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The Luxury of Choice



Former Houston Rocket still soaring and going strong

French Kiss

Say ‘je t’aime’ with a romantic Parisian table for two

Heart & Home

Missouri City couple fill home with personal touches

Sunshine State

Warm up to a sunny Southwest weekend getaway

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JanUary/feBrUary 2010


living tHe dReAM



custom creation

MiSSOURi CitY hOMe BUilt AND DeSigNeD fROM the heARt


desert escapes


61 34 january/february • 2010




11 • COCKTAILS & CONVERSATION • WHERE TO GO, WHAT TO DO 10 Resolution Breakers • In the Red • Vintage Rodeo • Walk This Way City Q&A • Arm Candy • World of Wonder • Raise the Bar • My Life

ASSiStANt eDitOR Sue hauenstein

ARt DiReCtiON & DeSigN SW!tCh s t u d i o Jim Nissen, erin loukili, Chaidi lobato, Kris Olmon

SeNiOR ACCOUNt eXeCUtiVeS linda Osborne


Mike taylor

74 • PRIME LIST • EVENTS, GALAS AND FUNDRAISERS Gateway to Luxury • 2010 Land Rover Intro • Boots to Heal Artist’s Reception Spyker C8 Aileron Unveiling • John Palmer Greek Event • Datebook





e The Luxury of Choic

ON THE COVER Hakeem Olajuwon photographed at his Sugar Land home on Nov. 12, 2009. Photography by Mark Lipczynski.

dream French Kiss


e t & Hom Hear  SSOVTL P,P[`JV\WSLÂŞ


Sunshine State



MARKetiNg/eVeNt COORDiNAtOR Jennifer Dean

CiRCUlAtiON/ DiStRiBUtiON Brian Stavert

CONtACt 311 Julie Rivers Drive Sugar land, texas 77498 281.277.2333


n Rocket still Former Housto strong soaring and going

ACCOUNt eXeCUtiVe Jennifer ludlow

77 J>;

PUBliSheR terry Dean

MANAgiNg eDitOR Michelle Jacoby

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PUBliSheR & eDitOR-iN-Chief Karyn Dean

eDitORiAl iNQUiRieS ADVeRtiSiNg iNfORMAtiON Prime living Magazine is a publication of SRg Services, inc., published bi-monthly. Copies are mailed and hand delivered to households and businesses throughout the greater houston area. this publication may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the express prior written permission of the publisher. the publisher assumes no responsibility to any party for the content of any advertisement in this publication. the opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reďŹ&#x201A;ect the position of the publication.


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publisher’s note you most likely havea

hopeful outlook onwhat

2010. has in store

in november, i was invited to be a guest media wine judge at the 2010 Rodeo uncorked! international Wine competition. there were seven guest judges, all educated on the wine judging procedures, placed around a table and given a flight of wine, dump cup (sounds worse that it was), bottle of water, cheese and crackers, scorecard and, of course, a flight of wine. stephanie Baird, wine competition chairman for the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo, walked us through a typical flight of wine judging and, as you can see from the countless boxes, the real judges mean business. With up to 15 flights a day, i have a new appreciation for all that they do. Read about the winners of this year’s Rodeo uncorked! in the Buzz on page 15.


karyn Dean Publisher & Editor-in-Chief

ou’re either one of those people who actually love January in Houston, with its few days of sunless, chilled weather and brown St. Augustine grass in your neighbor’s yard, or you’re like me and wish that January was in an hourglass that you could turn upside down and—voila!—it’s February! Regardless of which side you take, you can’t deny that you most likely have a hopeful— maybe even optimistic—outlook on what 2010 has in store. I know I certainly do. If you want a good laugh, Prime 10 will start your day off right with what we all know (but are afraid to say out loud) about New Year’s resolutions. Speaking of resolutions, this month’s Hot List covers some great places to start your new (or recommitment, in my case) to a healthier lifestyle by walking. Thankfully, there seems to be a trend amongst city planners to increase the number of walking parks throughout the greater Houston area. A healthier lifestyle in my book is to indulge in the Crispy Cashew Calamari at the new Eddie V’s Prime Seafood. OMG, it’s delish! And I am sure that Weight Watchers has a scoring system somewhere for Ooh La La’s Strawberry Amaretto Cake. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it! Get a taste of these and other great dishes in Small Bites. If you need a quick getaway from the “guilt stress” from breaking all of your resolutions by Jan. 5, then check out “Desert Escapes” on page 61. A weekend in Vegas will make anyone feel better. And remember, “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas,” so you’re sure to return completely guilt-free. Finally, I am so excited about our feature on Hakeem Olajuwon. No longer the basketball dream of my memories, he is a power “dream creator” with his new business and philanthropic ventures. I remember watching him when he played for the UofH, and then onto leading the Rockets to our first basketball championship. I made this gosh-awful hat with miniature basketballs and a pennant stuck out from the top that said “WE’RE # 1” and wore it when we took the kids downtown for their homecoming parade. Yep, those were the good ole days… Happy New Year!

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contributORS the talented people who drive prime living


Mike Baxter | Photographer For architectural photographer Mike Baxter, showcasing award-winning design is more than just a job, it’s an honor. In “Custom Creation,” Baxter got the opportunity to photograph interior designer Jeanne Garland’s work in Clay and Susannah Griffin’s Missouri City home. “The photography isn’t difficult when the elements of each space work together,” he says. “Taken together with the Southern hospitality shown by the Griffins, I had a grand time.”

Holly Beretto | Writer

Resident food writer Holly Beretto has an enviable job tasting and sipping her way through Houston’s great restaurants. For this issue, she says she was delighted to uncover three great eateries—Eddie V’s, Bailey’s American Grille and Ooh La La Dessert Boutique—in the greater Houston area. “I highly recommend heading outside your neighborhood to discover new foods, new people and good times,” she says.

Jean Ciampi | Writer A professed sports fanatic, writer Jean Ciampi was more than thrilled to interview Hakeem Olajuwon for this month’s issue. “When I was in college, [he] taught me to love basketball, and my affection for the sport continued through his meteoric career with the Rockets. He is a man whose passion, creativity and convictions direct every facet of his life. Beyond being nearly two feet taller, he’s certainly someone worth looking up to.”

Michael Hammett | Writer “Santa Fe is the perfect example of a town aging gracefully,” says travel writer Michael Hammett, who wrote of the New Mexico town in “Desert Escapes.” “The skies that inspired Georgia O’Keeffe are still on view and inside centuries-old structures, I found new eateries, boutiques and galleries waiting to be experienced. I can still see the view from Acoma Sky City in my mind—it’s an image a camera can’t quite capture.”

Deborah Mann Lake | Writer

Roseann Rogers | Writer

Writer Deborah Mann Lake was taken with homeowner Susannah Griffin as she greeted her at the door wearing a black paint smock dotted with dabs of paint, accompanied by a Labrador puppy with a smear of yellow on his face. “The scene made it clear that the Griffins have made this beautiful house a comfortable, fun home for their family. The soul of the home must reflect the inhabitants, or it’s just a shell.”

For style writer Roseann Rogers, telling time plays an important role in her life. “In my business, you live by the clock. Simple or sophisticated, watches are unique in so many ways. I never dreamed how extravagant and extraordinary they can be. But after discovering how much time goes into making some, they’re worth every penny.” See her picks for this season’s most stunning timepieces in “Arm Candy.

The Worldâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Luxury Marketplace.

cocktails & conversation.

cocktails & THE prime living GUIDE TO WHAT'S HAPPENING NOW


Red Room

12 13 14 15 16 17 18 22 24 25

• • • • • • • • • •

PRIME TEN | reSolUtion BreaKerS NIGHT OUT | in the red THE BUZZ | what'S new HOT LIST | walK thiS waY HOUSTON DECONSTRUCTED | CitY Q&a STYLE | arM CandY ARTS | world oF wonder DESIGN | raiSe the Bar MY LIFE | andY Stewart MY LIFE | Jonathon GlUS

january/february • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

pRime teN

The pageant promise. You want to feed the hungry, solve the financial crisis and create an affordable health plan for everyone in America. That’s nice, but beauty queens have the big-ticket items covered. The press-ure conference. Broadcasting your resolutions to the world is a free ticket to public guilt and shame. Others, woefully behind on their own resolutions, are just waiting to point out your commitment shortcomings. The regrettable reissue. Plucking a failed resolution from the archives will only set you up for self-loathing. It’s a new year and, by all accounts, you’ve acquired some new problems.


New Year’s Resolution Breakers

Story | sally J. clasen Illustration | paUl sVancara

Happy New Year! Let the annual resolution drill begin. You make them, and then promptly break them. Here’s a toast to self-defeat—10 resolution deal-breakers, one bad habit at a time:


The nonresolution resolution. “I’m going to be nicer to my co-workers” doesn’t qualify as a resolution, because it’s a fallacy. Therefore, pretending to make a non-resolution you won’t keep is the same as breaking one. The 31-day fitness fantasy. Only famous people have the mortal ability to launch a diet and exercise program Jan. 1 and be a size 4 in one month. And you’re no celebrity. The egg-basket trap. Instant resolution sabotage: A Draconian to-do list complete with weight loss, better job, new husband and more money. Don’t forget to stop smoking! The 11th hour deal. A hasty rush to judgment at the stroke of midnight in a smoky lounge on New Year’s Eve guarantees resolution failure, no matter how charming the bartender might be.

The (higher) roadblock. Relying on your faith is a positive step toward change, but prayer and wings aren’t going to lift you off that couch to fix those earth-bound issues. The Jones’ comparison. Susie Success, your obnoxious neighbor, always achieves her resolutions by spring. So what? It’s not a race—and she’ll still be annoying the rest of the year. The no-vision plan. To keep it real, you don’t identify any areas that need improving. Whoa underachiever. Please refer to #6 and #7 as a guideline.

niGHt OUt

cocktails & conversation.

While yoU’re in the neighBorhood, check oUt theSe other great SpotS


This family-owned comedy club is quietly packing houses with audiences who are laughing loud and long at their off-beat brand of Houston satire, sketch comedy and controlled chaos. With a nod to Tuna, Texas and a hint of Saturday Night Live, the three-person troupe has created a zany world of their own. 2623 colquitt st. 713-522-7722

In the Red Story | Jean ciaMpi Photography | Mark lipczynski


ationally known designer Beau Theriot has cleverly captured and uncorked the atmosphere and sleek style of Frank Sinatra’s New York City and released it in Red Room, a new exclusive lounge that opened in September. Located in River Oaks, Red Room offers a calm, luxurious location to enjoy a cocktail without the crowds and crush. Theriot gained acclaim for creating popular venues like Café Adobe, The OASIS in Austin, and his Brownstone Restaurant, which was located in the space below where Red Room is now. Past the peaceful botanical courtyard that enchants guests and encourages leisurely evenings of conversation, a lushly carpeted stairway leads to an entrance punctuated with a gorgeous seven-foot wide onyx wall. Accenting the atmosphere inside are marble bar tops, eclectic art

pieces that include works by the artist Breceda and an entertaining mix of music. Fashionable trendsetters dressed to be seen occupy zebra print lounges and drape across sumptuous red velvet couches with creative and classic top shelf drinks in hand. There are old school Manhattan and Brandy Alexanders along with signature mixed drinks, like the John Staub Side Car and the John Hill Bloody Mary. Red Room also has an extensive wine list to pair with tapas and light hors d’oeuvres for those looking for a late night nibble. Espresso and coffee complete the beverage menu. Red Room hosts a DJ on Friday and Saturday nights to orchestrate the tunes, always played at a level that still affords comfortable conversation; everything from ’70s disco and ’80s rock to Oldies and current pop. Live music will occasionally

lure listeners out during the workweek as a respite from the usual grind. Red Room is open Tuesday through Saturday from 6 p.m. to 2 a.m. and Sundays from noon to midnight. It is also available for private gatherings, offering curtain partitions for greater intimacy and privacy. “The new Red Room is Houston’s answer to an exclusive contemporary New York hideaway for upscale sips and sounds,” says Theriot. Without a doubt, it is quickly becoming the red-letter destination for all discriminating inner loop Houstonians.

2736 virginia st. 713-520-5666


Located below the Red Room, this antique gem has brought together nearly two dozen of Houston’s well-recognized names in antiques, art, high-end watches and estate jewelry, including Kirby Antiques and River Oaks Watch shop. The atmosphere begs for browsing and the treasures are irresistible. 2732 virginia st. 713-533-1452

SUGARBABY’S CUPCAKE BOUTIQUE A bit of bite-size bliss, cupcakes are once again the rage. Fortunately, this yummy cupcakery has taken the nostalgic favorite and made it into works of edible art with enticing flavors and frostings, traditional to couture, for parties, showers and even weddings. An experience for all the senses has a melt-inyour-mouth reward. 3310 s. shepherd 713-527-8427

january/february • 2010


cocktails & conversation.



eaturing some of the best and brightest young musicians Texas has to offer, the Montgomery County Performing Arts Society hosts the 26th annual Young Texas Artists Music Competition March 11-13. The three-day competition is an official music contest of the State of Texas and features four divisions: voice; piano; strings; and winds, brass, percussion, harp and guitar. Chris Johnson, host of KUHF-FM 88.7 Houston Public Radio’s “The Afternoon Concert,” will be this year’s emcee. At past competitions, judges have included leaders from such prestigious organizations as the Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Juilliard School. The competition will be held at the historic Crighton Theatre in downtown Conroe. For information, visit

room to read A

midst the towering skyscrapers of downtown Houston is one of the city’s most historic and significant structures: the Julia Ideson building. Home to the Houston Metropolitan Research Center and part of the Houston Public Library system, the Spanish Renaissance-style building was built in 1926 and has been an important part of the city’s rich history. In December, Mayor Bill White led a special ribbon-cutting ceremony, marking the completion of a new 21,500-square-foot expansion featuring a research room and three floors of highdensity shelving for the HMRC. But it’s the new loggia and adjacent public garden, or outdoor reading room, that is the highlight of the building’s new wing. The two-story loggia was part of the original plan for the 1926 building, but was never constructed. The new wing is scheduled to open in early 2010, with the entire restoration project done by spring 2011. For information, visit or


cLockWise FRoM toP: YounG teXAs ARtists Music coMPetition | dAvid JAckson | tBG PARtneRs


cocktails & conversation.

Hot list

Walk This Way Story | karl HaUenstein


Rodeo cLockWise FRoM toP LeFt: GReAteR Houston convention And visitoRs BuReAu | sAt kARtAR kHALsA | sAt kARtAR kHALsA


s any red-blooded Houstonian knows, there’s no bigger show in town than the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. And even though this year’s event doesn’t start until March, the festivities kicked off early with the announcement of the 2010 Rodeo Uncorked! International Wine Competition. Held Nov. 14-15, 2009, the seventh annual event boasted 1,761 wines from 583 wineries from throughout Texas, across the country and around the world. A panel of 15 judges, including some of the world’s leading wine experts, awarded 1,250 medals, with the Grand Champion Best of Show award going to Davis Family Vineyards, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley, 2005. The Top Texas Wine award went to Flat Creek Estate, Mistella, Texas. Buckles, chaps and saddles will be awarded to the champions at the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and Best Bites Competition on Feb. 21 at Reliant Center. The winning wines will also be auctioned at the Rodeo Uncorked! Champion Wine Auction and Dinner on March 6. The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo runs from March 2-21. For a complete list of winners and more information on the rodeo, visit

did you joyfully overindulge in holiday cheer during the festive season? Has said overindulgence left an indelible and lasting impression, rendering your once-trim physique—once an object of universal envy and lust—into something you prefer to conceal in baggy, shapeless garments? if so, it’s time to get walking. Here are some nearby walking venues that will make the experience not only healthful, but also pleasant. memorial parK trail

