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EDITOR’S NOTE OURBLOK SUMMER 2013 BLOKHEAD SCOTT TALLEY SCOTT@OURBLOK.COM DIRECTOR OF OPERATIONS HOLLY GRAJALES HOLLY@OURBLOK.COM PAGINATION & DESIGN RONI KOP GRAPHICS@OURBLOK.COM DIRECTOR OF WEB DEVT DANIELO ROJAS DANIELO@OURBLOK.COM CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS COVER PHOTO: RICK WELLS HOME TOUR PHOTOS: KIT DAVIS AD SALES MOOSE ROSENFELD MOOSE@OURBLOK.COM ACCOUNT MANAGER LANA HUDSON LANA@OURBLOK.COM FOR FRANCHISE INFO INFO@OURBLOK.COM 713-868-2002 FOR ADVERTISING RATES INFO@OURBLOK.COM 713-868-2002 OurBlok.com has made all reasonable efforts to verify the accuracy of articles and information within. Responsibilities for accuracy of claims and information of our advertisers lie solely with them. Editorial content does not necessarily express the opinions of the publisher. Editorial or advertising does not constitute advice, but is considered information. Copyright 2013 by OurBlok.com. All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted or otherwise reproduced without the written permission from OurBlok.com. OurBlok.com is published quarterly by OurBlok.com at 4920 Center St., Houston, Texas 77007.
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Funny I was thinking as I sat down to write this that usually I would prefer to be writing a “letter to the editor” as opposed to a letter “ from the editor.” With an area as vibrant as the Greater Heights it is challenging to choose the items to try and focus on. We hope you enjoy our feature article on Young Wines and Old Vines. We had a great time visiting with Shannon at Vinters Own and Rogelio of La Fuente Wines. The fact that these two are in the area and doing such great things with their wines is a complete gas to me. We all know that we have a diverse business population but to think that the Heights area would be home to two distinct wine purveyors is surprising. Our goal of connecting the community continues to grow with Immanuel Lutheran joining our program. This brings the total of non profit groups to eight in The Greater Heights and over 135 city wide. Businesses have agreed to by into the concept and now all we need is you! By joining the program you can choose which charity you would like to help. When you trade with that business not only will you receive a reward but you will also raise much needed funds for your group. I hope you will take the time to either request an OurBlok card at www.ourblok.com or have one of the charities or businesses provide you with one. Be sure and take a look at page 5 to see the growing lists of businesses who have gifts and rewards waiting for you. There are a number of great new places to try. Also if you want to save the trees be sure and download the publication on any tablet in the house. You will be the first to receive the issue and you may enjoy the interactive nature that print just can not provide. The process is simple. Just sign on at Kindle, Android or I tunes and enter “ourblok digital”. Take your time getting to know the functions (no one is looking) and you may find as I have that reading digital publications has its advantages. Either way we hope you will enjoy OurBlok as much as we enjoy bringing it to you!
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this issue Old Vines & New Wines
10 Old Vines & New Wines - Heights Wineries 16 Babies Can Swim! 32 Your Sustainable Home 38 Shepherd to Sabine...A Work of Art 42 The Prodigal Sons of Katch 22 48 Friends For Life
DEPARTMENTS Babies Can Swim! Never Too Early to Start
Your Blok Cool Hunting
Never A Boring Day
New to Heights
Preferred Service Providers
Rants & Raves
38 Shepherd to Sabine Winter 6 OurBlok Summer 66 OurBlok OurBlok Spring 6 OurBlok
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Ready to be rewarded OurBlok Summer 9
Young Wines... Old Why do we love wine? It tastes great! And with the right food it’s incredible. Finding the right food and wine pairing can be sensory nirvana. Every wine is different, and opening a bottle is opening a mystery. That doesn’t mean the mystery always has a happy ending, but it is always fun. Opening a bottle with friends creates instant conversation. For some people Wine is Biblical, reading the parable where Jesus turned water into wine. Now that is a wedding I wished I had been invited to! Wine is a topic where everyone has an opinion, nobody is wrong, and the whole point is to enjoy life. Hard to resist that combination! The process of creating the wine is a beautiful combination of hard work and creative artistry. I love seeing that blend in something that’s so enjoyable and so easily consumed. But all of those reasons flow from one idea: wine is a discovery. The taste, the smell, the story, the place, the reaction of friends, the laughter, the sound of that cork popping… it’s all a process of discovery that engages the mind, heart and, yes, soul. Wines are great young and some even better old. Wine comes from some of the most beautiful places in the world, Napa Valley, Italy, France, Australia, South Africa, Chile and The Greater Heights!
