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h ot c o m pa n y: S H E L L S I G N S R E CO R D - B R E A K I N G L E A S E I N D O W NTO W N spring 2012

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connecting you to the center of houston

FAVOR

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celebrate

their

big 5-0! p. 16

Neighborhood Roundup An insider’s guide to what’s funky, fashionable and fabulous William Shatner Movies in the park FotoFest Craft beer and more

S N IO . 20 T A •p N TI ING S R DE SP SH HE E T F RO R F


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downtown houston spring 2012

M

volume 4 number 3

departments

3 Save the date

Spring has sprung and that makes it the perfect time to explore the many facets of downtown.

7 hot companies

Shell Oil Company has been a part of Houston for as long as many can remember. Their new downtown lease further cements that relationship. by SANDRA COOK

10 backstage

An entertainment icon, dance superstars, symphonic sounds and heavenly voices all fill the stages of the Houston Theater District this spring. by HEATHER PRAY

guides

39 datebook

Theater, concerts, tours, festivals, special events and much more.

49 plate/sip

The scrumptious burgers at Hubcap Grill and global tasty treats at Phoenicia’s MKT Bar are worth any foodie’s time. And we help you find the perfect spot to chill with “sip.”

56 destination downtown map

features

2 publishers’ note

Every spring, downtown Houston finds itself chock full of some of the best events in the country. Art Cars, iFest and a thirst-quenching beer festival should be on everyone’s spring calendar. by SANDRA COOK

16 Boys of summer

Yes, they’ve been up and they’ve been down but let’s face it, sometimes nothing beats an afternoon at the ballpark. Like any team, the Astros have brought both joy and heartbreak to their fans. We look at how it all began a half a century ago. by MASON LERNER

20 A taste of spring

Forgo your next trip to the grocery store and check out one of downtown Houston’s fresh destinations. The weekly farmers market at City Hall, the organic meat and veggies of Georgia’s Market Downtown and the funky finds at DG Flea feed their patrons, both body and soul. by HOLLY BERETTO

27 In the hood

While naysayers may like to complain that there’s nothing to do downtown, a comprehensive roundup of some of Houston’s better-known districts proves the opposite. We’ve gathered it all together, complete with maps, to guide you anywhere you might want to go – from the funky little dives of the Historic District to the retail hotspots of the Shopping District. by MELISSA FITZGERALD

Scan to sign up for the weekly Downtown Happenings email Questions or comments? Drop us a line at dtmagazine@downtowndistrict.org

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 Melissa Fitzgerald

Contributing Writers Holly Beretto, Lauren Covington, Sandra Cook, Melissa Fitzgerald, Mason Lerner, Barbara Linkin Mendel, Heather Pray Advertising Information Angie Bertinot, 713.650.3022/ dtmagazine@downtowndistrict.org

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p.

Downtown magazine is published quarterly and is free of charge. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without written permission from the publisher. Downtown District, 909 Fannin, Suite 1650, Houston, Texas 77010. Published by:


Publishers' Note

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In the neighborhood One of the nice things about downtown Houston is its tremendous diversity. Historic buildings, modern art exhibitions, urban fashions and world-class theater are all part of the downtown mosaic. Luckily, downtown’s division into neighborhoods makes it simple to find what you are looking for – whether it’s a local watering hole in the Historic District or that perfect new piece of art in the Warehouse District. We’ve put it all together for you in our feature story on page 27, complete with maps and lists. We also hope you’ll flip to our roundup of great spring happenings. So much goes on throughout this beautiful season, and we don’t want you to miss a moment of the fun. Farmers markets, iFest and, of course, the Art Car Parade are all on tap in the coming months. Read all about them starting on page 3. And sports Historic buildings, modern fans will want to read Mason Lerner’s look back at the Houston art exhibitions, urban Astros on page 16. From their fashions and world-class not-so-humble beginnings as the Colt .45s to their move to Minute theater are all part of the Maid Park and more, the Astros downtown mosaic. have remained a Houston favorite. Be sure you check out our extensive calendar listings starting on page 39, where you’ll find something to do almost any night of the week. And don’t forget Plate, where you’ll discover details on the juiciest burgers in town, the tastiest international foods and one of the most comprehensive restaurant listings around. Just keep this issue handy for whatever leisure activity you might be planning. Or check us out online at downtownhouston.org. And keep sending your comments and suggestions our way.

Bob Eury

Andrew Huang

Downtown District

Houston Downtown Alliance

ON THE COVER The Warehouse District is an eclectic mix of studios, gallery space, loft apartments, and cool dining options. The “street art” found on the streets and on sides of buildings really gives the neighborhood its funky flair. To the right: For just $5, you can get your own piece of tiny art from the Art-O-Mat at DiverseWorks. Photos by Melissa Fitzgerald

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ed schipal

outdoors: signature downtown festivals

s t h g i l e d n a b r U ABOVE: Art Car fun LEFT: Los Lonely Boys headline iFest

by sandra Cook

Embracing world cultures, craft beer and those outrageous art cars

Houston International Festival

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| April 21- 22, 28-29

omantic rhythms, distinctive architecture and, of course, the mesmerizing moves of the tango – these are just a few of the alluring cultural hooks offered by this year’s Houston International Festival (iFest) as it spotlights Argentina. The elaborate and engaging celebration of world cultures engulfs the blocks surrounding Sam Houston Park, City Hall and Tranquility Park April 21-22, 28-29. Each day from noon to 8 p.m., concerts, cuisine, exhibits and demonstrations showcase cultures from around the globe. Special features of this year’s festival include the Chevron Argentina Living

Museum, which hosts a multitude of cultural encounters, such as line-drawn murals the public can help paint, handson Argentine pastry making, and an activity area for kids to design and build an architectural model based on Argentine architecture. New this year is the Village Green area in upper Sam Houston Park featuring recycled crafts and locally produced goods and foods. In addition to iFest’s 10 musical stages, a special concert at Hobby Center on April 21 features bandoneónist Héctor Del Curto and Eternal Tango for an evening of authentic, world-class Argentine music. The music continues on the festival’s various

outdoor stages with a lineup of local and international musicians performing a vast spectrum of world music.

The festival, now in its 42nd year, is a proud tradition for the city. The nonprofit Houston Festival Foundation uses funds from the festival to produce a teacher’s curriculum guide centered on the featured country. This year, teachers across seven Texas counties at 1,471 campuses in our area use the guide to enlighten students on the cuisine, economics, folk traditions, geography and history of Argentina. For more information on iFest: Argentina, contact 713.654.8808 or visit ifest.org. downtownhouston.org

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T

Art Car Weekend

| April 28

he 2nd annual Texas Beer Fest transitions from its Humble beginnings to Discovery Green for 2012. With about 60 breweries (17 from Texas), the inaugural festival was not that small, but the previous venue was the Humble Civic Center. This year’s showcase of craft beer and the people who create it takes place on Discovery Green’s Jones Lawn from 1 to 7 p.m. on April 28. “Our commitment has been to support our local breweries and celebrate our national craft breweries,” says Clif Wigington, founder of the Texas Beer Festival. “We want to support our local community and encourage a responsible attitude toward beer and the understanding that it is a craft.” Festival organizers are hoping this year to draw 70 to 80 breweries that will set up under tents so the brewery folks and their fine products can stay nice and cool. Additional tents will offer shade and shelter to festival-goers as they sample and savor the suds and festival food. “The main purpose of this festival is to support and feature Texas craft beer, but as there are many other amazing products coming out of other states, we are happy to include those, too,” says Karen Rosenthal, who handles media relations for the event. “To be a bit more succinct, we support our local but celebrate our national. Also, we are committed to showcasing only craft beer at the Texas Beer Fest. Like last year, the festival also will feature homebrew demonstrations and tastings staged by the Kingwood Homebrew Society and DeFalco’s Home Wine and Beer Supplies. The idea is to encourage Texans to homebrew and to learn more about the craft of making beer. “We realize that today’s homebrewer may be tomorrow’s start-up craft brewery and we strive to support all local efforts to improve beer culture,” says Rosenthal. For more information visit texasbeerfest.org.

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| May 10-13

et ready to gawk: The Art Car Parade amazes all ages Saturday, May 12 from 1 to 3 p.m. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the event, which remains the largest art car parade in the world. At least 250 entries are expected from 23 states, Canada and Mexico, with crowds expected to reach 300,000 to watch the festive folk art flotilla roll along Allen Parkway. Early birds can watch the cars line up near Taft and Allen Parkway as early as 9 a.m. For the ultimate Art Car Parade experience, tickets are available for the VIPit Party. The VIP experience includes a deluxe picnic lunch prepared by top local restaurants, shaded bleacher seating, live entertainment and more. The Art Car Ball kicks off Art Car Weekend on Thursday, May 10 at 6 p.m. at the Orange Show and the adjacent Smither Park site. The park is on its way to becoming Houston’s first folk art-inspired green space and is expected to open this fall. The always-exuberant Art Car Ball will feature live entertainment, fireworks and approximately half of the art cars from the parade. Guests also can mingle with the artists to learn more about the inspiration and ingenuity of these astounding autos. Friday, May 11 offers the midday Main Street Drag, which entails groups of art cars cruising

ed schipal

Texas Beer Fest

several short routes around town and schmoozing at schools, hospitals and other facilities. “The goal is to bring joy to those who may not be able to get out and see the whole parade,” says spokesman Jonathan Beitler. Later that night, Avenida de las Americas in front of the George R. Brown glows during the Sneak Peek at Discovery Green. This illuminating experience is free for the whole family and features music, kids’ activities, food and fun from 7 to 10 p.m. For more information on Art Car events, contact the Orange Show Foundation at 713.926.6368 or orangeshow.org. 4

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business

One Shell

hot companies

One Shell under construction

Shell A long-term relationship

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By Sandra Cook

Big Oil and big buildings have been permanently entwined with downtown Houston’s identity since the mid 20th century. Shell Oil Company recently underscored its connection to downtown by renewing its lease on its eponymous downtown properties through 2025. Shell’s presence in downtown Houston officially began in 1970, after Hines completed One Shell Plaza. Today Shell maintains approximately 6,500 employees and contractors in downtown Houston, including their trading group, downstream operations and corporate functions. Such a project and real estate deal sound typical, even expected in current day Houston, but when Gerald D. Hines secured Shell in 1967, it was his first major office building. Beyond the magnitude of the deal for Hines and the significance of Shell relocating its U.S. headquarters from New York to Houston, One Shell Plaza was a marvel of engineering at the time. Innovations in erecting tall buildings on Houston’s dense clay made the 50-story office tower possible (previous practices only supported up to 44 stories). Its companion, Two Shell Plaza, was completed in 1972. Shell and Hines announced Shell’s renewal of their lease at One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza in December. Shell and Hines signed a deal for a total of 1,222,425 square feet — huge news for downtown Houston and commercial real estate worldwide. The contract marked the largest office space lease in the world last year, according to both

photos courtesy of hines

Two Shell

CoStar and Cushman & Wakefield. The lease extends Shell’s stay through 2025, at which time Shell will have been a tenant for more than 55 years. Shell’s commitment to downtown goes even further. In August 2010, the oil company signed a new lease with PM Realty Group for approximately 300,000 square feet at 1000 Main Street next to the scenic and transit-friendly Main Street Square. This spring Shell plans to move all three of its local trading groups from the 250,000 square feet at Two Houston Center to 1000 Main, which was built as Reliant Energy’s trading center in 2003. Today Shell’s downtown offices occupy space at One Shell, Two Shell, Pennzoil Place and Two Houston Center, but by 2014 the company will be in One Shell, Two Shell and 1000 Main. Shell is working toward modernizing its workplace, to allow for greater collaboration and less isolation of employees. The company expects the size of the staff to stay the same, but the workflow and interaction will become more efficient. downtownhouston.org

7


Shell’s presence in downtown Houston officially began in 1970, after Hines completed One Shell Plaza.

The geography of Houston is often described as a wheel. Downtown serves as the hub of the city, in terms of business and transit. “Following a very detailed analysis of options available within downtown and in suburban areas, a renewal at One and Two Shell most closely matched our business needs and employee experience we wanted to create,” says Jeri A. Ballard, vice president of global real estate strategy & portfolio for Royal Dutch Shell. “This included access to amenities, public transportation options, minimized commute time, economics and total carbon footprint of the location.” Ballard adds that no other part of town offers the depth of amenities found downtown. “We did evaluate constructing a new building in the Houston central business district, but the One and Two Shell options most closely meet our needs,” says Ballard. “Hines will be going through a major base building modernization of One and Two Shell, which will ensure that they will remain class A buildings for years to come.” Some may wonder why Shell didn’t choose to relocate to the Woodlands or the Energy Corridor. “Shell is committed to making downtown Houston a vibrant place to work and downtown is still the commercial hub of the city,” says Ballard. “In addition, after an exhaustive technical study and survey of Shell employee commuter patterns, it was determined that Houston’s central business district combined with easy access to public transportation, provided both the lowest average commute time and most efficient transportation options available.”

Reducing environmental impact How does one of the world’s largest oil companies commit to sustainability and environmental safeguards? Shell is aware of the negative environmental impact of the oil and gas industry and has made strides since the early 1990s to reduce and eliminate pollution in its operations. Today Shell is hardly pollution-free, but the company is serious about cleaning up its practices. Shell has published a sustainability report every year since 1997. “We’ve made a commitment to transition all of our offices to LEED-certified buildings,” says Ballard. “We’ve been working on this since 2004, and we already have carbon footprint reduction measures in place in our Houston offices. We are striving 8

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for 100 percent of our buildings to be LEEDcertified or meet similar standards.” “Each Shell group’s scorecard is 25 percent sustainability, so that means every employee’s compensation is impacted by sustainability,” says Ballard. That, combined with the progressive sensibility of the Shell employee culture, has resulted in

widespread support within Shell’s Houston offices for sustainability goals. “It takes cooperation of the company and the building owners,” continues Ballard. “Hines has been a pioneer in Houston. They knew we had a desire to be in a greener, more sustainable office environment and were keen to make those changes.”

1000 Main

This spring, Shell plans to move all three of its local trading groups from the 250,000 square feet at Two Houston Center to 1000 Main, which was built as Reliant Energy’s trading center in 2003.

Both One Shell Plaza and Two Shell Plaza were LEED Gold certified in 2009, and both buildings meet Energy Star standards. The LEED updates to the buildings include low-flow fixtures, which contribute to 60 percent water savings in potable-water use. The improvements yielded a 42 percent reduction in lighting power and a 56 percent waste diversion thanks to a recycling program.

shell at a glance

Happy in Houston’s hub

North American headquarters: Houston known as: A global group of energy and petrochemical companies worldwide employees: 93,000 employees in more than 90 countries and territories employees in Downtownhouston: 6,500 houston offices: One Shell Two Shell Pennzoil Place Two Houston Center WEBSITE: shell.us

Sustainability of planet and talent “Green buildings, sustainability and carbon footprint are very much on the minds of today’s recruits,” says Ballard. “Being located downtown allows us to recruit from the entire Houston metropolitan area, which is rich in skills, experience and diversity.” Access to public transportation was a key factor in Shell’s decision. Ballard reports that approximately 25 percent of the Shell staff in the CBD use park and ride, bus or other public transportation. “The average distance traveled for staff assigned to downtown is a 22-mile commute. If everyone worked a typical schedule and no one took public transport, we would log over 70 million miles driven in a year,” says Ballard. “Public transportation options allow us to reduce this to around 50 million miles driven, which equals a reduction of 17 million pounds of CO2 per year."


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raj naik

Backstage by heathe r pray

art s & cultur e

Tia Fuller dazzles with Da Camera.

I

t’s spring and just like the weather you can always count on the unexpected from the Houston Theater District. Think you know someone? You’ll be proven wrong. Storybook lives unravel in sordid tales. Trips to Paris are on the docket and so are passages to the darkest layers of hell – at least in the workplace. It’s a mad, good time. 10

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Dance

amitava sarkar

ning of world music courtesy of SPA on It’s not your childhood Cinderella but just March 16. Vasily Petrenko, the winner of like this character, you’re going to need the Fourth Prokofiev Conducting Competidetermination and spunk to get tickets tion, has made waves in the classical music before it goes poof on March 4. Stanton world. With the Houston Symphony they Welch’s title character is in control and present Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony, March fighting her evil 16-18. A stepmother with unique spin wit and vigor to on jazz find true love standards with Houston with HousBallet. Another ton favorite Houston darling, Dee Dee Alvin Ailey Bridgewater American Dance celebrates Theater, visits an iconic March 2-4 with jazz figure Society for the in To Billie te ni en M y od el Ci nd er el la wi th M Performing Arts. With Love These acclaimed an d Ro be r t Ar no ld – A Celebraambassadors of tion of Lady American culture Day with Da honor the past, Camera on celebrate the present and fearlessly reach March 17. Mozart’s A Little Night Music will into the future by exploring the uniqueness fill your evening with joy when Houston of black cultural expression. You’ll be rockSymphony plays his most graceful work on ing to the fast-paced romp of machismo March 22, 24 and 25. A dazzling evening nostalgia a la The Rolling Stones in Christoawaits with Hilary Hahn Plus Enigma and pher Bruce’s, Rooster, which opens the the Houston Symphony March 30-April 1. contemporary ballet repertoire of Houston You’ll go back in time with Rocky Mountain Ballet on March 8 and runs through March 18. Also on the program: two pieces by Stanton Welch, including Tapestry; a world premiere choreographed to Mozart’s Violin Concerto No. 5; and Divergence, the explosive ballet that put Welch on the international map. Another international ballet superstar, American Ballet Theatre’s Angel Corella, debuts his new company, Corella Ballet, on the stage of Jones Hall with SPA on May 5. This Spanish-born superstar presents a stunning program that includes his own work and Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV.

