An art car drives past the Jubilee boutique store on a cloudy afternoon in the Heights district. [Credit: Corina Garcia]
(HOUSTON, Texas) — Exiting off the busy highways of Houston, a right turn into the historic Heights district paints a different picture. A calm 19th street filled with stores, boutiques, and coffee shops provides a relaxing environment for locals and visitors to the area.
Stopping at Boomtown Coffee, you see families wrangling their kids before heading inside while people are walking in and out, grabbing their favorite coffee orders. The rich aroma of the ground coffee invites you to explore their menu of drinks and small bites. Even in times of COVID-19, you can tell that it hasn’t stopped the coffee shop from being a Heights institution.
Looking across the street, you’re invited to “shop the street” at the stores that have now become staples in the area. Whether you’re drawn to the eclectic items at the Casa Ramirez Folkart Gallery, showcasing the Latino culture, or the retro music shop Vinyl Edge, with its loads of records and CDs neatly organized fill up the store; this street provides the demand for shoppers.
A group of teenagers skateboard down the street stopping at different stores. They take a look at vintage Astros and Rockets streetwear clothing at the store Proper and pass the time checking out the rock albums at Vinyl Edge.
The array of clothing, gifts, and stationary at the Jubilee boutique draw in a few shoppers, mostly women, who browse the floral prints, the mugs and wine glasses engraved with puns, and the uniquely patterned fabrics that fulfill a bohemian aesthetic.
Even the music industry is beginning to rise above from the restrictions due to the pandemic. After months of canceling and rescheduling concerts, The Heights Theater finally announces their first concert featuring local musician John Egan “coming soon” in October. Though closed, for now, the theater invites its patrons to visit its website, where it describes the sanitary measures they’ll take to ensure everyone’s safety.
As state officials slowly reopen business across Texas, these unique stores in the Heights invite the community to stop by and take a stroll, to enjoy their Boomtown coffee while exploring the stores around and finding items you could only find at a boutique store.