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  • 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
  • Article

    Best Bookstore for Poetry - Bookstop

    "My business is words. Words are like labels / Or coins, or better, like swarming bees," writes Anne Sexton, in Said the Poet to the Analyst. The shrink may have tried Thorazine to subdue Sexton's swarm, but the tenacious buzzing persists. Her works ...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Tube Trip - Howell's Tire Supply

    Not for us the overhyped Guadalupe, with its clear-water views of overboard Revos and its drunk-flotillas gummed together like fire ants in a flash flood. Give us instead the Colorado, a true Texan's Texas river, greenish on a good day, brownish on m...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Tofu/Soy Products - Thanh Son-Hien Khanh

    Bean curd doesn't have to be tasteless, especially if you can buy it fresh. Thanh Son-Hien Khanh makes its tofu daily. Unlike the packaged stuff, which can have a tinge of sourness to it and behave with the consistency of an eraser, this tofu is soft...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Birthday Present - Gulf Coast's salute to the University of Houston Creative Writing Program

    UH's Creative Writing Program turned 20 this year, and in its honor, the literary magazine Gulf Coast devoted its summer 2000 issue to essays, stories and poems by the program's alumni and professors. The fat issue (303 pages, about twice the magazin...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Buy CDs by Local Musicians - www.420radio.com

    Okay, we're cheating here. Obviously you can't buy -- in the traditional sense of the word -- CDs at this Web site. What you can do, however, is find MP3s of local and regional bands, then with a few mouse clicks, make a purchase. The site is essenti...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Beer Selection - The Flying Saucer Draught Emporium

    Few Best of Houston categories are as clear-cut as this. Just count the taps. The newly opened Flying Saucer, in the newly renamed St. Germain building (it's known to real Houstonians as the H.S. Kress building), has 85 draft beer taps flowing. If no...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Mexican Bakery - La Victoria

    On weekends, cars wedge into the small lot of this service station-turned-panaderia, with most people hoofing it from distant parking spaces down the street. They know. They've been warring over parking spots every year for the last two decades or so...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Place to Learn "The Whip" - SSQQ Dance Studio

    Before you get too excited, you should know that SSQQ stands for slow, slow, quick, quick, not sadomasochists squealing and quivering quietly. And instruction in "The Whip" has more to do with fancy footwork than learning how to inflict a blow that w...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Do-It-Yourself Nature Park - The woods on 11th Street in Timbergrove Manor

    Just west of the Heights, in the largely undiscovered subdivision of Timbergrove Manor, sit 21 acres of pine-tree-filled land, one of the largest such plots left inside the Loop. The land is owned by the Houston Independent School District, and resid...

    on September 21, 2000
  • Article

    Best Store in the Galleria - Discovery Channel store

    The Galleria is filled with stores trying to sell you stuff that you never knew you needed, but at least there's one whose merchandise can help you learn a thing or two. The Discovery Channel store is, not surprisingly, an offshoot of cable's Discove...

    on September 21, 2000
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