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VOL. 5, NO. 1
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SCAN downtown Managing Editor/ Creative Director Angie Bertinot, Downtown District Copy Editor Barbara Linkin Mendel, Mendel Creative Solutions
Design ph Design Shop Photography Katya Horner, Slight Clutter Photography Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Lauren Covington, Sandra Cook, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Melissa Seuffert, Mark Sullivan
14 ROLL OUT THE RED CARPET
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by MARK SULLIVAN
The Houston Cinema Arts Festival has exceeded all expectations since its birth just a few years ago. And with its move downtown this year, attendees will likely find even more reasons to attend screenings and parties while ogling some of Hollywood’s biggest names.
20 THE OLD COLLEGE TRY
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.
The University of Houston-Downtown is helping students of all ages quench their thirst for knowledge. This small institute of higher education may not yet have the reputation of the big guys in town, but that’s certain to change as word continues to spread about their impressive programs and dedicated faculty. by Holly Beretto
hot companies Deloitte finds that they can best serve their many clients around the region from their home in downtown Houston. by SANDRA COOK
backstage Holiday shows, celebrity chefs and American Idol’s Constantine Maroulis can all be found in downtown’s Theater District this season. Plus, Da Camera’s Sarah Rothenberg shares where her heart is.
As another summer comes to a close, fall’s calendar begins to fill up with all kinds of great opportunities for fun.
by MELISSA SEUFFERT
Houston is known for its dynamic restaurant scene, in part because of its rich diversity. Meet three ethnic eateries that help set downtown apart.
THE MUST LIST Funky apparel, a frosty brew and a day of great art lead our roundup of this season’s absolute musts.
datebook Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.
destination downtown map
Downtown gets schooled Houston doesn’t necessarily think of itself as a college
town, so it might be understandable that the presence of University of Houston-Downtown comes as a bit of surprise to some people. The institution has a lot to crow about, however, and we are happy to help them tell their story. UHD has a lot to offer its students, including an outstanding criminal justice studies program, a strong MBA program and an absolutely beautiful art gallery. One of the key benefits of a university downtown – professionals find it easy to achieve the advanced degree they might need. Learn all about the campus, starting on page 20. We’re also thrilled that the Houston Cinema Arts Festival has decided to make its home downtown. In just three short years, the festival has grown UHD has a lot to into a dynamic draw for offer its students, cinemaphiles. Last year actor Ethan Hawke and director including a strong Richard Linklater made their MBA program and an way to Houston for the festival, and this year’s event absolutely beautiful promises even more A-listers. art gallery. Get all the details starting on page 14. As always, fall is an incredibly busy time for downtown. The cooler weather beckons us to a variety of festivals and events, and you can find everything you need to know about all of them in our datebook starting on page 29. Don’t forget Plate, where we’ve gathered up all the best places to eat and drink, including ethnic hotspots such as Bibas Diner, Macondo and Bangkok Chef. We hope you’ll keep this issue handy for whatever fun you might be planning. Be sure to check us out online at downtownhouston.org. And let us know what you think about downtown. We’re always happy to hear your comments and suggestions.
Houston Downtown Alliance
ON THE COVER Betty is the epitome of downtown Houston cool. After her morning classes at University of Houston-Downtown, she grabs a leisurely bite at Market Square Park. Her part-time job waiting tables at MKT Bar gives her plenty of extra dough and the chance to meet new friends. You can find Betty downtown just about any weekend catching the latest indie flick at Sundance Cinemas or grooving to live music at Discovery Green.
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
Strategic location offers access to business giants Deloitte, experts in strategic business practices, see their downtown Houston office poised for growth
eloitte, one of the nation’s elite professional services
firms, constantly seeks and dispenses advice on the smartest, most efficient, and successful methods for business in virtually every known industry. Each of the Big Four maintains offices in downtown Houston; Deloitte opened its Houston office in 1946. “I can’t speak for the other big four firms, but being centrally located makes it easy for our clients to come to our offices as well as being convenient for our workforce,” says Anne Taylor, vice chairman and managing partner for Deloitte’s Mid-America Region. “This location still works well for us. Many of our clients are located downtown. Either their headquarters are downtown or they have a major presence, so that helps us maintain strong relationships with our clients.” In her position, Taylor coordinates and oversees business operations not only in Houston, but all of Texas, as well as Louisiana, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Colorado and New Mexico. Deloitte’s Mid-America region entails 4,000 workers, more that 1,500 of whom are employed in downtown Houston. Taylor also leads Deloitte’s Gulf Coast practice. She reports that the Houston office is vital for Deloitte nationally (the company has offices in 89 U.S. cities). “We have doubled in size here in Houston over the past 10 years. Our growth has outpaced other Deloitte offices nationwide.” Today the firm employs more than 1,550 people in Houston offices – that’s more than one third of Deloitte’s Mid-America Region. A major reason for the impressive growth of Deloitte’s Houston office is its access to leaders in the energy industry. “When we wanted to figure out the best way to grow our business in Houston, we realized that the answer was to expand our capacity and breadth of services for the energy industry. So we started to build up and add to the services we could offer to the industry,” Taylor says. This process resulted in a new spectrum of services anchored in the Energy Capital of the World. Established in 2008, Deloitte’s Center for Energy Solutions is headquartered in Houston, but also has offices in Washington DC. Energy boost
By late 2007, Deloitte had outgrown its office holdings at the time, which included 143,000 square feet of office space in Three Allen Center and 44,000 square feet at Williams Tower in the Galleria area. The search for more office space coincided with the move to establish the company’s Center for Energy Solutions. “We saw that Houston was a place for investment given the presence of the energy industry,” says Taylor. Confident their Houston office was poised for tremendous growth, Deloitte invested big. The company signed a 12-year lease for 300,000
4 fall 2012
square feet in Heritage Plaza, doubling their office space downtown and adding more than 100,000 square feet for their growing workforce. “The move was a real commitment to the downtown area,” says Taylor. “We had looked at several other areas of town, but decided downtown was the place to be. It works well for meeting with downtown groups, such as the Greater Houston Partnership, Central Houston and the United Way.” Taylor explains that downtown’s central location also functions well for Deloitte’s workforce. “Most of our people are service providers and aren’t necessarily coming downtown every day as they work on-site with our clients, but it’s important to make it convenient to all employees.” Deloitte’s clients in the Houston area are largely in the energy industry and rank in the Fortune 500 in Houston; in fact Deloitte serves 97 percent of the Fortune 500 energy companies. Client examples include CenterPoint Energy, Baker Hughes, Enterprise Products Partners, EOG Resources and Spectra Energy. Familiar, non-energy names from Deloitte’s client list include Hines Real Estate, Weingarten Realty and Imperial Sugar. Downtown’s selection of meeting spaces is essential to Deloitte’s operations. The company’s quarterly All Hands meetings, which bring together all of Deloitte’s Houston-based employees, require access to large meeting facilities. Additionally, downtown Houston offers a diversity of people and things to do. The company’s recruitment team reports that people don’t always realize this until they move here and witness it themselves. Houston proud
“Houston is underpublicized — I don’t think we should be a well-kept secret,” says Taylor. “Companies should advertise that Houston is a great place for business. I’m a transplant from New York so I’m a great advertisement.” When she moved here from New York six years ago, she says she was amazed at how easy it was to get settled, and the welcoming attitudes
courtesy of Brookfield office properties
Opposite page and lower left: Inside Deloitte's Houston offices. Upper
left: Onsite for the 13th Annual IMPACT Day. Upper right: Brookfield
Office Properties' iconic Heritage Plaza.
Hamilton Middle School, Wharton Elementary School, Memorial Park, and the Houston Food Bank. STILL GROWING
she encountered. “Houston is very hospitable to newcomers, as well as hospitable toward diversity,” says Taylor. “The ability to settle in quickly is surprising and it’s wonderful how you can easily become part of the community.” The collaborative nature of the city also impressed Taylor in that it encourages business to contribute to the community. “Organizations and businesses work to connect and share knowledge even though they might be in competition. When there’s a common interest there’s no competition. Strengthening the education system, for example, that helps us all.” Local Deloitte employees know quite a bit about improving local schools and community facilities. On June 8, Deloitte marked its 13th annual IMPACT Day, a tradition in which Deloitte encourages its 50,000+ personnel nationwide to take the day off to donate their time and talents to local nonprofits. Here in Houston, more than 1,000 participated in more than 40 projects at local schools and nonprofits, such as Reagan High School,
“Houston’s vital statistics are very strong – just look at the numbers for job growth and the jobs that have been retained over recent years,” says Taylor. The Brookings Institution reported in January 2012 that the Houston regional economy grew faster last year than any other in North America. A June 2012 report by the Texas Workforce Commission states that the Houston-Sugar Land-Baytown Metropolitan Statistical Area added 85,000 net new jobs, a 3.3 percent annual increase in the 12 months ending June 2012. And in July of this year, the Bayou City landed on top of Forbes’ list of America’s Coolest Cities to Live, noting that Houston’s economy is humming through the recession. Houston enjoyed 2.6 percent job growth last year, and nearly 50,000 Americans flocked there in response – particularly young professionals. In fact, the median age of a Houston resident is a youthful 33. “As business grows, so do professional services firms,” says Taylor. “Where there’s opportunity for Deloitte, there’s opportunity for others businesses, too. That makes Houston an exciting place to be.”
stats: : houston office HERITAGE PLAZA 1111 BAGBY : other locations mid-america region arkansas colorado kansas louisiana missouri new mexico okl ahoma texas : employees 51,262 nationally 4,000 regionally : known for audit TAX consulting financial advisory services : managing partner in houston anne taylor : web site deloitte.com
113O_121L_hou_BB-Mis_combo_DntnMag_FNL_Layout 1 8/7/12 3:31 PM Page 1
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The Ice at Discovery Green 63rd Annual Holiday Parade Houston Theater District Mayor's Holiday Celebration Macy's Mistletoe on the Go! and much more! Details coming soon at downtownhouston.org, your online Holiday Guide
arts & entertainment
b a c k s ta g e .
by Melissa Seuffert
Broadway Across America brings Beauty and the Beast to Hobby Center.
j av i
1: Cassandra Wilson heads to Da Camera for a rare Houston appearance. 2: Nao Kusuzaki and Nozomi Iijima in Stanton Welch's Madame Butterfly. 3: The Italian Girl in Algiers.
DaCamera of Houston celebrates its 25th anniversary season this year, kicking things off with a celebration of masterpieces. Opening Night: 25th Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 28 includes Fanfare Da Camera, a commissioned piece by Houston composer Pierre Jalbert. DaCamera’s artistic and general director Sarah Rothenberg will sit down at the keys for Bach’s Keyboard Concerto No. 1 in D Minor, on a program that also includes Mendelssohn’s Octet in E-flat Major, which Mendelssohn wrote when he was just 16 years old. On Oct. 20, DaCamera’s Jazz Series welcomes two-time Grammy Award-winner Cassandra Wilson, who incorporates blues, country and folk music into her work. The Society for the Performing Arts brings the Aspen Santa Fe Ballet to the Cullen Theater on Sept. 29, featuring choreographed works by Jorma Elo and Nicolo Fonte. This classically trained ballet troupe has received national recognition as an eclectic and innovative dance company, solidifying them as a favorite among dance enthusiasts. Also a part of SPA’s fall lineup is the return of humorist David Sedaris on Nov. 2. Sedaris will read new and unpublished works for an evening that is sure to entertain.
8 fall 2012
Houston Ballet kicks off its new season Sept. 6-16 with Stanton Welch’s Madame Butterfly, the story of a Japanese geisha who gives up her faith and family to marry an American soldier. The ballet’s first mixed repertory program of the season, Women@Art, brings the works of some of the world’s most prominent female choreographers to Houston, including Twyla Tharp, Julia Adam and Aszure Baron, who has created a world premiere specifically for Houston Ballet dancers. Women@Art runs Sept. 20-30. Whether you’re in for a story about a group of bohemians living in Paris’ Latin Quarter or a fiery Italian girl searching for her lover, Houston Grand Opera has something for you. On tap at HGO is Puccini’s famous La bohéme from Oct. 19-Nov. 10, which runs alongside Rossini’s The Italian Girl in Algiers, from Oct. 26-Nov. 11.
the classical music planet” (New York Times), pianist Lang Lang, on Oct. 18, 20 and 21. Lang Lang will perform three different Beethoven piano concertos on three different evenings: the joyful 2nd, the dramatic 3rd, and the epic 5th. Talk about a piano lover’s dream! Back in its other home, the Society for the Performing Arts welcomes the return of globe-trotting chef Anthony Bourdain, this time accompanied by author and chef Eric Ripert, for Good vs. Evil: An Evening with Anthony Bourdain and Eric Ripert, on Nov. 10. It’s two parts chef and one part stage – a recipe for an evening like no other.
The Houston Symphony welcomes “the hottest artist on
Pianist Lang Lang returns to the Houston Symphony.
s Houston’s temperature gradually drops, the curtain rises in the Houston Theater District. After (somewhat) of a summer hiatus, the city’s arts organizations grace the stage once again this fall.