If you see exercise as an opportunity to watch and be watched, Memorial Park Trail is the place to go. Popular with downtown professionals, college students and exercise buffs, this three-mile loop around the park offers beautiful scenery, shade along most of its route and, most importantly, restrooms and water fountains. 6501 memorial drive 832-395-7000

hoUSton arboretum and nature center

This wonderful nature sanctuary and preserve near the Galleria area offers five miles of beautiful, serene walking trails. A great place to take young kids, it has a Discovery Room with interactive exhibits and activities, where they’ll learn about nature and the environment of this part of our state. 4501 woodway drive 713-681-8433

oySter creeK parK trail

doWntoWn hoUSton tUnnelS

Don’t want to walk outside in the brutal south Texas heat and humidity? Downtown Houston’s tunnels are a great place to take an urban hike. With entries at the Wells Fargo Plaza building and other street level points, more than six miles of underground passageways linking office towers, hotels, restaurants and the Theater District give walkers an air conditioned and safe alternative to getting fit. downtown houston

lone Star hiKinG trail

Texas’ answer to the Appalachian Trail, this 129-mile trail passes through the eastern edge of the beautiful Sam Houston Natural Forest near Cleveland to the extreme western edge near Richards. The trail is mostly flat, with some wet areas, so come prepared. No restroom facilities are available along the trail, so this will definitely be a return to nature. 394 fm 1375 west, new waverly 936-344-6205

This little park, with its three-mile walking trail, is an undiscovered treasure for anyone not living in the Sugar Land area. Features include many ponds, rock lined falls, water fountains and a beautiful rose garden. 4033 state highway 6, sugar land 281-275-2885

january/february • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

CitY Q&A

Houston DeconstRUcteD get the ansWeRs tO YOUR BURNiNg QUeStiONS ABOUt the BAYOU CitY

Story | BarBara FUlenWiDer

of planned residential areas copied suburban developments in other cities, particularly St. Louis. The mid-west city had suburban developments of houses on one or two streets, only a few blocks long. The houses were owned and maintained by whoever bought them. Ornamental gates marked the entrances and landscaping created a park-like scene. Westmoreland Place, along with Courtlands and Montrose were Houston’s first planned residential areas. All three were typical of those in St. Louis and all are south of downtown Houston.


What is the histoRy oF WestMoReLanD pLace? At one time, the ties between the people of Houston and the people of St. Louis were strong. Both cities were rail centers and railroad business officials had personal relationships with each other. As a result of that connection, Houston developers



DiD a gaRDen cLUb Make RiVeR oaks What it is toDay oR Vice VeRsa? The River Oaks Garden Club, which sponsors the popular annual Azalea Trail, was founded in 1927 to bring some beauty to the first homes built in River Oaks. The area had striking homes, but lacked the polish and beauty that landscaping adds. To counter the rawness of the area, women with River Oaks homes, built or almost finished, were invited to the club’s first meeting, where Armand Bayou annual dues of $1 were collected. The first year, River Oaks Garden Club members held a flower show on the River Oaks attacked Gen. Santa Anna’s men during their siesta. In Country Club terrace and, 20 minutes, Houston’s army with a bank balance of $8.44, attacked and killed enemy bought garden manuals for soldiers, and took Santa Anna the members to study. With and hundreds of his soldiers the knowledge gained, club prisoner. The battle won Texas’ members began planting the independence from Mexico. trees and creating the gardens The San Jacinto Monument that resulted in the beautiful rises 570 feet and has a 55-foot and inviting River Oaks Texas star on top, signifying that landscape. Houston and Texas were born on the battlefield where it stands. What is the In 1936, the federal government MonUMent granted $1 million to build the oF FReeDoM monument, designed by Houston oVeRLooking the architect Alfred C. Finn. WateRs oF the Some relics from the battle are hoUston ship in a museum at the base of the channeL? monument. The battleship Texas, This historical tribute which saw action in World War reminds visitors of the I and II, is a nearby park feature swift, short battle in which that floats in the ship channel. Gen. Sam Houston’s army


san Jacinto Monument

Have a burning question about life in Houston? e-mail your curious inquiries to

cLockWise FRoM toP: JAMes WoodALL | teXAs PARks & WiLdLiFe © 2002, LeRoY WiLLiAMson


What is the aRManD bayoU natURe centeR? Environmentalist Armand Yramategui, who foresaw the urban growth around Armand Bayou, founded the Armand Bayou Nature Center (ABNC) in 1974. He worked to have the land remain a wilderness and his death in 1970 inspired a local, regional and national coalition of people and organizations to acquire the 2,500 acres of land now preserved as ABNC. Located in Pasadena, it is one of the largest urban wildlife refuges in the nation. A boardwalk takes visitors through the forest and marshes to live animal displays, bison and prairie platforms, butterfly gardens and an 1800s farm site. The ABNC also has the Martyn, Karankawa, Marsh, Lady Bird and Prairie trails, where visitors can walk to learn about the forest, prairie, marsh and natural bayou habitats once common in the Houston/ Galveston area.


cocktails & conversation.

cLockWise FRoM toP LeFt: vAcHeRon-constAntin | cHAneL | A. LAnGe & soHne | cHoPARd | PAtek PHiLiPPe

the beJeWeLeD Bling it on! They say diamonds are a girl’s best friend and VacheronConstantin’s newest women’s watch won’t disappoint. Utilizing the first new diamond cut to be officially recognized in the last 20 years, the Lady Kalla Flame features 200 “flame-cut” diamonds (36.5 carats) to create a stunningly vibrant work of art and the ultimate in luxury. The precious stones not only sit inside the dial and encompass the face, but the paved jewels continue around the bracelet for a jawdropping timepiece. Price upon request.

arm candy Story | roseann roGers


nfluential women don’t need bulletproof bracelets like Wonder Woman. Rather, a woman’s power can be exuded through her timepiece. And when it comes to watches, there’s a universal theme: They do more than just tell time, they tell you something about the individual wearing them. Here’s a look at five stunning pieces that will definitely stand the test of time. the WoRLD tRaVeLeR For those who have a taste for mechanical watches, the Patek Phillipe World Time enjoys cult status. Changing with the times, watchmakers broadened the width of the exterior rotating disc to show 24 time zones and made the names of 24 significant cities even more legible. Available with smartly updated details, and an impressive ring-shaped hour hand in either a white gold model with a matte navy blue alligator strap or a rose gold version with a matte dark brown strap. $26,000 to $31,000.

the Fashionista For the woman who likes to get glammed up for the party, Chanel’s white or black ceramic watch is elegant and eye-catching. While the quartz movement and double locking folds are impressive, the diamond bezel is what truly creates buzz, whether it’s on the soccer field or at the “it” gathering of the month. $9,950 to $12,600.

the bUsiness execUtiVe A. Lange & Sohne’s Chrono offers the ultimate executive businessman’s watch. The interworking of the fine timepiece is what drives their watches extreme popularity with the powerful. Made by the only German watchmaker that can even compete with the Swiss, the sophisticated complex movement shows two separate times, has a stop-watch function as well as a reinforced crocodile strap. They’re truly extraordinary and they scream executive. $80,000 to $126,000. the cLassic Ladies, we dare you to buck the latest trend. Chopard’s Your Hour watch is a timeless classic that has both a masculine and feminine feel perfect for everyday wear. With its rectangular 18K white gold face and sleek lines, the tailored timepiece has a stunning elegance that harkens back to the Art Deco period. Choose from the diamond-encrusted bracelet or leather strap, but we recommend the latter. It’s rugged enough to take on the kids at the playground, but striking enough for the big kids in the boardroom. Bonus: The leather will age handsomely. $5,830. january/february • 2010



