downtown }HOT COMPANY: take a look around. Is that a gENSLER building?
connecting you to the center of houston
Blow out the candles Houston celebrates 175 years
DATEBOOK PACINO POP MUSIC PUPS PHOTOGRAPHY
Houston House Apartments' Sleek New Look
ES I O GO . 48 E p T H AS O N I ZZ E K TP A T I ES R S OU EE CH
ART+ E N T E R TA I N M E N T III Forks Steakhouse XXI Forever Andalucia Tapas Restaurant & Bar BCBGMAXAZRIA Books-A-Million Clique Salon Foundation Room at House of Blues Guadalajara del Centro House of Blues Lucky Strike Lanes McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant Mia Bella Trattoria Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar Qatar Airways Scott Gertner’s at Houston Pavilions Unity National Bank Yao Restaurant & Bar
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downtown houston fall 2011
volume 4 number 1
Inside 4 Houston House’s new look
Fall makes it easy to remember everything we love about downtown.
3 news + notes
Parking gets easier in the Theater District; CharBar’s facelift; Say goodbye to Metro’s Airport Direct route and hello to some great new coffee shops and cafes.
A genuine movie star, a Broadway favorite, an ‘80s musical icon and plenty of blockbuster shows fill up the Theater District’s fall calendar. by HEATHER PRAY
12 hot companies
Architecture and design powerhouse Gensler has their fingerprints all over Houston’s landscape – lucky for us! by barbara henshaw
2 publishers’ note
Downtown’s first high-rise is getting a much-needed renovation. Its mod-looking new interiors are a nod to the building’s history, while its revamped amenities floor is totally 21st century. by lauren covington
16 Happy birthday to us
Believe it or not, Houston turned 175 this year, and the city is celebrating in style with exhibits, art, photography and an inaugural Houston history conference. by sandra cook
22 Alphabet soup
We say it all the time. There’s lots to do in downtown Houston. And our A to Z roundup proves it with 26 fantastic ways to get a taste of our city. Some you’ll recognize as longtime faves while others are completely fresh. From the offbeat to the totally familiar – we’ve got them all. by holly beretto
guides jenny bagart
Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
Suddenly there’s pizza aplenty downtown. We share three spots for some very unique pies and the perfect spot to chill with “sip.”
53 destination downtown map Scan to sign up for the weekly Downtown Happenings email
playing tribute ”
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at email@example.com
Managing Editor/Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions Design ph Design Shop Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography
Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Sandra Cook, Lauren Covington, Barbara Henshaw, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Heather Pray Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Trumpet star terence blanchard and conga legend poncho sanchez take the stage at the wortham center.
Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010. Published by:
F Hello fall
Fall is our favorite time of year. Summer’s heat starts to fade and Houston’s event calendar begins to fill up with all kinds of activities – both indoor and out. Fall is also a great time to take advantage of our burgeoning urban center. We’re making it nice and easy with this quarter’s issue of downtown. Flip through the pages to learn about the best the city has to offer – from our amazing architecture to zooming zumba at Discovery Green. We’ve covered all the bases – from A to Z! Once you’ve gotten a better sense of today’s downtown, prepare to delve into the past as we celebrate our city’s 175th birthday. Yes, we know the official date (Aug. 30) has passed, but this year Houston has scheduled the festivities for Oct. 29 to coincide with the inaugural Houston History Conference, Milestones and Arrivals: 175 Years of Coming to Houston. We’ve got the scoop, starting on page 16, so mark your calendars now for plenty of exhibits, art, photography and more. We’re also happy to introduce you to one of the companies that give downtown its character. On page 12 meet Gensler, the architecture design, planning and consulting firm that has put its distinctive stamp on much of our city. Be sure you check out our extensive calendar listings starting on page 37, where you’ll find something to do almost any night of the week. And don’t forget Plate, where you’ll get a virtual taste of downtown’s yummiest pizza joints along with one of the most comprehensive restaurant listings around. Just keep this issue handy for whatever leisure activity you might be planning. Or check us out online at downtownhouston.org. And keep sending your comments and suggestions our way.
T H E O N LY T H I N G WE DIDN’T CHANGE WA S T H E V I E W.
We've covered all the bases – from A to Z!
Modern is a style, a statement and a way of living. It refers to an era past, but also to an era in the making. Houston House is a progressive Houston skyline fixture that has reached its latest and most significant evolution. Floor by floor, extensive renovations and additions, like a full-sized basketball/volleyball
Houston Downtown Alliance
court and 24-hour state-of-the-art workout center, elevate this landmark dwelling to a new level of
ABOUT OUR COVER STORY We wanted to do a fun twist on arts and entertainment—not only featuring the cool and quirky events downtown, but also ideas of how to get involved, how to stay in shape and where to explore. Enjoy!
modernity, while a fully reimagined mid-century modern lobby harks to its historic designer roots. The only thing we didn’t change was the view. N OW L E A S I N G
Elevated Modern 1617 Fannin | 713.308.2000 houstonhouseapts.com
easy park With so much to see and do in the
Theater District, the last thing you want to worry about when you’re racing to an event is whether you have enough bills in your wallet to park your car. Thankfully, the City of Houston is eliminating the need to carry that cash with a new credit /debit card system in the parking complex that serves Wortham Center, Jones Hall and other downtown venues. Now instead of digging around for that $7, you can swipe your card and swoop in. And if you plan to party into the wee hours at Bayou Place, rejoice over new late-night parking rates. When you park between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. you’ll spend just $2 for a secure and convenient place to put your car. That’s right – just $2. For maps and entry locations visit theaterdistrictparking.org
low riders no more
Continued low ridership numbers have forced Metro to discontinue its Airport Direct service. In December, Metro officials lowered the fare from $15 to $4.50 each way in hopes of encouraging more use. They also added additional stops at several downtown hotels. But while the number of riders did see a slight jump, the increases were not enough to sustain the line, and in August Metro announced the service would cease. Travelers can still get to the airport via Metro and their 102 Bush line. The cost is just $1.25 each way, but 102 Bush is not an express route so be sure to account for the longer ride. ridemetro.org
coffee fix It just got waaaay easier to grab a cup of Joe and more with the openings of three new cafes in downtown Houston. Gelato Blu, which just took up residence at 914 Main, serves up creamy gelato and sorbetto (of course) along with café Italiano. Café Luz cooks up seasonal dishes and flaky pastries to go with their locally roasted coffees, shakes, malts and artisan sodas. You’ll find them in the Historic District at 907 Franklin inside Kitchen Incubator. And Ben’s Beans has opened their doors at 1302 Dallas next to Reserve 101 in the old space that once held the Royal Blue Print Co.
fresh Look Check out CharBar’s fantastic new face, courtesy of the Downtown District’s Retail Storefront Improvement Grant. CharBar is the before after program’s first recipient, and they put their infusion of cash to great use with a new façade that includes a second-floor balcony, new awnings, outdoor furniture, exterior painting and signage. The program, which is funded by the Houston Downtown Management District, provides dollar-for-dollar matching grants from $500 to $20,000 on a reimbursement basis only. It was designed to help revitalize and improve the appearance and appeal of downtown buildings (and by extension, downtown’s environment) and CharBar’s new look does just that. downtownhouston.org/resources
lobby photo by richard payne; all others by jill hunter
Taking a MODERN Approach HOUSTON HOUSE GETS A FRESH NEW LOOK
By Lauren Covington
With downtown residential space growing in appeal, a renovation of Houston House comes just in time. The 31-story building was opened in 1966 as downtown’s first high-rise. Designed by noted architect Charles Goodman, it was considered one of the most stylish luxury high-rises in Houston. The mid-century modern building also housed the Castille Club supper club, frequented by the rich and hungry, including Elvis Presley and the king of Spain. Playwrights, musicians and theater actors were typical tenants – the last vestiges of the beatnik era. Smash-cut to 2010, when Houston House began a comprehensive and posh renovation by Houston-based Kirksey Architects. The $10 million project will update and salvage the building’s original appeal and spirit. Known for its innovation and sustainability efforts, Kirksey’s recent projects include Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA in Houston and the Golden Nugget Hotel & Casino Rush Tower in Las Vegas. The project is progressing rapidly with the lobby, exterior and recreational areas complete and more than 25 percent of the apartments revamped. The lobby reflects a mid-century interior with sleek 21st-century additions that are anything but retro. Even more exciting – Houston House brought in four local designers and asked each to decorate a model for display during public tours scheduled for September. Guests will devour the new amenities floor, which includes a 24-hour, state-of-the art fitness center, a full-size basketball/ volleyball court, and an outdoor pool with dramatic views of the city. Media, club and conference rooms, and chic lounge area will provide convenience in a comfortable social setting.
“There was a niche in downtown for a hip, modern, convenient, boutique high-rise that targets students and professional singles or couples wishing to downsize,” said Larry Hill, developer of Houston House. “It is a historic jewel with unparalleled views that we have worked to renovate into the ultimate urban living choice.” The building’s location offers easy access to the Medical Center, Museum District and universities, and is located just one block away from the MetroRail. It is within walking distance of many office buildings and prime downtown dining, nightlife and shopping destinations including Discovery Green, Toyota Center and Houston Pavilions. Residents won’t have to go far to grab a tasty meal. Go Fresh! Gourmet is opening a café and market that tenants can enter through the lobby and which the public can access from the street. Go Fresh! Gourmet will operate seven days a week for breakfast, lunch and dinner and provide to-go meals and catering. As renovations continue, more re-fashioned apartment homes will become available. All apartments will have stone counter tops, subway tile backsplash, new wood floors, stainless steel appliances and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the glittering downtown skyline. Units are sized for individuals and families alike with effiencies, one- and two-bedroom apartments and four penthouse suites. Square footage ranges from 428 to 1,463 square feet. The renovation reflects the building’s authentic mid-century roots and has been elevated to appeal to a modern style of social living. And with the city’s best amenities at your fingertips, Houston House will make a happy home.
MEET THE MAGIC MAKERS Chris Nguyen is a graphic designer
Richard Sanchez began his love affair
with a mid-century modern obsession. Making the most out of Houston House’s 569-square-foot efficiency, Chris blended bold contemporary elements without limits, making the space comfortable, functional and oh-so-perfect for enjoying the view.
with design when he stumbled across a beautiful sofa labeled as Eames style. He read about the famed furniture couple and was immediately drawn into the world of interior design. In his Houston House design, Richard embraces the midcentury modern aesthetic and proves it to be a true classic.
Kristen Johnson is a licensed interior designer and is inspired by texture, warmth and layers that convey the complexity of everyday life. Her inspiration for the Houston House space started with rugs that worked well together; then she built a soft, neutral environment around them using strong supporting elements.
Saba Jawda, an interior designer and artist, pulls her inspiration from color and urban sophistication with a modern flair. Her design for Houston House challenges the mundane by mixing color and sleek design with abstract art to enhance function, form and fantasy for the ultimate downtown utopia.
Houston house salutes emerging designers Explore four unique transformations at Houston House Salutes Emerging Designers - a public tour of Houston House and its four distinctly renovated apartment homes.
When: Friday, Sept. 23 - Sunday, Sept. 25 Friday, Sept. 30 - Sunday, Oct. 2
Tour Times: Friday 11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Saturday and Sunday 1 - 5 p.m. Houston House, 1617 Fannin 713.398.2000 | houstonhouseapts.com
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Backstage by heathe r pray
art s & cultur e
Laura Gray and Adam Zelka in Masquerade Theatre's Galveston! The Musical.
hat better way to open the Houston Theater District season than with a slew of masters, favorites, celeb sightings and international spice? Summerâ€™s heat is getting tiresome, and the announcements of the fall
seasons are always highly anticipated. As always, thereâ€™s something for everyone. downtownhouston.org
One of Argentina’s most successful plays, Made in Argentina opens the Uniquely Houston season at Hobby Center. Gente de Teatro’s presentation of exquisite sensitivity and simplicity and Fernandez Tiscornia’s writing will make you laugh, cry and think, Sept. 2, 3. The world premiere of Ether Dome kicks off the start of Alley Theatre’s season,
Win ner of fou r Ton y Awa rds , Mem phis
Sept. 9 - Oct. 9. Love, medicine and the relationship between the two great medical innovators who brought us the anesthetic ether will challenge your understanding of God, pain and what it truly means to be human. Gamblers, gorgeous showgirls and gangsters recreate the golden age swing era, when the slickest high rollers are in town with Guys & Dolls and Theatre Under The
Stars. Mix together Nathan Detroit, songbird Sarah Brown, notorious showgirl Miss Adelaide and the lively lyrics and music of Frank Loesser and you’ve got a musical to remember, Sept. 27 through Oct. 9. More gangsters show up on the shores of Galveston when the Sicilian Maceo brothers turn the city into a gambling and bootlegging empire during the depression of the 1900s. No need
Art ists of Hou sto n Bal let in Gis elle .
G u ys & D o ll s
to be a BOI (Born-On-the-Island) to enjoy the tales of prohibition, pleasure and prosperity in Galveston! The Musical, Sept. 30 to Oct. 9. Houston receives a special treat when Alley Theatre presents Horton Foote’s Dividing The Estate. Hallie Foote, perhaps the mostly highly regarded interpreter of her father’s work, performs in this sharp satire about a Southern dynasty crisis, Oct. 7 through Oct. 30. With four 2010 Tony Awards, including Best Musical, you will want to turn up that dial when Memphis comes to Houston with Gexa Energy Broadway at Hobby Center in this first national tour, complete with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis will take you on an incredible journey to the ends of the airwaves, Oct. 25-30. An old, but fabulous favorite, My Fair Lady, tells the most celebrated and unlikely love story with some of Broadway’s most beloved songs when Masquerade Theatre performs what is called “the perfect musical,” Nov. 18-27.
They say the best things come in threes and Houston Ballet’s Return of the Masters, Sept. 8-18 proves they really do. Three lyrically stunning ballets that have been absent for at least 10 years from Houston Ballet’s repertoire return, including Sir Frederick Aston’s dazzling Les Patineurs, Jerome Robbins’ starry In the Night and Sir Kenneth MacMillan’s Song of the Earth, which is rarely performed in America. Classical and contemporary share the stage with Giselle and Stanton Welch’s Indigo. The stark contrast of the lyrical and delicate Giselle with the speed and attack of Indigo spectacularly showcase the dancers of Houston Ballet, Sept. 22 through Oct. 2. When the culture of the Gypsies collided with Andalucia, Spain more than seven centuries ago, flamenco music and dance emerged. Seville’s superstar Jose Porcel and his stunning dancers return to flamenco’s roots with a fiery evening of passion and seduction in Gypsy Fire on Oct. 8. With
lio. Hou ston Gra nd Ope ra pre sen ts Fide
impressive pedigrees that include choreography for television’s So You Think You Can Dance and stints as principal dancers for Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre and American Ballet Theatre, Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden have strived to re-define dance their entire careers. See them with Society for the Performing Arts, Oct. 14. Everything gets zany with The Flying Karamazov Brothers and their spectacular displays of versatility and agility. The four brothers use objects, musical instruments (traditional and invented) and their own bodies in an inventive mix of juggling and visual fireworks that help you enter the realm of the impossible on Oct. 29.
Houston Grand Opera makes everything grander. Their new production of one of the world’s best-known operas awaits you with Rossini’s The Barber of Seville Oct. 21 through Nov. 6. This comedy downtownhouston.org
filled with brilliant ensembles and some of opera’s most familiar arias will leave you in stitches. Soaring voices and musical testaments to the ideals of courage, justice and freedom highlight Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio. The symphonic brilliance of the orchestral score is matched by heroic vocal writing in this story of a wife’s selfless and courageous love Oct. 28 to Nov.13. Also, on Sept. 23, Ars Lyrica begins their season journey of transformations in Paradise Found featuring French-Italian soprano Celine Ricci in her Houston debut with core Ars Lyrica string and continuo players.