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Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center invites you to be their guest as they bring Disney’s Beauty and the Beast to the Hobby Center stage Sept. 25-30. The classic musical love story is one for the entire family, filled with lavish sets, unforgettable characters and songs you’ll be singing all the way home. Also on Broadway’s fall calendar is the beloved Les Misérables, Nov. 6-11. Les Misérables is based on the classic Victor Hugo novel of the same name and is a pinnacle story about the survival of the human spirit. Theatre Under The Stars opens its season by bringing Tony Award nominee and American Idol alum Constantine Maroulis to town, starring in a new, pre-Broadway production of Jekyll & Hyde Oct. 9-21. Starring alongside Maroulis is Grammy Award nominee and R&B singer Deborah Cox. Following this national tour, Jekyll & Hyde will return to Broadway for a limited engagement in spring 2013. TUTS’ Humphreys School of Musical Theatre also presents Legally Blonde: The Musical, the story about an underestimated blonde who doesn’t take no for an answer. Legally Blonde: The Musical runs Sept. 14-16 in Zilka Hall. On Sept. 21, Ars Lyrica presents It Takes Two, a combination of works for two or more soloists. The program includes Bach’s 4th Brandenburg Concerto, one of six compositions, regarded as among the finest musical compositions of the Baroque era; as well as Haydn’s Concerto in F Major for Violin and Harpsichord.
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The Alley Theater brings a powerful American classic to life Sept. 28-Oct. 28 on the Hubbard Stage. Arthur Miller’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece, Death of a Salesman, tells the story of Willy Loman as he approaches the end of his working life and must reconcile his unrealized dreams while struggling against the current world. Looking for a little satire to launch you into the election season? Look no further than November, a bold and hilarious political satire by David Marnet. November takes place on Election Day as the incompetent faux President Charles Smith seeks a second term in the Oval Office. November runs Aug. 24-Sept. 23.
courtesy of society of performing arts
Hobby Center for the Performing Arts
Until next time …
There simply aren’t enough pages to tell you all about the fall happenings in Houston’s Theater District, so make sure to visit houstontheaterdistrict.org for full information on performances, including links to purchase tickets, blogs, and more!
The Houston Symphony and the Houston Symphony Chorus are taking an excursion outside of Jones Hall to welcome back Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli on Nov. 28 for a one-night-only performance at the Toyota Center. If you haven’t gotten your fix of Nessun Dorma lately, this is your chance – you never know when a star of Bocelli’s caliber will return.
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Legally Blonde: The Musical returns Sept. 14-16
10 fall 2012
arts & entertainment: p r o f i l e
Da Camera of Houston
Your role at Da Camera of Houston has recently changed. What has that transition been like for you? What do you find the most rewarding about your position? Most challenging? Expanding my role beyond artistic to general director brings me into more direct contact with all the members of the Houston community. Houston is an unusually generous city – the spirit in the performing arts world is very collaborative and the citizens of the city give generously to support excellence. My new role has allowed me to get to know many wonderful colleagues and develop new projects with them. For instance, Houston Grand Opera is helping to support our newest original staged production, In the Garden of Dreams, with scenery and stunning video inspired by fin-de-siecle Vienna, which will be presented in conjunction with the Opera's new production of Tristan and Isolde. This evolved very naturally because of my new role, bringing together the artistic and the practical. I would say the overriding change has been my sense of getting out of the piano practice room, in a sense, and more engaged with what makes Houston tick. This brings me closer to the community, which is rewarding as an artist as well. A certain amount of isolation is necessary for an artist – and finding that solitude in the midst of all the activity is the biggest challenge – but I think knowing one's community is very enriching and expands one's powers of communication as an artist in an important way. This upcoming season, Da Camera celebrates its 25th anniversary. How has the organization evolved over the past 25 years? I think one of the strengths of Da Camera over its first quarter century has been the
n the dawn of Da Camera of Houston’s 25th anniversary season, we talked to Artistic and General Director Sarah Rothenberg about her role, the changing landscape of the organization and what the future holds.
Da Camera of Houston's Artistic and General Director, Sarah Rothenberg. spirit of invention: the challenge of maintaining spontaneity within a secure institutional structure. Da Camera was founded by the violinist Sergiu Luca with a goal of innovative programming to expand audiences for classical chamber music. Innovative programming remains at the heart of what we do. With my arrival in 1995, we expanded to introduce a full jazz series, which has become a focal point of our role in the Houston community and deepened our roots here in an important way; and my own artistic projects, which connect music to the other arts, including literature,
visual art, film and dance. Our music and literature programs have gained an international following, with presentations by Great Performers at Lincoln Center in New York, Washington's Kennedy Center, London's Barbican Centre and Mexico's Cervantino Festival, to name a few. The programs I create around visual art started with Da Camera's close relationship to The Menil Collection and have expanded nationally. I am very proud of Da Camera's major contributions to important new repertoire by our more than 25 commissions of major new
compositions by international composers. And the other biggest evolution is our expansion of community initiatives and programs in the schools, now motored by our growing Da Camera Young Artist Program, which brings Houston's most talented emerging professionals into the community in a variety of settings. What do you hope Da Camera accomplishes in the next 25 years? The next 25 is a long stretch to predict. My sincere wish for Da Camera is that it continues to thrive and grow without ever losing the ability to experiment and innovate. Frankly, this can often be lost when an institution has achieved success, as we have. There is no magic formula for balance between taking creative risks and behaving responsibly, but for me this is at the soul of Da Camera, and I hope it will continue to be – even for the next 25 years!
and the Cuban pianist Chucho Valdez is back. He’s one of the most astounding pianists I've ever heard, in any genre. Da Camera has many community outreach and education initiatives. Which of these initiatives are closest to your heart? Our Education and Community Initiatives encompass so many programs now it is hard to pick one. The Da Camera Young Artist Program functions in two important and complementary ways: talented post-graduate level musicians, chosen through highly competitive auditions, are given multiple performance opportunities combined with career mentoring and educational training; they, in turn, work directly with Houston school teachers to develop and present our Music Encounters programs in the schools, linking music to the academic curriculum of reading, science, math, etc. This program mirrors our deep commitment to connecting music to other aspects of life; it has allowed us to expand our audiences tremendously in our subscriber base and now is an ideal tool for educating the next generation of listeners and potential musicians in the schools. Another very successful new venture is our partnership with Discovery Green to present our free JAM (Jazz Appreciation Month) Concerts every Thursday night in the month of April— not-to-be missed fun!
The Blue Rider: Kandinsky and music.
The 2012-2013 season is one full of both classic pieces and world premieres. Which performances are you most looking forward to and why? Right now, I am obsessed with the Bach D Minor Keyboard Concerto, which I will play on opening night, joined by longtime colleagues of Da Camera as well as some of our talented young artists. This is actually one of the very first keyboard concertos ever composed, and as I practice it now I am amazed by its energetic dynamism, drive and intense expressivity – a masterpiece is really a kind of time capsule that contains so much human energy, still speaking to us centuries later with such life. So opening night in September — with Houston-based, award-winning composer Pierre Jalbert's Fanfare Da Camera written to set off all the festivities – is something I am very excited about. Then, we have several world premieres, including a major work by the internationally renowned Finnish composer Kaija Saariaho - commissioned for our 25th anniversary and written specifically for performance in Houston's landmark Rothko Chapel. I also am thrilled that we have Cassandra Wilson making a rare Houston appearance,
12 fall 2012
When you’re not busy working or rehearsing, what are your favorite things to do in Houston? I guess the first thing that comes to mind is the art of Houston. I never tire of visiting the Menil Collection, the Twombly Gallery and Rothko Chapel, which are all across the street from the Da Camera offices. I feel privileged to live and work in a place where one can have such an intimate relationship with great art. Living in the Heights also means that staying home with my kids on the weekend can have the feel and charm of living in a small southern town hidden within a major city. So, down time for me often means an afternoon in our house, just hanging out. And then of course there are the great restaurants! From Ninfa's on Navigation and Goode Company Seafood, to the sophisticated RDG –the range here is just great.
For someone who may never have been to a Da Camera performance, what would you say to encourage them to come for the first time? Music is for everyone! Our subscribers say that one of the things that characterizes our concerts is the element of surprise. They often hear something new or learn something they didn't know, but the atmosphere is always one of friendliness. I introduce almost every concert myself, and from our pre-concert chats to our program book articles, everything contributes to bringing music closer to the audience. I think people come to us with open minds and a spirit of exploration. We are here to share with you great music, of many different styles, but always of excellence. The bottom line, for me, is the sharing part so I invite you to “come as you are” — whether it's Bach, jazz, early music or a brand new composition, we will be there to welcome you. For more information on Da Camera of Houston’s 25th anniversary season, visit dacamera.com.
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14 fall 2012
ETHAN HAWKE AND RICHARD LINKLATER AT 2011 HCAF.
From its undisputed world-class opera, ballet, and symphony companies to the internationally acclaimed nonprofit photographic education and arts organization FotoFest – not to mention a staggering number of public art works by internationally renowned artists – downtown Houston just might be the world’s least-known haven for art and art lovers of every stripe and imagination.
In an effort to blow the lid off this closed-circuit secret, former Mayor Bill White in 2007 tapped Franci Crane, municipal tour de force, to head a task force of cultural leaders from multiple disciplines. That task force led to the formation of the Houston Cinema Arts Society and commitment to a film festival focused on innovative cinema and new media by and about visual, performing, and literary arts and artists. In essence, the festival’s unique focus was designed to thread together the city’s thriving arts scene via the medium of film. The inaugural Houston Cinema Arts Festival in 2009 drew attendees to 34 events, with 44 guest artists, including Oscar-winning actress and documentary director Tilda Swinton, acclaimed Texas-based
director Richard Linklater and Oscar-nominated Mexican filmmaker Guillermo Arriaga. Over the next two years the little film festival that could would grow by leaps and bounds. The nonprofit Houston Cinema Arts Society expanded its collaborations with other Houston arts organizations in 2010 to include Contemporary Art Museum Houston, The Menil Collection, Miller Outdoor Theatre, Museum of Fine Arts Houston, Rice Media Center and the Texas Film Commission. The festival hosted 95 guest artists and arts aficionados who contributed to 45 screenings and live performances over five days at six venues. The festival also attracted big screen royalty to Houston in the forms of Isabella Rossellini, Shirley MacLaine and John Turturro. And last year’s Houston Cinema Arts Festival proved that the third time really is the charm, drawing an unprecedented crowd of more than 10,000 people and racking up critical raves in the process. The theater venues drew standing-room-only crowds at screenings, a continuous wave of foot traffic at eye-popping installations – dubbed Cinema on the Verge – and scores of enthusiastic supporters at live performances and events throughout the city over the five-day festival. Last year’s red carpet opening night set the tone for success with the regional premiere of Downtown Express, accompanied by director David Grubin and the film’s star, the brilliant Russian-American violinist Philippe Quint. The Brown Auditorium at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, drew a crowd of more than 300, who were treated postscreening to Quint’s live virtuoso performance of two numbers, Tchaikovsky Melody and a stunning rendition of It Ain’t Necessarily So.
AMERICAN FILM DIRECTOR SHIRLEY CLARKE WILL BE FEATURED THIS YEAR.
16 fall 2012
SHIRLEY CLARKE’S ORNETTE:MADE IN AMERICA FEATURING TEXAS-BORN JAZZ GREAT ORNETTE COLEMAN.