Story | JoHn DEMers

wonder Y WoRLd oF ou all remember Alice, right? That little girl with the blonde hair, the blue dress and the high-pitched, ever innocent voice? The one who went through the looking glass and encountered a bunch of strange, nice and not-so-nice creatures before deciding, as would others before and after her, that there really is no place like home? Well, this isn’t that Alice. On Jan. 15, thanks to a creative partnership with the Tampa Bay Performing Arts Center, Houston’s Alley Theatre brings us the world premiere of Frank Wildhorn’s latest musical, Wonderland. To hear Alley


artistic director Gregory Boyd talk about “Alice’s New Musical Adventure,” the show is several steps removed from the Lewis Carroll story that gave the world so many variations, including an

iconic Disney animated film and a typically star-studded TV miniseries by Irwin Allen. And Boyd should know—he wrote the book with lyricist Jack Murphy and is the show’s director. “Frank’s music, Jack’s lyrics and the book that we are creating are all ‘dreaming’ of Alice in Wonderland, but through the sensibility of a modern woman,” Boyd says. “The play takes place all in one night—one moment of one night, really—at a rooftop party in a big city, and all that our Alice is experiencing, in her love life, her family life, her professional life (she’s a writer), filter up in her dreamscape.” This new production—starring Janet Dacal of Broadway’s In the Heights as writer Alice Cornwinkle—lets Boyd and his Houston theater work again with Wildhorn, a collaboration that has already given the world two huge successes on Broadway: Jekyll & Hyde and The Civil War. It also lets him set out a show that, in addition to its predigested marketing via so many other high-profile versions, seems sure to lure in entire families… without being anything like “children’s theater.” “Jekyll, Treasure Island, Civil War, Leading Ladies, An American in Paris,” Boyd insists, “were all premieres and had a large following of young audiences. This one certainly is a family show, but I’m hoping it’s smart enough to appeal to the very discerning ear of a practiced theatergoer, too. The score, of course, is a treat for anyone with ears.”

bestbETs HGO’S TURN OF THE SCREW On Jan. 29, Houston Grand Opera opens Benjamin Britten’s operatic thriller based on Henry James’ heart stopping short novel, The Turn of the Screw. In this tale, two children are pulled toward the world of the dead by the ghosts of their prior governess Miss Jessel and her lover Peter Quint. Acclaimed soprano Amanda Roocroft plays the governess whose obsessive efforts to protect the children may prove more of a threat than the spirits themselves. Mezzo Judith Forst is housekeeper Mrs. Grose, the governess’s only ally. Directed by Neil Armfield, this is the third opera in HGO’s ongoing Britten series. BLUE AND BEYOND Those who were there in 1924 told reporters they’d never heard anything quite like it—that clarinet that started low and then rose through every key between there and the stratosphere in one long, historic wail. The moment was the debut of George Geshwin’s Rhapsody in Blue, which helped push the American musical idiom known as jazz right into the concert hall. On Jan. 15-17, music director Hans Graf will lead the Houston Symphony through this extraordinary piece by Gershwin. Kirill Gerstein will be spotlighted on the piano, since Gershwin, who played the world premiere, had a previous commitment. TWO PENS IN A POD On Jan. 19, join the Houston Museum of Natural Science and Murder by the Book to hear Steve Berry and James Rollins discuss their writing. They’ll cover their travels for research together, visiting such places as New Zealand, Denmark, Sweden, Russia, Norway and even Disney World. Book signings of their latest thriller releases will follow “An Evening of Thrills: How Science and History Make Great Thrillers”: The Paris Vendetta by Berry and Altar of Eden by Rollins. Gregory Boyd with choreographer Marguerite derricks

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cocktails & conversation.

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cocktails & conversation.


Jan. 5-17 a chorus Line Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby. Call for times. $40 to $80. 800-982-2787,

Jan. 21-24 the planets – an hD odyssey Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 8 p.m. $21 to $121. 713-2247575,

Jan. 21-23 company clare Dyson – the Voyeur DiverseWorks Theater, 1117 E. Freeway. 8 p.m. Donations accepted. 713-335-3443,

ReVieW MARY PoPPins - BRoAdWAY AcRoss AMeRicA


s musical retreads from Walt Disney movies go, Mary Poppins was practically perfect. “Feed the Birds,” “Let’s Go Fly a Kite,” “Chim Chim Cher-ee,” “Step in Time” and, of course, “Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” are the heart and soul of the current touring stage version. And they never sounded better than they did here in Houston. Still, by looking beyond the 1964 film to the 1930s books by P.L. Travers, producers Cameron Mackintosh and Disney have found enough new twists and

turns to keep us guessing a little. While Mary (Ashley Brown) and Bert (Gavin Lee), both touring directly from Broadway, remain as luminous as Andrews and Dick Van Dyke, Mary has become snippier, more full of herself and perhaps simply weirder in a belovedly British sort of way. The kids she nannies—Jane and Michael Banks, so cute and mostly cuddly in the movie—have become the sort of little terrors the Brits do so well. The kind, in short, who require someone like Mary Poppins to transform them.

The touring production at the Hobby Center was lovely to look at, thanks to scenic and costume design by Bob Crowley and lighting design by Howard Harrison. Matthew Bourne’s choreography took up where the movie left off, doing amazing things with dance to replace the mix of live action and animation that was so amazing in pre-CGI 1964. The now-mandatory special effects—Mary flying above the audience like a sedate Peter Pan, Bert dancing up one wall, across the ceiling and down the other—delight us no matter how much we notice the cables.

Jan. 27 to Feb. 21 a picasso Stages Repertory Theatre, 3201 Allen Parkway. Call for times. $26 to $36. 713-527-0123,

Jan. 30 to april 18 barkley L. hendricks: birth of the cool Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Call for times. Free. 713-284-8250,

through Feb. 7 besa: Muslims Who saved Jews During the holocaust Morgan Family Center, 5401 Caroline St. Call for times. Free. 713-942-8000,

Feb. 12 to May 2 Established in 1976, artist-owned Archway Gallery has hosted many of the city’s most unique and dynamic artists, including local and regional painters, printmakers, sculptors, fiber artists and ceramists. Most recently, the gallery exhibited paintings by artist Liz Conces Spencer, porcelain by V Chin, and photography by Ron Outen in a show called “Echoes.” Spencer also collaborated with fellow artist Gene Hester in a piece called “Skyline Mirrors,” which was on display at Discovery Green in December. Coming up: The works of Margaret S. Bock will be on exhibit from Jan. 1 to Feb. 4, with an artists reception scheduled for Jan. 9. 2305-A Dunlavy • 713-522-2409 •


perspectives 169: odili Donald odita Contemporary Arts Museum, 5216 Montrose Blvd. Call for times. Free. 713-284-8250,

Feb. 12-13 so percussion – imaginary city DiverseWorks Theater, 1117 E. Freeway. 8 p.m. Donations accepted. 713-335-3443,

JoAn MARcus

sPotLiGHt: aRchWay gaLLeRy

cocktails & conversation.



