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.

READERS' CHOICE: Chicken Wing

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.

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.

Watching Stephanie Bennett work with dogs is not quite like watching a dog whisperer, but it's close. At Peace Love Dogs, her facility in Spring Branch, she carefully observes and gives positive reinforcement to both pooch and pet parent. She's patient and, most important, realistic. Her guidance is designed for what is best for the animal, understanding that all dogs are different. From group classes to one-on-one training, Bennett and her team at Peace Love Dogs are as good as it gets, no matter what the breed or temperament.

READERS' CHOICE: Yuppie Dog

B-Cycle may not necessarily be brand-new, but the bike-sharing service is in the middle of a huge expansion, thanks to a $3.5 million grant from the Federal Highway Administration. With that money, Houston B-Cycle is nearly tripling its service, adding 71 new stations across the city and 568 new bikes. Rice University will be getting eight new stations in November alone, and there will be another 14 in the Texas Medical Center and three more in the Museum District. The rest will be placed over the next two years, with the end result being more than 100 stations and nearly 800 bikes.

If it seems like there is a mattress store on every street corner in Houston, that's because there often is. It takes something special to stand out in such a labyrinth of franchises, and Texas Mattress Makers found it in the soothing voice of founder and Israeli emigre Youval Meicler, who narrates the company's TV spots in a tone that might as well be a lullaby. Priced competitively with your neighborhood strip mall's Mattresses R Us, Texas Mattress Makers brings an artisanal degree of craftsmanship to one of the most fundamental decisions a family will ever make. As Meicler points out, at Texas Mattress Makers they build mattresses every single day.

Cactus Music

Browsing Cactus is overwhelming at first. The more you flip through every record and CD, the more you realize truly how long it would take you to finish. Not only does Cactus's expansive library include all your essential classics and alt-rock chart-toppers, but the staff also has a good eye for local gems — and excels at promoting them with album release parties. Those events are one of the store's great draws, featuring not only local acts, like Buxton and The Mighty Orq, but also touring acts, like Wild Belle and Titus Andronicus's Patrick Stickles, who play on the store's small stage and interact with the crowd in an intimate setting. You don't need an excuse to go — but if you want one, the beer is often free.

READERS CHOICE: Cactus Music

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