Black Heritage Gallery
Local artist Joan Bristow has works on display at Black Heritage Gallery, a venue she likes for its diversity. Bristow hails from Trinidad and paints images on silk. She is having some framed at the store, which is how we learned about the small space cozied up next to Green's Barbecue on Almeda. A friend of ours from Austin was having a work framed at Black Heritage Gallery and asked us to pick it up. We walked in and were mesmerized by the beautiful artwork for sale. Owner Robbie Lee says the store has been open for 24 years, 15 in its current location. Other noted local artists include Leshaun Beal, known for painting beautiful black women with flowers; Patricia Perry Sinex, whose paintings have a Grandma Moses feel to them except they feature African-Americans; Lionel Lofton's ink drawings; Gail Penrice's whimsical silhouettes of black women; and the bold and colorful watercolors of Andrew L. Thompson. The art is for sale, and the shop also carries reasonably priced masks, jewelry, ornaments, dolls, greeting cards and other knickknacks with African-American-inspired images.
So, your boyfriend went back to his wife? Your shrink's out of the country? Someone else won your Pulitzer Prize? For every reason you have to get a tattoo, there's a place in town that can do it. But if you wanna get inked right, we suggest you head straight for Miss Fortune. Don't let the punny name scare you -- they've been permanently decorating Houstonians for almost a decade now. And with thousands of designs to choose from, they're sure to have just the right embellishment for your epidermis. But remember: While most of life's misfortunes are temporary, a tattoo is forever.

God only knows who would sell their copy of End on End by Rites of Spring, but aren't you glad somebody did? Because CD Warehouse had this kick-ass Washington, D.C., rock band priced at only $3.99, just one of the many treasures buried in this chain of discount CD stores. The stores are well organized and understated -- forget sales clerks in matching shirts and Backstreet Boys music blaring in the background as you shop. You can listen to the CDs before you buy them, and the price of most used CDs hovers just under $10. Sure, you might have to flip through Joey Lawrence's debut album (fairly priced at $1.99) to get to the good stuff. But isn't the search half the fun?
Mega-stands may come and go, but Globe is forever. In business since 1961, Globe News is not only the best, it's also the oldest. And it has the musty smell that a newsstand should have. Its selection covers the waterfront of publishing from newsweeklies and monthlies to sports to photography to music to food. Daily newspapers from around the country in front; porn from around the world in back.

On the front end of the Honda Civic, at least a mid-'90s model, there is a splash guard that rides very low to the road. It frequently hits the pavement when being driven out of parking lots or up to concrete parking blocks. After a couple of years of abuse, the splash guard gets detached. The Honda dealership service department charges a pretty penny to replace it, which they've had to do a couple of times because they claimed it couldn't be fixed. The most recent time it was barely hanging onto the car, we drove the Civic into Montrose Tire & Automotive, expecting they'd need to order a new splash guard, and that we'd bring it back when the part was in. Didn't happen. The folks at Montrose Tire & Automotive put it up on the hoist and fixed it for us -- that's right, no need to replace the whole thing -- in less than 20 minutes while we waited. And even after we told them we were expecting to pay handsomely as we had in the past, they finished up the work and sent us on our way -- "no charge; just come again."

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