A festive Labor Day weekend is one way to celebrate the start of the arts season. The Houston Symphony is celebrating all things Italian with Viva Italia!, Sept. 2-4. Hear iconic music from The Godfather, Jersey Boys, famous arias from La Traviata and The Barber of Seville and of course, Nessun Dorma. Then, travel to Austria with Ode To Joy, Sept. 8-10. Be a part of the contagious energy and joy in this towering classic and help the Houston Symphony officially kick off their 2011-2012 season. Another pillar of classical music is presented Sept. 16-18 when they perform Brahms’ Violin Concerto, featuring some of Brahms’ most tender, lyric melodies. Also, during these performances, composer Pierre Jalbert will present the world premiere of a Houston Symphony commission commemorating the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Noble and determined continue to ring true with Richard Strauss’ A Hero’s Life, Sept. 22, 24 and 25. Da Camera invites Houstonians on Sept. 23 to celebrate 20 years of the Brentano String Quartet along with Metropolitan Opera principal clarinetist Anthony McGill (you may have seen him on national television at President Obama’s inauguration) and international opera star Suzanne Mentzer alongside Da Camera’s own Sarah Rothenberg. Mozart makes things festive in this onenight-only celebration that also features the world premiere of a Da Camera-commissioned piano quintet by Tobias Picker – the award-winning American composer. Houston Symphonic Band holds its inaugural concert at Hobby Center’s Zilkha Hall on Sept. 25. Hear the band’s versatility and virtuosity as they cover a range of programming from Bernstein to Barnum and Bailey, Fiddler on the Roof to Festival Variations on Tobi as Picker a Theme by Paganini and much more. The award-winning ensemble has graced Houston’s musical landscape for 26 years. The Emperor strikes again when the Houston Symphony 10
Glee 's Idina Men zel makes her debu t with the Hou ston Sym phon y.
presents Beethoven’s brilliant Emperor concerto with legendary American pianist Andre Watts, Sept. 30 and Oct. 1, 2. One of Russia’s musical treasures, the St. Petersburg Symphony, makes their Houston debut with Xiayin Wang on piano and led by principal guest conductor Vladimir Lande. With a repertoire described as limitless, expect to hear Weinberg’s Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes, a piano solo of Wang performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No. 3 and much more on Oct. 6. Enjoy more piano with Society for the Performing Arts when Yuja Wang combines spontaneity and fearless imagination on Oct. 12. More excitement fills the air and fans will sing with Glee when Idina Menzel makes her debut with the Houston Symphony, Oct. 14-16. Eleven musicians, including Conga legend Poncho Sanchez and trumpet star Terence Blanchard, will lead Da Camera audiences in a tribute to the original Conga King, Chano Pozo, and his co-conspirator, Dizzy Gillespie on Oct. 15. Poetic and ethereal describe the Houston Symphony’s next musical journey – Ravel’s Daphnis and Chloe, Oct. 20, 22 and 23. And a few days later, Jones Hall experiences a raucous, live, symphonic rave when SPA presents Goran Bregovic and his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra. Bregovic’s music marries the dance tunes of a gypsy brass band with traditional Eastern European choral music, all with a rock 'n' roll edge on Oct. 25. And if that wasn’t edgy enough, you won’t want to miss The Tiger Lillies with SPA on Nov. 4 when they unveil a host of future classics alongside some of their earliest material. Martyn Jacques’ falsetto voice combined with his tender, delicate and sad lyrics will prove that where there is darkness, there is also light. Take a walk down Penny Lane with Tony Kishman and the Beatles group Classical Mystery Tour. This all-new show fea-
tures music from Paul’s iconic Beatles years, his hits with Wings and songs from his solo career, all accompanied by Houston Symphony musicians Nov. 4-6. The rich melodies of Brahm’s Second Symphony will captivate you and take you to the Austrian countryside Nov. 10, 12 and 13. Familiar works by Bach and Handel as well as chamber works by Bach’s youngest son will make an evening of musical magic with Ars Lyrica on Nov. 12. And Houston favorite Emanuel Ax returns, performing Mozart’s majestic Piano Concerto No. 25. The program also pays homage to the great tango master with Golijov’s Last Round on November 18-20.
In real life
Gor an Bre gov ic
Houstonians can get a bit giddy when celebrities visit, and Society for the Performing Arts begins their 40th anniversary season with a legend, Al Pacino on Sept. 19. One of cinema’s most riveting stars will give you an up-close-and-personal look into his passion for acting and directing. Expect backstage tales, surprise readings and an audience Q&A. Huey Lewis and The News are in town for a blast from the past with SPA on Oct. 27. They defined an era with songs like I Want A New Drug and The Power of Love and you’ll also get to hear covers of 14 classic soul songs from the 60s and 70s straight off their recently recorded tribute, Soulsville. You can have your Cake Boss and get skills and techniques so you can go home and eat it, too, when Buddy Valstro, star of TLC’s hit show Cake Boss, comes to Houston. Expect a cake-filled, colorful show for all ages with a Q&A and, of course, tips and demonstrations on what has made him the boss of the cake world. Take a deep breath and jot down the dates – because the fall season is a busy one. We can also help you keep track when you visit houstontheaterdistrict.org. See you at the theater!
d d d
Make you holiday season “merry and bright” e
“This is why Broadway was born.”
e d d
hot companies GENSLER | HOUSTON
DESIGN POWERHOUSE PUTS ITS STAMP ON DOWNTOWN HOUSTON.
By Barbara Henshaw
Center for Dance, the country’s largest profesLooking at the Houston skyline, there are few buildings that don’t have Art Gensler’s sional dance facility. The six-story, fingerprints on them. And it all started with the iconic trapezoidal towers at 711 Louisiana. 115,000-square-foot building of granite and glass When M. Arthur Gensler Jr. & Associates Inc. came to Houston in 1972 to develop the has nine studios, a dance laboratory and adminisinterior architecture of Pennzoil Place, it was a 7-year-old architecture firm from San trative space. The magnificent glass windows give Francisco with a vision to improve interior spaces. passers-by a glimpse into the ballet world, as “We were fortunate to be asked to come to Houston when it was dancers can be seen practicing beginning to explode,” said Art Gensler, the company’s founder, in inside. Artistic etchings of figures town recently to visit the Houston office. “It was a time of transition, in motion line the steel sky bridge more open planning; and the new way of designing interiors and buildthat connects the building to ings reflected that.” Wortham Center, where the Corporations and their CEOs were involved in the development of Houston Ballet performs. their offices and were recognizing the value of being housed in a well Other downtown gems that designed building, Gensler said. Until then, little attention was paid to a Gensler has touched include the building’s interior and whether the space was functional and beneficial Hilton Americas-Houston hotel, to its workers. the new Hess Tower, University of In a stroke of serendipity, Gensler’s Houston office is now on the third Houston-Downtown, 1100 Louifloor of the Pennzoil building – the same building where its Houston siana (Enterprise Plaza), Wells roots were planted. Fargo Plaza, South Texas College of In the past 45 years, Gensler has expanded its business in breadth and Law Library and the Julia Ideson scope. It is an architectural design, planning and consulting firm with 38 building (aka the “old” library). offices across the globe – in the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Middle Gensler has been involved in East. It works on more than 3,000 projects each year – from designing interior architecture work in something as small as a work lamp or a wine label to an urban shopping ART GENSLER “most every building downtown,” district or a 60-story office tower. according to Jim Furr, managing The company operates in a variety of disciplines: corporate campuses, principal at the Houston office. office buildings, retail, aviation and transportation, education, hospitality, sports, urban Another new feather in its Houston cap is the design, sustainable consulting and entertainment. new ExxonMobil complex that will be built on Gensler’s recent grand addition to the downtown Theater District is the Houston Ballet GENSLER BY THE NUMBERS: TEN of the top 10 Fortune 500 companies are Gensler clients. * SIXTY percent of new building clients are seeking LEED certification. * Gensler currently has clients in 83 countries. * Gensler works in 2,000 different localities. Gensler has active business on SIX continents.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF GENSLER
University of Houston Downtown
South Texas College of Law
Gensler’s downtown Houston projects range from cultural arts to education to office towers.
»»»» GENSLER at a glance
385 acres near I-45 and the Hardy Toll Road. Several office buildings, a laboratory, training centers, a conference center and centers for wellness and child care are included in the plan. Gensler has a zeal for sustainable design – environmentally conscious design techniques that enhance efficiency and minimize the negative impact of a building. “We have a responsibility to the larger community for which we work,” Furr said, adding that Gensler looks to “do whatever is best for the building.” Rives Taylor, the sustainability director at
Address: 711 Louisiana employees in houston: 230 worldwide employees: 3,000 HeaDQUARTERS: San Francisco Founder: Art Gensler Regional managing principal: Jim Furr Business: Architecture design, planning and consulting WEBSITE: gensler.com
Gensler, said ecological balance is always in mind when approaching a project. Many of the company’s projects are LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified; and the LEED guidelines are used as a tool to help direct them. Hess Tower, for example, was developed and built on the eastern edge of downtown overlooking Discovery Green with a notion of high performance from the very beginning. Sun shading and special window technology on the exterior help to conserve energy, dehumidifiers cool the air more efficiently, and rainwater that collects on the plaza is later used for irrigation, Taylor said. At the Mickey Leland Federal Building at 1919 Smith Street, Gensler will work on interior architecture in the lobbies, new ceilings and floorings in the offices, air ducts and dehumidifiers to improve air quality and efficiency, and solar panels atop the garage to reduce energy consumption. The building will have a new, energy-efficient exterior envelope that keeps out heat, glare and UV rays but allows in more light – reducing the need for interior illumination. Last year, one of Gensler’s projects – the BP Helios Plaza in west Houston – was the first commercial office building in Houston to be certified LEED Platinum. As a global company, Gensler’s reach is vast and deep. But with each foray into a new community comes a responsibility. “If a community invites you in and supports you, it’s important to give back to that community,” Gensler said. “We need to be integral to the cities in which we are located,” said Furr, managing
Houston Ballet Center for Dance
I hire great people and get out of their way and let them do great things.”
principal of the south central region, which includes Houston, Austin and Dallas. One might think that with its worldwide sway, Gensler (the man and the company) would be stuffy and unapproachable. Not so. Gensler, the man, chats amiably with visitors and employees, opens doors for others and invites everyone to just call him “Art.” The Houston office is set up to invite creativity and interactive collaboration. Executives stop to talk with employees as they walk among the open-pod system, while the linear design and good lighting support Gensler’s ideal of efficiency in interior design. “We embrace the idea that we are in it together,” Furr said of the family atmosphere. Although there are many offices globally, the company prides itself as a “onefirm firm.” With each office working together, clients are able to receive the best the company has to offer from what he calls its “galaxy of stars.” When Gensler first started the business, it was meant to be a place where talented people would come for a career, not just a single project, Furr said. That vision is still how the company does business. And by so doing, it creates lasting relationships with both clients and employees. “I never thought it was going to be built as big as it has,” Gensler said of his company. Gensler acknowledges that it is the talented staff that keeps things growing. “I hire great people and get out of their way and let them do great things,” he said. And in downtown Houston, the evidence is everywhere. downtownhouston.org
phoenicia full page aug.pdf
April 9, 1965: Introduction of President Lyndon B. Johnson / Sports Exhibit summer 2011 downtown
celebrate! Collaboration brings Houston’s storied history to life
by sandra cook
t’s often said that Houston is a relatively young city. That may be true, compared to cities in the early colonies: New York and Boston were both established by 1630. But you may be surprised to learn that Chicago was founded around the same time as Houston. Houston was founded in August – yes, August – 1836 and officially incorporated in June 1837. Chicago was first established in 1833, and like Houston, incorporated in 1837. Like all those other great cities, Houston has a wildly fascinating history. Houston was literally invented by Augustus C. and John Kirby Allen, two brothers whose highly exaggerated advertisement told of ideal conditions in the “great interior commercial emporium of Texas.” Aug. 30, 1836 is considered our city’s official birth date, because it is when that first ad ran in the Telegraph and Texas Register. The Allen brothers aptly named their city for Gen. Sam Houston, who had led the victorious Battle of San Jacinto, which finally earned Texas its independence from Mexico, just four months prior. The Allen brothers’ choice of name and their ad’s elaborate embellishments must have worked. On the first day of 1837, the town consisted of 12 residents and one log cabin. Four months later there were 1,500 people and 100 houses. Amazing and true stories, such as the Allen brothers’ astonishing feat, abound in our city’s 175-year history. That’s why local history and preservation enthusiasts have planned a citywide seduction of sorts. Open your hearts, Houston. Your big date is Oct. 29. While the city’s actual birthday is Aug. 30, festivities and exhibits are planned to coincide with the inaugural Houston History Conference, titled Milestones and Arrivals: 175 Years of Coming to Houston. The conference takes place Oct. 29 at the University of Houston. This unprecedented exchange of perspectives and research is a collaboration of five organizations and institutions rounded up by the all-volunteer organization Houston 175, chaired by Mayor Parker. Hoping to bring our city a new level of historical awareness that will endure far longer than balloons and birthday cake, Houston 175 is producing the conference, a film series, a photography project generated by the public, 10 separate exhibitions and an accompanying exhibition catalog. Houstonians can pause to ponder Houston’s history by visiting the 10 free exhibitions staged across the city for Houston 175: 1836 through Now. Pick your favorites
or experience all of the exhibitions, which cover the topics of architecture, arts, commerce, education, government, medicine, people, public spaces, sports and transportation. Barrie Scardino, the former executive director of American Institute of Architects, Houston volunteered to lead the Houston 175 group and is working with Minnette Boesel, the mayor’s assistant for cultural affairs. Both women have spent decades preserving buildings and gathering public support for these concrete (and brick) examples of Houston history. They are inspired by the opportunity they’ve been given to spotlight our city’s history. “I hope that through Houston 175 people will get a better awareness of Houston itself, its history and what’s important about Houston, the history, to individuals,” says Boesel. Perhaps you are already engaged with the campaign through the photography project, My Houston is Here. Via the organization’s website, Houstonians can download a My Houston is Here poster and then post a photo of themselves holding the sign in their favorite Houston location. Scrolling through the images on the Houston 175 site, it’s easy to see the fondness that Houstonians have for their city. The design of the website has been generously donated by Craig Minor of Minor Design. The site also features a page for donating to The Houston 175 campaign. “It’s not just about icons and historic places,” says Scardino. “It’s morphed into what the public wants it to be and that’s what we wanted – for the public to be engaged. We hope it brings a greater sense of pride in the community.” Local musicians Leah White & the Magic Mirrors have created another way to connect with Houston history – through music. Their CD, Our Roots are Strong, features bluesy, familyfriendly songs about Houston history. For more info on the artists and how to get the CD, visit ourrootsarestrong.com. The celebration of Houston’s 175 years had to be more than just a party. “You can’t possibly have all of Houston celebrating at a big party,” says Scardino. “But just the idea that somehow there’s a collective celebration that anybody who wants to can participate in – not just a one-day event, we hope that brings people from all walks of life and all parts of greater Houston, not just central Houston, to feel a part of something. I thinking we are all looking to be a part of something bigger than ourselves and I think our city is that.” downtownhouston.org
Milestones and Arrivals: 175 Years of Coming to Houston October 29 Hilton-University of Houston Hotel and Conference Center 4800 Calhoun Rd.
Conference co-sponsors: Houston History Association, Texas State Historical Association, University of Houston – Center for Public History, Houston History Magazine and Architecture Center Houston Foundation.
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Curated by Barrie Scardino, this exhibition will explore the history of Houston's built environment with hundreds of photographs organized in 10 clusters: first (early history), sacred, civic, shelter, beautiful, culture, modern, tall, shop and exotic.
Saturday, October 29
rom its inception in 1836 as a real estate venture by brothers John Kirby and Augustus C. Allen, Houston has attracted energetic, vibrant people who imbued the community with their can-do spirit. Today, our metropolitan area is home to nearly 6 million people comprising one of the most racially and ethnically diverse communities in the country. Given the strength of our port, the Johnson Space Center and the Texas Medical Center, along with the significant number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered here, it’s clear Houston has surpassed even the ambitious vision of its founders to become “the great interior commercial emporium of Texas.” The conference focuses on how, throughout its history, Houston has been a city of immigrants, whether individuals, groups, businesses, corporations or institutions. What is it about Houston that attracted and continues to attract this influx of people? How has this continuing migration helped build Houston into an internationally prominent city? Learn more as this topic is explored in-depth at the conference. Go to www.houston175.org for more information.
ways to walk through
Sponsors: Houston Chapter, American Institute of Architects; 1875 Koch Map / Architecture Exhibit Architecture Center Houston Foundation multi-faceted commercial interests of Location: today. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol Street Sponsor: Museum of Printing History Location: Museum of Printing History .Arts Gallery, 1324 West Clay Diane Barber and Mark Cervenka of DiverseWorks will curate an exhibition .education mounted in Space 125 at the Houston Arts Alliance. It will include both viIn 1877, when the City of Houston ofsual and performing arts. Online audio ficially assumed control of all public walking tours are also planned. A film schools in Houston, enrollment was program with movies filmed in or about 1,200 students and 25 teachers. Now Houston will be held at DiverseWorks as HISD serves more than 200,000 stupart of Houston 175. dents. This exhibition will present historic photographs, memorabilia, artifacts and Sponsor: DiverseWorks Art Space a timeline of important events in Houston’s history of education. The exhibit Location: DiverseWorks Art Space also will recognize the growth of higher Gallery, 1117 East Freeway education.
The Museum of Printing History is mounting a comprehensive exhibition featuring the history of commerce in Houston from early cotton and lumber, then oil, to the
Sponsor: University of Houston-Downtown, O’Kane Gallery Location: University of Houston-Downtown, Willow Street Pump Station, 811 North San Jacinto
Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs and located in the City Hall tunnel. Sponsor: Mayor's Office of Cultural Affairs Location: Houston City Hall tunnel, 901 Bagby (For access to the exhibit please email Maricela.Kruseman@houstontx.gov or call 832.393.1099) medicine
Follow the development of the Texas Medical Center from its land purchase from the City of Houston to the establishment of the M.D. Anderson Foundation (1936) to the construction of the first buildings – Hermann Hospital (1925) and Baylor College of Medicine (1947).
