Shopping
1998 Readers Poll
1998 Critics Picks
Best Almost Free Wardrobe Makeover

The next time you look in your closet and see nothing you want to wear, consider actually gettting rid of it all. Bring whatever you're tired of to the used clothing buy-sell-trade store Buffalo Exchange and the ultra-hip salesgirls will pay cash or store credit for anything they think will sell. Use whatever you've made from your trade-in to buy a whole new look.

Buffalo Exchange
2904 Guadalupe
512/480-9922
www.buffaloexchange.com

Best Bargain Hunter's Paradise

This place was started by three young friends just out of college in Utah. They've been in town for less than two years and already local bargain shoppers have sniffed them out. They are a clearinghouse for several major department stores and their merchandise includes close-outs, overages, damages, and returns. 60-80% savings - always having sales - lots of white shirts.

Change Back Department Store Outlet
5806 Burnet
512/453-2421

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Bra Attendants

The ladies at this traditional undergarment shoppe know cup sizes inside out. They know what the wrong size brassiere can do to an aching back. They know the power of one little word: contour. They know that kindness, discretion, and a good sense of humor go a long way to guarantee repeat business. They know you hate to bra shop, so - after a quick and painless fitting with one of their brilliant bra-cologists - they do all the work for you. Plus they keep your statistics on a computer file for convenient future upgrades. Petticoat Fair takes the time and effort to do things the old fashioned way: One customer, one attendant, and all the time in the world to make these most important, close-to-the-heart decisions.

Petticoat Fair
7739-M Northcross
512/454-2900
www.petticoatfair.com

Best Cheap-o Horror Comics

Not only are the people who work here some of the nicest people in Austin, but the store is wisely and thoroughly stocked with all things comics-related. We like to bring boxes of our old horror comics in to trade. The Comics & More staff is so generous that we usually leave with almost as many as we came in with.

Comics & More
2104 S. Lamar
512/440-7373

Best Church Lady Thrift Store - 1

Sorting through tons of crapola to find a few rewards is part of the fun of thrift shopping, but it wears on the spirit of intrepid thrifters when store after store has been picked dry. Next to New, tended by the Ladies' Ministry of St. David's Episcopal, always has such great stock that we feel like we're the first people ever to walk over their welcome mat. Their strong suit is furniture, housewares, and costume jewelry, most of the grandma-retro aesthete. They're a little pricier than "almost free," but still way more affordable than vintage and antique stores with a good deal of comparable merchandise. Plus, their price tags tell you when the item goes through its next markdown, so if you can't spring for that tea cozy yet, maybe you can next week. When you can spring for the first price, you'll know that your money is going to a slew of good local causes. When you go, bring them your paper grocery bags!

Next to New
5435 Burnet
512/459-1288
www.next2new.org

Best Church Lady Thrift Store - 2

Laura, Debbie, and Linda were sitting in Bible study class when a bolt of lightning ripped through the walls, and an angel on horseback appeared to deliver a message about what their new mission in life was to be. Okay, we're exaggerating. But just because the message was delivered without all the grand Biblical flourish doesn't mean that it didn't have the same profound impact on their lives. Moved by the plight of a fellow Bible study student who pointed out that many - like her - were single parents, barely making it, yet working on charity events to send assistance out of town, the three friends set out to create a nonprofit to assist local single parents out of times of crisis. With time on their hands, keen business sense under their belts, and good-neighbor love in their hearts, the three big-hearted women opened Second Blessing Marketplace, the new kid on the charity thrift block (on a street full of 'em: Top Drawer, St. Michael's, Good Samaritan, Next to New, Junior League, Assistance League of Austin...). Of course, once inside, we found all sorts of stuff we absolutely had to have, but more importantly, we found a few new friends.

