The Cozy Cottage Boutique

How many children's clothes, toys and ephemera can you can squeeze into the first floor of a renovated Victorian house? If you've been to The Cozy Cottage Boutique, you'll know that it's a surprising amount. The shop, on 8th Street in the Bishop Arts District, is cozy, as its name implies, but without being cluttered. The selection of clothing, which ranges from newborn to about 6, is varied without being overwhelming. Help's available if you need it, but no one's breathing down your neck. Also, if your toddler pees himself because he won't put down his Hunky's hot dog to go to the bathroom and you realize you don't have any spare pants, The Cozy Cottage has you covered.

A&R Record and Tape Manufacturing Co.

Stan "No, Not That Stan Getz" Getz is approaching the 30th anniversary of his employment at the record plant, a business he liked so much he bought the company. Yet he still exudes a youthful enthusiasm for vinyl, the format that seemed to be facing an all but certain death just a few years ago. We're glad he stuck with it and that the old-school platters are making a comeback, as it's an honor to have in our city the company that top acts such as the Flaming Lips come to have their discs pressed. A&R is staying on top of the game, offering colored and color-swirled albums to a new generation of musicians who insist on the nostalgia and audible warmth of vinyl.

Sweet 200

The stylists at Sweet 200, which moved from Deep Ellum to the Bishop Arts area in 2008, have cut and colored for some of the city's prettiest of pretty people for modeling shoots and fashion shoots. Some of them, including owner Annette Jensen, have salon education and training that make our own schooling pale by comparison. We also think it's pretty cool that it donated hair to help soak up oil from the British Petroleum Gulf oil spill. But our favorite part of the experience just might be the wait. Rather than a handful of ancient issues of Time, there's a hip selection of music and fashion magazines and, best of all, a pool table that's in better shape than those at some of our favorite bars.

Avalon Salon

Eyebrows can make or break a person's face. Too thick and you look like Groucho Max, too thin and your forehead will transform into a fivehead. That's why it's important to see an aesthetician who knows what she's doing. And when it comes to eyebrow knowledge, nobody knows how to shape, groom and color brows quite like the Avalon Salon and Spa at the West Village. On top of excellent service, the spa is soothing, separate from the bustle of the salon. The combination of fountains and soft music is enough to put a person to sleep (that is, until the waxing begins). And sure, parking in the multilevel parking garage at West Village can be extremely stressful, but if you arrive early, Avalon will happily help you calm those nerves with a complimentary glass of wine.

We're generally happy with a barber-shop experience as long as the tonsorial artist is semi-competent with the scissors and clippers and the haircut is cheap. Both are the case in our experiences at Floyd's 99. The extras are nice, too, as any cut includes a straight-razor neck shave and a quick neck and shoulder massage. Buzz cuts are less than $20, most of the music playing in the shop at high volume is good or at least tolerable, and attractive barbers of both sexes ensure we're repeat customers.

As an extension of Napkin Art's poster pop confections, Rigor Mortis has taken on the more musical elements of the scene, efficiently wiping down album art for the likes of the Polyphonic Spree, and even getting into the skateboard and T-shirt biz. More good poster art is good for the city and its many nooks and crannies.

Best Place to Get Your Hair Did While Listening to Rap

Studio 410

Earlier in the summer, Studio 410 hosted a Cinco de Mayo afterparty in its back parking lot. It was one of those nights where everything converged just so: good hip-hop, people dancing and the chance to roam around in Studio 410's salon/art space. During the day, Miriam Ortega and her team of stylists let the good vibes of that space influence the haircut and color you get. She also knows how to flip a wig like a pro.

The Anger Room is just that: a space where you (or you and a friend) pay a fee and are set loose in a room to smash someone else's property with a bat — or use your hands, if you're more tactile. This alternative to therapy (or prison) offers everything from a 15-minute Office Space package to 25-minute extended jams for the more thoughtful patron. (The rooms are designed to imitate an office, kitchen or living space.) You can basically do everything short of Angela Bassett lighting her ex-husband's car on fire in Waiting To Exhale.

DFW Gun Range

If you're not really into the hands-on throttling of a place like the Anger Room, DFW Gun Range's Tuesday night is the perfect place to take your lady, or have a ladies night. It's open to any experience level, and the firearm and range fees are waived on Tuesdays, so you can totally take your best friend who's about to get married and let her get in some target practice, and squeeze off a few rounds yourself.

Rick Triplett was close to a Ph.D. in cell biology when he decided cabinet-making would be a happier path. Now he's proprietor of a family-run business combining fine craftsmanship with high-tech production methods to produce quality cabinets at reasonable costs. Triplett Construction comes at the challenge from both ends, with highly skilled woodworkers on the job and sophisticated joinery equipment back at the shop. They take on jobs from tiny to huge and bring the same level of commitment to all of them. Before you opt to go full-bore IKEA on cabinets, you should give these guys a call. They may or may not come back with a bid in your ballpark, but if they do and you take it, you're going to have solid wood cabinets expertly fitted to your space.

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