The lineup of international artists and cutting-edge filmmakers, including A-listers Ethan Hawke and Richard Linklater, proved to be as alluring to festival participants as to festival-goers. “One of the nicest aspects of last year’s festival was the camaraderie among the guest artists and the pleasure they took in experiencing each other’s films and Houston’s hospitality,” says HCAF artistic director Richard Herskowitz. Shakespeare High producer Brad Koepenick echoed that sentiment following the debut of his award-winning documentary. “As an actor and filmmaker, I’ve been to dozens of festivals, including Toronto, Sundance and Tribeca, but what sets Houston Cinema Arts Festival apart is its unique array of international films and artists, its exceptional vision of blending live performance and film, and its dedication to providing ‘an experience’ for both the festival participants and the audience at large,” Koepenick said. From fascinating conversations with legendary Latin American director Patricio Guzman and Braden King’s unforgettable presentation of Here: The Story Never Sleeps, to the joyous responses to Trimpin’s interactive installations and the articulate and genuine presence of Ethan Hawke, the 2011 Cinema Arts Festival Houston was a perfect storm of planning, programming and performance – complete with a storybook ending. As more than 3,000 people converged on Miller Outdoor Theatre for the closing night festivities surrounding the world debut of Art Car: The Movie, native Houstonian and co-director Carlton Ahrens confirmed, “It was an overwhelmingly positive experience and such an honor that we were chosen to be a part of it. It’s such a cool thing to have a free showing for thousands of people to come out and see.” Art Car co-director Ford Gunter was equally inspired. “The entire festival was a whirlwind of incredible screenings, panels
and interactive installations,” he said. “It’s a huge thrill and honor to be part of it, surrounded by peers we hold in high, high regard. The entire event, from the guest artists to the volunteer corps, could not have been more friendly and helpful in just about every way.” Nov. 7-11, may be the best yet. It moves the bulk of its screenings, interactive installations, live performances and special events – along with festival headquarters – to downtown, giving it the added caché of becoming a walkable festival. With most screenings now being held on two screens at Sundance Cinemas, Hotel Icon serving as the official festival hotel, and Metro providing light rail service to the Museum of Fine Arts and Asia Society, the festival can be navigated easily and effortlessly by film buffs, guest artists and event enthusiasts. “We are very excited about bringing the central hub of Houston Cinema Arts Festival activity to downtown,” says Trish Rigdon, the festival’s executive director. “With two screens at the gorgeous new Sundance Cinemas in the heart of the Theater District and other festival events taking place in downtown venues, attendees will enjoy the opportunity to do more both day and night within walking distance of restaurants and other downtown attractions.” Though the full festival program – including celebrity guest artists – won’t be released until the kickoff at Hotel Icon in October, Herskowitz tells Downtown there will be a special emphasis on women directors this year. The festival will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Women Make Movies, the pioneering distributor of independent films by women, featuring one of the company’s most significant figures, director Lourdes Portillo. Portillo, who was the focus of a recent retrospective at New York’s Museum of Modern Art, will be showing three of her films, including two films that were made as tributes to Selena, the Tejana superstar.
The 2012 Houston Cinema Arts Festival,
The lineup of international artists and cutting-edge filmmakers proved to be as alluring to festival participants as to festival-goers.
Another significant independent distribution company,
Milestone Films, is sending its two founders, Dennis Doros and Amy Heller, to discuss Project Shirley, their campaign to restore and rerelease the films of the late, great American film director Shirley Clarke. Doros and Heller will present Clarke’s The Connection and Ornette: Made in America, highlighting the life of Texas-born jazz great Ornette Coleman. The Milestone and Women Make Movies programs will screen primarily in the Sundance Cinemas. “It is the role of film festivals like ours to foreground the work of independent distributors like Women Make Movies and Milestone, whose work is so vital to advancing film culture,” Herskowitz said. “And though women directors are still under represented in the multiplexes, I’m pleased that they will be especially well-represented in this year’s festival program.”
Herskowitz also promises an exciting lineup of new feature films, all of which address the festival’s main focus – the visual, performing, and literary arts. Among these titles will be the Cannes sensation, Caesar Must Die, the latest film by the Taviani brothers, and Trash Dance, the South By Southwest hit film on dancing sanitation workers that will be accompanied by Austin-based director Andrew Garrison and choreographer Alison Orr. Additional support for this year’s festival are partners-in-art: Asia Society, Project Row Houses, Aurora Picture Show, University of Houston’s Blaffer Art Museum and Cynthia Woods Mitchell Center for the Arts. Through the vision and expertise of our city’s thriving and dedicated arts community, Houston Cinema Arts Festival’s 2012 edition is poised to take downtown by storm. Please visit cinemartsociety.org for exciting developments and announcements. DONALD SOSIN ENSEMBLE
Herskowitz also promises an exciting lineup of new feature films, all of which address the festival’s main focus – the visual, performing, and literary arts. PRODUCER BRAD KOEPENICK AND STUDENTS
18 fall 2012
PHOTO BY IMAN MANNIE SAQR
PHOTO BY SANDRO KOPP
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Funding for Greenlink is generously provided courtesy of:
courtesy of UHD
colleg The Universit y of Houston-Downtown is Top of the Cl ass
By Holly Beretto
ucked along the banks of Buffalo Bayou at the northeast end of downtown, smack in the middle of the city’s central business district, the four buildings of the University of HoustonDowntown are a blend of modern office space with glass and steel accents and historic brick buildings harkening back to Houston’s early days as a shipping and merchant hub. Built into the slopes above the muddy water where Houston was born, UHD is coming into its own. The new Commerce Street Building houses the university’s criminal justice studies program and police training academy. Another new building, the Shea Street Building, is home to the school’s new, innovative MBA program. Meanwhile, the multilevel One Main Building is home to classroom space, the student life center, a gym, the O’Kane Gallery and O’Kane Theatre and administrative space.
s you walk through the space, you get the feeling things are happening here. It’s evident from the students gathered in the food court for breakfast, lunch or dinner, reading and studying in groups. It’s evident from the UHD Metro light rail stop, where students, faculty and staff arrive and depart before and after classes and office hours. It’s evident in the excitement over the UHD Gators (the school’s mascot) club basketball team winning a regional championship, and the power-lifting team bringing home multiple accolades (see pg. 23). “This is a great place,” says Dr. William Flores, president of UHD. “I love the commitment of our students and the dedication of our faculty.” A self-standing university, UHD was founded in 1974. While it is part of the University of Houston system in the same way that the University of Texas San Antonio is part of the
UT system, UHD has its own president and administration, determines it own academic offerings and handles its own fundraising, but it shares the Board of Regents governing body with University of Houston’s Central Campus. In addition, UHD has its own satellites, offering classes at various campuses of the Lone Star College District. So while UHD certainly shares ties because of its UH affiliation, it knows one of the school’s true strengths is its downtown location. “We have the entire vibrancy of downtown right at the edge of our campus,” says Flores, who took over as president three years ago. “We’re walking distance to the city’s best entertainments: the Astros, the Houston Symphony and the Theater District. Meanwhile, many of our students come from downtown corporations. Our location is a tremendous part of who we are.” Answering the question, “Who is UHD?” opens up something of a treasure trove. The
university is often misconstrued as one that offers continuing education classes, or is seen as a junior college. In reality, it offers 48 degree programs through its College of Business, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, College of Public Service and College of Technology on both the graduate and undergraduate level, as well as providing degree paths through an extensive online distance learning program. UHD is home to nearly 13,000 students from across the Houston region and has a team of faculty dedicated to teaching. Its MBA program (see pg. 26) was designed with the needs of working professionals in mind. It has a licensed police training academy, where cadets not only perform community service projects for the downtown area, but graduate fully prepared to take on careers as peace officers throughout the state. The school offers several club sports, and has theater and art spaces where exhibits and productions are open to the public.
UHD touts the fact that its students reflect the diversity not only of downtown, but the city as a whole. •
UHD team is a winning combination When UHD powerlifting coach John Houston took his Gators team to the 2008 National Collegiate Bench Press and Deadlift Championships in Collinsville, Illinois, no one at the competition took the team seriously. “They assumed that our lifters were too inexperienced to be competitive,” he says. After all, it was the team’s first outing at the national level and only one team member had ever competed in the sport in high school. “We managed to take the more experienced teams by surprise and come up with an upset win.” After that, people started paying attention. Collegiate powerlifting has been around since the early 1970s, and Texas universities boast some of the oldest and most successful clubs. Hudson is helping UHD be part of that legacy. The team is a five-time winner of the World Assocation of Benchers and Deadlifters National Collegiate Bench Press and Deadlift Championships. They’ve won the WABDL Southwest Regional Championships twice. And they placed second in the WABDL World Championships in 2011. Hudson started the team after coming to UHD as an English professor in 2007. With the support and enthusiasm of Richard Sebastiani and Rhonda Scherer, director and assistant director of sports and fitness at UHD, the team grew steadily. This fall, the club will have 35 powerlifters. “The UHD administration has been very supportive of UHD powerlifting,” Hudson says. To help him with his recruiting efforts and to make UHD a “school of choice” for powerlifters, the university made available a series of $1,000 scholarships for students who come to UHD and compete on the team. “Our success since Collinsville has meant that our recruiting has expanded from oncampus, to the Houston area, and now is statewide,” says Hudson. “Talented high school lifters from across Texas – and some from other states – want to be a part of our program.
At its heart, though, UHD is about people. “I am so impressed with how committed to teaching our faculty are,” says Rex White, director of UHD’s Criminal Justice Training Center (see pg. 24). “They’re here because they want to teach and understand that a university’s function is to train the next generation of leaders.” That sentiment is echoed by faculty members themselves. “This is a dream gig for me,” says Lisa Morano, associate professor of biology and chairman of the natural sciences department. “I am able to do research, but I spend time in the classroom. And interacting with my students is such a joy.” In fact, UHD touts the fact that its students reflect the diversity not only of downtown, but the city as a whole. They are from all ethnic backgrounds, have a wide range of both education and work experience, and cross the age spectrum from 18 to 80. Most live in Harris County, but many commute from Austin, Brazoria, Liberty and Galveston counties. Several work in downtown and take classes in the evenings, but quite a few attend the university full time. “We have students from 91 different countries,” says Flores proudly. “When you walk through our hallways, you see a university that looks exactly like our city.” That diversity makes for a vibrant classroom atmosphere and allows for a range of ideas and approaches to learning. “Some of my students are from places like Nigeria,” says Morano. “So we might be talking about water distribution in class and one set of students will say, ‘Well, why can’t you
just do it this or that way?’ and our international students will chime in and explain how geographically or culturally, this system is in a place that makes it a challenge. That kind of real-world application to a problem broadens everyone’s understanding.” “Our students are here because they want to be here,” adds Carmen Cuevas, director of graduate studies and assistant dean. “Many have started college in the past and are coming back to finish their undergraduate degree. Others are working on graduate courses. But their commitment level is so strong. I’m always so proud at commencement when I see all the families there – because for many of our students, graduating is a family affair.” Cuevas means not only that there are often commencement ceremonies where parents and children are graduating together, but also that while an adult was working on a degree,
a spouse or parents were helping to pitch in at home to allow the student time for classes and studying. That kind of dynamic is a hallmark of life at UHD, where the average student age is 27 and most students come in with at least some college or junior college coursework. They’re attracted to the school’s small classes, where they can receive one-on-one feedback with professors who take an active part in helping them succeed. They come for
UHD’s police training academy sets the standard “Texas sets the benchmark when it comes to training peace officers,” says Rex White, director of UHD’s Criminal Justice Training Center. “The standards at UHD are higher still.” That’s a source of pride for the center’s police academy, where a rigorous, 700-hour program includes physical training, law enforcement studies and community service hours. Started in 1977, the center has graduated 263 cadet classes whose students have gone on to careers as peace officers across Texas. The program is one of several licensed by the state, but White says what sets it apart are the high demands placed on cadets. “Most police training academies only ask for 670 hours,” he explains. “And nearly no one else demands a community service component.” On top of that, the minimum passing grade for cadets is an 80 (not the usual 70), and White says his cadets rise to the challenge. UHD’s urban setting also offers a direct benefit to the cadet classes. They interact with fellow cadets from diverse backgrounds. Cadets routinely do their physical training by running along Buffalo Bayou and along the streets of downtown, meaning they come into contact with the people of the city instead of performing those exercises in a cloistered gym. The program’s community service component demands that cadets devise a service project, then implement it successfully – another opportunity for them to connect with the downtown community. Most cadets complete the program in four months, but many of UHD’s junior-year criminal justice majors opt for a summer academy session, allowing them to achieve certification after eight months and graduate with both a bachelor’s in criminal justice and a law enforcement license. “Our cadets complete our program as some of the best-prepared law enforcement trainees in the state, he says. “And our downtown location plays a big part in that.”
the extensive programs offered in business, science and technology, the humanities and education, where an emphasis is placed not only on book work, but on experiential learning through internships and research projects. They love that the price tag for the quality of education they’re receiving is relatively low. In fact, UHD’s tuition and fees are among the lowest in the state. The students, clearly, think it’s worth it. “I’ve really enjoyed the research I’ve been able to conduct at UCLA and MD Anderson Cancer Center,” says Marlyn Davila, a biology major and member of UHD’s Scholars Academy, a competitive program designed to promote scholarship and student success for those majoring in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) disciplines. “I
used to be a hairdresser, but after graduating from UHD, I hope to get my doctorate in neuroscience or genetics.” “We are an island of opportunity,” says Flores, who’s quick to point out that UHD offers value not only to its students, but to the entire downtown community. “We believe in a mutually beneficial relationship with our downtown neighbors,” he says. To that end, the university sponsors concerts and events at Discovery Green, has student and faculty volunteers who work on efforts such as the beautification of Buffalo Bayou, and police academy cadet classes that provide service projects for House of Tiny Treasures, an outreach center offering day care and early childhood programs for the children of homeless parents who have received grants to take classes at UHD.
