In many ways, Braes Heights seems more like Rice Village than Rice Village. First, there's the food: It's home to iconic and storied local eateries in Molina's Cantina, and two Village refugees in Fuzzy's Pizza and one of the last redoubts of the once-sprawling Antone's po-boy empire, not to mention Hunan's, an ­unpretentious time warp to the '80s Chinese-American place much like the closed Fu's Garden in the Village. (And then there are the smoothies at Dan's Vitamin House.) Imagination Toys and Shoes reminds us of the Village's long-gone and much-lamented mainstay World Toy and Gift Shop. There's a good, old-fashioned, honest-to-God, red-white-and-blue-polled barbershop, much like the Village's long-departed Times Barber Shop. Just seeing the name I.W. Marks takes us back to good times in the Astrodome and the late Big Irv Marks's plenitude of TV commercials: "Come see us, come see us and save." All that fun and nostalgia comes in an attractive, two-story, clean-lined Mid-Century mod architectural package. Sure, there's a nail salon in the strip mall itself and a CVS next door — those are required by Harris County ordinance. (Just kidding). But this remains our favorite strip mall in town.

Some 80 years of careful planning and pruning have gone into creating the Bayou Bend gardens we see today. Originally the home of Houston socialite and philanthropist Ima Hogg, the house and grounds were donated to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in 1957. By that time, Miss Hogg and her troop of gardeners had carved an oasis out of a dense thicket, planting nine gardens. The formal gardens include classic statues and water fountains among the neatly cultivated grounds, filled with yaupon hedges, azaleas, ferns and rotund pine trees. Located farthest away from the house is the informal white garden, where white tulips, azaleas, gardenias and dogwood abound. The wild ravines and thicket that surround Bayou Bend are a wonderful contrast to the well-tended gardens, both of which managed to survive the recent drought intact.

It's all local, all the time at this enormously popular market that also functions as a full-service butcher shop, coffee bar and bistro. The latter two take up half of the store's small footprint, while the other side is packed with everything from house-made soy sauce to lard-laced pizza crusts (frozen and ready to top) made with fat from owner Morgan Weber's own Mangalitsa pigs. You can get house-cured bacon and farm-fresh produce, Slow Dough bread and Dairy Maids cheese, Bernie's Burger Bus ketchup and Amaya coffee — whatever you need to stock your all-local larders, Revival has it.

There must be this unwritten rule that tailor shops should look like buildings forgotten to time, with faded mannequins in the window and fabric scraps and ripped thread all over the floor. Think of your grandmother's junk room. This makes it hard to distinguish good tailors from bad tailors, so the work really ends up speaking for itself. At Mr. Santos's shop, the work is exquisite and the turnover is quick, but you'll pay a premium for it. If you're taking something in to be altered, expect him to spend a good half hour with you during the fitting. He specializes in wedding dresses, which, with their beading and lace, are often complicated to alter. Most recently for us, he took in a vintage dress with detailed embroidery on the bodice. It took two days (and was ready a day before it was promised).

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