High and other favorite John Denver tunes with tribute artist Jim Curry and the Houston Symphony, April 5-7. Alto saxophonist Tia Fuller and her quartet electrify the stage with Da Camera on April 13. Lebanese master Marcel Khalifé performs the prophetic poems of the Arab world’s most renowned and beloved poet, Mahmoud Darwish, in tribute to the Arab Spring as part of SPA’s season on April 20. The Catalyst Quartet consists of top laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players. They bring their passion for accessible contemporary works to SPA on April 25. Porter’s unforgettable Night and Day is part of the Houston Symphony’s Great American Songbook, April 27-29. Music gets political when Hans Graf conducts the Houston Symphony and Shostakovich’s 11th Symphony on May 3 and 4. It’s a Totally Mozart evening, May 11-13, with two awe-inspiring concert arias by internationally acclaimed coloratura soprano Albina Shagimuratova. The Houston Symphony plays Carmina Burana, May 17-20. And a few hot nights will tempt you into a tropical summer with Tiempo Libre: Hot in Havana! May 25-27, with conductor Michael Krajewski, the sizzling Latin music

Music

Da Camera takes you to Paris as part of a two-concert celebration in honor of Claude Debussy’s birth. On March 3, enjoy Chausson’s Concerto and the younger Caplet’s Fantastic Tale. You’ll hear new twists to legendary tunes when Earth, Wind & Fire is accompanied by the Houston Symphony on March 8. Celtic, rock, bluegrass, Texas swing and classical music are just a part of what Bowfire brings to the stage on March 9-11; add beautiful vocals, electric step and tap dancing, lights, costumes and sets AND the Houston Symphony and you’ve got a concert experience like no other. The high-energy continues with ensemble SpokFrevo Orchestra and an eve-

Ea rth , Wi nd & FIr e

downtownhouston.org

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La Ca ge Au x Fo lle s

Co me Fly Aw ay

Ho ust on Gra nd Op era pre sen ts Do n Ca rlo s.

group Tiempo Libre and the Houston Symphony. America’s beloved redhead delights the child in us all with Annie and Theatre Under The Stars, March 20-April 1. If you’re hooked on Dancing with the Stars and loved Burn the Floor, you are in for a real treat with Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center’s Come Fly Away April 10-15. The iconic vocal stylings of Sinatra are highlighted by Twyla Tharp’s movement. The quintessential grand opera will sweep you away with Verdi’s Don Carlos and Houston Grand Opera, April 13-28. You’ll Believe when the awe-inspiring vocalists and mesmerizing Celtic violinist of Celtic Woman perform classic Irish tunes and inspirational songs backed by their dazzling six-piece bands and renowned championship Irish dancer courtesy of SPA on April 16. On April 21, SPA and Neil Berg present the widely acclaimed music review 100 Years of Broadway with a spotlight on some of the finest theatrical moments from the greatest musicals of the century. Joyce DiDonato adds to the spectacular vocal fireworks and bel canto singing typical of Donizetti’s works in HGO’s Mary Stuart, a hatner W il li a m S story of regal cousins, Mary, Queen of Scots and Elizabeth I, April 21-May 4. Don’t miss a dynamite cast, including the perpetually bronzed George Hamilton and

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Broadway veteran Christopher Seiber in La Cage Aux Folles with TUTS, April 24-May 6.

Stage

Visual art comes to life in Alley Theatre’s March 7-25 production of Red, a Tony Award winner for Best Play. Red follows master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko after he lands a major commission that could be both his crowning achievement or his undoing. The enthralling new comedy The Seafarer visits Alley Theatre, April 6-29. Popular playwright Theresa Rebeck returns to the Alley with her latest black comedy, What We’re Up Against, May 11-June 10. Eliza, a female architect, slams into the firm’s glass ceiling yet again and tackles sexism and the workplace in this new play.

From screen to stage

SPA takes you on a voyage through William Shatner’s life and career with the man himself in It’s Shatner’s World … We Just Live in It on March 23. Another cultural icon invites you to meet the skeletons in her closet in Wishful Drinking with Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center, May 15-20. Carrie Fisher strips down and tells the true and intoxicating tale of her life as a Hollywood legend with all the wry wit she poured into such bestsellers as Postcards from the Edge. It’s an uproarious and sobering look at her Hollywood hangover. Whether you’re looking for comedy, drama, storytelling, dance or song – you’ll get it and more. Visit houstontheaterdistrict.org for more details and tickets.


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& Profile ARTS

ENTERTAINMENT

It was my first time to hear early music, as well as my first time to hear the countertenor’s voice– a sound that almost defies description.

voice of an angel BY HEATHER PRAY

O

ne of the great joys of the Houston arts scene is there is always something new to discover. A few months ago I attended a performance of Ars Lyrica. It was my first time to hear early music, as well as my first time to hear the countertenor’s voice — a sound that almost defies description. Since then, I’ve attended several more Ars Lyrica performances, as well as other early music ensembles. As a general lover of music, I’ve been on a quest to gain more understanding of this world of texts and instruments from centuries ago and fitting it into the rotation of my favorite playlists. Ryland Angel is a highly sought-after countertenor or altino, taking a brief pause after a whirlwind few months that have included world premiere performances, the release of three solo albums and the creation of the Kitchen Opera Company. Appearing on more than 30 recordings and movie soundtracks, this Grammynominated, former Bristol Cathedral chorister performs on some of the most prestigious stages around the world – English National Opera, Opera National de Paris, New York City Opera and Carnegie Hall. He took a moment to chat about his upcoming performance with Ars Lyrica, Houston’s early and classical music scene and how it’s all Soli Deo gloria in the end. HP: You made your Ars Lyrica debut in June, and this is your third appearance with Ars Lyrica. How has it been? RA: It’s very exciting to be working with Matthew Dirst. He is such a talented, humble musician. It is always such a joy and pleasure to make music with him and all the members of Ars Lyrica. HP: Tell me a bit about La Resurrezione and your role. RA: I am singing the part of Mary of Cleophas. It is a part that can be sung by a man or woman, as during the time of the original performance in 1708 it was a papal edict that women were not to perform. Handel’s La Resurrezione is an operatic telling of the Resurrection story, as seen through the eyes of Mary Magdalene, two companions, an angel and Lucifer. It’s early Handel at its best with beautiful melodies and even moments of humor.

glenn usdin

HP: You are a sought-after performer in the early-music world community. How does Houston fit into it all? RA: Matthew Dirst and Ars Lyrica are great examples of Houston’s thriving early music scene. In rehearsal and performance, he creates a wonderful environment where 14

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music and artists can thrive. He presents amazing and inventive programs, and it is no wonder that Ars Lyrica is a great testament to the rising appreciation and popularity of early music in Houston and Texas as a whole. I really enjoy performing here, and it all started with my debut concert with the Bach Society of Houston and its director Albert Ledoux. Thanks Albert for bringing me here! Houston also has its fair share of world premieres, largely due to the exciting programming of its wonderful opera company. Recently I was fortunate to be a part of Houston Chamber Choir’s unearthing of Giovanni Colonna’s Vespers – a work that hadn’t been performed in modern times until last fall. In December I performed a recital, Our Lady I, at New York City’s Trinity Wall Street Church. Our Lady was written by the up-and-coming composer Gregory Spears, who is currently in rehearsals for a chamber opera, The Bricklayer. It was commissioned by HGOco (Houston Grand Opera’s community outreach program) and will have its world premiere on March 15 at Cullen Theater at Wortham Center. Houston is making a big impact in new classical music and it’s being noticed and appreciated worldwide. HP: Do you have to be religious to be a fan of early music? RA: In short, no! A lot of people identify early music with purely sacred texts, but this isn’t the case. Early music was written using both sacred and secular text and sometimes a mix. For example, Gregory Spears’ Our Lady was a mixture written by Guirat Riquier, famed as being the last troubadour. Whatever the text, Baroque music is appealing to everyone because the melodies are incredible. Similarly with chant music, people find it relaxing whether they believe in God or not. Personally I believe in God, so I enjoy singing sacred texts. Whether the text be sacred or secular, for me when I sing, I do it for Him. Soli Deo gloria – Glory to God alone. HP: You’ve performed on more than 30 recordings of Medieval, Renaissance, Baroque, pop, modern classical – and four of

them were in the past six months – all in different genres. Tell me about them. RA: I like to do all different kinds of music. It helps me to be a better musician, as I find that each style feeds the others; Beloved One is a series of original love songs written and produced with Emanuel Olsson in Stockholm. The title track was named as a Great First Dance song on Martha Stewart’s The Bride’s Guide. It is the follow-up album to my debut pop album Ryland Angel released by EMI and made into the PBS special Heavenly Voices. Chant was released in October and is an album inspired by traditional Gregorian chants, which I perform under the name of Sacred Seven (again with the multi-talented Emanuel Olsson). We included some lush orchestrations and flourishes of electronica and wrote half the chants ourselves using Latin texts selected by my father Gervais. December saw the release of a new solo classical album Freud und lust (music by Buxtehude and Bach), where I was accompanied by the Trinity Bach Players. A modern, classical album, Requiem, composed by Gregory Spears, was named one of the five best opera albums by WQXR in 2011.

I like to do all different kinds of music. It helps me to be a better musician, as I find that each style feeds the others. HP: When you come to Houston where do you like to unwind? RA: La Carafe for a glass of red wine and candle watching, the burger at The Hobbit Café and the escargot and steak tartare at Philippe are some of my favorites. I love food, wine and music so I have recently formed the Kitchen Opera Company with Norman Schoenfeld, which combines them all. More details to come! See Ryland Angel in the role of Mary of Cleophas when he makes a stop in Houston with early music ensemble Ars Lyrica on March 9 at the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts.

arslyricahouston.org rylandangel.com houstontheaterdistrict.org downtownhouston.org

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FANTASTIC! FOR MORE THAN 50 YEARS HOUSTONIANS HAVE TREATED

THEIR ASTROS

WITH LOVE AND AFFECTION,

AND THERE IS

NO CHANGING THAT. by MASON LERNER

Jim “The Toy Cannon” Wynn

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t is easy to forget, but Houston has not always been a major league city, both literally and metaphorically. Sure, the city was known for oilmen with longhorn hood ornaments, tough cowboys and big money, but until real estate tycoon R.E. “Bob” Smith and Judge Roy Hofheinz teamed up to bring baseball to town, sports were a bit of an afterthought. We needed a little pizzazz. And that is exactly what we got. The Egyptians did it with pyramids. The Greeks with statues. Hofheinz and Smith did it by building the “Eighth Wonder of the World.” And it didn’t happen overnight. The duo formed the Houston Sports Association to try and convince Major League Baseball to give Houston a franchise. When that didn’t work out, they collaborated with other wannabe MLB owners to form the Continental League. The Continental League folded before it ever got up and running, but it put enough pressure on MLB to get Houston noticed. In 1960, Hofheinz and Smith were awarded a franchise to begin play in 1962. That was just the beginning. The owners held a contest for residents of Houston to name the fledgling franchise and settled on the Colt .45s. The Colt .45s struggled on the field in 1962, finishing in eighth place out of 10 teams in the National League. 1963 was a little bit better with stars Rusty Staub, Joe Morgan and Jim “The Toy Cannon” Wynn all making their Major League debuts. But the team was far from a winner. Colt Stadium wasn’t doing much to impress anybody. All Hofheinz and Smith had to do was give the city something that could live up the majesty of the pyramids. No problem.

Larry Dierker, 1973

Hofheinz first thought of the concept of an indoor sports stadium in 1952. He and his daughter were regulars at minor league games at Houston’s outdoor Buffalo Stadium. Not only did Hofheinz not like living in a minor league city, he didn’t much care for rained-out games and seventh inning stretches spent whacking away at mosquitos. Everybody told him that Houston just didn’t have the climate for big

But he stayed true to his vision and again accomplished something that the experts declared impossible. The Astrodome opened its doors in 1965, and the world’s collective jaw dropped. At the time it, was one of the most impressive architectural structures on the face of the earth. Houston was being noticed. By ’65, Hofheinz was the sole owner of the Colt .45s. He changed the name to the Astrodome, 1965

league sports. The truth is, the critics just didn’t have his vision or creativity. While today it might be hard to find a big city without a few indoor stadiums, back then Hofheinz might as well have told people he was relocating the team to Venus.

Astros to complement the space fever that was simultaneously putting Houston in the national spotlight. Houston had something at which every other great city in the world could look and marvel. And the city fell in love.

1962 Colt .45s

Craig Biggio

downtownhouston.org

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PHOTO BY KATYA HORNER

Minute Maid Train

The baseball part was still a work in progress. Throughout the 1970s, the Astros struggled on the field, but after the storm the city had weathered to get a team, Houstonians still felt as if things were coming up rainbows. So much so that the Astros actually decided to slap a rainbow on their uniforms in 1975. The ”Dreamsicle” jerseys were considered an abomination by many and appeared on many an “Ugliest Jerseys of All Time” list. But eventually the world had to admit it is one of the most spectacular designs of all time. By the 1990s, the rainbow jersey had become the throwback jersey of choice for big time rappers, stylish teenagers and thousands of other people with better taste than the pundits.

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hile the 1970s did introduce Houston to the personality of centerfielder Cesar Cedeno as well as pitcher and future manager Larry Dierker, it wasn’t until the 1980s that the organization really got cooking. The Astros entered the new decade with a new owner, John McMullen. McMullen wasted no time proving he was serious about winning. Two of his first moves were to sign the legendary Nolan Ryan and to bring back Joe Morgan, who won two World Series and MVP awards during his time with the Cincinnati. Reds. In 1980, the beloved J.R. Richard became the first Astros pitcher

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to start an All-Star game before a heart attack forced him to retire. Nonetheless, for the first time, the Astros were poised to make an impact beyond architecture and style. That same year, the Astros met the Philadelphia Phillies in a series that featured several classic pitcher duels, an infamous triple play that wasn’t and a legitimate shot for the Astros to go to the World Series for the first time in franchise history. After taking a 3-1 lead in the five-game series, The Astros dropped two in a row and fell just short. Each of the last four games of the series went into extra innings. It would not be the last time the Astros were involved in an all-time classic. In 1981, the new Astros superstars won a one-game playoff with the Los Angeles Dodgers to advance to postseason. The result was one of the most exciting playoff series in MLB history and the first of many more playoff appearances for the Astros organization In ’86, led by Cy Young winner Mike Scott and the Ryan Express, the Astros knocked on the door again. Unfortunately, they lost the NLCS to the New York Mets in six games. The Astros dropped a 15-inning heartbreaker in the final game, widely considered one of the most exciting baseball games ever played. By the 1990s, the Astros were one of the best teams in the National League. They won a franchise best 102 games in 1998 and won

Fans celebrate 2005 World Series

the division title in ’97, ’98 and ’99. Perhaps more importantly, the team forged a new identity with new owner Drayton McClane and superstars Jeff Bagwell and Craig Biggio. Bagwell and Biggio worked hard to transform the Astros into an organization that won year in and year out, and they succeeded. The Astros became the hottest ticket in town. When the team moved into their new home in 2000, the Astros instantly became one of the most popular, affordable ways for Houstonians to spend time out with family or friends. And the excitement created by the new atmosphere at the ballpark now known as Minute Maid Park, did not go unnoticed. Bagwell and Biggio eventually were joined by superstars Lance Berkman and Roy Oswalt. Houston natives Roger Clemens and Andy Pettitte defected from Yankee-land to solidify the roster, and in 2005 the Astros finally made it to the World Series. They lost, but almost 20 years after losing to the Mets, it was pretty sweet to get a whiff of the Promised Land. A lot of things are changing in the Astros organization these days. It’s been a tough few years for fans, but new owner Jim Crane is promising big changes. The team will be moving to the American League in 2013 and the organization is taking steps to make games even more accessible and fun for fans. Let’s face it. Whether they’re up or down, having a great season or not, the Astros have Houston’s heart.


What will you do with all the money you used to spend on gas?

For inFormation and construction updates Visit

We’re building new light rail lines all over town that will help you get wherever you need to go—without a trip to the gas station. As for what to do with all that extra cash in your pocket? You’ll think of something.


! p U n e h s e r F ith w s t urs b n ng i w r o p t s n ce a r D ow b em o t s tto y bere l l way o h by

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ith Houston’s temperate climate, we don’t experience spring the way others around the country do, where there’s excitement about the first crocuses pushing through the earth, and the robin’s song heralds the passing of winter’s cold. Here, our sunny days grow sunnier, and we find ourselves enjoying the outdoors before the sultry summer heat and humidity push us all indoors. But even with Houston’s version of spring, we’re drawn to the season’s promise of new beginnings. All around downtown there are new

places to shop and eat, new ways for us to look at how we connect to the environment, even new ideas on old themes. Maybe you made a New Year’s resolution to be healthier this year. Maybe you want to explore how you can eat and shop locally, showing your support for Houstonbased businesses. Maybe you decided that this was the year you’d do more in downtown. No matter what your resolutions, though, downtown is alive with the fresh, newness of spring. Read on for ways to explore our incredible, ever-changing space.


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A new approach to food Georgia's Market Downtown Houston foodies know that the flagship Georgia’s Farm to Market on I-10 is a mecca for healthy foods and nutritional needs. Now downtowners have a Georgia’s to call their own, with the opening of the market’s new spot at Main and Prairie. This is great news for downtown dwellers, workers and visitors alike. “This is a perfect example of what the idea of farm to market really means,” says Jennifer Masters, spokeswoman for Georgia’s. “The founders have always made a conscious effort to demonstrate how easy it is to offer quality foods in a sustainable manner.” Rick and Georgia Bost met years ago as graduate students at Rice University. Georgia was studying biology, specifically looking at edible strains in hibiscus. Rick was an engineer. Together, they built a farm in Waller County and raised grassfed beef that they sold to local restaurants and at farmers markets. Three years ago, they got the opportunity to buy the store on the Katy Freeway and they took it, seeing an opportunity to further showcase their commitment to local food and healthy living.

“In opening Georgia’s Farm to Market it was our goal to realize Georgia’s vision to demonstrate a fully integrated, local, sustainable agri-whole food business that sourced from our own operations and supported other local farmers and ranchers and provided local healthy food,” says Georgia’s owner Richard Bost. “Georgia’s mission and vision in starting her business 25 years ago was to ‘Harvest Health and Wellness Sustainably.’   We started with a small gardening, retail and education operation in Spring Branch, expanded to a larger demonstration organic farm and ranch west of Houston, supported the operations of a unique pastured animal meat processing facility near Bellville (the only one in the South without a detection of persistent e-coli), support and assistance to local farmers markets, and now a much larger retail business.”  In addition to offering natural, organic and healthy products of every stripe, Georgia’s is known for its buffet, featuring fresh hot and cold items. That buffet is coming downtown, where you’ll find grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs and a variety of local produce. Best of all, if you love something on the buffet, you’ll be able to buy it in the store. “And we’ll be offering a separate,

bistro-style menu at Georgia’s Downtown,” says Masters. “We want this to be a place where people can not only bring home fresh items, but can stop in for breakfast, lunch and dinner and see how wonderful local fare really is.” Georgia’s will be sourcing as much as possible from Houston-area farmers, largely within a 250-mile radius of the city. Masters says you’ll find olive oil from Hill Country producers, live culture tea from Kickin' Kombucha, and cow cheeses from Pola Cheese, the only local cheese maker working with cow’s milk. In addition, you’ll find seasonal produce from Cat Springs’ Animal Farm, a favorite at local farmers markets, and items from Country Boys Treasures, a Sugar Land producer that grows a killer squash. “All of our meats are nitrate-, hormone- and steroid-free,” says Masters. “And everything in the market will be local and organic.” Even though the idea of choosing more organic produce and working toward more sustainable food sources has become more popular lately, Bost says these were always paramount for him and his wife. “As naturalists and environmental consultants who grew up in the 1960s, participated in the first Earth Day, and


23 began our careers in the 1970s, we observed the effects of urbanization on the prime farmland around Houston, experienced the first energy crisis in the U.S, and realized the importance of integrating sustainable agricultural operations into the future of the area,” he says. “By supporting local business development, becoming more self-sufficient, we could preserve the wonders and beauty of our local natural setting for future generations.” If you’ve been thinking about what it means to embrace sustainability, Georgia’s is your one-stop shop. When you walk in, you’ll be in the café, where the menu will change depending on the season and what’s available. As a rule, though, you’ll have choices of fresh-squeezed, house-made juices; locally produced meats and breads; and the freshest produce of the season. You can hang out in the café’s mezzanine seating, where you’ll find an array of books by Houston-area authors. “This is really the spot in the market where you can kick back and chill out with a cup of coffee or something to eat,” explains Masters. Georgia’s Downtown market section shelves overflow with edibles of all kinds: bins of grains and nuts, dairy options, meats and cheeses. Downstairs, enter The Cellar, where the wine and beer bar features not only your favorites, but exceptional Texas wines, as well wines from around the world that are organic, biodynamic and vegan. Look for Southern Star Brewing Company beers and other Texas brews. “Georgia’s has always been about making a strong commitment to showing how to live and work in a sustainable manner,” says Masters. “And the downtown spot is a place where people can discover how wonderful local food can be.”It’s also a place that will take some of the mystery out of the idea of going local. You’ve heard the term locavore before, applied to someone who sources as much as he or she can from local farmers, growers and producers. At Georgia’s you can sample Houston-grown and bred items, and not only see the quality in those pieces, but also be satisfied knowing that you’re supporting Houston-area businesses. “Here, you have the opportunity to know exactly where your food is coming from,” says Masters. “And you’ll see how different beef that’s grass-fed can taste, compared to the beef you might buy at a regular super market. More than that, though, there are no secrets about how the food here is raised or grown. It’s all organic, and it’s all local.” That idea of community in food has always been a key factor in Georgia’s Market. And having a gathering space where people can connect over food is exciting to Georgia’s. Honing in on that idea, the downtown spot also will feature live bands offering the best in local performances. Downtowners no doubt will feel this is something that makes Georgia’s much more than a place to purchase food. And by combining the market with an eat-in café, where the chef and his team not only are creating an of-the-moment seasonal menu, but also take the time to explain to you what items are in a dish, it becomes easy to re-create recipes at home – buying everything you need at Georgia’s.

