Best Of :: Shopping & Services
We recently towed an inoperable but sentimentally valuable 21-year-old Dodge truck that had been literally put out to pasture on a family farm north of Waco to a nearby dealership. The place demanded $5,000 just to replace the fuel pump. Two months later, after said fuel pump conked out, we hauled the truck to Arthur's Auto Service, where owner Arthur Cruz asked only $356 to repair the "repaired" fuel pump. Cruz also fixed the interior lights for free — "All I did was turn them up" — and charged only $150 to resurrect the A/C from years of inactivity. Next time, wherever a vehicle conks out, we'll slap that sucker on a flatbed bound for Arthur's and be the richer for it. Arthur and wife Bertha's kindly natures and low fees are straight out of Mayberry.
In life, sometimes the ride is more important than the destination, and sometimes it's both the journey and the place. The most exciting rides on the METRORail end at Reliant Park South. Whether it's rowdy Texans fans decked out in blue and red, little cowboys and cowgirls headed to their first rodeo, or music fans ready to sing their hearts out, you can feel the excitement as the train draws closer and closer to the station. You never know what will happen on the field or in the stadium or on stage, but in that moment when you step onto the platform at Reliant Park South, anything is possible and everyone is happy.
No dry cleaner can be perfect all the time, but it seems like Gorman's comes pretty close. Whether you need coffee stains zapped from your favorite dress or have a hankering to get your shirts laundered and starched with just the right amount of snap, Gorman's has you covered. The place has been around since 1948, so these folks have had plenty of time to hone their skills and become the best dry cleaners around. As if that weren't enough, Gorman's also offers preservation and alterations, which means your granny's dresses can be kept in pristine condition and you can wear that pair of slacks you love without dragging the cuffs on the ground. And did we mention they offer free pickup and delivery?
We keep waiting for someone to present a serious challenge to this perennial winner. But we can't even envision such a creature, since this Houston institution has it all. Whether you're already a Rembrandt, or a novice who can't tell a paintbrush from a hairbrush, this is your destination. Paints, inks, clays, leather crafting, embossing, textiles — if it's a material you can use to express yourself, Texas Art Supply has it. Even if you don't have an artistic bone in your body, it's the perfect place to find a gift for that special artist in your life — the friendly, knowledgeable staff will help you find exactly what you need. And chances are, you'll wind up coming back for yourself.
It's easy to pass by the junkyard-like visage of the Compound, as it's known in cyclist circles, and think nothing of it, but this is a haven for cyclists in Midtown and Third Ward. There's not much that bike fixer extraordinaire Dan Kan can't do. We bet he's busily working on a bike repair right now, or trying to find someone a cheap part deep within the Compound. The shop is usually open mid-afternoons to early evenings, Monday through Saturday. Stop by for details on the next group ride or to chew the fat about two wheels.
So the other night, we and our adorable pooch, Hound Solo, were getting ready to attend a swanky affair when Hound threw up his paws in frustration: He couldn't find any suitable duds in his wardrobe. "Don't fear," we told him, as we scooped him up and dashed to Funny Fur, where we scored an Isaac Mizrahi designer bowtie and Dogs of Glamour Dapper Vest. Hound was a hit. Since then, we've returned for more casual fare, like athletic jerseys and hoodies. He even found a nice denim jumper for his girlfriend, Deborah Hairy. Sure, he has to restrain himself while all the cats try on their outfits — Funny Fur doesn't discriminate — but he always leaves with some stylish threads on his back and a smile on his furry face.