Foley's downtown emporium, which occupies an entire city block on Main Street, has long been the flagship location of the chain's 70 or so stores. In its heyday (the chain was founded in Houston more than a hundred years ago just a few blocks from the downtown location), it featured nine wonderful floors of shopping. That's down to five now, but, oh, what lovely floors they are! The company was recently bought out by Macy's, and execs are promising that it will mean little more than a name change. The store's reputation for moderately priced merchandise, lavish displays, an abundance of choices and commitment to service will supposedly stay the same. We're keeping our fingers crossed.
Jewel Dean is more than a boutique owner, she's a fashion expert. And she's generous with her expertise. Customers at her store will find wigs, makeup, dresses, body forms (translation: fake breasts) and shoes in special sizes (translation: giant), but they'll also find a warm, supportive atmosphere. Not to mention a lot of delicately worded truth ("You might want to stay away from plaid, dear"). Not sure how to cinch in that waist without cutting off your ability to breathe? Jewel can help you. Want to draw attention away from your broad shoulders? Jewel knows how. Want to high-five someone when you find that perfect pair of pumps? Jewel's your girl.
Gassing up your car has become a budget-breaking experience, but you can make the trip a little more pleasant by going to the Shell station off 290 and West 43rd. There are plenty of pumps, so there's no waiting. The shopette features fresh fruit and pastries, along with beer and wine, CDs and lotto tickets. There's a car wash, too, and (this is the good part) clean bathrooms. Have to stop for gas after 10 p.m.? This station is well lit and safe. Now, if they could only do something about those outrageous gas prices...
Aquarium World
Whether your interest is in freshwater or saltwater fish, the best place to buy your finned pets is Aquarium World. Not only is the selection of animals and aquatic-type products one of the largest in the county, but the staff is extraordinarily helpful and knowledgeable about all things fishy. At Aquarium World, you'll find close to a hundred tanks filled with swimming creatures of all colors, shapes and sizes, from the exotic to the mundane. Thirsting for even more knowledge? Visit the store's Web site to learn about basic fish care or pick up helpful tips on how to start an aquarium.

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