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New Wines Did you know there’s a winery in the Heights? Vintners Own, nestled in a cluster of corporate office buildings on W. 12th in the Heights, is one of the best-kept secrets in Houston. A “smalllot” barrel production facility, the micro-winery offers enthusiasts the chance to create their own signature vintages with the same sophisticated machinery and tools available at large-scale operations. From selecting the grapes (most people opt to ship from vineyards in Napa or Sonoma Valley), hand sorting the clusters, destemming, crushing, testing for sugars and PH, to the addition of yeast and nutrients, and punching down the cap, you can be involved in every aspect. In addition to participating in the wine making process, customers design the labels they wish, and pick both the type of bottle and foil of your choice. The level of involvement is up to each customer. Though each lot of wine is individually processed from crush to bottle. The end results are phenomenal bottles of your own wine unique to your taste and choices made from the most gorgeous grapes! Also you can come as often as you like to taste and check the progress of your wine as it matures, of course bringing other wine lovers with you for barrel tastings.
Over the past year the facility began offering wine in kegs. The “New Wine” rage on the West Coast. There are the eight different varietals of wine on tap and this is one email lists you want to get on. The winery is run by Shannon Paige. A California transplant who has been in Houston long enough to be what I call an adopted native. The Vintners House Blend, Zinfandel and Petite Syrah are beyond compare, rich wines without a hint of the capsule they were poured from. Shannon can candidly point out the advantages of bottling wine in a keg. A trend that started in California and is gaining momentum on both coasts. “For one, it is greener,” she says, “Each unit holds roughly 120 glasses, eliminating the waste of bottles and corks, as well as freeing up storage space.” Shannon went on to explain that the aluminum kegs are reusable and recyclable, and the equipment easy to operate. A tapped keg will stay fresh for around three months, thanks to the addition of argon gas. Perfect for restaurants and bars or private parties and weddings, kegs can either be filled with Vintners Napa and Sonoma wines or custom made signature blends.
For those just interested in learning more about the process, Vintners Own also offers a variety of wine seminars and classes. Those held during the harvest season (July - October) provide hands on experience with the grapes and equipment for around $100. Vintners Own Winery is the premier wine making facility that puts the art of wine making into your hands and it is right here in our own back yard at Ella and 12th. Shannon was an employee at Vinters Own when the owners decided they were ready to move on with life. Her love and passion for wine inspired her to put together a team of investors who could help her move Vintners Own to the next level. It is clear she loves what she is dong and is enjoying offering a unique opportunity for client gifts and for individuals who are passionate about wines and wine making. “Many people share the wine, cost and experience with friends or business associates. What better way to bond?” commented Shannon.