“If the focus on our I-10 location is about education and nutrition,” says Masters, “Downtown, we’re really all about the hyperlocal experience and showing you how you can feel you’re really part of a food community.”

This is a perfect example of what the idea of farm to market really means. And that’s really what makes Georgia’s such a different experience from other food spots. This is a place where you get fresh food that tastes great, and you’re able to see that it comes from nearby, giving you an entirely different perspective on what you’re eating and how it made its way to you. “Count on this being a different experience every time you come in,” says Masters. She says not to worry, though, if you discover a favorite. “Your grass-fed burger will always be available.” georgiasdowntown.com

Fresh from the farm City Hall Farmers Market If Georgia’s offers you a way to see how your food is grown and delivered, the City Hall Farmers Market takes that idea to new extremes. Every Wednesday, Hermann Square fills with tents and tables, each one offering something different: handmade soaps and breads, produce picked from the ground that morning, free-range chickens, farm-raised eggs. Here, you can talk to the people who grew these items and find out what that funny-looking vegetable is and what to do with it.


24 “Our market shows the importance of voting with your purse,” says Libby Kennedy, Urban Harvest’s manager for the City Hall market. “Buying here helps you support Houston-based businesses, and it’s also a way to demonstrate your own commitment to the environment.” Kennedy says one of the biggest reasons to shop at farmers markets is to be able to experience produce at the height of its freshness, to experience the difference in taste between a tomato that was plucked off the vine at its peak versus one that was picked green, packed in a truck and hauled into the grocery story from California, ripening along the way. At the City Hall market, 30-35 vendors

come weekly with their wares. The spring season for the market runs through June 27, Wednesdays from 11 a.m. – 1:30 p.m., and Kennedy says that shoppers here can experience a vibe that’s custom-tailored to downtown’s needs. “Most shoppers are here on their lunch break, so they go in, shop the market and get out all within an hour,” she says. “But you still have the uniqueness of being able to talk to a particular vendor about his or her products, learning what it is and how you can cook it.” Kennedy says her own experience with that helped her become a fan of kohlrabi, a cabbage-family plant also known as the German turnip. She says it cooks up

slightly crispy and has a little bit of a sweet edge to it, and it’s easily become one of her go-to greens. When it comes to shopping farmers markets, there are a few helpful hints:

Farmers Market Hints Bring cash. While many vendors are transition ing to take credit cards, cash is still very much the easiest currency. Because these items are at the height of their freshness , you may want to consider a cooler with some cold packs inside to keep your items cold and fresh if it will be a while before you head home; if you can store it in a fridge in your office, even better. Come with a sense of adventur e. “This isn’t like going to the grocery store,” says Kennedy. “You can’t really have a list. Because this is about what is in season and what the farmers feel is the freshest of their crop, you want to be able to see what’s here and make choices from there.”

Kennedy recommends keeping an eye out for greens, especially at the start of the market season. Many vendors will have spinach and lettuce varieties on sale. Salad greens will show strongest throughout the spring. Beginning in late February, farmers should have strawberries available, and around the end of March or the beginning of April, you should be able to purchase fresh onions. In late spring, squash and zucchini will make an appearance. Dill and fennel should arrive in April, and toward the end of the spring season, the first peaches should be in. “Many of our vendors are family farms,” Kennedy explains. “And this is an opportunity for shoppers to explore what seasonality means and have the growers talk about why this item is only available at this particular time in our region. It really helps you get rooted into the idea of local, fresh food.” urbanharvest.org


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embracing mother earth Earth Day You’ll want to mark your calendars for April 7, for the Waste Management Earth Day Festival presented by Air Alliance Houston in Discovery Green. The city’s biggest green festival, Earth Day will feature individual “zones” dedicated to air, water, sustainability, healthy living and wildlife habitats. “More than 30 ‘green’ nonprofits are taking part in the event,” says Robin Cavanaugh, the event’s spokesperson. “And we’re excited to offer this all-day event, where people can learn about reducing waste and reusing items to promote a green lifestyle.” Look for arts and crafts activities, where kids can create masterpieces from found objects, a farmers market offering the freshest fruits and vegetables of the season, even the opportunity to test-drive eco-friendly cars. Last year, nearly 13,500 people attended the event, and Cavanaugh says this year offers great opportunities to learn more about the environment and the effects we humans have on it, as well as a fantastic entertainment line-up. At press time, the day’s full itinerary was still being

ironed out, but details will be available at earthdayhouston.org. “It’s the perfect blend of information and entertainment,” says Cavanaugh. “And people can see how they can make very small changes to go green, changes that can have such a huge impact on the world around us.”

everything old made new again Discovery Green Flea One piece of living a sustainable lifestyle includes reusing and recycling items. To see that taken to its artistic extreme, head to Discovery Green on the third Saturday of every month for DG Flea, a funky flea market that focuses on found items presented with new flair. “A huge part of our mission is our commitment to sustainability and sustainability issues,” says Susanne Theis, program director at the park. “Reusing, reclaiming, recycling is all a part of that, and the artists

and vendors at our flea market embrace that completely.” An ever-changing market, DG Flea is a place where shoppers can find vintage items, as well as old items turned into new things. You might find antique glass pedestal cake dishes, artworks crafted from found objects, vintage clothing, and books and records. Held on the park’s Grace Event Lawn, DG Flea is a family event, Theis says. Kids have their own space where they can make things from recycled objects, and Theis says every flea market also features a scavenger hunt. Treasure hunters can check out Discovery Green’s website to see what the month’s featured scavenger hunt item is, and whoever finds it, gets to keep it. “It’s been such fun and such a success,” Theis says of the market. “And the vibe of it just feels exactly right for our space.” For upcoming DG Flea dates, scavenger hunt items and lists of vendors, visit the events listing at discoverygreen.com.

A huge part of our mission is our commitment to

sustainability and sustainability issues.


Neighborhood

NUANCES A curated collection of downtown’s delicious and daring

Once considered a ghost town after 5 p.m., the emergence of new retail and restaurants downtown is daring people to change their perceptions. As the largest business district in Houston, the area is flooded with people who want more than just a place to work. Downtown’s division into districts makes the sprawling, 1,178-acre space feel more accessible. Each district has a unique flavor and feeling that sets it apart from its neighbor. The vast artistic community in the Warehouse District displays an edgy beauty of the world around us. The Theater District is brimming with professional entertainment spanning all four disciplines of art. The Shopping District makes retail therapy a snap. And the Historic District reminds us of our past. While every district is packed with exciting options, we think you’ll find these four particularly enticing.

MELISSA

BY

FITZGERALD


Neighborhood

NUANCES

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favorite destination for downtowners and visitors alike, the Historic District makes you want to stay awhile. Perched on the outskirts of downtown, you’ll see quaint building facades lining the streets, each one more delightful than the next. With a high concentration of residential buildings such as Bayou Lofts, Franklin Lofts, Hogg Palace, Hermann Lofts and Post Rice Lofts, the Historic District feels like a neighborhood despite the skyscrapers just a few blocks away. The newly renovated Market Square Park serves as a center stone to all the jewels in the district. Local residents love the park for its dog run, green space, live music, movie nights, authentic Greek and American pick-up food stand Niko Niko’s, and the relaxing water feature of Lauren’s Garden. Old collides with new just across the street, where swanky new bistros nestle nicely next to cozy, historic spots – many of which have been quenching our collective thirst for more than 30 years. Keep your eyes peeled for symbols and markings embedded in the sidewalks and walls. This district can tell you its story, if you pay attention.

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Convey Select your meal from a merry-go-round conveyor belt of freshly prepared sushi. 801 Congress, 713.225.1408; conveysushi.com.

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Les Givral’s Kahve The savory bahn mi sandwiches start at $2.75, making your taste buds and your wallet jump for joy. 801 Congress, 713.547.0444; lesgivrals.com.

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La Carafe Enchanting, historic jewel believed by many to be the oldest bar in Houston – long on charm, ambience and the aroma of incense. 813 Congress, 713.229.9399.

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Hearsay Hidden items and architectural details in the bricks serve as symbols to the past. Look for hearts, clocks and anatomy. Your waiter can tell tales while you enjoy rosemary Parmesan fries that will change your life. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079; hearsayhouston.com.

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Gallery Two1Four A new, very cool gallery space with rotating exhibits. From March 16-April 21, enjoy Harlow Tighe’s Gunplay. 214 Travis, Suite A, 713.227.1263; gallery214.com.

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Heritage Texas Properties Looking to make downtown your home? Call these folks. 214 Travis, 713.227.5406; heritagetexas.com.

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Market Square Park More than one City Hall has called this recently renovated neighborhood park home over the years. Now home to Houston fave Niko Niko’s. 301 Milam; marketsquarepark.com. spring 2012

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La Carafe Market Square Park

Gallery Two1Four

Kitchen Incubator/Cafe Luz


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Kitchen Incubator/Cafe Luz One part commercial kitchen, one part delicious café with mouthwatering pastries and a gourmet coffee bar. 907 Franklin #150, 713.581.0609; kitchenincubator.com.

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Brewery Tap Friendly service, beer on-tap and ghosts lurking in the corners. Bring your proton pack. 717 Franklin, 713.237.1537.

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Allen’s Landing/Pontoon Boat Rides Visit the place where Houston began. Historic cruises down Buffalo Bayou depart several times a month from this spot. 1001 Commerce, 713.752.0314; buffalobayou.org.

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Line & Lariat at Hotel Icon Formerly known as VOICE, this lobby restaurant has re-emerged with a modern menu that gives diners a little taste of Texas. 220 Main, 832.667.4470; hotelicon.com.

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Char Bar Family-owned and -operated joint where everybody knows your name. Regulars come for their specialty martinis and full tailor shop. 305 Travis, 713.222.8177.

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Warren’s Inn Saloon-style atmosphere with swinging doors and a reputation for serving the stiffest drinks in town. 307 Travis, 713.247.9207.

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Treebeards Enjoy rotating specials of fresh, Southernstyle food. Happily, their signature melt-inyour-mouth butter bars are a constant every day of the week. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622; treebeards.com.

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Frank’s Pizza Home of the late-night slice – open ‘til 3 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656; frankspizza.com.

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The State Bar Upscale historic lounge complete with a grand veranda and a killer view of the downtown skyline. 909 Texas, #2A, 713.229.8888; thestatebar.com.

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Sambuca Urban professionals know this is one of the best happy hours in town. Tested and approved: half-priced goat cheese, stuffed artichokes and a Pomtini. 909 Texas, 713.224.5299; sambucarestaurant.com.

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Market Square Bar & Grill A New Orleans-meets-Texas-style spot founded on the philosophy that it’s every Texan’s right to hold a burger in one hand and a beer in the other. 311 Travis, 713.224.6133; marketsquaregrill.com.

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Minuti Coffee Biospresso – a frappe-style drink with yogurt instead of milk and a double shot of espresso. Yum. 909 Texas; 713.226.7500.

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Shay McElroy’s An authentic Irish pub – lush furniture, witty conversation and a good pint of Guinness. 909 Texas, Suite A, 713.223.2444; mcelroyspub.com.

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McCoy’s Cigar Shop A boutique cigar shop carrying hundreds

of brands from the commonplace to the hard-to-find. The increasingly rare option of smoking indoors is A-OK in this establishment. 525 Main, 713.222.1700; mccoysfinecigars.com.

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Georgia’s Market A passionate commitment to sustainability is the heartbeat of this new market and restaurant. Ask about their line of hibiscus-infused products, including fizzy sodas and sweet salad dressings. 420 Main, 713.225.0990; georgiasdowntown.com. downtownhouston.org

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Oxheart Justin Yu and Karen Man’s highly anticipated new restaurant will be serving up modernAmerican fare with regional roots. Four- or seven-course menu options change almost daily. BYOV (bring your own vinyl) to set the soundtrack for your meal. Opening some-

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Los Muertos Tattoo Studio Art gallery and tattoo studio where every inked design is custom drawn on the spot by the artists. Come with a vision and they’ll bring it to life. 1310 Nance, Unit B, 713.228.3399.

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FotoFest The FotoFest Biennial is the largest and longest-running photography festival in the United States. The focus of the 2012 fest – contemporary Russian photography. The event runs March 16 - April 29 in locations throughout downtown and beyond. 1113 Vine St., 713.223.5522; fotofest.org.

m Gallery Born out of desire to keep the artistic vibe of the neighborhood, m Architects created this gallery space for unknown, up-andcoming local artists to display their work free of fees or commissions. 1206 Nance, 713.227.0070; m-architects.com.

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DiverseWorks Multi-disciplinary contemporary art gallery and performance space offering financial support to turns artists’ dreams into reality. 1117 East Fwy, 713.223.8346; diverseworks.org.

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Saint Arnold Brewing Co. Hop this way for $7 brewery tours Monday through Saturday – admission includes an official Saint Arnold souvenir glass and a guaranteed good time. 2000 Lyons, 713.686.9494; saintarnold.com.

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rt is alive and thriving in this funky, eclectic part of downtown. Once purely industrial buildings, converted warehouses now serve as lofts, restaurants, offices, art studios and galleries. It’s not surprising to find every inch of unused space is eventually repurposed to serve a greater artistic good. When m Architects opened their office, they realized the large space exceeded their needs and converted the extra square footage to support local artists in the form of a gallery. Large scale, collaborative art events like ArtCrawl and FotoFest Biennial were born in this district and create a wonderful sense of community throughout. You’ll also find downtown’s original loft living with the Dakota Lofts set amongst artists’ studios. Art lovers come hither; this district is the place for you.

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time in the spring…we can’t wait! 1302 Nance, 832.978.0352; oxhearthouston.com.

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Last Concert Cafe Mexican café serving up live music nightly, plus Monday’s longest happy hour from 5 p.m. - 2 a.m. Hula-hoops optional. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563; lastconcert.com.

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Hardy & Nance Studios Resident artists invite an audience to watch them paint, sculpt, sew and create every third Saturday of the month. 902 Hardy, 713.225.1806; hardystreetstudios.blogspot.com.

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Mother Dog Studios Home base for the annual ArtCrawl – a one-day open house for hundreds of artists to display and sell their masterpieces. 720 Walnut, 713.229.9760; motherdogstudios.com.


Oxheart

Los Muertos Tattoo Studio

Last Concert Cafe

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Shops at Houston Center Bustling multi-level food court-style lunch hot spot with banking, pharmacy and retail options that turn lunch into a one-stop shopping experience. Sit-down restaurants line street level – Massa’s Seafood Grill, Tejas Grill and Strip House each offer unique dining experiences. 1200 McKinney, 713.759.1442; shopsathc.com. Phoenicia Specialty Foods This new full-service grocery store offers a scrumptious melting pot of international goods, or pop through the deli line for their signature chicken shawarma sandwich to go. 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222; phoeniciafoods.com. MKT Bar Enjoy their can’t-beat combo of beers on tap, select wines, tasty menu items, energy-pumping coffees and creamy gelato. Plus live music! 1001 Austin, 832.360.2222; phoeniciafoods.com. Discovery Green Free live music, exercise classes, kid-friendly workshops and movies are just a few of the delights that await you at this urban green space. 1500 McKinney, 713.400.7336; discoverygreen.com. The Grove Discovery Green’s fine dining eatery with leafy surroundings and fancy fare. 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321; thegrovehouston.com.

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downtown

The Grove La Branch

ive music junkies and counting-down-theminutes-to-lunch professionals gravitate to this area for its entertainment venues and vast variety of eateries. There’s a restaurant for everyone in the expansive Houston Pavilions, where even the pickiest of office mates can find a dish that will strike their fancy. Discovery Green offers daily programming ranging from live music lunches to Zumba. Downtown’s largest grocery store and capital of yum, Phoenicia Specialty Foods, sits at the base of luxury high-rise, One Park Place, making grocery shopping a breeze for OPP tenants and other downtown dwellers. Shopping is its first name, but this district has so much more to offer.

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Toyota Center This shape-shifting arena serves as home base to the Houston Rockets and Houston Aeros. You also can catch a variety of touring entertainment acts ranging from Lady Gaga to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. 1510 Polk, 713.758.7200; houstontoyotacenter.com.

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Root Memorial Square A public basketball court and supersized ornate lanterns breathed new life into this memorial space in 2005. 1400 Clay, 713.629.3700; houstonfirsttheaters.com.

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Four Seasons Hotel Spa Pamper yourself with their 100 percent vegan nail care line. A manicure will only set you back $30 and mention this article for a free paraffin wax treatment upgrade. 1300 Lamar, 713.650.1300; fourseasons.com/houston.


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Reserve 101 International selection of more than 250 specialty whiskeys. The newly expanded space offers comfy leather chairs perfect for a post-work meeting or happy hour wind down. 1201 Caroline, 713.655.7101; reserve101.com. The Dirt Bar No nonsense rock ‘n’ roll bar, popular with the late-night crowd and touring musicians. Celeb sightings range from hard-core metal bands to pop princesses. 1209 Caroline, 713.651.3988; dirtbar.com. Tipping Point Hip, sneaker lifestyle store offering the latest in art, accessories and apparel selected to celebrate the creativity and individuality in each of us. 1212 Main, 713.655.0443; thetippingpointstore.com. Macy’s Downtown’s largest retail department store saves you a trip to the Galleria. Known for a great woman’s suit department and killer

shoe sales. 1110 Main, 713.405.7035; macys.com.

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Main Street Square Flanked by two METRORail stations, passers-by enjoy dancing water jet fountains and zipping trains amidst a garden of flowering plants and trees. 1000 Main.

