City: Gainesville, Texas
My Home: Warehouse Loft
The converted warehouse loft where I live sits along the back wall of the gallery I own in the historic George Y Bird Building on our Courthouse Square. The buildings downtown were built predominantly in the late 1800s, and the neighborhood drips with Victorian houses, turn of the century architectural details, and a slower pace of living. Paige's Guide to Gainesville
There's nothing better than jumping on a cruiser and peddling around the original brick streets with people waving and calling your name from their porches, sitting outside in the street for a summer concert under the glow of the courthouse with your friends enjoying some live Texas music, or heading to the zoo to feed a giraffe and have a hotdog.
1. Go-to Shop for Gifts
CAHOOTS HANDBAGS: 205 S. Commerce, Gainesville, TX 76240
The store, which is housed in the historic George Y Bird Building with a 100+ year old Sarsaparilla mural, has the locally made line handcrafted from vintage textiles in teensy limited editions, other handmade lines, art, and interesting gifts. The creaking wood floors, wavy glass, and the colorful merchandise create a comfortable backdrop for store parties and you can usually find locals hanging out on the store's couch having a beer.
2. Favorite Coffee Shop, Café, or Restaurant
THE FRIED PIE COMPANY: 202 W. Main, Gainesville, TX 76240
A Gainesville institution that has been around for over 30 years, this breakfast/lunch spot is the daily meeting place for locals and it draws a crowd from all over the country for their infamous fried pies.
3. Best Neighborhood Park
A gorgeous woody park with amazing community-built playground, Leonard Park also includes Frank Buck Zoo with its daily giraffe feedings and wonderful animal education programs.
4. Best Spot to Take Visitors
Cahoots Handbags & a leisurely walk around the neighborhood after a Fried Pie breakfast to see the Victorian homes.