I recently visited Houston on some personal business, and aimed to make the visit more pleasant with some retail therapy.
In general, I love Houston; I like the heat and humidity, which allow most plants to flourish in wild growth spurts we don't see in more arid Austin; I like the museums, which showcase art and culture from around the world. And while I feel quite shallow admitting this, I really like the shopping. On my last trips to Hugetown, I did my civic duty to help the economy by pumping some dough into one of my favorite retail ventures: The Guild Shop, a resale-for-charity venture just north of Westheimer on Dunlavy. This place is chockablock with everything from handbags and housewares to paintings and jewelry, most of it donated by philanthropic Houstonians who needed some extra closet space. Keep in mind that The Guild Shop is convenient to the deep-pocketed residents of River Oaks, and you'll get an idea of the quality of merchandise. That said, I walked away with a broiling pan (hu-hum, but much needed) in addition to some interesting costume jewelry and a few choice gifts. The Guild Shop is staffed by volunteers, and the shop closes at 3:30. And trust me, when the big hand reaches the "6," they'll chase you out faster than you can scoop up those perfect Italian Ferragamo flats.