Walking into Game Over is like walking back into childhood. The store is completely packed with beloved old hits reaching from before Atari to the present generation. Game Over also traffics in all kinds of obscure and hard-to-find titles, accessories and systems like the Philips CD-i and Japanese imports. You literally never know what you're going to find when you walk in, but among the shelves you'll hear delighted squeal after delighted squeal as gamers stumble across gaming treasures long forgotten. Ask the staff for helpful advice on maintenance of vintage systems so your purchases will keep going strong.

If you're a geek who loves non-digital games, you may have already met the folks from Ettin Games even if you've never stepped in their store. At local conventions, they show up not only to sell their wares, but to help others discover new games via their board game library. These folks love gaming, and when you make the trip up to their store, you'll find the latest and greatest games and plenty of table room to play them. For those looking for more structured gaming, Ettin also participates in Friday Night Magic and D&D Adventurer's League, among other weekly events. If you're looking to make some friends and chuck some dice, this is your place.

It has a little more competition these days, but Rockin' Robin still is synonymous with where to go when something goes wrong, but also when it goes right; like when it's time to roll over all that gig money into some new gear. With a full-time repair shop and a fine selection of just about anything with strings (plus keyboards, drums, amps, pedals, cases, etc.), the store on Shepherd with the iconic Stevie Ray Vaughan mural has been serving Houston musicians since 1972, the same year Exile on Main St and Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders From Mars were released. Helping you pick out the proper instrument — or even teaching you how to play it — is a staff of musicians from every corner of the Houston music scene, among them Chlorine, Giant Kitty, Snit's Dog & Pony Show, Oceans of Slumber, Bagheera/Wrestlers and many more. Even if you're just looking for a pair of drumsticks, Stevie won't steer you wrong.

READERS' CHOICE: Guitar Center — Houston

Finding a great auto mechanic can be like stumbling across a winning lottery ticket blowing across a parking lot. There are plenty of "good" mechanics across the Houston area, but Bruno Vazquez at Bayon Auto Service in the Heights has consistently gone the extra mile for customers who aren't put off by the shop's hole-in-the-wall appearance. Stories of going the extra mile for customers are common, from having guys arrive at a broken-down vehicle and pushing the car to Bayon Auto, or not charging for unnecessary work. That kind of service and his honest estimates for needed work are hard to beat, and earn Vazquez honors for best mechanic in Houston.

READERS' CHOICE: Yale Automotive

Houston has a fair number of historic cemeteries. One of the oldest is Washington Cemetery (its rather modest entrance is on Washington). Started in 1875, the then Deutsche Gesellschaft von Houston was outside the city limits. Today it's just a few short blocks west of downtown. There was a name change in 1887 to the German Society Cemetery and another in 1918 to Washington Cemetery. There are lots of Civil War veterans interred there. Among the most notable is Sarah Emma (Edmonds) Seelye. She disguised herself as Franklin Thompson and joined the war, serving for two years as a solider and scout in the Union Army.

Sadly not blessed with a sweet nickname like the "Disco Kroger" in Montrose, the behemoth at Buffalo Speedway and Westpark could nonetheless swallow that one for breakfast. This place is so big it deserves its own ZIP code, but the important thing about its size is it never feels crowded even if you're there right after Lakewood Church has just let out across 59. You could explore here for weeks and never even come across the aisles of organic products tucked behind the produce, but luckily the beer and wine island is located square in the middle of the store and thus very, very hard to miss. The store also has plenty of room for regional delicacies amid all the mass-produced stuff; we're partial to Mrs. Renfro's salsas and relishes out of Fort Worth. Needless to say, this Kroger also carries plenty of amenities that people in River Oaks and West U need, like free wireless, an olive bar, a bakery island and a deli case that never runs dry.

READERS' CHOICE: Central Market

It's too bad that most people only know about this local law because of all the convoluted legal wrangling. It's too bad that many people only know it as "The Bathroom Bill" and believe it was designed solely to give predators easy access to children. It's too bad the Texas Supreme Court suspended it, and it's too bad that it may face extinction after November. Because for a while there, it served as a nice reminder that Houston wasn't going to put up with discrimination of any kind. If you didn't think it was necessary, just think about the backlash against it and, well, there's half the proof. This should have been a no-brainer, and we hope that in our next "Best of Houston" issue, we can include it as "Best Surviving New Law."

From the Wonky Power HQ on Navigation Boulevard, Mario Rodriguez is gradually showing Houston what the city sounds like in the 21st century. Rodriguez himself is a member of two of Houston's most adventurous rock bands, Tax the Wolf and Satellite D'Homme; his other band, Bang Bangz, is the group you want onstage (or in your earbuds) when it's time for a little late-night electro mood music. But WP's eclectic roster also has several solo acts who create their own kind of bespoke dance music with laptops and mixers instead of guitars and keyboards, among them George West, Jerk, Rex Hudson and this year's Free Press Summer Fest breakout act, "digital cumbia" auteur Gio Chamba. Wonky Power has also set aside part of its compound as a venue known as Wonky Power Live, and also produces its own Daytrotter-like online performance sessions. Because few small indie labels can be expected to sell many actual records anymore, they must be creative in coming up with other ways to promote their artists' careers. That doesn't seem to be much of a problem over at Wonky Power.

Taking the vows traditionally has been reserved for churches and traditional wedding facilities. But if it's something unique you crave for your special day, consider a trip to one of the most beautiful monuments to art deco architecture around, at the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. Literally the site of the original Hobby Airport air traffic control tower, the facility has been painstakingly renovated for years and is available for your nuptials. If you're considering a Great Gatsby theme wedding, well, your prayers have been answered.

READERS' CHOICE: The Bell Tower on 34th

Wine can be tricky. There are so many kinds and so many bottles of it, and let's not even get into the question of whether it was a very good year. Sometimes you know exactly what you want and you can walk into a store and rattle off the name and get it, but at other times all you've got to go on is that it was good, red and not crazy-expensive and there was a duck on the label. That's where the guys over at Premier Wine and Liquor come in. While some liquor store employees might balk at trying to help you figure out what you're looking for, Premier is always ready to unravel the mystery and get you the right wine. Plus, the store has a nice selection of wines, including the fancy stuff, the sort that the average person can afford to open on a run-of-the-mill Wednesday and the more obscure bottles that can be tricky to find. You can walk into this store — which is located on Yale — with only the vaguest memory of what you're looking for and the guys at Premier will match you up with the wine you actually want.

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