To learn more about Vintners Own visit their website at
or on follow them on facebook. OurBlok Summer 11
The Story of “The Lost Grape” From La Fuente Winery Website
Old Vines In the 1860’s in Bordeaux, France, the grape growing area was devastated by a horrible infestation. However, before this, Chileans had exported these vines to their country. Chilean winemakers had long been intrigued by what they thought was a unique clone of the merlot grape growing in many vineyards. It was slower to ripen than other merlots, and its leaves were pinkish, which was also unusual. French ampelographer Jean-Michel Boursiquot was soon on the case, and he determined that the mystery fruit was, in fact, carmenère—the so-called “lost grape of Bordeaux.” In the years since carmenère’s true identity was revealed, the Chileans have embraced it as if it were a native son and have ramped up its production dramatically. In turn, Chile has proved to be an excellent home in exile for the grape. Another great export from Chile is Rogelio de La Fuente by way of Mexico. Owner of La Fuente Winery, Rogelio waded across the Rio Grande from Mexico in 1946, seeking an easier life for himself. He wasn’t fleeing poverty, simply didn’t want to slave away in his father’s restaurants in Chihuahua and Juarez. After earning his degree from the University of Texas, de la Fuente worked as a sales rep for Gallo. It was during his Gallo tenure, de la Fuente swears, that he persuaded 12 OurBlok Summer
Ernest and Julio to start making an inexpensive apple wine - patterned after French and Spanish cidre that came to be called “Boone’s Farm.” At one point 80,000 cases a month were being sold! As he tells it the wine was” 69 cents a bottle, college kids loved it and it was cheaper than pot.” His decades of experience in and around food and wine led de la Fuente into his present calling as Heights area winemaker. After partnering up with some heavy hitters, the man who calls himself “The Wine Doctor” set up shop in Chile’s Maule Valley and began working on his wines. At this point he was was already in his mid-70s. Now 80 plus but who is counting, there’s nothing oldschool about the La Fuente Winery family, which includes an unoaked chardonnay, a super-light-bodied “New Generation” cabernet, a fresh, minimally acidic sauvignon blanc, a peppery, plummy merlot and a big, spicy carmenere, which, of course, any Chilean winemaker must have on offer. Refulio prides himself on creating wines that are all 100 percent the advertised varietal, creating the pure flavor he believes results from not blending. We met at his digs on Hempstead Highway and once we had warmed up he graciously began to pour out his story and his wine. The La Fuente sauvignon blanc and the lightly-oaked cab are excellent and both Houston Rodeo Award winners. De la Fuente’s bottles are easily picked out of a crowd. The label is a reproduction of Léon
Bonnat’s Roman Girl at a Fountain, which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “We’re the only wine to be in the Met,” he said proudly. The hour we had planned to spend turned into two and then more. If you have an opportunity to visit with him make it happen. It is like sitting with a cross between James Bond and The Dos Equis man! His Tasting Room is located at 10606 Hempstead Highway, Suite 118. Open from 1 to 5 p.m. on Saturdays.Ever presently he is there weekly, pouring his wines, serving up free enchiladas and telling stories like only he can tell. Test your new relationship and see if you can get him to share the story of how he was successful in acquiring pictures from the Met. To be in his company is a treat in and of itself. You cannot help but love an “older vine” who relishes talking about the next chapter of his life and taking his Heights area wines to New York and beyond. So whether you like Old Vines or New wines we all love having a place to go for great wines in The Heights!
To learn more about La Fuente Winery visit their website at www.lafuentewinery.com
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www.OurBlok.com This award was earned at Chopping Block on Washington Blvd. 14 OurBlok Summer
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Babies Can Swim! Never too early to start... Did you know that babies can develop a passion for swimming? They are born with a love for the water so parents can relax and share the joy that comes with their love of the water. If you are like me the first few years are so harrowing that it is hard to relax wondering when they are about to go under and just how much water they will swallow. Early introduction to aquatics is best, because a child under age one is less influenced by negative attitudes about the water. If parents start their child in lessons later, it can be harder to get the child comfortable on their back in the water. It often takes longer for the child to get used to the teacher, the water, the distractions at the pool and submersion. An older toddler may have reached a “clingy” stage and is resistant to leaving the comfort of mom’s or dad’s shoulder. Regardless, it is better to start swim lessons when a child is older than not at all when you consider the seriousness of the consequences and more importantly the enjoyment you all can ultimately share. Drowning is the 4th most common cause of death by unintentional injury, after highway deaths, falls and poisoning. The latest data provided by The Red Cross a show drowning as the leading cause of death for recreational and sporting activities and it is children ages 1-4 year who drown most often. The highest rates of hospitalization for near drowning’s were also seen in toddlers and infants. Many children are left with permanent brain damage due to drowning accidents. Approximately 10 people drown daily! Research has shown that swim lessons can make a child safer around water. A study conducted by Ruth Brenner and her colleagues in 2009 at the National Institute of Health, discovered that participation in formal swimming lessons can reduce the risk of drowning by 88% among children aged 1-4 years. The researchers concluded that swimming lessons had a “preventative effect” 16 OurBlok Summer
By Scott Talley
The OurBlok Publication is now available on tablets and E-readers! Get Ourblokâ€™s powerful application with an insight to our local community. Now available on you smart-phone, tablets and E-reader!