Margot Williams, Mother and Daughter by Frank White / People Exhibit
Curated by Mark Ellis and Betty Chapman, this exhibition highlights Houston's four city halls, city maps, the early ward system for voting and the personalities and projects of elected city officials over the years. The exhibition is sponsored by the City Hall and Market House, 1876 / Government Exhibit
Sponsor: Texas Medical Center, Inc. Location: TBA .people
Explore the work of several prominent portrait artists in this exhibition featuring
the fascinating and varied faces of Houston. Sponsor: Houston Center for Photography and FotoFest Location: One Allen Center, 500 Dallas, Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith .public spaces
Houston's parks and boulevards add enormously to the quality of life in our city. This exhibition will focus on public spaces and art. Sponsor: Houston Arts Alliance and City of Houston, Department of Parks and Recreation Location: Houston Arts Alliance Gallery, 3201 Allen Parkway .sports
This exhibition, designed by Minor Design, will have a timeline of sports activities and clubs from Houston's early bicycle and fishing clubs, amateur teams and early professional teams and college teams. The timeline will mark significant sports events through today. A special section of the exhibition will be mounted for each of Houston's current teams: the Astros, Rockets, Texans, Dynamo and Aeros. Sponsor: Houston-Harris County Sports Authority and Houston Astros Location: TBA .transportation
While Houston may be well known as an oil town, our history as a transportation hub continues to color our local culture and economy. Explore the days of animal-drawn transport, Houston’s stint as a railway nexus where “17 railroads met the sea,” the rise of the automobile and Houston’s famous car culture and much more. Sponsors: Houston Metropolitan Research Center, Houston Public Library Location: Central Library Art Gallery, 500 McKinney downtownhouston.org
The Legislature granted incorporation on June 5, 1837, and James S. Holman was the first mayor. The same year, Houston also became the county seat of Harrisburg County, which was renamed Harris County in 1839.
Mexico. It was at the battle of San Jacinto that Texans first shouted, “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!”
Houston was founded in August 1836; just four months after Texas won its independence from
The Houston Symphony was founded in 1913 by Ima Hogg, “The First Lady of Texas” and daughter
of Gov. James Stephen Hogg. And yes, she is a real person. Miss Ima was an accomplished pianist, who after studying piano in Berlin and Vienna, moved to Houston and organized musicians and supporters to start the city’s symphony, among other artful philanthropic efforts. The first journey of a
steamship, the Laura, up Buffalo Bayou in 1837 planted the seed for our Ship Channel, and later the 1914 opening of the Port of Houston. Use of the double-stack train was introduced at the Port of Houston in 1981. By placing one container on top of another, transportation costs were greatly reduced. KUHT-TV, which
started in 1953 at The University of Houston, was the first educational television station in the United States. The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (JSC), NASA's "mission control" for human space flight, opened in 1963 on land donated by Rice University.
additional events GHPA Walking Tours Oct. 9
This year’s Greater Houston Preservation Alliance walking tours have spotlighted Houston’s 175 birthday. In October, GHPA’s tour features Downtown's Evolving Skyline, a look at the development of the skyscraper downtown, from the 1893 Kiam Building, an early example of a multi-story downtown office building, to BG Group Place, which just opened earlier this year. ghpa.org/tours
A Night at Market Square Oct. 15
A Night in Market Square is a celebration of downtown Houston’s Historic District with lights, tastings and music. The Historic District has been the geographic centerpiece of downtown Houston since the arrival of the Allen Brothers 175 years ago. The event will give visitors insight into Houston’s history with archival footage and imagery projected on the side of a downtown building. Stroll from place to place enjoying tasty bites and drinks from some of Houston’s oldest and most eclectic restaurants and bars and take in a live concert at Market Square Park. marketsquarepark.com
5th Annual KBR Kids Day on Buffalo Bayou Oct. 29
Buffalo Bayou Partnership and KBR host their annual free family fun day on Oct. 29 at the Sabine Promenade. In addition to the usual kid-oriented activities, music, food, park performers and boat rides on the bayou, the event includes a Happy Birthday Houston sing-along with cupcakes, photo booths with various props and outfits from Houston’s 175 years. Performances include InterActive Theater Group performing Texas our Texas and Leah White singing her Houston history songs, including a special Buffalo Bayou song. buffalobayou.org
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hen it comes to entertainment options, downtown Houston has something for everyone. From the quirky to the cool, from sophisticated to hip, whether you’re into the arts or sports or anything in between, downtown has more than enough options to keep you finding new favorite things to do, even as you revisit your old favorites. Arts groups, sports teams, outdoor lovers, even foodies find something to love about downtown and you will too. Your downtown entertainment options this fall include tap dancing, Oktoberfest, and embracing your inner writer. Overwhelmed by all there is? Don’t worry. We’ve made it easy for you. Here’s our A-Z list of what’s happening, hot and fun.
With its soaring skyscrapers, innovative spaces and meandering bayous, downtown can be architecture overload for the uninitiated. That’s why you need to take a tour. This fall, you can view the city from its very backbone – the banks of Buffalo Bayou. See where Houston began, how it grew and where this modern metropolis is headed. Offered jointly between Architecture Center Houston
Foundation and the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, this walking excursion guarantees you’ll get a whole new perspective on downtown. “The Architecture Center Houston Foundation tours are designed to be interesting, informative and entertaining for both Houstonians and visitors,” says Rusty Bienvenue, AIA Houston executive director. “On these tours, you not only experience world-class architecture by some of
the biggest names of the 20th and 21st centuries, but you also learn why these buildings are important, what motivated the people that made them and how the buildings have contributed to the Houston community.” The two-hour tour meets at Market Square Park. $10 for AIA, ArCH and Bayou Buddy members; $20 for nonmembers. aiahouston.org
You know it when you hear it, those sultry, scratchy tones, singing out about tough luck, love gone bad and living through it all. It’s the blues, baby, and Houston’s got ’em. The Houston Blues Society is dedicated to the study, research and preservation of blues culture and the imprint this unique music style has made. Monthly blues jams, socials and concerts are all part of the society’s ongoing efforts to showcase Houston, Texas and Gulf Coast music and artists. Their full calendar promises an array of great musicians and good fellowship. If you like your blues with a little dose of rock ’n’ roll, Houston’s main address is House of Blues. A full concert calendar with music styles from blues to rock to everything in between, HOB has all you need for a night out on the town. Don’t miss the weekly Sunday gospel brunch, the next best thing to going to church. On the menu are Southern soul food favorites and on stage are some of the biggest names in gospel. Sing out, Houston. Sing dem blues. houstonbluessociety.org
New York has TriBeCa. Park City has Sundance. And Houston has the Houston Cinema Ar ts Festival. This annual event showcases innovative filmmaking and media installations designed to of fer the best of the Bayou City’s diverse cultural scene. Star ted back in 2007, Houston Cinema Ar ts Society aims to broaden the public’s understanding and appreciation of
contemporar y cinema and its indelible ties to the creative ar ts. This November, five full days of film and ar ts appreciation take over downtown. Look for more than 40 screenings of films and documentaries, including the world premiere of Ar t Car: The Movie, which follows a team of local ar tists as they prepare for Houston’s 2010 Ar t Car Parade. The weeklong celebration of all things Houston cinema will introduce you to some of the top talent in movie making and multimedia. Watch out, Hollywood. Houston is ready for our close up .
Diverse Lovers of the Houston arts scene have long lauded DiverseWorks, a funky space on the edge of downtown, tucked away from the glittering lights of more mainstream arts. A beacon for experimental and contemporary arts, DiverseWorks is a space where innovation comes alive and artists test new ideas. The center hosts a theater space, an art gallery and flickerlounge, a co-presentation with the Aurora Picture Show, also known for its edgy and contemporary approach
to art. The lounge offers rotating full-length films throughout the year, showcasing an eclectic array of styles and approaches to the medium. “There are usually two to five films in the flickerlounge,” says Mary Magsmen, curator of flickerlounge. “And those are designed to complement or contrast what’s on display in the main gallery.” At press time, the fall schedule was still in flux, but you can see the full listing of programming online. diverseworks.org
If you’re looking for something different, something new, and a chance to talk with artists about why they do what they do and how they make it happen, Hardy Street Studios has just what you need. A must-visit stop on Houston’s ArtCrawl, Hardy Street is a space where art runs wild across a variety of media. Their Third Saturdays Open Studios are a chance to meet artists and see this cool studio space. Third Saturdays are not only an opportunity to see different
styles of artwork on display, but also provide a chance to purchase unique pieces, and hear the artists tell you the back story behind their creations. Better yet, Hardy Street Studios’ Warehouse District location feels like a funky, onthe-edge-of-being-discovered spot. Details about upcoming artists and works on display in the main studio space are still in the works, but you can get the 411 online. hardystreetstudios.blogspot.com
FOCUS Since 1983, FotoFest has been at the intersection of art and ideas, showcasing world-class photography and educating the public on how pictures bring us the world, and how images can create change. More than simply a presenter of art, FotoFest sponsors programming that introduces young people to photography and an educational series designed to demonstrate how photography and literacy enhance each other. This fall, FotoFest presents an innovative look at the city we love though Houston 175 – People. Celebrating the 175th anniversary of Houston’s founding, and offered in partnership with the Houston Center for Photography, these exhibitions, tours, film series and history conference offer a unique look at the people who populate the Bayou City. You’ll find displays in One and Two Allen Center, named – natch – for the Allen brothers, the founders of Houston. Later this year, check out International Discoveries III, an exhibit at FotoFest’s Vine Street headquarters, showcasing outstanding work from Asia, Europe, Latin America, Canada and the United States “discovered” by FotoFest curators in 2010 and 2011. fotofest.org
FotoFest exhibit International Discoveries III U.S. Marine Lcpl. Patrick “Sweetums” Stanborough, age 21. Garmsir, Helmand, Afghanistan, 2008. Image courtesy of the artist, Louie Palu FALL
is for Designed to be a space where artists, the university community and the people of Houston come together, the O’Kane Gallery at the University of Houston – Downtown delivers innovative visual arts and contemporary culture. Open Monday – Saturday, the gallery showcases everything from an annual exhibition of artwork from Houston’s most talented high school artists to the work of UHD students, as well as the creations of artists from around the world. This fall look for the paintings of New York artist Larry Rushing (Sept. 8 – Oct. 19), whose works are intricate and complex still-life pieces. “They’re often seen through glass or broken glass,” explains O’Kane Gallery director Mark Cervenka. “So these are images of New York as seen through windows or with a window in the background onto something else.” Czech artist Barbara Benish’s Chemical Crabs and Other Playthings runs from Oct. 29 – Dec. 8, and features a multimedia installation looking at the health of the ocean. Cervenka points out that guests won’t want to miss opening day of each exhibit, as the artists will be present to talk with guests and answer questions about their work. And as part of the Houston 175 initiative, the O’Kane Gallery presents Educating Houston 1836-2011, an exhibit of photos and artifacts that explores the beginning of Houston’s educational system. It’s at the gallery’s Willow Street Pump Station location Oct. 29 – Nov. 6. okanegallery.uhd.edu
The seventh-inning stretch. The slide into home base. The crack of a ball against the bat. These are the sounds of America’s pastime. Baseball fans know that win or lose, rooting for the home team is part of the thrill. And the Houston Astros’ home at Minute Maid Park is the perfect downtown venue for a game. The team takes its relationship to Houston seriously, offering a number of community-themed events throughout the season. On sale at games is the third an-
nual pet calendar, featuring poses of players with their pets, with proceeds from the sale going to the Houston Humane Society. Thanks to a partnership with Gallery Furniture, Astros fans can nominate veterans to receive free tickets to an Astros game and $15 in spending money. The honored veterans even receive select seats at the ballpark, with a special, patriotic design. You can still catch matchups this season with Milwaukee, Philadelphia, Colorado and St. Louis. Pick up tickets at the Minute Maid Park box office or online. astros.com
Dancer(s): Jordan reed & artists of houston ballet; photograph: amitava sarkar
G A L L E RY
Houston’s literary scene is made all the better thanks to the presence of Inprint Houston an arts organization dedicated to the written word. Lovers of literature know that Inprint sponsors readings and evenings with authors through the Margarett Root Brown Reading Series, offering a diversity of talent and styles. And kids have
their own events thanks to Inprint’s Cool Brains series. Writers, though, flock to Inprint’s Writers Workshops, a series offered three times each year, where they can explore their craft, learn more about submitting work for publication and experience the joy of the written word. The fall workshop lasts for 10 weeks and registration is capped at 12 participants. Each session runs about three hours.
“That way, everybody’s work is considered at least a couple of times throughout the workshop,” says Rich Levy, Inprint’s executive director. Workshops generally begin with a reading and discussion of a piece of poetry, fiction or creative non-fiction, before moving into a round-table talk about the pieces written by workshop participants. Register online at Inprint’s website. inprinthouston.org
When the Houston Ballet cut the ribbon on its Center for Dance, it opened the door for a new era for the city’s beloved ballet company. Nine dance studios and a 200-seat performance space are only a few of the bells and whistles the new Preston Street space offers. The six-story, 115,000-square-foot center is the largest professional dance company facility of its kind in the country. And if you want a unique way to experience the beauty of ballet, consider taking a dance class at the new facility. Both children and adults can take classes through the Houston Ballet Academy. Classes are designed for those with ballet experience and beginners alike. With programs ranging from after-school sessions to drop-in barre exercise classes, there is something for every level of ballet exploration. Students will learn both the basics of ballet, as well as how to perfect their techniques. Call 713.535.3210 or go online for registration. houstonballet.org FALL
After you take an architecture tour
along Buffalo Bayou (see “A”), be sure to book a tour of the bayou itself. The Buffalo Bayou Partnership and North Lake Conroe Paddling Company sponsor guided kayak tours that take paddlers along part of the lush, 26-mile trail that stretches from I-610 and Woodway to the Sabi-
ne Promenade. Kayakers meet at the Woodway location, and $60 buys you admission to the tour, use of a kayak and paddles, and a shuttle back to the parking lot. The four-hour tours usually run from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. or 11 a.m. – 3 p.m.. This fall’s dates are Sept. 17, Oct. 15 and Nov. 12, although times had yet
ouston sports fans know that the Rockets promise fast-paced excitement on the court of Toyota Center. The Rockets roar into action this fall, and there’s plenty of buzz over the team, thanks to the hiring of new lead assistant coach Kelvin Sampson, two-time NCAA National Coach of the Year. According to Rockets coach Kevin McHale, Sampson and three new assistant coaches will help the team reach its full potential – winning words for both players and fans. In addition to a regular season packed with excitement and the pulse of the Rockets Power Dancers, the team shows its Houston pride with an array of community outreach activities, both in Toyota Center and around the city. They provide resources for grassroots basketball, which offers opportunities for young people to explore the sport, and a youth ticket program, where tickets are given to youthoriented nonprofit organizations around Houston so that disadvantaged kids can attend games. All that hometown spirit should have you out in the stands, cheering on your team. houstonrockets.com
to be finalized as of press time. All trips must be booked and paid for in advance and there is a oneweek cancellation policy. Capacity is 20 paddlers. The tours offer a fun way to stay fit and experience the city from a unique perspective. buffalobayou.org
IS FOR Film fans went wild when news hit the streets that Robert Redford’s Sundance Cinema was taking over downtown’s shuttered Angelika Film Center. Backed by a $2.25 million renovation and Sundance’s commitment to showing the best in independent films, downtown moviegoers are greatly anticipating the cinema’s opening on Nov. 1. This will be the third Sundance Cinema venture, following the opening of cinemas in San Francisco and Madison, Wis. Like the Angelika before it, the new Sundance Cinema will offer both mainstream and indie flicks. Unlike the Angelika, moviegoers now get the chance to reserve specific
Emerging Leaders, the Houston Downtown Alliance’s young professionals group, is the largest of its kind in Houston, with more than 800 members, representing 300 companies. “Emerging Leaders promotes downtown businesses, supports philanthropic activities, and plans social events all to encourage the professional development of all of our members,” says Karen Stewart, one of the group’s chairs, and the marketing manager for Houston Center. On the second Thursday of every month, EL sponsors happy hours in venues around downtown, where members can congregate to sample
seats for a showing. Buying your tickets in advance means you can pick your seat. But if you’re more a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants personality, don’t worry. When you get to the box office, you can choose from what’s available. And you’ll still enjoy free parking in the Bayou Place complex. If you’re looking to make a movie part of a longer night out, the Sundance Cinema also will offer up drinking and dining choices, sure to make it a perfect date spot. And given that it’s part of the Sundance brand, the new cinema also will feature special programming from film festivals around the world. sundancecinemas.com
new drinks, chat up colleagues and network their way to success. But Stewart stresses the events are not members-only. “The happy hours are open to anyone who is interested in EL. EL members serve as ambassadors for the organization and are often the first contact for prospective members,” she says, adding that hosting the events in downtown restaurants and bars helps EL fulfill its mission of supporting local businesses and allows its members and guests to check out the best the city has to offer. For details about EL and to check out upcoming happy hours, visit the group’s website at houstondowntownalliance.com
OKTOBERFEST Don’t worry if you can’t make it to Germany for the big beer blowout that is Oktoberfest. Houston has you covered, and Saint Arnold Brewing Company, Houston’s very own craft brewery, is coming to the rescue. “In Germany, Oktoberfest is celebrated in September,” says Lennie Ambrose, Saint Arnold’s director of events and marketing. “And it’s designed to celebrate the coming of fall.” Saint Arnold’s celebration happens in October, a two-night bash Oct. 7-8 that will have beer, music and a costume contest. “Dress in your finest lederhosen and Oktoberfest garb,” advises Ambrose. On tap for Saint Arnold’s Oktoberfest, which takes place at the brewery’s Lyons Ave. location, will be an Oom-pah band, a German-style meal and plenty of Saint Arnold’s Oktoberfest beer, a seasonal specialty that recently hit the streets. Admission to Oktoberfest is by ticket only. You can buy yours online. Your ticket includes admission to the fall fest, as well as commemorative ceramic beer mug, with a – you guessed it – German-theme design. And remember, you can take a tour of the brewery every Saturday at 11 a.m. or any weekday at 3 p.m. saintarnold.com FALL
Walk around downtown any day of the week. In addition to the skyscrapers sitting side by side with historic buildings, there’s an array of art. There’s the bronze and cement Henry Moore spindle on Allen Parkway, the red geometric mouse on the corner of McKinney and Bagby in front of the Houston Public Library and the mosaic benches in Market Square Park. Those are just three of the more than 65 pieces of public art around downtown. From sculptures to busts to tile work, downtown is a public art lover’s dream. Explosions of color and creativity share space in our busy city. If you’ve never stopped to notice them, it’s time to slow down your routine. Begin your public art excursion by going online for listings by geography and ZIP code. You’ll also find maps and artist information. Downtown art lovers can find pieces around Buffalo Bayou, at City Hall and the City Hall Annex, at Market Square Park and other spots. houstontx.gov/municipalart
Q U I LT S
Moviegoers love the Alamo Drafthouse because it’s a chance to see great movies, while having terrific food and drink brought to your table. What moviegoers may not know is that in partnership with the Downtown District, the Drafthouse offers up a monthly Rolling Roadshow in Market Square Park. Bring your lawn chairs and blankets and get ready for a good time, as killer movies light up the big screen.
