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  • Article

    Best Weathercaster - Wayne Dolcefino

    Yes, we know. Wayne's not really a weathercaster. This investigative reporter would rather be chasing down unethical pothole fillers than tracking weather patterns. But when Tropical Storm Allison hit Houston hard, Wayne Dolcefino was there. Before i...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Hole in the Roof - Skyspace by James Turrell

    It looks like a painting, a 12-foot square field of blue, oddly placed on the ceiling of the simple Quaker meeting room. But this painting is alive, deepening in color and drawing you in as the sun sets outside. It's the sky, you realize. Light arti...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bathroom - Boulevard Bistrot

    Judging by the interiors of most restaurants, restaurateurs usually don't care deeply about art. Monica Pope is the exception. Her Boulevard Bistrot has art on the plates, on the walls and even in the bathrooms. In fact, the atmosphere of the lavator...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Pocket Park - JP Morgan Chase Park

    Settle into the wrought-iron chairs. They are spread on the grounds at the base of the seven-story, girder-crossed mural painted by Suzanne Sellers on the adjacent Houston Club Building. And savor this new oasis of what used to be nothing more than a...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best New Downtown Bar - Grasshopper/Red Lights

    When it comes to drinking, we prefer to imbibe free of industrial dance beats and blinding strobes. Of course, we don't mind the beautiful people who tend to gather at those high-tech nightclubs. That's the great thing about Grasshopper/Red Lights: D...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best New Construction - Jones Plaza renovation, Bricker & Cannady Architects, project designer Mark Wamble

    Critic Ann Holmes once called Jones Plaza the single most hostile block in Houston. It was stark and forbidding, built so high off the street that passersby couldn't see its top. It sat essentially unused except for events like Party on the Plaza. Th...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Pounded Yams - African Variety Food Store

    "The world was silent except for the shrill cry of insects, which was part of the night, and the sound of wooden mortar and pestle as Nwayieke pounded her foo-foo," writes Chinua Achebe in his 1959 novel Things Fall Apart. He is describing a scene as...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Dog Whisperer - Pete Stewart

    Got a pampered pooch with persistent problems? We heard about Pete Stewart's Good Manners Dog Obedience School through a friend who owns three huskies. Figuring someone with a pack of dogs oughta know, we checked it out for ourselves. Like most "pare...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Combination Pawnshop and Wedding Chapel - Kipperman's Pawn Shop

    A scratchy tape of "The Wedding March" blasts from a boom box in a room in Kipperman's Pawn Shop, the walls of which are painted pink and gold with a mural of flowers splashed across one wall in hues of Mercurochrome and MD 20-20. Owner Ted Kipperman...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Vintage Clothing - The Way We Wore

    Like connoisseurs of fine wine, vintage shoppers have their high standards. While those in search of the perfect merlot might sniff the cork, hold the glass up to the light and sip with discernment, vintage clothing shoppers must know: Are there any ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Bakery - Acadian Bakers

    A few weeks back we heard a woman walk into the bakery and say she was new to the neighborhood and needed to find a good place to order a cake for her mother's upcoming birthday celebration. If there were such a thing as the dessert jackpot, this wom...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best African-Mexican Food Store - Mex-African Foods

    Here's an only-in-Houston experience that defies easy explanation. The owner dresses in authentic Nigerian garb, and the music pulses with the beat of big African drums. And the place sells African, Caribbean and Yucatecan cooking ingredients. If you...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Cheese Selection - Spec's Liquor Warehouse

    If they don't have the kind of cheese you want, and it's available in the United States, they'll find it and order some. That's one mighty big if, though, with a selection in the neighborhood of something like 500 different cheeses, with 588 ("weighe...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy Stuffed Animals - Animal Creations

    Lions and tigers and bears -- oh, my! You'll find these creatures plus monkeys and turtles and alligators at Animal Creations. All sorts of fuzzy friends await you in this plush menagerie. Like the jungle, Animal Creations is home to a varied and div...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Yerbera - Yerbera Guadalupe

    From an unassuming shopping strip off Bellaire Boulevard, Francisco Garza offers customers "cures" for their heartbreaks and health woes in the best healing tradition of Mexico. His yerbera is chock-full of the teas, herbs, soaps and votive candles ...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Watch Repair - Wheeler Watch Clinic

    For more than 30 years the Wheeler Watch Clinic sat near the grubby corner of Wheeler and Main. Now it's nowhere to be found on Wheeler. Don't worry. It kept the name, but moved down the street more than a year ago. Now the modest little shop sits at...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy African Clothing - Citalis

    Vitalis Onu recoils at flowing, overelaborate garments that prompt onlookers to query, "Who's that prince?" For Onu, the creator of the fashion line Citalis, the key is graceful simplicity. That principle is evident throughout the native Nigerian's v...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Place to Rent Anime - Planet Anime

    For selection, you just can't beat Planet Anime. This Rice Village store has more than 2,500 tapes for rent, and many for sale, though approximately 400 were destroyed by the flood. Looking for Cowboy Bebop, BubbleGum Crisis, Martian Successor Nadesi...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Consumer Advocates - Houston Area Mental Health Advocates

    It's a widely held view that inadequate state funding for the Mental Health and Mental Retardation Authority of Harris County is to blame for the steady collapse of the local public mental health system. That's certainly how MHMRA incessantly spins t...

    on September 20, 2001
  • Article

    Best Car Wash - Minit Man Car Wash

    This business has been in operation since 1949, a pivotal year in automotive history. It was the first year Detroit issued brand-new models after the war. Back then, the average family car was almost a decade old, and Americans finally had money to p...

    on September 20, 2001
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