Second Blessing Marketplace
6506 Burnet
512/374-9393

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Counter Intelligence

I [heart] Video won a Critic's Pick in 1997 for "Best Point-of-Purchase Marketing" for their stickered-on-the-box critiques and counter-critiques from store employees. We also [heart] their tip jar and their countertop mosaic of sliced-up Blockbuster Video membership cards. They infuse new meaning to the adage "read the fine print": their receipts feature a rotating selection of bizzare contractual "agreements" above the signature line. To wit: "I may never know love, but at least I do not drink, smoke, or swear. Goddammit, I left my f@ckin' cigarettes at the bar! Shit!" And, apparently, with too much [heart] to confine to their Airport Blvd. digs, they've recently opened up a new location on the Drag.

I Luv Video
4803 Airport, 512/450-1966
www.iluvvideo.com

Best Creepy-Crawly Pet Store

Nature's dark side is on display in South Austin. Dozens of snakes twist around their logs; tarantulas stare ominously out of their little Plexiglas cages; lizards dart out from behind foliage; mice, rats, and small rabbits await their doom. The people who work here know so much about creepy crawly things that it's downright nerve-wracking, but if your snake has mites, this is the place to go for help. And they're open seven days a week!

Zoo Keeper
9012-C Research
512/453-8800

Best Gigantic Overhaul Of A Hyde Park Grocery Store

Ha, bet you thought we were going to say HEB, didn't you? Nah. Fresh Plus managed to expand considerably without losing its little grocery store charm. You don't have to run the length of four football fields to get to the eggs. And cashiers and regulars call each other by name. Much of the credit for managing to grow big and stay small goes to round-the-clock manager David Rackel, who knows how to pick awesome employees and grin in the face of scaffolding and jackhammers.

Fresh Plus
1221 West Lynn, 512/477-5574
408 E. 43rd, 512/459-8922
2917 W. Anderson, 512/419-7379
2401 San Gabriel, 512/524-1394
www.freshplusaustin.com

Best Global Overview

Map lovers are a peculiar sort. The sweet smells of the heavy paper covered with a jungle of colorful, inky lines captivates the imagination of the connoisseur of the contour. A new type of map provokes little trills of pleasure in some mysterious map organ in the brain. If this could be you, seek out Mapsco's quiet, carpeted hush for the stimulation the map-happy portions of your brain require. They have many beautiful, inexpensive maps of everywhere. Mapsco is new to Austin: Go do your part to help them figure out where it's at.

Mapsco
6406 N. I-35
512/302-9036

Best Gun Store/Gun Safety Lessons

Yes, there is actually a store behind that mysterious story-tall display case out front, and it's one of the finest of its kind. Since 1961, the McBride family has provided gun lovers with everything from the littlest garter-belt sized Derringers to the biggest big bores. In addition to carrying a wide variety of firearms, they also sell accessories, provide a complete gunsmithing service, and offer gun safety courses off-site.

McBride Guns, Inc.
2915 San Gabriel
512/472-3532
www.mcbridesguns.com

Best Happy Hour

Tropical Fish Happy Hour, that is - If your especial love is the Ciclid family, Amazonia offers a huge selection of African and Central Americans, as well as our little friend the Apisto (dwarf Ciclid). Go for Friday happy hour from 8-11pm to indulge your habit economically. We love our tropical fish the way some folks love puppies - the sight of cloudy water and nibbled fins in overcrowded tanks troubles us deeply. We never have to worry about that here. You can wander the humid, bubbling aisles to your heart's content, and when you're ready to make your selection a member of the friendly, knowledgeable staff will be on hand to bag your selection or if necessary steer you toward something more compatible with your tank. These people love our finny friends and they are happy to share their considerable experience with their patrons.

Amazonia
4631 Airport
512/451-0958

Best His And Hers Tejano Shops

Mother and daughter operate this pair of shops. A translation of their signs boast "Clothes for the man and woman and much more." If you want to turn heads on your night out at Tejano Ranch or Plaza Mexico, you'll want to stop here for your fine duds first. And if you play in the band, there are plenty of shiney shirts and shirts with fringe to choose from! Elsa and Lupe say their customers keep coming back because they carry those hard-to-find smaller sizes for the Latin American community. ¡Vamanos, compadre! Let's boogie!

