CityCentre in Houston
The Outdoor Shopping Experience
There isn’t a more enjoyable shopping experience than the one that takes place in an outdoor setting. The confinement of a shopping mall, which always leads me to thoughts of little mice on a spinning wheel, is definitely not for me.
Over the last decade, the interest in outdoor “lifestyle centers” has been growing. These areas feature a nice blend of stores, restaurants, entertainment, residences, and boutique hotels and appeal to us because they offer an implied return to small town life—a place of comfort and relaxation.
Sort of a Town, but not Really
I’m the first to admit that there is a certain amount of superficiality to these retail areas. They are clearly designed with the aim of encouraging us all to part with our hard earned money, so the focus is really no different than that of a shopping mall, yet it feels much more natural and less driven by consumerism.
Located in the southeastern corner of the intersection of I-10 and Beltway 8 in Houston, you’ll find CityCentre, a lifestyle center that opened in 2010 on the site of the demolished Town and Country Mall.
Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe
The reason for our visit is mainly the many glowing reviews we’ve read about Sweet Paris Creperie and Cafe. Not only do they have great coffee, but they also serve nutella filled crepes! Had we arrived wanting either breakfast, lunch, or dinner, we could have chosen from a long list of menu items, but we are in search of dessert today. We decide to share a crepe, so we can avoid an unwanted sugar rush.
One of my favorite discoveries of the day is the Paper Source store. I’ve always had a strong affinity for these types of paper goods/gift shop stores. I normally only find places like this in Europe, so I feel I’ve travelled a little further than expected as we wind our way through the shop.
We’re very happy to find that CityCentre has an H&M, and a tidy one at that. The only other of its kind in Houston that we’ve visited seems to often have clothing strewn across the floors. This is a much more enjoyable experience. As usual, we discover an armful of things to try on, most of which doesn’t work out, but we each leave with one or two items. I do love Hennes & Mauritz!
There’s Plenty More
There’s a long list of other stores we could have visited, but it normally doesn’t take long before I’ve had my fill of shopping. That works out well enough, since it means I have “new” experiences to look forward to the next time we stop by.
Grab a Friend and Pay a Visit
If you’re wanting to get out of the house and move around a bit, find a nice spot for some good conversation, possibly accompanied by a good meal, and you want some fun browsing through stores, I would recommend CityCentre!