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Bombay Pizza Co. Artisan Indian inspired pizzas with a dash of curry and spice. Specialty pies like the Slumdog Millionaire keep this spot lively from open to close. 914 Main, 713.654.4444; bombaypizzaco.com.

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Morton’s Delicious steakhouse and multi-function event space. Office parties, weddings, rehearsal dinners and mitzvahs (both bar and bat) are all regular occurrences. 1001 McKinney, 713.659.3700; mortons.com

The Tipping Point

The Dirt Bar

Bombay Pizza Co.

Reserve 101

Discovery Green

11 Houston Pavilions The completion of the Houston Pavilions in 2008 gave fresh meaning to downtown’s Shopping District. This premier dining, entertainment, retail and office space is three levels high and spans three city blocks. Finding a lunch spot is a breeze with restaurant options representing a multitude of genres. Crowd favorites are Guadalajara del Centro, Mia Bella Trattoria, YAO Restaurant, III Forks, McCormick and Schmick’s and more. If you’re in the mood for a little sass, the flamenco dancers performing every Thursday night at Andalucia Tapas Restaurant and Bar never fail to amaze. Notable entertainment stops include House of Blues, Pete’s Dueling Piano Bar and Lucky Strike Lanes. Fashionistas look no further than designer dress and clothing boutique, BCBGMAXAZRIA and hip, budget-friendly, XXI Forever. Want to expand your mind as well as your wardrobe? Head next door to Books-A-Million for two massive levels of books spanning a wide variety of titles and authors. 1201 Fannin, 832.320.1201; houstonpavilions.com.

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Hobby Center for the Performing Arts Home base for Gexa Energy Broadway at the Hobby Center, Theatre Under The Stars and Uniquely Houston. Performances from these groups and many others can be seen on two stages, Sarofim or Zilkha Hall. Fine dining Cordua restaurant, Artista, sits just inside. Lexus drivers valet for free. 800 Bagby, 713.315.2400; thehobbycenter.org.

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Artista Their prime location inside Hobby Center makes this a quick, convenient and scrumptious place for pre-theater drinks or dinner. 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782; cordua.com. Sundance Cinemas Boasts reserved seating with adjoining tables that encourage guests to enjoy bites and brews from the Sundance Bar while

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his district is the height of class, sophistication and any other word one would associate with a night at the theater. Downtown’s premier theater venues, Alley Theatre, Jones Hall and Wortham Theater Center, all sit within a block of one another with the Hobby Center for the Performing Arts located just a hop, skip and a jump away. Local favorite, Perbacco, consistently delivers tasty Italian dishes with quick service, leaving you confident you won’t miss the curtain call. An abundance of parks, fountains and bayou trails coaxes passers-by to ditch their high heels (or penny loafers) and strap on some running shoes. A day of exercise or a night of fancy frivolity can both be achieved here.

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viewing their film of choice. 510 Texas, 713.223.3456; sundancecinemas.com.

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Samba Grille Centrally perched between downtown’s four major theater venues, this Brazilian-inspired hot spot is perfect for a pre-show cocktail and appetizer. You will die over their complimentary cheesy rolls. We promise you can’t eat just one! 530 Texas, 713.343.1180; sambagrillehouston.com.


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Live! At Bayou Place Downtown playground featuring good food, good drinks and overall merriment from establishments including PBR Houston, Lucie’s Liquors, Shark Bar and Chapel Spirits. 534 Texas; bayouplace.com.

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Lancaster Hotel Sip your way through five atmospheric bars and hear tales of ghosts, murder and suicide – Houston’s Historic Pub Crawl begins here. 701 Texas, 713.228.9500; thelancaster.com.

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Perbacco Serving a variety of inventive Italian dishes, this spot is popular with the lunch crowd and theater crowd alike. Delicioso! 700 Milam, 713.224.2422.

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Alley Theatre Home to one of the country’s oldest resident theater companies, the Alley houses two stages with productions ranging from the classics to the rediscovered and rarely performed. 615 Texas, 713.220.5700; alleytheatre.org.

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Jones Hall Red velvet seats and grand tier seating let you know you’re in for a majestic night at the theater. View regularly scheduled performances from the Houston Symphony and Society for the Performing Arts, among many others. 615 Louisiana, 713.227.3974; houstonfirsttheaters.com.

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Wortham Theater Center A grand lobby and endlessly high ceilings welcome guests to performances on one of two stages. Performances from Da Camera of Houston, Houston Ballet, Houston Grand Opera, Society for the Performing Arts and countless others can be seen here. 501 Texas, 713.237.1439; houstonfirsttheaters.com.

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Bayou Trails The beautiful natural setting and paved track make these trails ideal for joggers and bikers who prefer the great outdoors to the gym. 713.752.0314; buffalobayou.org.

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Downtown Aquarium Dine under the sea in this 500,000-gallon aquatic restaurant/wonderland. Highlights such as the shark voyage, white tiger exhibit and 100-foot-tall Ferris wheel make this a popular destination for kids and adults. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474; aquariumrestaurants.com.

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Sesquicentennial Park/Bush & Baker Monuments The sculpted, friendly face of George H. W. Bush looks out over this lovely green space created in commemoration of Houston’s 150th birthday. Just across the bayou stands George’s longtime colleague and friend James A. Baker. 400 Texas, 713.250.3666; sesquicentennialpark.org.

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Houston Ballet Center for Dance Pliés and pretty people abound inside the Houston Ballet’s new stateof-the-art dance facility connected via skywalk to the Wortham Theater Center. Whether novice or professional, tap into your inner dancer with adult ballet classes starting at $15 each. 601 Preston, 713.227.2787; houstonballet.org.

Sundance Cinemas

Perbacco

Bush Monument

Samba Grille

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Check Out The Shops While You Get a Checkup. Kelsey-Seybold Clinic is Downtown at The Shops. If you’re one of the 150,000 people that live or work in downtown Houston, getting a checkup has never been easier. At Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Downtown at The Shops, you’ll find more doctors, more diagnostic services and more convenience. More Doctors

You’ll find specialists in Cardiology, Chiropractic Medicine, Dermatology, Family Medicine, OB/GYN, Occupational Medicine, Orthopedics – Sports Medicine, Podiatry, Pulmonary Medicine, Rheumatology and Travel Medicine.

More Convenience

Kelsey’s Downtown Pharmacy is just steps away. Pick up your prescription before you leave or have it mailed to your home. And when you sign up for MyKelseyOnline, you can email your doctor’s office, get test results, schedule appointments and more.

More Diagnostic Services

A full range of lab and imaging services is available onsite, including digital mammography, bone density tests, ultrasound and X-ray.

For quality medical care close by, look to Your Doctors for Life Downtown at Kelsey-Seybold Clinic – Downtown at The Shops.

Downtown at The Shops at Houston Center 1200 McKinney, Level 4 (above the Food Court)

24-Hour Appointment Scheduling: 713-442-0000 kelsey-seybold.com/downtown Follow us, watch us, like us

ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS and 50 HEALTH PLANS


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your way around Downtown

Our new web portal connects you to the center of Houston. See you there. LOOK FOR US on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and DTTV.

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Today. Tomorrow. next Friday. It’s never too late - or early - to make a plan. Our calendar is just the tool for the job.

Explore DOWNTOWN. Use the Guide section to discover everything from food and entertainment to parks, education, fitness, shopping and more.


Edited by

SPRING

Angie Bertinot

datebook Performing Arts 40 : Festivals & Special Events 43 : Market Square Park 44 : Discovery Green 45

2012

and more

Industry darlings, Florence and the Machine, are heading to Verizon Wireless Theater for a show-stopping performance on May 2. livenation.com downtownhouston.org

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datebook THE SEAGULL Feb 3-Mar 4 Chekhov created one of the enduring masterpieces of the world in his 1895 play describing the romantic entanglements of a group of actors, writers and artists gathered on a Russian estate. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org CINDERELLA Feb 23-Mar 4 The story has been a favorite for generations but make no mistake, this is not your childhood Cinderella. More tomboy than princess, Stanton Welch’s title character is a striking woman of substance, determination and spunk. Tickets $18-$175. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET Feb 28-Mar 4 Million Dollar Quartet is the smash hit Broadway musical inspired by the true story of the famed recording session that brought together rock ‘n’ roll icons Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Carl Perkins for the only time. Tickets $34.80-$87.30. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org THE SOUND OF MUSIC Mar 1-4 From the foothills of the Austrian Alps to the Zilkha Hall Stage, this musical will be a treat the entire family will enjoy as the talented cast and crew of Second Baptist School tell the heartwarming, true-life story of the von Trapp family. Tickets $20-$28. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org STUDIO SHOWCASE Mar 2 The annual Houston Grand Opera Studio Showcase, directed by the legendary John Cox and hosted by HGO artistic and music director Patrick Summers, shines a spotlight on HGO studio artists in scenes and selections representing the range of operatic repertoire. Tickets $12.25-$30. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org ALVIN AILEY AMERICAN DANCE THEATER Mar 2-4 Known internationally as one of the most acclaimed ambassadors of American culture, Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater promotes dance as a medium for honoring the past, celebrating the present and fearlessly reaching into the future by exploring the uniqueness of black cultural expressions. Tickets $35$90. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org RED Mar 2-25 Master abstract expressionist Mark Rothko has just landed the biggest commission in the history of modern art. In the two fascinating years that follow, Rothko works feverishly on the murals with his young assistant Ken. But when Ken gains the confidence to challenge him, Rothko faces the agonizing possibility that his crowning achievement could also become his undoing. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org DEBUSSY’S PARIS Mar 3 Rediscover Debussy’s music in the context of older and younger friends and colleagues. We hear Chausson’s passionately romantic Concerto and the younger Caplet’s Fantastic Tale, inspired by an Edgar Allen Poe story. Debussy’s Sonata for Violin and Piano remains one of the masterpieces of the repertoire. Tickets $28-$55. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Mar 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. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. Noon. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com EARTH, WIND & FIRE Mar 8 You’ve heard the legendary Earth, Wind & Fire, but you’ve never heard them like this. The power of

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your Houston Symphony will add a new twist to Let’s Groove, Boogie Wonderland and After the Love Has Gone. Tickets $29-$123. Jones Hall. 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org ROCK, ROLL & TUTUS Mar 8-18 Christopher Bruce’s Rooster is still rocking audiences around the world. It’s a fast-paced romp of machismo and nostalgia set to eight classic tracks by The Rolling Stones. Also on the program are a Stanton Welch world premiere choreographed to highlight the talents of Houston Ballet dancers and Divergence. Tickets $18$175. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org LA RESURREZIONE Mar 9 An operatic telling of the Resurrection story by the young George Frederic Handel, with vocal fireworks and beautiful melodies in abundance. Tickets $31.25-$41.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 7:30 pm. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org BOWFIRE! Mar 9-11 Bowfire’s all-star lineup of virtuosic fiddlers delivers a mix of Celtic, rock, bluegrass, Texas-swing, and the Houston Symphony’s classical music. Add in beautiful vocals, electric step and tap dancing, lights, costumes, and sets, and you’ve got one fast-paced spectacle for the senses. Tickets $25-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

ANNIE Mar 20-Apr 1 Presented by Theatre Under the Stars, the popular comic strip heroine takes center stage in one of the world’s best-loved musicals. Annie is a spunky Depression-era orphan determined to find her parents, who abandoned her years ago on the doorstep of a New York City orphanage run by the cruel, embittered Miss Hannigan. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. tuts.com ANTHONY BARRILLA: APOCALYPSE TOWN Mar 22-24 DiverseWorks presents the world premiere of Anthony Barilla’s Apocalypse Town, a monologue and concert for one person who reinterprets music from his part-time home Mitrovica, Kosovo and blends it with his own Texan musical identity, video and a theatrical monologue. Tickets $20-10. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org MOZART’S A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC Mar 22-25 Delight in Mozart’s most graceful work. A Little Night Music will lighten your heart and fill your evening with joy. Tickets $25-$123. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224-7575. houstonsymphony.org CLAD IN PLAID: AN EVENING OF SCOTTISH MUSIC Mar 23 St. Thomas’ Episcopal Scottish Arts Program presents Clad in Plaid. The five-time, world champion pipe band and internationally recognized highland dancers bring the sprit of Scotland and the music of the British Isles to life in their one-night-only performance. Tickets $20-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 7:30 pm. 713.222.5400. explorehouston.org/ticketing

SYMPHONY UNDER THE SEA Mar 10 Take a dip into wet and watery music, featuring Disney’s beloved theme to The Little Mermaid. Continue our under-the-sea voyage with Debussy’s La Mer and Rimsky-Korsakov’s Scheherazade. Fish created by local child artists will help set this concert firmly under the sea. Tickets $12-$22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org JOHN WATERS: THIS FILTHY WORLD: FILTHIER AND DIRTIER Mar 14 This one-night-only show features John Waters in his one-man vaudeville act celebrating his early artistic influences and his fascination with true crime, exploitation films, fashion lunacy and the extremes of the contemporary art world. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org TCHAIKOVSKY COMPETITION WINNER: ITAMAR ZORMAN, VIOLIN Mar 14 Having just won the 2011 International Tchaikovsky Competition for Violin last summer, Israeli-born and Juilliard-trained violinist Itamar Zorman performs a program with great breadth and depth, including Messiaen’s Theme and Variations and Schumann’s Violin Sonata No. 1 in A minor, Op. 103. Tickets $25-$35. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 7:30 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SPOKFREVO ORQUESTRA Mar 16 In Brazil, the frevo is one of the most exciting and consuming dance rhythms. The 18-piece Spokfrevo Orquestra will make its Houston debut performing enhanced traditional frevos with new arrangements that leave space for jazzy solos and improvisations. Tickets $30-$60. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org PETRENKO CONDUCTS PROKOFIEV Mar 16-18 Winner of the Fourth Prokofiev Conducting Competition, Petrenko has already reached stardom in the classical music world. Hear him conduct Prokofiev’s Fifth Symphony. Tickets $25-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org DEE DEE BRIDGEWATER Mar 17 This Houston favorite has risen to the top tier of today’s jazz vocalists, putting her own unique spin on standards as well as taking intrepid leaps of faith in re-envisioning jazz classics. Tickets $33-$60. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com

Claire M cAdams

PERFORMING ARTS >


$25-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

lili foberg

DON CARLOS Apr 13-28 King Phillippe II of Spain dissolves the engagement of Don Carlos, his son, and Elisabeth de Valois by marrying the French princess himself. Verdi’s ensuing drama pits father against son, crown against church and conscience against loyalty. Tickets $38-$288. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org CELTIC WOMAN Apr 16 Global music phenomenon Celtic Woman announce their breathtaking brand new live show, Believe. Tickets $37-$86. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 7:30 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org SHATNER’S WORLD: WE JUST LIVE IN IT… Mar 23 Go where no man has gone before. Television and movie star William Shatner will take audiences on a voyage through his life and career, from Shakespearean stage actor, to internationally known icon and raconteur, known as much for his unique persona, as for his expansive body of work. Tickets $51-$301. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org BRANFORD MARSALIS & JOEY CALDERAZZO DUO Mar 23 Nine-time Grammy Award-winning saxophonist Branford Marsalis and pianist Joey Calderazzo have mesmerized audiences with their passionate and profound collaboration since they took the stage together at the Newport Jazz Festival in 2009. Tickets $35. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 8 pm. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org DON’T ASK DON’T TELL: COMING OUT UNDER FIRE Mar 24 Proudly serving in silence, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and allied soldiers are stepping out of the closet and into a war zone of their own. Join us as we explore this often-controversial topic through inspirational music and story. Tickets $30-$50. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 7:30 pm. 713.521.7464. bayoucityperformingarts.org FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE Mar 24 Join the Apollo Chamber Players for a concert program featuring the Russian heavyweights of the 19th and 20th centuries. Shostakovich’s stirring and folkinfused Piano Trio No. 2 in E Minor will be featured and Tchaikovsky’s famed Souvenir de Florence string sextet will provide a rousing finale to an evening of Russian reverence. Tickets $26.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 8 pm. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org THE VIRTUOSO VIOLIN Mar 30 Superstar Baroque violinist Monica Huggett joins Mercury Baroque for the first time, showcasing a diverse repertoire of works by Leclair, Locatelli, Van Wassenaer and Vivaldi. Tickets $22-$59. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org

Tickets $25-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.575. houstonsymphony.org THE SEAFARER Apr 6-29 It’s Christmas Eve and Sharky has returned to Dublin to look after his irascible, aging brother who’s recently gone blind. Old drinking buddies Ivan and Nicky are holed up at the house too, hoping to play some cards. But with the arrival of a stranger from the distant past, the stakes are raised. Tickets start at $25. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org COME FLY AWAY Apr 10-15 As 14 of the world’s best dancers tell the story of four couples falling in and out of love, you will experience the exhilaration of a first kiss, the excitement of a first dance, and the bittersweet moments of a first good-bye in a world of sparkling romance and astonishing beauty. Tickets $34.80-$76.05. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org TIA FULLER QUARTET Apr 13 After touring the world with pop/R&B star Beyoncé, alto saxophonist Tia Fuller recorded her breakthrough CD, Decisive Steps. An accomplished composer and electrifying live performer; Tia Fuller is a true rising star in jazz. Tickets $33-$60. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com PETROUCHKA & BEETHOVEN Apr 13-15 San Francisco Classical Voice says “HerasCasado is the real deal. With the young Simon Rattle’s curly hair, searing intensity, benign smile, and clear communication with the orchestra, Granada-born Heras-Casado is truly a conductor beyond convenient pigeonholes, with an enormous repertoire.” Tickets

MARCEL KHALIFE AND AL MAYADINE ENSEMBLE Apr 20 Marcel Khalifé, Lebanese master of the oud (Arabic lute), evokes this world, honoring the spirit of his late friend and associate Mahmoud Darwish, a strikingly original Palestinian poet whose poetry has been translated to more than 25 languages worldwide. Tickets $37-$92. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org HOUSTON BALLET ACADEMY SPRING SHOWCASE Apr 20-21 The students of today are the stars of tomorrow. Sneak a peek at the future of the company as the gifted young artists of Houston Ballet’s professional training school dance pieces created especially for them. Tickets $25-$48. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227. ARTS. houstonballet.org MARY STUART Apr 21-May 4 Elizabeth has imprisoned Mary, suspecting her of treason, but the Duke of Leicester, her advisor and Mary’s lover, convinces the queen to meet her cousin; tempers soon surface and rage out of control. Mary, condemned to death, faces her demise with great dignity. Tickets $38-$288. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.228.6737. houstongrandopera.org LA CAGE AUX FOLLES Apr 24-May 6 Presented by Theatre Under the Stars, La Cage tells the story of Georges, the owner of a swanky and sexy Saint-Tropez nightclub, and his partner Albin, who moonlights as the glamorous drag queen songstress Zaza. Tickets start at $24. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. tuts.com CATALYST QUARTET Apr 25 The Catalyst Quartet is comprised of top laureates and alumni of the internationally acclaimed Sphinx Competition for young black and Latino string players. The mission of the ensemble is to advance diversity in classical music and inspire new and young audiences.

