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  • Article

    Best Mystery - Why Lee Brown hired Jerry King as public works director

    Freshly elected in 1998, Mayor Lee Brown had a chance to add substance to his well-padded rsum by doing what predecessor Bob Lanier had only pretended to do: shore up the city's sagging infrastructure with an aggressive public works program. Lanier...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Sports Columnist - Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle

    No one is ever going to pick up the Houston Chronicle's sports pages for the sheer joy of reading; the best you can hope for is to get the basic information efficiently, unfettered by clunky current-events references ("The Astros fell to their knees ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Nonprofit - Avenue Community Development Corporation

    While most people are loath to acknowledge it, Houston's housing boom has a downside, too: higher rents and less affordable single-family housing. Avenue CDC was formed in 1991 by a handful of residents of the Sixth Ward, back when demands for inner-...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Adventure Race Series - Texas State Championship Sprint Adventure Races

    Some athletes are just plain hard to please. Take mountain bike riders, for example. You'd think traversing terrain that might cause a tank commander to rethink his route would be a sufficient challenge. But for people who compete in the Texas State ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place for a Last Date - Valentino's

    The grand doorway opens at this obscure Midtown corner on Fannin. A heavy sense of foreboding can be felt with the first step into the enormous premises. The clock freezes at the just-off-peak dining hour. Over in the hazy corner, by that faded mural...

    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 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 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 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 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
  • Article

    Best Archival Project No One Has Heard About - Crazy Cajun Records catalog

    Producer Huey Meaux was a perfect fit for Houston. Something of a wildcatter of Texas music, Meaux never showed any interest in history. His focus was always on the new thing: the next single, the latest thrill, the youngest girl. The past was only a...

    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 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 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 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
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