Researcher helps Texas grape growers “There’s no shortage of challenges for Texas grape growers,” says Lisa Morano, associate professor of biology and chairman of the natural sciences department at UHD. “Our state has so many climates – from desert to swamp – there’s always something to look at.” Morano received her doctorate from the University of California, Davis, where she specialized in plant ecology, working with fellow researchers in the department of viticulture and enology to solve problems related to grape growing. Arriving at UHD in 2001, she met with members of the Texas Grape Growers Association, asking
how her experience could help them. Texas grape growing is big business: the state is the second-largest producer of wine in the U.S. She and her students look at everything from the grapes’ root distribution patterns to why Texas grapes seem more resistant to Pierce’s disease, an ailment where bacteria clogs the grapes’ vascular tissue. It’s deadly, and Morano has received grants from the U.S. Department of Agriculture to work on it with scientists at the University of Texas at Austin and Texas A & M. She’s also working on a research project examining different types of Texas soil, and which grapes
grow well in which soil types. “We’re growing grapes in different soils, then having a team at the University of Houston Hilton School make wine from them to see what the properties bring out,” she explains. Morano describes her work with UHD as the job of a lifetime, but she loves that the work she does can include student researchers. “This is really a place where students can get hands-on, high-impact learning experience,” she says of her department’s small size but wide reach. “Nearly all of our students do research with us.”
advanced opportunit y
An MBA designed with downtown in mind “Many people with middle-management-level positions want to get ahead professionally,” explains Carmen Cuevas, director of graduate studies and assistant dean at UHD. “But they need an MBA to do it. They just can’t interrupt their professional lives to go get one.” That’s where UHD’s newly minted MBA program comes in. From the first class that entered in January of 2012, special consideration was paid to make this a program designed for professionals – many of whom office downtown or in the Texas Medical Center. “This is a Master of Business Administration for general managers,” says Cuevas. “We don’t have a specialization or concentration.” It’s also offered with a deliberately flexible schedule. Courses are offered in pairs, meeting four hours each week for eight-week sessions. Classes meet in the evenings at the university’s state-of-theart Shea Street Building. “The remainder of the instruction consists of online learning and team projects outside of the classroom,” she says, emphasizing the program is designed to maximize students’ time, both with
professor and on assignments. Students should be able to complete the program in two years, with the first class graduating in December 2013. Cuevas says many of the MBA students come into their studies with at least three years of business experience. Much like the diverse group of UHD undergrads, these graduate students bring a broad base of background and experience to the program. They work in the energy sector, for the City of Houston, are accountants or human recourses professionals, even financial planners. Cuevas says this diversity helps participants give their students a sense of place. “Now more than ever, a university education must include lessons on becoming responsible and ethical leaders and giving back to the community,” she says. “We’re preparing our graduates to do just that.” Admission is offered on a rolling basis. Visit uhd.edu/mba for details.
e! take not
UHD fast facts
Total enrollment (Fall 2011) 12,918
Student body Female Male
Ethnic diversity Hispanic African-American White Asian International Native American Other/Unknown
Age 15 – 21 Ages 22 – 24 Ages 25 – 30 Ages 31-35 Ages 36 – 50 Ages 50+
61% 39% 38% 29% 20% 9% 2% 1% 1% UHD President Dr. William Flores
26% 23% 28% 10% 11% 2%
Number of degrees offered Bachelor’s degrees Master’s degrees
Top five undergraduate degrees B.S. Interdisciplinary Studies B.B.A. Accounting B.A. Interdisciplinary Studies – Education B.B.A. Finance B.S. Criminal Justice
Meanwhile, downtown businesses have offered UHD students internships and hands-on learning opportunities, while several lawyers, judges and other professionals teach university courses. Flores knows these partnerships are vital to the university’s future as it continues its role as an education leader in the city. Integral to that future is student success and, beginning in the fall of 2013, UHD is implementing new admission standards for its students. Prospective freshmen who graduate in the top 25 percent of their high school class will automatically receive admission to UHD, as will those who graduate between the 26-50 percentile and score 850 or higher on the SAT or receive a score of 18 or higher on the ACT or have a minimun GPA of 2.5. Students who graduate in the lower half of their high school class will receive an individual interview to determine college readiness. Students who are not fully prepared to pursue a four-year degree will receive something called the “Gator Guarantee,” named for the university mascot. It says that students who complete classes at a community college with a 2.5 GPA will be guaranteed ad-
mission to UHD. “We put these standards into place to increase our students’ success,” says Flores. “We want to be preparing them not only to do well in college, but to take on careers of the 21st century.” UHD’s commitment to helping its students means the university offers extensive academic advising, helping craft personal learning plans designed to help students select courses, pick majors and stay on track to graduate. “Each student is unique,” says Sylvia Medellin, associate director of academic advising. “We advise each student in a holistic manner that is geared toward their needs. The relationship between the student and an advisor is important; and the advisor is available to discuss the resources available on campus to ensure their success becomes reality.” “Our city is growing,” says Flores. “We have people coming here from other parts of the country to build businesses and find opportunities. So we’ve made a commitment as a university to grow as well, to expand our offerings for our students. We’ve really planted our flag in downtown. This is our home.”
UHD’s O’Kane Gallery provides a place for reflection and interaction The O’Kane Gallery has always been a part of UHD. Funded by a donation in 1970 to construct and maintain a theater and gallery space, the original gallery was part of the O’Kane Theatre’s lobby. After a renovation in the 1990s, the gallery moved to its current location on the third floor of UHD’s One Main Building along a busy concourse, making it a place where passersby can stop in to see what’s on display. “We host six shows every year,” says Mark Cervenka, the gallery director. “Two are student shows, the others bring in artists from around the world.” If the university student body mirrors Houston in its diversity, that theme is carried through at the O’Kane. Cervenka finds artists from different walks of life who work in different media, showing gallery goers that great art can come from anywhere. Past exhibits included the drawings of Paul Cadmus, who began working in the 1930s and is renowned for his style and fluidity; clay and copper sculptures by Ishmael Soto, a HispanicAmerican artist whose pottery evokes themes in art history; and the beadwork of Teri Greeves, whose contemporary style reflects the next generation of Native American beading. The gallery attracts visitors from all over the city with its world-class shows and its blending of art forms. “We have an opportunity here to be a conduit to cultural activity and give people new experiences,” says Cervenka, who is also a professor of art and art history at UHD. “Our small space gives us an intimacy, a place where people coming by can say ‘What’s that?’ then come in and be part of a conversation.”
> Gallery hours Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Saturday, noon-5 p.m. For directions and parking visit uhd.edu
> Fall exhibits Various artists: Struggle: One Thing I Know for Sure (Sept. 6 – Oct. 18) Sharon Sprung: Paintings (Oct. 25 – Dec. 13)
Performing Arts 30 Festivals & Special Events 33 Market Square Park 35 Discovery Green 36 and more
Edited by Angie Bertinot
International Quilt Festival “The World’s fair of quilts.” More than 1,100 booths, 365 hands-on classes, lectures and special events. And of course, quilts, quilts and more quilts! Nov 1-4
datebook. hit Broadway musical, is coming to Houston. Based on the Academy Award-winning animated feature film, this eye-popping spectacle has won the hearts of more than 35 million people worldwide. Tickets $58.05-$110.45. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org 25TH ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION Sep 28 Celebrate the kickoff of the 25th anniversary season with an evening of thrilling masterpieces by Bach and Mendelssohn and a special world premiere by Pierre Jalbert, winner of the Rome Prize and Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center’s Stoeger Award. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com ASPEN SANTA FE BALLET Sep 29 In the years since its birth in 1995, Aspen Santa Fe Ballet (ASFB) has matured into a company that celebrates and advances the art of dance in every way. Tickets $30-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
NOVEMBER Aug 29-Sep 23 As the 2012 presidential election campaign continues, David Mamet’s November offers audiences a fiendishly funny, over-the-top, no-holdsbarred take on American politics. Tickets start at $40. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org SIXTIES HITS Aug 31-Sep 2 Four stars from the original cast of Jersey Boys join the Houston Symphony orchestra for a concert you won’t want to miss. Enjoy hits from the 1960s such as Sherry, Big Girls Don’t Cry and other record breakers from phenomenal ‘60s artists. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MADAME BUTTERFLY Sep 6-16 In her cocoon, the butterfly is protected, sheltered in naiveté. It is only when she begins to emerge that she becomes vulnerable. Madame Butterfly, the story of a beautiful Japanese geisha who gives up her faith and her family to marry an American naval lieutenant, is at once compelling and heartbreaking. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org OPENING NIGHT WITH BOLERO Sep 8 Make this evening a black-tie experience by attending the Opening Night Gala. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org LEGALLY BLONDE THE MUSICAL Sep 14-15 In this special student production, Legally Blonde follows sorority star Elle Woods, an underestimated blonde who doesn’t take “no” for an answer. Tickets $22-$42. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.TUTS. tuts.com
30 fall 2012
BEST OF BRAHMS WEEK 1 Sep 14-16 The Houston Symphony celebrates Brahms with three weeks of beloved works. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BEST OF BRAHMS WEEK 2 Sep 20-23 “Even knowing his music for decades, Brahms still holds the power to surprise us, with something new to discover around every turn of phrase,” Hans Graf. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org BEST OF BRAHMS WEEK 3 Sep 28-30 The New York Times calls him “young and impetuous, but firmly in control.” Jonathan Biss – one of the most exciting piano virtuosos on the classical music scene today – returns to the Houston Symphony to perform Brahms’ majestic Piano Concerto No. 2. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org WOMEN @ ART Sep 20-30 Three of the world’s leading female choreographers take Houston Ballet on a spectacular odyssey of dance with a fall repertory program unlike any other. Tickets $19-$180. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org IT TAKES TWO Sep 21 Bach’s 4th Brandenburg Concerto, Haydn’s Concerto in F Major for violin and harpsichord, and other works for two or more soloists. Tickets start at $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 7:30 pm. 713.315.2525. arslyricahouston.org LEWIS BLACK Sep 22 Lewis Black is one of the most prolific and popular performers working today. He executes a brilliant trifecta as stand-up comedian, actor and author. Tickets $39.50-$65.50. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org BEAUTY AND THE BEAST Sep 25-30 Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the smash
IMAGINATION MOVERS Sep 30 See the New Orleans-based band that’s fun for kids and adults. Tickets $13.25-$51.04. Bayou Music Center, 520 Texas. 8 pm. 800.745.3000. livenation.com ALFIE BOE Oct 3 Boe has dabbled with bringing opera to different audiences, having been employed as ‘Opera Dude’ on ex-Inspiral Carpets’ keyboardist Clint Boon’s solo album and tours. Tickets $34$39. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. worthamcenter.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Oct 3, 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. Free. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. Noon. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com DEATH OF A SALESMAN Oct 3-28 The return to the Alley of Arthur Miller’s Tony Award- and Pulitzer Prize-winning masterpiece could not be more relevant in a post-recession world. The play juxtaposes the American dream with the realities of a fluctuating economy, unequal opportunities and unfair advantages, with vivid characters and consummate theatricality. Tickets start at $40. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org WICKED DIVAS Oct 5-7 Broadway divas Julia Murney and Alli Mauzey will grace the Jones Hall stage for a performance packed with powerhouse songs from Wicked, Chicago, The Phantom of the Opera and Titanic along with other popular songs from Broadway, film and Grammy-winning artists. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org MOZART’S JUPITER SYMPHONY Oct 6 Mercury Baroque combines the forces of Haydn and Mozart once again for a memorable concert event. Tickets $20-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org