Raise the Story | allison BaGley





ver wanted to sip a Macallan single malt in your own personal Scotch room? What if you could invite friends over to relax in your cigar bar or participate in a private tasting in your at-home wine cellar? From recent converts, to the world of wine, to serious party hosts, the home bar is what’s next in custom luxury renovation. Now that the kids are gone and you’ve “retired” that home office, the possibilities are endless for converting little used spaces into lavish entertainment and imbibing areas. “In this particular market, we’re building the specialty items and rooms that people have always wanted,” says Scott Frankel, vice president of Frankel Building Group, a family-owned custom homebuilder that recently began offering robust renovation services. “Our clients love to entertain, and we are customizing their homes so they can do it with style.” At one time, clients were focused on renovating their kitchens and closets, Frankel says. Now they want to convert under-stair closets into climatized

wine vaults with custom racking and corking areas. Children’s playrooms become grown-up game rooms with plush theater seating, cocktail bars and billiard games. And patio spaces are transformed into palatial outdoor kitchens perfect for alfresco festivities. One homeowner requested an arched wine room with storage for more than 1,000 bottles. The space also features a Scotch display area. “The client has traveled all over Scotland,” Frankel says. “He’s tasted and knows all about various Scotches, and he wants to have people over to do tastings.” Another luxury design group, Crawford Renovation, boasts an interactive remodeling center in the Upper Kirby area allowing clients to touch and feel options for their homes. Shawna Roorda, vice president of design, says as “people are entertaining at home more,” her team has begun to turn their attention to home bars. The first step for oenophiles and amateurs alike, Roorda says, is wine refrigeration. Under-counter dual temperature models are popular, especially


those offered by Sub-Zero. Most units hold 46 bottles, but larger refrigerators are also available. Glass, stainless steel and custom paneled front doors help the units blend with existing spaces. Other built-in accessories for wine lovers include pullout dishwasher drawers designed for washing glassware and under-counter dishwasher models that are smaller than standard models. Many clients ask for custom lit glass cabinetry for displaying glassware and specially fitted drawers for the storage of accessories. For cocktail drinkers, an icemaker is an essential add-on, Roorda says. At-home mixologists tell Roorda that the shape of ice makes a difference in blending the perfect drink. “They are particular in their selection of ice makers based on the type of ice,” she says. “People actually refer to Sonic (Drive-In) ice!” Beer drinkers have asked the Crawford team to install refreshment centers and beer taps, like those offered by Viking and Vintage, in media rooms and outdoor kitchens. For home bars of any kind, high-end finishes are key, Roorda says. Homeowners tend to choose lavish finishes like copper, glass or stone sinks. While these materials don’t work for everyday use,

it’s an elegant touch for entertaining, she says. Natural stone countertops such as granite or limestone are popular, but clients experiment with texture or a honed finish in bar spaces. Glass, concrete and walnut butcher-block style counters are also in demand. Tile is more decorative in bar areas, Roorda says, referring to backsplashes with mosaic, travertine and leather tiles. Cabinetry is stained more often than painted in bars for a cozy, intimate feel, and redwood and mahogany are best for temperature-controlled spaces. Finally, for those who call coffee their drink of choice, Crawford installs specialty bars featuring Miele coffee makers, a German brand that is the gold standard in brewing. The elaborate set-ups are most often found in master suites, built into bathrooms and closets. Homeowners fit special plumbing so the machines don’t have to be filled up with water and, with the press of a button, the machine grinds coffee beans and produces custom orders like espresso, lattes and tea. Coffee bars are sometimes even outfitted with cup warming drawers. “It’s like going to Starbucks every morning, without having to leave your bedroom,” Roorda says.



cocktails & conversation.

RetaiL on ThE RoCKs shaken or stirred? Five bar accoutrements cocktail and wine lovers can’t live without. 1 An aged scotch is for sipping. To keep your fine spirits from being diluted by melted ice, toss in a few frozen Whisky stones by Teroforma. The natural soapstone cubes were developed using an age-old scandinavian practice. set of nine reusable stones in a gift box, $20 at Kuhl-Linscomb, 2424 W. Alabama st. 713-5266000, 2 If mixing the perfect drink is a science, here are your tools. The Cocktail Chemistry set comes with a shaker, flask, stirrer and four “test tubes.” The kit might help you calculate when to stop imbibing, but we bet you’ll be having too much fun to stop. $31.95 at High Fashion Home, 3100 Travis st. 713-528-3838, 3 Another libation lab project, this Aluminum Cube Jigger allows an expert mixologist to measure the six most common pours, using one piece of equipment. The sides are reminiscent of Japanese box-shaped sake glasses. $19 at High Fashion Home. 4 These Brazilian agate coasters in brilliant tones are a form of art, and also functional. Mixed set of 4, $59 at High Fashion Home.


5 While you’re waiting for the renovations to be complete, turn to the Private Reserve Wine Cellar by Cuisinart. The countertop chiller comes in stainless silver, holds 16 bottles and allows you to keep careful watch over your collection with an adjustable LeD temperature display panel. $229.99 at Bering’s, 6102 Westheimer, 713-785-3697 or 3900 Bissonnet, 713-6652009,

january/february • 2010


cocktails & conversation.

mY life

Stewart ANDY



hrough his work with Shape Up Sugar Land, a fitness initiative to educate and motivate for a healthier lifestyle, Andy Stewart is responsible for getting his Sugar Land neighbors moving—many of them running—and more fit. The owner of Finish Line Sports in Sugar Land can be found on the Clements High School track on most Tuesday nights, leading workouts, teaching running technique and pacing, speed and form to 40 or more people of all ages. “I’ve been running for about 40 years. I started in junior high and ran through high school and college. My primary interest at that time was football—that was my first love—but running helped build my endurance and speed.”


Interview | Jean ciaMpi Photography | Mark lipczynski

“We sponsor four running events every year. The Sugar Land Turkey Trot now has 1,300 runners who come out on Thanksgiving and it grows every year. We have a 30K the second Sunday in December as a warm-up for the Houston Marathon and two triathlons. Running is just a great thing that you can do your whole life.”

done it for the past 20 years. It’s a key point in the race. You’ll see people making that move to take over first place. And the people who have made it that far aren’t going to give up, so we cheer them on and tell them that they can make it. That’s what they really need more than the water—the encouragement— and it’s great to be able to give them that.”

“We’re out at the water station passing out water to the runners at mile 23 of the Houston Marathon again this year. We’ve

“We’ve been awarded the fittest city in the state of Texas three or four years in a row. Fitness is finally catching on. You have to

make the decision to work out and stay fit or sit on the couch and go to pot. People are starting to make the choice. I’m seeing more people out running all the time. I think the [Houston] marathon is a good gauge, when you see it filling up in two days with mostly people from the area.” “I want to set the right example. It’s amazing to see a guy lose 100 pounds and how it completely changes his life. It’s unbelievable.”

mY life

cocktails & conversation.





s CEO for the Houston Arts Alliance, Jonathon Glus is in a position to make sure as many people as possible have the opportunity to discover the cultural and artistic offerings around them. He must love his job. “As a young adult I had great exposure to the performing arts in Chicago. Grant Park had free concerts every night—jazz, popular classical music, but they also had modern classical and modern dance. I got to see extremely avant-garde ballet. I was exposed to a world of different performing arts… and it was free! It was a wonderful way to get exposure without the commitment of a ticketed event.” “I come from a family where the arts are important. Growing up, I didn’t realize that was unusual. I thought everyone had it as part of their lives. When my father came home, he would relax by playing his saxophone, piano or clarinet. My mother wasn’t a musician, but was very much a supporter of the arts. I learned a lot about the world through the arts.” “Houston Arts Alliance is the City of Houston’s first nonprofit municipal arts agency. Established under Mayor Bill White, it consolidated all of the city’s arts endeavors into one agency. We’re a think tank for the arts in Houston, a place to be the leading voice on the part of arts, a place for new ideas to be incubated.”