Far from being just cozy covers for your bed, quilts are high art. And every year, they take center stage at downtown’s George R. Brown Convention Center. From Nov. 3 – 6, you can check out the dazzling needlework and tremendous artistry behind quilting at the International Quilt Festival Houston. Thousands of quilts, representing a variety of styles and stitching, will be on display during
the three-day event. This is your chance to see a centuries-old tradition up close. Splendid colors, rich fabrics, jaw-dropping needlework – if you thought quilts were just bedding, this show is guaranteed to change your mind. You’ll see everything from small quilts to massive wall hangings, works by amateurs and professionals alike. Since 1974, the International Quilt Festival has been showcas-
Market Square’s location makes it a perfect pick to see a show. An intimate setting amid Houston’s historic buildings, food provided by some of the city’s favorite restaurants, what more could you ask for in a night out? Fall offerings include Animal House on Sept. 30 and When Harry Met Sally on Nov. 11. marketsquarepark.com
“It’s like a soundtrack to a dream,” says Discovery Green’s Susanne Theis, of the KUHF Silent Film Concert Series. For the last three years, the park has been showing classic silent movies, accompanied by original scores written for the performances by some of the state’s most sought-after music groups. “These are ensembles who’ve performed at South by Southwest and a host of other film and arts festivals,” says Theis of the performers. The Silent Film Concert Series gives moviegoers and music lovers alike an original experience. The performers play on a stage
set up in the park, while a silent movie shows on an inflatable screen next to the stage. This fall’s performance dates are Sept. 30 and Nov. 4. In September, pianist Loreta Kovacic will perform an original piece. The movie had not been selected as of press time. In November, Austin’s celebrated B versus Moth will offer their take on an original score to the Buster Keaton classic, The Cameraman. “This whole series is an amazing way for contemporary artists to connect and create a new work of art using classical film,” says Theis. “It’s a bridge between the early part of last century and today.” discoverygreen.com
ing the amazing quilting talents of quilters around the globe. Daily admission is $10 and can be ordered through the festival website. While you’re there, treat yourself to the festival’s catalog, which showcases the quilts on display and tells the stories of the artists and their creations. One trip to the Quilt Festival and you’ll never think of sewing the same way again. quilts.com
You toned up your ballet moves with the Houston Ballet; now take on tapping with TUTS. Theatre Under the Stars offers tap dance classes in its studio space at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. Students of all dance levels, ages 16 and older, are welcome to attend. This fall, look for a fast-paced, high-energy experience with Cardio Tap, a program that’s sure to polish your tap skills while increasing your heart rate. Classes are offered on Wednesdays from Sept. 21 – Dec. 14. Beginners take the stage from 11 a.m. – noon, while the more advanced among you can strut your stuff from noon – 1 p.m. All this toe tapping will set you back $15 per class, but you’re guaranteed to have a blast as you explore the world of dance and give yourself a great workout. “The class is designed for tappers and non-tappers to enjoy a cardio workout with their tap shoes during the lunch break hour,” says TUTS’ Misty Robertson. “You will learn to improve memory and work through tap steps.” To sign up, call TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre at 713.558.8801 or go online and download a registration form. You also can email HSMT@TUTS.com for more information. tuts.com
Seeing Catastrophic Theatre always feels a little subversive, like you’re taking on mainstream culture and getting in its face. It’s a great feeling. The downtown troupe offers up contemporary comedies and dramatic performances in the form of works by emerging writers and well-known playwrights alike. Edgy, experimental and always entertaining, Catastrophic this fall mounts There Is a Happiness That Morning Is, the story of two admirers of poet William Blake. They get carried away with their passion and make love in a public park. The following morning they have to apologize for getting carried away or successfully defend their lustful act – or lose their position as tenured professors. Written by Mickle Maher, the play is delivered entirely in rhyme, and consists of an idealistic and an impassioned lecture. Funny and thought provoking, There Is a Happiness That Morning Is is the type of contemporary theater Catastrophic does best. catastrophictheatre.com
FEATURE So, you want to see all that Houston’s performing arts scene has to offer, but you’re a little cash strapped at the moment? No worries. You can volunteer and see the show for free and give back to the theater community at the same time. While many of Houston’s main theaters use professional ushers, Alley Theatre has a program that allows volunteers to work in
a number of capacities, in exchange for seeing shows on the main stage. The volunteers work in many areas and support a variety of Alley programs. “Our hundreds of volunteer ushers give the first and most lasting impression to Alley patrons and are responsible for the welcoming, guidance, safety and comfort of our audience members,” said Joe Angel Babb,
director of education and community engagement. “We couldn’t do what we do without the support of our volunteers.” If you’re interested in ushering at Alley Theatre for its 65th season, e-mail housemanagers@ alleytheatre.org and to learn about other volunteering opportunities, e-mail joeb @alleytheatre.org. alleytheatre.org
You gotta love a city that loves its pets the way Houston does. This Oct. 14-15, check out Barkitecture at Houston Pavilions. The two-day event shows off the best in doghouse design by some of Houston’s best architects, designers, builders and artists. The creations will be auctioned off, and 100 percent of the proceeds will benefit Pup Squad, an animal rescue group whose goal is to rescue orphaned puppies, kittens and nursing litters from the streets and other life-threatening situations and match them with adoptive homes, as well as to provide support and education to these adopters and the community at large. Barkitecture kicks off with a Yappy Hour on Oct. 14. The doghouses will be on display and available for purchase through a silent auction from noon – 6 p.m. on Oct. 15. At the same time, you can even adopt a pet to go with that doghouse on which you’re bidding. You’re welcome to bring your current pets along; just remember they need to be on a leash at all times. barkitecturehouston.com FALL
Experience what’s thought to be the largest cradle in the country at downtown’s Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark, a 30,000-square-foot, inground facility at 103 Sabine. The skate park welcomes skateboarders and inline skaters of all levels daily from 9 a.m. – 10 p.m. The only requirement to use the park is that you have proper equipment: skateboards and inline skates only, and a helmet with a chinstrap. The facility is the first world-class, in-ground skatepark in the Houston region. Seasoned pros to beginners can work on their kick flips, ollies, fakie big spins ... or simply learn to stay balanced! Occasionally, the park hosts classes. Call the park directly at 713.222.5500 for additional details. Even if you’re not ready to get on a board yourself, visit anyway. You’ll catch kids of all ages showing off their tricks and perfecting their sport, always a fun sight to see.
Houstonians know Phoenicia Specialty Foods for its mammoth west Houston location, where you can purchase everything from fruit spreads from Armenia to spices from Zaire. Downtowners can’t wait for Phoenicia to open at One Park Place this fall, bringing with it all those specialty foods as well as a café concept that offers up some of the best Middle Eastern fare in town. The centerpiece of this one-stop shop for foods and sundries is its conveyer belt, where you can watch as Phoenicia bakers form fresh dough into bread, send it along to
the kitchens, then take the finished loaves, bag them and put them on the shelves. It’s a sight that makes foodies everywhere weep with delight. Just don’t forget to tear yourself away from the action long enough to try the eggplant Ikra, a crazy-good delight made of eggplant and tomato, slightly sweet and perfect as a spread or with a bunch of Phoenicia-made pita bread, or grab yourself a Turkish coffee and an apple pie baklava. One bite and you’ll understand why the downtown food landscape just got a whole lot more fun. phoeniciafoods.com
Kick up your heels in the high-energy workout craze that’s sweeping the nation and turning even the most two-left-footed among us into dancing fools. The dance/fitness workout was created by a Colombian choreographer and infuses elements of Latin dancing with traditional exercise. “It really is one of our more popular exercise classes,” says Discovery Green’s Susanne Theis. “It’s never less than 250 participants and it can go as high as 400.” You don’t need any fancy equipment, and you don’t
need to have any experience with Zumba to take part. If this sounds like your kind of experience, join the crowd and make new friends every Wednesday at 6:30 p.m. Zumba takes place at Discovery Green’s Anheuser Busch Stage. It’s free, although you will be asked to sign in and sign an indemnity waiver. The class is led by ACE-certified personal trainer, Oscar Sajche, who can help you take your hum-drum workout routine and turn it into a high-spirited party. discoverygreen.com
datebook Theater 38 : Festivals & Special Events 41 : Market Square Park 42 : Concerts 43
New Orleans funk comes to Houston and Market Square Park on Friday, Oct. 28. Not your typical brass band, Bonerama will do things with the trombone that will blow your mind. marketsquarepark.com
datebook THEATER ETHER DOME Sep 9-Oct 9 Ether Dome is about love, medicine and the relationship between two of the greatest medical innovators in Western history, Horace Wells and his student, William Morton. In 1847 the two men discovered ether as anesthesia, challenging our understanding of God, pain, and what it means to be truly human. Tickets $40-$55. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org GUYS AND DOLLS Sep 27-Oct 9 The slickest high rollers are in town and they’re depending on Nathan Detroit to score a secret spot for their floating craps game. Throw in Salvation Army songbird Sarah Brown, who’s short on sinners at the mission; Sky Masterson, who accepts Nathan’s bet that he can’t lure Sarah to exotic tropical Havana; the notorious showgirl Miss Adelaide and the lively lyrics and music of Frank Loesser, and you’ve got a musical to remember. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.TUTS. tuts.com GALVESTON THE MUSICAL Sep 30-Oct 9 Based on the lives of the Sicilian Maceo brothers, Galveston tells the incredible story of their gambling and bootlegging empire in Galveston during the early 1900’s, the critical role they played in the city’s identity and ending with their construction of the famous Balinese Room. Tickets $36.25-$66.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. masqueradetheatre.com DIVIDING THE ESTATE Oct 7-30 Horton Foote, the award-winning writer of The Trip to Bountiful and The Day Emily Married, returns to the town of Harrison, Texas, with this sharp satire about a Southern dynasty in crisis. At odds over the fate of their dwindling inheritance, several generations of the wellto-do Gordon family must confront their disreputable past as they grapple with an uncertain future. Tickets $21-$70. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org THE BARBER OF SEVILLE Oct 21-Nov 6 A lecherous old man is no match for young love and sheer audacity, especially when Figaro is involved. Dr. Bartolo is in love with Rosina, his young and beautiful charge. But when she falls in love with a “poor student” (a count in disguise), the stage is set for laugh-out-loud comedy. Tickets $37-$284. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org MEMPHIS Oct 25-30 Turn up that dial … from the underground dance clubs of 1950s Memphis, Tennessee, comes a hot new Broadway musical that bursts off the stage with explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love. Inspired by actual events, Memphis is about a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break. Tickets $26-$75. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org FIDELIO Oct 28-Nov 13 Beethoven’s only opera, Fidelio, is a soaring musical testament to the ideals of courage, justice and freedom. Leonore is willing to sacrifice her own life to save Florestan, her husband – an innocent political prisoner. Disguised as Fidelio, an apprentice to the jailor, her bravery prevents Florestan’s assassination by a corrupt governor. The symphonic brilliance of the orchestral score is matched by heroic vocal writing in this story of a wife’s selfless and courageous love. Tickets $37-$284. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org MY FAIR LADY Nov 18-27 The standard by which all others are measured, this musical is based on Shaw’s play and Pascal’s movie Pygmalion. My Fair Lady is one of the most celebrated and unlikely love stories ever told, featuring
some of Broadway’s most beloved songs. Tickets $36.25-$66.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. masqueradetheatre.com
emotive flesh and voice inside Swanson’s eerie and raw sculptures. Tickets $10-$20. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Nov 18-Dec 27 Houston’s seasonal favorite described by the Houston Press as having “spectacular London sets ... spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past, present and future.” A Christmas Carol - A Ghost Story of Christmas returns this year with a re-telling of Charles Dickens’ classic story, which follows Ebenezer Scrooge’s journey with the three ghostly spirits that visit him on Christmas Eve. Tickets $38-$100. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
BRAHMS’ VIOLIN CONCERTO Sep 16-18 One of the pillars of the concerto repertoire, Brahms’ Violin Concerto was dedicated to dear friend and legendary violinist Joseph Joachim. Hear some of Brahms’ most tender, lyric melodies, brilliant technical fireworks and a sprinkle of Hungarian folk rhythms. Plus, hear Pierre Jalbert’s new work to commemorate the 10th anniversary of 9/11. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
THE SANTALAND DIARIES Nov 25-Dec 31 Company Artist Todd Waite reprises his role as Crumpet the Elf in the outlandish, and true, chronicles of David Sedaris’s experience as a worker in Macy’s SantaLand display. This compact, one-character comedy is a hilarious cult classic, featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Tickets $30-$45. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org PERFORMING ARTS VIVA ITALIA! Sep 2-4 Poperazzi, the fabulous pop-opera vocal trio straight from Vegas, joins Mike and the orchestra for an evening of all things Italian. Hear iconic music from The Godfather and Jersey Boys, famous arias from La Traviata and The Barber of Seville, and, of course, Nessun Dorma. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org RETURN OF THE MASTERS Sep 8-18 From three of the world’s most esteemed choreographers come three lyrically stunning ballets long absent from Houston Ballet’s repertoire. Sir Frederick Ashton’s Les Patineurs, with its ice skating couples, showcases the wit and warmth for which Ashton is known. Set against a starry sky, Jerome Robbins’s In the Night is a beautiful and poignant ballet featuring three pairs of dancing lovers. Tickets $18-$175. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet. org OPENING NIGHT: ODE TO JOY Sep 9-10 Beethoven’s Symphony No. 9 is everlasting proof of Beethoven’s creative genius. Be part of the powerful kickoff to the 20112012 season and feel the contagious energy and joy of this towering classic, performed by Hans Graf, the Houston Symphony, chorus and world-renowned soloists. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org JACK FERVER & MARC SWANSON: TWO ALIKE Sep 15-17 In his latest work, Two Alike, choreographer Jack Ferver, in collaboration with visual artist Marc Swanson, creates a meditative and visceral performance following a man’s journey from rural upbringings to a furious adulthood. Ferver acts as the
PACINO: ONE NIGHT ONLY Sep 19 Step into the world of Al Pacino as he shares his passion for acting and directing up close and personal. In an on-stage interview with clips (some never seen before), Pacino will give a rare glimpse into the life, work and creative process of one of our greatest actors. Tickets $45-180. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org RICHARD STRAUSS’ A HERO’S LIFE Sep 22-25 Imagine the knight in shining armor, lance held high. Noble, determined and charming, he conquers his enemies, wins countless battles, champions peace and always gets the girl. This deliciously ironic musical selfportrayal shows Strauss’ acute sense of humor at his compositional height. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
BRENTANO QUARTET & FRIENDS Sep 23 The Brentano String Quartet, long a favorite of Da Camera audiences, kicks off the 2011-2012 season joined by celebrated colleagues. Featuring Metropolitan Opera principal clarinetist Anthony McGill, seen on national television at President Obama’s inauguration, international opera star Susanne Mentzer and Da Camera Artistic Director Sarah Rothenberg. Tickets $25-$45. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
PARADISE FOUND Sep 23 Ars Lyrica’s 2011-2012 season begins with a journey from worldly torment to heavenly ecstasy, featuring French-Italian soprano Céline Ricci in her Houston début with core Ars Lyrica string and continuo players. Tickets $31.25-$41.25. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby.713.315.2525. arslyricahouston.org PLAY A SONG FOR ME Sep 24 Musiqa opens its 10th anniversary season with the Houston premiere of John Corigliano’s Mr. Tambourine Man for amplified soprano and chamber ensemble with texts by one of the most influential lyricists of all time, Bob Dylan. Musiqa’s five-member artistic board also will premiere a series of Musiqa miniatures. Tickets $20$40. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. musiqahouston.org HOUSTON SYMPHONIC BAND IN CONCERT Sep 25 The Houston Symphonic Band in Concert is a display of the band’s versatility and virtuosity, covering a range of programming from Bernstein to Barnum and Bailey, Fiddler on the Roof to Festival Variations on a Theme by Niccolo Paganini and more. This award winning ensemble is made up of professional, semiprofessional and amateur musicians, serving Houston’s musical community for more than 26 years. Tickets $10. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby.713.315.2525. houstonsymphonicband.org VAULT: CONTORTION Sep 29-Oct 1 Amy Ell’s dance company Vault returns to DiverseWorks with a fresh work that proves she’s taking aerial dance to new levels. Her last work was described as “gorgeous, lush and introspective,” and you should expect even more from the new work Torn, accompanied by a reprise of Continuum. Tickets $20-$10. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713-2238346. diverseworks.org WATTS PLAYS BEETHOVEN EMPEROR Sep 30-Oct 2 Striking in manner, Beethoven’s brilliant Emperor concerto opens with a shining piano cadenza. Get ready to experience a work as original and exciting as anything Beethoven ever wrote. At the keyboard, we welcome back legendary American pianist André Watts. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Oct 5, Nov 2 A Little Day Music concerts fulfill an important aspect of Da Camera’s mission to develop the audience for chamber music and jazz by making it accessible to all. Downtown workers, schools, seniors and day care centers are among the many who enjoy Da Camera’s free lunchtime concerts on the first Wednesday of each month. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Noon. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com ST. PETERSBURG SYMPHONY Oct 6 One of Russia’s musical treasures, the St. Petersburg Symphony was founded in the late 1960s with the intention of performing seldom-played opuses of different musical styles from all over the world. Led by principal guest conductor Vladimir Lande, the St. Petersburg Symphony’s Houston debut program will
