downtown fall 2013
connecting you to the center of houston
legally speaking south texas college of law celebrates 90 years
trees please! five downtown parks that are destination-worthy
food scene the new culinary hot spot on our radar page 51
Architectural Inspiration a writer's perspective on the buildings that shape our city
pa n at l a n t i c e x p l o r at i o n
c u r ta i n s u p i n t h e t h e at e r d i s t r i c t
fa l l c a l e n da r m u s t- s e e s
IT WOULD BE EASIER TO LIST WHAT WE’RE NOT CHANGING.
HOUSTON PAVILIONS is now transforming TO GREENSTREET Come by to experience—restaurants, entertainment, shopping options—and see what’s to come.
GREENSTREET 1201 Fannin | greenstreetdowntown.com | facebook | twitter
FALL 2013 VOL. 6, NO. 1
Leafy leisure time / p. 18
SCAN downtown Managing Editor/ Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions
6 legal minds
Design ph Design Shop
South Texas College of Law has been graduating some of our nation’s finest lawyers for 90 years. Not only are their academic programs well-respected, but the school also prides itself on being a good downtown neighbor.
Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography
by sandra cook
Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Lauren Covington, Sandra Cook, Melissa Fitzgerald, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Melissa Seuffert
18 park it
From the fantastically popular Discovery Green to the charms of Market Square and Sam Houston Parks, Downtown has a happily diverse selection of green space. And in the past few years, the city’s stakeholders have invested both time and money into making them even more desirable. That attention has paid off, with millions visiting these natural destinations each year.
Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ firstname.lastname@example.org
by Melissa fitzgerald
26 BUILDING BLOCKS
Questions or comments? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@ downtowndistrict.org
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.
We don’t claim our list of architectural must-sees is the list to end all lists. But we do think it’s a pretty good start. Even better, our compilation is chock full of interesting bits of information and history. Whether it’s the ghost story connected to the historic Niels Esperson Building or the real reason the JPMorgan Chase Tower stopped at 75 stories, we’ve got the scoop. And we’re happy to share. by HOLLY BERETTO
hot companies PanAtlantic Exploration may have changed their name and their home base, but they haven’t changed their strong work ethic and their drive to grow the company. by SANDRA COOK
backstage The Houston Theater District leaps to life this fall, with some blockbuster shows, superstar performances and a centennial anniversary. Plus, learn what makes Ars Lyrica tick.
Perfect parks and distinctive architecture – just a couple of the reasons we love Downtown.
by MELISSA SEUFFERT
datebook Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
plate/sip Forget everything you think you know about ramen noodles and head to Goro & Gun for their unique twist on a favorite.
destination downtown map
We built this city Sleek, shiny, modern. The Houston skyline is most certainly
all these things. But it is so much more. Our skyline tells our story – and it’s a story more rich and fascinating than we often give ourselves credit for. The soaring towers of the Central Business District, the quaint homes in Sam Houston Park and the quirky lofts and churches found throughout Downtown all weave a tale that began with the Allen brothers and continues today with visionaries who still see Houston as a city of opportunity and optimism. We know that our list of distinctive Downtown structures is not complete, but it’s not intended as a definitive catalog. Rather, Holly Beretto has gathered up more than two dozen of her favorites, and we hope our collection inspires you to find the ideal spot make your own list of classic to relax and enjoy Houston structures. We’ve even pulled together a list of great tours the pleasure that is (page 33) to get you started. Houston in fall. While you’re touring the city, take note that in addition to our incredible architecture, Downtown is home to some pretty fantastic green spaces. From Market Square Park to Discovery Green and Sam Houston Park, you can find the ideal spot to relax and enjoy the pleasure that is Houston in fall. Our roundup can be found on page 18. And be sure you check out our feature on PanAtlantic Exploration on page 4. While their new Downtown digs scream cutting-edge modern, their work ethic and attitudes are refreshingly old-fashioned. With our comfortable temperatures and plethora of festivals and activities, Downtown is abuzz in the fall. There’s something to do nearly every day of the week, so keep this issue close at hand and you’ll be ready the next time someone asks how they should spend their weekend or where to relax after a tough day at the office. Be sure to visit us online at downtownhouston.org, where you’ll find plenty of info to help you make the most of living, working and playing downtown. And please, let us know what you think about downtown. We’re more than happy to take your comments and suggestions.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER The original plans for a new City Hall around a downtown park were sidelined by the Great Depression but by 1938 construction of the building that still stands today was underway, thanks to a WPA grant. The dramatic horse sculpture in the lobby symbolizes the community coming together to tame a wild world.
2 fall 2013
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d o w n to w n's m o v e r s a n d s h a ke r s
by sandra cook
The high-tech hunt for hydrocarbons PanAtlantic Exploration digs deep to locate and produce petroleum.
enamed, refocused and relocated, PanAtlantic
Exploration, formerly Vanco Energy, has a bold new attitude and direction. Where Vanco focused on negotiating acquisitions of drilling sites, PanAtlantic has its sophisticated systems sniffing out precious hydrocarbons, as well as going after the goods. As the name suggests, the company’s efforts are focused on the Atlantic Ocean margins of Latin America and West Africa. In April 2012, PanAtlantic named William T. Drennen III its president and Chief Executive Officer. Drennen has expanded the company’s vision to include locating desirable acreage, analyzing it and prepping it for production. The name change helps communicate the new concept of the company, which has organized its staff with an emphasis on intensive analysis in the areas of geology and geophysics. “I brought in my contacts with the strengths required for this new direction,” says Drennen, who also has fortified the company with experienced geologists and analysts. “Today, we are launching production efforts in West Africa and hope to begin drilling wells in 2014. We are expecting the next two years to be very exciting.” NEW VISION, NEW LOCATION
PanAtlantic moved to Downtown’s Fulbright Tower from Greenway Plaza in November 2012, further distinguishing
the company’s identity. PanAtlantic employs 50 people in its Downtown Houston office, with another 15 employees located overseas. Drennen says the company hopes to hire an additional 100 employees over the next year. “We knew we needed to be Downtown,” says Drennen. “Being Downtown connects "BEING Downtown us to law firms, headhunters, location scouts. connects us to law And the type of people we hire are here in firms, headhunters, Downtown Houston.” location scouts. And Drennen recalls that at Greenway Plaza, there was little to do nearby, and PanAtthe type of people lantic employees were constantly heading we hire are here in Downtown for meetings. “Before the move Downtown." from Greenway, we did a survey of where people wanted to work, and Downtown was the answer we heard most often,” he says. The new office occupies the 23rd and 24th floors – 50,000 square feet – of Fulbright Tower. The brilliant white, yet earthy and elegant, office space was designed by MARS, Mayfield and Ragni Studio, while Trademark Construction did the immaculate build out. Staffers say they are energized by the bright, open feel of the office space, which allows much more room for folks to work and collaborate, complete with high-tech projectors, cutting-edge computer systems and comprehensive geophysical software. “We feel like we’re in the happening end of Downtown,” says Drennen. “We are so close to all the baseball, basketball and soccer games, not to mention Discovery Green.”
4 fall 2013
“I knew Bill Drennen very well from Hess, and some of my other close colleagues were interested in joining PanAtlantic as well. Plus, the idea of being part of a start-up company was very exciting to me.” Mullin says the job with PanAtlantic has exceeded his expectations. “It’s more than I had hoped for, says Mullin. “There is so much less process and bureaucracy. Small companies can move faster, because there’s a smaller command chain. I discuss things with Bill almost daily.” Mullen also remarks that a smaller company size results in fewer meetings, as well as a relaxed, less formal workplace, compared to large corporations he has worked for in the past. “Now I only spend about 10 to 20 percent of my time in meetings – the rest of the time I’m actually doing interesting, technical work,” says Mullen. “At a larger company you spend the majority of your time in meetings – endless meetings.” “Plus, you get to see a lot more stuff – one day you’re working on Columbia, the next day you may be working on Trinidad, the next day Gabon,” says Mullen. “At other companies you may be the South America guy, or maybe just working on a small part of it. I have learned more here in one year than the eight years at my previous company, simply because of the exposure to an awful lot more information SMALL IS GOOD and opportunities.” While PanAtlantic’s work is vast in scope, this David CEO Drennen says he prefers to hire employof a company seeks to avoid becoming a Goliath. ees with a minimum of 15 years experience in the “I worked for Exxon for over 31 years and was their industry. Got 20 or 30 years’ worth? Even better. “I vice president for the Western Hemisphere, and don’t hire newbies. I love annuitants – people who bureaucracy was a killer for trying to get things have retired from a shop – because they have all done,” says Drennen. “We don’t want to be like the this experience and knowledge and perhaps no one industry giants. We prefer to stay smaller, close-knit would listen to them for years. They have so many and nimble.” Peter Mullin, PanAtlantic’s new ventures manager, ideas, and we can capitalize on that.” Drennen explains the company not only looks says the smaller size of PanAtlantic is one of the best for people with top technical skills, leadership skills, things about working for the company. experience in the field, but also those who are a good “The smaller the company, the more impact you fit for the company’s close-knit work environment. can have on what the company does,” says Mul“It’s important that candidates will fit into this small lin, who chose to join PanAtlantic because he knew family that works as closely together as we do.” several key players who were onboard initially. He notes that some of PanAtlantic’s employees live Downtown and simply walk to work. PanAtlantic employees can now walk to lunches, meetings and entertainment events. “When it’s a little too far to walk, we take free GreenLink buses. Some even utilize the bike share, for meetings, lunch breaks, or just for exercise.” Team leader and senior geologist Scott E. Thornton was already living Downtown when the company made the move from Greenway Plaza. He finds it ideal to live and work Downtown. He also relishes using the sophisticated deepwater exploration and production technology of the Paradigm Subsurface Software Suite. He explains that PanAtlantic’s in-house visualization expert helps the geology teams zero in on the most promising drilling opportunities. Thornton, who is clearly in his element, says he truly likes coming to work each day and doesn’t really want to go home on Friday. “It’s a perfect fit for me,” he says. “What’s different about working here is when you work on a project, you present it to Bill, the CEO, you present it to our investors from Moscow when they come over, so you get tremendous exposure,” says Thornton. “You don’t pass it to somebody else who presents it, you get the exposure for it directly, which is good for the investors and the CEO, because they are talking to the person who worked on the area. And it’s gratifying to us – the geologists – because we get to see the end point of our work. It’s really satisfying.”
Caption goes here.
stats: : COMPANY PANATL ANTIC EXPLORATION, formerly Vanco Energy : CURRENT EMPLOYEES 65 STATEWIDE 50 HOUSTON PL ans to hire 100 over next year : Primary regions west africa: Cote d'ivoire, also equatorial guinea, ghana, sierra leone south america: columbia ukraine romania ma jor investors located in Moscow : Web site panatl anticexploration.com
above: Caption goes here.
Raising the Bar South Texas College of Law celebrates 90 years of educational excellence by sandra cook
6 fall 2013
uick – name Houston’s oldest and largest law school. If you named South Texas College of Law, you are correct. South Texas was founded in 1923. While there are two law schools in the state that are older than South Texas (University of Texas and Baylor), neither of those schools can boast that they are located in dynamic Downtown Houston. Originally started under the United YMCA Schools, South Texas College of Law was established inside the Houston YMCA to give working people an opportunity to obtain a legal education in the evening or after working hours. The school that began as a place where part-time students with full-time jobs could get a quality legal education remains committed to that purpose today. “The primary mission of the school remains true to the founders vision,” says Donald J. Guter, president and dean of South Texas College of Law. “South Texas provides opportunity to people who might not otherwise have a chance at it, which means providing a flexible program that allows for full-time and part-time options that are affordable.” The school offers students the flexibility to attend classes part time or accelerate their studies to finish in as little as 2½ years. The one-time, three-room YMCA school now boasts 55 full-time professors and approximately 1,200 students. The law school’s buildings comprise an entire city block, with the 500,000-volume Fred Parks Law Library as its most eyecatching structure. The school’s comprehensive legal education programs include study abroad opportunities in nine different countries. Today, South Texas College of Law matriculates about 300 graduates each May, plus another 80 to 100 each December. How strong are those graduates? Take a look at two recent grads: Jillian Marullo and John R. Hoover. Marullo earned the top score and Hoover earned the second-highest score out of the more than 1,180 people who took the grueling three-day Texas Bar Exam back in February.
Value of experience
championships behind South Texas. Animal Law Society, Environmental Law “Our Research and Writing Program is Society, Health Law Society and the Public Dean Guter and the school’s administraled by tenured faculty,” says Guter. “We Interest Law Society. Many of these groups tors continue to keep the tuition low and put great emphasis on developing strong organize fundraisers for local causes and the quality of the educational experience writing skills. In the American Society of host educational events for the public good. high. As a private, nonprofit, independent Legal Writers annual Scribes Competition, And our students and faculty, as busy as law school, South Texas College of Law’s where briefs from 200 schools are judged they are, always find time to give to others. tuition totals less than state schools, such as in a double-blind process, our students And for the most part, our graduates want University of Texas and nearby University have placed in the top three several times to stay in Houston.” of Houston. Guter makes a point to unover the past five years. In “I have to tell you, I have never been derscore South Texas’ tradition and excel2012, South Texas stuassociated with a culture that is so lence in producing graduates who are truly dents placed first, secgenerous, giving on so many ocpractice ready. casions. They do four blood “Some schools are just now incorporating ond and third place.” “Our drives a year here, fundraisers that concept, but practice-ready programstudents have for firefighters, relief for famiming has always been part of our curricuCommunit y won 117 advocacy lies of the explosion in West lum, since the very beginning of the law impact championships– Texas, support the Houston school,” says Guter. “Several judges have “I think the biggest no other school Food Bank and so much more. told me that they like to hire our graduates advantage of the comes close The general camaraderie of because they know what they are doing. school is our locato that.” the students is inspiring – this is They don’t want have to spend years traintion,” says Guter. a great college to work for.” ing new hires.” No doubt the school’s Guter explains that programs such as Downtown location is adthe school’s hands-on legal clinics, pro vantageous for law students and School moved him bono work, and renowned Advocacy Proprofessors, given the easy access to many When Donald Guter was recruited by gram give South Texas graduates a broad of the city’s top law firms, major corporaSouth Texas College of Law’s search team spectrum of experience, in addition to tions, the Harris County courts, and variin 2009, Guter was not looking to return what they learn in the classroom. ous federal offices. While the proximity of to an academic position. The retired rear The school’s comprehensive Advocacy those resources is a huge plus for the law admiral had served more than 20 years in Program starts with legal research and school, South Texas College of Law has legal posts for the U.S. Navy Judge Advowriting and culminates in in-depth, intencontributed waves of positive impact on cate General’s Corps (JAG). And, yes, he sive training in trial and appellate advocacy. the Central Business District and the surappeared on the CBS television show JAG. “The Advocacy Program, led by profesrounding community during its 90 years – He had also spent three years as the dean sor Rob Galloway, is incredible,” beams more than 50 of those at 1303 San Jacinto, of his alma mater, Duquesne University Dean Guter. “Our students have won 117 between Clay and Polk Streets. School of Law. advocacy championships – no other school Guter says the school prides itself on Guter recalls that that after his threecomes close to that.” He’s not exaggerating. being a good neighbor. “We have more day interview in January 2009, he thought, The next closest school is more than 40 than 30 student organizations, such as the “Wow … I hope they offer me the job.”