NEIL BERG’S 100 YEARS OF BROADWAY

HAHN & ENIGMA VARIATIONS Mar 30-Apr 1 Hilary Hahn appears regularly with the world’s elite orchestras and on the most prestigious recital series in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North and South America. Tickets $25-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

Apr 21 Neil Berg’s widely acclaimed musical review, 100 Years of Broadway, shines

CROSSINGS Mar 31 Musiqa presents a collaborative concert with Music From Copland House and Aurora Picture Show. Tickets $20-$40. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 7:30pm. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

the spotlight on some of the finest theatrical moments from the greatest musicals of the century. Featuring five of

A LITTLE DAY MUSIC Apr 4 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. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles presented this season. Free. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. Noon. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com MUSIC OF JOHN DENVER Apr 5-7 As Houston Symphony plays the original orchestrations, acclaimed John Denver tribute artist Jim Curry takes you back to the time when Rocky Mountain High, Take Me Home: Country Roads, Annie’s Song and Leaving On a Jet Plane topped the charts.

Broadway’s finest stars, these performers light up the stage, singing songs from the hit musicals they starred in and other well-known Broadway shows. Tickets $30-$60. Jones Performing Arts

Hall, 615 Louisiana. 8 pm. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org

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datebook Tickets $25-$35. 7:30 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org

presented this season. Free. Wortham Center. 501 Texas. Noon. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com

GREAT AMERICAN SONGBOOK Apr 27-29 Cole Porter, the great American songsmith, was equally celebrated on Broadway, in Tin Pan Alley and writing for the big screen. Hear your Houston Symphony and renowned vocalists perform Porter’s unforgettable music, such as Night and Day and I Get a Kick Out of You. Tickets $25-$122. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

TWO FACES OF SHOSTAKOVICH May 3-4 Shostakovich struggled with various political regimes his entire life, falling in and out of favor many times. In the Rayok, hear Shostakovich railing against his oppressors with biting sarcasm. The 11th Symphony represents the politically accepted Shostakovich, yet still full of searing, powerful commentary. Tickets $25-$116. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

SIGNATURE WORKS Apr 28 Houston Metropolitan Dance presents works by signature choreographers. Tickets $15-$45. 8 pm. Wortham Center, 501 Texas Ave. 713.222.5400. explorehouston.org/ticketing MUSIC OF BASEBALL Apr 28 Your Houston Symphony slides into home as we finish the season with the best music from the ballpark. Houston Astros’ announcer and Hall of Fame Awardee Milo Hamilton will narrate Casey at the Bat. Hear this line-up made up of all-stars. Tickets $12-$22. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org A LITTLE DAY MUSIC May 2 A Little Day Music concerts fulfill an important aspect of Da Camera’s mission to develop the audience for chamber music and jazz by making it accessible to everyone and part of everyday life. Bring your lunch and enjoy the wide variety of artists and ensembles

SPRING MIXED REP May 3-5 A program featuring the world premiere of Dominic Walsh Dance Theater’s work about the life of Camille Claudel; Walsh’s The Itch; a reprise of Swedish choreographer Mats Ek’s witty Pas de Dans; the White Swan pas de deux from Matthew Bourne’s Tony awardwinning Swan Lake; and an unforgettable interpretation of Walsh’s The Dying Swan by one of this city’s most celebrated ballerinas. Tickets $25-$52. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org RITES OF SPRING May 5 The remarkably inventive trio The Bad Plus takes on the explosive Stravinsky masterpiece that set the music world reeling in 1913, rescoring The Rite of Spring for piano, bass and drums. Da Camera pays a final tribute to Claude Debussy in his 150th year with the glorious Rhapsody. Tickets $28-$55. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 8 pm. 713.524.5050. dacamera.com

CORELLA BALLET May 5 Corella, along with his company of 45, will bring a stunning program to Houston that will include String Sextet, Corella’s first choreographic work set to Tchaikovsky’s Souvenir from Florence; Solea, a pas de deaux for Corella and his sister Carmen; and Christopher Wheeldon’s DGV. Tickets $30-$50. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.227.4SPA. spahouston.org BRAHMS’ REQUIEM May 6 Composed of physicians, dentists, nurses, medical students, biomedical scientists, social workers, and other allied health professionals, this orchestra plays with passion and reveals the surprisingly strong link between careers in the medical professions and musical talent. Tickets $20-$40. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.222.5400. explorehouston.org/ticketing NOW YOU HAS JAZZ May 10 The culmination of an after-school musicalarts enrichment program, Now You Has Jazz shines the spotlight on elementary, middle and high school students who apply their learned skills to a jazz-themed ensemble performance. All proceeds of ticket sales benefit the Music Doing Good in Schools outreach program, Musical Instrument Aid and Scholarship Fund. Tickets start at $15. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org HEROIC BEETHOVEN May 11 Join Mercury Baroque for a riveting season finale. Originally dedicated to Napoleon Bonaparte, Beethoven’s Eroica Symphony and his masterful 2nd Symphony will be performed on period-accurate instruments for the first time in Houston. Tickets $22-$59. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.533.0080. mercurybaroque.org HOUSTON HOMEGROWN May 11 Music Doing Good presents Houston’s Homegrown Jazz, showcasing the brightest local jazz stars as well as welcoming home Houston artists who have gained notoriety both nationally and internationally. All proceeds of ticket sales benefit the Music Doing Good in Schools outreach program, Musical Instrument Aid and Scholarship Fund. Tickets start at $25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org

Performing Arts

TOTALLY MOZART May 11-13 In this delightfully all-Mozart evening led by Hans Graf, experience a musical ride from Paris to Prague. Hear two awe-inspiring concert arias with internationally acclaimed coloratura, soprano Albina Shagimuratova. It’s totally Mozart! Tickets $25-$123. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org WHAT WE’RE UP AGAINST May 11-Jun 10 “They told me it wasn’t like this anymore. Why is it still like this?” bemoans Eliza, a female architect, as she slams into the firm’s glass ceiling yet again in this brilliant black comedy. Theresa Rebeck returns to the Alley after the hugely successful Mauritius, Bad Dates and The Scene. Tickets start at $24. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.220.5700. alleytheatre.org

Michael lamont

CARMINA BURANA May 17-20 By popular demand, the Houston Symphony will close its season with Carmina Burana, a giant of the classical repertoire. The theme O Fortuna from the cantata has become a staple in popular culture wherever there’s need for drama. Tickets $35-$135. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

WISHFUL DRINKING May 15-20 The daughter of Eddie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher became a cultural icon in her own right at the age of 19, when she starred as Princess Leia in the Star Wars trilogy. In Wishful Drinking, she tells the true and intoxicating tale of her life as a Hollywood legend. Tickets $27.35-$67.75. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 800.745.3000. thehobbycenter.org

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THE CIVIL WAR May 18-27 Drawing on letters, diaries, firsthand accounts, and the words of Abraham Lincoln, Frederick Douglass and Walt Whitman, Masquerade Theatre’s The Civil War is a thrilling, gut-wrenching and awe-inspiring show that pays homage to the epic landscape of the most difficult and important test of our nation. Tickets start at $36.25-$66.25. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby. 713.315.2525. thehobbycenter.org STEPHAN KOPLOWITZ: NATURAL ACTS/ARTIFICIAL WATER May 19-20 Internationally acclaimed choreographer and media artist Stephan Koplowitz returns to Houston after his 2000 site specific work that opened Rice University’s Humanities Building. DiverseWorks presents Koplowitz’s newest work that enlists an entirely Houston-based cast of dancers to explore the public space, the body and water. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org.


2011

HOUSTON PUBLIC LIBRARY Spring Calendar

AN AFTERNOON WITH MARK TWAIN Mar 10 Called the father of the modern American novel, this one-man show captures Twain’s character and takes the audience down both familiar and new paths. 2 pm. PUBLIC POETRY READING Apr 7, May 5 The Houston Public Library and Public Poetry have partnered to bring the community a poetry reading series the first Saturday of each month throughout 2012. The series features local and visiting poets. 2 pm. 3RD ANNUAL CHILDREN’S BOOK CELEBRATION SATURDAY May 5 Presenting Tom Angleberger, author of the popular children’s books The Strange Case of Origami Yoda and Darth Paper Strikes Back. The program also includes a fun-filled, jampacked schedule of performances and multi-sensory activities children will enjoy.

STRESS RELIEF & RELAXATION SERIES Mondays in Mar, Apr and May Unwind with this handson series. Wear comfortable clothes that allow for easy movement. Yoga mats will be provided. Noon-1 pm. STRESS-BUSTER YOGA Tuesdays in Mar, Apr and May Learn ways to de-stress and relieve muscle strain. Wear comfortable clothes that allow for easy movement. Yoga mats will be provided. 1-2 pm. LAUGHTER YOGA Wednesdays in Mar, Apr and May Its bodymind movement exercises are based on the science of breathing. And it’s fun to do. No exercise clothing is needed. Noon-1 pm. REGGIE’S WORKOUT Tuesdays and Saturdays in Mar, Apr and May A modern form of total body exercise, which can be adapted to any fitness level, set to fantastic music. Tuesdays, 5:306:30 pm. REDUCING STRESS THROUGH MEDITATION Mar 17 William Smith teaches us to reduce stress through meditation. 3 pm.

AN AFTERNOON WITH STEVEN FENBERG May 12 Fenberg is the author of Unprecedented Power, a biography of Jesse Holman Jones. Unprecedented Power offers a timely perspective on government use of economic stimulus. 2 pm.

PAPER CRAFTING WITH AMIE Mar 6, Apr 3 and May 1 In these sessions, you will learn valuable paper crafting techniques that you can use at home. Please arrive early as supplies are limited. Noon-1 pm.

KRISTIN CHENOWETH May 23 Emmy and Tony Award-winning Kristin Chenoweth in a rare concert appearance. Tickets $35-$75. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 800.745.3000. ticketmaster.com

40TH ANNUAL BUFFALO BAYOU REGATTA Mar 10 Buffalo Bayou partnership sponsors Texas’ largest canoe and kayak race – a 15-mile paddling experience from San Felipe and Voss to downtown’s Sesquicentennial Park. Enjoy free finish-line festivities 11 am - 2 pm with live music, awards ceremony, food and drink available for sale; $40 to enter race. 713.752.0314. 9 am-2 pm. buffalobayou.org

HOUSTON BALLET ACADEMY SPRING SHOWCASE May 24-Jun 3 Mark Morris’s breezy Drink to Me Only With Thine Eyes was commissioned by Mikhail Baryshnikov for American Ballet Theatre; George Balanchine created Theme and Variations for the same company; and Nicolo Fonte will premiere a new work choreographed specifically for Houston Ballet. Tickets $18-$175. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 713.227.ARTS. houstonballet.org TIEMPO LIBRE! May 25-27 Tiempo Libre, the sizzling, dance-inducing Latin music group, will throw one big Cuban party with the Houston Symphony. The infectious, symphonicinfused, tropical rhythms of these classically trained musicians will make you feel like you’re on vacation. Come celebrate, Cuban style. Tickets $25-$130. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. 713.224.7575. houstonsymphony.org

FESTIVALS & SPECIAL EVENTS > CITY HALL FARMERS MARKET Mar 1-Jun 27 Don’t miss Urban Harvest’s City Hall Farmers Market. The market hosts more than 40 vendors around the City Hall Reflection Pool with an array of locally grown fruits and vegetables as well as a variety of prepared lunch items made from local ingredients. Free. Wednesdays. 11 am - 1:30 pm. 901 Bagby. 713.880.5540. urbanharvest.org PREPAREDNESS ON THE SQUARE Mar 8 American Red Cross will have several information booths offering Red Cross disaster services, health and safety services, transportation services, military services and life-saving information. Hermann Square, 900 Bagby. 11 am - 1 pm. 713.313.1636. houstonredcross.org

CUSTOM FITTING AND ALTERATIONS Tuesdays in Mar, Apr and May Do you have garments that you have wanted to get fitted or altered? Join us and learn how to do it yourself. Bring your garment to this weekly hands-on class. Some supplies will be provided. 3-4:30 pm. MOVIES AT HPL Wednesdays in Mar, Apr and May Enjoy a free movie during your lunch hour. Noon-2 pm. STORYTIME Mondays in Mar, Apr and May Stories, songs, crafts and playtime for toddlers 18 to 36 months old, and their caregivers. PAJAMA TIME Thursdays in Mar, Apr and May Kids are invited to bring their teddy bear and pajamas to a bedtime storytime complete with snuggly stories and songs. 7 pm. MAGICAL ILLUSIONS OF CHERIE KAY Mar 14 Magician Cherie Kay marvels with a show that includes rabbits, doves, music and fun. 2 pm. LEGOS AT THE LIBRARY Saturdays in Mar, Apr and May Do you like to build? Come to our block party and show us your creations. Legos and Duplos provided. 2 pm.

All events free and open to the public. Central Library, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org

TOUR DE HOUSTON Mar 18 Presented by Apache Corporation, the annual fundraising bike ride benefits Houston’s reforestation efforts through Houston Parks Board. The route takes riders on a journey through Houston’s historic East End; the Ship Channel and Brady’s Landing; Ellington Airport; Johnson Space Center to Clear Lake and back to City Hall. 6 amnoon. houstontx.gov/tourdehouston HOUSTON CHILDREN’S FESTIVAL Mar 31-Apr 1 A stellar entertainment lineup, family adventure, music and tons of fun. Located in the area surrounding City Hall, the Central Library, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. Tickets $8, kids under 3 free. 10:30 am-6:30 pm. houstonchildrensfestival.com FOODIE FLOATS Apr 4 The 2012 Spring Foodie Float schedule kicks off with homemade bites from Ziggy’s Grill and tastes of Buffalo Bayou Brewing Company’s flagship brew, 1836, named after the year Houston was founded along Buffalo Bayou. $50 per person. 6-7:30 pm. Depart at Sabine Promenade, 150 Sabine St. Reservations required tsmith@buffalobayou.org or 713.752.0314 ext. 3. buffalobayou.org BAYOU BASH Apr 14 Join Bayou Buddies (young professional group of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership) for their biggest fundraiser of the year. Live music, pontoon boat rides, crawfish and libations along the bayou. 1-4 pm; Sabine Promenade;  713.752.0314 ext. 5 buffalobayou.org

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MARKET SQUARE PARK Spring Calendar

HAPPY DAYS AT NIKO NIKO’S Saturdays and Sundays Enjoy yummy Sangrias, Mimosas and Bellinis all weekend long. AURORA PICTURE SHOW Mar 2 Bring your lawn chairs and blankets for an outdoor screening downtown with The Ann Arbor Film Festival, the longest-running independent and experimental film festival in North America. This screening features Hand Soap by Kei Oyama (AAFF Best Animation Award), These Hammers Don’t Hurt Us by Michael Robinson ( AAFF Most Technically Innovative Film Award) and In the Absence of Light, Darkness Prevails by Fern Silva (AAF Best Experimental Film Award). As the sun sets, join us for a live music performance by Sarah Golden with films starting at dark. 6:30 pm. BAYOU BIKERS Mar 4, Apr 1 and May 6 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.

HOUSTON INTERNATIONAL FESTIVAL (iFEST) Apr 21-22, 28-29 Spotlighting Argentina, there’s something for everyone at iFest. Enjoy family fun, music from eight stages, food from all over the world and six international art markets. There will be plenty of kids’ activities, dance entertainment, cooking demonstrations and much more. Tickets $12 (advance purchase), $18 day of, $3 kids under 12. VIP Passports available. Hermann Square at City Hall, Tranquility Park and Sam Houston Park. ifest.org TEXAS DRAGON BOAT FESTIVAL May 5 Competing for the revered Dragon Cup, 30 corporate and community teams will race on a 250-meter stretch of Buffalo Bayou at historic Allen’s Landing in downtown Houston. This signature event is co-sponsored by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The festival also features Asian cuisine, music, arts and crafts, and cultural performances for the whole family. Free. Allen’s Landing, Commerce at Main. texasdragonboat.com SUSTAINABLE LIVING FEST May 5 In tandem with the Downtown Home Tour, enjoy a full day of eco-education and solution-based, interactive events featuring live music, lectures, local foods, living greener demos and kid’s activities. Music and exhibitors at Market Square Park (301 Milam) and lectures and farmer’s market at Georgia’s Market Downtown (420 Main @ Prairie). Free. 10 am- 6 pm. sustainablelivingfest.com

CONCERTS AT THE SQUARE Mar 16 Fondue Monks - Texas funk with a groove. 7-9 pm Apr 14 Moodafaruka - World fusion mixing Flamenco, Middle Eastern, Spanish and Western motifs. 8-10 pm GREEK WEEK PRESENTED BY NIKO NIKO’S Mar 19-25 Monday $2 Greek Mythos beer and mythology talk, 6 pm Tuesday Free Greek pastry and coffee tasting, 4-6 pm Wednesday Backgammon lessons, 6-8 pm Thursday Live Greek music, 6-10 pm Friday 300 screening, 8 pm Saturday Wine tasting, Greek music and dancing. 2-6 pm Sunday Greek Independence Day brunch, 10 am- 2 pm

interactive events featuring live music, lectures, local foods, living greener demos and kid’s activities. Music and exhibitors at Market Square Park and lectures and farmer’s market at Georgia’s Market Downtown (420 Main @ Prairie). Noon- 6 pm.