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(Babies Can Swim con’t)
and “should be considered for inclusion as part of a complete preventive program.” The goal for the combination of swim and water safety lessons for the 1-4 year old is for them to learn a swimfloat-swim technique used worldwide to prepare the child for an emergency situation. When the child falls in the water, he is trained to hold his breath, kick to the surface and then roll over onto his back where he can rest, breathe and scream for help. Then he rolls in a horizontal position back onto his stomach and continues a swim-float-swim sequence until he reaches the safety of the wall or steps. There are inspiring true stories of children saving themselves in a neardrowning because they learned this technique or have been taught to grab for the wall or kick to the steps for safety. And, there’s a big bonus for a child who learns to swim! It helps them get ready for learning and school. Scientific studies of young swimmers at the German Sports College have shown that early water stimulation helps the child develop: physically, mentally and emotionally. Compared with a control group that did not take year-round lessons, the children who swam consistently from infancy (three months) were significantly stronger and more coordinated when tested at 2, 3 and 4 years. The children also scored higher for intelligence and problem-solving, which carried over into excellence in academic 22 OurBlok Spring 22 OurBlok Summer
achievement. Emotionally, they were found to be more self-disciplined with greater self-control and an increased desire to succeed. The consistent goal setting and skill achievement in swimming can help them feel great about themselves as they have fun splashing around.
So by all means get your children in swim lessons early and often. The Harriet and Joe Foster YMCA offers swim classes on a regular basis. Call 713-869-3378. For a hard to believe video of infants swimming scan the QR code!
Location! Location! Location!
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1. Beauchamp Estates Few Homes Remain! From the $420’s 281-944-8201
The Terraces of Yale
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For more information,
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See a David Weekley Homes Sales Consultant for details. Prices, plans, dimensions, features, specifications, materials, and availability of homes or communities are subject to change without notice or obligation. Illustrations are artist’s depictions only and may differ from completed improvements. Copyright © 2013 David Weekley Homes – All Rights Reserved. Houston, TX (HOUA52267)
Never a boring day i MONDAY Absolve Wine Lounge All day happy hour, movie night @ 7:30pm 920 Studemont St.
Canyon Creek Cafe Steak Night Steak and Potato $14 6603 Westcott Street (713) 864-5885 canyoncreekcafe.com
Happy Hour 3-7pm $3 Ice cold beers $5 house-made sangria 801 Studewood St.
Buffalo Wild Wings 3939 Washington Wings Tuesday .50! Special Prices every Tuesday on Wings! 832-356-2980
Beer & Burger Mon $10 Lukes Ice House 903 Durham Dr 1034 W 20th St Taco Tuesday’s, Live 713-808-9134 Music & Jukebox Sonoma 281-888-7028 15% off any bubbles, glass or bottle Cedar Creek 801 Studewood St Texas Tuesdays
Industry Brunch 11am-3pm Bottomless mimosas & breakfast specials! 6502 Washington
Heights NE Library 1302 Heights Blvd 2:00 PM - 2:30 PM
1034 W 20th St Steak Night and all Texas Beers on Sale!
Bootcamp in the Park
Spotts Park 3621 Willia Street M-Th 6:30pm - 7:30pm other class times available houstonareabootcamp.com
WEDNESDAY Karaoke Night with Nina Lombardo The Usual : 8:00 p.m. every Wed.
Intro to Zen Sitting
If you are new to Zen or meditation. We offer a one-hour introduction on the first Wednesday of each month, beginning at 6:30 p.m. 1605 Heights Boulevard, 713-8691952
Nundini Chef's Table 3 Wine Flight w/ assorted brushcetta only $15 Antinori Deal! 5-7pm
Taps House of Beers 5120 Washington Ave. Trivia Night 7PM - 1AM 713-426-1105
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Bingo at Lodge 88
every Thursday night Doors open at 5:15pm. 1435 Beall St. Get there early for parking & good seats!
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@ 6pm - Check Houston Heights Urbanites FB for monthly location
Latin Night w/ Guateque Band 8pm-Midnight 1500 Shepherd Dr
Have an event you want toLISTEN post? EAT DRINK DANCE WAT Send events and listings to email@example.com
22 OurBlok Winter 24 OurBlok Summer 24 OurBlok Winter 22 OurBlok
in the Greater Heights FRIDAY 360 Sports Lounge 4601 WASHINGTON Happy Hour Mon-Fri 3p-7p $2 Drafts, $5 Calls $4 Appetizers
Porch Swing Pub
69 Heights Blvd. Happy Hour 11am – 7pm every day. $9 Domestic Light Pitchers. $4.00 Wells. $2.75 Select Domestic Bottles Free wi-fi!