8 fall 2013
“My wife Pat was all for it,” says Guter. “She was big on Houston, because she had been down for several fundraisers.” After accepting the position, Guter says he and his wife sought a residence that would allow them to walk to work, among other things. The couple moved into One Park Place overlooking Discovery Green and couldn’t be happier with the situation. “I keep joking with Marvy Finger, the developer, that we would love to buy our place in the building rather than rent.” One of Dean Guter’s primary objectives was to open up the school even more to the community. Not only its resources, such as the library, but also host more exhibits and special events that create stronger connections with the public. He cites the law school’s recent hosting of the exhibition Our World at War: Photojournalism Behind the Front Lines organized by the International Committee of the Red Cross. “When we heard the ICRC was looking for a venue in Houston we immediately offered our atrium for the exhibit,” says Guter. This past summer, South Texas hosted a preview of 60 whimsical animal sculptures crafted by a wide range of notable local artists, such as Allison Gregory. The exhibit and upcoming PAWS for a PURRpose auction (set for Nov. 7, 6-9:30 p.m.) were organized to benefit the Texas Humane Legislation Network and South Texas College of Law’s Animal Law Clinic. Legal clinics in spotlight
Another one of Dean Guter’s initial goals was to upgrade the facilities for the school’s impressive legal clinics. Led by Vice President and Associate Dean Catherine Greene Burnett the South Texas’ legal clinics were
established in 1990 to handle Social Security cases for those who could not afford legal services. Today, the program has grown to provide services pertaining to family law, probate, wills and estates, guardianships, Social Security disability, child welfare, asylum and human trafficking, wrongful convictions and post-conviction relief, trademarks and animal law. The school’s legal clinics moved to a new location in the fall of 2012. The new Randall O. Sorrels Legal Clinics, located on the 10th floor of the school’s main building, provides the atmosphere of an actual law office and offers legal aid/pro bono law services provided by students and professors to local residents in need. “We did a total renovation of the entire floor, and it was finished on time and under budget without raising tuition even $1,” Dean Guter says proudly. “Randy Sorrels’ naming gift was tremendous. Now we have more than triple the space than before, which gives us more opportunities for students and people of the community.” The new facility has brought well-deserved attention and support to the program and the law school. The Fred and Mabel R. Parks Foundation recently bestowed a $2 million grant on South Texas College of Law, kicking off plans for major building upgrades. The school plans to use the grant to update the building’s front entrance in order to increase the college’s visibility, especially at the corner of San Jacinto and Clay, and to renovate 15,000 square feet on the building’s ninth floor. Founders would be proud
At 90 years, South Texas College of Law is true to the vision of its founders. “Each administration has built on what others did before them,” says Guter, who highlights the school’s Downtown location as its biggest asset. “Consider the foresight of the law school to buy the Downtown property when they did, before all the surrounding blocks filled in.” Guter adds that the dynamic city with a strong economy and great local culture helps recruit students. “We generate 26 percent of the lawyers in Harris County,” say Dean Guter. “Now, some may try to make some kind of unfavorable lawyer joke, but that’s a big impact when you think about it, because, by and large, they are pretty darn good at what they do.”
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arts & entertainment
b a c k s ta g e .
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
by Melissa Seuffert
Joshua Bell returns to the Houston Symphony
e thought this day would never come. The beginning of a new Houston Theater District season brings with it an overwhelming amount of world-class entertainment from which to choose. When you’re an avid theatergoer, being in Houston allows you to pick from a selection of musicals, opera, music, dance and theater virtually every week. Read on for a few suggestions as to how you can get your theater fix this fall and then head over to houstontheaterdistrict.org for the full lineup.
Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center begins its season with the blockbuster Broadway musical, The Book of Mormon. This Tony Award-winning musical is the brainchild of South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone and follows two young Mormons on their mission trip to a remote area of Uganda. Join Elder Price and Elder Cunningham for this raucous satire, playing Sept. 3-15. Have you ever wondered how Peter Pan became the boy who never grew up? Peter and the Starcatcher will give you a little insight into just that, Oct. 15-20. This award-winning play is based on a novel Peter and the Starcatchers, and we hear that only 12 company actors will portray more than 100 unforgettable characters! Theatre Under The Stars is embarking on a new venture this season with TUTS Underground, a unique series that breaks away from the traditional musical, complete with reduced-price tickets, staging in the more intimate Zilkha Hall and shows that “meet the desires of a modern audience,” according to TUTS. The first of these four performances is the thriller Lizzie, running Oct. 10-20 and based on the story of the acquitted-of-murdering-her-parents Lizzie Borden. More information about TUTS Underground can be found online at tutsunderground.com. Over in Sarofim Hall, TUTS brings Priscilla Queen of the Desert to audiences Sept. 29-Oct. 12. Priscilla is the uplifting story of a trio of friends on a road trip of a lifetime through the Australian Outback. You’ll be dancing along in the aisles to hits like It’s Raining Men, Finally and I Will Survive. Da Camera of Houston also will host a performance in Zilkha Hall this season, Romantic Trailblazers: Robert, Clara and Johannes on Nov. 1. This concert features great romantic works performed on period instruments and is inspired by the relationship between the great Robert Schumann, his wife, Clara, and a young Johannes Brahms. joa
Lisa Marie Mazzucco
The Book of Morman First National Tour Company
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Violinist Jennifer Frautsch
12 fall 2013
Priscilla Queen of the Desert
program complete with Elgar’s Enigma Variations. On the Pops side, join Megan Hilty from NBC’s Smash for Luck be a Lady Nov. 15-17. Hilty will perform hits from stars like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Dolly Parton in a concert that’s sure to transport concertgoers back to the Golden Age of music. On Nov. 5, Society for the Performing Arts presents the Shanghai Ballet as it performs one of its signature works, The Butterfly Lovers, an Eastern portrayal of the story of Romeo and Juliet. Just a few days later on Nov. 9, SPA welcomes back singer/songwriter/actor Harry Connick Jr. This one-night engagement features new, original songs from his latest album, Every Man Should Know, which Connick himself describes as having “no rules, no limits.”
Harry Connick Jr.
The Alley Theatre is kicking off its season Sept. 20-Oct. 20 with You Can’t Take It With You, the Pulitzer Prize-winning comedy surrounding Alice, a woman who is preparing to introduce her fiancé’s straight-laced parents to her eccentric ones. You Can’t Take It With You is followed by Venus in Fur from Oct. 11-Nov. 10, a provocative look at the relationship between a young actress and a demanding playwrightdirector. Leave the kids at home for this one – Venus in Fur is recommended for mature audiences only.
Wortham Theater Center
Society for the Performing Arts also brings a wide-variety of performances to the Wortham Theater Center this fall, including 2CELLOS on Nov. 2. You may have seen this viral video circu-
James Minchin II
Our very own Houston Symphony is celebrating something quite spectacular this season – its 100th birthday. All season long the organization has a stellar lineup of performances and activities planned for guests. Don’t miss the return of Joshua Bell Sept. 20-22 as he performs Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, on a
Alley Theatre’s You Can't Take It With You
sept. 29 – oct. 12
Artists of Houston Ballet in The Merry Widow
14 fall 2013
Fledermaus will be presented in an art deco-style concept, and instead of the traditional AustriaHungary setting, will take place in 1930s Manhattan. Aida will run select dates from Oct. 18-Nov. 9 and Die Fledermaus on select dates from Oct. 25-Nov. 8. The Houston Ballet opens its season with Four Premieres Sept. 5-15, a mixed repertory program by emerging and established choreographers. On the program is a commissioned work by Canadian choreographer James Kudelka, as well as the American premiere of Christopher Bruce’s Intimate Pages. Additionally, pieces by Houston Ballet First Soloist Melissa Hough and former company member Garrett Smith are included in the mix. From Sept. 19-29, Ronald Hynd’s The Merry Widow will grace the stage, adapted from Franz Lehar’s operetta of the same name. The Merry Widow is a comic love story set in turnof-the-century Paris and features lavish scenery and costumes. cory weaver
lating the Internet back in 2011 – the young cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser became overnight sensations with their rendition of Smooth Criminal, and now the pair comes to Houston to take audiences by storm. On Nov. 20, you also can continue to hear classical music like never before when the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain performs their reinterpretations of masterpieces by Beethoven and Handel, and even the rockin’ tunes of Queen. Houston Grand Aida Opera’s stellar season begins with two revivals – Verdi’s Aida and Strauss’ Die Fledermaus. Aida features Liudmyla Monastyrska, the star of the Ukraine National Opera, and also marks the first collaboration between our hometown opera and the Dominic Walsh Dance Company. Dominic Walsh dancers will perform various dance sequences throughout the production, choreographed by Walsh himself. Die
OctOber 10 – 20 tUtSUNDerGrOUND.cOM
713.558.tUtS Season Sponsor
arts & entertainment: p r o f i l e
conversation with Mat thew Dirst A rtistic D irector , A rs L yrica H o u sto n
his season, Grammy Award-nominated Ars Lyrica Houston celebrates 10 years of bringing baroque-era music to Houston audiences. Ahead of the start of the 2013-2014 season, we had an opportunity to talk to Ars Lyrica’s founder and artistic director, Matthew Dirst. Read on to learn more about the organization and its plans for this season, why they only perform on period instruments and what to expect if you’ve never been to a performance. This is Ars Lyrica’s 10th anniversary season – congratulations! What prompted you to form the organization back in 2003?
The nucleus of the ensemble began making music together in 1998 thanks to invitations from some local churches and other sponsors to do programs on their series. By 2003 it had become apparent that we could do a series of our own, so I put together a board and went through the nonprofit incorporation process. The opportunity to work with some of Houston's finest singers and instrumentalists while exploring a range of great music – from late Renaissance partsongs through big masterworks of the baroque and classical eras – has made it all worthwhile. We're fortunate to have amazing singers and a growing number of excellent period-instrument players in the area, and Ars Lyrica has made the most of it. What makes Ars Lyrica different from the other classical music organizations in our city?
Ars Lyrica has found a niche in Houston by offering something one doesn't experience every day or even every week. As a friend once observed, it's the most beautiful music you've never heard. Our programs and yearly seasons tend to juxtapose familiar works with pieces that deserve a wider audience, often within a broad thematic context that really makes the music resonate. I have a special fondness for certain corners of the repertory that aren't well served by other organizations: Claudio Monteverdi's shorter dramatic works, or the dozens of Handel oratorios not called Messiah, for example.
performed by Ars Lyrica is done on period instruments from the 17th and 18th centuries. Why is that?
Because of our focus on music from the 17th and 18th centuries, Ars Lyrica uses the kind of equipment that serves this music best: violins with strings made of gut instead of steel, harpsichord and lute instead of piano, and some very earthysounding woodwinds. Our "toys," which distinguish period-instrument groups from more mainstream ensembles like symphony orchestras, are at their best in small, intimate concert spaces like Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center, our home base. Their sound, in comparison to more modern instruments, is sweeter and quite colorful. In the last 10 years, what are some projects you would say have been the most artistically successful? The most challenging?
Ars Lyrica’s 2013-2014 season kicks off Sept. 22 with Menus Plaisirs in Zilkha Hall at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts. To learn more about Ars Lyrica and all of this season’s performances, please visit arslyricahouston.org.
What are you most looking forward to this season?
I'm most looking forward to sharing two exceptional major works with our Houston audience: Alessandro Scarlatti's La Sposa dei Cantici (in its modern world première) and Handel's sublime Susanna, an oratorio that bowled me over when I first heard it 20 years ago. To any Houstonian who hasn’t been to an Ars Lyrica performance, what should they expect when they attend one?
Gorgeous music, interesting people and an inspiring evening. Music is fundamentally about pleasure – and we aim to please!
Matthew Dirst with Ava Pine
Several projects qualify on both counts. For the grand finale to our 2011-12 season, we collaborated with the New York Baroque Dance Company and its inspired director Catherine Turocy, who created for us a couple of new ballets to Monteverdi's Combattimento di Tancredi e Clorinda and his Ballo delle Ingrate. This project involved a lot of moving parts: singers, dancers, orchestra, and some extraordinary staging. It was exciting to see these epochal works, known chiefly to those who read music history texts, come alive on the Zilkha stage. A memorable Bach St.
John Passion still rings in my ears as well, in a powerful performance that featured outstanding soloists, the estimable (University of Houston) Moores School Concert Chorale, and the Klein High School Choir alongside the musicians of Ars Lyrica. Certainly the most challenging project from this past season was our production of Handel's pastoral masterpiece Acis and Galatea. We presented this piece as a fulldress drama – in a kind of minimalist but brilliant staging by Tara Faircloth – in four different venues in four days, one of which was outdoors! Though it sounds like a recipe for disaster, it worked beautifully thanks to a nimble cast and band.
It is our understanding that all music
Ars Lyrica Ensemble
16 fall 2013
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16 winter 2012-13
Park It! By Melissa Fitzgerald
here’s something delightful
about the sound of the word park. Images of lazing under a tree reading a book, eating lunch outside on the grass and cloud gazing through a canopy of leaves are all conjured at the mention of the word. It evokes a feeling of gathering and community, of waving at your neighbor or of making new friends. Today’s parks are much more than just an expanse of green lawn. Creating a park is a multifaceted process that involves looking at, listening to, and asking questions of the people who live, work and play in the community. According to Project for Public Spaces (pps.org), the four key elements to successful public spaces are accessibility, sociability, activity and comfort. They are easy to get to and through, have a sense of community, draw crowds with elements of interactivity, and look and feel like the kind of places people are happy to visit. Grassroots efforts allow neighborhood voices to be heard and result in a space that meets their needs. Downtown’s parks and public spaces are diverse and include Main Street Square, a pedestrian plaza with jumping fountains and light rail access; Hermann Square in front of City Hall, home to many of the city’s signature events; and
Sam Houston Park, 20 acres of park space that celebrate Houston’s past. In recent years, the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department, along with other key organizations, such as the Downtown District, Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Discovery Green Conservancy, have made public green space a major priority. In this issue of downtown we’ve highlighted five of Downtown’s most successful public spaces. Each park offers something distinct and fills a need. The renovation of Market Square Park took a one-dimensional space and created a vibrant meeting place. Through programming by the Downtown District, Market Square Park is always a fresh place to visit. Discovery Green Park transformed a parking lot into a buzzing green space alive with activity and attractive to families and children. Sam Houston Park tells the history of our city through architecture and design. Sesquicentennial Park also celebrates our history while connecting the bayou to Houston’s famous Theater District. And Buffalo Bayou Park provides a much-needed link to nature and recreation. There is one final element to a successful public space – visitors. Make these Downtown spaces a respite from the stress of your day, and let Downtown become your community.
No 1 S a m H o u s t o n Pa r k In June 1899, Houston Mayor Sam Brashear selected and purchased 20.43 acres of land for $26,000 for the cityâ€™s first public park. This site was later dedicated as Sam Houston Park and preservation is defined in its exquisite 20+ acres. For Downtown commuters heading eastbound on Allen Parkway into the maze of concrete and glass skyscrapers of our present, the park serves as a welcoming reminder of Houstonâ€™s past. The
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century-old, rolling green space features a picturesque gazebo, a lily pond with families of waddling ducks, eight frozen-in-time historic houses and one church. Historic structures on display span from a rustic log cabin lovingly named The Old Place to a Victorian mansion built at the turn of the century boasting all the modern conveniences of the day. Credit for the immaculate conservation of these historic structures goes to the Heritage Society, which calls the park home. Historic house tours are offered Tuesday through
No 2 d i s c o v e r y g r e e n
Sunday for a low fee, and admission to the museum gallery is always free. Visitors are encouraged to come and stay awhile. Relax on a blanket with your love, throw a Frisbee with your friend, have a picnic with your family and most of all, take in the beauty that makes this space a true Downtown treasure.
Please note that Sam Houston Park is currently under construction. Improvements will be complete l ater this fall.
