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Yoga or Dance Studio

Readers’ choice: Urban Yoga, 1706 8th Av

Critic’s choice: Elemental Yoga Therapy, 714 W Magnolia Av

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Calling this Near Southside establishment just a yoga studio hardly does it justice. Brynn Byrne hosts workshops on spiritual exploration, metaphysics, treating medical maladies, and proper eating habits. Elemental also has become a gathering spot for people who want to hang out without having to go to a bar. Oh, yeah, and the yoga is phenomenal. Byrne and her other instructors show a level of understanding that few other yogis offer. The Elemental folks also frequently bring in local musicians to perform during sessions.

 

Vixen Vapors Assistant Manager Collin Johnson makes it easy to join the vaping craze. Photo by Vishal Malhotra.

Vape Shop

Readers’ choice: Mid Cities Vapor, 5205 Davis Blvd, NRH

Critic’s choice: Vixen Vapors, 4608 Bryant Irvin Rd

Is it just us, or is there a crazy amount of vape shops around here? Leave a retail spot in a strip mall empty and for lease for 10 minutes, and a vape shop will appear like a cluster of mushrooms after a t-storm. A sign of the times, we guess. Anyway, whether you’re into vaping as an alternative to cigarettes or wish to blanket a happy-hour bar top with thick clouds of blueberry cheesecake-scented fog, Vixen Vapors is a great place to get started. Wanna try a new flavor? The friendly, knowledgeable staff will offer you a single-use taster tip so you won’t feel like you’re vaping off a public drinking fountain. If you’re a newb or wish to tweak your build, you’ll have Vixen’s help finding the right pieces to make your Smaug/Drogon/smoke-machine-at-a-Dragonforce-concert dreams come true.

Place to Buy:

Furniture

Readers’ choice: There’s No Place like Home, 855 Foch St

Critic’s choice: Woodbine Furniture, 8705 David Blvd, Keller

Owner Greg V. Reed is a bit anal, which is good for us. His inability to find well-made, long-lasting, solid wood furniture with dovetails, curves, and a custom appearance led him to open his own shop more than a decade ago. Customers can choose woods, finishes, and styles and have pieces built to order or choose from the in-store inventory. And the business is enviro-friendly, using locally produced wood. Even the sawdust is recycled.

 

Books

Readers’ choice: Half Price Books, 5417 S Hulen St

Critic’s choice: Half Price Books, 713 Harwood Rd, Bedford

In a world of Kindles and iPads, bookstores seem about as rare as full-service gas stations. But Bedford’s Half Price defies the era. With a fresh selection of everything from children’s books to fantasy novels and books on quantum physics, the store invites a leisurely pace. Along with a sprawling selection of used vinyl, DVDs, and board games, Half Price has a solid collection of first editions and antique books in near-mint condition. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, too.

Comic Books

Readers’ choice: Collected Comics and Games, 3502 Bluebonnet Cir

 

Used CDs & Records

Readers’ choice: Doc’s Records & Vintage, 9522 Camp Bowie West

Critic’s choice: Dreamy Life Records & Music, 1310 W Allen Av

This newcomer has quickly become an important part of the local musical landscape, but the shelves tucked into the Fairmount Community Library also boast a decent assortment of used vinyl, all curated by the musicians and music lovers who make up two record labels, Dreamy Soundz and Lo-Life Recordings. Dreamy Life is a one-stop shop for either that new War Party record or an old Cheap Trick platter you’ve had your eye on.

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