SATURDAY SUNDAY Saturdays with Scouts
Scout’s Honor Rescue monthly adoption day the first Saturday of every month. 1128 Heights Blvd (between 11th & 12th Streets) from 10AM 3PM.
The La Fuente Winery Tastings 10606 Hempstead
Harriet & Joe Foster Highway, Ste 118 YMCA 713.269.4489 Family Yoga Fridays! 1234 West 34th Street 713.869.3378
Open Mic Fridays 9 pm 1200 Durham Dr.
Rainbow Lodge Live Music 6-9 2011 Ella Blvd
Make your wine and own label! Assemble a wine making team. Call 713 880 3794 & schedule appt.
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Sunday Brunch 1718 Houston Ave 11 am - 3 pm cafebrusselshouston.com 713-222-6996
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1802 Shepherd Dr. Sunday Brunch Buffet 10am - 3pm
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Keep an Visit eye out OurBlok.com for new for the most events up to date and venues... list of events there’s and venues... always there’s plenty always to do plenty in theto Greater do in the Heights! Greater Heights!
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BUY LOCAL FIRST! Our Greater Heights Online Directory Makes it Easy The Greater Heights Area Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to helping our members grow and prosper. These predominately small businesses are the economic backbone of our community. Supporting local merchants and service providers is not only convenient, it’s good for the local economy and leads to business expansion, the hiring of additional employees and the availability of an even broader array of products and services. So next time you need something simply visit our website and check our members first!
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545 West 19th St. Houston, Texas 77008 713-861-6735 www.heightschamber.com 26 OurBlok Summer
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www.OurBlok.com OurBlok Summer 27
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28 OurBlok Summer
Whatâ€™s New and Where to Go! Eklektik INteriors 1300 Shepherd Dr.
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Important Terms and Conditions: Promotional Offers: Require activation of new qualifying DISH service with 24-month commitment and credit qualification. All prices, fees, packages, programming, features, functionality and offers subject to change without notice After 12-month promotional period then-current regular monthly price applies and is subject to change. ETF: If you cancel service during first 24 months, early cancellation fee of $20 for each month remaining applies. For iPad 2 offer, if you cancel service during first 24 months, early cancellation fee of $30 for each month remaining applies. Activation fee: may apply. Add’tl Requirements: For iPad 2 offer: customer must select Hopper system and minimum of America’s Top 120 package; allow 4-6 weeks for delivery; offer not available in Puerto Rico or USVI. HD Free for Life: $10/mo HD fee waived for life of current account; requires continuous enrollment in AutoPay with Paperless Billing. Premium Channels: 3-month premium movie offer value is $135; after promotional period, then-current regular monthly price applies and is subject to change. Hopper Features: AutoHop feature is only available with playback the next day of select primetime shows on ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC as part of PrimeTime Anytime feature. Both features are subject to availability. Blockbuster @Home Offer: 3 month offer value $30. After 3 months, then-current regular monthly price applies and is subject to change. Requires online DISH account; broadband internet to stream content; HD DVR to stream to TV Streaming to TV and some channels not available with select packages. Installation/Equipment Requirements: Free Standard Professional Installation only. Certain equipment is leased and must be returned to DISH upon cancellation or unreturned equipment fees apply. Upfront and additional monthly fees may apply Recording hours vary; 2000 hours based on SD programming. Equipment comparison based on equipment available from major TV providers as of 5/22/13. Watching live and recorded TV anywhere requires a broadband-connected, Sling-enabled DVR and compatible mobile device. Misc: Offers available for new and qualified former customers, and subject to terms of applicable Promotional and Residential Customer agreements. State reimbursement charges may apply. Additional restrictions and taxes may apply. Offers end 9/18/13. HBO®, Cinemax® and related channels and service marks are the property of Home Box Office Inc. SHOWTIME is a registered trademark of Showtime Networks Inc., a CBS Company. STARZ and related channels and service marks are property of Starz Entertainment, LLC. All new customers are subject to a one-time processing fee.