If there were one word that sums up Discovery Green, which celebrates its fifth birthday this year, it would be activity. Active from dawn until dark, seven days a week, the park features a plethora of programming for the young and the young at heart. Activities on tap for fall include daily fitness classes, workshops for kids, live music, pet adoption, recycling events, a nighttime flea market, salsa dancing classes and so much more. The one-acre Kinder Lake serves as a signature feature of the park. Visitors can enjoy a burger from the waterfront restaurant, The Lakehouse, while whizzing
remote-controlled sailboats across The Model Boat Basin. Fancier fare is just a stoneâ€™s throw away at The Grove, where patrons can opt for indoor dining or enjoy a custom cocktail upstairs in The Treehouse. When it comes to beating the heat, Discovery Green has you covered with the interactive Gateway Fountain
and cooling Mist Tree. Those in the mood to be soaked can opt for a run through the fountain with its dancing jets, while those looking for a less extreme cool down can head to the misting tree for just a dash of refreshment. (For more, see the callout box on page 24)
No 3 b u f fa l o b ay o u pa r k
The multi-faceted Buffalo Bayou Park diversity. More park highlights include the iconic dandelion-shaped Gus S. Wortham Memorial is made up of 124 acres of natural beauty, public art Fountain, the Police Officer Memorial accessible and recreational activities. Located along the banks from the westbound lane of Memorial Drive, and the of Buffalo Bayou, the park space hugs the north end Waugh Bridge Bat Colony, where 250,000 Mexican of Downtown and stretches east and west into the free-tailed bats put on a nightly show as they take surrounding neighborhoods. Joggers, bikers and flight for their evening hunt. their furry friends hit the pavement for exercise or leisure on Sandy Reed Located at Allen’s Landing, the Trail, which follows the spot where Houston was founded, course of the bayou for sits the Sunset Coffee Building, the building will offer an which will undergo development 4.5 miles. Just past the outdoor plaza, refreshment this fall into a recreation Sabine Promenade sits and rental facilities for destination for Houston visitors. the state-of-the-art, runners, canoers, kayakers Once renovated, the building will 30,000-square foot Lee and bikers enjoying the bayous’ offer an outdoor plaza, refreshment and Joe Jamail Skatepark. and waterways. trails and rental facilities for runners, The in-ground facility canoers, kayakers and bikers attracts young, aspiring enjoying the bayous’ trails and waterways. The and established skaters with its free admission and second level will be office space, and event spaces skateboarding classes that range from beginner to will occupy the third level with a rooftop terrace advanced. Moving farther west along the bayou, for private functions. Originally built in 1910, the hikers and bikers can take a shortcut over the building was home to the Love Street Light Circus water on the pedestrian-friendly Rosemont Bridge, from 1967 to 1970, a music venue and nightclub completed in 2011. Greeting them at the south end well known to rock stars who stopped by when their of the overpass is Tolerance, a dazzling septuplet tours came to Houston. The renovation represents of kneeling metal figures. The sculptures, created a joint partnership between Houston First and by Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa, are made Buffalo Bayou Partnership. up of multilingual letters symbolizing Houston’s
Park Improvements A development master plan for has been put together by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, resulting in an aggressive improvement plan for the park and stretches of the bayou downstream. The work began in 2012 with restoration of the bayou to improve water quality and reconstruction of the park’s highly used trails into a 10-footwide concrete system. The master plan also calls for an entertainment venue and a dog park. These improvements will be privately funded, with the exception Buffalo Bayou
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of $5 million from the Harris County Flood Control District. The Kinder Foundation has donated $30 million to the effort, a gift believed to be the largest ever given to a park project in Houston. The plans will finally bring Buffalo Bayou Park and the stretch of the stream between Downtown and the Ship Channel to the standards originally intended by the visionaries who first looked at the bayou as a source of beauty and a center for recreation and civic pride.
This year marks the fifth anniversary of the opening of Discovery Green, o n e o f t h e t r a n s f o r m at i o n a l g r e e n s p a c e p r o j e c t s i n t h e c i t y, a n d b y a l l accounts, a remarkable success. “Discovery Green has come to represent the best of Houston – beautiful existence has made it possible for the city to secure conferences and events such as the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in 2008, and active outdoor space, the diversity of our community, and a ‘mustNCAA Final Four in 2011, Starbucks Global Conference in 2012, and the see’ for visitors,” says Mayor Annise Parker. “To say it has had an impact NBA All-Star game in 2013, which had a combined economic impact of on our city is an understatement. It is part of a wave of park projects almost $200 million for the city. that are transforming Houston.” Early planners of Discovery Green estimated the park would Park President Barry Mandel adds, “As a fourth-generation average approximately 500,000 visitors per year, with that audience Houstonian, it has been amazing to see the dramatic changes on frequenting the park primarily during the weekdays. In reality, the park the east side of Downtown. Furthermore, our partnership with the averages more than one million visitors per year, convention center and visitor’s bureau to utilize with individuals driving from all areas of Houston, Discovery Green has brought new conventions, both inside and outside Loop 610 and Beltway 8, tourists and visitors to our city.” In less than four years, mostly during the weekends. The natural features of As an economic generator, Discovery Green the Discovery Green site the park – lawns, lake, playground, water features has had a significant impact, in part, due to its – are a draw. However it is the high-quality, free location in east Downtown, across from the was transformed from programming the park presents every week, that George R. Brown Convention Center and Hilton an undeveloped, concrete brings hundreds of thousands of repeat visitors. In Americas-Houston and blocks away from Toyota eyesore into a beautiful any given week, the park offers exercise and writing Center and Minute Maid Park. Following the and vibrant destination. classes, a concert, a film, children’s activities and park’s conception in 2004, a significant number more, while beloved annual events include ice of projects have come to fruition, including the residential high-rise One Park Place, one of the first residential projects skating and ice carving and dog-jumping competitions, traveling art exhibits and a wide variety of special licensed events such as New Year’s in Houston in 40 years; HESS Tower, the commercial development Eve Live, the Korean Festival, Earth Day Houston and the Chevron that sold for a record $442.5 million, one of the highest real estate Houston Marathon. transactions in recent history; and the 262-room Embassy Suites Hotel. Discovery Green was envisioned by several committed Houston Collectively, these projects represent some $625 million in Downtown philanthropists and then-Mayor Bill White, who saw the space as a investment. In addition, new projects have recently been announced, once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to create an urban park in the heart including the Marriott Marquis Hotel, Nau Center for Texas Cultural of Downtown. In less than four years, the Discovery Green site was Heritage and The Finger Companies’ residential project across from transformed from an undeveloped, concrete eyesore into a beautiful Minute Maid Park. Furthermore, the park is considered an asset to the Greater Houston and vibrant destination. The park exemplifies a successful publicprivate partnership between the City of Houston and Discovery Green Convention and Visitors Bureau (GHCVB) and the George R. Brown Conservancy, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, which operates the Convention Center in attracting to Houston some of the most coveted park and produces hundreds of free events each year. conventions in the world. According to the GHCVB, Discovery Green’s
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No 4 s e s q u i c e n t e n n i a l pa r k
s its name suggests, Sesquicentennial Park was developed along the banks of Buffalo Bayou next to Wortham Theater Center as a commemoration of Houston’s 150th birthday and the founding of the Republic of Texas. The space was designed to enhance the bayou with fountains, walkways, staircases, and sculpture, making the waterway an attribute rather than the utilitarian eyesore it was in the early parts of the 20th century. Today, you can’t walk by without seeing a bride or a Quinceanera getting their glamour shots taken in this iconic spot. The high points of the project, literally, are Mel Chin’s seven, 70-foot, stainless steel pillars called Seven Wonders lining the eastern bank. The columns highlight Houston’s history through the themes of agriculture, energy, manufacturing, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation. Each column is constructed of 150 individual children’s drawings, etched in stainless steel plate. Another prominent feature of the park is The Common, a gently sloping, semi-circular lawn that serves as a staging area for outdoor events and activities and several sculptures such as The Big Bubble, Site Seeing and Sounds from the Past, by Houston-artist Dean Ruck. Also located in Sesquicentennial Park is an eight-foot bronze sculpture of former president George H.W. Bush who happens to be gazing across the bayou at his good friend, and the newest art installation in the park, former Secretary of State James A. Baker III.
No 5 m a r k e t s q u a r e pa r k The city block that holds Market Square Park is steeped in Houston history. The space was donated in 1854 and was first used as an open-air produce market. Once the political and commercial center of town, the block served as the foundation for a Texas capital, White House and four City Halls during its existence. As the city grew, newly formed businesses radiated out from this central location and formed what we know as the Historic District and beyond. While much of Downtown developed south of the square, it remains the center of cool, attracting people seeking a unique, locally owned vibe. Market Square’s 2010 redesign and renovation, a collaboration between the Downtown District, Downtown Redevelopment Authority and Houston Parks & Recreation Department, boasts a dog run, Niko Niko’s Greek and American Café, outdoor seating and functional public art in the form of benches, chess boards and a serene memorial garden to those lost on 9/11. Many major Downtown residential buildings are located in the Historic District, making Market Square Park their backyard. Residents often can be seen walking their pets in the area or enjoying a glass of wine with friends. Despite its close proximity to the business center of Houston, Market Square Park has a distinct neighborhood feel that leaves a lasting memory on all who visit.
- downtown feature -
BUILDING BLO C K S Downtownâ€™s Architecture Shapes the City Holly Beretto
The Downtown skyline gets a lot of play – in television commercials, on postcards, in advertising campaigns. Our tall buildings tout our success as a shining city built from a sleepy piece of bayou back when the Allen brothers stepped onto semi-solid ground in the 1830s. But the story of Downtown is much richer and more diverse than the one we tell ourselves in our skyline. It dates back to our city’s founding in 1836 and through the intervening years, has been told in buildings and parks, dreams and visions that have created our modern Downtown. Walk the streets of Downtown and you’ll see this history unfold, brick by physical brick. From the old manufacturing buildings to the churches to the sleek and shiny towers of today, our city’s architecture reveals echoes of who we were, even as we reach (as Houston always does) for the future.
And our architecture isn’t limited strictly to the buildings we construct. You’ll find architectural elements in our parks and plazas, as well as in the gardens and artworks that lay in and around the soaring structures around them. We present here a broad array of spaces deserving a closer look. Any list of this type will have those who say, “Why this? Not that?” The answer: We looked for a representative sample of buildings that showcased history, culture and business, three things that help make Downtown unique as a place to live, work and play. We invite you to use this feature as a guide to go explore our Downtown streets, fall in love again with your own favorite buildings, see others with new eyes, and maybe even discover some you never knew existed.
CULTURAL CONNECTIONS These are the places we go to share experiences as a city. Where we hear symphonies, see theater, cheer on teams. They are places of worship, places of community, places where we see our own diversity reflected in both those who attend and the buildings’ own architecture. Sacred Heart Co-Cathedral
AL LEY T HEATRE / 615 Texas Avenue
With its sleek curves and modern look, this theater space evokes a drama matched only by the productions the organization produces on its stage. Designed by New York architect Ulrich Franzen, the building boasts nine towers and open-air terraces across multiple levels. Home to the 824-seat Hubbard Stage and the 310-seat Neuhaus Stage, the current space was built with funding and grants from the Houston Endowment and the Ford Foundation and opened in 1968. The architect conceived the space with no right angles, and says the curves that climb ever upward were inspired by Houston’s location and warm climate. CO-CAT HEDRA L OF THE SAC RED HEART / 1111 St. Joseph Parkway
With its brilliant natural light and vaulted, 72-foot-high nave, the seat of the Houston-Galveston Catholic Archdiocese is impressive, indeed. There is seating for more than 1,800 worshippers. The customdesigned organ is one of only a dozen of its kind in the world. The co-cathedral replaces the older Sacred Heart Catholic Church as the diocesan seat and opened in 2008. Designed by Ziegler Cooper, the limestone and marble space boasts stained glass mosaics from Florence and is laid out in a classic Latin cross plan. GEORG E R. BROWN CON VENTI ON CENTER / 1001 Avenida de las Americas
Opened in 1987, the massive red, white and blue convention hall (which reminds some of Paris’ Centre Pompidou) is a Houston project through and through. A collection of architecture firms designed the 100-foot-high space, including Golemon & Rolfe Associates, John S. Chase, Molina & Associates, Haywood Jordan McCowan, Moseley Associates, Bernard Johnson and 3D/ International, with Mario Bulullo of Goleman & Rolfe serving as chief designer. An anchor to Downtown’s east side, the 1.8-millionsquare-foot space takes up 11 blocks and sports glass walls offering panoramic views, as well as 105 meeting rooms, making it one of the 10 largest convention spaces in the nation. When it first opened, celebrations included a parade, red-carpet tours of the facility and a fireworks display. GUS S. WORTH AM T HEATER CENTER / 550 Prairie Avenue
Built entirely with private donations in the middle of Houston’s oil bust of the 1980s, the Wortham Center is a testament to Houston’s passion for world-class performing arts. Both the Houston Grand Opera and the Houston Ballet call the pink granite ediface home. Its 88-foot glass entry climbs up the side of the building facing Texas Avenue and offers views of the Downtown skyline. Opened in 1987, the Wortham Center is owned by the City of Houston. It houses two theaters, the Brown and the smaller Cullen, providing programming by Houston arts groups large and small.
The Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Houston Ballet Center for Dance
TH E H OBBY CENTER FOR TH E P ERFORMING ART S / 800 Bagby Street
When it opened in 2002, this Robert Sterndesigned building became the permanent home for both Theatre Under The Stars and the touring productions of Broadway Across America. Its enormous windows fronting Bagby Street carry across the entire building into the space that’s Artista restaurant, offering stunning city views. Home to the 2,650-seat Zilkha Hall and the 500-seat Sarofim Hall, the center hosts performing arts groups and is home base of Theatre Under The Stars. A modern entrance and lobby space give way to Zilkha Hall’s deep blue seating space, complete with a stunning ceiling awash with a dazzling starscape, an homage to TUTS outdoor beginnings. You might even see an occasional shooting star. The smaller, blond-wood Sarofim Hall is intimate, with beautiful acoustics. HOU STON BA LLET C ENTER FOR DAN CE / 601 Preston Ave
The newest of Houston’s arts organization’s headquarters, this six-story, 115,000-square-foot, glass and granite complex is built across a block on Smith Street. With gorgeous architecture
that’s as sleek and modern as many of the Houston Ballet’s productions, the space gives the dance company nine dance studios, a 200-seat theater, student housing and serves as the Ballet’s administrative hub, as well as the home of the Ben Stevenson Academy. A pedestrian walkway connects the center to the backstage space at the Wortham Theater Center, the company’s main stage home. Designed by Gensler, the Center opened in 2011, and is now the largest facility of its kind in the U.S. JES SE H. JONES HA LL / 615 Louisiana Street
If you’re looking for drama, you’ll find it here. Entering the lobby, you’re greeted with 60-foot ceilings and bright scarlet carpet. Anchoring the lobby is Gemini II, Richard Lippold’s sculpture that pays tribute to Houston’s Space City pioneering spirit. Home to the Houston Symphony and the Society for the Performing Arts, the space strives for a blend of modern and classical. The teakwood concert hall is open and airy, and the 800 hexagons overhead can change
the space’s acoustics and size. Completed in 1966 and designed by Houston-based Caudill Rowlett Scott, it won the 1967 American Institute of Architects’ Honor Award. MER CH ANT S & MANUFACTURERS B UILDING (UNIVER SIT Y OF H OUSTON – DOWNTOWN): / 1 Main Street
Built in 1930 to serve as the Merchandise Mart of Houston, this 11-story building overlooking Buffalo Bayou has served as the main building of the UHD campus since 1974. Designed by Giesecke & Harris, it was updated by Charles Tapley Associates, who gave it an exterior painting and converted the parking area to a terrace with pedestrian access to the bayou. Today, it serves as a gathering space for UHD students and boasts a food court, art gallery, theater space and bookstore. Still in evidence, however, are the original structure’s beautiful windows and detailing that evoke an industrial past.