ALAMO DRAFTHOUSE ROLLING ROADSHOW PRESENTS For those who don’t want to schlep out to the ‘burbs, we’re bringing the Alamo experience to Market Square Park. Enjoy these quirky classics under the stars. Free. Mar 23 300 (R), 8 pm Apr 6 The Muppets Take Manhattan (G), 8 pm Apr 25 The Godfather (R), 8 pm May 16 Airplane! (PG), 8:30 pm

Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at Niko Niko’s Market Square. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages 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

SUSTAINABLE LIVING FEST May 5 In tandem with the Downtown Home Tour, enjoy a full day of eco-education and solution-based,

$14 - $74. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org INPRINT TÉA OBREHT AND GARY SHTEYNGART READING Mar 26 Orange Prize winner Tea Obreht, author of the international bestseller The Tiger’s Wife, and National Jewish Book Award winner Gary Shteyngart, author of the New York Times bestselling Super Sad True Love Story, will read from their works as part of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tickets $5. Cullen Theater, Wortham Center, 510 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org INPRINT W. S. MERWIN READING Apr 23 Former U.S. Poet Laureate W. S. Merwin, author of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award-winning collection The Shadow of Sirius, will read from his work as part of the Inprint Margarett Root Brown Reading Series. Tickets $5. Alley Theatre, 615 Texas. 713.521.2026. inprinthouston.org WILLIAM McDONOUGH Apr 24 A pre-eminent leader of the sustainability

movement, William McDonough is an architect, designer and pioneer. He’s the author of the classic, Cradle to Cradle: Remaking the Way We Make Things. Tickets $14 - $84. Wortham Center, 501 Texas. 832.251.0706. progressiveforumhouston.org AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE: LOUIS AULBACH May 10 Local historian, Louis Aulbach will present his book Buffalo Bayou: An Echo of Houston’s Wilderness Beginnings a historical guide to Buffalo Bayou. Reception and book signing to follow presentation. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 6 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch

EXHIBITS & VISUAL ARTS > THEATER OF MEMORY, CABINET OF CURIOSITIES Through May 5 The Houston Metropolitan Research Center, supported in part by a grant from the Mayor’s Special Initiative Grant Program of the Arts Alliance and

Visual Arts

DOWNTOWN HOME TOUR May 5 Get a taste of downtown living on a tour of private residences. Guests receive complimentary bites, beverages and access to some of the finest homes downtown has to offer. Tickets $15-$20. Noon-5 pm. Post Rice Lofts, 909 Texas Ave. 713.658.8938. houstondowntownalliance.com ART CAR PARADE May 12 Come and see the world’s oldest and largest art car parade in its 25th year. Watch more than 250 colorful sculptures – each with a different theme – transform the streets of Houston into a moving gallery. Free. 1 pm - 3 pm. Route begins at Allen Parkway at Taft and loops around Sam Houston Park. 713.926.6368. orangeshow.org

SPEAKER SERIES > SIR KEN ROBINSON Mar 20 One of the leading thinkers on creativity, education and human potential, Robinson’s TED talks have been seen by more than 200 million people. Tickets

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GRANDALISM FEATURING NIZ Mar 16-Apr 21 Grandalism is a season-long series of street art commissions presented in partnership with GONZO247, founder of Aerosol Warfare. Featuring a different artist every eight weeks, Grandalism showcases the raw talent and innovation of the city’s freshest and most prolific urban artists selected by one of Houston’s street art legends. Free. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. Wed-Sat noon-6 pm. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org


Joel Draut

by the Houston Public Library Foundation, brings some of its unique artifacts to downtown. Free. Julia Ideson Building, 500 McKinney. 832.393.1313. houstonlibrary.org

Visual Arts

FOTOFEST 2012 BIENNIAL

PRESERVATION’S HUMBLE BEGINNINGS Through May 20 This exhibit features the intricate architectural drawings and photographs from the Historic American Buildings Surveys and shows how the information is used to preserve the structures for the future. Free. Tue - Sat 10 am - 4 pm, Sun 1- 4 pm. The Heritage Society Museum, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. heritagesociety.org JOE AKER: MULTIFACETED Mar 15-Apr 6 Joe Aker is an internationally recognized architectural photographer and artist. This exhibition will feature both Aker’s architectural documentary photos and his conceptual work. Architecture Center Houston. 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Opening reception Mar 15, 5:30 - 7 pm. Exhibition Mon - Thu 9 am - 5 pm; Fri 9 am - 3 pm. Free. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/ArCH BRICKS, BEER & GROCERIES: STORIES FROM THE BAYOU CITY BY LOUIS AULBACH Mar 15 Louis Aulbach will discuss the development of the city of Houston along Buffalo Bayou and the stories of people who came to town to seek their opportunities in life. Members are free, $5 admission for non-members. The Heritage Society Tea Room, 1100 Bagby. 713.655.1912. Noon-1 pm. heritagesociety.org MARINA ZURKOW: NEOCRACY Mar 16-Apr 21 Inspired by a journey through the Permian Basin of West Texas, Necrocracy explores the critical-creative edge between human manufacturing of petroleum-based products and oil’s ecological history and geological chronology. Free. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. Wed-Sat 12-6 pm. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org MARINA ZURKOW & DANIEL SHIFFMAN: FLICKERLOUNGE - NEOGEO Mar 16-Apr 21 A visualization that explores both new and time-worn representations of geological strata, petroleum and time. FlickerLounge will feature an installation with multiple video monitors as well as scaled-down replicas of Dupont Tychem TK hazardous material suits. Free. DiverseWorks ArtSpace, 1117 East Freeway. WedSat 12-6 pm. 713.223.8346. diverseworks.org AUTHORS IN ARCHITECTURE AND TOUR OF JESSE H. JONES: ANNA MOD Mar 21 Local preservationist and author Anna Mod will discuss her book Building Modern Houston. At 5:30 pm architect Wendy Heger, AIA, will lead a tour before Mod’s Lecture. Reception and book signing to follow presentation. Free and open to the public, Julia Ideson Building and Jesse H. Jones Building Houston Public Library, 500 McKinney. 5:30 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch JOE AKER: MULTIFACETED Apr 5 Joe Aker will share with participants the methods he uses to capture the magic light in sunset and sunrise photography of buildings. After a short program, he will guide the group downtown to put his tips into practice. Participants are encouraged to bring a camera and tripod. Free. Architecture Center Houston. 315 Capitol, Suite 120. 6 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch AI WEIWEI: FIVE HOUSES Apr 19-May 25 Exhibition opening Apr 19 from 5:30-7 pm. Architecture Center Houston. 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Mon-Thu 9 am - 5 pm; Fri 9 am - 3 pm. Free. 713.520.0155. aiahouston/arch MICHAEL G. MEYERS STUDENT DESIGN AND SCHOLARSHIP COMPETITION EXHIBITION AWARD CEREMONY Apr 27-May 11 Winning entries by students of local

Vladimir Lagrange The Alphabet of the Deaf OPENING NIGHT PARTY Mar 16 Celebrate the 14th International Biennial of Photographic Arts, The FotoFest 2012 Biennial. The public is invited to FotoFest headquarters for the kickoff party, which is attended by international artists and art professionals, Houston civic and business leaders, other VIPs and the general public. Free. 8 pm-midnight. FotoFest headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. fotofest.org CONTEMPORARY RUSSIAN PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBITIONS Mar 16-Apr 29 FotoFest returns with its 14th citywide Biennial of Art Photography – dedicated in 2012 to Contemporary Russian Photography. Three exhibitions, 142 artists: After Stalin, “The Thaw”, The Re-emergence of the Personal Voice (1950s-1970s), Perestroika, Liberalization and Experimentation (1980s-2010), and The Young Generation (2009-2012). Many of the works are being shown for the first time outside of Russia. Open Daily, Free. Locations across Houston and FotoFest headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. 713.223.5522. fotofest.org BOOKSTORE Mar 16-Apr 3 A wide array of rare and collectable art books are available, and artist book signings take place most afternoons. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 1-4 pm. fotofest.org DISCOVERIES Mar 16-Apr 20 A showcase for some of the best work discovered at the FotoFest 2010 Biennial portfolio review. Presenting the work of 10 international artists, the Discoveries exhibitions have been a launching pad for many photographic careers. Free. FotoFest at One and Two Allen Center, 500 Dallas. Open daily, 7 am-6 pm. fotofest.org DIALOGUES Mar 18, Mar 23, Mar 28, Apr 2 FotoFest Russian curators and artists discuss their work and the curatorial process in an intimate setting. Free. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 5:30-6:30 pm. fotofest.org OPEN PORTFOLIO NIGHTS Mar 18, Mar 23, Mar 28, Apr 2 The normally closed, business-like atmosphere of the FotoFest Meeting Place Portfolio Review is reversed and the public is invited to meet and socialize with the diverse group of international artists while viewing their portfolios. This is a great opportunity to interact directly with artists, many of whom are selling works. Free. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 7-9 pm. fotofest.org WORKSHOP: IS HAVING A BOOK WORTH IT? Mar 20 Nationally known photography consultant Mary Virginia Swanson leads this workshop for those deciding if publishing their artwork is a good idea. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 10 am-1 pm. fotofest.org FINE PRINT AUCTION AND GALA Mar 20 One of the main events of the FotoFest Biennial, and FotoFest’s main fundraiser, the 2012 Fine Print auction and gala will feature works by 25 Russian artists featured in FotoFest’s 2012 Biennial exhibitions along with 40 top contemporary artists from the United States,

Asia, Latin America and other parts of Europe. $100. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 5-10 pm. fotofest.org RUSSIAN SPRING CELEBRATION AT DISCOVERY GREEN Mar25 Co-sponsored with the Russian Cultural Center, this celebration of the season features music from Austin-based Russian music trio the Flying Balalaika Brothers, delicious Russian treats, and special entertainment for kids. 1-4 pm. Free. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney Street. fotofest.org WORKSHOP: PROTECTING YOUR COPYRIGHT AND PRESERVING YOUR ARCHIVES Mar 25 FotoFest presents an important workshop for creative professionals on navigating the complex, and occasionally confusing, copyright regulations. Susan Carr and Richard Kelly (American Society of Media Photographs) and Peter Krogh, with support from the Houston Center for Photography. Learn about rights and how to protect intellectual property. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 9:30 am-1 pm. fotofest.org WORKSHOP: TAKING ADVANTAGE OF NEW TECHNOLOGIES Mar 30 Stephen Mayes, an international photography professional and the Founder of VII Photo Agency speaks on the power of emerging technologies and how artists can make full use of them to expand on previous projects or develop new ones. DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Houston Downtown, 400 Dallas. 10 am-noon. fotofest.org DISCOVERIES ARTIST RECEPTION Mar 31 The Discoveries exhibition is one of the FotoFest Biennial’ most popular exhibitions. Meet the 10 featured artists and the exhibition’s curators at this public reception. 6-8 pm. Free. FotoFest at One and Two Allen Center, 500 Dallas. fotofest.org BIKE SCRAMBLE Apr 14, 21 FotoFest offers the public a free, guided bike tour of Biennial exhibitions across the city. The tours happen in three segments, focused on different neighborhoods. Join us all day, or for just a part of it on this leisurely tour which allows for participation by riders of all skill levels. Tours are led by FotoFest staff and local artists and curators. 9 am-8 pm. Free. Begins at FotoFest headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. fotofest.org MICHELE BRANGWEN DANCE ENSEMBLE PRESENTS KATSU Apr 15 Contemporary dance group Michele Brangwen Dance Ensemble and experimental Jazz musicians Tim Hagans Subversive Jazz present a multi-media site specific performance piece developed for FotoFest. Two performances. 6 pm and 8 pm. Free (reservation required). FotoFest headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. fotofest.org FABRIFACTION: 2012 POETRY SLAM Apr 26 Houston’s Poetry Co. is dedicated to the promotion of local poetry through events year-round that highlight Houston poets, both developed and emerging into the spotlight. This event takes place amid The Young Generation exhibition and will be accompanied by live music and refreshments. 6-10 pm. Free. Begins at FotoFest headquarters, 1113 Vine Street. fotofest.org

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datebook high schools will be on display at ArCH.The exhibit will begin with an awards ceremony April 27 at 6 pm. The exhibit is free and open during gallery hours. Architecture Center Houston, 315 Capitol, Suite 120. Exhibition 5 - 8 pm. Exhibition Mon-Thu 9 am - 5 pm; Fri 9 am-3 pm. 713.520.0155. aiahouston.org/mgmc

CONCERTS > ROCKIN’ RODEO PARTY AT HOUSE OF BLUES Mar 3 Saddle up and head to the Foundation Room at House of Blues for downtown Houston’s biggest rodeo party. We’ll have great drink specials, classic cowboy cuisine and a real mechanical bull in the Blazin’ Saddles room. Western wear is encouraged. House of Blues, 1204 Caroline St. 9 pm. RSVP adalyrendon@livenation.com. houseofblues.com/houston AT HOUSE OF BLUES Mar 3 Flogging Molly Mar 9 George Clinton & Parliament Funkadelic Mar 10 Boys II Men Mar 14 Kaiser Chiefs Apr 6 Childish Gambino Apr 28 The Tab Four Beatles Tribute May 2 Ezperanza Spalding May 4 Social Distortion 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 Mar 3 Radiohead Mar 15 Romeo Santos Mar 23 Winter Jam Apr 4 Mana May 1 Roger Waters May 25 Rammstein 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 VERIZON WIRELESS THEATER Mar 2 Gigantour feat. Megadeath with Motorhead, Volbeat and Lacuna Coil Mar 9  Salim-Sulaiman Mar 11 Imagination Movers Mar 18  Houston We Have a Problem Fest Apr 14  Human Nature The Motown Show presented by Smokey Robinson Apr 30  Creed performing My Own Prison May 1  Creed performing Human Clay May 2  Florence + The Machine with special guest Blood Orange May 5  The Fresh Beat Band Live in Concert Apr 4  Rick Ross Apr 27  Nero May 18   Snow Patrol

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Verizon Wireless Theater’s calendar is regularly updated. Check online for more info and to purchase tickets. Verizon Wireless Theater, 520 Texas. 800.745.3000. livenation.com

5th Annual Bayou Bash on Saturday, May 19. The Astros host interstate rival Texas Rangers at 6:05 pm. The Bayou Bash event will be open from 4-6 pm to all fans with a game ticket. astros.com

SPORTS >

A&M UNIVERSITY NIGHT May 19 Calling all Aggies. It’s A&M Night at Minute Maid Park. Purchase tickets online to see your Astros take on the Rangers and receive a one-of-a-kind A&M Astros cap. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Howdy Club, Houston A&M Club and Reveille Club. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 6:05 pm. astros.com

HOUSTON AEROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 713.974.7825. aeros.com HOUSTON ASTROS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 877.927.8767. astros.com COLLEGE CLASSIC Mar 2-4 The Houston College Classic presented by Ticketmaster returns to Minute Maid Park. This year’s tournament features teams from the University of Texas, University of Houston, Rice University, Texas Tech University, University of Arkansas and the University of Tennessee. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com OPENING DAY STREET FEST Apr 6 The Astros 2012 Opening Day begins with the 11th annual Opening Day Street Fest on KBR Plaza and Crawford Street, adjacent to Union Station. Come out before the game for pep rallies with your favorite Astros players and broadcasters, music, food and more. Free. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 11:30 am-4:30 pm. astros.com/events COLT .45s REUNION Apr 10 Join the Astros as we celebrate our history with the Colt .45s reunion. This date marks the 50th anniversary of the first game played in franchise history, and members of the original 1962 team will be on hand for the pregame ceremonies. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com DOG DAY May 6 Bring man’s best friend to Houston Astros Dog Day at Minute Maid Park on Sunday, May 6 and see your Houston Astros take on the St. Louis Cardinals. Come out early and take part in fun pregame activities with your pup, including a costume contest, pooch parade around the warning track, and more. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. 1:05 pm. astros.com UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS NIGHT May 18 It’s Longhorn Night at Minute Maid Park. Purchase tickets online to see your Astros take on the Rangers at 7:05 pm and receive a one-of-a-kind UT Astros cap. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Texas Exes Houston Chapter Scholarship fund. Minute Maid Park, 501 Crawford. astros.com BAYOU BASH May 19 Join the Astros for a Cajun celebration with our

HOUSTON DYNAMO For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. BBVA Compass Stadium, ADDRESS?. 713.276.7600. houstondynamo.com DYNAMO STADIUM OPENING DAY May 12 The Dynamo kick off their 2012-2012 regular season in BBVA Compass Stadium against D.C. United. Cheer on the boys in orange in their new home. BBVA Compass Stadium. 3:30 pm. houstondynamo.com HOUSTON ROCKETS For schedule info and tickets, call or check the website. Toyota Center, 1510 Polk. 866.4HOU.TIX. rockets.com

EXPOS > 2012 SPRING ANTIQUE SHOW Mar 2-4 Shop one of the most-recognized antique shows in the country and discover extraordinary treasures from museum-worthy furniture to brilliant objects of art. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. hadaantiques.com HOUSTON NATIONAL INVITATIONAL Mar 2-4 The 18th Annual Houston National Invitational features the world’s top artistic gymnasts and trampoline/tumbling athletes competing for more than $50,000 in cash awards. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. houstongymnastics.org FIRST ROBOTICS COMPETITION Apr 5-7 Come see the technological leaders of tomorrow compete. Teams of 25 students or more are challenged to raise funds, design a team brand and build and program robots to perform prescribed tasks against competitors. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de Las Americas. houston.txfirst.org 31st ANNUAL HOUSTON HOME SHOW Apr 13-15 Need an upgrade to your home without a big move? Looking for that little something extra? Or maybe you just want to get some DIY tips. Find all of that and more at Houston’s first and original home show. Adults $10. Seniors $8.50 Children 14 and under free. George


YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOPS Saturdays Writers in the Schools, HPL Express and Discovery Green team up to offer Houston’s only free open writing workshop for kids. 10:30-11:30 am. FITNESS IN THE PARK (starting Mar 12) Mondays Bum-ba Toning, 6:30 pm Tuesdays Pi-Yo, 6:30 pm Wednesday Zumba!, 6:30 pm Saturdays Slow Flow Yoga, 9:30 am Sundays Discovery Hoop Dance, 10:30 am and Ananda Yoga, noon

ENTERTAINMENT DA CAMERA JAZZ JAM PRESENTED BY THE KINDER FOUNDATION Apr 5 Mark Towns Quintet with JoseMiguel Yamal, 6:30 pm Apr 12 Trombone Summit with Pamela York Tri, 6:30 pm Apr 19 Mick Moseley Quintet with TSU Jazz Choir, 6:30 pm Apr 26 Ellis Marsalis Quartet with HSPVA Jazz Combo, 6:30 pm

UHD PRESENTS THURSDAY CONCERTS AT DISCOVERY GREEN May 3 Grupo Fantasma with Patricia Vonne, 6:30-9 pm May 10 Glen David Andrews Band with Journey Agents, 6:30-9 pm May 17 Buckwheat Zydeco with Zydeco Dots, 6:30-9 pm

TODDLER TUESDAYS PRESENTED BY AMERIGROUP REAL SOLUTIONS Tuesdays Enjoy storytime and activities with your favorite look-a-like characters, 10:30 am DISCOVERY GREEN FLEA 3rd Saturday of each month A vintage market where everything old is new again. Recycled, renewed objects, live music, kid’s corner, bicycle repair workshop, plus furniture, collectibles, clothing, jewelry and more. Noon-6 pm. ARTS Spring Break Art Week Mar 12 Baby Isaac & Friends, noon-1 pm; Red Door Productions, 1 pm Mar 13 Story Book Opera, noon-1 pm; Foam Party 1-4 pm Mar 14 Story Book Opera, noon-1 pm; Red Door Productions, 1 pm Mar 15 Houston Ballet, noon Mar 16 Fairy Tale Blasts, 10 am-1 pm; HGO Opera to Go! 1:15 pm DANCE SOURCE HOUSTON Mar 15 This family friendly event features performances by Earthen Vessels Dance Company and Suchu Dance. 7:30 pm. HOUSTON PUBLIC RADIO SILENT FILM CONCERTS Mar 23 Martyrs of the Alamo with music by Invincible Czars, 7:30 pm Apr 6 Hugo with music by Loreta Kavacic, 7:30 pm May 4 Oyster Princes with music by Bee vs. Moth, 7:30 pm SHAKESPEARE ON THE GREEN Apr 20 and 21, 7 pm; Apr 22, 2 pm The University of Houston School of Theatre and Dance presents a fun and family-friendly production of Shakespeare’s comedy, A Midsummer’s Night Dream. ORANGE SHOW ART CAR PARADE SNEAK PEEK May 11 Sneak Peek of entries in the 25th annual Orange Show Art Car Parade. Live music from Houston Blues Society and art cars plus foam party. 6:30-10:30 pm. DISCOVERY GREEN TOURS PRESENTED BY HOUSTON GREETERS Apr 1, May 6 Meet the Houston Greeters in front of the Alkek Building to learn about the history of the park, the architecture, the art and its gardens. 1-2 pm.