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Many people living in the Houston Heights may not know about the Houston Heights Association (HHA), a 30-year-old, non-profit organization that promotes and fosters friendship, goodwill and community spirit. HHA uses proceeds from membership dues, donations, and its FUNdraising events to maintain the Heights Boulevard esplanade, Marmion and Donovan parks, and the historic Houston Heights City Hall & Fire Station. The Association also supports educational activities for local schools and schoolchildren, and promotes local businesses. Joining is easy, affordable and available to renters, homeowners and businesses. Annual memberships are: •Household $ 25 •Individual $ 20 •Non-profit or Church $ 50 •Small business $ 65 •Standard business $150 There’s always something fun happening in the neighborhood and many events are sponsored by HHA! For example, an all-volunteer committee is currently organizing the 2013 HHA Bike Rally & Scavenger Hunt, which will take place on Sunday, Oct. 6. If bicycling is an activity you enjoy, get involved!
In the meantime, for more information about the Association, go to http://www.houstonheights.org 34 OurBlok Summer
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36 OurBlok Summer
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Have you had the best lately? OurBlok Summer 37
Future official dog park at Montrose and Allen Parkway will include ponds and shaded structures.
hen you ask Houstonians what makes our city great, the responses will run from the medical center, our role in the space program, the oil & gas industries, the first domed stadium, Galleria and all our fabulous food scene. But when you study the history you can not help but recognize the role that water has played in our rich history. From Allen’s Landing to the port, the ingenious Turning Basin and our historic waterfront Buffalo Bayou. Which was recognized in 2012 by by the American Planning Association as one of the nations 10 great public spaces. As you may know, Bufflao Bayou is undergoing a facelift that only Houston could make happen.
Wortham Foundations’ $5 million and the Harris County Flood Control contributing another $5 million. The private-public effort is one of a kind in the entire country, added trails, back lit pedestrian bridges, public art, a nature playground, two ponds, recreational spaces and of course, parking. The key goal is restoring the diversity of landscapes that historically grew along the bayou. The planting of Cypress trees along the bank will not only stabilize potential erosion but also provide shade for the fish. A visitor
The $58 million project is being overseen by the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Like so many great enhancements to our city the collaboration is taken place between non profit groups, businesses and city leadership. The Kinder Foundation’s $30 million seed money launched the project. Think of the fore site and planning that goes into the redesign, planting and construction of a 160 acre park! The partnership’s $23 million goal was aided by both the 38 OurBlok Summer
Final bridge span in place at Jackson Hill pedestrian Bridge. Will be open to the public in early September 2013.
A Work of Art center in downtown will house both bike and boat rentals. A rectangular “skylawn” will help focus on downtown’s skyline. The “Gardens at Lost Lake” was funded by the Garden Club of Houston while HEB contributed to a cascading water fixture at the entrance. Over 50% of the park will be replanted with meadows to add beauty and reduce costs. The Katy Prairie Conservancy is adding their expertise to 11 self sustaining acres. Expansion of the popular Eleanor Tinsley Park are in order as well. The enormous potential of this waterway has done what rarely happens in other cities. It has brought together government, nonprofits and the business community in a bold initiative that millions will enjoy for years to come. Putting an emphasis once again on the role that waterways have played both in Houston’s rich history and even more so in its bright future!
This site, called Lost Lake, will be a popular destination along Buffalo Bayou. Buffalo Bayou Partnership will be restoring a pon that was lost in the 1970s as well as adding beautiful native gardens, a visitor center, picnic pavilion, boating concession and parking. Construction is expected to be complete in mid-2015.
Construction taking place behind the Police Memorial along Memorial Drive. This pedestrian bridge will be open to the public in early fall 2013.