Gus S. Wortham Theater Center Jesse H. Jones Hall
TELLE PSEN FA MILY DOWNTOWN YMCA BU ILD IN G / 808 Pease Avenue
This box-like, glass-fronted facility opened in 2011, replacing the original YMCA Building, which was located just a few blocks away and demolished to make way for this modern new space. The cornerstone from the original structure, as well as a neon “Y” from the its sign were incorporated into the Kirksey-designed, 107,000-square-foot complex, boasting cardio and weight rooms, basketball courts, offices and community gathering spaces. Serving more than 10,000 members, the building’s 40-foot-tall curtain wall was designed to offer visuals inside and out, providing passersby with a view of the activity inside and exercisers with views of Downtown life. MI NUTE M AI D PARK / 205 Crawford Street
When it opened in 2000, it was the first stadium in Houston to have a retractable roof, protecting both the Houston Astros and their fans from the Bayou City’s capricious weather. But the sports facility’s history goes all the way back to 1911, when Union Station (today Minute Maid Park’s main entrance) served as the largest passenger railway station in the southwest. Designed by the same team of architects responsible for New York City’s formidable Grand Central Station, the station closed in 1974, but its brick design elements and soaring lobby spaces are reflected in the ballpark’s masonry and glass. The vintage, full-size locomotive that runs around 800 feet of track on the left-field wall whenever an Astros player hits a homerun or when the team wins a game pays homage to the park’s railway past.
SOARING SKYSCRAPERS The buzz of business is alive and well Downtown. Just look up into the myriad towers of brick and glass, reaching ever upward, a symbol of Houston’s own ability to re-invent itself. In fact, of the ten tallest buildings located in Texas, seven are in Houston – and six are in Downtown, proving the city center to be a beacon for business and demonstrating that many things really are bigger in Texas. ONE SHELL PL A ZA / 910 Louisiana Street
When it was completed in 1971, One Shell Plaza cemented Houston’s reputation as the Energy Capital of the World, evidenced by Shell’s moving of its headquarters to the Bayou City from the Big Apple. The 50-story office tower in the heart of Downtown’s Central Business District was designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill and Wilson, Morris & Anderson. The building was the tallest in the city until the completion of the J.P. Morgan Chase Tower. Built by Hines Interests, One Shell Plaza also was the tallest concrete building in the world when it was completed and boasts historical significance for Hines in that it was both the first Downtown project for the firm and the first for which it engaged nationally known architecture firms. 1500 LOUI SIANA / 1500 Louisiana Street
1500 Lousiana JPMorgan Chase Tower
With its gracefully curving oval towers and dramatic glass reflecting the city’s hustle and bustle, this Cesar Pelli & Associates and Kendall/Heaton Associates skyscraper was originally purchased for energy giant Enron, which never occupied the building following the company’s 2001 collapse. The post-modern tower makes a dramatic futuristic statement. Its lower levels were originally designed to house trading floors, an auditorium and a food court, with offices soaring 33 stories above them. Today the headquarters for Chevron, one of the building’s defining elements is the circular sky bridge that connects 1500 Louisiana and neighboring 1400 Smith to the Pellidesigned parking garage in the same block. At night, the tower’s neon light calls attention to the building’s architecture. BG GROUP PL AC E / 811 Main Street
Designed by Pickard Chilton and completed in 2011, this is one of the first major skyscrapers in Downtown in the last quarter century. The 46-story, glass-skinned structure has a five-story indentation on the 39th floor that not only creates a dramatic effect, but also is home to a sky garden. Glass and aluminum horizontal sunshades wrap the tower’s north and south facades. LEED Platinum certified, the building also has a garage rooftop garden and nearly a million square feet of office space. 1111 LOUISIANA / 1111 Louisiana Street
Heritage Plaza 1111 Louisiana
This 47-story tower was completed in 1973 and by all accounts was just another mundane office tower. But in 1996 it underwent a dramatic renovation by DMJM and Keating, and Kendall/Heaton Associates. The base of the building was sheathed in black granite panels and 90 feet were added to the existing tower, with a huge circular hole cut into the top. The design changed the Downtown skyline. The crown of the space is lined in white lights, creating a nighttime view that’s like a bright beacon in the sky. It’s often mistaken for a heliport. HERI TAGE PL AZA / 1111 Bagby Street
The last of the skyscrapers to be completed in the city’s real estate and oil bust, this 762-foot, 1987 structure is the fifth-tallest building in Houston and ranks as the 60th tallest in the country. After its completion, no other skyscrapers were built Downtown until the completion of the 1500 Louisiana building in 2002. Designed by Houston-based M. Nasr & Partners, the stepped-pyramid top, a sweep of granite rising up from a sea of glass, was inspired by the architect’s visit to the Yucatan. Inside the lobby and on the lower-level food court, you’ll also find Mexican influences, including a multi-level waterfall.
SEE ARCHITECTURE UP CLOSE: There are a number of Downtown walking tours designed to showcase the city core’s history, fun facts about buildings and spaces, and how Downtown has grown and changed. Am e r ic a n I n s t i t u t e o f A r chi t e c t s H o u s t o n
JPMORG AN CH ASE TOWER / 600 Travis Street
The stats on this skyscraper are impressive: the tallest building in Downtown, the tallest building in Houston, the tallest building in Texas, the tallest fivesided building in the world. Built in 1981 by renowned architect I.M. Pei & Partners and 3D/International, this was originally called Texas Commerce Tower and was built in partnership with Texas Commerce Bank. Its 75 stories were scaled back from a plan that called for an 80-story tower, which was scrapped when the Federal Aviation Administration worried about the height impacting planes en route to Hobby Airport. Soaring in gray polished granite, polished steel and gray glass, the skyscraper sports close to two million square feet of office space. Visitors may access the 60-floor observation deck for panoramic views of Downtown. The pentagonal tower sits adjacent to the 20-story granite-and-glass J.P. Morgan Chase Center at 601 Travis.
Buffalo Bayou Walking Tour: Explore Buffalo Bayou and learn how Houston grew up around the body of water. Along the way you’ll see buildings and landmarks that give Downtown its unique character. Towers and Trees takes you from Hermann Square at City Hall to Discovery Green and back, offering a look at some of Downtown’s iconic skyscrapers and oases of green space amid our bustling cityscape. For more info, call 713.520.0155 or visit aiahouston.org
P r e s e r vat i o n H o u s t o n Wa lki n g T o u r s Allen’s Landing: Celebrate Houston’s birthday (Aug. 30) with this tour that begins where Houston began and takes you through a historic neighborhood that’s seeing new energy. Civic Center and Theater District: Learn about City Hall and many of the performing arts spaces in Downtown.
P ENNZOIL PL ACE / 711 Louisiana Street
When it was built in 1976, the edict put forth by Pennzoil Company chairman was that it not resemble the block-like tower of neighboring One Shell Plaza. So, architects Philip Johnson and John Burgee proposed two buildings of trapezoidal shape, which give the edifice its dramatic angles. A 10-foot-wide slot separates the 36-story towers, which are composed of dark bronze and aluminum. The two spaces are connected by a street-level plaza enclosed in a glass atrium. An architectural tour-de-force, and winner of more design awards than any other downtown building, Pennzoil Place is touted as Houston’s first skyscraper of the post-modern era. The design is a deliberate optical illusion and the view of the space changes, depending on the viewing angle.
The Esperson Building Tour : Showcases the skyscraper’s place not only in Houston, but also in architectural history and includes – weather permitting – a trip to the top. Market Square Tour: Features Houston’s oldest building and showcases the city’s very early history. For details and a full schedule visit, preservationhouston.org/tours
EMBRACING OUR PAST Houston has always been a forward-looking city, a place where dreamers and doers take bold ideas and make them reality. Houston began right here in Downtown, and if you look, you can find many examples of where we came from, anchors to a time not very long past compared to other cities, still standing, still in use, serving as a reminder of how much we’ve achieved and where we’re headed. ANTI OC H BAPTIST CHURCH / 500 Clay Street
Dwarfed by the skyscrapers around it, this 1866 church began its life as a place of worship for emancipated slaves. The current building was designed by Richard Allen and was expanded by Robert Jones (1895). It’s the oldest AfricanAmerican church in Houston. For more than a century, it’s provided worship and missionary services to its Fourth Ward community. The Gothic structure still has the pews from its 1860s incorporation and the blue “Jesus Saves” sign is visible from several Downtown offices. CHR IST CHURCH CAT HEDRA L / 1117 Texas Ave
While the current building dates to 1893, the Episcopal parish it represents was established in 1839, making it Houston’s first religious congregation. It was established after Episcopal priests visiting the area wrote about its promising site as a mission and encouraged the establishment of a church here. Today, the “Gothic Survival” building is the second-oldest Episcopal parish in Texas, and it boasts several unique features, including the only authenticated installation of a Tiffany window in the city. Renovated in 1994, it’s now possible to see several variations in tone and style on the interior of the nave, which had been hidden by decades
of dirt and stain. Stained glass windows date to the turn of the 20th century. NIE LS ESP ERSON BU ILDIN G / 808 Travis Street
One of Downtown’s most recognizable buildings, with its Italian Renaissance details and Corinthian columns, arched windows and limestone walls, the 32-story structure was commissioned by Mellie Keenan Esperson to honor her real estate speculator husband. Designed by John Eberson, the office space is actually two buildings, the original 1927 tower and the adjacent 1941 annex, which was then named the Mellie Esperson Building. Renovated by Gensler in 2003, the art deco details are still in evidence, and the building’s chimes toll out the hours. And, if stories are to be believed, the ghost of Mellie Esperson is said to roam the halls. H ARR IS COUNT Y COURT HOU SE / Courthouse Square
The shady square on which this domed structure sits was designated as a courthouse space by the Allen brothers, who wanted the block just east of Market Square used for that purpose. Designed by Lang & Witchell and completed in 1910, the Beaux-Arts, domed, classical building, with its five-story brick and granite exterior and columns
Julia Ideson Library
on all four sides, is actually the fifth courthouse to stand on the square. Among its interesting historic characteristics, a tube was constructed to the Esperson Building in 1927 to ferry important documents from the Esperson offices to the courthouse. The Harris County Courthouse was restored in 2011 and houses the 1st and 14th Courts of Appeals. HOU STON CIT Y HALL / 901 Bagby Street
Dating to 1939, the seat of city government was originally designed by Joseph Finger and renovated between 1992 and 2000 by Ray Bailey Architects. Typical of Texas public buildings in the 1930s and 1940s, the exterior facing is Texas fossilized limestone, and the doors are specially cast aluminum. Inside, the lobby is finished with marble, nickel and relief, evoking its art deco age, and the artwork in the floor is designed to demonstrate the protective role government can play. A grand staircase leads upstairs to the Houston City Council chambers. JULIA IDESON B UILDING HOUS TON PU BLIC LIBRARY / 500 McKinney Street
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, as well as being a City of Houston protected
Antioch Baptist Church City Hall
Esperson Building La Carafe
Harris County 1910 Courthouse Hotel Icon
Islamic Dawah Center
Christ Church Cathedral
landmark, this 1926 masonry building, with its arched windows and clay roof echoing the Spanish Renaissance style, pays homage to the state’s heritage. Renovated multiple times in its nearly 100-year history (most recently in 2011 by Gensler), the building houses the Houston Metropolitan Research Center, a collection of maps, articles, publications and other documents pertaining to Houston history. Named for the founding director of the Houston Public Library, the renovated Ideson Building showcases an archival reading room, open-air loggia and a reading garden. HOUSTON NATIONAL BANK BU ILDING (NOW TH E ISL AMIC DA’WAH CENTER) / 201 Travis Street
The only Downtown mosque, the center is housed in the historic Houston National Bank Building. Built in 1928, the gothic-columned building is one of only three such structures standing in Houston today. Hakeem Olajuwon purchased the property in 1994, intending to turn the building into an Islamic education center. Opened as a mosque and education facility in 2002, the 40,000-square-foot facility offers a prayer hall, gathering area, classrooms, offices and a library of Islamic literature. KENNEDY BAKER Y BUILDING ( NOW L A CARAFE) / 813 Congress Avenue
Downtown’s oldest building dates to 1861 and still boasts its decorative brickwork and classical style. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the structure sits on its original foundation and its interior, dark and cozy, is home to the La Carafe wine bar. The worn wood bar, wroughtiron lined windows and exposed brick not only show its age, but its unique character. Settling in
with a glass of wine in this narrow space, you can easily feel the weight of Downtown history and imagine how the city grew up around it across the last century and a half. ST. JOS EPH HO SPITAL MEDICA L CENTER / 1916 Crawford Street
Originally called St. Joseph Hospital and operated by the Catholic Sisters of Charity of the Incarnate Word, this pink-stucco structure was designed by I.E. Loveless in the 1930s. It consisted of four buildings constructed as the south wing for the original 1895 hospital (replaced by the present main building), the oldest hospital in the city. A pioneer among health care centers (the hospital was the first to offer a nursery for prematurely born babies), it celebrated 125 years in operation last year and was designated a Texas Historic Landmark. UN ION NATIONAL BANK BU ILDIN G ( NOW HOTEL ICON) / 220 Main Street
When you walk into the lobby of the swank Hotel Icon, you may not realize it but you’re standing in the past. Constructed in 1911 by the firm of Mauran, Russell & Crowell, the 12-story building was one of the country’s first skyscrapers done in concrete and steel. When it opened in 1912 as the Union National Bank, it boasted freestanding limestone Corinthian columns outside, as well as images of Mercury (the Roman god of commerce) carved into the keystones. Thirty-foot Doric columns lined the interior of the impressive banking hall. Restored in 2004, the historic landmark became a 135room boutique hotel, still featuring much of its exquisite, original detail.
Performing Arts 38 Festivals & Special Events 42 Market Square Park 43 Discovery Green 44 and more
Edited by Angie Bertinot
Susanne Wellm, Face With a Heart
15 international contemporary artists in an exhibition that spans four Downtown Houston office buildings.
