Sunny Flea Market is enormous, a labyrinth loaded with a seemingly endless supply of country western gear, jewelry, movies, soccer equipment, Pokémon cards, gardening tools, cooking utensils, shiny speakers, sandals, jeans and dresses. The amount of vendors is essentially overwhelming, so be sure to take a break and hit up the stalls selling burritos, enchiladas, fresh-fruit juices and smoothies, not to mention booze. Don't forget to bring cash.

READERS' CHOICE: Traders Village

This aptly named mall combines the best of North, South and Central American shopping culture. When it was still Sharpstown Mall, it was the go-to place for diamond grills and other personalized jewelry, custom airbrushing services, hip-hop T-shirts and top-of-the-line footwear. As PlazAmericas, it combines those features with many of the mainstays of a vast Latin American mercado, including an indoor flea market and several quinceañera stores. It also features iFix iPhone Repair, one of Houston's few phone repair shops with both the expertise and the willingness to repair outdated smartphones. Best of all, the food court supplies the diverse meriendas, onces and bocadillos of a quick trip to the streets of Guatemala City or Bogota, but with air-conditioning.

Arne's Texas Size Party Store is the place to go no matter what type of party you're throwing. Aisle upon aisle is filled with a multitude of balloons, cups, leis, ponchos, banners, placemats, flowers and glow sticks. We could spend hours just taking in all the colors. Whether you're looking for penis-shaped bachelorette party favors, quinceañera tiaras fit for a 15-year-old birthday queen, or an entire aisle devoted to St. Patrick's Day, you'll find it at this Houston institution.


Some folks might have to take out a second mortgage to afford a Cortigiani jacket or pair of Moreschi oxfords, but for men of means Taghi's is the go-to tailor in H-Town. Since 1984, Ali Taghi and his family have been outfitting wealthy Houstonians (and TNT sportscaster Craig Sager) from their small shop across from the Galleria, including de rigueur accessories like cuff links, key fobs and tie bars. Amir Taghi, Ali's nephew, is a rising star in his own right who broke through with his 2014 line at New York's Fashion Week. Even if browsing their Web site is as close to you'll ever come to wearing anything in the store, Taghi's can still show you how to appreciate the finer things in life.

The small house on the corner of South Shepherd and Welch might not look like much, but inside you'll find an expert staff who've been maintaining Houston's watches and clocks since 1947. No matter how delicate or complicated your timepiece is, these are the people who probably can fix it, and the repairs will be handled quickly and at low cost. In a town where very few things last, there's a reason this shop has been around almost 70 years.

A third-generation stylist, Martin Orgeron has been working his magic for nearly 30 years on all kinds of clientele — guys and gals — from the frou-frou to the blue collar. The New Orleans native with a colorful Cajun accent and down-home charm moved to the Bayou City in the late 1980s, where he established himself as a true talent. But all you need to concern yourself with is his attention to detail — the precision and pride he brings to every cut, perm, color, highlight and condition. He'll help you look your best and make you feel like a million bucks.

Selling everything from Sylvia Plath to Howard Zinn to contemporary best-sellers, Brazos Bookstore is the kind of shop where you lose track of time browsing titles. If you're the kind of reader who's so indecisive (or insatiable) that you can't quit reading the jackets of almost every single book in sight, start with the helpful recommendations and reviews left by the staff right on the shelves. You can also find like-minded bookworms in the Brazos Book Club, or check out the frequent events Brazos hosts, including readings, screenings, release parties and book signings.

READERS' CHOICE: Half Price Books

Whether you're new to yoga or on an elevated plane, the flowmasters at Joy Yoga understand that everyone's path is unique and only ask that you be enthusiastic and keep an open mind. Yogis attend for different reasons, from needing a form of exercise that won't damage the body, to having the kind of job that feels like a gauntlet, to pursuing their own journey toward becoming an instructor. Classes are varied, ranging from prenatal classes and those that focus on core and precision or revival and relaxation, to super-intensive power and cardio classes such as Insanity and Rock Your Flow. We like that it's easy to see which instructors are teaching, and Joy Yoga updates its website regularly if a substitute is scheduled.

READERS' CHOICE: Joy Yoga Center

Lana Gooding can handle just about any design request, whether you're looking for a simple Astrodome icon on your arm or fancy the full-body coverage of a lifelong sailor. She'll ink up whatever you want, wherever you want it. But it's her bedside manner that keeps clients coming back again and again. She can sense when they're in pain, even after they've said, "No, I'm fine," a half-dozen times. In those moments, she pulls away the tattoo gun, offers a kind look and says, "Breathe." She's so calm, collected and quick, it's no wonder Houston's ink-lovers follow her wherever she's set up shop.


It's only called "Boot City" because "Boot, Jeans, Belt, Hat, Dresses, Outerwear, and Accessories City" takes up too much space. But really, there's no better place to get in touch with your inner urban cowboy. Cavender's has western gear for the whole family, and with decent prices, you won't have to worry about them lassoing your wallet. We're talking Larro, Stetson, Wrangler and plenty more. We especially love the Rock & Roll Cowboy line. Whether you want to dress to impress at the rodeo or just don't feel right without a quality pair of boots on your feet, look no further than Cavender's.

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