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  • Article

    Best Professional Wench - Lucenden "Loosey" Crotch

    Her real name is Catherine Douglas, and she's a Florida-born actress and comedienne, making a living doing what she loves best. But when she slips on her corseted milkmaid dress, pushes her freckled cleavage up to her chin and puts on a choppy Scotti...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Banjo Teacher - Anton Ullrich

    Full disclosure: We haven't exactly traipsed around town sampling the services of the city's presumably multitudinous banjo instructors (check the Yellow Pages -- that "multitudinous" bit was a joke), but we have shopped widely for one of the semi-ar...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place for a Free Massage - The Sharper Image

    Remember when bars used to cater expansive free buffets to entice people to walk through the door? Remember how you used to go there, order a Coke and eat like a wild pig? This is the same philosophy, only with less guilt. While your parsimonious par...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Music Store - Soundwaves

    To be the best, a music store has to carry a vast selection. For those whose tastes run all over the board, you can find everything from your favorite Jello Biafra or Henry Rollins spoken-word CD to Peter Allen's At His Best. You also will find every...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place for a First Date - Mi Luna

    Dating is like ordering tapas: You try a whole bunch of different things and you hope you get something you like that agrees with you and doesn't make you sick. Mi Luna is a fun "first date" -- it's like a fancy mall food court, because you each can ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Former Soviet Union Grocery and Deli - Russian General Store

    Now that there are several stores catering to the large and growing Russophone community of Houston, it's possible to pick the best one. This little spot, located in an obscure strip center in southwest Houston, is a true general store in the America...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Random Act of Kindness - J. Mark Davis

    There's no telling where Cynthia Flood and her two children would be living today if they hadn't crossed paths with Mark Davis. Last October, Davis read a story in the Houston Press that recounted how Flood's $250-a-month apartment in the Fourth Ward...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Used CDs - Wherehouse Music

    It kills us to let this secret out, but Houstonians with good taste already know it: Not only does Wherehouse Music have the most impressive collection of used, mostly pop CDs, arranged nicely and in a customer-friendly way (in alphabetical order and...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Orange Juice - El Charro Taqueria No. 1

    Well, hell. The alarm failed you again; the sun's already long up, importing sweat through the panes and overpowering the asthmatic window unit, and somehow -- hard to remember exactly -- you're hungover. Again. You can tell even before you rise from...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Cake Shop - Goodness Cake House

    Pandan, also called screwpine leaves, is a popular ingredient in Southeast Asian cuisine. Its floral flavor and intense green hue usually enhance rice and pudding dishes. But at Goodness Cake House, pandan also makes a surprisingly good cake flavor, ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Get Impressive Art Cheap - Glassell School of Art Fund-raiser and Auction

    Well, okay, $3,000 isn't cheap. But for, say, a drawing by James Surls or a painting by Vernon Fisher -- both of which would likely fetch at least $5,000 elsewhere -- it's a bargain, to be sure. Held every spring (the next one is May 4, 2001), the Gl...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Public Make-out Place - The underground parking lot at Compaq Center

    Journey back to your junior year of high school. You just saw a movie while seated next to the crush of your dreams, with your feet propped up on the back of the seat in front of you. Your hands touched in the giant tub o' popcorn. Happiness shot str...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Veterinarian - Southside Place Animal Hospital

    The ancient house ferret, Bandit, rummages among the boarding cages filled with loved ones. Pepi, a black mutt abandoned by his owners because his hind legs were paralyzed, bounds four at a time about the premises. Kate is back for another week's vac...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Science Teacher - Jamie Scott

    No job is harder than teaching public school. So how does Jamie Scott, the integrated-physics and chemistry teacher at HISD's Hamilton Middle School, make it look like so much fun? The big, blond, smiling bear of a man is clearly doing something righ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Reason Not to Take Public Transportation - Smog ranking

    Finally, now that Houston ranks No. 1 in something, why should we give that up? You thnk it's easy being top dog when it comes to ozone violations? This year shows all signs of a tough competition with Los Angeles, the traditional winner of the smog ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy a Gun - Top Gun of Texas

    Houston has a special fondness for its firearms. That's obvious from the sheer number and variety of outlets, from Carter's Country -- that Wal-Mart of weaponry -- to other high-profile retailers. Top Gun takes a different, specialized tact. Just lik...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Democrat - Billie McClain Carr, the long-serving Democratic National Committeewoman from Houston

    Seventy-two-year-old Billie Carr has finally retired from her DNC position, and she'll leave plenty of devoted fans behind, including her old friend President Bill Clinton. Having fought her way to the top through the ranks of conservative Democrats ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Toy Store - Toys for All Inc.

    The nice thing about having a mall like Town & Country crash and burn is that rent plummets to the point that more obscure independent stores like Toys for All can move in. Specializing in vintage toys and games spanning the entire spectrum of obsess...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Local Designer - Vanessa Riley

    Stacked unceremoniously under the sale racks at the back of Vanessa Riley's boutique are sheets and sheets of drawings of chic, oh-so-European women in slinky, oh-so-European suits and gowns. Their haphazard nondisplay belies their significance. This...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Appraiser - Paul F. Wishnow, ASA

    Anybody who has tuned in to PBS's Antiques Roadshow marvels at how veteran appraisers quickly scan somebody's closet clutter and come up with rich histories and details on such obscure items. Paul F. Wishnow takes it one step further. Each Sunday mor...

    on September 21, 2000
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