murders using actual dialogue from the infamous trial. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tutsunderground.com
THE BOOK OF MORMON Sep 3-15 Ben Brantley of The New York Times calls it “the best musical of this century.” From South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, it’s The Book of Mormon, winner of nine Tony Awards including Best Musical. Jon Stewart of The Daily Show calls it “a crowning achievement. So good it makes me angry.” Contains explicit language. Tickets start at $45. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org
VENUS IN FUR Oct 11-Nov 10 Theatrical mastermind David Ives’ sexy, provocative comedy, Venus in Fur, is an electrifying game of cat and mouse between a young actress and a demanding playwright-director that blurs the lines between fantasy and reality, seduction and power, love and sex. Tickets start at $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT Sep 29-Oct 12 This outrageously fun show tells the uplifting story of a trio of friends on a road trip of a lifetime who hop aboard a battered old bus searching for love and friendship in the middle of the Australian outback and end up finding more than they could ever have dreamed. An international hit with more than 500 dazzling, 2011 Tony Award-winning costumes, Priscilla Queen of the Desert features a hit parade of dance-floor favorites, including It’s Raining Men, Finally and I Will Survive. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. tuts.com LIZZIE Oct 10-20 TUTS Underground cracks into its first season, promising to deliver a “killer” performance with Lizzie, a rock show that retells the legend of America’s first and favorite axe-wielding double murderess and Victorian hometown girl, Lizzie Borden. Gathering inspiration from Ozzy Osbourne, Alice Cooper and Kiss along with generations of women rockers like Tina Turner and Heart, Lizzie uses hard-rock instrumentals and strong ballad lyrics to tell the story of Lizzie’s double
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YOU CAN’T TAKE IT WITH YOU Sep 20-Oct 20 This Pulitzer Prizewinning classic by the team of Kaufman and Hart (The Man Who Came to Dinner, 2009) is perhaps the greatest American comedy ever written. Alice Sycamore must introduce her fiancé’s straightlaced family to her more eccentric family. When the wildly different families meet, the worlds of the wealthy, uptight Kirbys and the offkilter Sycamores collide. Tickets start at $26. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org
PETER AND THE STARCATCHER Oct 15-20 The magical, musical evening of madcap fun is now on tour. Hailed by The New York Times as “the most exhilarating storytelling on Broadway in decades,” this swashbuckling prequel to Peter Pan will have you hooked from the moment you let your imagination take flight. A company of 12 actors plays more than 100 unforgettable characters, all on a journey to answer the century-old question: How did Peter Pan become The Boy Who Never Grew Up? Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org CHICAGO Nov 12-17 Chicago has everything that makes Broadway great: a universal tale of fame, fortune and all that jazz; one show-stopping song after another; and the most astonishing dancing you’ve ever seen. It’s no wonder the show has been honored with six Tony Awards, two Olivier Awards, a Grammy and thousands of standing ovations. Tickets start at $30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org
PERFORMING ARTS CIRQUE DE LA SYMPHONIE Aug 30-Sep 1 Kicking off the Houston Symphony’s Centennial Pops Season, daredevil cirque artists meet fiery symphonic music with new acts and artists. Watch in awe as aerial artists defy gravity, acrobats and jugglers bring you to the edge of your
seat, and the strongmen move in ways you’ve never thought possible. Tickets $25$126. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org FOUR PREMIERES Sep 5-15 Acclaimed by The London Times as an artist who “could change the face of British dance,” master Christopher Bruce’s Intimate Pages conveys the joy and the anguish of unrequited love in a deeply moving ballet of strong emotions and powerful actions. James Kudelka stages his second commissioned work for the company to the first movement of Ludwig van Beethoven’s Concerto for Piano in D, Op. 61a. Tickets $19-$190. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org KEVIN JAMES Sep 6 Known best for his leading roles in King of Queens and Paul Blart Mall Cop, the longtime comedian returns to the stage for stand-up comedy. Tickets $38-$58. 8 pm. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com COLLIDE Sep 6-7 NobleMotion Dance, known for its physically daring and visually stunning work, presents Collide: An Evening of Collaborations. The evening features a live performance by Austin post-rock band My Education, light and technology installations from the renowned Jeremy Choate and David J. Deveau, and guest performances by some of Houston’s best contemporary dancers. Tickets $25-$35. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org OPENING NIGHT WITH RENÉE FLEMING Sep 7 Kick off the centennial season with threetime Grammy award winner and vocal superstar, Renée Fleming. The diva will captivate you with her sumptuous voice, consummate artistry and compelling stage presence as she joins the Houston Symphony to perform a mix of beloved opera arias, classical favorites, Broadway selections and songs from her crossover album Dark Hope. Tickets $29-$175. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org ANCIENT SOUNDS: IRAQ MEETS INDIA Sep 7 A string quintet uniquely showcases the confluence of two of the most ancient musical cultures in the world. Tickets $27-$77. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com FIESTA SINFONICA Sep 8 Concert program includes Gershwin’s Cuban Overture, Bernstein’s Symphonic Dances from West Side Story, Falla’s Noches en los Jardines de España (Nights in the Gardens of Spain), and Ginastera’s Danza del Ballet Estancia, Opus 8a. Free. 6 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
JIM NOWAKOWSKI, photo by amitava sarkar
TCHAIKOVSKY’S PIANO CONCERTO Sep 12-15 Pianist Kirill Gerstein returns to Houston with the delicate melodies and explosive fireworks of Tchaikovsky’s Piano Concerto No. 1. The evening will come to a raucous conclusion with blazing trumpets as the Consular Army marches along the Appian Way in Respighi’s Pines of Rome. Tickets $25-$117. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org THE MERRY WIDOW Sep 19-29 When the dashing Count Danilo prepares to woo a wealthy widow, securing her fortune and saving his country, he has no idea how beautiful she is, nor that they have met before. High jinks, finance, illicit romance and political intrigue – this irresistibly charming ballet has it all. Not to mention swirling waltzes, aerial feats, even a French can-can – all set to the glorious music of Franz Lehár. With stunning sets and costumes by Italian designer Roberta Guidi de Bagno, this bubbly ballet is a veritable feast for the eyes. Tickets $19-$190. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org JESSICA LANG DANCE Sep 20 Jessica Lang Dance, is known for thrilling audiences with a repertoire ranging from minimal and simplistic to rich and dense. JLD produces works associated with music, opera, mixed media compositions and public art installations, while delivering a beautiful blend of classical and contemporary styles. Tickets $25-$75. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org JOSHUA BELL RETURNS Sep 20-22 Superstar Joshua Bell returns to Houston to perform Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto, complete with heartbreaking melodies and fiery virtuosity. On the podium, former music director Lawrence Foster conducts the Houston Symphony in a performance of Elgar’s nuanced musical characterizations of his dearest friends – the Enigma Variations. Tickets $35-$129. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MENUS PLAISIRS Sep 22 Inspired by the French royal court’s Cabinet of Musical Pleasures, Ars Lyrics presents this funloving program with exquisite, though rarely heard works from the ancien régime of Versailles and its imitators. Tickets start at $35. 7:30 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org BEETHOVEN 7 PLUS RACHMANINOFF Sep 26-29 Relish a great masterpiece of music that Beethoven himself called “one of the happiest products of my poor talents.” The Seventh Symphony’s Allegretto movement became famous from the very start, when the public demanded an encore at its first performance. Also on the program is Rachmaninoff ’s The Bells, inspired by an Edgar Allen Poe poem. Tickets $25-$117. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
TWENTY-SOMETHING: MOZART AND SCHUBERT Sep 27 Mozart and Schubert produced remarkable compositions throughout their too-short lives – works of extraordinary maturity, humanity and depth of feeling. Mozart’s dramatic piano quartet and Schubert’s serenely lyrical octet, composed by a 29-year-old Wolfgang Amadeus and a 27-yearold Franz, are among the greatest masterpieces of the chamber music repertoire, expressing the range of human emotions with an eloquence that would be astounding at any age. Tickets $28-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com VAN CLIBURN GOLD MEDALIST Sep 28 Be one of the first to witness the next piano sensation when the 14th Van Cliburn International Piano Competition Gold Medalist makes his/her Houston debut. This year Society of the Performing Arts honors the life of the late Harvey Lavan “Van” Cliburn by continuing his legacy and presenting the winner of the Van Cliburn Competition. Tickets $25-$75. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Oct 2, Nov 7 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 everyone and part of everyday life. Downtown workers, schools, seniors and day care centers are among the many who enjoy Da Camera’s free lunchtime concerts. 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 DANE COOK Oct 3 Actor and comedian Dane Cook performs stand-up for The Under Oath Tour. Tickets $50. 7 pm. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com CLASSIC SOUL Oct 4-6 Classic Soul is back! Join Mike Krajewski and guest vocalists for an evening of smooth grooves, easy rhythms and timeless top 40 hits of this iconic genre. Hear music from the kings and queens of
classic soul, including Aretha Franklin, Gladys Knight, Stevie Wonder and Marvin Gaye. Feel the spirit of an era with songs like Natural Woman and Let’s Stay Together. Then, tap your toes to the rhythms of hits such as Signed, Sealed, Delivered, I’m Yours and I Heard it Through the Grapevine. Tickets $25-$126. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MOZART PIANO CONCERTOS Oct 5 Timothy Hester performs two piano concertos by Mozart, including Jeunehomme. Antoine Plante leads two Mozart symphonies (including No. 25). Tickets $10-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org HUNGARIAN STATE FOLK ENSEMBLE Oct 11 Regarded as one of the greatest folkloric dance ensembles in the world, the Hungarian State Folk Ensemble returns to wow Houston audiences this fall. Celebrate the rich history and culture of Eastern Europe as the 90-member ensemble performs choreography based on authentic folk dances, some dating back hundreds of years. Accompanying the dancers live on stage, the Folk Orchestra and the Gipsy Orchestra perform the extraordinary folk music that inspired Liszt, Bartok and Kodaly on authentic Hungarian instruments. Tickets $25-$75. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org PAUL TAYLOR DANCE COMPANY Oct 12 The incomparable Paul Taylor Dance Company returns to Houston for one night only with a program that will include Airs, Esplanade and Sunset and will feature live music performed by Houston’s own Mercury. The last living member of the legends who created American modern dance, Paul Taylor continues to win acclaim for the vibrancy, relevance and power of his recent dances, as well as his classics. Tickets $25-$85. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SHEN YUN ORCHESTRA CONCERT Oct 13 Over the years, audience members have found themselves captivated by the music of Shen Yun Performing Arts performances and have expressed the wish that one day it could be performed in concert. Today the wish is realized, and Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra comes to perform in Houston. Tickets $39-$129. 2 and 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 800.380.8165. shenyunperformingarts.org
HOUSTON Fall PUBLIC Calendar LIBRARY All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. Julia Ideson Library, 550 McKinney 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org FUN WITH SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS Sep 7, Oct 19, Nov 9 & 30 Create a science experiment with us! For school-age children. 3 pm. SPECIAL SCREENING OF LATINO AMERICANS Sep 12 Houston Public Library, Houston Public Media, Arte Público, and The Center for Mexican American Studies at UH present a special screening of Latino Americans. This film is a landmark six-part documentary featuring interviews with nearly 100 Latinos and more than 500 years of history, followed by a conversation with luminaries involved in the film, including University of Houston law professor Michael A. Olivas. 6 pm. HISPANIC HERITAGE MONTH CRAFT Sep 14 Make a craft with Latin flavor to take home! For school-age children. 3 pm. NINJAGO TIME Sep 14, 28; Oct 19, Nov 9, 23 Crafts and games based on Ninjago. 3 pm.
Books Week by watching a movie and making a craft based on a book from the banned book list. 5:30 pm. MY PERSPECTIVE ON HOUSTON’S HISPANIC HISTORY FEATURING AUTHOR THOMAS KRENECK Sep 28 Dr. Thomas Kreneck, head of Special Collections & Archives at Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi will discuss his views on Houston’s Hispanic history. 1–3 pm. Julia Ideson Building. SECOND ANNUAL LIBROFEST Oct 5 Houston Public Library presents the 2nd Annual LibroFEST. This event is a book and arts festival highlighting Hispanic writers and celebrates the vibrant culture of the Latino community through author readings, storytelling, music, workshops, crafts and performances for children and adults. This year’s event will feature Houston’s first Poet Laureate, Gwendolyn Zepeda. 1–5 pm.
HOW TO WRITE A BETTER SCHOOL REPORT Sep 14, Oct 19 Explore Houston Public Library’s online databases for awesome resources and learn some tips and tricks for making your school report stand out. Ages 8-12. 1-2 pm.
SPEAKOUT WITH HOUSTON HISPANIC POETS Oct 5 Houston Public Library presents the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trangender (LGBT) program SpeakOUT with Houston Hispanic Poets. 1:30–3 pm. Julia Ideson Building.
BANNED BOOK WEEK MOVIE FESTIVAL Sep 23-28 Celebrate Banned
HALLOWEEN BASH Oct 26 Join us for an afternoon of spooktacular fun!
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Caricatures, games, scary makeup demo and crafts. 2-4 pm. HOUSTON HISTORY BOOK FAIR & SYMPOSIUM Nov 9 This event will feature several authors speaking about their books every half hour throughout the day. Meet the authors, win door prizes and browse dozens of history books about the Bayou City. 10 am–4 pm. Julia Ideson Building. AMERICAN GIRLS CLUB Nov 16 Explore the world of American Girl dolls with games and activities related to each time of the historical American Girl Chapter Books. 2 pm.
Mondays Baby Time, 10:30 am. Toddler Time, 11:30 am. Pre-School Storytime, 1:00 pm. Tuesdays Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am. Family Yoga, 11:30 am. Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am. Thursdays Baby Yoga, 2 pm.
