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  • Article

    Best Ballpark Vendor - Arnie the Peanut Dude

    The Astros have tanked, and the pitchers can't get anybody out, but one guy at "Homeron" Field is still consistently throwing strikes: Arnie the Peanut Dude, who hurls his roasted wares across entire sections to waving fans and nails 'em in the mitts...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bookstore - Brazos Bookstore

    You won't encounter a "mystery" section at Brazos Bookstore; nor can you order a mocha au lait. A fabulous collection of books and a knowledgeable staff are this classy enclave's draw. Brazos clearly places quality over quantity. Perusing the literat...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Patio - The Terrace on Main, Warwick Hotel

    Houston boosters are fond of reminding the uninitiated that Bob Hope once said the view from the Warwick penthouse was the most beautiful he had ever seen. If only the Main Street Coalition had as juicy a celebrity quote about the hotel at street lev...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Billboard - Tony's signage on the Southwest Freeway at Kirby

    To grab your attention, billboards should be as explosive as a child's temper tantrum, and just as unsubtle. Vasectomy reversal! Who's the father?! When half's not enough! The best billboards are amusing as much for what they don't say as for what th...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Museum Gift Shop - Houston Museum of Natural Science

    Make this one plural, as in Best Shops. The Houston Museum of Natural Science severs the traditional museum gift store into a parent-and-child participatory sport. Mom and Dad -- or just those without children -- get their consumer time in the fairly...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Community Newspaper - El Da

    If Houston's Spanish-speaking community has a paper of record, El Da is it. More than simply recap police blotter sagas, this daily diligently covers news affecting the city's diverse Hispanic community that otherwise wouldn't get covered. El Da ha...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Mobile Barbecue Pit - The Gator Pit

    The Houston makers of this device tout it as "the ultimate tailgate barbecue pit." What you have is your basic steel drum-style cooker that you can use in your backyard or attach to the back of your car or truck and haul to the beach, park or ball ga...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Restoration Project - Rothko Chapel

    After a year and a half with its doors shut for a $1.8 million face-lift, the Rothko Chapel reopened in June, radiating renewed richness in its muted simplicity. The renovation work reached from the ground up, bringing the shrine closer to what Rothk...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Florist - In Bloom

    Scott McCool is Houston's florist to the stars. He won't name the names of the socialites on his roster of 1,800 accounts, but he will tell us that his designers have spruced up events at the Museum of Fine Arts, the Alley Theatre and the River Oaks ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Drive-thru Bank - Bank of America

    Where else but on the gentrifying Washington Avenue can you find a slick Bank of America a stone's toss from junkyards, dive bars and diners? With 11 (yes, 11) drive-thru slots, this drive-up darling in the shadow of downtown fills up around lunchtim...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Used Clothing - Buffalo Exchange

    The problem with thrift stores is that they require too much work: To find that vintage western shirt, or that trendy fresh-from-the-mall sundress, you have to paw through racks of stained or ripped goods that honestly weren't all that desirable to b...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Live Window-Dressing - North Beach Leather

    If you think leather is just for bulky bomber jackets and boring loafers, the North Beach girls will make you think again. Posing at the door of the Galleria store, these leathered-up ladies are more likely to be dressed in hot pink hot pants, turquo...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Junkyard - Pick-n-Pull

    Like a Glamour magazine list of fashion don'ts, Pick-n-Pull's proscriptions for maintaining junkyard etiquette, hanging directly in front of the place's South Shaver entrance, are equally as mind-numbing. Some deserve mentioning: 5. No open-toed shoe...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Developer - Pierce Scarpulla Development Group

    In Houston, real estate development is a business dominated by stereotypes: the good ol' boy, the profit-at-all-costs mentality, the belief that any structure more than 25 years old needs to be torn down and replaced with something shiny and new, not...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Pool Guy - Bill Jordan

    Bill Jordan is too nice a guy to be in the pool business, a rare dolphin in a sea of sharks. Swimming pools, as their owners well know, are subject to a host of problems, and to deal with them requires an incongruent knowledge of chemistry, construct...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bike Shop - Shirar's Bicycle Store

    When asked how he could be leading bike rides well into his eighties, B.M. Shirar always replied, "I eat a banana every day." B.M. died nine years ago, but his bicycle shop -- the nation's oldest, according to B.M.'s grandson and the current propriet...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Microbrewery - Saint Arnold Brewing Company

    The Best Microbrewery prize easily goes to... the only microbrewery in Houston! That stated, Saint Arnold produces a revolving selection of beers and ales that really are, if you happen to be a serious devotee of the brewmaster's art, excellent. The ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Beat Road Rage - Cullen Center park

    Afternoon rush hour. Traffic oozes south from the Cullen Center garage and north from Brazos Street, battling for the turn that will take commuters onto the Interstate 45 ramp at Pease. Others are roaring off the exit ramp onto Jefferson. The light t...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Get Flavored Condoms Free - AIDS Foundation Houston

    Has this ever happened to you? You're with your beloved for a night of freaky-sneaky, hanky-spanky action. Then you realize -- oh, damn -- you're all out of flavored condoms. You could do the whole thing manually with some regular rubbers and a bottl...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Rest Stop - Interstate 10, one mile west of FM 1489 in Brookshire

    The Texas Department of Transportation has the cookie-cutter approach to rest stops. Most of them are no more than off- and on-ramps from freeways, where the harried masses of motorists huddle at basic tables as traffic roars by a few yards away. The...

    on September 21, 2000
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