When Leon Jones makes a pot run to Mexico, the border guards don't even bat an eye. That's probably because Jones' trips down south yield legal pot(s) — beautiful, hand-painted pieces that lend even more charm to his already-charming south-side import business. As any Shaw resident or Missouri Botanical Garden visitor can tell you, Gringo Jones' appeal is undeniable. There's the stained-glass art that is a natural complement to the neighborhood's century-old homes. There are the wood tables with tile inlays — picture-perfect pieces for a restaurant dining room. There is also, let's face it, a seriously awesome WTF factor involved with a trip to Gringo Jones Imports. Too grand to be called simply "lawn ornaments," the garden statuary are your persnickety neighborhood association's nightmare and John Waters' dream. The stately lawn giraffe is our favorite; recently, it has been festooned with a fetching pink bow. Keeping the giraffe company are a pride of stone lions, several gargoyles and enough objets d'art to populate an entire ZIP code of lawns. Shoppers who prefer a bit more subtlety in their yard will love the wide variety of metal landscaping that Jones keeps in stock. One bit of advice: There is no such thing as a quick trip to Gringo Jones Imports. Plan to spend the better part of an afternoon wandering, admiring, exclaiming and — yes — buying.
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