MIDORI PLAYS MENDELSSOHN Oct 18-20 The unrivaled Midori joins Music Director Designate Andrés Orozco-Estrada and the Houston Symphony to perform Mendelssohn’s Violin Concerto. When Midori lifts her violin to her shoulder, you will experience the unique intimacy of her playing, singing out Mendelssohn’s heartrending passages with grace and delicacy. Tickets $35-$129. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org AIDA Oct 18-Nov 9 Aida, an Ethiopian princess enslaved to Amneris, the princess of Egypt, has fallen in love with the warrior Radames. As he rides into battle, Aida is torn between her love for him, allegiance to her country, and loyalty to her family. Radames dreams that if he returns triumphant, he will free Aida and marry her. But Amneris longs for Radames’ affections, too. Romance and hope turn to crushing tragedy as the story unfolds. Tickets start at $35. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org AUDRA MCDONALD Oct 19 Broadway legend Audra McDonald returns to the concert stage after four seasons on the hit ABC television series Private Practice and after winning a record-tying fifth Tony Award in 2012 for her unforgettable performance in The Gershwins’ Porgy and Bess. McDonald, accompanied by Houston native and Rice alum, Andy Einhorn, will grace the Brown Theater stage with an evening of favorite show tunes and unforgettable songs. Tickets $25-$80. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org ACS: GERI ALLEN, TERRI LYNE CARRINGTON & ESPERANZA SPALDING Oct 19 This all-star trio features pianist Geri Allen, drummer Terri Lyne Carrington, and bass player Esperanza Spalding, three of the most important instrumentalists in jazz today. Originating with their work on Carrington’s Grammy Award-winning The Mosaic Project, ACS stretches boundaries and revels in the art form. The trio is elegant, experimental and unquestionably bold. Tickets $35-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com MOZART AND SCHUMANN Oct 24-27 Newly appointed Principal Oboe Jonathan Fischer takes the solo limelight in Mozart’s tuneful Oboe Concerto. Also enjoy Robert Schumann’s burst of inspiration in his Symphony No. 2. Its energetic and whimsical Scherzo – with a sweet and melodious second theme – is one of the composer’s most famous works. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org YAMATO—THE DRUMMERS OF JAPAN Oct 25 Back by popular demand, YAMATO – The Drummers of Japan have enthralled audiences for nearly 20 years with passion, excitement and sheer force. With a massive drum, 6 feet in diameter and made from a 400-year-old tree as their centerpiece, the highly skilled men and women of YAMATO play 40 taikos of various sizes, blending phenomenally powerful and dramatic drumming
smallz & raskind
2CELLOS Nov 1 Young Croatian cellists Luka Šulic´ and Stjepan Hauser achieved sensational success by taking the cello to a new level and breaking the boundaries between different genres of music. The duo has appeared on Glee, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno and Ellen and performed with Elton John. Tickets $25-$60. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
with music of delicate beauty and humor. Tickets $25-$85. 7:30 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org DIE FLEDERMAUS Oct 25-Nov 10 Prince Orlofsky’s costume ball – the most coveted invitation of the year – drives the action of this urbane farce by Johann Strauss. Captivating serenades, a famous Hungarian csárdás, and, of course, lilting waltzes, permeate the luscious score from the Waltz King. A stylish decoinspired setting adds to the witty, sophisticated fun. Tickets start at $35. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org
ROMANTIC TRAILBLAZERS: ROBERT, CLARA AND JOHANNES Nov 1 Enjoy three Romantic trailblazers: Robert Schumann, musical genius and influential critic; his wife, the child prodigy pianist and groundbreaking performer/composer Clara Schumann, who navigated new paths as a 19th-century woman; and the young Johannes Brahms, who entered the couple’s life at the beginning of his career. Brahms’s Scherzo, composed in the same year that the 20-year-old had his life-changing first encounter with the Schumanns, boldly opens the program. Robert Schumann’s fantastical Carnaval continues to sound original and inventive today. Tickets $28-$55. 8 pm. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com LA TRISTE HISTORIA Nov 1-3 Enter the spirit of the Dia de los Muertos – the Day of the Dead – with La Triste Historia. Renowned Mexican composer Juan Trigos, director Ben Young Mason and executive producer Duncan Copp have created a perfect marriage of music and film. The ancient tradition inspired the film’s powerful storyline, framed within the ancient celebration when spirits emerge to once more walk upon the Earth. Follow the dream-like tale of tragic love of two young people, set against the backdrop of the Mexican Revolution. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
PETER AND THE WOLF Oct 26 No piece is more a family classic than Peter and the Wolf. This favorite work will be brought to life through narration by a special guest actor and joined by a cast of characters speaking through the instruments of the orchestra. Come dressed as your favorite character! Tickets $18-$26. 10 and 11:30 am. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
SHANGHAI BALLET Nov 5 Direct from China, the world-renowned Shanghai Ballet will arrive in Houston to perform one of its signature works, The Butterfly Lovers. This four-act ballet is an Asian version of Romeo and Juliet that includes a perfect combination of Western ballet and Chinese dancing. Tickets $25-$105. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
WRIGHT’S MUSIC STUDIO 25TH Oct 27 This marks the 25th anniversary of Wright’s Music Studio. Fine arts and music aficionados across the Greater Houston area flock to the Don’t Stop the Music awards celebration. This black-tie event will benefit Touch of Keys Fine Arts. Tickets $25-$40. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. worthamcenter.org
RADIOLAB LIVE APOCALYPTICAL Nov 6 Cataclysmic destruction. Surprising survival. In this new live stage performance, the radio show and hit podcast turns its gaze to the topic of endings, both blazingly fast and agonizingly slow. With their signature blend of storytelling, science and music, hosts Jad Abumrad and Robert Krulwich romp through hundreds of millions of years of history to
arrive at the end, again and again. Tickets $40-$50. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 832.487.7041. radiolab.org BALLET SHRI RAM Nov 8 This ultimate synergy of arts and spirituality featuring a large group of dancers, meticulous choreography using multiple Indian dance styles, elaborate props and sets, and evocative soulful music has performed 3,000 times to acclaim all over the world. In celebration of its 20th anniversary and on the occasion of Dussera-Diwali festivities, IndoAmerican Association is proud to bring this event to Houston for the first time ever. Tickets $22-$200. 8 pm. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 281.648.0422. iaahouston.com DARCY JAMES ARGUE’S SECRET SOCIETY Nov 9 Trailblazer Darcy James Argue brings his 18-piece big band Secret Society to Houston in one of this celebrated ensemble’s rare ventures beyond New York. Argue is among today’s most talked about jazz musicians, thanks to the phenomenal critical response to Infernal Machines, his Grammmy Award-nominated debut recording featuring Secret Society, which was included on more than 100 best-of-the year lists and won Best Debut honors in the prestigious Village Voice Jazz Critics Poll. Tickets $35-$65. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com MEGAN HILTY: LUCK BE A LADY Nov 15-17 Time Magazine calls her “the new princess of Broadway.” Megan Hilty, the multi-talented star of NBC’s Smash and Broadway musicals Wicked and 9 to 5, is heading to the Houston Symphony stage to pay a special tribute to the tunes made famous by stars like Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Etta James and Dolly Parton. Tickets $25-$126. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org A BREATH OF INSPIRATION Nov 17 To hear the Texas Medical Center Orchestra of Houston is to know that this group of health professionals is playing for the love of the music. Composed of physicians, dentists, nurses, medical students, biomedical scientists, social workers, and other allied health professionals, this orchestra plays with
datebook. passion and reveals the surprisingly strong link between careers in medical professions and musical talent. The Texas Medical Center Orchestra gives consistently outstanding and fresh interpretation to the most beautiful symphonic music in the world. Tickets start at $20. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.7041. tmcorchestra.org CELTIC THUNDER Nov 20 Known for its eclectic style, with songs ranging from soloists to ensemble, Celtic Thunder returns to the stage for a night of Irish rock. Tickets $35-$75. 7:30 pm. Bayou Music Center. 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com UKULELE ORCHESTRA OF GREAT BRITAIN Nov 20 Playing instruments “bought with loose change,” the Ukulele Orchestra of Great Britain, fondly referred to as the “Ukes,” proudly asserts that all music, whether by Tchaikovsky or Otis Redding, is ripe for reinterpretation – as long as it is played on the ukulele. This group of all-singing, all-strumming ukulele players has been charming audiences from London’s Royal Albert Hall to Carnegie Hall. Tickets $25-$60. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org TCHAIKOVSKY’S SYMPHONY NO. 4 Nov 21-24 Tchaikovsky poured intense determination into his fourth symphony in an attempt to transcend his own life’s crises. Travel through this masterpiece, from meditation through rising excitement to joyous triumph. But first, percussion wizard Colin Currie returns to lend his talent and showmanship to Christopher Rouse’s Der gerettete Alberich. Tickets $25-$124 Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BEETHOVEN’S PASTORAL SYMPHONY Nov 29-Dec 1 Beethoven wrote to a friend, “no one can love the country as much as I do. For surely woods, trees and rocks produce the echo that man desires to hear.” The Pastoral brings you back to nature with its musical depiction of the countryside. Also on the program, the hummable melodies and achingly beautiful Adagio of Mozart’s Piano Concerto No. 23, performed by Ingrid Fliter. Tickets $25-$124. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS HOUSTON BRAZILLIAN FESTIVAL Sep 7 Enjoy a fun and educational day celebrating Brazilian culture through live music, games, performances, food and more. Tickets $8-$10. 1-10 pm. Jones Plaza, 601 Louisiana. brazilianarts.org HERITAGE FAMILY DAY Sep 15 Enjoy an afternoon of old-fashioned fun and storytelling. Free. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
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CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Sep 18-Dec 18 Every Wednesday the market hosts more than 40 vendors around the City Hall Reflection Pool and features an array of locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients. Free. 11 am-1:30 pm. City Hall, 901 Bagby. 832.393.1010. greenhoustontx.gov PUERTO RICAN CUBAN FESTIVAL Sep 21-22 A day of culture, celebration and live music that features all the flavors of the region through art, music, food, fashion and car shows. Tickets start at $10. Tranquillity Park, 902 Bagby. 10 am-10 pm. prcfestival.com BAYOU CITY ARTS FESTIVAL Oct 12-13 The annual, juried fine art event boasts an outdoor gallery brimming with 300 artists working in 19 artistic media. Adding to the festive outdoor gallery are wine cafes, a creative zone for children, restaurants and a performing arts stage with ongoing multicultural and dance entertainment presented by The Houston Arts Alliance. Hermann Square, 901 Bagby. bayoucityartfestival.com
BARKITECTURE HOUSTON Oct 18-19 Join GreenStreet and Pup Squad for Barkitecture Houston 2013 and enjoy a weekend of dog-day good times with a Yappy Hour, a silent auction of designer dog houses, Art + Bark (a photo contest) and spectacular shopping. Free. All pups in attendance must be kept on a leash at all times. Noon-6 pm. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1200. greenstreetdowntown.com
7TH ANNUAL KBR KIDS DAY – WILD ON BUFFALO BAYOU Oct 19 Wild animals, reptiles and insects, oh my! Presented by Buffalo Bayou Partnership, this free, fun-filled day includes naturethemed exhibitors, kayak demonstrations, music, park performers, kayak demos and boat rides on the bayou. 11 am-3 pm. Free. Sabine Promenade. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org HOUSTON CINEMA ARTS FESTIVAL Nov 6-10 Houston Cinema Arts Society presents innovative films, media installations and performances that celebrate the artistic process and enrich Houston’s culture and urban vitality. In its sixth year, the emerging festival has been known to bring talented guest artists to the city such as Tilda Swinton, Isabella Rossellini and Shirley MacLaine. Tickets and locations vary. 713.429.0420. cinemaartsociety.org VETERANS DAY PARADE Nov 11 The City of Houston supports our armed forces as it celebrates the 14th Annual Houston Salutes American Heroes Veterans Day Commemoration and Parade. Free. Ceremony, 10 am. City Hall, 901 Bagby. Parade of Heroes, 11:30 am. houstonspecialevents.org FASHION HOUSTON Nov 12-15 An unparalleled event, shining as brightly as the Lone Star itself. Fashion Houston is the pinnacle of big-city style, infused with downhome charm. An event that will bring the most talented designers, the most celebrated models, and worshipers of style from around the globe to Houston. Tickets start at $50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.487.7041. fashionhouston.net
MARKET Fall SQUARE Calendar PARK SPECIAL EVENTS BLANKET BINGO Sep 12, Oct 3, Nov 14 & Dec 12 The stakes are high for Blanket Bingo benefiting Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Bring your blanket and lawn chairs or snag one of the tables at the park for a night of music and great prizes. $10 admission includes one bingo packet (approximately 10 games). Additional games and daubers can be purchased for $1 each. 6-9 pm. Bingo begins at 7 pm. DESIGN WEEK 2013: AIGA PRESENTS SIGN PAINTERS Sep 24 AIGA Houston presents a screening of the new documentary Sign Painters as part of Design Week 2013. As recently as the 1980s, storefronts, banners, billboards and even street signs were hand lettered with brush and paint. But the promise of quicker and cheaper has ushered a creeping sameness into our landscape. Fortunately, there is a growing trend to seek out traditional sign painters, fueling a renaissance in the trade. Filmmakers Faythe Levine and Sam
Macon traveled the country documenting these dedicated practitioners, their methods, and their regard for craftsmanship. 7:30 pm. A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE Oct 12 Join historic Downtown’s biggest celebratory night of the year –A Night At Market Square. Sample beverages and bites from the area’s diverse and eclectic restaurant and bar scene, as well as pours from St. Arnold’s Brewery. And don’t miss Americana rock ‘n’ rollers The Band of Heathens. 6 pm. HTX BIKE FEST Nov 16 Hosted by Black Gold Cycling, this festival brings cyclists and bike enthusiasts from all over the city to celebrate their favorite mode of transportation – bikes! The event kicks off with an all-day swap meet boasting more
than 50 vendors focused on the bike-friendly lifestyle and will feature a variety of demos from various bike sports such as bike polo, bmx/fixedgear freestyle, various cycling contests, a huge obstacle race course and sprint contests presented by Texas Gold Sprint’em. 10 am-6 pm. htxbikefest.com
CONCERTS AT THE SQUARE
MUSICA: TIME TRAVEL Sep 28 Winner of Chamber Music America’s 2013 Adventurous Programming Award, Musiqa celebrates the opening of the public art piece What Time Is It? with a concert of modern chamber music. Featuring some of Houston’s finest performers, the program includes exciting works by Louis Andriessen, Michael van der Aa, John Corigliano
– all winners of classical composition’s highest honor, the Grawemeyer Award – as well as Dance Mix by Musiqa’s own Rob Smith. What Time Is It?, created by artist Jo Flesichhauer with a sound installation by composers Anthony Brandt and Chapman Welch, innovatively re-imagines the Market Square clock-tower. The concert opens with the first “tolling” of the musical installation and the lighting of the tower. 7:30 pm. THE BAND OF HEATHENS Oct 12 These Austin darlings embody the Americana spirit with songs about Hunter S.
the ninth wonder of the world, praising his sharp piano skills and funky melodic hooks. 8 pm.
ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS Forget about trekking to the ‘burbs for your Alamo fix. Join us at the Rolling Roadshow for the fantastic film classics under the stars. All movies begin at 7:30 p.m. Sep 7 Goldfinger (1964), 110 min. Sep 8 Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery (1997), 89 min., PG-13 Oct 23 Rocky (1976), 119 mins., PG Nov 1 Beetlejuice (1998), 92 min., PG Nov 22 Tootsie (1982), 116 min., PG
RECREATION Thompson, Louisiana hurricanes and sad southern heartbreak. They thrive when playing live, shining in their recent appearance on Austin City Limits and channeling the roll-with-it rock aura of bands like The Grateful Dead and Little Feat. See them in a rare, free show at Market Square Park before they hit the fall music festival circuit. 9 pm.
BAYOU BIKERS Sep 1, Oct 6, Nov 3, Dec 1 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square on the first Sunday of the month for 25- to 40mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. Rides are open to all. Mountain bikes or bikes with fat tires are necessary. This is an informal group whose purpose is to show Houstonians and visitors the beauty of Houston’s waterways. 8 am.
JON CLEARY Nov 9 This English native is no stranger to the States. Having immersed himself in New Orleans music and culture for more than 20 years, Jon Cleary is the go-to guy, writing and performing with blues artists like Bonnie Raitt, Taj Mahal and Ryan Adams. Raitt calls him
CRITICAL MASS Sep 27, Oct 6, Nov 29, & Dec 28 Critical Mass is an informal bike group that meets the last Friday of every month to ride around the city, raise awareness and advocate for a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm.
HOUSTON B-CYCLE STATION Park visitors can purchase daily, weekly or annual memberships and explore downtown on two wheels. Thanks to Blue Cross Blue Shield, this bike-sharing program has expanded from three to 14 stations throughout downtown, as well as other areas of Houston. For more information, visit houston.bcycle.com 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 are allowed, please. Metered on-street parking is available and free after 6 pm. $5 parking is available across the street at Market Square Garage. 301 Milam. marketsquarepark.com Be sure to visit Market Square Park’s Facebook page for info on special deals and happenings at the neighborhood’s eclectic dining and bar scene.
DISCOVERY Fall GREEN
The events listed are confirmed at the time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green summer 2013 events, please visit the calendar at discoverygreen.com 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 permitted.
SUNDOWN AT THE GROVE Wednesdays through Sep 18 This weekly craft beer tasting includes beer flights accompanied by one-of-a-kind food pairings from The Grove’s chef in the beautiful Treehouse overlooking Discovery Green. $15. 5:30-8 pm. AUSTRALIA’S STRANGE FRUIT Sep 20-22 Get ready to be amazed by Australia’s Strange Fruit performing a fusion of theater, dance and circus perched atop flexible poles. Swoon! is a 25-minute performance featuring four daredevils telling a spectacular story of love, loss, joy and freedom. See it by night and by day. See website for times.
DISCOVERY FLEA BY NIGHT Sep 21, Oct 19 Food trucks, live music, bicycle repair workshop and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more under the stars and twinkle lights! 6-10 pm. DOCKDOGS Sep 27–29 This competition showcases furry four-legged athletes from across Texas, Oklahoma and Louisiana as they compete in high-jump, long-jump and speed retrieve events. Rounding out the scene are petfriendly vendors, a dog costume contest, dog training demonstrations and animal adoptions. Special appearances by Clifford, Biscuit and Poky the puppy! See website for times. SCREAM ON THE GREEN Oct 31 Have a spooky good time at Houston’s sixth annual citywide costume contest and Halloween celebration. Prizes, music and more! Watch Frankenweenie a heartwarming movie about a boy and his dog. 6-10 pm, movie starts at 7 pm.
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DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA Nov 16 Food trucks, live music, bicycle repair workshop and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more! 11 am-5 pm.
MORNING MEDITATION Sep 7, Oct 5, Nov 2 Learn to stay present in your life with Growing Awareness meditation. 10:30 am-noon. KAYAK RIDES ON KINDER LAKE Weekends Sep-Nov Awaken your awareness of nature with a relaxing and serene kayak ride around Kinder Lake by professional guides from Buffalo Bayou Shuttle Service. $5 per person. 11 am-5 pm. KAYAK CLASS Wednesdays in Sep and Oct Adults learn safety, instruction and safe paddling techniques. 6:30-7:30 pm. KAYAK CLASS Sep 2 and Oct 6 Children ages 5-16 years old learn safety, instruction and safe paddling techniques. $5 per person. RECYCLING SATURDAYS Saturdays Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. Free. 10 am-2 pm.
FREE FITNESS IN THE PARK
Bum-ba Toning Mondays, Sep 2-Nov 11 6:30-7:30 pm.
CHIPOTLE GREEN FILM SERIES Discovery Green and Chipotle Mexican Grill present films to educate and challenge us all to care for the earth. Sep 13 Eating Alabama (2012, 62 min.) Activities begin at 7:30 pm, movie 8:15 pm Oct 18 In Organic We Trust (2012, 82 min.) Activities begin at 7 pm, movie 7:45 pm.
CORE-FOCUSED YOGA Tuesdays, Sep 3-Nov 12 6:30-7:30 pm. ZUMBA Wednesdays, Sep 4-Nov 13 6:30-7:30 pm. JAZZERCISE Thursdays, Sep 5-Nov 14 10:30-11:30 am. BLISSFUL WARRIOR YOGA Saturdays, Sep 7–Nov 16 9-10 am.
