Started in 1969 as a get-together for ham radio enthusiasts, the sidewalk sale has had several locations, including under the Woodall Rodgers bridge between Routh Street and Central Expressway and in a parking lot on Ross Avenue. Under a bridge and in a parking lot? That's sketchy enough right there. Nowadays a good portion of the sale takes place at night because, according to the sidewalk sale's Web site, that is when the best "deals" often take place. Let's see, computer shopping at night to get the best "deals"? This just gets better and better. What's funny though, is that these guys love what they do and, as offended as they may pretend to be, they all probably like being called computer geeks when they are trying to sell the best "deal" of the night under a bridge.

Best Way to Get Car Stuff Done Without Going Anywhere

C.A.R.S.

Every time we get our oil changed, we wait in that little dingy lobby and feel like we're sitting outside the principal's office. We deserve a lecture. We've waited long past that whole three months/3,000 miles guideline because of the simple problem of scheduling. The problem is that on the way to work, the oil change places are packed, and the same goes for lunchtimes. Good luck getting us to remember to break up the afternoon with a 50-minute jaunt only to have them try to sell us on filters. We heard about C.A.R.S. (short for Texas Corporate Auto Repair Service) and had to give props for an amazing idea. C.A.R.S. techs show up at your office in a Mobile Service Center and perform inspections, oil changes, window repair, engine diagnostics, bodywork and most everything else. C.A.R.S. even sets up agreements with office buildings so that select parking spaces are reserved for their services. C.A.R.S. is only servicing the Addison area right now. But maybe if we keep on them, they'll make their way south. C'mon, how 'bout it?
Lakewood Texaco
What makes a good gas station? Is it the functional stuff, like cleaning fluid for the squeegees outside, a well-stocked convenience store and clean restrooms inside? Lakewood Texaco has all that. So do a lot of other places. But owners Issa and Lena Boueri go the extra mile. They have an elaborate stone fountain and decorative landscaping. There's a redwood fence and a matching postage-stamp deck with a wrought-iron birdbath and furniture to lounge on as you scarf your doughnut gems or scratch off your lottery tickets. They also have a great beer selection and friendly, lovely Boueri ladies behind the counter every day. In other words, any gas station will let you pay at the pump these days, but Lakewood Texaco gives you a reason to push the "pay inside" button instead.
Selection is good, prices are laudable, and the buzz hunt is pleasant. The reason? The setting. This old warehouse has lots of abused brick and mortar drips, giving it an old pub demeanor. Goody Goody Liquor Store used to be Marty's, which had been pumping the city's veins with culinary refinement since 1943. Now it smells like fresh lumber, filling the space with that barrel scent that is the Pavlov's "ding" for the wine sipper. There are aisles of vodka (a 1.75-liter vessel of Grey Goose), a dizzying array of tequilas and enough single malts to frighten Riyadh. The wine selection is broad and deep, including a section devoted to Sauternes plus a shelf dotted with wines from Greece and Austria, along with the usual suspects. There are even wines from the Republic of Georgia and a sweet sparkling wine from Belarus--a sensational inspiration for new bar drinks such as the Minsk Mind Eraser and the Sloe Belarus Tequila Popper Fizz.

Readers' Pick
Goody Goody Liquor
Dallas has a long tradition of meaningless membership requirements, mostly because of antiquated liquor laws. But membership at REI outfitters is actually a tangible benefit. Your 15 bucks get you back 10 percent of your money at the end of the year, and they also help support REI's impressive wilderness conservation efforts. But the real benefit of REI is the selection. Not everybody needs a $600 North Face triple-layer Gore-Tex jacket, but they've got it just in case. Even better, they've got the $80 REI brand alternative. REI is also one of the only places, if not the only place, around these parts that rents good outdoor gear at decent prices. Just the fact that the store will rent you a tent you're going to use once, instead of forcing you to buy it, is enough to justify a trek to this store.
Most of the hard part of shopping has been done for you at Ahab Bowen. The clothes here have been inspected for coolness at least twice, first by the original owner and second by the store's buyers. If you find something you like, the chances of having friends and acquaintances run screaming in horror are correspondingly small. Despite the arrival of heavyweight competition in the form of "vintage" boutiques around town, this small Boll Street shop still reigns supreme atop the retro-cool heap, relying on quality instead of quantity.
Krimson & Klover
Entrepreneurial sisters Kathryn and Kristin Anderson started this Soho-esque shop featuring up-and-coming designers two years ago in an old house near Uptown. The idea seems to be silky, lacy, colorful girly-girl clothes that make any damsel feel like flirting. Slip a soft shrug over a lacy camisole. Or pair a flowing tunic with embroidered vintage jeans. You'll also find one-of-a-kinds, like bolero jackets made of vintage Mexican fabrics. We're not talking work clothes here, unless your place of employment is the set of Desperate Housewives.
Designer T-shirts and their hefty price tags may confuse a certain subset of shoppers (you know the type--they're the same people who actually balance their checkbooks). Fifty-dollar T-shirts? What, are they dipped in gold? No, silly, but they are so cu-ute. Witness Cheeky tees, a line of T-shirts emblazoned with pithy sayings such as "Go Ahead and Stare," "Juicier" and "Gotta Lota Flava." We hear Jessica "Daisy Duke" Simpson is a fan of the brand. And who needs a better testimonial than that? In any case, the best place to get your Cheeky on is Mesho at Mockingbird Station. This boutique features a wide variety of other designer lines, and there's a clearance section that is rather tempting. Seriously, we almost bought a studded trucker cap just because it had a slash through the original price tag. Why? Because we have a problem. If, unlike us, the therapy you need is of the retail variety, check out Mesho. The service is friendly, and we like the dressing rooms, too.
The motto: "Think Women. Think Pink." Well, this boutique's merchandise is not necessarily pink, but it's definitely ultra-feminine underthings that any woman worth her push-up bra would appreciate. And any man who can't find a nightie or teddy here that his honey will not only adore but actually wear has been watching too many episodes of Nip/Tuck. Elegant silk nightgowns and matching robes almost look suitable for a night on the town, and lacy bras and panties from European designers leave Victoria's Secret in the dust. The "spa wear" (who knew there was such a thing?) is great for lounging around in at home. Ask owner LoriLynne Ross about setting up a private party or bridal shower.
In the fetish-inspiring shoe departments at Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom, finding glamorous, sexy, trendy or investment-worthy shoes is a breeze. But finding shoes you don't want to fling off your aching tootsies into a corner the moment you get home ain't easy. At this tiny shop tucked into the backside of Inwood Village, you'll find the biggest selection of women's Birkenstocks and Danskos in the city. Classic Birkenstocks--open-toed sandals and clunky clogs--are comfy. But this store proves that the earth-mama look has changed. In addition to the perennials, Heart & Sole has Birkenstock sandals with colors, patterns and trims that look positively trendy, in a quiet, let's-not-get-all-excited kind of way. You won't find any high heels, but some Dansko pumps and boots provide a lift without leading to foot cramps by 3 p.m. And the red patent clogs? Get in line.

Readers' Pick
DSW Shoe Warehouse Multiple locations

Best Of Dallas®

Best Of