La Estrella
3500 S. Congress
512/442-8072

La Moda
3500-2 S. Congress
512/442-8072

Best Human-scale Rabbit Warren

There are no longer separate rooms in Andy Castillo's home/shop; now there are only tunnels. The intricate tangle of colored plastic objects, shiny chrome, and cord are so densely woven together, to enter the doorway is literally to feel the material culture pressing in from all sides - completely stimulating and claustrophobia-inducing at the same time. More a gigantic found-object sculpture than a shop, it is a monument to the very full life of a packrat.

Andy Castillo's
2510 E. Seventh
512/477-4615

Best Junkshop

And down at the Hunting Grounds there's plenty to root through, from furniture to bric-a-brac to some rather, um, unfortunate art. (Did we mention the archaic banjos, railroad lights, and hand-me-down taxidermy?) At Hurt's, you'll find elegant antiques and unqualified junk side by side - and it's up to you to decide which is which.

Hurt's Hunting Grounds
712 Red River
512/472-7680

Best Last-minute Birthday Shopping For All Ages

If you are phobic about giant parking lots and the consumption-plexes they serve, get to know this survivor of the Austin's phoggy hippie past. So much more than just a head shop, Oat Willies has clever toys and novelties, jewelry, clothing, gorgeous colored glassware, greeting cards and much more. If you need a flushing toilet piggy bank, a yin-yang amulet or a pack of incense sticks, you will find it here.

Oat Willie's
617 W. 29th, 512/482-0630
1931 E. Oltorf, 512/448-3313
9505 Burnet Rd., 512/836-6287
www.oatwillies.com

Best Late Night Shopping

It's late. All the stores are closed but you need a fix. Satisfy those late-night urges to thrift at New Bohemia, \'til 11pm every night. From cabana boy shirts to wicker ottomans the choice is yours, the hours are late, and the stock ever changing. (We heard world-class shopper Lucinda Williams declare it a boon to day-shy musicians.) And after you've scored? Stroll on down the Avenue for a snack at the Mag or up a ways for a cold beer at the Continental.

New Bohemia Retro Resale
1606 S. Congress
512/326-1238

Best Late-night Used Baby Furniture Outlet

This place is a wonder: We wonder why Lawrence is sometimes open at 11:00 on Friday night. We wonder how he stays in business when we never see customers. We wonder where he gets all those fine late-model baby strollers. We wonder who lettered the crazy sign. As the parade of progress marches inexorably down South First Street, Lawrence stands on his porch and waves as it goes by. Wonderful.

Lawrence's Used Baby Furniture
1415 S. First
512/444-4322

Best Latin American Music Record Shop

This little record shop is literally stacked floor to ceiling with all your favorite Latin American hits on cassette or CD! You got a favorite mariachi group? No problem. A tejano tune you're looking for? No problema. Or maybe you're into the new Vallenata craze from Colombia? This is the place to find it. Owner Rene Yeo says if they don't have it, they will get it for you! We love the stand-up life-size poster of Luis Miguel. Hubba, hubba. The Spanish bumper stickers at the front counter are worth checking out, too.

Tu Musica Record Shop
3500 S. Congress
512/441-0904

Best Military Surplus

Good military surplus stores are always a litttle creepy. This place is a great military surplus store. All the standard hip accessories like flight boots, camouflage Tees, and those Air Force bags are here, but there's also no shortage of disturbing wartime relics. Check out their grenades, German helmets, and 50-caliber machine gun.

The Quonset Hut
2815-B Fruth
512/494-1162
www.quonset-hut.com

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best One-Stop Satisfaction Shop

Home to much more than its humble name suggests, Acapulco Video can meet \'most all of your basic needs under one roof. In addition to the advertised gran variedad of Spanish-language music, it's also got video rental, Western wear, and a sit-down cafe. From grub to threads to tunes, camarones to camisas to corridos, Acapulco Video has you covered.