May 24 Buxton with The Ton Tons, 6:30-9 pm May 31 Two Tons of Steel with Mike Stinson, 6:30-9 pm BLUES AND BURGERS Enjoy Houston’s best in blues music with a lunchtime concert, noon-1:30 pm. Mar 21 DelGrosso/ Del Toro Richardson Band Mar 28 Kristine Mills

2012

ONGOING RECYCLING SATURDAYS Saturdays Bring your glass, paper, plastic and aluminum to a recycling station at Discovery Green. 10 am-2 pm.

DISCOVERY GREEN

Spring Calendar

NOWRUZ FESTIVAL Mar 18 Nowruz, the Persian New Year, celebrates the rejuvenation of life and the rebirth of nature. Ticket prices apply. 1-9 pm. icf.houston.org VIETNAMESE FESTIVAL Mar 24 Promoting unity within the Vietnamese community while introducing Vietnamese culture to the greater Houston area. Ticket prices apply. 8 am-10 pm. vietfest.org RUSSIAN SPRING CELEBRATION WITH FOTOFEST Mar 25 Celebrating the end of winter and contemporary Russian photography complete with Russian treats, music and children’s entertainment. 1-4 pm. fotofest.org SHELL ECO-MARATHON Mar 29-Apr 1 Celebrate invention, innovation and ecoefficiency as the streets around Discovery Green become a test course for tomorrow’s vehicles. Event details subject to change. 8 am-10 pm. shell.com/home/content/ecomarathon/americas WASTE MANAGEMENT EARTH DAY HOUSTON 2012 Apr 7 Learn about the four Rs: Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, and Respect the Earth, from more than 30 of Houston’s green agencies. 10 am-4 pm. earthdayhouston.org EASTER IN THE PARK WITH ST. LUKE’S UNITED METHODIST CHURCH Apr 8 Enjoy Easter at the Park with contemporary praise music and an uplifting message followed by an egg hunt and break dancing. Sponsored by St. Luke’s United Methodist Church. 10 am-12:30 pm. easteratthepark.com

Apr 4 Curtis Poullard and The Creole Zydeco Band Apr 11 Pearl Murray and The Jewels Apr 18 Tommy Dardar Band Apr 25 Trudy Lynn May 2 John McVey and the Stumble May 9 Zydeco Lady D May 16 Mojofromopolis May 23 Tha Lady D May 30 Step Rideau and The Zydeco Outlaws IKEA SCREEN ON THE GREEN Mar 10 Spiderman 2 (PG-13), 7:30 pm Apr 7 Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs (PG), 7:30 pm May 18 E.T. (PG-13), 8:30 pm H-E-B FAMILY MOVIE NIGHT Mar 9 Puss in Boots, 7:30 pm ARTSPLORATION May 19 An arts in education preview showcasing more than 20 artists/ensembles presented by Young Audiences of Houston and Discovery Green. 10 am. Pre-registration is required for all educators at yahouston.org SPECIAL EVENTS PINOT’S PALETTE HAPPY HOUR IN THE PARK Mar 6 and Apr 10 Happy Hour with Pinot’s Palette and CultureMap. Paint, drink, have fun! $10. 5:30-7:30 pm. MIX 96.5 PETAPALOOZA Mar 11 The pet event of the year. Round up your pets and family and come down for a day filled with on-stage entertainment, pet demonstrations, accessories and services. 1-4 pm. khmx.radio.com PROJECT DANCE HOUSTON Mar 17 Dance concert featuring international dancers. 9 am-6 pm. projectdance.com

DISCOVERY GREEN’S 4TH BIRTHDAY WITH THE FAB 40 Apr 13 Houston musicians will recreate the music of the original Fab 4, the Beatles, in a free concert celebrating Discovery Green’s 4th birthday. 7:30 pm. IMAGINE KIDS MAGAZINE SPRING PARTY Apr 14 Music, magic, color, laughter and lots of family fun. Noon-6 pm. imaginekidsmagazine.com THE CHANGING FACE OF HOUSTON Apr 27 A celebration of the city with music and speakers, including Stephen Kleinberg, who will present highlights from the Annual Houston Survey. 7:30 pm. TEXAS BEER FESTIVAL Apr 28 A one-day tasting festival designed to support local, Texas breweries and to celebrate national and international craft beer. Ticket prices apply. 1-7 pm. texasbeerfest.org 3RD ANNUAL DISCO GREEN ELECTRONIC MUSIC FESTIVAL May 5 Nationally recognized DJ’s

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datebook perform in this hip music event that connects young adults to the issues of sustainability and stewardship. Noon- 10 pm. YOUNG WRITERS WORKSHOP May 6 Elementary, middle, and high school students will perform literary readings of their poetry, stories and essays in English and Spanish. 3-5 pm. witshouston.org BUILDING FOR OUR FUTURE A CELEBRATION OF KID POWER May 26-May 27 Polyglot Theater presents the Texas premier of We Built This City – an Australian theater troupe’s interactive performance where children use cardboard boxes to build a city and then get to knock it down. Performed twice daily on Jones Lawn. Discover Kids Swap Meet is a youth-oriented yard sale on White Promenade. Apply at discoverygreen.com/ swapmeet.

Blankets, lawn chairs and picnics are welcome; food, beer and wine are available for purchase at The Lakehouse. No glass containers or outside alcoholic beverages are allowed, please. Discovery Green, 1500 McKinney, 713.400.7336. discoverygreen.com

R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. texasandgarden.com

Drive End: Allen’s Landing. 9 am-noon. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

34th ANNUAL BARGAIN BOOK SALE Apr 13-15 Calling all bookworms. Friends of the Houston Public Library will be selling thousands of books for great prices. Most books are $2 or less. Free. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. friendsofhpl.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

HIGH CALIBER GUN SHOW May 5-6 See hundreds of displays of new and old guns, ammo, gun parts, books, knives, sharpening tools, coins, camouflage and related items at discount prices. Tickets $8. George R. Brown Convention Center. 1001 Avenida de las Americas. 281.331.5969. highcalibergunshow.com

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

COMICPALOOZA 2012 May 25-27 This fun two-day convention celebrates comics, sci-fi, fantasy, horror, steam punk, new media, gaming and more. General admission $12-45 at door; $10-$30 online. Memberships also available. George R. Brown Convention Center, 1001 Avenida de las Americas. comicpalooza.com

TOURS > BAT TOURS BY PONTOON BOAT Mar 9, 23, Apr 13, 27, May 11, 25 Enjoy an amazing view of the bats’ dusk emergence and learn more about these magnificent flying mammals that share the city with us. Cancellations must take place 48 hours prior to the boat tour. Depart at dusk, time depends on day of the month (reservations required). $35/$20 for children 4-12. Allen’s Landing. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.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

SECOND SATURDAY BUFFALO BAYOU BOAT RIDES Mar 31, Apr 14, May 12 These 30-minute pontoon boat cruises are a great way to spend the afternoon with your family and friends. First-come, first-serve, no reservations, 20-person max per trip. $7/$5 for children 4-12; downtown’s Sabine Promenade along Buffalo Bayou. 10 am-2 pm, 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

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

KAYAK TOURS Mar 31, Apr 14, May 12. Celebrate Houston in a whole new way and join the Buffalo Bayou Partnership for a kayak adventure through Houston’s stunning urban wilderness. All equipment is supplied, including the tandem (two-person) sit-on top kayaks. $60 per person (reservations required) Start: I-610 and Woodway

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 openhouse format until 2 pm. If Saturdays don’t work for you, check out their weekday open house at 3 pm. After

LOOKING BACK TOURS WITH LOUIS AULBACH Mar 17, Apr 7, May 5 Learn about Houston’s rich history from local historian Louis Aulbach while cruising down the bayou. Tickets $40. Reservations required. 10 amnoon. 713.752.0314. buffalobayou.org

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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

SHOPPING > BINGO AT BCBGMAXAZRIA Mar 14, Apr 18, May 16 Join the fun at BCBGMAXAZRIA for light bites, wine, shopping and bingo. The sipping and shopping starts at 5:30 pm, and the three bingo games with amazing prizes from BCBGMAXAZRIA start at 6:30 pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com ST. PATRICK’S DAY AT HOUSTON PAVILIONS Mar 17 Be one of the lucky ones at the Fourth Annual St. Patrick’s Day Celebration with McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant at Houston Pavilions. Enjoy great drink specials, Irish-inspired fare and more at this outdoor happy hour in the Center Court at Houston Pavilions. The DJ will spin great tunes while you enjoy this festive holiday party. 5-9 pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com SPRING HAPPY HOUR…HOUSTON PAVILIONS IS HOT THIS SPRING! Mar 23, Mar 30, Apr 20, Apr 27, May 4, May 11 Celebrate spring weather with an outdoor happy hour in the Center Court at Houston Pavilions. DJ Sun will spin great tunes while you enjoy happy hour pricing for drinks and good eats from McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood Restaurant. 5-9 pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions. com CINCO DE MAYO AT HOUSTON PAVILIONS May 5 The Fourth Annual Cinco de Mayo Happy Hour at Guadalajara del Centro will take place outside in the courtyard in front of the restaurant. The DJ will spin great tunes while you enjoy happy hour pricing for drinks and good eats. Free. 5-9pm. 832.320.1200. houstonpavilions.com


plate SPRING

2012

The Guide to eating downtown

Edited by

Angie Bertinot & Lauren Covington

www.downtownhouston.org

MKT Bar Luscious pesto chicken salad, crunchy plantain chips, creamy gelato and juicy Moroccan sliders are all on the menu at MKT Bar, a cozy corner in Phoenicia Specialty Foods.

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L17 Restaurant New American Found in the lobby of the luxurious Alden Hotel, this lush and lavish destination oozes elegance. Detailed American cuisine and smart service make this a restaurant of note. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. L by reservation only; D Daily. $$$$ L Andalucia Restaurant & Bar Tapas/Spanish Dim lighting, large wooden tables and heavy iron accents provide for a cozy, rustic atmosphere. The menu features large dishes, such as paella for up to 16 people, and tapas that range from the traditional such as gambas al ajillo (shrimp cooked in olive oil and garlic) and empanadas, to veal tongue and oxtail. andaluciatapas.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 832.319.1200. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ L Artista American Artista offers inspirational contemporary American cuisine and theatrical ambiance with high ceilings, glass walls and sweeping views of the Houston downtown skyline. cordua.com. Hobby Center, 800 Bagby, 713.278.4782. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat (Open for L & D on Sunday only if a theater performance is scheduled). $$$ Atrium Lobby Lounge Contemporary Located inside the Doubletree Hotel overlooking Allen Center courtyard. Relax after a busy day and enjoy your favorite beverage or a bite to eat while you catch up on the day’s news on the wide screen TV. Doubletree Hotel, 400 Dallas, 713.759.0202. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Azuma Sushi & Robata Bar Japanese/Sushi Voted “Best sushi in Houston” by Citysearch.com, this new-age Japanese restaurant is anything but typical. The ambience is terrific, the sushi is innovative and fresh and the outside seating area provides great people watching. azumajapanese.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.0909. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri & Sat. $$ L BB’s Café Cajun A relaxed café atmosphere with a menu of “Tex-Orleans” fusion food, which includes nearly two dozen overstuffed signature po’ boys, mouth-watering Mexico City-style tacos, homemade gumbo and more. bbscafe.com. 509 Louisiana, 713.236.8269. L, D Daily. $ Ballpark Café American Enjoy the all-American cuisine and a nostalgic atmosphere for breakfast, lunch or dinner. Just across the street from Minute Maid Park, Ballpark Café is a great place to have a pre/ post-game meal. innattheballpark.com. Inn at the Ballpark, 1520 Texas, 713.228.1520. B & L Daily. $ L Benihana of Tokyo Japanese While some restaurants allow their guests to view the kitchen, this Japanese grill brings the kitchen to you. Benihana chefs set up shop right in front of your table. The meal is made from scratch, and you can witness the entire show. benihana.com. 1318 Louisiana, 713.659.8231. L & D Daily. $$$ Birraporetti’s Italian This Italian restaurant/Irish bar is a Theater District staple. Their delicious pizzas continue to hit the spot, while items such as the chicken picatta and La Dolce Vita have become standouts. Enjoy a signature dessert to finish the meal. birrarestaurant.com. 500 Louisiana, 713.224.9494. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Bistro Lancaster New American Located in the historic Lancaster Hotel, this cozy getaway is a great place to dine before catching a show in the Theater District. You’ll find hearty soups, sizzling steaks and savory seafood. thelancaster.com. Lancaster Hotel, 701 Texas, 713.228.9502. B, L & D Daily. $$$$ new! Blue Fish Sushi Japanese Not your typical Japanese restaurant. Don’t expect small, minimal décor. Be prepared for innovative sushi in a high-energy atmosphere at Bayou Place. thebluefishsushi.com. 550 Texas, 713.225.3474. D Mon-Sat; L Mon - Fri. $$ L Bombay Pizza Co. Indian Fusion Fusing the cuisines of India with pizza, innovative creations are served on a homemade, dense, thin and crispy crust. Try

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the Saag Paneer, which is topped with fresh spinach and four cheeses or the Gateway to India topped with cilantro, tandoori chicken, garlic and artichoke hearts. bombaypizzaco.com. 914 Main, 713.654.4444. L Mon-Fri, D Mon- Sat. $ Bon Jour Café Deli Offering soups, sandwiches and salads. 945 Capitol , 713.237.0419. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Bouray’s Burrito Bar Fast Food A burrito bar with tons of ingredients and sides that allow you to create the burrito of your dreams. bourays.com. 609 Clay, 713.652.5999. L Mon-Fri. $ Brazos Restaurant American Upscale seafood and casual American fare come together in a Texas-chic atmosphere. Newly refurbished, black booths and white tablecloths offer elegance and décor not typically found in hotel restaurants. Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1700 Smith, 713.495.7854. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Brown Bag Deli Fast Casual Located in the Houston Club building, Brown Bag Deli serves up tasty, fresh sandwiches “just like you like it.” Known for its fluffy, soft bread you won’t be disappointed and neither will your wallet. thebrownbagdeli.net. 810 Capitol, 713.224.7000. L Mon-Fri. $ B.U.S. Sports Grill and Bar American The ultimate hangout spot before or after a ballgame. Come and enjoy your favorite cold beverage or bite to eat while cheering the home team to victory. B.U.S. is also a great place to catch the latest sporting event on the big screen! Two locations. Before/after Rockets games, 1410 Bell. Before/after Astros games, 1800 Texas. $ The Cafe American Located in the lobby of the Hilton Americas. An elaborate buffet is offered for breakfast, with a la carte selections from the menu available for lunch and dinner. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.739.8000. B, L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Cafe Express Fast Casual Need to grab a quick lunch? Cafe Express is an informal yet sophisticated choice. One of the originals in the fast casual restaurant category, you can always find a variety of delicious entrees, salads and sandwiches. cafe-express. com. 650 Main, 713.237.9222. B & L Mon-Sat. $ new! Cafe Luz Bakery A bakery café named after the hand-crafted copper lighting that illuminates the historical space near Market Square Park. Diners will find seasonal dishes and pastries from various Houston chefs. Beverages are not to be missed, with locally roasted coffee, shakes, malts and artisan sodas with flavors like lavender and vanilla mint. cafeluzhouston.com. 907 Franklin, 281.912.3589. B Mon-Fri; L Daily. $$ new! The Capitol at St. Germain New American Executive Chef Kevin Bryant puts forward an impressive dinner menu of seafood and steaks at this renovated turn-of-the-century space. Lunch offers gourmet sandwiches, salads and shared bites. More than just food, The Capitol also serves as a backdrop for live music and special events. thecapitolhouston.com. 705 Main at Capitol, 713.492.2454. L, D Daily. $$$ 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 Convey Sushi A very cool new sushi spot located at Market Square. The same owner as next door neighbor, Les Givral’s Kahve, Convey is affordable sushi. A conveyer belt, thus the name, runs down the center of the bar or you also can get table service. Lots of natural light and a modern aesthetic make this a feel-good neighborhood restaurant. conveysushi. com. 803 Congress, 713.518.7219. L & D daily. $$

L Corner Bakery Fast Casual A bakery cafe, offering fresh breads, salads, sandwiches, soups and sweets in a casual atmosphere. Located right on Main Street Square, you can’t beat the people watching or just relax and watch the rail line and Main Street Square’s jumping fountains. cornerbakery.com. 1000 Main, 713.651.0673. B & L Mon-Fri. $ Domino’s Pizza 804 Main, 713.227.3030. $ Don Patron Bar & Grill Mexican Good Mexican food and margaritas, Don Patron is great for lunch and a good spot for an after-work happy hour. Available on weekends for private parties. donpatron.com. 500 Dallas, One Allen Center.B, L & D Mon-Fri. $$ L The Downtown Aquarium Seafood The menu features a huge variety and offers something for everyone. While dining, guests are surrounded by a 150,000-gallon aquarium. Enjoy the sights and a great meal at this family-friendly spot. aquariumrestaurants.com. 410 Bagby, 713.223.3474. L & D Daily. $$ Downtown Hunan Café Chinese Fast casual spot offering all your Asian favorites. 613 Clay, 713.759.0515. L Mon-Fri. $ L Droubi Bro. Mediterranean Grill Mediterranean This authentic Mediterranean grill offers up a quick and satisfying spot for lunch. Pita sandwiches are popular. 507 Dallas, 713.652.0058. L Mon-Fri. $ Eats Mesquite Grill Classic American Craving a burger downtown? Popular for its juicy burgers and greattasting fries, Eats makes for a great lunchtime stop. Guests can make their burgers exactly how they like them. 804 Milam, 713.223.3287. L Mon-Fri. $ 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. Mon-Sun B & L. $ Falafel Frenzy Mediterranean This quaint spot serves up all your Mediterranean favorites, including beef and chicken kabobs, hummus and of course falafel. 914 Prairie, 713.237.8987. L Mon-Fri. $

} 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.

