Make sure you ask about student checking accounts. The following banks are within walking distance of the TMC:
Wells Fargo Bank-Medical Center, 6631 Main, 713-790-1976 (also hits Fannin), Branches are also located in all Randall's grocery stores, and another branch is located at Holcombe and Buffalo Speedway.
BCM Credit Union, Baylor’s basement, 713-798-4820
Bank One, 4056 Bellaire Blvd., 713-751-6100
Bank of America, 1020 Holcombe, 713-790-1000
Chase Bank of Texas, 6560 Fannin, 713-216-7000
Chase Bank (previously Washington Mutual) Kroger on Old Spanish Trail, open on Saturdays, 713-796-0677
You should call to start the appropriate services well in advance of when you need them: they can take up to two weeks and usually require deposits and/or references.
Electricity: Reliant Energy supplies electricity for most of Houston customers. Located at 1111 Louisiana, Houston, Texas 77002: 713-207-7777, 800-332-7143. Thanks to deregulation in Texas, there are a variety of other options too. See www.powertochoose.org/ to compare offers. Many of these providers also offer renewable energy plans.
Telephone: Southwestern Bell, 2100 Travis: 800-464-7928
Water: City of Houston Water Division, 1801 Main: 713-224-2500
Houston Chronicle: 713:220-2700
Another Useful Resource: Lowermybills.com
The following dentists were recommended by the student community:
Dr. Martin Anderson at GMS Dental Center, 713-664-3400 (in general, GMS Dental on Holcombe has good reviews).
Ms. Razan Daccak D.D.S. General Practice, 3055 Sage Rd# 190, 713-623-6622.
Dr. J. Douglas McDonald, DDS office located at 610 and Bellaire ave
Dr. Benito Remedios (oral surgeon)
Dr. Carmen Kamas (dentist)
A few stores which you might need in getting settled into a new place:
Home Depot: 5445 West Loop South (just south of 59)
Sam's Club: Fannin at South Loop
Target: S. Main past Kirby
Wal-Mart: 2727 Dunvale Road, 713-977-3012; 9555 S. Post Oak Rd., 713-551-9148
There are plenty of places throughout the city to shop. Here are a few of the good ones:
The Village (Rice Village) is within walking distance of the medical center and is about two blocks west of Rice University. There are plenty of shops--you can find everything from used books to clothes to gifts--and good restaurants.
Galleria (Loop 610 West at Westheimer) is popular with out-of-town visitors, and it is a good place for people watching. The stores are pretty expensive, however. It is about a 15-minute drive from the TMC. It has an ice skating rink inside.
Outlet Stores (on Harwin just outside of the loop--near Sharpstown Mall) are supposed to be great--warehouses of all kinds of stuff, cheap. There are also outlet malls on the Gulf Freeway (towards Galveston), in Conroe (north of Houston), and in Sealy (down I-10 west).
Sharpstown Mall (Southwest Freeway at Bellaire) is the place to go if you have serious shopping to do. Prices are reasonable. Foley's department store is especially good. About 20 minute drive from the TMC. (Possible sketchy neighborhood so beware).
Northwest, Almeda, Baybrook, Greenspoint, Town and Country, Memorial City, First Colony, West Oaks, Katy Mills, and Carillon Square are just a few of the other malls in the Houston area.
Meyerland Plaza (I-610 and Beechnut) stores include Old Navy, SteinMart, JCPenny, Marshalls, Express, Borders bookstore, Bed Bath and Beyond, Office Supply, card store, camera store, beauty salon, arts crafts stores, and restaurants. It’s a good market place to hangout near the TMC (about 10 minutes drive) and will satisfy most of your basic needs.
Miscellaneous Cool Stores:
Academy (Hwy 59 between Shepherd and Kirby, among others) sells sporting goods and clothes at relatively cheap prices. Great selection.
Arne's Wholesale Warehouse (2830 Hicks 713-869-8321) is the place to go for party decorations, dried flowers, etc at rock-bottom prices. It's just off Studemont after the railroad underpass north of the abandoned grain silos.
Cost Plus World Market (5125 Richmond, just past the 610 loop, 713-963-8833) fantastic store for little odds and ends that make your apartment "unique." Great place to decorate your new home.
Crate & Barrel (in the Galleria, 713-490-6400) has great kitchen stuff at cheap prices.