Best Outfitting For Noir And Boudoir

"I love to watch people's reactions when they walk in," says Blackmail moll Gail Chovan. The local performance artist (formerly known as Lydia) turned boutique baroness especially loves it when "Seventies polyester chicks come in, look around, and scream." Black is sexy - not to mention slimming. But try telling that to a generation nostalgic for electric psychedelic pedal pushers, spandex neon platform pumps, and bunches of Bradys and Partridges they never even lived through the first time. Chovan's elegant shop, in case you haven't guessed, is draped in the tone, style, and spirit of black & white, or more accurately, the majority of its classic and understated stock is black- basic black. While the "Swing" generation has certainly taken a shine, Chovan's taste and aesthetic come from a much more personal spot. "I just think everyone looks good in black," she beams. And it's her mission to have plenty of it around for those who want to.

Blackmail
1202 S. Congress
512/804-5881
www.blackmailboutique.com

Best Place To Buy A Pair Of Boots

This unlikely looking little shop in a small strip mall on Airport Boulevard houses some of the coolest boots this side of the Pecos - green, sharkskin, American Flag, or the pointiest boots in town. Tiny, the genial and animated proprietress has been in the business for over 30 years and even has stories of LBJ coming in to a shop where she worked in her younger days.

Tiny's Boots N Things Unique
3823 Airport
512/476-1277

Best Place To Buy Cheap Videos

Save plenty when you buy "previously owned" videos from the vendors at this vibrant marketplace. Vendors commonly charge $6 for movies that cost $20 new, and most offer refunds if videos don't play. If you're lucky, you might even get your hands on a lost title like Rich Kids, the forgotten 1979 flop produced by Robert Altman that chronicles the combined effects of divorce and burgeoning sexuality on two 12-year-olds. Woo-hoo!

Austin Country Flea Mart
9500 Hwy. 290 E.
512/928-2795
www.austincountry.citymax.com

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

Best Place To Buy Chinese Stuff

Be sure to greet the little man at the counter of Say Hi, and he'll be sure to make your day a little brighter. This Chinese market has charm, China sets, painted fans, paper lampshades, canned duck, and porcelain Buddhas. The storekeeper will be sure to help you find anything you need. "You want China slipper? Sit down, I treat you like queen. Don't tell me shoe. I guess size." It's worth a trip just to say hello.

Say Hi
5249 Burnet
512/453-1411

Best Place To Buy Frozen Mice

An awesome snake and amphibian store with well done displays, expert staff, and happy animals for sale, Herpeton hosts a complete line of pythons, boas, iguanas, toads, lizards, turtles, hedgehogs, little frogs, gerbils, hamsters, mice, rats, guinea pigs, crickets, ferrets, sugar gliders, and more. No puppies or kittens here. You'll have to go to the pound if your anaconda has grown out of guinea pigs. Herpeton has what you need to outfit a complete food chain - predator or prey. And of course don't forget the freezer full of frozen goodies. Mice come in four sizes - pinkies, fuzzies, weanies, and jumbos. You'd be surprised how many different animals love those little icy treats. Maybe Kitty wants a microwave dinner? All take-out leave in a Herpeton lunch box, which we suppose is the snake version of a doggy bag- er- snaky bag?

Herpeton Exotic Pets
4211 S. Lamar Ste. A-1, 512/916-9177
8820 Burnet Rd. #507, 512/419-0077
www.herpeton.com

Best Place To Buy Makeup

Wafaa Karim, an exquisite Princess Jasmine type from Lebanon, is waiting with her magical wands and brushes to mix the perfect makeup base for you, to select your lipstick, and to teach you to put on eyeliner the way she does - believe me, a worthwhile thing to know. Based on her experiences backstage at fashion shows with Elsa Clench and Anne Klein, she carries a small, select group of brands: Kiehls, Makeup Forever, T. LeClerc, Remede, Decleor, and is soon to premiere her own makeup line. Going to Beaux Visage is much more than buying cosmetics: it's a mood-enhancing experience.