DISCOVERY HOOP DANCE Sundays, Sep 1-Nov 17 10:3011:30 am.
SCREEN ON THE GREEN Catch a free flick in the shadow of Houston’s skyline. Arrive early for fun activities. Sep 14 Up (G) 2009; 96 min. 8 pm. Oct 5 The Great Gatsby (PG-13) 2013, 143 min. 7:30 pm Oct 31 Frankenweenie (PG) 2012, 87 min. 7 pm Nov 2 Moonrise Kingdom (PG-13) 2012, 94 min. 7 pm H-E-B MOVIE NIGHT Sep 6 Bring the family out to see a screening of The Blind Side, the story of Michael Oher, who became an All American football player and first-round NFL draft pick with the help of a caring woman and her family. Special appearances by the Houston Texans Cheerleaders and mascot TORO! Activities start at 7 pm, movie begins at 8 pm. THURSDAY CONCERTS AT DISCOVERY GREEN Family-friendly concerts showcasing the best music of Texas and the Gulf Coast! 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 permitted. 6:30 pm.
Sep 19 Robert Ellis Band; The Clarkes (opens) Sep 26 Ray Wylie Hubbard; Shinyribs (opens) Oct 3 Young Mammals and The Wheel Workers Oct 10 Del Castillo; Espantapajaros (opens) Oct 17 Shemekia Copeland; Annika Chambers (opens) ROCK-TOBER LUNCHTIME CONCERTS Step away from your desk for fresh air, rockin’ music and great food while you enjoy a new lunch-hour concert series by Kinder Lake. Free. 11:30 am–1 pm. Oct 2 Milton Hopkins Oct 9 Buxton Oct 16 Grandfather Child Oct 23 Zydeco Dots Oct 30 Kristine Mills HOUSTON PUBLIC MEDIA SILENT FILM CONCERT Oct 4 Shadow of the Batman (2012, 50 min.) Returning by popular demand, Two Star Symphony performs their score to a new compilation of vintage film clips by filmmaker Andre Perkowski. 7:30 pm
TODDLER TUESDAYS PRESENTED BY AMERIGROUP REALSOLUTIONS Sep 3-Oct 29 Enjoy story time and activities with your favorite looka-like and storybook characters. 10:30 am. Sep 3 Houston Ballet II: The Sleeping Beauty pas de deux
YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP Saturdays Sep 1-Nov 16 Houston’s only free writing workshop for kids presented by HPL Express, Writers in the Schools and Discovery Green. 10:30-11:30 am. TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON Sep 14 Texas Parks and Wildlife brings you wild family fun with fishing, paddling, activities, crafts and live birds-ofprey demonstrations. 10 am-3 pm with outdoor, family-friendly movie at 8 pm.
LICENSED EVENTS ULTIMATE FIELD DAY HOSTED BY RADIO DISNEY AM 1590 Sep 14 Radio Disney AM 1590 brings you Ultimate Field Day powered by Neighbors Emergency Center with the coolest activity stations, music, games, and prizes for all! Noon-3 pm.
FRIENDS FOR LIFE Sep 21, Oct 19, Nov 16 A state-of-the-art adoption center on wheels brings pets to the people in style. Noon-4 pm. nokill1.org JINGLE BELL RUN KICK-OFF Sep 30 Join in the kick-off fun for the
annual holiday Jingle Bell Run, which raises funds and awareness for the Tellepsen Family Downtown YMCA. Free. 11:30 am-1 pm. jinglebellrun.org KOREAN FESTIVAL Oct 19 Bringing South Korea’s culture and beauty halfway around the globe to the heart of downtown Houston. 10 am-6 pm. kashouston.org 5TH ANNUAL SEARCH PICNIC IN THE PARK Oct 24 Enjoy a festive evening of dancing, music by KlockWork and lots of food and beverages. All proceeds directly benefit SEARCH Homeless Services. Tickets start at $100. 6 pm. searchhomeless.org SHABBAT IN THE PARK Oct 25 Come to this free, rocking Shabbat experience hosted by Congregation Emanu El. 5:30 pm. emanuelhouston.org HOUSTON MARGARITA AND SALSA FESTIVAL Oct 26 Enjoy an assortment of margaritas with live entertainment, a salsa dance competition, a limbo competition, great food and more. Ticketed event.. Noon-10 pm. houstonmargaritafest.com HOUSTON FINE ART FESTIVAL Nov 2-3 Juried fine art festival featuring national artisans selling original sculpture, photography, jewelry, painting, glass, ceramics, mixed-media, woodworking and more. paragonartevents.com/ houston
ARTCRAWL Nov 23 The 21st Annual ArtCrawl invites you to visit more than 100 artist studios, galleries and art spaces with its intriguingly wild theme this year, Caution – Live Snakes! ArtCrawlers get to learn more about the art by engaging directly with the artists who make it and the galleries and spaces that present it. Free. 10 am-9 pm. Various locations. artcrawlhouston.com VIA COLORI STREET FESTIVAL Nov 23 & 24 Amazing chalk artists transform the streets of downtown into colorful optical illusions and masterpieces in a festival benefiting the Center for Hearing and Speech. Plus, there’s food, beverages and live music. Free. Sam Houston Park, 1000 Bagby. centerhearingandspeech.org/ via-colori
Reading Series. The reading will be followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. 7:30 pm. Brown Theater, Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org ERIC SCHLOSSER Sep 24 A decade after Fast Food Nation exposed the harms of our industrial food system, famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser addresses the existential threat of nuclear weapons. Schlosser returns to The Progressive Forum to launch his latest book, Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, The Damascus Accident, and the Illusion of Safety. Tickets $17-$79. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org LESTER BROWN Oct 6 After publishing more than 50 books, Lester Brown releases his autobiography, an inspirational memoir tracing his
life as the son of a sharecropper to one who dines with heads of state. He has brought to the fore issues such as climate change, overpopulation, women’s education, lagging agricultural productivity, and the global economy, using impeccable research while proposing pragmatic, employable solutions. Tickets $17-$79. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org INPRINT JHUMPA LAHIRI READING Oct 13 Pulitzer Prize-winning fiction writer Jhumpa Lahiri will read from her new novel The Lowland as part of the 2013-2014 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The reading will be followed by an on-stage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5 or $30. Sun 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org INPRINT CHIMAMANDA NGOZI ADICHIE & COLUM McCANN READING Nov 18 Orange Prize winning writer Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie and National Book Award winning fiction writer Colum McCann will read from
JERRY & MARVY FINGER LECTURE SERIES: HARRIS COUNTY ARCHIVES Sep 19 Sarah Jackson will highlight some of the more unusual records stored at Harris County Archives. Members are free, non-members $5. 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org THE STRATIVARIUS SHOW: EDVIN MARTON Sep 20 The Ukranian composer and violinist debuts his new tour, Artistry on Ice at Wortham Center. Tickets $35-$130. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.974.1335. brilliantlectures.org INPRINT KHALED HOSSEINI READING Sep 23 Author of the international bestseller The Kite Runner, Khaled Hosseini will read from his latest novel And the Mountains Echoed as part of the 2013-14 Inprint Margarett Root Brown
Sep 10 Curious George Dance Party Sep 17 Barney: Let’s Go to The Firehouse (start time 11:30 am) Sep 24 Foam party with SpongeBob Square Pants Oct 1 A Cat in a Kayak Oct 8 The Story of the Houston Astros Oct 15 My First Yoga: Animal Poses Oct 22 Shake It Up with Dora, Diego and Boots Oct 29 Halloween Is Fun with Yo Gabba Gabba
datebook. their novels Americanah and TransAtlantic as part of the 2013-2014 Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. The reading will be followed by an onstage interview, book sale and signing. Tickets $5. Mon 7:30 pm. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org BARRY SCHECK Nov 18 Texas leads the nation in wrongful convictions. Barry Scheck co-founded the Innocence Project, New York City, which is a national litigation and public policy organization dedicated to exonerating the wrongly convicted and reforming the criminal justice system. He is the author of Actual Innocence: When Justice Goes Wrong and How To Make It Right (2003). Scheck will sign books and greet fans at the end of the evening. Tickets $17-$79. 7:30 pm. Noon-1 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org BUILDING ARTS DISTINGUISHED LECTURE SERIES Nov 20 Jhonny Langer and Machelle Wood present Layers of History: Paint Analysis and Historic Finish Reproduction at the Magoffin Home. Follow the discovery of these finishes and discuss how they were reproduced on El Paso’s only house museum. Members are free, non members $5. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS METRO ARTS IN TRANSIT EXHIBITION Through Sep 20 METRO Arts in Transit highlights the unique architectural elements in addition to the art at each station. Architectural renderings and images submitted by the selected artists are incorporated into the displays. Free. ArCH Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm, Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org FOTOFEST DISCOVERIES Through Sep 27 FotoFest and Brookfield Office Properties announce the newest exhibition in their ongoing collaboration, FotoFest Discoveries, featuring 15 international contemporary artists in an exhibition that spans four Downtown Houston office buildings. Mon-Fri, 7 am-6 pm. Free. One Allen Center, 500 Dallas; Two Allen Center, 1200 Smith; Three Allen Center, 333 Clay; 1600 Smith Art Gallery, 1600 Smith. 713.223.5522 fotofest.org BITTERS, BREWS AND BEYOND: HOUSTON HISTORY IN A BOTTLE Through Oct 26 This exhibit will feature a wonderful collection of glass bottles ranging from soda, milk and beer bottles, to medicine bottles from Houston pharmacies, to flasks, sauce bottles, canning jars and so much more. Free. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
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LET’S EAT! MENUS AND MORE FROM HOUSTON’S CLASSIC RESTAURANTS Through Oct 26 This exhibit will feature The Heritage Society’s collection of memorabilia from Houston restaurants like Kaphan’s, the Rice Hotel Coffee Shop and Prince’s Hamburgers and will be sponsored by Goode Company. Free. The Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MOVING/STILL: RECENT PHOTOGRAPHIC WORK BY TEXAS ARTISTS Sep 20-Dec 7 FotoFest and Houston Center for Photography (HCP) present the fifth exhibition in the Talent in Texas exhibition series, a collaboration between the two organizations. This latest edition is curated by Kerry Inman, founder and director of Inman Gallery, one of Houston’s premier contemporary fine art galleries. The exhibition is on view at FotoFest’s Downtown gallery space. Free. FotoFest, 1113 Vine. 713.223.5522. fotofest.org WOMEN AT WORK FOR YOUR COMMUNITY Nov 5-Jan 18 This exhibit features a historic profile of Houston Junior Service and assembles 30 of the former Houston Junior Forum presidents’ skirts created over the past six decades. Free. Heritage Society, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org COLLABORATIONS: KENDALL/HEATON Nov 8 Collaborations: the Work of Kendall / Heaton Associates is an exhibition tracing the firm’s 35-year history of partnering with an ever-expanding roster of world-famous design architects. The exhibit will also feature projects currently in development. Free. ArCH Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm. Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
COLOMBIA TRANSFORMED Nov 14-Jan 10 Colombia TRANSFORMED traces the most distinct, recently built projects that demonstrate ideas of social inclusion and innovative architectural forms and spaces. Free. ArCH Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am-5 pm, Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org
CONCERTS BAYOU MUSIC CENTER Sep 19 Volbeat, HIM & All That Remains Sep 20 OneRepublic & Sara Bareilles Sep 24 The Weekend Oct 2 India.Arie Oct 5 Earth, Wind & Fire Oct 11 Sarah Brightman Oct 12 The Fab Four Oct 27 Widespread Panic Nov 1 Straight No Chaser Nov 5 Two Door Cinema Club Nov 20 Celtic Thunder Nov 27 Joe Bonamassa Bayou Music Center concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com HOUSE OF BLUES Sep 7 Joe Satriani Sep 12 Andres Cepeda Sep 13 Reckless Kelly Sep 14 Ottmar Liebert Sep 17 Minus the Bear
Sep 18 Sick Puppies Sep 19 Between The Buried and Me Sep 26 Yellow Card Sep 27 Alt-J Sep 28 Saxon Sep 29 Aimee Mann Oct 3 The Naked and Famous Oct 4 Franz Ferdinand Oct 7 Red Baraat Oct 8 Walk The Moon Oct 9 Local Natives Oct 10 Toro Y Moi Oct 10 Typhoon Oct 11 Matt Nathanson Oct 13 Tricky Oct 18 Jonny Lang Oct 27 Michael Franti & Spearhead Oct 29 James Blake Nov 1 Green River Ordinance Nov 3 Coco Rosie Nov 11 Rusko Nov 23 Steve Vai Nov 24 Chvrches Nov 29 Los Lonely Boys HOB’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com TOYOTA CENTER Sep 5 Marc Anthony Oct 19 Velasques vs. Dos Santos Oct 20 Michael Buble Nov 2 Selena Gomez Nov 12 Josh Groban Nov 13 Drake Nov 14 Rihanna
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
EXPOS HADA FALL ANTIQUES SHOW & SALE Sep 20-22 The Houston Antique Dealers Association hosts exhibitors from around the country and has a diverse selection of items for everyone’s taste. HADA’s Fall Antiques Show & Sale is the place to find that exceptional treasure. George R. Brown
HOUSTON FINE ART FAIR Sep 19-22 HFAF returns to Houston for its third year, bringing pieces of modern and contemporary masters, mid-career and emerging artists from around the globe to the public. More than 40 of the region’s leading museums and galleries are coming together to present a world-class show to collectors and art lovers alike. Tickets start at $25 and range from one-day passes to VIP and preview experiences. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 631.702.2141. houstonfineartfair.com
dave rossman photography
Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. hadaantiques.com TEXAS CONTEMPORARY ART FAIR Oct 10-13 This blow-out show reveals the fun and funky side of the art world, with galleries from as far as Japan. This truly unique show gives both seasoned collectors and those new to the scene 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 Oct 31-Nov 3 The world’s largest quilt show, sale, and quilt-making academy will feature more than 1,500 quilts and fiber artworks on display, shopping at more than 1,100 booths, and more than 365 classes, lectures, and special events from which to choose. Founded in 1974, the International Quilt Festival has been dubbed “The World’s Fair of Quilts” by Southern Living. Admission starts at $9. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 713.781.6864. quilts.com PREMIERE GUN SHOW Nov 9-10 Enjoy a huge selection of firearms, ammunition, shooting supplies and knives. Dealers will have direct-from-the-factory guns as well as preowned and collectibles. Buy, trade and sell. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. premiergunshows.com
TOURS TWILIGHT TOURS Sep 7 & 21 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the evening with your family and friends. First come, first serve, no reservations, 21-person maximum per trip. Departs at Downtown’s Sabine Promenade (150 Sabine Street, 77007). Free parking at Lot H (off Memorial Drive at the Sabine Street exit, on right-hand side before Houston Avenue). $7/$5 for children 4-12 (cash only). buffalobayou.org
KAYAK TOURS Sep 7, Oct 5 & Nov 2 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 (2-person) sit-on-top kayaks. 9 am-noon. $60 per person (reservations required) Start at Allen’s Landing and end at Buffalo Bend Nature Park (East End); 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org Allen’s Landing Walking Tour Sep 8 Join Buffalo Bayou Partnership and Preservation Houston for a tour of Allen’s Landing, known as Houston’s Plymouth Rock, the spot where our city was founded by the Allen brothers in 1836. Learn about the historic buildings nearby and hear about future plans for renovating the 1910 Sunset Coffee Building to be completed in 2014. $10/$7 for PH and Bayou Buddies members. Meet at downtown’s Allen’s Landing, 1019 Commerce (at Main Street). 5:30 pm. buffalobayou.org BAT TOURS BY PONTOON BOAT Sep 13, 27, Oct 11 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 the boat tour. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month (reservations required. $35/$25 for children 4-12. Allen’s Landing; 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org BUFFALO BAYOU WALKING TOUR Sep 14, Nov 9 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, invites you to a stroll along Buffalo Bayou Parkway for an overview of Downtown Houston’s history and architecture from its beginnings in 1836 to the efforts to revitalize the central city today. 10 am–2 pm. $20 per person; $10 for ArCH, AIA Houston,
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and Bayou Buddies members. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. http://bit.ly/AIAHwalkingtours TOWERS AND TREES WALKING TOUR Nov 2 This walking tour explores the magnificent architecture between Hermann Square and Discovery Green as well as the changing dynamics of Downtown. $10 for non-members; $5 for ArCH and AIA Houston members. City Hall, 900 Bagby. 10 am-2 pm. 713.520.0155. http://bit.ly/AIAHwalkingtours DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architectural 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 Houston, the Heritage Society boasts 10 historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $15 adults, $12 seniors, $6 for children and free for kids under 5. Sam Houston Park, 1100 Bagby. Times vary. 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. Tickets $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 SAINT ARNOLD BREWING COMPANY TOURS Come visit Texas’ oldest craft brewery in their new location. Every Saturday the doors open at 11 am and groups will rotate in and out of the facility in an open-house format until 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. Tickets $7, no reservations required. All minors under the age of 21 must be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. 2000 Lyons at I-10. saintarnold.com SEGWAY TOURS OF HOUSTON Like the rest of Texas, downtown Houston is a pretty big place to walk around. Experience the Bayou City, once the capitol city of a sovereign country, while you have effortless fun on a Segway. $75-$80. Meet at Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Daily. 10 am, noon, 2 pm, 4 pm and 6 pm. 866.673.4929. segwaytoursofhouston.com HOUSTON CITY TOURS Houston City Tours offers the ultimate birds-eye view experience with its double-decker bus from London hitting up the town at six key spots. This hop on-hop off bus is perfect for anyone who like to tour at their own pace. Tickets $20-30. Daily. 9 am-3 pm.832.388.8434. houstoncitytours.us
HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 713.259.8000. astros.com HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 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 TEXAS SOUTHERN UNIVERSITY FOOTBALL For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. BBVA Compass Stadium, 2200 Texas. 713.313.4263. athletics.tsu.com
the guide to eating downtown
Edited by Angie Bertinot & L auren Covington
Goro & Gun
chuck cook photography
Downtown's Historic District has more options than ever. Newbie on the block, Goro & Gun brings an eclectic and delicious dining experience to the table that includes items ranging from savory ramen to flavorful pork to crunchy Brussel sprouts.
