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  • Article

    Best Judges - 14th Court of Appeals Chief Justice Paul Murphy and Justice John Anderson

    Justices Paul Murphy and John Anderson brought the wrath of GOP social conservatives down on their heads by ruling that the state's antediluvian homosexual conduct law discriminates against gays by banning sexual behavior that is legal for straights....

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best New Downtown Club - Mercury Room

    Dorothy Parker would drink here. The old Isis Theater has been restored to its swinging, speakeasy style. There's a 25-foot-long cherry-wood bar with a rolling library ladder to get to the good stuff. You can buy a $4 bottle of Bud Light and order ca...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Mountain Bike - The Ant Hills

    We know what you're thinking. Mountain biking? In Houston? Well, our famously flat town has its own version: bicycling the bayou. The best-kept mountain-biking secret in town is the Ant Hills, a system of ten-plus miles of trails and paths along Buff...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bureaucrat - City Parks Director Oliver Spellman

    City Parks Director Oliver Spellman is without question Mayor Lee Brown's most popular appointee as a city department head. Spellman, formerly the Cleveland, Ohio, parks chief, faced a daunting task when he arrived in Houston in the spring of 1998. T...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Chicken Salad Sandwich - Brasil, 2604 Dunlavy, (713)528-1993

    "You eat there?" most people ask. Yes, we eat there. Most people go to Brasil for coffee or Hawaiian Punch-like hibiscus tea, but we always order the same thing: the spicy chicken salad sandwich. Most chicken salad sandwiches are little more than shr...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Country Club - Harrisburg Country Club

    Trick answer: As you may have guessed by the street name, the Harrisburg Country Club is not a country club at all, but an exceptionally cheeky icehouse, and a fine example of the genre at that. "Just good folks" and "Just good food," promise the sig...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Event That No One Thought Would Ever Happen - Opening of the Historic Oaks of Allen Parkway

    For almost 20 years Allen Parkway Village, the sprawling 963-unit public-housing project just east of downtown, was at the heart of a class war that pitted a small band of tenants and affordable-housing advocates against the Housing Authority of the ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Steamed Dumplings - Lai Lai Dumpling House

    Darkened windows prevent you from seeing inside this tiny storefront restaurant next to the Diho Market in the "new" Chinatown. You might even think it's closed. But open the door and you'll discover a hidden treasure. All dumplings are handmade to o...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Speed Trap - Memorial Drive/Woodway, from Loop 610 through Memorial Park to Crestwood

    Ask most cops about the favorite HPD speed traps, and they'll chuckle. After all, speeders are everywhere in Houston. Traffic enforcement is like radar-shooting SUVs in a barrel. Perhaps a few miles over the limit can be tolerated in most areas, simp...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Car for Houston Roads - High-mobility multipurpose wheeled vehicle (Humvee/Hummer)

    Elegance and efficiency. Durability with at least a dab of uniqueness. Houstonians aren't that different from drivers elsewhere. We want the best of all worlds: tungsten toughness combined with soft leather. Consumers pick the SUVs, the E-cars -- For...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Local Boy Gone Bad - District G City Councilman Bert Keller

    If anyone wants to dent a squeaky-clean political image in the course of one evening, look no further than the unfortunate 39-year-old Bert Keller for pointers. First the councilman, who was already estranged from wife Susan, took off after an Astros...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Drive-thru Java - Starbucks

    It's a wonder traffic doesn't grind to a halt as the luxury SUV crowd does a double-take at the competing Starbucks stores at the corners of West Gray at Shepherd. After all, they just need their mid-afternoon java jolt -- not another decision to mak...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Hidden Neighborhood - Forest Hill

    It's not hidden if you live there, of course, but for plenty of us who've arrived at thinking-about-home-buying age in the last few years, it's all about -- in words lifted from the housewarming invitation of one recent arrival -- "East side, baby!" ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Use for the Astrodome - Mock naval battles

    The poor Dome. The former Eighth Wonder of the World has to sit there helplessly and watch as, right across the parking lot, construction crews build the new NFL stadium that has a contract out to kill it. The humiliation is compounded by the endless...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Explanation of a Traffic Accident - "...and then we were flying"

    On a Thursday morning last December, two automobiles collided at the T intersection of Hillcroft and Skyline. One car, traveling south on Hillcroft, was attempting a left turn onto Skyline when it slammed into a northbound vehicle. It's impossible to...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Dot-com Ad Campaign - www.GroceryWorks.com

    Some folks think they're creepy, but we like the various foods that have taken on the personae of animals in the company's billboard campaign around the city. They have a banana that looks like an octopus, cherries made to resemble an ant, a watermel...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Play Table Tennis - Houston Table Tennis Center

    For most of us, table tennis (it was called Ping-Pong in our day) was a game best played in the rec room with Uncle Charlie and a few of your Little League team buddies. One visit to the Houston Table Tennis Center on West Bellfort, and you'll realiz...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Golf Hole - No. 4, Stables Course, Old Orchard Golf Club

    The fundamental fantasy of the golfing world is that best is supposed to be brutal. Year after year, Houston hackers hold the notion that tribute should be paid to the toughest holes. Of course, that ignores the basic premise that this game is geared...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Name for a Dry Cleaners - $1.39? Dry Clean

    For a year, Vijay Grrala called his dry cleaners, located in a strip mall at Westheimer and Kirkwood, The Kirkwood Dry Clean. Situated down the mall sidewalk from an H-E-B and Half Price Books, it seemed a boring little name for a boring little dry c...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Zoo Animal - Orangutan, Houston Zoo, Hermann Park, (713)523-5888

    Most of the animals at the zoo don't seem to care too much about visitors. They eat or pee or groom themselves or loll about, oblivious to the prying eyes and children's cries. But the orangutan knows what's going on. When a crowd gathers on the othe...

    on September 21, 2000
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