Beaux Visage
26 Doors, 1206 W. 38th St.
512/451-3692

Best Place To Buy New, Cheap, Quality Clothing

Rather small and semi-hidden, this store leaves something unmentioned in its name: Not everything is one price. Nonetheless, bargains are truly available. Cost-wise, it's like sifting through racks in Goodwill, only the clothes here are new, and if thoroughly inspected, damage-free.

Best Place To Buy/Rent Laserdiscs

Regrettably, laserdiscs are getting harder and harder to find, but the folks at Encore still keep an impressive variety in stock, particularly in the rental section, which is conveniently categorized by genre. There's also a wide array of videotapes to rent or buy, and, for those who have embraced the latest in video technology, Encore also has an excellent selection of DVDs for sale and rental. For the aurally inclined, there's a section devoted to audio CDs and the store's large revolving T-shirt rack is also worth checking out.

Best Place To Enjoy Being A Girl

A little trashy, a little slutty, and proud of it: That's our Bazaar. Though we still mourn the loss of this store's original incarnation on the Drag, it's all still there at the current location on Riverside just east of I-35. Vinyl, leather, lace, and spandex are the materials of choice here, though you can also find Betsey Johnson dresses, simple cotton tank tops and shorts, and flowing numbers from the Far East. The Bazaar has always been famous for its lingerie and hosiery selection, for letting you purchase the tops and bottoms of two- piece bathing suits separately in case you are not the same size in both areas, for funky jewelry and quasi-erotic accessories. They are most beloved for their selection of flat-heeled sandals, particularly the strappy ones from Greece.

The Bazaar
1605 E. Riverside, 512/448-1079
Bazaar Back Stage, 1609 E. Riverside, 512/448-1079

Best Place To Go From Bauhaus To Your House

Herman Miller for the home, anyone? When Out of the Past up and moved to North Austin a few months, Aqua asborbed the premises and has expanded to become even more minimal and spacious. The new space offers more in the way of less, as their philosophy decrees, meaning that you find only the best: Barcelona chairs, a Plycraft dining table with bentwood chairs, George Nelson cabinets, a Gilbert Rohde Paldio coffeetable. Expect to see more contemporary artist-made furniture in the future. Ultra cool.

Aqua 20th Century Modern
1415 S. Congress
512/448-0736

Best Place To Knock On Wood

If you‚re looking for a pine 2x4, head on over to your nearest homecenter. But if you're looking for a full array of hardwoods or a hard to find piece of exotic wood, Paxton is the place. Full-time builder or weekend craftsman, alike, will find that this store has the special wood required for any project. Need just a small piece? Browse the ever-changing bargain bin, chock full of cool blocks.

The Paxton
600 Industrial
512/443-1477

Best Pot Of Gold In A Most Obscure Spot

When you‚re pointed to a jewelry store by another jeweler, you know it‚s got to be good. These guys do sell some jewelery, old and new, but gold and silver repairs is their main gig. Need a fob on that old watch from Grandpa? Need a catch on that cool chain from great-grandma? That Seventies chain just too darn long? These guys will help you out. Sandwiched between a day labor facility and a Diamond Shamrock you‚d never find them if you weren‚t looking but they‚re definitely worth locating!

Peru Jewelers
531 W. Oltorf
512/707-0005

Best Reason To Avoid Builder's Square

A recent foray into the Deep South made one of our editors misty-eyed over Greek revival homes. Okay, so Corinthian columns are not in the plans for your apartment, but a few minutes of poking around Pieces of the Past might turn up carved molding for a doorframe, a crystal doorknob to dress up the bedroom, or an old-fashioned stone birdbath for the balcony. It's the details that add up, and PotP knows it well.