KEREN CYTTER: SHOW REAL DRAMA Oct 11-13 DiverseWorks ArtSpace presents Show Real Drama, a multimedia play written and directed by artist Keren Cytter. Show Real Drama is based on the lives of two of her actors who find themselves unemployed after graduating from the University of Acting in Salzburg, Germany. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 E. Freeway. 7:30 pm. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org COMPANHIA DE DANÇA DEBORAH COLKER Oct 12 Brazil’s Deborah Colker is a force unto herself. Her choreography is amazingly musical, yet sensual, thrilling and cathartic, challenging notions of space and gravity and redefining the rules
GLORIA GAYNOR Oct 14 The Krewe of Olympus Texas, Inc. presents Grammy Award winner Gloria Gaynor. She will perform her disco hits and some of her more recent songs as well. Tickets $45.50-$255.50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. worthamcenter. org LANG LANG PLAYS BEETHOVEN Oct 18-21 Hear Lang Lang perform three beloved Beethoven piano concertos in one weekend as he plays a different concerto each performance. Experience Beethoven’s joyful 2nd, the dramatic 3rd and the epic Emperor. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org LOUIS CK Oct 19 Hear the writer, actor and comedian behind the award-winning FX show, Louis, do his hilarious stand-up live. Tickets $45. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm & 10 pm. louisck.com LA BOHEME Oct 19-Nov 10 Reckless love, the romance of Paris, the pain of regret – all unfold in La bohème, one of the world’s greatest love stories. Rodolfo and Mimi weather breakups and inevitable reunions, but their love proves as fragile as the light of a single candle when they confront the harsh realities of bohemian life. Tickets $37-$284. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org CASSANDRA WILSON Oct 20 A two-time Grammy Award winner with a marker on the Mississippi Blues Trail, jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson has been described by critic Gary Giddins as “a singer blessed with an unmistakable timbre and attack who has expanded the playing field” by incorporating blues, country and folk music into her work. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com BERLIOZ SYMPHONIE FANTASTIQUE Oct 26-28 One of the pillars of the symphonic repertoire, Symphonie fantastique brings you to a new world of sound, where images morph into music. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
andrea lazlo konrath
JEKYLL & HYDE Oct 9-21 After four thrilling, chilling years on Broadway and multiple world-wide tours, this dark and dangerous love story from Tony and Grammy Award nominee Frank Wildhorn returns in a stunning new production. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.558.TUTS. tuts.com
SPOTLIGHT for what can and can’t be done. Tickets $30-$75. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
smallz & raskind
WANDS AND BATONS Oct 6 The Houston Symphony is conjuring up great music to celebrate the season. Dress up and bring your magical dreams as we turn a Saturday morning into great fun. With a wave of his baton, conductor Robert Franz will cast a spell over the entire audience in this concert featuring music from Harry Potter and Dukas’ The Sorcerer’s Apprentice. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 10 am, 11:30 am. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
DAVID BYRNE AND ST. VINCENT Oct 6 David Byrne of The Talking Heads and indie darling St. Vincent team up for this intimate tour celebrating their album, Love This Giant. Tickets $55.15-$65.40. Hobby Center. 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org
THE ITALIAN GIRL IN ALGIERS Oct 26-Nov 11 The shipwreck was the easy part. Searching for her fiance, Lindoro, Isabella is marooned near Algiers and captured. She quickly catches the eye of Mustafa, the local bey. Bored with his harem, he has determined to marry an Italian girl. Tickets $37-$284. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org SHAOLIN WARRIORS Oct 27 See Kung Fu masters on the Cullen Theater stage. The Shaolin Warriors are known throughout the world for their deadly martial arts prowess. Beginning at a very early age they are trained in mental and physical disciplines that allow them to perform stunning, spectacular – some might even consider unbelievable – feats of athleticism. Tickets $30-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 3 pm, 7:30 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org TCHAIKOVSKY’S PATHéTIQUE SYMPHONY Nov 1-4 Pathétique actually means “passionate” rather than “pitiful,” and Tchaikovsky’s final symphony is packed with passion. You’ll feel the power of fate in both life and death as you get caught up in the music’s sweep of emotion,
Dancer Nozomi Iijima; photo by Amitava Sarkar
THE NUTCRACKER Nov 23-Dec 30 For mom, for dad, for brother and sis, The Nutcracker is a family tradition you don’t want to miss. Join Clara on her colorful, magical journey. You’ll travel through the Land of the Sweets to Spain, Russia, China and France. The music, the magic, the laughter, the fun. It just wouldn’t be the holidays without The Nutcracker. Tickets $19-$105. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org complete with gorgeous violin melodies and blazing brass. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org AARON LANDSMAN: CITY COUNCIL MEETING Nov 1-4 DiverseWorks, in collaboration with the Mitchell Center for the Arts and Project Row Houses, presents Aaron Landsman’s City Council Meeting, a performed participatory democracy experience in which the audience and actors share the roles of city council members, local activists and bystanders. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org DAVID SEDARIS Nov 2 David Sedaris is one of America’s preeminent humor writers. Whether he is sharing his deliciously sarcastic take on the human condition on NPR’s This American Life, as a guest on the Late Show with David Letterman or through the incisive yet fun essays from one his many bestselling books, Sedaris is wickedly entertaining. Adult content. Tickets $45-$65. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org ST. LAWRENCE STRING QUARTET AND STEPHEN PRUTSMAN, PIANO Nov 2 The renowned St. Lawrence Quartet returns with one of chamber music’s most beloved piano quintets and the Houston premiere of Kohelet by Osvaldo Golijov. Joined by Stephen Prutsman, one of the most versatile and brilliant pianists performing today, the St. Lawrence Quartet brings to Dvorák’s exuberant quintet their trademark mix of boundless spirit and virtuosic flair. Tickets $25$45. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com LES MISÉRABLES Nov 6-11 Cameron Mackintosh presents a brand
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new 25th anniversary production of Boublil & Schönberg’s legendary musical, Les Misérables, with glorious new staging and dazzlingly re-imagined scenery inspired by the paintings of Victor Hugo. Tickets start at $45. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org JEAN-YVES THIBAUDET, PIANO Nov 8 Jean-Yves Thibaudet is one of the most sought-after soloists in the world. Perhaps because he puts his poetic musical sensibilities and dazzling technical prowess to work coaxing subtle and surprising colors and textures from each piece he plays. Tickets $30-$75. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org THE ROYAL DRUMMERS AND DANCERS OF BURUNDI Nov 9 Traditionally a part of ceremonies such as births, funerals and the enthronement of kings, the Royal Drummers and Dancers of Burundi have been moving audiences for centuries. Tickets $30-$75. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org
Dance Company, supported with live music composed by Marc Hennessey. As these fleet and fierce performers mix it up, the audience is taken on a journey where a do-si-do and an allemandeleft face the fear of moving outside the box. Tickets $15-$45. Wortham Center, 501 Preston. 8 pm. 713.222.5400. explorehouston.com/ticketing GOOD VS. EVIL, AN EVENING WITH ANTHONY BOURDAIN AND ERIC RIPERT Nov 10 Two chefs. Two unlikely friends. Two very different careers and philosophies sharing one stage. It’s an evening of storytelling and observation providing frank and provocative insight into what really goes on behind the kitchen doors. Tickets $40-$80. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org CHUCHO VALDES QUINTET Nov 16 Hailed as “the dean of Latin jazz” and “one of the world’s great virtuosic pianists” by The New York Times, Chucho Valdés won the 2011 Grammy Award for Best Latin Jazz Album. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com
QUIRKY WORKS Nov 9-10 Houston Metropolitan Dance Company celebrates its 17th anniversary season showcasing audience favorites from their repertoire and premiering new works for the company by boundary-breaking choreographers in local, regional and national performances. Tickets $15$45. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. houstonmetdance.org
THE INEXTINGUISHABLE Nov 16-18 Danish composer Carl Nielsen’s magnificent Symphony No. 4 is full of fiery rhythms and grand sweeping melodies. The famous battle of two timpanists thunders to a triumphant conclusion and the inextinguishable force of life is victorious. Ticket start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org
SQUARED DANCER WITH HOUSTON METROPOLITAN DANCE COMPANY Nov 9-10 Hope Stone Dance Company shares the stage with the magnificent Houston Metropolitan
A CHRISTMAS CAROL Nov 16-Dec 24 The Houston Press says Houston’s seasonal favorite is “spiced with the usual fog and an unusual twist on the ghosts past, present and future.
Tickets $38-$100. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org BACH & SONS WITH CHRISTOPHE ROUSSET Nov 17 Guest conductor and world famous harpsichordist, Christophe Rousset, joins Mercury Baroque to lead the orchestra with his vast expertise and affinity for music performed on period instruments. Tickets $20-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.533.0080. mercuryhouston.org WORTHAM TREE LIGHTING CEREMONY Nov 21 Hundreds of Houston-area children will celebrate the beginning of the holiday season at the Wortham Center Tree Lighting Ceremony. The highlight of the event occurs when the Sugar Plum Fairy illuminates 8,000 twinkling lights on the 25-foot Christmas tree. The festivities will include costumed characters from Houston Ballet’s The Nutcracker, including lifesize fuzzy mice and toy soldiers. Free. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 11 am. 832.487.7000. houstonballet.org BOND AND BEYOND Nov 23-25 Enjoy memorable musical moments from the longest and most successful film series ever. The orchestra will shine as they perform the theme music that made James Bond, Dick Tracy and Inspector Clouseau famous secret agents. Tickets start at $29. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org THE SANTALAND DIARIES Nov 24-Dec 30 Company artist Todd Waite reprises his role as Crumpet the Elf in the outlandish and true chronicles of David Sedaris’ experience as a worker in Macy’s SantaLand display. This compact, one-character comedy is a hilarious cult classic, featuring comic encounters during the height of the holiday crunch. Tickets $30-$45. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org ELIA ARCE: FIRST WOMAN ON THE MOON Nov 29-Dec 1 DiverseWorks presents a remounting and reworking of Elia Arce’s First Woman on the Moon, one of the earliest performance pieces to give a different voice to the Latino identity movement. Arce leads the audience through a series of places both physical and emotional, from the dark, lush jungles of her Costa Rican roots to the barren, lunar landscapes of her adopted home. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org
Festivals & Special Events SUPER SATURDAYS Saturdays Dive into Saturday savings. Buy one Adventure Pass and get one free for unlimited access to the Aquarium Adventure Exhibit, Shark Voyage Train Ride, the
HOUSTON Fall PUBLIC Calendar LIBRARY All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org
TUNES AT NOON Sep 11 Cassandra Tyson performs at the Houston Public Library. Noon-1 pm. Free. Julia Ideson Building, 550 McKinney. HOUSTON LIBROFEST Sep 15 Celebrating Literacy and Latino Culture in the Bayou City is a book and arts festival highlighting Hispanic writers and showcasing the vibrant culture of the Latino community through storytelling, writing workshops, book giveaways, crafts and performances for children and adults. The day features a lineup of acclaimed poets and writers, including Gwendolyn Zepeda, Claudia Kolker, Javier O. Huerta and Sarah Cortez. 11 am-4 pm. GULF COAST READS CLOSING CELEBRATION Oct 27 Join the Houston Public Library for an afternoon with author Jonathan Safran Foer, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. He will talk about his book and answer questions. The event will open with The Main Street Theater performing a scene from the book. 1 pm-4 pm. Free. Julia Ideson Building Auditorium, 550 McKinney.
CITY OF HOUSTON’S 4TH ANNUAL CITIZENSHIP WEEK Nov 13 Stress Buster Yoga. 1-2 pm. Nov 14 Laughter Yoga with Lainie Diamond. Noon-1 pm. Nov 14 Film screening and discussion of A Place At The Table presented by the Center for the Healing of Racism. 5:30-7:30 pm. Nov 15 Spanish Conversation Circle. Noon-1 pm.
PAPER CRAFTING WITH AMIE Please arrive early, as supplies are limited. Free. Noon-1 pm. Sep 4 Create textured cards Oct 2 Create fallthemed crafts Nov 6 Create thank you cards CUSTOM FITTING AND ALTERATIONS Tuesdays Join the class and learn how to do alterations. Bring your garment(s) and Usha Shah will give helpful hints and answer questions about the alteration process. Some supplies will be provided. 3-4:30 pm.
HEALTH AND WELLNESS
CHILDCARE WORLDWIDE PRESENTS UGANDAN ORPHANS CHOIR Nov 20 The choir entertains with their beautiful singing in their native language of Luganda. The children play various African drums and instruments and dance in their traditional attire. 6-7 pm.
Mondays Stress Relief and Relaxation, noon-1 pm Tuesdays Stress-buster Yoga Tuesdays Reggie’s Workout, 5:30 pm Wednesdays Laughter Yoga, noon-1 pm Saturdays Reggie’s Workout, 10:30 am
Tuesdays Toddler Playtime, 11:30 am Wednesdays Legos and Duplos at the Library, 3 pm Thursdays Baby Yoga, 2 pm Thursdays Pajama Time, 7 pm ART THING! Sep 1, 15; Nov 10, 24 Learn about art and artists and make your own creation to take home. 3 pm. FUN WITH SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS Sep 8, 22; Oct 6, 20; Nov 3 Create a science experiment. For schoolage children. 3 pm. HALLOWEEN BASH! Oct 27 Enjoy a day of scary fun activities, including, caricatures, a craft and more. 11 am. PUPPET PIZZAZZ Oct 27 Master puppeteer Greg Ruhe presents spooky shadow puppetry. All ages. 2 pm. DIA DE LOS MUERTOS (Day of the Dead) CRAFT Oct 31 Make a calavera (colorful skull) craft to take home. All ages. 2 pm.