Interview | Jean ciaMpi Photography | Mark lipczynski

Additionally, HAA supports and develops upcoming artists, performers and organizations in an effort to encourage and expand the arts in the Houston area. Under his leadership, the Business Volunteers for the Arts program, which promotes corporate involvement with the arts, has been reestablished with tremendous success. Additionally, arts marketing and cultural tourism are also

being pursued more aggressively and systematically. A formalized marketing initiative will encompass all of the 250 grantees that are served by $626 million in funding each year. “Our priority is elevating visibility of the arts, increasing dialogue about the arts and ensure that we have a consistent message. We need to tell our story in a better, more thoughtful, complete way.” january/february • 2010


the high life

Redesigned T

o showcase that certain indelible style and sophistication that comes with city living, three local designers will participate in “Redesigning Downtown: A Style

Competition at One Park Place,” a unique design competition highlighting the innovative and luxurious style of urban living. Set at One Park Place, a 37-story high-rise in the heart

Houston is experiencing a renaissance of sorts, one that will see more and more residents calling downtown home.

of downtown Houston, the designers will each design the Boxwood, a one-bedroom, one-bath unit with a cozy study and views of Discovery Green. Developed by the Finger

Companies, One Park Place pays homage to New York City’s Plaza Hotel and is designed to set the tone for a high-style urban renaissance in downtown. Here’s a look at the competition:

Chandos Dodson | Chandos Interiors

Renea Abbott | Shabby Slips Born in Monroe, La., interior designer Renea Abbott moved to Houston during college and soon after, had the opportunity to attend interior design school in New York City. Unable to contain her excitement at the prospect of studying design in the Big Apple, she enrolled in summer school to get an early start. “I just wanted to make sure no one changed their mind about me enrolling before I got there,” she says. Abbott eventually graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design, and was immediately hired by Irvine & Fleming, a Manhattan-based decorating company, where she worked for 10 years. During her time there, she worked for a handful of celebrities who had apartments in the city, including Paul Stanley of KISS and singer Michael Bolton. Soon after, Abbott landed a job designing a project for Wayne Gretzky in Los Angeles, where she eventually discovered slipcovered and peeling-painted furniture. The concept ignited her idea for Shabby Slips and in 1991, she returned to Houston and opened the design studio with her mother. Today, Shabby Slips offers interior design, purchasing and importing European antiques, as well as a large retail and trade business. There are currently four locations in the United States, with plans for a new studio in West Palm Beach, Fla.


Established in 2000 by interior designer Chandos Dodson, Chandos Interiors is a full-service firm that provides “unique and luxurious rooms that are timeless and sophisticated.” A graduate of the University of Texas at Austin, Dodson earned a Bachelor of Science in Interior Design, and spent several years working for Naomi Leff and Greg Jordan Inc., two Manhattanbased firms, both named to Architectural Digest’s list of Top 100 Design Firms. Today, she heads up her own interior design firm, one that specializes in new construction and large scale renovations for both residential and commercial design. No matter the project, however, Dodson believes that all interiors should evoke the presence of the client’s sense of style and personality. In recognition of its outstanding work, Chandos Interiors received top honors in 2008 for the AISD Best Residential Design and 2008 Best Renovation over 3,500 square feet. The firm also received Honorable Mention in 2009 for Outdoor Space.  Dodson’s work has been featured in such publications as Modern Luxury Dallas, Modern Luxury Houston, the Houston Chronicle and Beautiful Homes of Texas, showcasing an impressive collection of more than 70 interior designers and decorators in Texas. Nationally, the firm was listed by House Beautiful magazine as one of the “Top 20 Next Wave” of interior designers.

michael Stribling | michael Stribling interiorS As a young child, Michael Stribling knew he was destined for one thing: To create and design incredible and stunning spaces. From the age of 14, when he designed for his first client; to high school, when he decided to pursue his passion by taking interior design as an elective; to his days at the Wade College of Design in Dallas, Stribling excelled in interior design and was soon on the fast track to owning his own firm. After graduating college, he moved to New York City and landed a job with E.A. Interiors, where he worked his way to lead designer. In 2004, he returned to Houston and launched Michael Stribling Interiors, a full-service design firm that is recognized for elegant and distinctive interiors. In 2008, Stribling was invited to participate in HGTVâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s hit reality show Design Star. As the youngest participant, he not only connected with and entertained viewers, he also demonstrated his creativity and skill, and established himself as one of the most innovative designers in the industry today. In addition to his impressive client base in Houston, Stribling has also designed for a number of celebrity clients, including Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Salma Hayek and America Ferrera.

AND THE WINNER IS... in March, Prime Living will host a special event inviting the public to tour each of the designerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s spaces and cast their vote for the best design in an online voting system. look for details in the next issue of Prime Living.

one Park Place

the Boxwood before design begins.

january/february â&#x20AC;˘ 2010



Living the Dream Story | Jean ciaMpi Photography | Mark lipczynski

Hakeem Olajuwon proves there’s still power and glory after the hardcourt


amed one of the 50 Greatest Players in NBA History in 1996, he lived up to his now famous moniker “Hakeem the Dream” by combining the grace, aesthetics, strength and fluidity that most players only dream of possessing.

In the game of big men, he stood above the others. He was the ultimate dominator under the boards during his 18-year career in the NBA and, to this day, holds the record for blocked shots. His remarkable agility, height and warrior-like drive for victory made Hakeem Olajuwon an imposing and unstoppable force, and also ranked him in the all-time Top 10 in scoring,

rebounding and steals, the only player ever to accomplish this mark. Now retired from the hardwood for nearly eight years, Olajuwon has redirected that blazing passion he once held for the game of basketball. The legendary power center is now becoming a center of power in some unexpected places.

january/february • 2010


Houston Rockets

Living the Dream At 17 years old, the son of middle-class Yoruba


parents in Nigeria, Olajuwon was in his senior year at boarding school—and building an impressive reputation as a competitive team handball player—when he was first introduced to the game of basketball. The coach, seeing Olajuwon’s athletic potential, invited him to join the team at the upcoming national tournament. “I didn’t even know the rules,” he admits. “The coach gave me the concept and made the picture so clear. He taught me my role, the position as center. It is the most important, most dominating position. He told me to stay in the middle and block everything that came to the basket. After that tournament, I loved the sport. I had a passion.” He made such an impression that soon afterwards, he was invited to join other select players representing his country at the African championships. There, he caught the eye of the media and an American coach. Nine months after first stepping onto a court, Olajuwon found himself on the campus of the University of Houston. “This had always been my dream in Nigeria—to come to America, to go overseas to study. I was so happy, so satisfied just to go to class and walk between the big oak trees,” he says. “We went to the Final Four my first year. I had to ask, ‘What is the Final Four?’ I didn’t know how big it was.” The top ranked team that included future NBA Hall of Fame guard Clyde Drexler became known across the country as Phi Slamma Jamma for their impossible above-the-rim play. Their heartbreaking championship losses established the madness of March in college hoops. In 1984, Olajuwon became the No. 1 draft choice for the Houston Rockets over Michael Jordan. “When the experts pick you as No. 1, there is a lot of pressure not to disappoint,” he says. “I wanted the Rockets to be happy with their pick. That gave me a lot of motivation and drive.” The 7-foot-tall Olajuwon took the court alongside Ralph Sampson—who “towered” over him by four inches—and the two became known as the “Twin Towers.” In their second year, they helped lead the team to their first of two back-to-back NBA National Championships. Olajuwon would go on to receive a list of honors and accolades as long as his unending arm, including being the first player named NBA Most Valuable Player, Defensive Player of the Year, and the NBA Finals Most Valuable Player all in the same year. “I got the nickname ‘The Dream.’ I was living the dream,” he says. “I’ve been blessed to experience my childhood in Nigeria, then to play basketball at the University of Houston and then to the Rockets. But to be in Houston, to be drafted by Houston and win the championships in Houston—that has value, you can’t measure what that means. I was living the dream.”