plate. L 17 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. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$ L Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ 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 Sun only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking the Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $$
new! Batanga Tapas + Drinks Latin This tapas joint whips up delicious dishes inspired from Spain, Brazil, Mexico, Chile – anywhere that sangria is served. The spacious patio is as good as it gets when it comes to outdoor dining – festive twinkle lights, great music and stellar views of the historic district and Market Square Park. batangahouston.com. 908 Congress, 713.224.9500. L & D Daily. BR Sat & Sun. $$ 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. $$$ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ The Bistro American The Bistro 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 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. $$$$
L Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 702 Main, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ new! The Burger Guys American The guys are known for stellar burgers, made with 100 percent pure Akaushi beef, hand-cut fries fried in duck fat, in-house sauces, cane-sugar fountain drinks and home-spun milkshakes. The best part? You can add a fried egg on anything! theburgerguys.com. 706 Main, 713.223.4897. L Mon-Fri. $ new! Buzz Barista Coffee House This full-service espresso bar offers much more than caffeinated beverages for a morning fix. People on the go can grab fresh-baked pastries, Naked juices, yogurt parfaits and fruit cups along with their brewed delights. B & L Mon-Fri. 811 Main, 713.228.3033. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. You can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express.com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat. $ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown
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. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$
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Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $
L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the saag paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $
"Recommended" restaurants are selected
Bangkok Chef Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. bkchef.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon-Sat. $$
Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol, 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $
new! Barnaby’s at Market Square American A local favorite, Barnaby’s serves up oversized sandwiches, salads and burgers, putting a Southwest spin on traditional deli dishes. Colorful murals are splashed on the walls that aren’t graced with large windows for perfect park views. barnabyscafe.com. 801 Congress, 713.226.8787. B Mon-Sat, D Fri-Sat. $
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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 Texaschic 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. $$$
These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast BR: Brunch 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 Guide.
A CULINARY JOURNEY Main street newbie nails lunch, d i n n e r & l at e n i g h t w i t h g l o b al flav o r s & g as t r o n o m i c pleas u r es By L auren Covington
With creative bites, a well-stocked bar and unique conversation pieces,
Goro & Gun covers all the bases for adventurous lunch and dinner crowds. Joshua Martinez, Brad Moore and Ryan Rouse are the latest food-obsessed entrepreneurs channeling their passions into the Historic District’s revitalization efforts. With this dynamic trio, Goro & Gun has the culinary clout of The Modular food truck and the casual coolness of Grand Prize, making it one of Downtown’s emerging hot spots. At first glance, the narrow interior appears classic and understated with exposed brick walls, a brass-clad bar and stripped-down floors. But you’ll quickly notice the nautical-themed glass light pendants and the hard-to-miss lion protecting its pride that make Goro & Gun special. The writing is literally on the door - robots are, indeed, welcome. It’s a clear indicator that Goro & Gun doesn’t take itself too seriously. But the meat of it all – the food – is seriously tasty. The carefully crafted menu changes from week to week, but crowd favorites have a way of popping up regularly. Enter the Brussel sprouts. Even the pickiest sprout protester will switch sides after trying these crispy veggies served in a mix of sweet pickled white raisins and roasted pine nuts. *Please note that sprouts are seasonal so there may be other options like super tasty flash fried Texas okra. Eastern flavors are blended with Southern standbys in nearly every dish. Plates like the Japanese hot pocket, Korean red-pepper wings and pork belly steamed buns and sliders have quickly become late night staples. Scorching afternoons can be soothed with the Summer Soba Noodle Salad, a chilled soup with buckwheat noodles, cha soba
sauce, ponzu pickled mushrooms, topped with quail egg. It would be perfectly fine with patrons if this summer salad transitioned to the fall menu, since let’s face it, Houston summers don’t end before November. Those seeking refuge from the real world are drawn to the killer bar program created by Alex Gregg, who cut his teeth at Pass and Provisions. The setup is complete with a rolling ladder, endless shelves of sparkling spirits and pretty champagne coupes ready for action. Ernest Hemingway could lose himself here, escaping back to his Key West days sipping the sotolbased, passion fruit-infused Manu Chao cocktail. Deal hounds take note: Happy hour is generous, with local brews starting at $3 every day from 11 a.m. - 7 p.m. Although dessert here is best taken in liquid form, the go-to sweet treat is the Yuzu Curd, an East Asian citrus pudding served with fresh cream and cranberry. Adventurers don’t have to go far to satiate their culinary wanderlust. It’s the fine details inspired by tasty travels that makes Goro & Gun an effortless journey.
Sotol is oh so delicious. See the Manu Chao come to life in less than 60 seconds... http://tinyurl.com/60secondGORO
plate. for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; 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. $ 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 975 McKinney, 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 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 great-tasting 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. $ L 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, 713.375.4775. Mon-Sun B, L & LN. $ coming soon El Big Bad Mexican Brought to you by the El Gran Malo crew, this casual Tex-Mex restaurant brings hand-crafted tequila infusions, specialty margaritas and craft beers to the table. The gastrocantina-inspired menu is chock full of tasty tacos with fresh toppings like promegranate salsa, charred scallions, pumpkin seeds and more. elbigbad.com 419 Travis, 713.229.8181. L & D daily, LN Fri & Sat $
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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 Fusion Taco Latin/Japanese Taking the best from Asian and Latin cuisine, Fusion Taco comes up with creations like jerk chicken tacos, chickentikka masala quesadillas and Asian pulled pork flautas. An extensive beer and wine selection rounds out the menu. fusiontaco.com. 801 Congress, 713.422.2882. L & D Mon-Sat. $ Gelato Blu Gelato/Coffeehouse Brought to you by 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 Georgia’s Market Downtown American The market is stocked with fresh organic produce, grass-fed meats, prepared foods and snacks and home basics while the cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from its organic buffet and a bistro menu. Don’t miss the underground cellar – the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer with friends. georgiasdowntown.com. 420 Main at Prairie, 713.225.0990. B, L & D Daily. $ new! Goro & Gun Asian This Historic District haunt is a gathering place for all things cool. Chow down homemade ramen and Asian-inspired comfort food like fried chicken and 72-hour tempura short ribs. Their creative cocktails can’t be beat, so happy hour is a must! twitter.com/gorongun. 306 Main. 832.708.6195. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green. 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. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This familyowned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$
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 familyfriendly 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 off-season so call first). $ � 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. GreenStreet, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but packs a punch. One of the best burger joints in town. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, homecooked Mexican cuisine is served for breakfast and lunch on weekdays. 22 North Chenevert, 713.222.0767. B & L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $$ 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 seven-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. $ new Kobecue Korean Fusion Kobecue specializes in freshly cooked, quick and healthy dishes. The menu focuses on serving Korean BBQ , sizzling platters, rice bowls, fusion tacos, salads and bibimaps using
fine authentic spices and high-quality ingredients. kobecuedowntown.com. 1001 Texas (@ Main), 832.447.2900. L & D Mon-Sat. $ 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. 416 Caroline, 713.237.0000. L Mon-Fri. $ 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 Line & Lariat 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. $$$ Little Napoli Italian Theater and moviegoers can now enjoy these southern Italian dishes before the big show! The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 540 Texas, 713.225.3900. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$
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 has a full coffee bar and juice bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee. BYOB! 208 Travis, 713.229.8323. B & L Mon-Sun, D Fri-Sat. $
L MKT Bar Mediterranean Part of Phoenicia Specialty Foods, it's the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. phoeniciafoods.com. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222. B, L, D, Daily. $
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. $
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 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. GreenStreet, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$ McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $ L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Minuti Coffee Coffee House 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 Daily. $
L Morton’s Steakhouse 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. $$$$ Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe in 2010 at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D Daily. $ Nit Noi Cafe Thai Head Chef Mama Alice has a secret sauce that has made this Thai gem successful for more than 20 years. Diners can go light with fresh cucumber salads or fill up on classic noodle dishes with a choice of beef, chicken, pork, tofu or shrimp. nitnoithai.com. 301 Main, 713.225.1069. L Mon-Fri. $$ 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. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $
plate. 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. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Roma’s Pizza Italian Located just across from the Preston Station on the MetroRAIL, Roma's Pizza offers New York-style pizza by the slice or pie, as well as a variety of salads, lasagnas, ravioli, and chicken dishes. 223 Main, 713.222.1184. L & D Daily. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Sam Houston Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. thesamhoustonhotel.com. The Sam Houston Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ The Shops at Houston Center Food Court Au Bon Pain, Captain D's, Chick-Fil-A, Chicken Kitchen, d’lish, Doozo Dumpling & Noodles, Droubi Bros. Grill, Freshii, Great American Cookies, Mediterranean Grill, Murphy’s Deli, Ninfa’s, Otto’s Barbeque, Potbelly Sandwich Works, Quizno’s, Robek’s Juice, Roman Delight, Salata, Simon’s Homestyle Café, Starbucks, Subway, Teppanyaki, Treebeards, Wall Street Deli, Wok & Roll. shopsathc.com. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442. Mon-Sat, hours vary. $ L Shula’s Steakhouse Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus hand painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $
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new! Sol Cafe Mejicano Mexican A family-owned cafe offering traditional Tex-Mex breakfast and lunch dishes made from fresh ingredients. 1205 Travis, 713.651.0049. 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. $$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ 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. $ 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 it's 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. $ 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. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. GreenStreet, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$
L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$$ 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. $ new! Which Wich Deli A fast and easy build-yourown-sandwich joint where doodling is encouraged and the possibilities are endless! Which ‘wich will you make? B & L Mon-Fri. L Sat. 811 Main, 713.227.0860. $ 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. $ 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 Zydeco Louisiana Diner Cajun This cafeteriastyle 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. $
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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. Captain Foxheart’s Bad News Bar & Spirit Lodge | 308 Main A fun and quirky bar that doesn’t take itself too seriously (hence the name), but the cocktails are seriously good. Patrons enjoy the speakeasy vibe and the patio terrace for prime people watching. Mon-Sun 4 pm-2 am. twitter.com/badnewsbar The Cellar at Georgia’s Market | 420 Main @ Prairie Georgia’s underground cellar offers a wide selection of organic and biodynamic wines and local brews. The newly renovated space mixes modern and vintage for a cozy place to spend happy hour or host your next event. Mon-Fri noon9 pm, Sun 9 am-5 pm. georgiasdowntown.com/cellar 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. Clutch City Squire | 410 Main Somewhere between a dive bar and a swanky lounge, this Main Street drinking hole is always spinning good tunes on vinyl. MonSat 3 pm-2 am. Sun 12 pm-midnight. twitter.com/clutchcityhtx 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, 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 Bar | 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. 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. Pac-Man 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
FALL 2013 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!
House of Blues | 1204 Caroline Street @ GreenStreet 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 available for VIPs. Show times and events vary nightly. hob.com La Carafe | 813 Congress 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 most nights. Tue-Fri 11 am2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am, Sun 3-9 pm. lastconcert.com Lone Star Saloon | 1900 Travis 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 have-been-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 @ GreenStreet 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 MKT Bar | 1001 Austin Phoenicia’s MKT bar, located at the first floor of One Park Place, is the perfect place to stop when you need a chill moment. The bar offers coffee, pastries, wine, beer, gourmet pizza and other yummy nibbles for which Phoenicia is known. Mon -Wed 7 am-9 pm, Thu 7 am-2 am, Fri-Sat 9 am-2 am, Sun 9 am-8 pm. phoeniciafoods.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 punkrock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am. The Original OKRA Charity Saloon | 924 Congress Houston’s first charity bar is a true collaboration from Houston's finest, including owners from Anvil, Paulie's, Grand Prize and more. Expect classic cocktails and brews in a gorgeous historic building. Every drink purchase earns you a vote that can go toward select charities to win the bar’s monthly earnings. Daily 3pm-2am. friedokra.org
The Pastry War | 310 Main A Mezcaleria from Bobby Heugel and Alba Huerta that serves up agave spirits along with classic Mexican cocktails and beers in a festive and intimate environment. This specialty tequila joint not only accepts pesos, but is on a brave mission to serve the best margaritas in town. Salud! Tue-Sat 4pm-2am. 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 downtown and people watching. Wed, Fri & Sat 9 pm–2 am. pbrhouston.com Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar | 1201 Fannin @ GreenStreet Two dueling pianos and a sing-along, clap-along, drink-along, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed-Sat, 7 pm-2 am Wed-Sat 7 pm-2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com Reserve 101 | 1201 Caroline A whiskey and martini bar touting more than 220 specialty liquors that will make any cocktail aficionados mouth water. Stop by on Tuesday for complimentary tastings of special selections. Sun 5 pm - 2 am, Mon-Sat 2 pm - 2 am. reserve101.com The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ The Sam Houston 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 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. thesamhoustonhotel.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. 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 Post 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. The Wine Cellar | 540 Texas Unwind and relax with more than 400 varieties of wine and imported beers. Wine tastings Mon-Thu, 2-7 pm. Daily 11 am-midnight.
Celebrating the City of Houston as a fine arts mecca. Presenting a globally driven art fair for an international city.
George R. Brown Convention Center
September 19-22, 2013
Tickets on sale now:
Opening Night Preview Thursday, Sept. 19, 6-9pm
Show Hours Friday, Sept. 20, 11am-7pm Saturday, Sept. 21, 11am-7pm Sunday, Sept. 22, 11am-6pm
Published on Sep 1, 2013
We don't claim our list of architectural must-sees is the list to end all lists. But we do think it's a pretty good start. Our compilation i...