Indigo dancer Karina Gonzalez
GISELLE Sep 22-Oct 2 A striking pairing of contemporary and classical, speed and stillness, this two-part program is a spectacular showcase for the dancers of Houston Ballet. Giselle is a journey into a beautiful world of love, ghosts and mystery, while Stanton Welch’s Indigo abounds with sensual energy. Tickets $18-$175. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org
feature Weinberg’s Rhapsody on Moldavian Themes and piano soloist Xiayin Wang performing Prokofiev’s Piano Concerto No.3. Tickets $30-$80. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org ENCYCLOPEDIA BACH-TANNICA Oct 8 Originally composed for a solo keyboard instrument, this set of thirty Goldberg variations upon a single theme is considered one of the finest in music history. Mercury is delighted to present the illustrious variations orchestrated by Bernard Labadie for the season premiere. Tickets $20-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org COMPAÑIA FLAMENCA JOSÉ PORCEL Oct 8 When the culture of the Gypsies collided with that of the people of Andalucia in southern Spain more than seven centuries ago, a magical thing happened – flamenco music and dance emerged. Born in the heart of Andalucia, Seville’s superstar José Porcel returns to the roots of flamenco with Gyspy Fire. Tickets $30-$70. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org RON WHITE Oct 8 Tickets $60.83-$81.72. 7 pm and 10 pm. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. DEVIN DEHAvEN 800.745.3000. livenation.com FASHION HOUSTON 2011, PRESENTED BY AUDI Oct 10-13 An unparalleled fashion event, this pinnacle of big-city style is infused with down-home charm and will bring the most talented designers, the most celebrated models and worshipers of style from around the globe to Houston. Tickets $35-$250. Wortham
Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. fashionhouston.net YUJA WANG, PIANO Oct 12 Chinese piano phenomenon Yuja Wang is back as recitalist for SPA’s music series and has become widely recognized for piano playing that combines the spontaneity and fearless imagination of youth with the discipline and precision of a mature artist. Tickets $30-$65. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org COMPLEXIONS CONTEMPORARY BALLET Oct 14 Complexions Contemporary Ballet’s artistic directors Desmond Richardson and Dwight Rhoden have strived to redefine dance their entire careers. They have allowed the transformative power of their art to flow freely throughout the entertainment world – from E! to PBS to VH1 to FOX TV’s So You Think You Can Dance. Tickets $30-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org CHRIS TUCKER Oct 14 Tickets $59.58-$81.47. 7:30 pm. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com IDINA MENZEL Oct 14-16 The Tony Award-winning Broadway powerhouse and star of Glee joins the Houston Symphony with hits from her starring roles in Wicked and RENT and songs from her album I Stand. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org PONCHO SANCHEZ AND TERENCE BLANCHARD Oct 15 Conga legend Poncho Sanchez and trumpet star Terence Blanchard lead a group of 11 musicians in a tribute to the original conga king, Chano Pozo, and his co-conspirator in Latin jazz, Dizzy Gillespie, a collaboration which spawned the Afro-Cuban genre of music. Tickets $30-$50. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com ONCE UPON A DREAM Oct 15 Hear music you know and love from the tales of your favorite princes and princesses like Belle and The Beast, Aladdin and Jasmine, as well as Sleeping Beauty and Cinderella. Dress as your favorite princess character! Tickets $12-$19. 10 am and 11:30 am. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
datebook Q-ROC: THE BULL-JEAN STORIES Oct 20-22 Q-Roc explores multiple perspectives of womanhood in the adaptation of Sharon Bridgforth’s book The Bull-Jean Stories. By weaving filmed stories and documentary interviews with live performance and visual art from Lovie Olivia, Q-Roc navigates the world of southern, working class, male-identified lesbians resonating across age, race, location and time. Tickets $10-$20. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org RAVEL’S DAPHNIS AND CHLOE Oct 20-23 Poetic and ethereal, Daphnis and Chloe evokes a meadow of nymphs on a spring afternoon. Come hear some of Ravel’s most splendorous, colorful music. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
RO N NANC
GORAN BREGOVIC AND HIS WEDDING E AND FUNERAL ORCHESTRA Oct 25 What do you get when you combine composer Goran Bregovic with a Serbian Gypsy band, classical string ensemble, Orthodox male choir, and two Bulgarian female vocalists? A raucous live experience that is a both cathartic and delirious! Joined by his Wedding and Funeral Orchestra, Bregovic’s music marries the dance tunes of a gypsy brass band with traditional eastern European choral music, all with a rock and roll edge. Tickets $35-$70. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org HUEY LEWS AND THE NEWS Oct 27 Want a little Back to the Future action? Have a blast at this concert by 80’s icon Huey Lewis and The News. Excellent musicians who know how to poke fun at themselves, the band defined an era with songs like Heart of Rock & Roll, Heart and Soul, and The Power of Love. Tickets $35-$80. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS Oct 29 Welcome to the zany world of The Flying Karamazov Brothers, where the daring and goofy take center stage. In this spectacular display of versatility and agility, the four brothers use objects, musical instruments (traditional and invented), and their own bodies in an inventive mix of juggling and visual fireworks. Tickets $30-$60. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE TIGER LILLIES Nov 4 You saw them when SPA presented their opera Shockheaded Peter, as well as when they performed with contemporary dance company The Holy Body Tattoo, with music that is a startling mixture of opera, gypsy song and Left Bank Paris. Now London’s post-punk pioneers return with a new show unveiling a whole host of future classics alongside some of their earliest material. Tickets $30-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE MUSIC OF PAUL MCCARTNEY Nov 4-6 Take a walk down Penny Lane with the music of Paul McCartney. Tony Kishman of Beatles group Classical Mystery Tour has put together an all-new show featuring music from Paul’s iconic Beatles years, his hits with Wings, and songs from his decades-long solo career. Hear everything from Can’t Buy Me Love to Live and Let Die. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org RUSSELL MALONE TRIO Nov 5 Russell Malone has made an indelible mark on the guitar and continues forging a path as an ever-evolving artist. His recordings, including the latest, Triple Play, document his soulful, swinging style. A self-taught musician, Malone is influenced by players such as B.B. King, Wes Montgomery, George Benson and Kenny Burrell. Tickets $30-$50. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
CELTIC THUNDER Nov 5 Tickets $48.21-$90.97. 8 pm. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com BRAHMS’ SECOND SYMPHONY Nov 10-13 Like a call from afar, deep in the Austrian countryside, the Second Symphony’s opening theme blossoms into an everflowing stream of rich melodies. You’ll be captivated by the complexity of this seemingly cheerful masterpiece. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony. org QUIRKY WORKS Nov 11 Houston Metropolitan Dance Company celebrates its 16th anniversary season showcasing audience favorites from their repertoire and premiering new works by boundary-breaking choreographers. Tickets $15-$45. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. houstonmetdance.org AN EVENING WITH BUDDY VALASTRO: THE CAKE BOSS Nov 11 Buddy Valastro, star of TLC’s hit show Cake Boss, is coming to Houston. In Buddy’s cake-filled, all-ages live show, he will tell stories about his popular TV series and colorful Italian family, do a Q&A with the audience and, of course, give tips and demonstrate techniques for cake-making – the skills that have made him a world-renowned cake boss! Tickets $33-$53. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org MUSICAL ALCHEMY Nov 12 An evening of musical magic, with prizewinning soloists, striking instrumental combinations, even a taste of the supernatural. Baroque violin sensation Ingrid Matthews joins Ars Lyrica favorites Colin St. Martin on traverso, Kathryn Montoya on Baroque oboe and recorder, and Matthew Dirst at the harpsichord for this evening of musical magic. Tickets $31.25-$41.25. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. arslyricahouston.org BECKY VALLS AND BABETTE BEAULLIEU: MEMOIRS OF THE SISTAHOOD – CHAPTER THREE: AVE MARIA Nov 17-26 Choreographer, Becky Valls and her sister/ sculptor, Babette Beaullieu team up with filmmaker Deborah Schildt to bring you the third chapter in their memoirs series. Chapter Three: Ave Maria is about “remembering mama” in the context of a large Catholic family in Louisiana. The performance fuses the sisters’ individual artwork with childhood sense memories, a cast of dancers, a singer, film and an art installation. Tickets $10-$20. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org SHARON ISBIN, GUITAR AND MARK O’CONNOR, VIOLIN Nov 18 With five Grammy Awards
between them, two unique virtuosos join forces for a remarkably appealing musical evening. Sharon Isbin performs guitar solos by Albeniz, Tarréga, Mangoré, as well as the Joan Baez Suite, re-imagining songs associated with the folk legend. The genre-defying violinist Mark O’Connor, versed in folk, classical and jazz, performs original solos. Isbin and O’Connor team up for O’Connor’s Appalachia Waltz and the Strings and Threads Suite. Tickets $25-$45. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com EMANUEL AX PLUS TCHAIKOVSKY 3 Nov 18-20 Houston Symphony favorite Emanuel Ax returns performing Mozart’s majestic Piano Concerto No. 25. Also on the program is Argentinean composer Osvaldo Golijov’s Last Round, which was created in homage to the great tango master, Astor Piazzolla. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org LOVE, POWER AND POLITICS: HANDEL’S RODELINDA Nov 19 A story of love, exile, power and politics, Rodelinda is recognized as one of Handel’s greatest operas. Performed un-staged, Mercury Baroque takes you from the depths of betrayal to the heights of retribution. Tickets $20-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org WORTHAM TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Nov 23 Hundreds of Houston-area children will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season at the Wortham Center Tree Lighting Ceremony, a joyous, colorful festival held in the grand foyer. The highlight of the event occurs when the sugar plum fairy illuminates 8,000 twinkling lights on the 25-foot Christmas tree. The festivities include visits by costumed characters from Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker. Free. 11 am. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.237.1439. houstonballet.org THE NUTCRACKER Nov 25-Dec 27 Oh, the wonder of it all. Living dolls. Dancing snowflakes. A Christmas tree that grows to spectacular heights. It’s The Nutcracker, in all its magical, colorful, holiday charm. With music by Tchaikovsky and stunning sets by Desmond Heeley, Ben Stevenson’s production has something to delight every member of the family. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without The Nutcracker. Tickets $19-$100. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org VIVALDI’S FOUR SEASONS Nov 26 Delve into the meaning and context of this beloved musical work through a stunning visual and musical presentation. The first half of the program will offer a multimedia examination of the Four Seasons – sharing the illuminating stories found inside the music, followed by a full performance by the Houston Symphony. Tickets start at $29. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Fall Calendar
PAJAMA TIME Thursdays Sep 1-Nov 17 Kids are invited bring their teddy bear and pajamas for a bedtime story with snuggly stories and songs. 7 pm. BABY TIME Mondays Sep 5-Nov 28 An interactive story time
SPEAKER SERIES MARGARETT ROOT BROWN READING SERIES: FRANCISCO GOLDMAN AND NICOLE KRAUSS Sep 19 Francisco Goldman is the author of five books, including four works of fiction and one work of nonfiction. His first novel, The Long Night of White Chickens, was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Her first
featuring books, songs and finger plays with playtime afterward. Ages 6-18 months. 10:30 am. TODDLER TIME Mondays Sep 12-Nov 28 Stories, songs, crafts, and playtime for toddlers 18-36 months. 11:30 am. CLASSIC LITERATURE BOOK CLUB Sep 13 Do your reading tendencies lean toward the classics? If so, join the library’s monthly lunchtime book club. Discuss One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni. This event is part of the Gulf Coast Reads: On the Same Page reading and programming series. Free. Noon-1 pm.
novel, Man Walks Into a Room, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Award for First Fiction. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE: JOSEF HALFENSTEIN Oct 20 Meet Josef Helfenstein, director of The Menil Collection, after he discusses the illustrated book Art and Activism: Projects of John and Dominique de Menil written
POETRY READING The Houston Public Library has partnered with Public Poetry to showcase a free poetry reading series featuring local and visiting poets the first Saturday of each month. Free. 2-4 pm. HPL Express Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 832.393.1375. Oct 1 Rich Levy, Martha Serpas, Eva Skrande, Deborah D.E.E.P. Wiggins Nov 5 Samuel Amadon, Robin Davidson, Elisa A. Garza, Dave Parsons
All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
by Laureen Schipsi. A reception and book signing will follow Mr. Helfensteins’ discussion and copies of Art and Activism will be on hand for purchase. Free. 6 pm. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. aiahouston.org HILL/FINGER LECTURE: NATIVE BIRDS OF TEXAS Oct 20 The Hill/Finger Lecture series presents Native Birds of Texas by Kathy Adams Clark. $5 admission for non-members. Noon-1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MICHAEL POLLAN Oct 27 One of the top ten “New Thought Leaders” named by Newsweek, Michael Pollan is leading the American conversation about the places where the human and natural worlds intersect: food, agriculture and gardens. He is the author of the bestsellers In Defense of Food: An Eater’s Manifesto and The Omnivore’s Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals which was named one of the 10 best books of 2006 by The New York Times. He will sign books and greet fans at the end of the evening. Tickets $14$74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org BILL MOYERS Nov 17 Widely acclaimed as one of America’s most prolific and respected journalists, Bill Moyers has received every major media award for his life’s work, including more than 30 Emmys. He is known for his remarkable 40-year run on public television with such breakthrough programs as Joseph Campbell and the Power of Myth; A World of Ideas; Healing and the Mind; Buying the War; his weekly series NOW with Bill Moyers and much more. He will greet fans and sign books at the end of the evening. Tickets $14-$124. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org FESTIVALS AND SPECIAL EVENTS MARINE BIOLOGIST FOR A DAY Sep 3, Oct 1, Nov 5 See if you have what it takes to become a marine biologist. Experience close encounters with exotic species from the deep sea to shallow reef and everywhere in between. You’ll even get to dissect a squid! Program includes guided tour, biologist dive show, squid dissection, animal feedings ,T-shirts and lunch. $49.95 per person, ages 6-12. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com MOMMY AND ME Sep 19, Oct 14, Nov 14 Toddlers, bring your moms and make yourself comfy on giant pillows while listening to a story. Play games and have craft time for $12.99 per participant pair (adult and child), and $2.00 for each additional participant, ages 2-5. Add-on lunch and all-day passes available. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. Mondays, 10 am-11 am. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
MARGARETT ROOT BROWN READINGS SERIES: JEFFREY EUGENIDES Oct 26 Jeffrey Eugenides received rave reviews for his first novel, The Virgin Suicides, which became an international bestseller and was made into a feature film by Sophia Coppola. Eugenides comes to Houston to read from his highly anticipated third novel, The Marriage Plot, coming out in October 2011. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org
BAYOU CITY ARTS FEESTIVAL Oct 8-9 The annual, juried, fine art event boasts a stressfree outdoor gallery brimming with 300 artists working in 19 artistic media. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are wine cafés, the interactive Gexa Energy Creative Zone for children, restaurants, and a performing arts stage with ongoing multicultural musical and dance entertainment presented by The Houston Arts Alliance. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. bayoucityartfestival.com
datebook HERITAGE TEXAS PROPERTIES PRESENTS THE HOUSTON SOUND FALL CONCERT SERIES A neighborhood music series celebrating Houston’s incredibly diverse music scene supporting the mission of The Houston Sound. Free. Fridays. 7-9 pm. Oct 7 Larry Sepulvado - Americana meets Louisiana swamp rock; and headlining Buxton - This rootsyrock band is going to go big, catch them while you can Oct 21 John Evans Band - More than just big hair, their rockabilly-bayou style will transform MSP into a onenight honky tonk Oct 28 Bonerama - Not your traditional brass band; New Orleans’s brass rock funk band will blow your mind
ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS For those of us who don’t want to schlep out to the ‘burbs, we’re bringing the Alamo experience to Market Square Park. Enjoy these quirky classics under the stars. Free.