Marcos Italian Fresh Pasta (2129 W. Alabama, 713-528-1329) sells fabulous pasta (either fresh or frozen) that cooks in 3 minutes. Prices are great and the people who own it are very sweet and charming. They also sell pasta sauces or you can make your own.
Moeller's Bakery (4201 Bellaire Blvd., 713-667-0983, has wonderful things--too good! Their orange rolls are great.
Sport's Authority (Post Oak between Westheimer and San Felipe, 713-622-4940) huge Houston based sporting good store. Fun to go there and play basketball, hit golf balls, play tennis, etc.
Pottery Barn (4011 Westheimer, 713-627-8901) great knick-knacks and accessories for home or apartment at reasonable prices.
Target (8500 Main 713-666-0805) is probably the cheapest place around for basic house stuff, clothes, shampoo, that kind of thing.
Texas Art Supply (2001 Montrose, 713-526-5221) is the best place to go for art supplies. (Remember this when it comes time to make posters!) They have all the usual stuff plus lots of ceramic supplies. Interesting books, too.
Williams-Sonoma (4076 Westheimer, 713-622-4161) gourmet food equipment and cookbooks at gourmet prices.
Barnes and Noble (3003 Holcombe, 713-349-0050) good place to read books, get coffee, take a relaxing break, or even study.
Bookstop (2922 S. Shepherd at Alabama, 713-529-2345) has a great selection of books, and the prices are good.
Borders Bookstore (Meyerland Plaza, 713-661-2888) has great tables to sit at when you're tired of studying at home. Fantastic lattes and mocha freezes, too.
Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet, 713-523-0701) has a more eclectic selection than Bookstop. Good literature section.
Half Price Books and CD's (2537 University, 713-524-6635) is a fun place to look around. Tons of books at really cheap prices. Also, you can sell them your old books.
Major's Scientific Books (7205 Fannin 713-799-9922, 9464 Kirby 713-662-3984) specialized in medical texts, but they also have a general technical selection.
Yoga Institute and Bookshop (2150 Portsmouth, 713-526-6674) has over 100 subjects of books along with a selection of relaxation, meditation, self-help, and new age music tapes. Lex the owner is a really great yoga teacher--very cosmic.
Best Buy (5133 Richmond Avenue, 713-552-1512) lots of deals…good prices on some of the newest CD's. Always something on sale! They have music, movies, computers and sound systems (for home and car).
Infinite Records (7100 Ertel, 713-466-6727)--cheap prices
Sound Exchange (1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555) if you don't mind second hand stuff, they have a huge selection of tapes, discs, and CDs and they'll let you return things if they're not okay.
Soundwaves (9560 Hempstead Rd., 713-681-9283) has jazz, blues, and other more unusual new CDs and tapes; best prices.
Bureau of Animal Regulation and Care, or BARC (3200 Carr, 713-238-9600), adoption fee $35, animals are spayed or neutered and have had their first round of shots. They can also be found at Pet Smart most Saturdays.
Houston Human Society (14700 Almeda, 713-433-6421) $60 s/n dogs
Rice Village Animal Hospital (2348 Rice Blvd, 713-527-0489) nice, cats/dogs $$
SPCA of Houston (900 Portway, 713-869-7722) approximately $45 per animal unaltered, $20 rebate with spay or neuter, can get a coupon for discount spay/neuter at participating clinics.
Special Pals (3830 Green House Rd., 281-589-7387) Friends have gotten several charming cats there, they also have dogs, costs about the same as SPCA.
All Cats Veterinary Clinic (9119 Stella Link, 713-664-2287) really nice people who love cats, very laid back atmosphere.
Montrose Veterinary Clinic (1701 Montrose, 713-524-3814) a little more costly than other places, perhaps, but they are very good, honest, professional, friendly to pets and their owners, and they also board animals and can recommend in-home pet sitters.
West University Recycling Center – 5400 Dincans Rd. Located off Westpark and Kirby. Literally across from the front door to Goode Co. Seafood. They take: newspaper, magazines, glass (sorted colored and clear), plastic, aluminum and bi-metal cans.
A place that reportedly recycles everything is located between Bellaire and Braeswood, off Newcastle on Edith Street. Open 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Keep Texas Beautiful - visit www.ktb.org and enter your zip code to locate the nearest recycling center. Find out where to recycle a wide variety of items (many more than commonly available). Also lists donation sites for clothes, furniture, computers, cell phones and etc., which is helpful when moving.
Houston Corporate Recycling Council – an organization to promote recycling in Houston - www.texasrecycles.com.