A New Dream Since his retirement in 2002, Olajuwon has had

more time to pursue another passion, one he’s held since growing up in Nigeria. Design, specifically clothing and architecture, are the focus of his limitless energy these days. “When you’re a big guy, you can’t find your size on the rack. Or you find your size and it’s not appealing. Your option is to go to the fabric store and create something you like,” he says. “With the new global market, there are beautiful fabrics everywhere. The big man stores have good style and quality, but my style is distinctive. So I decided to create my own, build my own brand. It’s called the Dream Collection. “I also want to buy clothes for my child, but nothing is appealing. So I get fabric and design a beautiful, simple dress that is washable and durable. When she has it on, her innocent beauty comes out. That’s what clothing should do.” His lines for men, women and children—which will be called Dream Kids—including shoes and athletic wear, are expected to be available in selected stores this spring. Olajuwon has already designed a stand-alone boutique to showcase his clothing, and has plans to eventually build it near the Galleria area of West Houston. Future goals include expanding his designs into house wares, bedding and furniture. “This is a passion. I love design as much as I love basketball. I don’t want to just endorse a product, I want to design it,” he says. “Any product you buy from my line, it’s an original, unique piece, not just mass produced. It’s art. You wear it and it distinguishes you.” Olajuwon’s clothing design will be a personal reflection of who he is: comfortable and elegant with a simple, casual flair. His colors are rich and the quality obvious. His corporation, THE DR34M—which plays off of the number he wore throughout his career—has set up production and design support near where Olajuwon now spends a large portion of his time in Amman, Jordan. The offices that he designed himself were inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House, inviting the beauty of the landscape around it inside. His life in the Western Asian country gives him the opportunity to immerse himself and his family in the Muslim culture and continue learning Arabic, the language of the Koran. His Muslim faith remains a driving force in his life and he works to teach the values his parents instilled in him to the six of his seven children who still live at home. “I want them to be happy with simple things. It doesn’t matter what accomplishments you have or how much money you make. The simple things give you passion,” Olajuwon says. “I grew up with structured humility, honesty and values. With these principals you can handle any successes at any level.” With his power and creativity well centered, Hakeem Olajuwon is, once again, quietly becoming an unstoppable force.

january/february • 2010


“This is a passion.

I love design as much as I love basketball. I don’t want to just endorse a product, I want to design it,” he says. “Any product you buy from my line, it’s an original, unique piece, not just mass produced. It’s art. You wear it and it distinguishes you.” 6 Things You Didn’t Know About Hakeem + A collector of contemporary art, one of Olajuwon’s favorite artists is Theodore Roszak, an abstract painter and sculptor. + During the summer before he began practicing with the University of Houston basketball team, Olajuwon would play pickup games at the Fondren Rec Center against Houston Rocket and future member of the NBA Hall of Fame Moses Malone. “It boosted my confidence. I thought, ‘College will be easier than this! I can dominate.’ ” + When asked what his greatest accomplishment in his career has been, he admits that the expected answer might be the Championship wins. However, he believes that the journey itself was the accomplishment. “All the experiences that sum up to a successful career, the ups and downs, the expectations and desire to win, it builds volume.” + Olajuwon maintains a training regimen that includes running, weights and pick up basketball games at the local gym. “Basketball was fun, then it was a job and now it’s back to being fun again. I play small forward, where I always wanted to play, to keep the game more fair.” + When Olajuwon learned that the historic Jim West Mansion overlooking Clear Lake was to be torn down, he purchased the 1930 Italian Renaissance structure in order to protect it. “Developers only look at numbers. They don’t know the beauty, the aesthetics of the architecture.” He is considering developing the property next to the mansion, incorporating the building. “Developing, that’s new for me. That’s stepping out of my comfort zone, but I would like to design more buildings.” + Olajuwon’s The Noor Foundation is instrumental in helping improve educational opportunities for children in Nigeria among other activities. “There are a lot of smart kids with potential. We try to equip schools with basic necessities like desks. A simple, nice desk shouldn’t be an issue. And computers. The foundation works to provide assistance.”


Second s can sav e lives When a heart attack strikes, life-saving care is just moments away. If you’re having a heart attack, getting immediate medical attention is crucial to successful treatment and survival. And you’ll find the fastest medical treatment at Memorial Hermann Northwest Hospital, where The Society of Chest Pain Centers has recognized us for being part of a system that delivers Houston’s most advanced heart attack care. In fact, every Memorial Hermann hospital has received this distinction, making our healthcare system the nation’s first complete, citywide network of certified Chest Pain Centers. So, no matter where you are in Houston, you can always turn to us for the most advanced heart attack treatment.

Creation custom


Story | DeBoraH Mann lake Photography | BaXter iMaGinG inc.

january/february â&#x20AC;˘ 2010




or three years, Clay Griffin sat in his Sienna Plantation back yard and stared across the lake at a piece of property he coveted for a new home. He even walked the lot with his two Labradors and envisioned a beautiful home there.

When he and wife Susannah finally got the call from Sterling Classic Homes’ Tom Neyland Jr. that the land, and a home custom-designed to fit its unique shape, was available, it was, in Clay’s words, “a no-brainer.” The Griffins and their three young children have now settled into their new home with its roomy five bedrooms that allows Susannah space for an art studio and a child-friendly design that places the master in a separate wing. For the first time in her life, Susannah was able to play an important role in the interior details of a home from the ground up, working with Design Source and Sterling Homes to select everything from the Romanpattern, honed travertine flooring to the grand entry way chandelier. “When Susannah finished all her changes to the original design, the building team was amazed,” Clay says proudly of his artistic wife. “I like simple and elegant, but I want someone to feel comfortable enough to fall asleep on the sofa,” Susannah says. It’s not just any old sofa, however. While Design Source’s Shannon Campos assisted Susannah during the building phase, Marija Trevino helped her fill it with rich, but cozy, furnishings. “Shannon worked with me on everything from the selection of tile, granite and paint right down to each individual fixture,” says Susannah, who adds that Design Source owner Jeanne Garland oversaw the project. “Marija helped me fill our home with such beautiful pieces and worked with me on the custom design of furniture. Sitting with Marija for hours on end, pulling gorgeous fabrics and tassels to build each unique piece of furniture, is an artistic memory I will treasure for the rest of my life.” The Mexico-style front door, with wooden panels that can be opened separately, leads into a sweeping two-story grand foyer and living room carefully filled with oversized furniture pieces to match its immensity. The heavily carved, handsome entry table from Noel Furniture is topped by one of Susannah’s oil paintings, which can be found throughout the home. Susannah doesn’t have any family pieces of furniture, so the home is filled instead with furnishings, many from Design Source, that look like family heirlooms

january/february • 2010



january/february â&#x20AC;˘ 2010



which will be passed down to her children. She also took the time and care to place one of her 2-year-old son’s drawings in a beautiful frame displayed in the living room where the colors echo the large abstract piece above the fireplace. Just as Susannah’s oil paintings are layered in brush strokes of oil paint, she tends towards textured pieces of furniture, mixing materials such as tooled leather with fabric for interest. “I don’t have a certain style,” she says. “I pick what feels good to me. I’m the same way in my dress.” She has a particular love for Theodore Alexander pieces, which have a handcrafted, one-of-a-kind flair such as a painted buffet piece in the family room that hides children’s toys and sofa blankets. “Each piece is very unique and speaks for itself,” Susannah says. Her love for things made by hand runs in the family. Her father, Duncan Simmons, is a nationally known artist who was recently honored with a 2009-2010 award from the American Watercolor Society. Susannah answered the door recently still dressed in an artist smock splattered with paint. She was working overtime to complete projects for her class at the Glassell School of Art at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The master bedroom, built in a separate, one-story wing to avoid the pounding of little feet above, is anchored with a Maitland Smith bed of dark wood, inlaid hammered metal and soft leather. In one corner is the crate where their new puppy sleeps. The couple recently went back to Sterling Classic Homes and architect Preston Wood to design and build a casita that fits into the original architecture so well, it appears as though it was built at the same time. It includes a gym room, bedroom, mini-kitchen and bathroom, rounding out a back yard with a pool and well-used, top-notch outdoor kitchen. With the new addition jutting out slightly to match the other wing, the home is shielded from the neighbors while taking full advantage of the water view. “I think this is the best view in Sienna because the house was designed to view the fountain in the lake and we always have a beautiful wind,” says Clay, who is in the inland oil transportation business and is sometimes able to work from his home office. “My home means happy and content,” Susannah says. “My children play and rest on what was at one time only a vision. That’s the true beauty in our home.”

january/february • 2010




inside: Limoncello, sorrento Ristorante

44 46 48 49 50

• • • • •

MAIN DISH | eddie v'S priMe SeaFood SMALL BITES | taSte thiS CORNER TABLE | CleverleY diSheS UNCORKED | CUpCaKe vineYardS ENTERTAIN | an eveninG in pariS

january/february • 2010


connoisseur main dish

executive chef Bill Greenwood

fin-tas tastic Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark lipczynski

“This is the best dining experience you’ve taken me to,” proclaimed the Love of My Life, who often accompanies me in my work as diner-about-town, of Eddie V’s Prime Seafood in Houston CityCentre. No small praise coming from a man who’s dined around the world, in palaces and piazzas, swanky high-end establishments and street carts.