Pieces of the Past
411 W. Monroe
512/326-5141
www.pieces-of-the-past.com

Best Record Store Most Like Your Own Living Room

Sure, the couch looks like it was pulled off somebody's porch and the "organization" resembles a post-kegger jumble of titles and artists, but that's half the appeal. If you're looking for tongue-pierced counter clerks to sell you a sneer with your Joni Mitchell Blue, there are plenty of hipper joints to cruise new tunes. But if you're pining for a redux of that high school hanging-out-in-your-best friend's-basement vibe, then this is the place to stack up a tower of titles and sink into a chill afternoon.

Duval Discs
2928 Guadalupe
512/236-1655

Best Resurrection Of The Dead

Dead Freaks Unite at these two cosmically connected but otherwise unrelated businesses. With roots in Bozeman, Montana,The Shed offers an incense-laden atmosphere aurally enhanced by Widespread Panic, Phish, and of course, Grateful Dead tunes and paraphernalia, poster-covered walls, and five rooms filled with "stuff to decorate your life," like hemp clothing, jewelry, and Pyrex pipes. Like The Shed, The Head began moons ago as an idea cultured during a Dead tour. The similarities stop there. A small art gallery (including works on papyrus and autographed copies of art by Jamie Hayes), aromatherapy oils, and hair products are situated around The Head's small pastel-painted interior. Haircuts are by appointment only and come with an aromatherapy shampoo as well as a neck/shoulder massage.

Grateful Head
1703 S. Lamar
512/443-3236

Grateful Shed

Best Revival Spot

All of Hyde Park held its breath for a year waiting to find out if Starbuck's or Einstein's would bulldoze the intimate hub of all neighborhood conversation, Hyde Park Bakery. But wonder of wonders, another homegrown Austin tradition stepped in to revitalize the bakery's sagging reputation. Once again we sit and chat the evening away from a park bench, watching the inner city bustle by. Only this time, there's actually a proper foam on the latte.

Quack's 43rd Street Bakery
411 E. 43rd
512/453-3399
www.quacksbakery.com

Best Sheet Music

Their window sign exclaiming "We don't need no stinkin' Internet!" proved particularly prescient as the largest Web-based slinger of chords and tablature, the Online Guitar Archive (OLGA), closed earlier this year under threats of copyright-infringement lawsuits. And sure, that stuff was free, but there ain't nothing like the paper thing. In our latest perusal of Alpha's bins, we were in Seventies power ballad fakebook heaven. And though it might be difficult for some Austinites to grasp, there are instruments other than the guitar ... Alpha can set up you up, whether your tool is a bassoon or a banjo, or your passion is Sousa or Bach, Tom Waits or Hank Williams.

Alpha Music Center
611 W. 29th
512/477-5009

Best Sneakers

Sneakers are back in fashion to be sure, but for the boarding set, they continue to be a lifestyle. So where better than a skateboard shop to find the coolest (functional) rides - the latest from brands like Vans and DG, and old school Pumas, Converse, and Adidas, too? Blondies can outfit your feet for the street, and they have great sales to boot.

Best Thrift Store Without Dressing Rooms

Looking out over racks and racks of clothes we can't help but get excited. With different colored tags on sale each day, you're bound to find a screamin' deal. If you ever wanted to go to a thrift store the size of a supermarket, Thrift Land is the place for you. Aside from selling clothes, Thrift Land also sells books, records, costume jewelry, and appliances. Good luck and happy hunting.

Thrift Land
512 W. Stassney
512/326-1510
familythrift.com

Best Unpretentious Music Store

This is a shop with everything from rare concert posters to trashy romance novels, collectible Playboy to Elvis memorabilia, a handful of CDs to Austin's largest selection of used vinyl. They used to be located at Westgate under the name Book Source, but this summer they made a move to the more convenient, although a bit smaller, location at Lamar Plaza. A refreshing haven in a town known to be a little precious about its music.

Best Used Academic Books

Only in business three years, and already the Book Market (located on the second floor of the Dobie Mall) is the best place in town to find second-hand academic books (their literature section isn't shabby either). It pays to go regularly because not only do they get in boxes of treasures daily, but also because after spending $50 there they sign you up for their "Book Club," which means you get a mailer and 20% off all purchases there in perpetuity!