OurBlok Summer 39
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The Prodigal Sons Luke Mandola Jr., the son of a major player in the Houston restaurant scene (Ragin Cajun owner Luke Mandola Sr.), and Kory Clemens, the son of a Major League Baseball legend (Roger Clemens), are the ones calling the shots at Katch 22, Washington Corridor’s newest “sporty restaurant.” While the “apple may not fall far from the tree” these two recognize that they alone will be responsible for their ultimate success and the family name will only carry them so far. Sort of like the world of sports, reputation alone will not ensure success. Katch 22 opened on May 15, the 29th anniversary of Roger Clemens’ Major League debut. Kory Clemens and Luke Mandola Jr. seem to be fond of this sort of symbolism. The restaurant’s name is derived from Roger’s number 22 also big on Ks of course naming all his kids (Kody, Kacy, Koby and Kory) along with the letter that signifies strikeouts in baseball. On top of that, Mandola was a catcher in college. And also has a son born on the 22nd. We sat down with Luke and Kory over lunch at their place on 700 Durham.
Q. How would you describe Katch 22? Kory is quick to emphasize “It is a restaurant first and a great place to watch a game second.” Clemens, who studied cooking at Le Cordon Bleu in Austin also worked with Mandola at Ragin’ Cajun and will serve as the executive chef. 42 OurBlok Summer
Q. So what was the inspiration here? “It’s about good food, good times, spirits, family and friends,” Mandola Jr. says, indicating the phrases posted on the chalkboard wall behind him. “There are not a lot of places in Houston where you can get an outstanding meal, good wine, nice cocktails meshed together with a sporty setting.”
Q. How did you all decide on the menu? “In this business you have to hang your hat on four items to be really successful,” Mandola Jr. says. In Katch 22’s case, those include items that we like to eat, and what we grew up eating, like Bacon-wrapped quail and the lobster roll from Kory Clemens’ native Boston.
“We’re looking for the general public to help us decide on the other two.” Mandola Jr. says. “The palate of the city will change our menu. Whatever they like, we’ll kind of go in that direction.” Katch 22 is a “sports and spirits” restaurant that is designed to appeal to men and women. The restaurant also offers a reasonably-priced wine list and Texas craft beer. With a family history that these two are blessed with there is no reason Katch 22 cannot be a hit right off the bat. The restaurant’s open Tuesdays through Sundays and closed Mondays. I ended up ordering the gourmet burger and my lunch partner ordered the steak sandwich. We received our food on time and it was excellent. The burger was well seasoned and the bun was perfect. I would definitely order it again. One whiff of the sandwich on my buddies plate, and I knew it would be good. The strips of beef are cooked to order and topped with fried red onion strings. A nice mayo-horseradish sauce is a perfect complement to the taste. We also sampled the bacon wrapped quail, wings, and apple pie. The apple pie is off the charts! Full bar, outdoor seating area,the restaurant has great lighting and enough TV’s but not at all over the top. I am not the baseball fan I used to be, but definitely a fan of Katch 22. Katch 22 also participates in OurBlok’s community rewards program. Take your OurBlok card and receive $5.00 off your first visit and earn 5% cash back on all purchases!
“It’s about good food, good times, spirits, family and friends” OurBlok Spring 43
PREFERRED SERVICE PROVIDERS
OurBlok participating Preferred Service Providers make a cash back donation to local causes partnered with OurBlok.
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Kitchen & Bath Remodeling Kitchens & Bath Wizard 713-956-9595 www.kitchenandbathwizards.com
Cabinet Design Cabinets & Designs 713-627-8970 www.cabinetsandesigns.com
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BECOME A PREFERRED SERVICE PROVIDER [PSP]. E-MAIL: INFO@OurBlok.COM 44 OurBlok Summer
heights business Sitting in the heart of the heights, Taquerias Arandas is a Houston institution. Since it’s opening in the early 80’s the Taquerias Arandas at 920 N. Shepherd Dr. has always been known for authentic Mexican food, made fresh daily at this location. Even though Taquerias Arandas has grown to nearly 30 locations, one of the qualities that sets the chain apart is the fact that they use fresh ingredients and cook daily at each location. Owner operated since its opening, Taquerias Arandas on Shepherd has always focused on making customers feel right at home. “We have been coming here for almost 30 years” said Azelia Albarrán, an area resident. “We love the food and we feel like we are eating at home. The staff is so friendly.”
Weekends are particularly tasty with Taquerias Arandas famous Menudo and Pozole soups. Customers drive for miles to come and enjoy the most authentic recipes in Houston. With a full breakfast menu and organic coffee, Arandas loves to please its patrons by serving breakfast all day every day, and staying open until 4 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays. And when it comes to convenience, Taquerias Arandas delivers. Literally. To make it easy for you, simply call for details on the limited delivery area.
