Best of Dallas®

Best Of 2000

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Arts & Entertainment

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Best Of :: Shopping & Services

Best computer store

We're tempted to say, "Any place other than Fry's Electronics," but that's a cheap shot. (OK, not really: We once had a Fry's salesman talk us into a $2,000 computer that was out-of-date 13 minutes after we bought it. Then, when we got it home, it didn't work. When we brought it back, the salesman insisted there was nothing he could do for us, despite the fact it was under warranty and a piece of crap. We vowed never to return, and he said only, "Fine.") And, yeah, fact is, the best place to buy a computer is probably online, from the likes of Gateway or Dell--or just buy yourself a Mac and save yourself all that trouble. But Best Buy has always done us right: The salespeople have some idea what they're talking about, and if they don't, they get someone who does (unlike another store...ya listening, fellas?). And fact is, Best Buy's one of the cheaper computer outlets in town: A monitor we were going to buy at...well, somewhere else, was $50 cheaper. Seriously--50 freakin' dollars. And we didn't have to drive to Garland, park in Rockwall, and wait in a line that backs up all the way to Wylie.

Best place to buy women's perfume
Sephora

The glitzy black-and-white dcor is a grand setting for the two walls piled high with an overwhelming array of perfumes. Don't go looking for something as mundane as White Shoulders; this is the place to pick up Jean-Paul Gaultier's new perfume encased in a snow globe with, of course, gold snow. Vivian Westwood's Boudoir might be the ticket if the Versace Blonde thing doesn't work for you.

8687 N. Central Expressway, Dallas, 75225
MAP
214-378-8177
Best card shop (tie)
Gifted & Nuvo

Hallmark Cards probably thinks it has secured coolness with Fresh Ink, its new line of bizarre and unconventional cards similar to the ones independent gift and bookstores have sold for years. In this realm, however, if you care to send the very best, Hallmark Gold Crown Stores are not your destinations. Independent cardmakers are still making the most stylish and funky cards around, and Gifted in Deep Ellum offers a great selection from several designers. From cards with "Thank You" spelled in neon letters to minimalist ones with thick, grainy paper and black-and-white photos, Gifted carries everything from the simply sublime to the wonderfully wacky.

No matter what the occasion, you can find a card depicting a young, bare, muscled torso at Nuvo. We don't mean to say that all their of cards are for gay men (or, for that matter, straight women with an aggressive appreciation of the male form). Some of them are all pecs and butts, but there are plenty for the straight shopper, including several lines of one-of-a-kind hand-printed art cards that tell someone that you not only care, but that you're the kind of person who'll spend $7 on a card.

3311 Oak Lawn Ave., Dallas, 75219
MAP
214-522-6886
Best costume shop (tie)
Dallas Costume Shoppe  & Norcostco Texas Costume

A Dallas institution, Dallas Costume Shoppe is the place to go if you're in need of an outfit for that gala costume ball or a Halloween bash. Producing a stage play? They can outfit the entire cast. Period costumes from as far back as Shakespeare and Greek mythology days, Roaring Twenties--you name it. If they don't have the costume you're looking for, you might reconsider your search, or take up sewing.Texas Costume (pictured below) is a theatrical supply company with clients across the country. They rent costumes to the general public as well as professionals and TV types. They sell and rent technical supplies, wigs, and make-up, but costumes can be rented only. Time periods of the costumes vary from biblical to the '70s. Costumes range from $59.95 to $79.95 for three days. And on Halloween, they'll hook you up. They have thousands of items, so if you want to be it, then damn it, they have it.

3905 Main St., Dallas, 75226
MAP
214-370-9613
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1231 Wycliff St., Dallas, 75207
MAP
214-630-4048
Best place for great junk bargains

If you get off on garage sales, you'll love this place. It's large, dusty, and hot, but treasures can be found at almost give-away prices. Just plan on digging and browsing. From household appliances and furniture to costume and antique jewelry to a stuffed animal barrel where a quarter buys your choice, a visit to Sarah's is a little like a scavenger hunt for grownups. If you don't find what you're looking for, don't give up. It just might be there the next time you visit.

Best custom frame shop

This longtime establishment has been a favorite with art collectors and galleries for years. Its clientele (including Rita Clements, Lupe Murchison, the Edith Baker Gallery, and Dallas' Office of Cultural Affairs) ranges from serious collectors who need to preserve their expensive treasures to everyday customers who treat their children's art like original masterpieces. No matter what the customer request, Frame Masters can fill the need. What makes them such a hit with the society set is their attention to detail and the entire staff's excellent taste. If you have no idea how to frame something, owner Terry Nelson and his staff can always provide you with alternatives that showcase your art and pictures in the best of borders. The real selling point to this shop is its competitive pricing. You can consistently get a better deal on your framing needs compared with equally tony shops. They even beat some of the lower-end mass-market frame outlets.

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Best computer store: Best Buy

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