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  • 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 Local Terrorist - Lloyd Kelley

    Lloyd Kelley never worked for the U.S. Postal Service, but the former cop, city councilmember and controller has been living up to the standard set in the 1990s by the both-barrels-blazing mail clerks. Once a rising star in Republican political circl...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bobsledder - Meg Henderson

    Six months of the year Meg Henderson is a med student at Baylor College of Medicine. The other six months she lives in Park City, Utah, training for the 2002 Olympics with the national bobsledding team. Meg's sister, Kate, calls her the Dot Richardso...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Road to Drive When You Happen to Have Your Martini Shaker Handy and Are Thirsty - Westheimer

    So The Incredible Hulk gets ahold of our roads, and all the City of Houston can do is set up orange cones and sawhorses around the damage. Oy vey. Driving down Westheimer, specifically through the Montrose area, has become as jarring as navigating th...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Bar Decor - Dean's Credit Clothing

    Sure, we were sad to see the well-preserved grit and grime of the old Dean's go. But let's face it: The couches smelled like pee, and the dark, cluttered room was a minefield of opportunities to fall on your ass. Besides, the new yuppified version of...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Houston Comet - Sheryl Swoopes

    By now you're probably familiar with the TV promotional campaign in which pickup hoopsters are told that the women of the WNBA are "better than you are." If you're like most guys, your response goes something like, "Yeah, right." In the case of the H...

    on September 21, 2000
  • 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
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