You can try all the discounts and chains. But when you have cleaning residue mucking up your carpets, call these guys. They don't stop until the water from their machines runs clear and your carpets are clean. And, well, that's what rug cleaners should do. Right? Clean your rugs. See the reason they are designated "best"? Good. Then have your rugs cleaned. So there.

For those of you who wouldn't think of squirting even every now and then from a bottle of WeedBGon, this is the store for you. They know how to do everything the right, organic way. Compost your hearts away, and pick up your ladybugs and a few good plants while you're at it.

Just the right size (pretty darned big but not overwhelming), owned and run by a family, easy to get to (Abrams and Gaston), the right mix of staff (grown-ups who know stuff, kids to load your car): Lakewood Hardware is still the best. You will almost never leave without the gizmo you need. You will never leave mad. Some people never want to leave at all.
There's no downtown-area grocery store, a major albatross for development hopes in Dallas' near-abandoned skyscraper zone. Adventurous urbanites downtown and in Deep Ellum must slog the distance to faraway groceries to stock their fridges and pantries. At least there's Henry Street Market. Lacking the requisite beer, lotto or cigarette come-ons in its front windows, you may overlook this humble Deep Ellum storefront. But inside are goodies you need in between shopping forays--Tostitos, toothpaste, pickles, cake mix, fresh fruit, Maxim magazine--and a few dry goods not normally partial to quick-stop joints: candles, picture frames and something called Ayurvedic soap.

After you sign your apartment lease, do not pass go and collect $200. Instead, point your large automobile toward Deep Ellum and cruise over to Home Concepts, the one-stop shopping location for futons, CD racks, couches, lights, computer desks and whatnot. The eclectic and large selection of merchandise is very affordable and not at all stodgy. Also good for decorating the college dorm room or (shudder) the condo.
Sure, you've got your young bucks, trying to get to the top of the courthouse food chain, winning trials and making names for themselves on the backs of baby prosecutors who are still cutting their teeth on DWI cases. But there is something reassuring about choosing George Milner to represent you. No one can evaluate a case as well as Milner; no one can analyze the collective passions and thought processes of a jury as well as Milner. What he lacks in flash and youth, he makes up for in finesse and wisdom. If you are in big trouble and you have big money, he is still the man in town to see.

Rudolph's Meat Market
This is the real thing. An original. In business for more than 100 years, Rudolph's looks like a meat market should--big and echoing--and has enough fine aged beef and sausage on hand to gag a tiger. In the long L-shaped counter are strip steaks and made-on-the-premises sausages that are wholesaled to barbecue joints across the state. The filet mignons--cut as thick as you want at $18 a pound--bring your backyard grilling up to four-star standards. The hot dogs and spicy sausages make you swear you'll start working on that diet next week.
There are lawyers you hire to negotiate your way out of a bad situation and lawyers you hire to fight your way out; Chris Weil definitely falls into the latter category. Within the legal community, some attorneys believe Weil only knows one speed: pit bull. But the truth is he is legally astute, a fine orator, and he mostly gets malicious when it is calculated to gain some advantage for his client. Small wonder the State Bar has hired him to represent the grievance committee in its disbarment suit against Catherine Shelton, accusing her of 19 counts of misconduct toward her former clients. Shelton is the lawyer suspected by Dallas prosecutors of being an accomplice in the murder of her former employee's husband. She has also been a suspect in at least one other murder and has a conviction for aggravated assault. The State Bar rightly figures that if there is anyone who won't be intimidated by the likes of Shelton, it's got to be Chris Weil.

When Converse announced it would no longer be manufacturing its Chuck Taylor All-Stars in the United States, we immediately began scouring the Internet for boxes of optical-whites size 13, lest we end up wearing inferior imports. Turns out we need only drive to this Academy location, off Forest and North Central Expressway, which stocks dozens of pairs for a mere $18--a real bargain, considering the versatile veteran of the athletic-shoe world is damned near extinct. The other Academy locations probably stock the shoe as well, but the Forest store--which carries a wealth of affordable athletic gear, from bikes and free weights to swimsuits to hiking boots--is loaded with Converse All-Stars in all sizes and colors. We picked up some blue high-tops and off-white low-tops, just so we'd never run out. And we're going back tomorrow to get some more.

Been wanting to say to-hell-with-it-all and hit the open road on your Harley? Not a good idea until you've had the Motorcycle Safety Foundation-approved course taught by certified instructors Andy and Doll Long. For $145 you get three hours of classroom instruction on a Thursday evening, then an all-day Saturday and Sunday session in the parking lot of a nearby high school football stadium. "We go from, 'This is what a cycle looks like,' to balance and swerving," says Mrs. Long. Bikes and helmets are furnished, and the classes are held on all weekends except during the Christmas to New Year's holidays. You've got to be at least 15 to enroll. The oldest student taught thus far was a 92-year-old who said he thought being a biker would help him get chicks. (OK, I made up the part about getting chicks.) According to statistics provided by the Texas Department of Public Safety's Motorcycle Bureau, the skill level the course provides is equal to three years of riding experience. And, if you think an advanced course might be a good idea after a few months, it will last nine hours and set you back another $65. Classes are generally booked up two months in advance, so be patient.

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