Mondays Baby Time, 10:30 am Tuesdays Toddler Yoga, 10:30 am
at $10. Tranquillity Park, 902 Bagby. 10 am-10 pm. prcfestival.com TIGER WEEKEND Sep 29 Celebrate tigers with education booths, arts and crafts and fun activities. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
VIA COLORI STREET FESTIVAL
BAYOU CITY ARTS FESTIVAL Oct 13-14 The annual, juried fine art event boasts a stress-free 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
Nov 17 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 Ferris Wheel, Lighthouse Dive and Carousel. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com HOUSTON BRAZILIAN FESTIVAL Sep 2 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 CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Sep 12-Dec 19 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 am1:30 pm. City Hall, 901 Bagby. 832.393.1010. greenhoustontx.org PUERTO RICAN CUBAN FESTIVAL Sep 22 A day of culture, celebration and live music that features all the flavors of the region through its art, music, food, fashion and car shows. Tickets start
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6th ANNUAL KBR KIDS DAY ON BUFFALO BAYOU Oct 20 A free fun-filled day with hands-on educational activities, kayak demonstrations, music, food, park performers, and boat rides on the bayou. Activity stations will include a showcase of bayou animals and insects, wetland hikes, kayaking demos and numerous activities with more than 20 Houston nonprofit organization partners. Free. Sabine Promenade. 11 am-3 pm. 713.752.0314 buffalobayou.org
SMASH THE SQUASH Oct 20-21, 27-28 Watch the beautiful white tigers receive pumpkins filled with their favorite treat – meat! Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com BARKITECTURE HOUSTON Oct 26-27 Join Houston Pavilions and Pup Squad for Barkitecture Houston 2012 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com
HTX BIKE FEST Nov 10 Enjoy an all-day bike festival that includes a bike swap meet in the morning, bike industry vendors, shops, music, food trucks, DJs, bike contests and more. Free with food donation to Houston Food Bank or Barrio Dogs. Phul Court, 1311 Leeland. 9 am-10 pm. htxbikefest.com VETERANS DAY PARADE Nov 11 The City of Houston supports our armed forces as we celebrate 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. Smith Street. houstonspecialevents.org FASHION HOUSTON 2012 PRESENTED BY AUDI Nov 12-16 An unparalleled fashion event, shining as brightly as the Lone Star itself – and the only one of its kind. Zac Posen, Monique Lhuillier and Georges Chakra are just a few of the designers showing their collections at this year’s event. Join us deep in the heart of style. Tickets $35-$300. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.222.5400. fashionhouston.net ARTCRAWL Nov 17 The 20th Annual ArtCrawl invites you to visit more than 100 artist studios, galleries and art spaces. ArtCrawlers get to learn more about contemporary art by directly engaging with the artists who make it and the galleries and spaces that present it. Free. 10 am-9 pm. Various locations. artcrawlhouston.com THANKSGIVING BUFFET Nov 22 Join us for a feast of traditional Thanksgiving favorites. Downtown Aquarium, 410 Bagby. 713.223.3474. downtownaquarium.com
JERRY AND MARVEY FINGER LECTURE SERIES: COLLEGE PARK MEMORIAL CEMETERY Sep 20 Randall Riepe and Jenny Bailey discuss College Memorial Park Cemetery, one of the three remaining African-American cemeteries established in Houston in the era of racial segregation. Members are free, $5 admission for non-members. Noon-1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912, heritagesociety.org A CONVERSATION WITH BETTY WHITE Sep 22 A tireless advocate for animals, seven-time Emmy Award winner Betty White is a golden example of perseverance, humor, grace, humility and philanthropy. Tickets $35-$200. 2:30 pm, 7 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.974.1335. brilliantlectures.org MICHELLE ALEXANDER Oct 2 Michelle Alexander’s book, The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindess, is a New York Times bestseller that examines the mass incarceration of African American men. Tickets
MARKET SQUARE PARK
Fall Calendar BAYOU BIKERS Sep 2, Oct 7, Nov 4 Bayou Bikers meet at Market Square for 25- to 40-mile bike rides exploring the bayous of Houston. These 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. REMBERING 9/11 Sep 11 Market Square Park is the home of Lauren’s Garden, a memorial garden to all who were lost in the attacks of 9/11, including Houstonian Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas. Join Mayor Parker and other special guests as we honor this day. 9-10 am.
$14-$74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org JERRY AND MARVEY FINGER LECTURE SERIES: FAIR PARK DECO: ART & ARCHITECTURE OF THE TEXAS CENTENNIAL EXPOSITION Oct 18 Jim Parsons and David Bush, co-authors of Fair Park Deco: Art and Architecture of the Texas Centennial Exposition will discuss the Art Deco art and architecture of Fair Park – the public spaces, buildings, sculptures and murals that were designed for the 1936 exposition. Members are free, $5 admission for non-members. Noon-1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org ROBERT F. KENNEDY, JR. Nov 5 Robert Kennedy is a resolute defender of the environment and an insightful social and political commentator. He was named one of Time magazine’s “Heroes for the Planet” for his success in helping Riverkeeper, New York’s clean water advocate, lead the fight to restore the Hudson River. Tickets $14-$74. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501
CONCERTS IN THE PARK Sep 15 The Copa Kings, 7:30 pm Oct 13 A Night at Market Square with Henry + the Invisibles and featuring Royal Teeth, 7:30 pm
CRITICAL MASS Sep 29, Oct 26, Nov 28 Critical mass is an informal bike group that meets the last month of every Friday, to ride around the city as an act to raise awareness and advocate a bicycle-friendly urban environment. All bikes are welcome. 7:15 pm. ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS Sep 19 Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy (R), 94 min. 8 pm Oct 19 The Talented Mr. Ripley (R), 139 min. 7:30 pm Nov 16 The Godfather: Part II (R), 200 min. 7 pm
Nov 3 Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys, 7:30 pm NATIONAL NIGHT OUT Oct 2 The Houston Police Department invites the downtown residential and business community to National Night Out. NNO promotes neighborhood spirit and police-community partnerships as we work toward a clean and safe downtown. 6-9 pm. A NIGHT AT MARKET SQUARE Oct 13 Explore historic downtown by joining your friends and neighbors and sampling bites and beverages from the area’s diverse assortment of eclectic bars and restaurants. Prepare yourself for local brews, live music
and something fun for your four-legged friends. 6-10 pm. BIKE BARN RIDE IN THE CITY Oct 28 Ride in the City will start at Market Square Park and head out to the newly completed bike paths along the bayou and into the Heights. Bring a city¸ path, hybrid or mountain bike. Kids are welcome, but please no training wheels or tricycles. There will be multiple route options from 5 to 15 miles. Free ride. Register at www.bikebarn.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
Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org JERRY AND MARVEY FINGER LECTURE SERIES: CAPTAIN JAMES BAKER Nov 15 Kate S. Kirkland, author of Captain James A. Baker of Houston, 1857–1941 will discuss the history of Houston and the story of an influential man who labored all his life to make Houston a world-class city. Members are free, $5 admission for non-members. Noon-1 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org BUILDING ARTS DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: THE HISTORY AND APPLICATION OF TERRAZZO Nov 28 Lee Ann Hill of the Southwest Terrazzo Association will speak on the history, process and application of terrazzo, a technique that was developed centuries ago and is still in high demand today. Members are free, $5 admission for nonmembers. 7 pm. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby Street. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org
DISCOVERY Fall GREEN
Please note: The events listed in this document are confirmed at time of printing. For a full listing of Discovery Green fall 2012 programming, please visit the events calendar at discoverygreen.com.
SUNDOWN ON THE GROVE Wednesdays through Sep 26 Presented by Land Rover Houston Central and Mix 96.5. Enjoy music, light bites, cocktails and weekly surprises at The Treehouse at the Grove – which features extraordinary views of the downtown skyline. On Sep 26 the venue changes to The Lake House next to Kinder Lake. 6-8 pm.
at Discovery Green’s Grace Event Lawn. General admission $45; Early 5 pm entry $65. 6-8 pm. CHIPOTLE GREEN FILM SERIES Sep 28, Oct 20, Nov 9 Connect with Houston’s green community at this new monthly series featuring films about environmental issues. Proceeds from beverage sales will be contributed to organizations that help make Houston green. 7 pm.
PAINTING IN THE PARK WITH PINOT’S PALETTE & CULTUREMAP Oct 2, Nov 13 Happy hour painting with beer, wine and music. Paint, drink and have fun! $10 admission. 6-8 pm. DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA Oct 20, Nov 17 Live music, kids’ activities, bicycle repair workshop and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more. 6-10 pm. SCREAM ON THE GREEN Oct 27 Houston’s fifth annual citywide costume contest and Halloween celebration is a scream! Costume prizes, music and more. IKEA Houston presents Coraline (PG), 2009, 100 min. 6-10 pm.
DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA BY NIGHT Sep 15 Live music, bicycle repair workshop and vendors selling vintage clothing, antiques, collectibles, jewelry and more under the stars. Noon-6 pm. CULTUREMAPS’S BACKYARD BURGER GRILL-OFF AT DISCOVERY GREEN Sep 22 Houston chefs hit the grill for the ultimate backyard burger throw down
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FUNOMENAL FAMILY FESTIVAL Sep 29 A day filled with fun, foam, music, rides, stilt walkers, story time, HGOco’s Fairy Tale Blasts!, activities, crafts and more. Featuring the Second Annual Baby Olympics with opportunities to win great prizes! 10 am-6 pm.
Healthy Living KAYAK RIDES ON KINDER LAKE Weekends Sep-Nov Awaken your awareness of nature with a relaxing and serene kayak ride on the lake. $5 per person. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney. 11 am- 5 pm. 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com KAYAK CLASS Wednesdays in September Adults learn to kayak safely.
KAYAK CAMP Sep 2 Children ages 5-16 years old learn safety, instruction and safe paddling techniques. $5 per person. 11 am-5 pm. DISCOVERY GREEN TOURS PRESENTED BY HOUSTON GREETERS Sep 2, Oct 7, Nov 4 Meet the Houston Greeters in front of the Alkek Building and explore the park. Learn about the gardens, art, architecture and history of Discovery Green. 1 pm. COMPUCYCLE PRESENTS RECYCLING SATURDAYS Saturdays Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. Help keep hazardous materials out of landfills by recycling electronics on the fourth Saturday of every month. 10-2 pm. CLUB CANINE PRESENTS THINKING DOG MANNERS AND ETIQUETTE CAMP Saturdays Each fiveweek camp will teach owner and dog the fundamentals of “how to learn” and connect in a healthy leader/ follower relationship. Learn the art of praise, concepts and building attention, leash techniques, off, close,
curb and quiet. Camp one in Sep; Camp two Oct 6 through Nov 11. No aggressive dogs allowed. 11 am - noon.
Fitness in the Park
Mondays Bum-ba Toning, 6:30-7:30 pm Tuesdays Core-focused Yoga, 6:30-7:30 pm Wednesdays Zumba!, 6:30-7:30 pm Saturdays Slow Flow Yoga, 9:30-10:30 am Sundays Discovery Hoop Dance, 10:3011:30 am
IKEA HOUSTON SCREEN ON THE GREEN Sep 15 Charlotte’s Web (G) 2006, 113 min. 8 pm Oct 12 Raising Arizona (PG-13) 1987, 94 min. 7:30 pm Oct 27 Coraline (PG) 2009, 100 min. 7:30 pm Nov 16 Hugo (PG) 2011, 126 min. 7:30 pm THURSDAY CONCERTS AT DISCOVERY GREEN Sep 13 - Oct 25 Familyfriendly concerts showcasing the best music of Texas and the Gulf Coast. 6:30 pm. Sep 13* Mingo Fishtrap, The Suffers Sep 19 Grandfather Child & Folk Family Revival Sep 27 Wheeler Brothers, Matt Harlan Oct 4* Ian Moore and The Lossy Coils Oct 11 Dale Watson, The Carper Family Oct 18* Brave Combo, Flying Fish Sailors
Oct 25 The Iguanas, Nick Gaitan and Umbrella Man *Saint Arnold Recycling Night: receive double reward points when you recycle six-pack carriers at these concerts. BLUES & BURGERS Wednesdays, Sep 19 -Oct 31 Take a break during the busy work week to enjoy this popular lunch hour concert series showcasing the best in blues music. See website for performance lineup. Please note no concert Oct 3. 11:30 am - 1 pm.
HOUSTON PUBLIC MEDIA SILENT FILM CONCERTS Sep 14 Sunrise: A Song of Two Humans. My Education performs an original score to a 1927 American film made by German director F.W. Murnau. 8 pm. Oct 19 Shadow of the Bat-Man. Two Star Symphony premieres their score to a new compilation of vintage film clips by filmmaker, Andre Perkowski, who will introduce the film. 7:30 pm. HSPVA AT DISCOVERY GREEN Oct 26 HSPVA alumnus Robert Glasper returns to Houston for a special performance. Billboard Magazine calls Glasper “a multi-talent to be reckoned with. While his roots are definitely in jazz, the bandleader knows no boundaries.” Opening
is the amazing HSPVA Jazz Orchestra, with Robert “Doc” Morgan as the emcee. 7 pm.