BARKITECTURE HOUSTON 2011 Oct 14-15 Join Houston Pavilions and Pup Squad for Barkitecture Houston 2011 and enjoy a weekend of dogday good times. Houston’s best architects, designers, builders and artists create amazing dog houses to be auctioned off to benefit Pup Squad, an animal rescue group whose goal is to rescue orphaned puppies and kittens. Friday kicks off with Yappy Hour from 5-9 pm. Saturday is a silent auction of the designer dog houses and spectacular shopping. Free. Noon-6 pm. Pets are welcome to bring their humans! Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com PUERTO RICAN CUBAN FEST Oct 22 A day of culture, celebration and live music. The Puerto Rican Cuban festival will feature all the flavors of the region through its art, music, food, fashion and car shows. Tickets are $8 pre-sale and $12 at the door. Hermann Square, 900 Bagby. Saturday 10 am-10 pm prcfestival.com
NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE PARK Oct 15 Explore historic downtown by joining your friends and neighbors and sampling bites and beverages from the area’s diverse assortment of eclectic bars and restaurants. Saint Arnold brew plus live music at Market Square Park featuring Austin’s super cool Jitterbug Vipers will round out the evening. 6-10 pm.
5th ANNUAL KBR KIDS DAY ON BUFFALO BAYOU Oct 29 Presented by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, a free fun-filled day with hands-on educational activities, music, food, park performers and boat rides on the bayou. Activity stations will include a showcase of bayou animals and insects, numerous activities with more than 20 Houston non-profit organization partners, wetland hikes and kayaking demos. Sabine Promenade, between Memorial Drive and Alley Parkway. Free. Friday 11 am-3 pm. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org VETERANS DAY PARADE Nov 11 The City of Houston supports our armed forces as we celebrate the 13th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade. Free. Ceremony 10 am. City Hall, 901 Bagby. Parade of Heroes,11:30 am.Smith Street. houstonspecialevents.org ARTCRAWL Nov 19 The 19th Annual ArtCrawl invites you to venture
ZOOLOGIST FOR A DAY Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 Tigers at an aquarium? Examine impressive species of birds, reptiles, amphibians and white tigers. Interact with live animals, build animal enrichment toys, talk with tiger and bird keepers, T-shirts and lunch. $49.95 per person, ages 6-12. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. dowtownaquarium.com
MARKET SQUARE PARK 2011
Sep 30 Animal House, 8 pm (Togas optional; Rated R, adult content) Nov 11 When Harry Met Sally, 7 pm
Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s Market Square. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages, please. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available across the street at Market Square Garage. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com
to the northeast side of downtown to visit more than 100 artist studios, galleries and art spaces. ArtCrawlers have a chance to learn more about contemporary art by directly engaging with the artists who make it and the galleries and spaces that present it. Free. 10 am-9 pm. Various locations. artcrawlhouston.com FILM HOUSTON 175 Oct 29 DiverseWorks, in partnership with Aurora Picture Show, joins in a citywide celebration of Houston’s 175th birthday for the presentation of a film program specially curated to mark the occasion. Free. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. houston175.org FOOD & DRINK CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Sep 7-Dec 21 The market hosts more than 40 vendors around the City Hall Reflection Pool with an array of locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients. Free. 11 am-2 pm. City Hall, 901 Bagby. 832.393.1010. houstonspecialevents.org KITCHEN INCUBATOR Sep 1 Cooking with New Mexican Hatch Chiles, $55 Sep 2 Paintings & Pairings: An Evening in Andalucia, $55 Sep 3 Butcher’s Boot Camp 1: Fowl , $65 Sep 7 Farmer’s Market Meals Cooking Class, $45 Sep 9 Roll Your Own Sushi Class, $55 Sep 11 Baker’s Bill Celebration & BakeFest, $75 participants, free for visitors Sep 11 Open Kitchen Cooking Socials $45 Sep 14 Cupcakes & Cocktails with Houston Cupcake Meetup, $15 Sep 16 Mastering the Macaroon, $45 Sep 17 An Empanada Tour of Argentina, $55 Sep 24 Butcher’s Boot Camp 1: Total Catch, $75 Oct 5 Farmer’s Market Meals Cooking Class, $45 Oct 9 Open Kitchen Cooking Socials, $45 Oct 7 Cooking Fundamentals I: Knife Skills, $45 Oct 8 Edible Art Festival & Cooking Class, $45 Oct 13 Classic French Pastry with the Pastry Dame, $45 Oct 14 Cooking Fundamentals II: Cooking Methods, $55 Oct 15 Paintings & Pairings: The Greek Isles, $55 Oct 19 Cupcakes & Cocktails with Houston Cupcake Meetup, $15 Oct 21 Cooking Fundamentals III: Stocks and Sauces, $65 Oct 22 Bringing Out the Flavor in Your Steak, $55 Oct 23 Fall Afternoon Tea Cooking Class & Tea Room with the French Fig, $55 Oct 27 Singles Gourmet Mixers - Young Professionals, $45 Oct 28 Cooking Fundamentals IV: The Art of the Dinner Party, $75 Oct 29 Butcher’s Boot Camp III: The Pig, $85 Nov 5 Chocolate Making 101: From Bean to Bar, $55 Cacao & Coffee: A Dessert Dinner, $55 Nov 9 Farmer’s Market Meals Cooking Class, $45 Nov 11 Pastry Dame 101, $45 Nov 12 Houston Beer Week Celebration by Happier Desserts, call for price.
Nov 13 Open Kitchen Cooking Socials, $45 Nov 16 Cupcakes & Cocktails with Houston Cupcake Meetup, $15 Nov 19 2nd Annual PumpkinFEAST Cooking Class, $55 Nov 21 Holiday Pie Pickup Cooking classes and socials are BYOB with house sodas on draft. 907 Franklin. 713.681.0609 for class details and reservations. cookeatcreate.com EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS HOUSTON 175: ARCHITECTURE Through Nov 4 Houston 175: Celebrate Houston is a citywide celebration of Houston’s 175th birthday. Curated for the Architecture Center Houston by Barrie Scardino, this exhibition will explore the history of Houston’s built environment with more than 100 photographs organized in 10 clusters: First (early history), Sacred, Civic, Shelter, Beautiful, Culture, Modern, Tall, Shop, and Exotic. Free. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm, Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. houston175.org STATE FAIR Sep 9-Oct 28 State Fair is a public spectacle that takes as its inspiration the construct of a contemporary art fair and merges it with the age-old tradition of street peddling. Organized to coincide with Houston’s first-ever public art fairs, The Houston Fine Art Fair in September and the Texas Contemporary in October, State Fair is an arts-centric trade show in which artists from around the state will inhabit the gallery with public projects that explore the notion of street commerce, underground exchange and alternate economies. TueSat, noon-6 pm. Free. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org OF BIRDS AND TEXAS: THE ART OF SCOTT AND STUART GENTLING Sep 13-Nov 13 Stuart and Scott Gentling are two of Texas’ most distinguished contemporary artists. The exhibition consists of large-scale watercolor prints of the birds of Texas. Free. The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby. Tue-Sat 10 am-4 pm, Sun 1-4 pm. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org HOUSTON 175: PEOPLE Oct 17-Dec 2 Working with the Mayor’s Office, a group of Houston non-profit organizations have come together to produce exhibitions, tours, a film series, a history conference, and more to celebrate Houston’s 175th birthday. Ten exhibitions and catalogs will each investigate Houston’s history in a number of areas. FotoFest and Houston Center for Photography present the component dedicated to
Houston people. Hosted by Brookfield Properties. Free. Mon-Fri 7 am-6 pm. One and Two Allen Center, 500 Dallas and 1200 Smith. 713.223.5522. fotofest.org THE RENDERINGS OF PATRICK LOPEZ Nov 10-Jan 14 Architectural renderings spanning the entire career of Patrick Lopez, featuring many landmarks from Houston’s skyline as well as some unbuilt projects. The exhibit coincides with Lopez’ donation of his work to the Houston Metropolitcan Research Center, coordinated with the assistance of Wendy Heger, AIA and Barry Moore, FAIA. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Free. Nov 10, 5:30-7 pm. Exhibit open during ArCH hours. aiahouston.org TARA CONLEY AND TRIA WOOD: MY LIFE AS A DOLL Nov 11-Dec 17 Tara Conley and Tria Wood have created an exhibition that explores the ways in which dolls serve to establish gender roles and their lasting effect on girls and women. My Life as a Doll combines Conley’s fabrication and design skills together with Wood’s experiences in fiction and poetry to create a gigantic three-dimensional storybook that takes creative writing into the realm of the visual arts. Tue-Sat, Noon-6 pm. diverseworks.org SPORTS HOUSTON AEROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.947.7821. aeros.com HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com HISPANIC HERITAGE CELEBRATION Sep 3 Join the Astros as they celebrate Hispanic heritage at Minute Maid Park and play against the Brewers. The first 10,000 fans in the ballpark will receive a Carlos Lee bobble head courtesy of BBVA Compass. astros.com/herencia DOG DAY Sep 4 Bring man’s best friend to Dog Day at Minute Maid Park. The Astros take on the Padres and you can bring your dog out early to enjoy all the fun and activities, followed by a pooch parade and costume contest. $40 for a bullpen box seat for you and your four-legged pal and an Astros dog leash. Registration 11 am. astros.com/dogday HEROES NIGHT Sep 12 Help the Astros salute America’s heroes when they host the Phillies. Before the game, all uniformed police, fire, EMS and military personnel will participate in an on-field pre-game ceremony in honor of their service and those who have given their lives for their country. The first 10,000 fans will receive a mini American flag, courtesy of Arne’s Party Store, and all active members of the police, fire, EMS and military can also purchase nearly half-price tickets at astros.com/heroes. ROBERTO CLEMENTE DAY Sep 14 Come out to Minute Maid Park and celebrate the life and legacy of Roberto Clemente when the Astros host the Phillies. astros.com/clemente OKTOBERFEST Sep 24 Join the Astros for Oktoberfest, presented by Budweiser. The Astros host the Rockies and the Oktoberfest event will be open to all fans with a game
ticket from 4-6 pm on KBR Plaza, just off Crawford. The event features live music on KBR Plaza, beer tastings, a vendor expo in Conoco Alley, and more. All-inclusive packages start at $27. astros.com/oktoberfest. HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. University of Houston Robertson Stadium, 4800 Calhoun. 713.276.7600. houstondynamo.com HOUSTON ROCKETS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866.4HOUTIX. rockets.com CONCERTS VERIZON WIRELESS THEATER Sep 15 Return to Forever !Y with Zappa Plays Zappa Sep 16 Deadmu5 Sep 23 An Evening with Weird Al Yankovic Sep 24 Erasure Oct 1 Michael McDonald Oct 9 Lindsey Buckingham Oct 15 Straight No Chaser Oct 28 Bassnectar Verizon’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. 713.230.1600. livenation.com TOYOTA CENTER Oct 1 Vicente Fernandez Oct 12 Enrique Iglesias w/Pitbull Oct 18-21 Sweet Adelines Nov 30 Cirque du Soleil: Dralion Toyota Center’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.4HOUTIX. toyotacentertix. com HOUSE OF BLUES Sep 1 Ryan Turner Sep 8 Guerilla Union and Black Star Sep 10 The Molly Ringwalds Sep 11 An acoustic evening with the Weepies Sep 15 City and Calour Sep 16 LG Ones to Watch presents Chromeo Sep 17 Foster the People Sep 19 LG Ones to Watch presents Kaiser Chiefs Sep 20 Kip Winger Sep 24 Queensryche Sep 27 Molotov Sep 28 Bring Me the Horizon plus Special Guests Sep 30 David Crowder Oct 1 The Script with special guest Hot Chelle Raw Oct 5 Thrice Oct 7 B.B. King Oct 12 Who’s Bad Oct 15 Dark Star Orchestra – Continuing the Grateful Dead Experience Oct 16 An Evening with Peter Frampton Oct 19 Ben Rector in the Bronze Peacock Oct 21 Gaelic Storm Oct 23 Mix 96.5 Bosom Ball starring Colbie Caillat Oct 24 The Music Box - The Exclusive, Authorized by Peter Gabriel, Re-Creation of Genesis Oct 29 CSS with special guest MEN Nov 11 Yellowcard HOB’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com EXPOS HIGH CALIBER GUN AND KNIFE SHOW Sep 3-4; Oct 15-16 See hundreds of displays of new and old guns, ammo, gun parts, books, knives, sharpening
datebook tools, coins, camouflage and related items at discount prices. Tickets $8. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 281.331.5969. highcalibergunshow.com THE HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR Sep 15-18 Houston’s first international modern and contemporary art fair, featuring galleries from the U.S., Latin America and Europe. Experience special installations, curated projects and a small theater devoted to seminars and discussions for both the novice and experienced collector. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 800.211.0640. hegshows.com/index.php/houstonfair HADA FALL ANTIQUE SHOW 2011 Sep 16-18 Founded in 1964 by three local dealers, the first HADA antiques show was held at the infamous Shamrock Hilton Hotel. The show now consists of 150 dealers from across the country and around the world, displaying virtually every type of antique. Tickets $10 valid for all three days. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.522.4585. hadaantiques.com TEXAS CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR Oct 20-23 With a theme focused on energy and sustainability, this truly unique show gives both seasoned collectors and those brand new to the art world an opportunity to interact and see terrific contemporary art. Tickets start at $20 online/$10 for students. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.208.3891. txcontemporary.com INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL Nov 2-6 Celebrate the 35th annual edition of the International Quilt Festival Houston - the biggest quilt show, sale and quilt-making academy in the world. Tickets $10. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.781.6864. quilts.com TOURS TWILIGHT TOURS ON BUFFALO BAYOU Sep 3, 17 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to see downtown under a moonlit sky. First-come, first-serve, no reservations, 21-person max per trip. $7 adults, $5 for children ages 4-12; Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 6-8 pm. 713.752.0314 buffalobayou.org BAT TOURS ON BUFFALO BAYOU Sep 9, 23; Oct 7,28 You’ll enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence and learn more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to boat tour. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month (reservations required). $35 adults, $25 for children 4-12; Allen’s Landing. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
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SECOND SATURDAY BUFFALO BAYOU BOAT RIDES Sep 10, Oct 8, Nov 12 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. First-come, first-serve, no reservations, 21-person max per trip. 6-8 pm in Sep, 10 am-2 pm in Oct and Nov. $7/$5 for children 4-12. Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org KAYAK TOURS Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 12 Celebrate Houston in a whole new way and join the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a kayak adventure through Houston’s stunning urban wilderness. All equipment is supplied for you, including the tandem (two-person) sit-on-top kayaks. 9 am-noon. $60 per person (reservations required) Start at I-610 and Woodway Drive, end Allen’s Landing; 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOUR Oct 1, Nov 12 Explore the city from a vantage point most people don’t see: the waterway that gave Houston life and has been its backbone for 175 years. Architecture Center Houston (ArCH), with the cooperation of Buffalo Bayou Partnership, invite you to a stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to efforts to revitalize the central city today. $20 per person; $10 for ArCH, AIA Houston, and Bayou Buddies members. Meet at Market Square Park, 301 Milam. 713.752.0314. Market Square parking garage recommended. buffalobayou.org LOOKING BACK HISTORY TOURS WITH LOUIS AULBACH Oct 1 (going east), Nov 5 and Dec 3 (going west) Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Reservations required. Tickets $40. 10 amnoon west of downtown, 1-3 pm east of downtown. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org DOWNTOWN’S EVOLVING SKYLINE Oct 2 The city’s skyline has changed a great deal since the Binz Building opened in 1895, Houston’s fascination with the skyscraper hasn’t. This tour explores the changes in downtown Houston’s skyline during the past 100 years. $10 per person, $7 for GHPA members and students, $2 discount if you walk, bike or ride public transportation to the tour. 2 pm. 713.216.5000. aiahouston.org NATIVE PLANTS AND INVASIVE SPECIES TOUR Oct 22 Buffalo Bayou Partnership and the Native Plant Society take you on a tour to see the wild side of Buffalo Bayou. The importance of native plants and the hindrance of invasive species will be discussed. Healthy techniques for your garden will also be highlighted. $35 per person (includes native tree/plant guide book)
reservations required. Meet at Allen’s Landing. 10-11:30 am. 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org DOWNTOWN WALKING TOUR Oct 29, Dec 10 $20 per person; $10 for ArCH, AIA Houston. aiahouston.org/tour.cfm DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architecture tours and more are available. Tour guide Sandra Lord is the resident expert and has been conducting downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of downtown, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. $10 adults, $8 seniors and free for kids under 18. Tue-Sat 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm; Sun 1 pm, 2:30 pm. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park, including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth or press boxes, Astros’ or visitors’ dugout, luxury suites and much more. $9 adults, $7 seniors and $5 for kids 3-14. Mon-Sat 10 am, noon, 2 pm. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8687. astros.com TOYOTA CENTER’S BACKSTAGE TOUR The one-hour backstage tour will take you behind the scenes of Houston’s premier destination for sports and entertainment. $7 adults and $5 for seniors and kids under 12. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758.7715. houstontoyotacenter.com SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOURS Visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery. Every Saturday, the doors open at 11 am and groups rotate in and out of the facility in an open-house format until the final group is allowed in at 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at 3 pm. After the tour, guests are welcome to stay for a free tasting. $7 adults, all minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 2000 Lyons at I-10. saintarnold.com FREE SELF-GUIDED SMARTPHONE TOURS Hit play and let local insiders, captivating voices and an original soundtrack envelop you in stories of Houston’s past and present. No need to worry about which way to go or what to look for, we’ll point out everything along the way. Three tours are available: The Ultimate Downtown Tour, Museum District Walk & Roll and A Walk in the Park: Discovery Green Walking Tour. Tours are free at downtownhouston.org.