Book Market
2021 Guadalupe
512/499-8708
austin.citysearch.com/E/V/AUSTX/0004/80/44/

Best Used Car Place

So, you say the French can't make cars, huh? People said the French couldn't play soccer either, and Les Blues knocked off the seemingly impervious Brazil team to win this year's World Cup. French Revolution owner Pat Whale has a passion for the uncommon car - those known in their native tongue as voitures, such as Citröens, Renaults, and Peugeots - and has enough of an understanding of their temperaments to keep this dealership from being a lemon tree with a seductive accent.

French Revolution
809 Capitol Court
512/453-5050

Best Vintage Expansion

Stuck between pressboard and French Provencal? In-between jobs and living quarters and not ready to commit to long-term furniture but sick and tired of reclining on ratty frat-house reject, bedding-barn crap? Limbo is a great place to be. When New Bohemia moved operations south, many of the dealers stayed at the old flight path location to form another consortium of vintage vendors. What's left is similar in spirit to the old New Bohemia with an expanded focus on furniture (the entire back room has been opened up exclusively for big items.) The philosophy to keep stuff reasonably priced, turn stock over frequently, and keep people coming back for more is still in effect, and the staff remains their cordial, knowledgeable, and goofball selves. When you can't decide between furnishing heaven or hell, we suggest going to Limbo.

Best Vintage Semi-secret

With the advent of the retro swing movement and the frustrating weekly pillage of the well known vintage shops, we thought it was time to let Teenie out of her bag. Teenie is a diminutive, friendly woman who runs a small but decadent vintage store in the Pecan Square shopping center. She doesn't advertise much, and because she shares her display window with a photographer, only a few of the most dedicated vintage hounds know she is there. Teenie's wares originate from the 1800s to around 1980. She carries 1940s compacts, hats from every conceivable era, gloves in every desirable material and color, dresses with swingin' skirts and princess seams to die for. As you try on her finds or browse, Teenie coaxes conversation. Many of her customers return simply to speak with her and ask her advice concerning their love lives and their clothes. So, next time you need some spectators or maternal advice, go talk to Teenie - just don't expect to leave her place within an hour.

Coolest Strip Mall

Ah, strip malls! Boon to bull & bear and bane to aesthetes. Since this one was already full of things we really like (Ray Hennig's Heart of Texas, Lamar Plaza Drugs, the drive-thru Thundercloud Subs, Let's Dish, Big Bertha's, and more), since the grocery store was renovated into a decent little Cutrer's City Market, and since new tenants Treasured Tracs & Images and Asylum Books arrived on the scene, saving that part of South Austin from more newfangled chain-marts, we had to give Lamar Plaza thumbs up. This most classic of strip centers shows that folks down on South Lamar still have their prioriities straight - even when it comes to strip malls.

1100 Block of S. Lamar

photograph by Todd V. Wolfson   Todd V. Wolfson

How To Change A Sow's Ear

Dreaming of that bed stacked high with yummy, shiny pillows? This speciality shop has without a doubt the most wonderful array of fine fabrics for making clothing or crafts. The silks, of course, are outstanding - luscious dupioni, sexy charmeuse, demure chiffons, and on and on. But fine linen and cottons are available, too, as well as a nice selection of decorative buttons.

The Silk Road
3910 N. Lamar
512/302-0844

How To Make An Austin Quilt

Your great grandmother was the last quilter in your family, and if you don't take it up soon, there will never be another quilt to pass on to anybody. The Quilt Store has a dizzying selection of cotton fabrics for quilting - and just to make it a little less daunting for first-timers, packages of perfectly coordinated "fat quarters" of fabric are ready for the sewing. Quilting lessons are given on the premises, so no more excuses. Get quilting, so there'll be something more to show your grandchildren than your Web site.

The Quilt Store Inc.
2700 W. Anderson #301
512/453-1145

 
Critics: Services
1998 Intro

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