Taquerias Arandas (713) 426-0804 920 N. Shepherd Houston, TX 77008 Hours: Mon. - Fri: 6:30 am - 12 am Sat & Sun.: 7 am - 4 am
Keeping up with the changing demographics of the area, Taquerias Arandas recently added a full bar area and more HD screens to cater to the younger audience. Known for its ice cold micheladas and frozen margaritas, they recently added a selection of local beers in bottles and on tap, and great happy hour specials. Tuesdays enjoy $1 Bud draft and $1.99 Margaritas all day. Plus, Monday through Friday from 3p-7p $2.99 Margaritas and $3.29 Micheladas. Most recently Taquerias Arandas has upgraded the cut of meat in their already famous fajitas to make them even better. 100% American beef with no MSG. “These are some of the best fajitas I have ever had,” said Amy Rincon, a customer at the Shepherd location.
OurBlok Summer 45
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The Mission Statement of Fri rescuing, treating a We are the fastest growing No Kill animal adoption and rescue organization in Houston, dedicated to offering No Kill solutions to the animals of Houston and the people who want to help them. Our programs include rescue, rehabilitation, adoption, humane education and animal food/supply support. We are a dynamic non-profit made up of people of all backgrounds and professions including veterinarians, lawyers, business people, architects, physicians, educators and trained shelter staff committed to offering Houston a real alternative to shelters that kill homeless animals. When There Was No Hope, We Found Homes. Our goal is to create programs that make life an option for both owner surrendered and homeless animals. Our programs have evolved as we have made it a priority to listen to ways that you, our community, tell us we may be helpful to you. For example, the Pet Retention program was born of taking the time to learn that sometimes, keeping a pet is a matter of a training issue we can help address, a need for information on dealing with allergies or searching for pet-friendly rentals. Sometimes it is a need for assistance with food/ supplies during a tough time. Taking an animal to a shelter (any shelter) is a permanent solution to what may be a temporary problem. Learn more about our programs below and by visiting our website. 48
â€œEvery Animal Mattersâ€? s m ra
g o r P
Rescue & Rehabilitation Humane Engagement Thinking Outside the Shelter
We envision a community in which no animal will be killed for want of a loving home.
iends For Life is to provide a No Kill option to the Houston community by and rehoming animals within the No Kill model of sheltering. Contact Information Main Shelter line: 713-863-9835 Fax: 713-239-8127 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Please use our online enrollment form if you have an animal you would like to bring in. Mailing Address: Friends For Life P.O. Box 70575 Houston, Texas 77270 Shelter Location & Hours Shelter Address: Friends For Life No Kill Shelter 107 E. 22nd Street Houston, TX 77008 Adoption Hours: Tuesdays - Saturdays: 12â€“6pm Sundays: 12-5pm Closed Mondays FFL Offsite Cat Adoption Center Petsmart 2902 S. Shepherd, Houston, TX 77098 Adoption Hours: Tuesdays - Fridays: 5-7pm Saturdays & Sundays: 12-5pm Closed Mondays
OurBlok Summer 49
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50 OurBlok Summer
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Should the City of Houston Abandon or Sell Allston Street South of 6th Street? Trammell Crow Residential has filed an application to purchase the lower portion of Allston Street south of 6th Street as part of a second proposed apartment complex. You can call the City at 832-395-3118 to voice your opinion for or against the application. The names of callers will remain confidential. The results of calls will be shared with City Council. For more information, visit: http://tinyurl.com/murddt2
Give us your feedback on major events in the Heights like White Linen Nights and Lights in the Heights! Scan the QR code to weigh in!
Did you prefer The White Linen Night event this year or in years past? Would you prefer to see a shuttle service offered for these events? Would you like to see the fashion show return to the Heights next year?
52 OurBlok Summer 52 OurBlok Spring
We wanted to share this tid bit found on social media. If you have any Tid Bits, Rants or Raves to share please submit to INFO@OurBlok.COM
THE REYNA GROUP tel: 713.868.9300
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A reduction of inventory in residential homes is pushing sales prices higher. Please contact us for a complimentary consultation and let’s talk about getting your home on the market today.
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