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L Flying Saucer Pub Fare Offering more than 200 beers, almost half on draft, Flying Saucer is a beer drinker’s paradise. Excellent staff and tasty eats give the place an identity all its own. beerknurd.com. 705 Main, 713.228.7468. L, D & LN Daily. $ L Frank’s Pizza Pizza Home of the “late-night slice,” Frank’s Pizza has built a quality reputation for itself serving up delicious food in a great atmosphere. Not only can you grab a slice of pizza, Frank’s also serves up darn good hamburgers, Philly cheesesteak sandwiches, Buffalo wings, lasagna and salads. frankspizza.com. 417 Travis, 713.225.5656. L & D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $ new! Gelato Blu Gelato/Coffeehouse Brought to you 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 American The market is stocked with fresh organic produce, grass-fed meats, prepared foods and snacks and home basics while the cafe offers breakfast, lunch and dinner from its organic buffet and a bistro menu. Don’t miss the underground cellar – the perfect place to enjoy a glass of wine or craft beer with friends. georgiasdowntown.com. 420 Main at Prairie, 713.225.0990 B,L, D Daily. $ L The Grove American Rustic This two-story, ultra-urban restaurant is found at Discovery Green, downtown Houston’s newest park. The menu features rustic American cuisine such as Gulf Coast seafood, steaks and signature rotisserie dishes. grovehouston.com. Discovery Green, 1611 Lamar, 713.337.7321. L & D Daily. $$$ L Guadalajara del Centro Mexican This family-owned restaurant consistently serves up tasty food in a new, very cool environment. It’s the perfect place to bring the family or a large group of co-workers or friends. Great happy hour specials. guadalajarahacienda.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, 713.650.0101. L & D Daily. $$ Hard Rock Café Classic American What do you get when you mix a music-themed diner with an allAmerican menu? Hard Rock is a great family-friendly spot serving up items such as burgers, nachos and chicken varieties. hardrock.com. Bayou Place, 570 Texas, 713.227.1392. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Hearsay Gastro Lounge New American Located in a beautifully refurbished historic building, this upscale restaurant and lounge serves up delicious sandwiches, salads and entrees. They feature an extensive wine list, numerous beers on draft and bottle and premium liquors with a focus on Scotch whisky. hearsayhouston.com. 218 Travis, 713.225.8079. L Daily; D Mon-Sat; LN Fri–Sat. $$

course the tamales are the house specialty. houstontamalesfactory.com. 1205 Travis. B & L Mon-Sat. $ L Hubcap Grill American Classic Small but quaint burger joint. 1111 Prairie, 713.223.5885. L Mon-Sat. $ Humble Cafe American The Humble Cafe is a full-service restaurant serving up breakfast and dinner in a casual atmosphere. Courtyard by Marriott, 916 Dallas, 832.366.1600. B & D Daily. $ L Irma’s Mexican Irma Galvan has been crowned Houston’s Tex-Mex goddess. This authentic spot is a longtime favorite among Houston politicos and downtown business people. Traditional, 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. $ L Korma Sutra Indian The name comes from the chef’s love affair with fine Indian cuisine. The fine Indian establishment takes a menu-less approach where every dish can be custom ordered to your liking. Wait staff will let you know the daily specials, but if your palate is set on chicken masala or lamb curry, they will happily oblige.  We also recommend trying the cilantro-mint limeade! korma-sutra.com. 706 Main, 832.721.9977. L & D Mon- Sat. $$ 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. $

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). $

Lacey’s Deli Deli The sandwiches are fresh, tasty, and affordable. We recommend the Italian Stallion which has homemade meatballs and marinara with sliced beef and sausage. laceysdeli.com. 1403 Nance, 713.226.8563. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sun; LN Fri-Sat; Bar & live music Tue-Sat. $

Hong Kong Diner Chinese A favorite of downtown locals, Hong Kong Diner will not disappoint with its expansive menu and delicious chef’s specials. Be sure to try the dumplings. 909 Franklin, 713.236.1688. L & D Mon-Sat. $

L 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 House of Blues Southern Classic HOB serves Southern-inspired signature classic dishes such as voodoo shrimp, Tennessee baby back ribs and the Cajun classic, Creole jambalaya. Praise the Lord and pass the biscuits, you can’t miss House of Blues’ famous Sunday Gospel Brunch. hob.com. Houston Pavilions, 1204 Caroline, 888.402.5837. L & D Daily. $$ Houston Tamales Factory Mexican Family recipes made with fresh ingredients. Great breakfast tacos and of

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. $

juicy burger goodness In a sea of hamburger joints, hubcap remains king. Be sure to write down the address for Hubcap Grill, because you just might miss this famous burger shack (hint: look for hubcaps). Located at 1111 Prairie, Hubcap Grill has been nationally recognized by Zagat’s, Lonely Planet and Travel + Leisure Magazine. The sign on the door brings up several points of pride ­– “hand-formed, crafted burgers, never frozen, 100% fresh ground chuck with homemade toasted buns.” Be prepared – this is a cash-only joint (with an ATM on site), and seating is limited. If you see a line, stick around. You won’t be disappointed. There’s something to a place that keeps the courthouse crowd on its heels. Newbies should start with the familiar classics such as a cheeseburger or mushroom Swiss burger. Brave souls who want to deviate from the norm have plenty of creative options like the Sticky Burger featuring beef, crunchy peanut butter topped with American cheese or the Cheesy Cheeto-Burger, a seasoned patty topped with crunchy Cheetos's and cheese sauce. Hubcap Grill’s burgers have the perfect balance of juiciness, allowing buns to stay intact through the meal. And what’s a burger without fries? These crispy companions can be ordered regular, sweet potato, with cheese or with chili cheese. And they’re all fresh cut, twice fried – no soggy fries at Hubcap Grill!

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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. $$$ Little Napoli Italian Offering southern Italian items in a casual setting, you can opt for indoor seating or take a spot on the large patio right on Main Street. The healthy options, such as whole wheat pizza crust and low-fat cheeses, are a nice touch. littlenapoli.net. 1001 Texas, 713.225.3900. L, D & LN Daily. $$ Luby’s, etc. American Enjoy an incredible view of downtown along with 10 food stations offering a wide variety of goodies: a build-your-own salad bar, made-to-order grill, pizza by-the-slice, delightful deli, global café and traditional Luby’s cafeteria line with all the classic dishes. lubysetc.com. 1301 Fannin, 13th Floor, 713.759.9954. B & L Mon–Fri. $ L Lucky Strike Lanes & Lounge American Bowlers and patrons relax on sleek leather couches and enjoy floor-to-ceiling video screens that flash movie clips and music videos as DJs deliver danceable grooves. Delectable munchies are available lane-side and in the lounge. bowlluckystrike.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 3, 713.343.3300. L, D & LN Daily. $$ L Macondo Latin Bistro Latin The menu is a tasty fusion of Latin dishes with a strong influence of  Colombian cuisine. Try the migas on an English muffin for breakfast. Macondo also has a full coffee bar, featuring delicious Colombian coffee, a juice bar and a great selection of affordable wines and beers. macondobistro.com. 509 Main, 713.229.8323. B &L Daily; D Fri & Sat. $

Mandarin Hunan Restaurant Chinese This upscale eatery gives its guests an engaging experience in Chinese cuisine. Located in the Skyline District, Mandarin’s floor-to-ceiling glass windows provide a great view of the streetscape. 777 Walker, 713.224.1212. L & D Mon-Fri. $

L 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 Market Square Bar & Grill American This Chicagostyle 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 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. $

L Massa’s Restaurant Seafood An upscale and elegant restaurant offering a fine selection of American and seafood cuisine. Superior service and a great dining atmosphere allow guests to enjoy a memorable experience. massas.com. 1160 Smith, 713.650.0837. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L Massa’s Seafood Grill Seafood Like its sister restaurant, you can count on superior service and a great dining atmosphere. Conveniently located close to the convention center and Toyota Center, it’s a prime spot for lunch and dinner. massas.com. The Shops at Houston Center, 1331 Lamar, 713.655.9100. L Mon-Fri; D Mon-Sat. $$ L McCormick & Schmick’s Seafood The extensive menu changes daily depending on each day’s fresh seafood deliveries. With more than 80 preparations on the menu each day, every guest is sure to find something to satisfy their palate. mccormickandschmicks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 Fannin. 713.658.8100. L & D Daily. $$$

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. $$$$

McDonald’s Fast Food 808 Dallas @ Milam, 713.651.9449. B & L Daily; D Mon-Fri. $

shop, sip, eat, repeat mkt bar's globally influenced fare gives shoppers a reason to rave.

phoenicia specialty foods 1001 austin 832.360.2222 phoeniciafoods.com Monday - Wednesday 7 a.m. - 9 p.m. Thursday-Friday 7 a.m. - 2 a.m. Saturday 9 a.m. - 2 a.m. Sunday 9 a.m. - 8 p.m.

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Downtown visitors are praising Phoenicia Specialty Foods for its international selection, stellar grab-n-go selections and convenient wine and cooking department. But the bonus has been the addition of its MKT Bar. This cozy corner within the store is part restaurant, part bar, part coffee shop, part gelateria and a total haven for anyone with a craving. Just walking into the bar feels good. The decor is a mix of polished metal and stained woods, with a backsplash of cream subway tiles adding a cozy dose of vintage. Industrial metal chairs and stools fill the room and invite shoppers to kick back and settle into the mellow scene. Patrons can snack on crunchy plantain chips, ceviche and seasoned za’avatar fries as they sip on worldly libations from the bar, which features an impressive showing of wines by the glass or bottle and more than a dozen beers on draft. Late lunch, happy hour and dinner crowds find a refreshing perspective on burgers with international influences like the Moroccan slider with grilled lamb, spicy shanklish cheese smothered in a labni garlic aioli and the Indian slider with madras curry and lime shrimp. The pizza selections vary from Armenian to fresh farmers market veggie to meat-heavy pies, all served up on crust made locally at Phoenicia’s prized bakery. Top off any visit with something sweet. Go with an American classic with a Mediterranean twist like apple baklava a la mode or try a unique gelato flavor like cardamom Turkish coffee. “The space offers a multi-use, urban concept, a much-needed entity for professionals and dwellers in the area," said Phoenicia owner Haig Tcholakian. We have to agree. Grocery shopping shouldn’t be a task. With MKT Bar’s sweets and sips, you will always have an excuse to stick around.


plate Murphy’s Deli Deli Indulge in a variety of sandwiches and salads. Hot or cold, Murphy’s specializes in creating your sandwich any way it’s ordered. murphysdeli.com 601 Jefferson, 713.652.4939. 1021 Main, 713.275.1912. 440 Louisiana, 713.247.9122. B & L Mon-Fri all locations. $ New Orleans Cajun Po-Boy Fast Food A great place to grab a fried shrimp or crawfish po-boy. 648 Polk, 713.750.0007. L Mon-Fri. $ L Niko Niko’s Greek & American Houston icon Dimitri Fetokakis opened his cafe last fall at Market Square Park. Favorties such as the gyro and kebob are on the menu along with new items such as the breakfast pita. Specialty coffee drinks, beer and wine also available. nikonikos.com. Market Square Park, 301 Milam. B, L, D daily. $ L Pappas BBQ Barbecue Voted one of Houston’s best year after year, this barbecue joint offers an excellent selection with Texas-sized portions. Traditional favorites such as brisket, ribs, sausage and ham are served with Pappas’ flare. Delivery and take-out are available. pappasbbq.com. 1217 Pierce, 713.659.1245. L & D Daily. 1100 Smith, 713.759.0018. L & D Mon-Fri. $ Paul’s Snack Shop Deli Sandwiches, salads and snacks to-go.1213 Prairie, 713.224.4701. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Perbacco Italian An adorable little spot located at street level of one of Houston’s skyscrapers, Perbacco serves up Italian cuisine in a modern and fresh atmosphere. Catering to downtown workers and the theater crowd, you always get quick and friendly service and tasty food. 700 Milam, 713.224.2422. L Mon-Fri; D Thu-Sat. $ 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. $$$ Quizno’s Fast Food 811 Rusk, 713.227.7702. L & D Mon-Fri. 1119 Commerce, 713.228.9000. L & D Mon-Sun. $ Rachel’s Sandwich Shop Deli A good little sandwich shop. 421 San Jacinto, 713.223.3913. B & L Mon-Fri. $ new! Red Lantern Vietnamese A small café hiding in the historic district, Red Lantern packs a punch. Known for its delicious bahn mi and pho, the lunch crowd can’t get enough of the pork egg rolls and vermicelli bowls. 917 Franklin, 713.237.0360 L, D M-F. $ The Sam Bar American Casual The Alden Hotel's relaxed dining option where you'll find a breakfast buffet and a great bar menu with tasty appetizers, salads, burgers and sandwiches every day of the week. A good spot for a fast lunch or a bite before the ballgame, you'll also love the happy hour and cocktail offerings. aldenhotels.com. Alden Hotel, 1117 Prairie, 832.200.8800. B, L & D Daily. $$ L Samba Grille South American Samba Grille offers a vast lunch selection of appetizers, homemade soups, fresh salads and choice meats and seafood. At dinner service, gauchos weave their way through the dining room to bring the most exquisite churrascaria service, from their meat-loaded rotisserie spears, directly to the plate. sambagrillehouston.com. 530 Texas at Bayou Place, 713.343.1180. L Mon-Fri & Sun; D daily. $$-$$$

smoothie flavors. 1225 Travis, 713.659.0200. L Mon-Fri. $ Shay McElroy’s Pub Fare This authentic Irish pub offers up a menu of appetizers, sandwiches, salads and soups. mcelroyspub.com. 909 Texas, 713.223.2444. L Mon–Fri. $ 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 hand-painted on official NFL game footballs makes Pro Hall-of-Famer Don Shula’s Steak House stand out from the rest. Become a member of the 48oz Club by finishing a 48-ounce Shula Cut. donshula.com. Hyatt Regency Hotel, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4777. B, L & D Daily. $$$ Skyline Deli Deli With their freshly baked bread, Skyline makes a great deli sandwich. 717 Texas, 713.571.0509. B & L Mon-Fri. $ L Spaghetti Warehouse Italian Making its home in an old warehouse, this Italian-American eatery offers up large portions for lunch and dinner. Traditional menu items such as spaghetti and meatballs, lasagna and pizza allow the Spaghetti Warehouse to cater to all ages and appetites. meatballs.com 901 Commerce, 713.229.0009. L & D Daily. $$ L Spencer’s for Steaks and Chops Steak House An ideal location to enjoy a great steak, Spencer’s offers top-quality beef and boasts an extensive wine list. The atmosphere is light, engaging and conducive to conversation. Hilton Americas, 1600 Lamar, 713.577.8325. L & D Daily. $$$$ L Spindletop Seafood A favorite Houston seafood restaurant and fine dining experience ideal for birthday parties, family reunions, anniversaries and engagements. Perched on the 34th floor of Hyatt Regency Downtown, this glass-walled restaurant makes one revolution every 45 minutes, ensuring you'll enjoy 360-degree views of the city and all of its famous landmarks. houstonregency.hyatt.com. Hyatt Regency, 1200 Louisiana, 713.375.4775. D Tue-Sat. $$$ The State Bar Pub Fare Located on the second floor of Post Rice Lofts with a beautiful balcony overlooking Texas Ave., this upscale lounge also serves appetizers and hearty sandwiches with your martinis and margaritas. thestatebar.com. 909 Texas, Suite 2A, 713.229.8888. Mon-Sat. $ L Strip House Steak House Only minutes from the convention center and Toyota Center, Strip House’s mouth-watering steaks are accompanied by a seductive ambiance. Red walls and carpet give this steak palace a unique interior. An international collection of wines puts the finishing touches on the restaurant. striphouse.net. The Shops at Houston Center, 1200 McKinney, 713.659.6000. L Mon-Fri; D Daily; LN Fri & Sat. $$$$ Subway Fast Food 405 Main, 713.227.4700. 805 Dallas, 713.651.1331. Daily. $

L 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. $$$

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. $

SG’s Express Vietnamese Vietnamese You’ll find all your Vietnamese favorites here: vermicelli bowl, the sandwich, egg drop soup, egg rolls and many different

new! Tejas Grill & Sports Bar American Downtown's newest spot for sports fans with large appetites and an arsenal of high fives. Located at The Shops at Houston

Center, Tejas offers the perfect tailgate menu and full-service bar. tejasgrillandsportsbar.com. 1201 Lamar at The Shops at Houston Center, 713.739.8352. L Mon-Fri, D Mon-Sat. $$ Thepthidaa Thai Thai A traditional Thai restaurant located at the ground level of the loft residence Hogg Palace. The warm and cozy atmosphere offers a great setting for a dinner escape and is a local favorite. 401 Louisiana, 713.225.4900. D Daily. $ L III Forks American Upscale, warm atmosphere and impeccable service sets the stage for this sophisticated steakhouse. New York strip and filet mignon, bone-in ribeye, porterhouse, young rack of lamb and veal chop are served with duchess potatoes, off-the-cob cream corn, and perfectly cooked vegetables. Seafood items include Chilean sea bass, Ahi tuna, salmon, halibut, scallops and lobster tails, which are flown in daily. iiiforks.com. Houston Pavilions, 1201 San Jacinto, Level 1, 713.658.9457. L Tue–Fri; D Mon–Sat. $$$$ L Treebeards Southern A downtown institution for more than 30 years, Treebeards offers tasty Cajun dishes that are sure to satisfy. Favorite menu items include the chicken and shrimp gumbo, red beans and rice and étouffée. For dessert, try the famous butter bar. treebeards.com. 315 Travis, 713.228.2622. Cloisters at Christ Church Cathedral, 1117 Texas, 713.229.8248. L Mon-Fri. $ Trofi Restaurant Continental Trofi’s menu is described as Continental with a Mediterranean and Latin flair and the ambience is simple, yet sophisticated. Lunch buffets are available Monday through Friday. 400 Dallas, Doubletree Hotel, 713.759.0202. B, L & D Daily. $$ 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 cafeteria-style Cajun joint brings Louisiana dishes to the Hospital District of downtown Houston. Traditional Cajun items such as po-boys, jambalaya and gumbo make Zydeco a great lunch stop. A casual atmosphere adds to the enjoyment. 1119 Pease, 713.759.2001. L Mon-Fri. $

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sip. The Brewery Tap | 717 Franklin

Sit at one of the long wooden picnic tables (think biergarten) and chill with one of the 35 beers on tap. Laid-back and friendly, a great place to catch a soccer game and play some darts. Mon-Thu 4-10 pm; Fri & Sat 4 pm-1 am; Sun 4-11 p.m.

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

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plate SPRING 2012

Looking for a spot to go after a long day or for a fun night out with friends? Check out some of our favorites—from the quintessential dive to swanky lounges, you’re sure to find something that will quench your thirst!

House of Blues | 1204 Caroline Street @ Houston Pavilions A well-known national franchise with a lively, fun atmosphere. A 1,500-person concert venue is onsite and some of the best touring shows in the country come through on a weekly basis. The members-only Foundation Room is 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, hoolahooping 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 punk-rock karaoke. Live bands on weekends. Daily 8 pm-2 am.

PBR Houston | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place Cowboy cool meets urban chic in this country bar in the city. Grab a cold beer, hard drinks and try your hand at a little bull riding. This is the place when you want to two-step, hang low, or just meet a pretty little lady or urban cowboy. Great balcony seating for scenic views of 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, drinkalong, have-one-helluva-good-time-along bar! Wed-Sat, 7 pm-2 am Wed-Sat 7 pm-2 am, showtime @ 8 pm. petesduelingpianobar.com

The Sam Bar | 1117 Prairie Street @ Alden Hotel Located in the Alden Hotel. This upscale bar is furnished with dark leather banquettes and a menu of 30 cocktails, both classic and new mixologist creations. Sun-Thu 11 ammidnight, Fri & Sat 11 am-1 am. aldenhotels.com

Sambuca | 909 Texas @ Post Rice Lofts Guests can enjoy live music most nights of the week in this upscale and eclectic environment. The plush interior and elegant design make for an amazing location. Enjoy your favorite drink inside or hang outside on the patio with the locals. Sun-Wed 11 am-midnight, Thu 11 am-1 am, Fri 11 am-2 am, Sat 4:30 pm-2 am. sambucarestaurant.com

Shark Bar | 534 Texas @ Live! at Bayou Place No need to drive to Galveston to get to the beach. This surf bar is an endless party with pail punch, pina coladas and retro dance music that will take you to the North Shore. 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.

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Downtown Spring 2012  
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