INSPERITY GOLF EXPERIENCE Sep 1-Nov 27 Come play this artist-made miniature golf course in the park featuring holes by The Art Guys, Bill Davenport, Emily Sloan, Anthony Thompson Shumate, Elaine Bradford and Dennis Nance, Seth Mittag and Jason Makepeace, Aerosol Warfare, Jonathon Leach, and Noah Edmondson. Thu-Sun 10 am-6 pm. $5 per person; 12 and under $3. Group discounts available. DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 Everything old is new again. Find recycled, renewed and refreshed objects the third Saturday of each month along with food and local bands. There’s even a scavenger hunt. Free. Noon-6 pm. ALL ABOUT FRIDA Sep 23 Dr. Gregorio Luke returns to Houston for a unique lecture on Frida Kahlo. Free. 7-9 pm. THE CHANGING FACE OF HOUSTON Oct 4 Dr. Steven Klineberg’s Kinder Annual Houston Survey, presented by Exxon-Mobil. Free. 7-9 pm. PAINTING IN THE PARK WITH PINOT’S PALETTE AND CULTUREMAP Oct 11, Nov 8 Paint in the park with Stella Artois, Messina Hof and Culture Map. $10 contribution to Discovery Green Team. 5:30-7:30 pm. SCREAM ON THE GREEN Oct 29 Don’t miss Houston’s annual citywide costume contest and Halloween celebration. It’s a scream! Costumes, prizes, music, movies and more! IKEA presents the Halloween movie The Nightmare Before Christmas. Free. 6-10 pm. FUN-OMENAL FAMILY FESTIVAL Nov 13 A celebration of generations with lots of arts and crafts, music, and rides. The event also features baby Olympics and a maternity fair with a mommy pamper station. Sponsored by St. Joseph Medical Center and IKEA Houston. Free. Noon6 pm. THE ICE AT DISCOVERY GREEN Opens Nov 24 Lace up your skates and get ready for a memorable winter experience. Ice skating returns to downtown for the holiday season. ENTERTAINMENT SERIES BLUES AND BURGERS Enjoy Houston’s best in blues music with a lunchtime concert. Free. Noon-1:30 pm. Sep 7 Pearl Murray & The Jewels Sep 14 Rue Davis Sep 21 Diunna Greenleaf & Blue Mercy Sep 28 Milton Hopkins Band Oct 5 Tha Lady D Oct 12 Texas Johnny Brown Oct 19 The Snake Charmers Oct 26 Sonny Boy Terry Band Nov 2 Ann Crawfish Brown Band Nov 9 The Del Grosso / Del Toro Richardson Band THURSDAY CONCERT SERIES Rock out at the park’s free, family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of Texas and the Gulf Coast. Free. 6:30-9 pm. Sep 8 Leroy Thomas & The Zydeco Roadrunners Sep 15 Gary Clark Jr. Sep 22 Two Hoots and a Holler with Runaway Sun Sep 29 Dale Watson with Mary McBride Oct 6 Texas Tornados Oct 13 NRBQ with The Octanes H-E-B MOVIE NIGHT: RATATOUILLE Sep 16 Join in a cheese stacking contest before settling in for this new Disney classic! Bring canned food for the Houston Food Bank for Hunger Awareness Month and learn which artist will create H-E-B’s Celebration Station at Discovery Green. Free. 8-10 pm.
GOSPEL AT THE GREEN Sep 18, Sep 25, Oct 30 Enjoy a fabulous gospel brunch at The Grove or on the lawn. Presented in conjunction with the Houston Arts Alliance Folklife and Traditional Arts Program. Free. 11:30 am-2 pm.
IKEA HOUSTON SCREEN ON THE GREEN Sep 24 Fantasia 7:30 pm Oct 8 Rio 7 pm Nov 5 Toy Story 3 7 pm ART SERIES PUBLIC POETRY IN THE PARK Oct 1, Nov 5, Dec 3 Presented by the Houston Public Library. 2-3 pm. Free. HSPVA AT DISCOVERY GREEN Nov 3 The Three Tenors with a Jazz Twist features HSPVA star alumni tenor sax performers Walter Smith III, Shelley Caroll, and Geof Brandfield performing with the HSPVA Jazz Ensemble. Presented with support from the Kinder Foundation. Free. 7 pm. KUHF SILENT FILM CONCERT SERIES Oct 14 Chaplin shorts featuring some of the best of Charlie Chaplin’s early shorts including The Tramp, The Immigrant, Easy Street and The Rink. The silent films will be accompanied live by Loreta Kovacic. Free. 7:30 pm. Nov 4 The Camerman. Enjoy Buster Keaton’s at his most imaginative and entertaining best. Austin’s Bee vs. Moth performs their original score to this 1928 classic film. Free. 7:30-9:30 pm. HEALTHY LIVING SERIES RECYCLING SATURDAYS Saturdays Sep 3-Nov 12 Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to be recycled. Shred your paper products in September, donate your clothing and shoes in October and hit the delete button on your electronics in November. Free. 10 am-2 pm. BICYCLE REPAIR WORKSHOP Saturdays Sep 3-Nov 12 Bring your bike and learn how to fix it. Free. 11 am-3 pm. projectbicyclefreedom.org FITNESS IN THE PARK SLOW FLOW YOGA Saturdays Sep 3-Nov 12 The antidote to our fast-paced world. Free. 9:30-10:30 am. DISCOVERY HOOP DANCE Sundays Sep 4-Nov 13 Have a blast while burning calories. Free. 10:30-11:30 am. BUM-BA TONING! Mondays Sep 5-Nov 7 Tighten and tone your bum and abs, no ifs, ands, or butts about it! Free. 6:30-7:30 pm. JOYFUL YOGA Tuesdays Sep 6-Nov 8 A full workout for body, mind and soul. Free. 6:30-7:30 pm. ZUMBA! Wednesdays Sep 7-Nov 9 The exercise craze that has everyone moving to the beat. Free. 6:30-7:30 pm. FAMILIES & CHILDREN DISTRICT I FAMILY DAY Sep 10 Council Member James Rodriguez unites families as they start the school year. Learn about education and career paths, with a focus on “green” jobs. The event ends with a showing of Finding Nemo. Free. 3-10 pm. TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON Oct 8 Houston’s third annual free, family-oriented festival of the outdoors. It’s wild family fun with shooting, fishing, paddling, activities, crafts and live demos of birds of prey by a master falconer. Sponsored by McBride Foundation. Free. 10 am-3 pm.
TODDLER TUESDAY PRESENTED BY GEXA ENERGY Enjoy story time and activities with your favorite looka-like characters. Free. 10:30-11:45 am. Sep 6 Smurfin’ Big Adventure Sep 13 Fancy Dress-Up Fun Sep 20 Day At The Beach Sep 27 Handy Repair Man Oct 4 Rockin’ Babies Oct 11 Playhouse Pals Oct 18 Go, Train, Go! Oct 25 The Costume Trunk Nov 1 If I Ran The Zoo Nov 8 Songs And Story: Winnie The Pooh YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP Saturdays Sep 3-Nov 12 Writers in the Schools, HPL Express and Discovery Green team up to offer Houston’s only free and open writing workshop for kids. Free. 10:30-11:30 am. EVENTS PRESENTED BY… Discovery Green welcomes these public events to the park. REBIRTH Sep 9 Dignity Memorial presents Houston Remembers 9/11, a tribute to the 10th anniversary of September 11, 2001. The tribute will feature a screening of Rebirth, a feature-length documentary that follows the transformation of five people, over the course of 10 years. Free. Pre-show program starts at 7:15 pm, film starts an hour later, followed by a candle lighting and bagpipe ceremony at 10. FRIENDS FOR LIFE Sep 17, Oct 15, Nov 19 A state-of-the-art adoption center on wheels brings the pets to the people in style Information on fostering and adopting and volunteering. Free. Noon-6 pm. BIKE TO BUILD Sep 24 Houston Habitat for Humanity invites the entire community to the 2011 Bike to Build, sponsored by BG Group. The ride and post-ride party are open to cyclists of all levels. Free. 7:30 am-noon. P.H.A.T . FESTIVAL Oct 2 YPF hosts Houston’s first PHAT Festival. Physically Healthy And Talented – is a movement to encourage youth to play, be more physically active and eat nutritious foods. Free. 1-7 pm. NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Oct 4 A time for citizens to join forces to promote police-community partnerships; crime, drug and violence prevention; safety; and neighborhood unity. Free. 6-9 pm. DIONYSUS AT THE GREEN Nov 12 The only fully inclusive theater company in Texas presents Wonderland: The Misadventures of a Girl Named Alice; lively entertainment for the entire family. Free. 6-9:30 pm. Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at The Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages, please. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com
The Guide to eating downtown
Angie Bertinot & Lauren Covington
Bombay Pizza Co. Who knew that an Indian-Italian pizzeria would be so delicious...owner, Viral Patel did. A downtown favorite, Bombay Pizza was even a feature by Food Network's Mo Rocca. (FYI, Mo recommends the Gateway of India Pizza.) Page 48.
L17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$ L Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.1200. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ L Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Houston downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat (Open for L & D on Sunday only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L BB’s Café Cajun A relaxed café atmosphere with a menu of “Tex-Orleans” fusion food, which includes nearly two dozen overstuffed signature po’ boys, mouth-watering Mexico City-style tacos, homemade gumbo and more. bbscafe.com. 509 Louisiana, 713.236.8269. L, D Daily. $ Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$ new! Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. D Mon-Sat; L Mon - Fri. $$ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the Saag Paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $
Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol , 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texas-chic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$ L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 810 Capitol, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ B.U.S. Sports Grill and Bar American The ultimate hangout spot before or after a ballgame. Come and enjoy your favorite cold beverage or bite to eat while cheering the home team to victory. B.U.S. is also a great place to catch the latest sporting event on the big screen! Two locations. Before/after Rockets games, 1410 Bell. Before/after Astros games, 1800 Texas. $ Cabo Mexican The “Mix-Mex” grill is a spicy blend of South and Central American flavors. A fun downtown spot with the ultimate outdoor balcony for dining overlooking the historic streets of downtown. cabomixmex.com. 419 Travis, 713.225.2060. L & D Mon-Sun; LN Mon-Sat. $$ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. One of the originals in the fast casual restaurant category, you can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat. $ new! Cafe Luz Bakery A bakery café named after the hand-crafted copper lighting that illuminates the historical space near Market Square Park. Diners will find seasonal dishes and pastries from various Houston chefs. Beverages are not to be missed, with locally roasted coffee, shakes, malts and artisan sodas with flavors like lavender and vanilla mint. cafeluzhouston.com. 907 Franklin, 281.912.3589. B Mon-Fri; L Daily. $$ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L MonFri; D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ new! Chutney's Indian Made with fresh ingredients to reflect both southern and northern dishes of India. Stop in for the incredible lunch buffet and vast vegetarian menu. chutneyshouston.com. 1010 Lamar, 713.571.2010. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ new! Convey Sushi A very cool new sushi spot located at Market Square. The same owner as next door neighbor, Les Givral’s Kahve, Convey is affordable sushi. A conveyer belt, thus the name, runs down the center of the bar or you also can get table service. Lots of natural light and a modern aesthetic make this a feel-good neighborhood restaurant. conveysushi.com. 803 Congress, 713.518.7219. L & D daily. $$ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $
Domino’s Pizza 804 Main, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center.B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ L The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$ Downtown Donuts Bakery This little shop puts out a large assortment of breakfast goodies. Daily fresh baked choices include glazed, iced or filled donuts, bear claws, cinnamon rolls and turnovers and they also have kolaches—be sure to try the spicy boudin kolache. 1207 Prairie, 713.236.0500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Downtown Hunan Café Chinese Fast casual spot offering all your Asian favorites. 613 Clay, 713.759.0515. L Mon-Fri. $ L Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon-Fri. $ Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and greattasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon-Fri. $ new! Einstein’s Bagels Deli Known as great place to grab freshly-baked bagels and coffee for breakfast, they also serve up delectable lunch choices that include paninis, melts and pizza bagels. Be an office hero and use the catering service to treat your work pals. einsteinbros.com. 1200 Louisiana. Mon-Sun B & L. $ L El Rey Taqueria Cuban/Mexican This fast casual Cuban and Mexican eatery is home to tasty plantains and juicy roasted chicken. El Rey opens early for those craving breakfast tacos and is open late on weekend nights for night owls craving a Cuban sandwich. elreytaqueria.com. 233 Main, 713.225.1895. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L ERA Italian/American Located at Market Square, this new joint serves up pizzas, salads and sandwiches inspired from all over the world. Try the Tai Thai pizza for a taste of Asia or the Meat-Head if you’re looking to pack protein. era809.com. 809 Congress, 713.225.1066. L Daily; D Thu-Sat. $
} key to symbols These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. "Recommended" restaurants are selected by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
>For a searchable database of downtown
Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Dining.
Far Left: Slumdog pizza at Bombay
Pizza Co. left: Edgar Alexandar serves up stellar food and smiles at ERA. Below: Cheesy delight at Frank's Pizza.
tasty trifecta downtown has pies that deliver, no matter how you slice it By Lauren Covington The argument for the best pizza in town is often the subject of heated dinner table debate. Luckily, downtown boasts three deliciously different pie shops, any of which could claim victory in the battle. Frank’s Pizza, at 412 Travis, offers whole pies and by-the-slice options – the latter being a great choice when you’re looking for some sustenance after a late night at La Carafe. Open until 3 a.m. on weekends, Frank’s lures bar hoppers with the aroma of fresh-baked, hand-tossed crusts. The wide, New York-style slices score high on the ‘foldability’ scale. 48
These Big Apple pies are doused in Texas flavors, particularly the chicken fiesta and barbecue pizzas. Offering salads and sandwiches alongside the pizzas, Frank’s expansive menu satisfies both downtown’s lunch and late-night crowds. Plus, Frank’s is the only joint in town serving Saint Arnold brews for just $2. Just across from Market Square Park, you’ll find ERA in an airy, historical space at 809 Congress. ERA may be new to downtown’s pizza scene, but the owners hail from a strong pizza background and bring new flavors to the market. They certainly color far outside the lines of typical Italian fare. Locals favor Tai Thai, an Asian-inspired pizza, topped with chicken, carrots, cilantro, peppers and peanut sauce, and The 809, a dish that masters the sweet-and-salty hook with artichokes, Brie, prosciutto and figs. Serving sandwiches, appetizers and personal-sized pies, ERA presents a perfect opportunity for guests to order tapas-style and share meals. And since the pizzas are so internationally diverse, you’ll have a hard time choosing just one. Bombay Pizza, located near Main Street Station at 914 Main, specializes in a nachothin crust pizza, topped with fresh Indian ingredients that will transport your taste buds to the Arabian Coast. Vegetarians flock to Bombay for its meatless selections, but carnivores crave the Slumdog; a pizza topped with Spanish chorizo, beef, Canadian bacon, grilled chicken and jalapenos on a Bombay sauce. Other popular pies include the Saag Paneer, a vegetarian pie with collard greens, spinach, fontina and paneer (a fresh Indian cheese), and the Sonu Rita, a margheritastyle pizza set off with cilantro-mint chutney and paneer. Bombay may have found big fans with their pizzas, but anyone who tries the kati rolls, made from Indian flatbread, chutney, pickled onions and chicken or sweet potatoes, are glad they did. If you stop by for lunch, you will see a line out the door. Don’t be afraid. It moves fast. Jump on in!