TODDLER TUESDAYS PRESENTED BY AMERIGROUP REALSOLUTIONS® Tuesdays, Sep 4-Nov 6 Enjoy story time and activities with your favorite look-a-like characters. 10:30 am. Sep 4 Caillou Rides a Plane Sep 11 Clifford Sees America Sep 18 The Little Critter: Just Saving My Money Sep 25 Kai-lan’s Great Trip to China Oct 2 Foam Party Oct 9 Madeline in London Oct 16 Olivia Goes to Venice Oct 23 Maisy Goes on Vacation Oct 30 Fancy Nancy and the Boy from Paris Nov 6 Diego’s Baby Polar Bear Rescue YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP Saturdays Houston’s only free writing workshop for kids. Presented by HPL Express, Writers in the Schools and Discovery Green with funding from the Lewis and Joan Lowenstein Foundation. 10:30-11:30 am. TAKE ME OUTDOORS HOUSTON Sep 15 Wild family fun with fishing, paddling, activities, crafts and live birds of prey demonstration. 10 am-3 pm. HOUSTON CHRONICLE LA VOZ MUSIC SERIES Sep 9, 16, 23 Latin concert series offering an energetic family-oriented lineup of artists. 5 pm. lavoztx.com
Sep 9 Maneja Beto | Los Skarnales | Girl In A Coma Sep 16 Umbrella Man | Vilma Diaz Y La Sonora (La Diva De Cumbia) Sep 23 Del Aguajal | Celso Pina with special guest HOUSTON MARGARITA & SALSA FESTIVAL Oct 13 Enjoy an assortment of margaritas with live entertainment, a salsa dance competition, a limbo competition, great food and more. Tickets $1015. Noon-10 pm. houstonmargaritafest. com KIDNEY ACTION DAY Oct 14 A fun-filled, family-friendly event to raise awareness of the risk for kidney disease and how to prevent it. 10 am-3 pm. kidneyfund.org/kidneyaction-day KOREAN FESTIVAL Nov 3 Bringing South Korea’s culture and beauty to the heart of downtown Houston. 10 am-6 pm. kashouston.org LIGHT THE NIGHT Nov 10 Thousands of walkers carry illuminated balloons to form a community of caring, bringing light to the dark world of cancer. 5-10 pm. lightthenight.org/txg
Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at the Lake House. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages permitted.
Exhibits & Visual Arts
William Marsh Rice: The Man and His Legacy Through Nov 4 This exhibit will focus on William Marsh Rice’s life, from his business relationship with Ebenezer Nichols, to building his home, to his vision for Rice Institute and ultimately his murder. The exhibit is on view in the museum gallery Tue–Sat 10 am-4 pm and Sun 1-4 pm. Free. The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby Street, 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org KEREN CYTTER Sep 7- Oct 20 An exhibition of works by Israeliborn artist Keren Cytter, whose experimental video works draw on cinema, literature and theater to illuminate the interpersonal and the private. Opening reception, Sep 7, 6-8 pm; Gallery talk, Sep 8, 2 pm. Gallery hours, Wed-Sat, noon-6 pm DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 E. Freeway. Free. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org
BAYOU MUSIC CENTER Sep 8 TYGA Sep 20 Rise Against with the Gaslight Anthem and Hot Water Music Sep 21 Fiona Apple Sep 22 Il Volo Sep 23 Pretty Lights Sep 25 Ben Folds Five Oct 10 M83 Oct 15 Rufus Wainwright Oct 20 Norah Jones Oct 27 Ian Anderson Oct 30 The Script Nov 1 An Evening with Gilberto Gil Nov 4 A$AP Rocky Nov 7 Jackson Browne Nov 9 Snow Patrol and Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds Nov 11 Celtic Thunder
Nov 12-13 Eddie Vedder Bayou Music Center’s 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 18 Owl City Sep 19 Beach House Sep 20 Citizen Cope Sep 21 The Psychedelic Furs Sep 24 The Go Go’s Sep 27 Dark Star Orchestra Sep 28 Cowboy Mouth Oct 10 All American Rejects/Boys Like Girls Oct 09 Garbage Oct 10 The Shins Oct 11 Grouplove Oct 12 Andrew Bird Oct 13 Two Door Cinema Club Oct 15 Metric Oct 18 Matt Wertz Oct 19 Matt & Kim Oct 25 Galactic & JJ Grey and Mofro Oct 26 The Temper Trap Oct 27 GWAR Oct 28 Justice Nov 11 Joshua Radin / A Fine Frenzy Nov 16 Great White HOB’s concert calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. House of Blues, Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline. 888.402.5837. hob.com TOYOTA CENTER Sep 1 Marc Anthony, Chayanne and Marco Antonio Sep 21 Eric Church Oct 20 Red Hot Chili Peppers Oct 24-25 Madonna Oct 26 Vicente Fernandez Oct 30 Justin Bieber Nov 28 Andrea Bocelli 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
west of downtown, 1-3 pm east of downtown. Tickets $40. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org
HOUSTON ANTIQUE DEALERS ASSOCIATION EXPO Sep 7-9 The Houston Antiques 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 Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. hadaantiques.com INTERNATIONAL QUILT FESTIVAL Nov 1-4 The public portion of the annual all-thingsquilts soiree at the George R. Brown is the largest annual consumer quilt show in the world. You’ll find more than 50,000 quilters from all over the U.S. and 28 countries from Australia to Zimbabwe. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. quilts.com
NATIVE PLANTS AND PRAIRIE TOUR Sep 29 Buffalo Bayou Partnership, the Native Plant Society and Katy Prairie Conservancy will take you on a walking tour through Tapley Tributary, covering topics like healthy plant techniques, native plants, invasive species and the new wildflower seed project. To top off this tour, you get a close look at our own educational truck, the Invasive Plant Eradication Unit. Free. 10 am. Reservations required. firstname.lastname@example.org, 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org BAT TOURS BY PONTOON BOAT Oct 12, 26 You’ll enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence and learn more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to the boat tour. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month. Reservations required. Cost: $35/$25 for children 4-12. Allen’s Landing. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org SECOND SATURDAY BUFFALO BAYOU BOAT RIDES Oct 13, Nov 10 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. First come, first serve, no reservations, 21-person max per trip. Sep 6-8 pm; Oct, Nov 10 am-2 pm; Cost: $7/$5 for children 4-12; downtown’s Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org DISCOVER HOUSTON TOURS Ghost tours, tunnel walks and rail tours, architecture tours and more are available. Tour guide Sandra Lord is the resident expert and has been conducting downtown and Houston tours since 1988. Ticket prices vary. 713.222.9255. discoverhoustontours.com
KAYAK TOURS Sep 15, Oct 13, Nov 11 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, sit-on top kayaks. 9 am-noon. $60 per person (reservations required). Start: I-610 and Woodway Drive, end: Allen’s Landing; 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org LOOKING BACK TOURS WITH LOUIS AULBACH Sep 29, Nov 3 Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Reservations required. 10 am-noon
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HERITAGE SOCIETY HISTORIC HOMES TOUR Nestled among 19 acres in the heart of downtown Houston, the Heritage Society boasts eight historic structures dating from 1823 to 1905. Each historic structure is authentically restored to reflect its original magnificence. Tickets $10 adults, $8 seniors and free for kids under 18. Tue-Sat 10 am, 11:30 am, 1 pm, 2:30 pm and Sun 1 pm, 2:30 pm. 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org MINUTE MAID PARK TOUR Get a behind-the-scenes look at Minute Maid Park, including historic Union Station, broadcasting booth or press boxes, Astros’ or visitors’ dugout, luxury suites and much more. 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 TOYOTA CENTER’S BACKSTAGE TOUR The one-hour backstage tour will take you behind
the scenes of Houston’s premier destination for sports and entertainment. Tickets $7 adults, $5 for kids 12 and under and seniors. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.758.7715. houstontoyotacenter.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
HOUSTON AEROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.947.7821. aeros.com HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com HEROES NIGHT Sep 11 Honor those service men and women who keep us safe each day, and remember those fallen heroes who have made the ultimate sacrifice for our freedom. Come out early for a special pregame ceremony including a parade of heroes, and the Houston Fire Department’s Pipe and Drums. OKTOBERFEST Sep 15 The Astros host the Phillies, and the Oktoberfest event will be open to all fans with a game ticket from 3-6:30 pm on KBR Plaza, just off Crawford Street. Experience beer tastings, polka music, German food and more. 6:05 pm. DOG DAYS Sep 16 The Astros take on the Phillies with great pre-game activities including a costume contest, pooch parade around the warning track and more! 50th ANNIVERSARY LEGENDS WEEKEND Sep 21-23 The weekend culminates the 50th anniversary celebration and is filled with many activities, including a visit from your All-Time 25Man Roster! 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.edu
the guide to eating downtown
Edited by Angie Bertinot & L auren Covington
Macondo is an adorable, intimate little spot that gets rave reviews. Best known for their delicious Colombian breakfasts, it is a favorite of downtown residents. Open for breakfast and lunch daily and dinner on Fridays and Saturdays.
L17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$ L Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ 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 Sunday only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best sushi in Houston” by Citysearch. com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese. com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$ Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ Bangkok Chef Thai A casual Thai joint that keeps booths packed with hungry downtowners looking for eclectic dishes to satisfy their spice cravings. And there’s a pretty tempting happy hour for drinks and nibbles under $5. bkchef.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 914 Main Street, #125, 713.659.1600. L & D Mon-Sat. $$ 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. $$$ new! Biba’s Diner Pizza Enjoy fresh Greek-style
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pizzas, calzones, salads and more in this Historic District hot spot near Preston Station. Try the breakfast pizza, Mr. Biba’s hearty love letter to the most important meal of the day. 223 Main. B, L, D & Daily. $ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $$$$ Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. D Mon-Sat; L Mon - Fri. $$ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try the Saag Paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $ Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol , 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a 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. $$$ Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 810 Capitol, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu
available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $ new! The Capitol at St. Germain New American Executive Chef Kevin Bryant puts forward an impressive dinner menu of seafood and steaks at this renovated turn-of-the-century space. Lunch offers gourmet sandwiches, salads and shared bites. More than just food, The Capitol also serves as a backdrop for live music and special events. thecapitolhouston.com. 705 Main at Capitol, 713.492.2454. L, D Daily. $$$ China Garden Chinese A popular Chinese restaurant, China Garden has been serving downtown for more than 30 years. Their egg rolls and lemon chicken have become favorites. 1602 Leeland, 713.652.0745. L Mon-Fri; D Daily. $ Chipotle Mexican Known for its large portions, this Mexican fast casual spot offers a variety of wholesome menu items. chipotle.com. 909 Texas, 713.225.6633. L & Early D Mon-Fri. $ L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $
key to symbols These listings are not reviews but are a guide to downtown dining spots. "Recommended" restaurants are selected by Downtown Magazine editors and are based on food quality, menu selection, service, ambiance and value.
L recommended new! just opened average price of an entrée $ - $10 or less $$ - $11-$19 $$$ - $20-$29 $$$$ - $30+ B: Breakfast L: Lunch D: Dinner LN: Late Night
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Dining.
plate. Domino’s Pizza 975 McKinney, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center.B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ 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. $ 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 MonFri. $ 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. $ 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. $
new! Georgia's Market Downtown American The market is stocked with fresh organic produce, grassfed 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. $ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s newest park. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$ Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an all-American menu? Hard Rock is a great familyfriendly spot serving up items such as burgers, nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ 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. $$ Home Plate Bar & Grill Classic American A great hangout spot before or after an Astros ballgame. Enjoy American food with all menu items (except for sampler platters) less than $10. homeplategrill.com. 1800 Texas, 713.222.1993. L & D Daily (may close earlier during off-season so call first). $ L House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but quaint burger joint. 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 7-grain bread or try the low-carb lettuce wrap: all the regular sandwich ingredients without the bread. jimmyjohns.com. 820 Main, 713.222.9995. L Mon-Sat. $ 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 Les Givral’s Kahve Vietnamese Winner of the 2006 “City’s Best” award for Vietnamese restaurants in Houston, Les Givral’s offers up a delicious menu and great service. Located in downtown’s historic Market Square. lesgivrals.com. 801 Congress, 713.547.0444. B Mon-Fri; L Mon-Sat; D Fri & Sat. $ new! 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. $$$
INTERNATIONAL FLAVORS, ENTREPRENEURIAL EX-PATS
H o u s t o n i s o n e o f t h e m o s t e t h n i c a l ly d i v e r s e c i t i e s i n t h e c o u n t r y, s o i t ’ s n o s u r p r i s e t h at o u r r e s ta u r a n t s c o m e f r o m a l l o v e r t h e m a p.
By L auren covington
42 fall 2012
The Veteran Bibas Diner 233 Main
At 78, Haritos Bibas opened what he estimates is his 25th restaurant. “I am working, I am alive, and I take pride in my food,” says Bibas with a smile. “The payoff is not the money. It’s the interaction with people.” And the people, he explains, are the reason he chose downtown for his Bibas Diner. Bibas likes being on his Main Street corner, where customers watch the METRORail dart past the windows, and the Courthouse District buzzes with activity. Bibas’s tale reflects the American dream. He likes to say he was ‘born in a kitchen’ in Pereas, Greece, where his mother ran a restaurant, and his father worked as a chef on a charter boat. As a young boy he was fascinated with American culture, so it was inevitable when he left Greece in 1959 looking for opportunity. He settled in Boston and opened a donut shop. Later he found himself in Times Square, running a successful Greek diner. In 1974, he bought his first Houston venture, Bibas Ones-A-Meal, a late-night favorite that catered to an eclectic Montrose crowd. After many years, he sold OnesA-Meal and closed down his other dining concepts with plans to retire. Bibas was only six months into his laid-back routine before he got the itch to bring fresh Greek pizzas, calzones and salads to the downtown market. “We make all of our dough from scratch, the pizzas are handmade to order, and the feedback from our customers is worth it,” says Joe, a longtime employee. Homemade dough and fresh ingredients trump the alternative, but more importantly, they pay homage to Bibas’ parents, who ran kitchens long before frozen food existed.
