has made it as popular with artists as the expected Goth rockers and natural-science nerds. For the most part, you’ll find all “real” stuff (aka animal and human byproducts) in the main shop while the second store features more one-of-a-kind vintage items. Both stores offer a great selection of shockingly cheap silver jewelry, accessories, decor and miscellaneous oddities. 7220 Melrose Ave. (323) 934-8684. Necromance East, 7218 Melrose Ave., Hlywd. (323) 931-2997. —Lina Lecaro

LA Weekly