Falafel Frenzy Mediterranean This quaint spot serves up all your Mediterranean favorites, including beef and chicken kabobs, hummus and of course falafel. 914 Prairie, 713.237.8987. L Mon-Fri. $ L Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ new! Gelato Blu Gelato/Coffeehouse Brought to you from the masterminds behind Bombay, this Italian-style shop serves up gelato, sorbetto and caffe Italiano, that will satisfy your sweet cravings with any of its delicious flavors. 914 Main, Ste. 115, 713.655.1400. Daily. $ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s newest park. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This family-owned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$ Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an all-American menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers, nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$ Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy American food with all menu items (except for sampler platters) less than $10. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during offseason so call first). $ Hong Kong Diner Chinese A favorite of downtown locals, Hong Kong Diner will not disappoint with its expansive menu and delicious chef’s specials. Be sure to try the dumplings. 909 Franklin, 713.236.1688. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ Houston Tamales Factory Mexican Family recipes made with fresh ingredients. Great breakfast tacos and of course the tamales are the house specialty. houstontamalesfactory.com. 1205 Travis. B & L Mon-Sat. $ L Hubcap Burger Grill American Classic Small but quaint burger joint. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ Humble Cafe American The Humble Cafe is a full-service restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $
L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, home-cooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $$ L Irma’s New Southwest Grill Mexican Irma’s second location is a hip spot to satisfy a Mexican food craving. Enjoy tasty foods and great drinks for lunch or dinner. Only a few short blocks from Minute Maid Park. irmassouthwest.com. 1314 Texas, 713.247.9651. B & L Mon-Fri. Open on Astros baseball game days and nights three hours before first pitch. $$ Jason’s Deli Deli Order to please, Jason’s will make your sandwich or salad exactly how you like it. jasonsdeli.com. 901 McKinney, 713.650.1500. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Jimmy John’s Gourmet Sandwiches Deli All subs are served on your choice of fresh-baked French bread or thick-sliced 7-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $ Korma Sutra Indian The name comes from the chef’s love affair with fine Indian cuisine. The fine Indian establishment takes a menu-less approach where every dish can be custom ordered to your liking. Wait staff will let you know the daily specials, but if your palate is set on chicken masala or lamb curry, they will happily oblige. We also recommend trying the cilantro-mint limeade! korma-sutra.com. 706 Main, 832.721.9977. L & D Mon- Sat. $$ L The Lake House Fast Casual The Lake House offers family-friendly food, featuring burgers, Kobe beef hot dogs, salads, shakes, wine and beer. Located on Kinder Lake, there is a large patio where you can watch model boats race across the water or listen to some live music from the nearby amphitheater stage. thelakehousehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar. Tue-Wed 11-3; Thu-Sun 11-8. $ L La Palapa Fast Food A Courthouse District favorite, there’s always a line at this free-standing pink concession stand for breakfast tacos and hamburgers. 1110 Preston, 713.228.9620. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & live music Tue-Sat. $ L Last Concert Cafe Mexican Tucked away in the Warehouse District, this Tex-Mex cafe was born in 1949 and still supplies tasty food and local music today. Spend some time on the leafy back patio and you’ll swear you’re in your neighbor’s backyard throwing back a cold one. lastconcert.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & live music Tue-Sat. $ L Les Givral’s Kahve Vietnamese Winner of the 2006 “City’s Best” award for Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Les Givral’s offers up a delicious menu and great service. Located in downtown’s historic Market Square. lesgivrals.com. 801 Congress, 713.547.0444. B Mon-Fri; L Mon-Sat; D Fri & Sat. $ new! Latin Bites Café Latin American This place puts a new twist on Latin food from Chef Roberto Castre, whose influences come from Japanese, Chinese and French styles. Find fresh flavors such as Peruvian-style cebiche or Sashimi tiraditio. Tue-Sat; L Tue-Sun. latinbitescafe.com. 1302 Nance, 713.229.8369 $$ Little Napoli Italian Offering southern Italian items in a casual setting, you can opt for indoor seating or take a spot on the large patio right on Main Street. The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 1001 Texas, 713.225.3900. L, D & LN Daily. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar,
made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Macondo Latin Bistro Latin The menu is a tasty fusion of Latin dishes with a strong influence of Colombian cuisine. Try the migas on an English muffin for breakfast. Macondo also has a full coffee bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee, a juice bar and a great selection of affordable wines and beers. macondobistro.com. 509 Main, 713.229.8323. B &L Daily; D Fri & Sat. $ Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinese cuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $ L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $ L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L Massa’s Seafood Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$ McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ Minuti Coffee Coffehouse The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D, LN Sun–Sat. $ Molly’s Pub Pub Fare A good ol’ Irish bar with tasty food to soak up the beer. Your standard pub fare— sandwiches, dogs and pretty much anything that’s not good for you. mollyspubs.com. 509 Main, 713.222.1033. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Morton’s The Steakhouse Steak House This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. D Mon-Sun. $$$$
Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ New Orleans Cajun Po-Boy Fast Food A great place to grab a fried shrimp or crawfish po-boy. 648 Polk, 713.750.0007. L Mon-Fri. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe last fall at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D daily. $ L Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon-Fri. $ Paul’s Snack Shop Deli Sandwiches, salads and snacks to-go.1213 Prairie, 713.224.4701. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ Ponte Vecchio Ristorante Italiano Italian Don’t let the cafeteria-style service at Ponte Vecchio fool you, everything is prepared from scratch. You’ll find many delicious, healthy selections on the menu at this luncheon eatery, all at a reasonable price. alpontevecchio.com. 507 Dallas, 713.659.9400. L Mon-Fri. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Alden Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Samba Grille South American Samba Grille offers a vast lunch selection of appetizers, homemade soups, fresh salads and choice meats and seafood. At dinner service, gauchos weave their way through the dining room to bring the most exquisite churrascaria service, from their meat-loaded rotisserie spears, directly to the plate. sambagrillehouston.com. 530 Texas at Bayou Place, 713.343.1180. L Mon-Fri & Sun; D daily. $$-$$$ L Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon-Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$ SG’s Express Vietnamese Vietnamese You’ll find all your Vietnamese favorites here: vermicelli bowl, the sandwich, egg drop soup, egg rolls and many different smoothie flavors. 1225 Travis, 713.659.0200. L Mon-Fri. $
Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $
Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $
The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Kitchen, d’lish, Doozo Dumpling & Noodles, Droubi Bros. Grill, Freshii, Great American Cookies, Longhorn Uptown Café, Mediterranean Grill, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s, Otto’s Barbeque, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Quizno’s, Robek’s Juice, Roman Delight, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Starbucks, Subway, Teppanyaki, Treebeards, Wall Street Deli, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $
L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
L Shula’s American Steak House Steak House Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand-painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$
L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $
Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Steak House An ideal location to enjoy a great steak, Spencer’s offers top-quality beef and boasts an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is light, engaging and conducive to conversation. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.577.8325. L & D Daily. $$$$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ The State Bar Pub Fare Located on the second floor of Post Rice Lofts with a beautiful balcony overlooking Texas Ave., this upscale lounge also serves appetizers and hearty sandwiches with your martinis and margaritas. thestatebar.com. 909 Texas, Suite 2A, 713.229.8888. Mon-Sat. $ L Strip House Steak House Only minutes from the convention center and Toyota Center, Strip House’s mouth-watering steaks are accompanied by a seductive ambiance. Red walls and carpet give this steak palace a unique interior. An international collection of wines puts the finishing touches on the restaurant. striphouse.net. The Shops at Houston Center, 1200 McKinney, 713.659.6000. L Mon-Fri; D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$$$ Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $ L Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. The bistro serves a selection of artistically and generously presented cuisine. Happy hour weekdays offer $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and its happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $ new! Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Downtown's newest spot for sports fans with large appetites and an arsenal of high fives. Located at The Shops at Houston Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg
Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Vic & Anthony’s Steak House This world-class steak house is one of the most elegant dining locations in Houston. It boasts rich mahogany woodwork and one-of-a-kind hospitality. Located in the heart of the Ballpark District and across from Minute Maid Park, Vic & Anthony’s is the ideal spot for entertaining business clients, a special celebration or a pre/post-game dinner. vicandanthonys.com. 1510 Texas, 713.228.1111. L Fri; D Daily. $$$$ L Voice Restaurant & Lounge Modern American An award-winning dining experience located in the historic lobby of Hotel Icon’s landmark bank building. The intimate dining room is extravagant, and the exquisite dishes from the Gulf Coast and South Texas emphasize fresh ingredients. A contemporary lounge with a modern setting for cocktails and an elegant after-work meeting place. hotelicon.com. Hotel Icon, 220 Main, 832.667.4470. B Daily; D Mon-Sat. $$$ Warren’s Inn Fast Casual Let the good times roll with a killer jukebox, excellent drinks and a fun, bohemian environment. Quick sandwiches and other items are served during the day; you can order in from nearby restaurants at night if you have the munchies. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207. L Mon-Fri; LN Daily. $ Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Yao Restaurant and Bar Asian The menu at Yao’s is a mix of standard American-Chinese fare, like sesame chicken and kung pao chicken, along with more exotic dishes like braised abalone. Sushi rolls include the Yao Roll, with snow crab and black caviar topped with lobster. yaorestaurant.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Main, 713.739.9267. L Mon-Fri, D Mon–Sat. $$ Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com. 809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Ziggy's Bar & Grill American Ziggy’s offers healthy comfort food in their new Main Street location. Counter service is offered during the day and table service at night. Happy hour specials include pomegranate martinis and Ziggyritas made with fresh citrus juice. The location is conveniently located along the light rail line and just a few short blocks from the Theater District. Brunch Sat & Sun 9-3. ziggysbarandgrill.com. 702 Main, 713.527.8588. B, L & D Daily. $ Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteria-style Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon-Fri. $
sip. The Brewery Tap | 717 Franklin
Sit at one of the long wooden picnic tables (think biergarten) and chill with one of the 35 beers on tap. Laid-back and friendly, a great place to catch a soccer game and play some darts. Mon-Thu 4-10 pm; Fri & Sat 4 pm-1 am; Sun 4-11 p.m.
Chapel Spirits | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Chapel Spirits is a sophisticated bar, ideal for happy hour, an engagement party, a bachelor party or late nite VIP experience. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Fri & Sat 10 pm-2 am chapelspirits.com
Char Bar | 305 Travis Char Bar offers stiff drinks alongside custom suits. Drenched in nostalgia, Char Bar is proud of its history, as reflected in the old photos of family members who have worked in the space since the 1930s. Enjoy the second floor balcony or chat it up with Weldon Renfro, who has a permanent shoe shine booth at the entrance. Mon-Wed 10 am–midnight, Thu-Sat 10 am-2 am
Dean’s | 316 Main Much of the original building was preserved when the 30s department store was converted into a bar. If you’re lucky, you can snag the table in Houston’s first electric elevator tucked away in the corner. Listen to live music by local artists every night, buy the local art on the walls, and drink frozen cosmos while taking in the ever-changing downtown scene. Sun-Wed 8 pm-2 am, Thu-Sat 5 pm-2 am
The Dirt | 1209 Caroline The non-venue rock 'n' roll lounge is a popular pre- and post-show destination spot that has become famous for its performer patronage. Drawing crowds and artists from every venue in the city has allowed The Dirt to host hundreds of memorable after-show events, including Lady Gaga, Foo Fighters and Kings of Leon. Daily 6 pm-2 am dirtbar.com
1820 Bar | 1820 Franklin Located just one block north of Minute Maid Park. Small flat-screen TVs dot the bar, allowing patrons to keep tabs on games while not being the center of attention. This isn’t the place for screaming sports nuts, this is more the place for friends to kick back in the black leather chairs and discuss the game in a civil manner. On the first and last Friday of every month Joystix Classic Games and Pinball next door is open, and $15 gets you all night to practice your Ms. PacMan skills. Daily 4 pm-2 am
Flying Saucer | 705 Main Offering more than 200 beers, with nearly half on draft, Flying Saucer is a great place to hang out and enjoy a cold one. A cool and relaxed atmosphere along with a hip crowd gives downtown visitors a great place to enjoy the night. Check out the website for information on beer tastings, trivia night and specials. Mon-Wed, 11 am-1 am, Thu & Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat noon-2 am, Sun noon-midnight. beerknurd.com
House of Blues | 1204 Caroline Street @ Houston Pavilions A well-known national franchise with a lively, fun atmosphere. A 1,500-person concert venue is onsite and some of the best touring shows in the country come through on a weekly basis. The members-only Foundation Room is
plate FALL 2011
Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites—from the quintessential dive to swanky lounges, you’re sure to find something that will quench your thirst!
available for VIPs. Show times and events vary nightly. Call or check out the website for details. hob.com
downtown and people watching. Wed, Fri & Sat 9 pm–2 am. pbrhouston.com
La Carafe | 813 Congress
Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin @ Houston Pavilions
The oldest building in Houston, this dark and cozy hideaway boasts a great jukebox, moody atmosphere and an extensive beer and wine selection. Sit on the outside patio or balcony and look up in awe at the amazing downtown skyline. Cash only. Mon-Fri noon-2 am, Sat & Sun 1 pm-2 am
Last Concert Café | 403 Nance One of Houston’s best kept secret treasures! You have to knock three times on the red door to gain entry to the unmarked house in the Warehouse District (well, not anymore). With a backyard stage and sandpit, hoola-hooping and tiki bar, Last Concert has live music Tue through Sun nights. Tue-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.com
Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis Located across the street from the main Metro bus station and a few blocks from the Greyhound hub, the Lone Star Saloon is a true classic Texas dive bar that seems misplaced in its urban setting. The crowd, half aging townies and half world-weary road dogs, are always willing to share havebeen-to-hell-and-back stories. Daily noon-2 am
Lucie’s Liquors | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Go to Lucie’s for taste of vintage Vegas, quality drinks and a night to remember. The attitude at this place recalls a time when the Rat Pack was at the top and the ladies called the shots. Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching! Tue & Thu 8 pm–2 am. Fri & Sat 9 pm–2 am. luciesliquors.com
Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge | 1201 San Jacinto @ Houston Pavilions Swanky upscale bowling alley with a separate restaurant/ lounge area. Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Great lunchtime and Sunday brunch bowling specials. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am. bowlluckystrike.com
Molly’s Pub | 509 Main This classic Irish pub offers a variety of Irish whiskeys and international beers. Tables and coves lead you to the back, where pool and darts can be found and a second-floor balcony provides excellent views of Main Street and downtown. Daily 11 am-2 am. mollyspubs.com
Notsuoh | 314 Main The name is Houston spelled backwards. A bar full of random weirdness: Think grunge lounge and artsy. You’ll find people playing chess, and drinking beer, live music, lots of crazy, weird artwork and maybe walk in on a night of punk-rock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am.
PBR Houston | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Cowboy cool meets urban chic in this country bar in the city. Grab a cold beer, hard drinks and try your hand at a little bull riding. This is the place when you want to two-step, hang low, or just meet a pretty little lady or urban cowboy. Great balcony seating for scenic views of
Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drinkalong, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed-Sat, 7 pm-2 am Wed-Sat 7 pm-2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com
The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ Alden Hotel Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun-Thu 11 ammidnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. aldenhotels.com
Sambuca | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Guests can enjoy live music most nights of the week in this upscale and eclectic environment. The plush interior and elegant design make for an amazing location. Enjoy your favorite drink inside or hang outside on the patio with the locals. Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight, Thu 11 am-1 am, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. sambucarestaurant.com
Shark Bar | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place No need to drive to Galveston to get to the beach. This surf bar is an endless party with pail punch, pina coladas and retro dance music that will take you to the North Shore. The surf at Shark Bar is always good and the rum runners are frosty! Great balcony seating for scenic views of downtown and people watching. Fri & Sat 9 pm-2 am. sharkbartx.com
Shay McElroy’s Pub | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Dublin native and owner John McElroy created this space around a richly detailed, 19th-century bar he had shipped from Ireland. The crowd is an inviting collection of young professionals and not-so-young merrymakers who enjoy colorful dialogue and witty conversation. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat & Sun 1 pm-2 am. mcelroyspub.com
State Bar | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Located on the second floor of the Rice Lofts, this upscale bar presents a classic richness all its own. Much of the furniture and memorabilia are from the old Rice Hotel’s Capitol Club. Leather couches make for great seating and conversation, while a grand veranda overlooks the city outside. Mon-Fri 3 pm-2 am, Sat 6 pm-2 am. thestatebar.com
Sunny’s Bar | 901 Capitol @ Main Laid-back place with a friendly atmosphere and great prices that keep the regulars coming back. Sunny will likely be behind the bar serving up the beer and cocktails and great conversation. Foosball, darts and shuffleboard are in the back of the house to keep you entertained. Mon-Sat 2 pm-2 am.
Warren’s Inn | 307 Travis This tavern is long known for its top-notch jukebox full of American classics, strong mixed drinks and its diverse crowd of customers. Mon-Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat noon-2 pm, Sun 2 pm-2 am.
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