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The Changing Face of Houston: The City That Welcomes and Transforms

The sun hovering over Houston was quickly giving way to twilight when Laura Levine approached the building off Main Street, nestled near the center of Midtown. Laura hurriedly opened the door as a METRORail train whizzed by on the street behind. As she walked up the stairs to the shop sitting above the Continental Club, Levine talked about the circumstances that led to her co-ownership of a shop of oddities open only at night in the middle of Houston.

"I grew up in Waco but always knew I'd end up in Houston. It's such a crazy, mysterious city. No zoning makes everything so much more interesting. A church next to a dive bar is quirky, yet appealing in a strange way; it keeps you on your toes. With such a colorful landscape, living in Houston is an adventure, and if you pay attention, you can discover some really cool parts of town. That's what I love most about Houston: The cool spots to go to are not obvious."

Levine, who moved here in 1995, and her partner, Mike Hildebrand, opened a vintage resale shop in the Heights named Replay on 19th Street, but it wasn't her first time to visit the city.

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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.