This is one of the stories of working at Love Street Deva, a hip little punk girl’s boutique on Westheimer, in the 1990’s told by one of the employees Michelle. Love Street Deva was open during the intense final years of the Westheimer Street Festival and is in the building where Miss Fortune Tattoos is now located.
Love Street Deva was one of the coolest places that I worked. Your (Jeanette Whitt’s) rich, vibrant paintings covered the walls and set the tone for the store–lively, character-esque, and full of life. Tom Waits filled the space with his quirky, jazzy tunes. The store itself was a colorful blend of alternative clothes like Lip Service and Tripp. There was a little something for everyone. Deva had a huge selection of jewelry, piercing jewelry, Manic Panic, stickers, patches and incense. The customers ranged from street kids to punks to drag queens to strippers (although the stripper crowd dwindled after time) and at any given time there would be a shop full of punks, kids dying their hair in the bathroom, and ‘street kids’ who just walked up and down Westheimer looking cool. We had a lot of regulars who became like family. The festivals were a busy time for us. We had tents/tables set up at the Marley festival, the International festival, of course the Westheimer Arts festival (yes, back when it was cool!), and even a rave party. We would pack up half the store and sell most of it by the end of the day.
There were so many bars that we hopped through on a regular basis. Emo’s was probably the biggest and coolest. Set in an old southern mansion, surrounded by a big wooden fence, it served as the premium spot for dark, alternative, rock & roll punks. Lots of bands played there and in the summer, you cold see the ‘scene’ crowded on picnic tables smoking cigarettes and drinking gallons of beer. Numbers was the hot spot for the goth kids. And then the dive bars…Pic-n-Pack with Rudyards across the street, Lola’s (and the bar next to it but I can’t think of the name), and Goats Head Soup, which met a firery end, shocking the crew that frequented it. Down the street in downtown Houston was the ultimate old school bar/place to see bands play: the Axiom. It was a mecca for rock & roll. We all bounced to these watering holes – we were quite the alcoholic crew!!
The shopping during that time in Montrose was awesome. Next to Love Street Deva was Timeless Taffeta, an overpriced thrift shop. Down the street was Peabody’s, the army surplus store where you could cool, cheap boots and across the street was the store that completely escapes my memory…but it was in a church. It’s on the tip of my tongue and I can’t remember it! I’ll probably think of it in the middle of the night. Damn…I think it started with a ‘D’. Erotic Cabaret was kind of our ‘rival’ closer to Montrose / Westheimer intersection.