Macondo L atin Bistro 208 Travis
Bangkok Chef 914 Main
Tex-Mex joints are a dime una docena in these parts. So when Delaila Ocasio opened Macondo in the Historic District, downtowners rejoiced to find authentic Latin American dishes that reached beyond the typical cheese enchilada plate. The cozy gem on Travis Street is named after author Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s fictional town of Macondo, portrayed in the 1967 classic novel 100 Years of Solitude. There is nothing solitary about Macondo, as it is a place to enjoy with friends, share meals and even bring your own wine (with no corking fee, to boot). While many of the plates are Colombian, the menu has influences from Mexico, Venezuela and Puerto Rico. House favorites include the all-day breakfast dishes and the Ropa Vieja, shredded Creole beef served with white rice, black beans and plantanos maduros (fried plantains). True to the long lunches of Latin America, Macondo’s coffee and desserts beg you to linger before heading back to work. Don’t leave without trying the mango cake, which can only be described as a delightfully fruity hybrid of tres leches and flan – truly, a sweet dream.
This bustling restaurant has been open for two years and sits under Commerce Towers on Walker Street. It’s a family affair with Brooke Karn, a native of Thailand, managing the front of the house, and her father running the kitchen. Bangkok Chef prides itself on custom dishes, inviting guests to add beef, shrimp or chicken and to request the spice level that suits them best. “Some of our customers come back from visiting Thailand, excited to order a dish they liked from their travels. If we have the ingredients, we’ll make an off-the-menu item,” says Karn. Walk in during lunch and you’ll enter a packed house and steamy atmosphere. The kitchen staff feverishly turns out delicious noodle plates, soups and exotic platters. Inhaling the spices gives diners an idea of the feast that awaits – a cruel tease for the hungriest customers. Servers present patrons with fresh salads, fried egg rolls and the soup of the day within minutes of being seated; It’s all part of the lunch special, and Bangkok pleases even the most impatient diners. The most popular dishes are the house spe-
Some of our customers come back from visiting Thail and, excited to order a dish they liked from their travels. cialties, gorgeous plates loaded with scallops, shrimp, crab and other coastal delights. For noodle dishes, you can’t beat the pad kee mao, a stir-fried dish that combines eggs, chili-spiced vegetables and sweet basil leaves. Only the brave should test their spice tolerance, as Thai spice can pack a punch. Karn recommends starting out mild and working your way up. “You can always add more, but you can’t turn back,” she says. And for those who overindulge, there’s a full bar of wine, beer and sake to soothe the burn.
plate. new location! Little Napoli Italian Theater and movie goers 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. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Macondo Latin Bistro Latin The menu is a tasty fusion of Latin dishes with a strong influence of Colombian cuisine. Try the migas on an English muffin for breakfast. Macondo also has a full coffee bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee, a juice bar and a great selection of affordable wines and beers. macondobistro.com. 208 Travis, 713.229.8323. B, L & D Daily. $ Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinese cuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $ L Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicago-style neighborhood hangout is a local favorite. Boasting a handful of “fire-powered” burgers, Market Square offers plenty of reasons to stop by for a meal or drink. The backyard patio, friendly staff and full bar add flavor. marketsquarehouston.com. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133. L, D & LN Mon-Sat. $ L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ 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. $$
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L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$
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. $$
McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $
L Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon-Fri. $
L Mia Bella Italian You’ll enjoy an eclectic variety of Italian cuisine blended with a Mediterranean feel. A longtime favorite, this intimate little bistro’s simple, yet appealing décor, makes it a downtown standout. bellarestaurants.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.6675. 320 Main, 713.237.0505 L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L Minuti Coffee Coffehouse The coffee is created by a roast master in Italy, before making its way into the hands of talented baristas. This is the perfect place to bring the laptop and take advantage of Minuti’s free Wi-Fi. They also have beer and wine, which makes it a great pre/post theater spot. Be sure to sample some of the fresh-baked pastries and smoothies, too. minuticoffee.com. 909 Texas, 281.265.3344. B, L, D, LN Sun–Sat. $ new! 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. $ Molly’s Pub Pub Fare A good ol’ Irish bar with tasty food to soak up the beer. Your standard pub fare—sandwiches, dogs and pretty much anything that’s not good for you. mollyspubs.com. 509 Main, 713.222.1033. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Morton’s The Steakhouse Steak House This award-winning steakhouse offers an outstanding menu. The downtown location features its new bar concept, Bar 12•21, which includes an impressive wine and martini menu along with its specially priced “bar bites.” mortons.com. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700. D Mon-Sun. $$$$ Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe last fall at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D daily. $
Paul’s Snack Shop Deli Sandwiches, salads and snacks to-go.1213 Prairie, 713.224.4701. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ Popeye’s Fast Food 1116 Travis, 713.571.8600. L & D Mon-Sat. $ L Quattro Contemporary Italian Vivid colors, creative lighting and a unique design create a sophisticated and inviting ambience for guests. Located in the Four Seasons Hotel, Quattro is one of downtown’s best restaurants. Four Seasons Hotel, 1300 Lamar, 713.652.6250. B, L & D Daily. $$$ 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! Red Lantern Vietnamese A small café hiding in the historic district, Red Lantern packs a punch. Known for its delicious bahn mi and pho. The lunch crowd can’t get enough of the pork egg rolls and vermicelli bowls. 917 Franklin, 713.237.0360 L, D Mon-Fri. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Alden Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Sambuca New American A hip, trendy and upscale restaurant right in the mix of Main Street. The menu includes a wide variety of favorites and
combined with the live music, Sambuca is Houston’s ultimate supper club. sambucarestaurant.com. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299. L Mon-Fri; D & LN Daily. $$$ 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 American Steak House Steak House Dark wood, sports memorabilia and menus handpainted 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. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Steak House An ideal location to enjoy a great steak, Spencer’s offers top-quality beef and boasts an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is light, engaging and conducive to conversation. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.577.8325. L & D Daily. $$$$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ The State Bar Pub Fare Located on the second floor of Post Rice Lofts with a beautiful balcony overlooking Texas Ave., this upscale lounge also serves appetizers and hearty sandwiches with your martinis and margaritas. thestatebar.com. 909 Texas, Suite 2A, 713.229.8888. Mon-Sat. $
Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $ L Table 7 Bistro American Table 7 Bistro is a combination of an upscale, yet casual atmosphere. The bistro serves a selection of artistically and generously presented cuisine. Happy hour weekdays offer $4 well drinks and $2 domestic beers, and its happy hour all weekend with $2 mimosas all day on Saturdays and Sundays. district7grill.com. 720 Fannin @ The Club Quarters, 713.227.4800. B, L & D Daily. $ 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. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$ L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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. $$$$ Warren’s Inn Fast Casual Let the good times roll with a killer jukebox, excellent drinks and a fun, bohemian environment. Quick sandwiches and other items are served during the day; you can order in from nearby restaurants at night if you have the munchies. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207. L Mon-Fri; LN Daily. $ Wimpy’s Hamburgers Fast Food Wimpy’s serves up a pretty good burger but they also have many other down-home favorites. 632 Polk, 713.652.0123. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Yao Restaurant and Bar Asian The menu at Yao’s is a mix of standard American-Chinese fare, like sesame chicken and kung pao chicken, along with more exotic dishes like braised abalone. Sushi rolls include the Yao Roll, with snow crab and black caviar topped with lobster. yaorestaurant. com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Main, 713.739.9267. L Mon-Fri, D Mon–Sat. $$ Zero’s Sandwich Shop Deli A great little spot for a freshly made deli sandwich. zerossandwichshop.com. 809 Dallas, 713.650.3333. 1110 Lamar, 713.655.7722. 507 Dallas, 713.739.9955. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Ziggy's Bar & Grill American Ziggy’s offers healthy comfort food in their new Main Street location. Counter service is offered during the day and table service at night. Happy hour specials include pomegranate martinis and Ziggyritas made with fresh citrus juice. The location is conveniently located along the light rail line and just a few short blocks from the Theater District. Brunch Sat & Sun 9-3. ziggysbarandgrill.com. 702 Main, 713.527.8588. B, L & D Daily. $ 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. $
For a searchable database of downtown Houston restaurants by cuisine, location and price, visit downtownhouston.org and click on Dining.
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!
like us at facebook.com/visitdowntownhouston 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. The Capitol at St. Germain | 705 B Main St. The Capitol brings a new dimension to live music, dining and cocktails to the heart of the city. From touring acts to local favorites, there's something for everyone in a majestic, turn-of-the-century venue. Mon 11 am-9 pm, Tue-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 5 pm-2 am. thecapitolhouston.com 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 noon- 9 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. 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 House of Blues | 1204 Caroline Street @ Houston Pavilions A well-known national franchise with a lively, fun atmosphere. A 1,500-person concert venue is onsite and some of the best touring shows in the country come through on a weekly basis.
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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 am-2 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 @ Houston Pavilions Swanky upscale bowling alley with a separate restaurant/ lounge area. Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Great lunchtime and Sunday brunch bowling specials. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-2 am. bowlluckystrike.com 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. 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 @ Houston Pavilions 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 Phul Court | 1311 Leeland You can’t miss the street murals covering this festive space. Downtown’s newest sports bar features live music, Texas wines, local brews and gourmet food trucks. phulcourt.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 @ Alden Hotel Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun-Thu 11 am-midnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. aldenhotels.com Sambuca | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Guests can enjoy live music most nights of the week in this upscale and eclectic environment. The plush interior and elegant design make for an amazing location. Enjoy your favorite drink inside or hang outside on the patio with the locals. Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight, Thu 11 am-1 am, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. sambucarestaurant.com Shark Bar | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place No need to drive to Galveston to get to the beach. This surf bar is an endless party with pail punch, pina coladas and retro dance music that will take you to the North Shore. 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.
Autumn in Houston
may just be the best season of all. We’ve rounded up some of downtown’s faves – from the most refreshing hometown brews to the hottest new footwear. Ready, set, have fun!
A brew master’s dream Every fall, the appearance of St. Arnold Oktoberfest has beer lovers rejoicing. The rich, malty brew goes beautifully with seasonal favorites such as roast turkey. Stock up the fridge while you still can. Oktoberfest is only available through October. And don’t forget, you can tour the brewery every Saturday between 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. and on weekdays at 3 p.m. Saint Arnold Brewing Company 2000 Lyons Avenue saintarnold.com
4 Get fresh Beautiful greens, luscious fruits and all manner of locally produced gourmet foods make the City Hall Farmers Market a downtown favorite. Set up around the City Hall Reflection Pool, the Wednesday market has grown to host more than 40 vendors from throughout the area. Stop by during your lunch hour and pick up some tasty essentials for your dinner table or a yummy snack to remedy that late afternoon slump. City Hall Farmers Market 901 Bagby Wednesdays, Sept. 12-Dec. 19, 11 a.m-1:30 p.m. greenhoustontx.gov
Calling all kiddos
What could be more fun than a beautiful day along Houston’s primary waterway? Absolutely nothing! KBR Kids Day on Buffalo Bayou is jam packed with all kinds of good stuff, including kayaking demonstrations, live entertainment, balloon artists, KBR Kids Day on a bayou scavenger hunt and Buffalo Bayou more. Pack a tasty picnic Saturday, Oct. 20 lunch and enjoy a perfect 10 a.m.-3 p.m. (and free) day with the family. buffalobayou.org
If you haven’t found your way to the Tipping Point, now is the time. This self-styled “sneaker lifestyle” store on the ground floor of the Humble Building has some of the funkiest, urban offerings in town. From the latest footwear by Puma and Vans to ubercool accessories by Stance and Stussy you’ll find items no one else has. The Tipping Point 1212 Main Monday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m. thetippingpointstore.com
For two decades, downtown Houston has hosted the best of contemporary art at the annual ArtCrawl. The free event spans throughout studios, galleries and unique art niches. What makes ArtCrawl special is the ability of visitors to stroll from space to space and chat with artists about their work.
ArtCrawl Saturday, Nov. 17 10 a.m.-9 p.m. artcrawlhouston.com
ith a fusion of culture, lifestyles and commerce, life around here is anything but typical. Look up and discover soaring skyscrapers designed by icons like Philip Johnson and I.M. Pei. Turn a corner and bump into Houstonâ€™s historic past or uncover a piece of contemporary public art. Enjoy major league sports, world-class theater, innovative chefs, funky hotspots, movies in the park, sidewalk cafes, outdoor festivals, pontoon boat tours and more. Welcome to Downtown Houston!
Bayou Music Center
The new lines are coming soon, but there are already great stops. Vintage boutiques, neighborhood restaurants, resale shops. Unique businesses north, east and southeast of downtown are working hard to stay open for you during METROâ€™s light-rail construction.
Rally aRound the Rails. Show your support for them and for the theaters, shops, sports arenas and restaurants the rail lines already connect downtown.
FoR a list oF Businesses, Visit