But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Everything about Eddie V’s makes you feel a little like you’ve stepped into a movie, the kind of story where 1940s elegance meets Mad Men hipness. It’s the kind of place you don’t see a lot anymore, with white-jacketed waiters explaining everything in minute detail, happy to help you settle in and enjoy. In short, this isn’t so much restaurant as dining experience. Begin with the oysters. The selection changes daily, so order the sampler and dress them with lemon and a little horseradish for a briny, sassy start to the meal. You really can’t miss the Crispy Cashew Calamari, one of Eddie V’s signature dishes, done up in a spicy red pepper sauce that offers up just a hint of sweetness. Forget gamey, tough, chewy rings—this is pure delight, wok fried and served with finely cut vegetables that’s an absolutely fantastic Eastmeets-West rendering of a seafood staple. And the Wok Seared and Sliced Pacific Ahi, with a soba noodle and Shiitake stir-fry is a standout, something I now find myself craving at odd hours. Landlubbers will love the Sliced Wagyu Beef “Hot Rock” Ishiyaki. This DIY dish lets you sear your own beef on a sizzling flat rock, then kick it up with Togorashi spice and soy sauce. It’s a fun presentation and the beef is wonderfully tender, the accompanying sauce zinging with exotic Asian essence. Do not leave Eddie V’s without ordering the Gulf Snapper Filet Meuniere, a menu superstar that will make you marvel at the fact that something so simple can be so incredible. The fish is lightly sautéed and prepared in a sauce of brown butter, parsley and hints of lemon. Much like the ahi

appetizer, this entree haunts my culinary dreams, begging me to return for more. For the presentation-meetsgreat-flavor award, the Chilean Sea Bass Steamed “Hong Kong” Style showcases the rich flavor of the fish, accompanied by a sherry-soy sauce and fantastically flavored sesame spinach. If you must order a meat dish, make it the eight- or 16-ounce filet and treat yourself to having it served “Oscar” style, with lump crab, asparagus and Hollandaise sauce. You’ll quickly discover that the sauce is to-die-for, bringing out the delightfully seasoned, tender beef. You may also discover you don’t want to share, but that’s an argument you and your dining companions can sort out. End dinner on a high note with the Hot “Bananas Foster” Butter Cake, a delightful twist on a classic dessert. The rich butter cake is a perfect partner for the caramelized bananas, and the butter pecan ice cream that comes alongside it takes the whole dessert to entirely new heights. Chocoholics will wonder at the Hot Chocolate Godiva Cake, a delicious dessert that oozes richness with every bite. Eddie V’s is a place where you linger. Just being there feels somewhat glamorous, with the soft, golden light, the bluesy, breezy soundtrack, the cozy banquettes and deep cushioned patio couches. It’s the kind of place you’ll come back to, seeking out that easy elegance and oldschool service that Eddie V’s does so effortlessly.

eddie v’s prime seafood 12848 queensbury lane 832-200-2380

connoisseur main dish

Bananas Foster Filet Oscar

Kung Pao Calamari

Wok Seared & Sliced Pacific Ahi

Wok-Seared & Sliced Pacific Ahi 4 tbsp. white and black sesame seeds 4 oz. ahi portion (center cut portion) ½ cup cooked buckwheat soba noodles ¼ cup beech mushroom and shiitake mushroom mixture 4 each cherry tomatoes halved Daikon sprouts 1 shallot sliced 2 tbsp. pickled ginger

1 tbsp. prepared wasabi 5 oz. soy sherry broth Salt and pepper Bar Soy Sherry Broth

¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup dry sherry ¼ cup water 2 tbsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients for Soy Sherry Broth, set aside. Salt and pepper the ahi, then roll in the sesame mixture. Sear in a well-oiled hot sauté pan on all sides, but make sure to keep them rare. Remove and pat dry. In another sauté pan, heat 2 tbsp. of canola oil and quickly sauté the shallots and mushroom mixture. Add the tomatoes and soba noodles and toss until hot (be careful not to overcook or break the soba noodles). In a bowl, place the soba noodle sauté in the middle, then slice the ahi into five slices and fan around the noodles. Pour the soy sherry broth around the ahi and noodles, and garnish with the daikon sprouts, ginger and wasabi on top. Oysters on the Half Shell

january/february • 2010



small bites

fried green tomatoes

Key Lime Martini, Bailey's American Grille

good eats Story | Holly Beretto Photography | Mark Lipczynski

For a new take on the well-rounded meal, table-hop these Houston eateries for some of the best tastes in town.


There’s something incredibly comforting— and distinctly Southern—about fried green tomatoes. It’s the sort of comfort food that evokes wide front porches and lazy Sunday afternoons. It’s not what you expect to find served up as haute cuisine in a snazzy waterfront restaurant. But there they are, on the menu at Bailey’s American Grille in Seabrook. And, as it happens, they’re one of the restaurant’s most popular appetizers, according to Bailey’s chef Rolando Soza. “They’ve been on the menu since we opened nearly three years ago,” he says. “The only thing I’ve done to that recipe is change the sauce.” Surely, this is the way to start a meal. Soza takes a great big green tomato, coats it in panko crumbs, fries it, then layers it with goat cheese and crab meat, serving it all in a buerre blanc sauce kicked up with red bell peppers, onions, jalapenos and the barest hint of corn syrup. The result is a spicy, tart, creamy creation that’s very nearly a meal in itself. The tomatoes and the cheese are sourced locally, since Soza prefers to get his ingredients from as close to home as possible. Biting through the layers of this dish produces endless exploration for flavors and texture. The sass of the creamy Blue Heron goat cheese, with its distinct flavor and richness, is a delightful foil to the tang of the green tomato. The briny meatiness of the crabmeat is made explosive by the sauce’s red pepper and onion flair. There’s a delightful crunch to it all, offered up by the panko breading. Translation: You’ll love it. bailey’s american grille 2320 nasa parkway, seabrook 281-291-9100

Fishing for Compliments

c connoisseur

small bites

Tucked amid the funky shops of Lower Westheimer is Sorrento, an oasis of great eating. This Italian restaurant manages to transport diners to the wild hills of Tuscany and the sunny Mediterranean sea sides just by letting them in the door, where they’re greeted by bright murals on the walls, a stunning combination of wrought iron, exposed beams, detailed tile work, and hospitality that makes you feel instantly at home. Order up the grilled halibut, offered with a risotto in a citrus saffron sauce. The fish is big and buttery, with just the right amount of charring on the surface, giving a light crunch and smokiness on the palate. With just tiny hints of lemon running through the sauce accompanying it, the dish perfectly shows off the fish’s fresh flavor and rich texture. The risotto is an explosion of tanginess, blending creaminess with citrus splash. Alongside these two stars are roasted root vegetables, adding both color and depth to the dish. What’s so wonderful about this is that Sorrento has created an entrée where every single flavor on the plate complements the others, but maintains its own independent style and flavor. It’s a very light dinner, but still feels hearty, blending comfort food flavors with Mediterranean notes. In other words, it’ll keep you warm during Houston’s sometimes wet, rainy start to the new year, but still make you feel like you’re sitting in the warm, Italian sun. When a dish transports you like that, what more can you ask for? sorrento ristorante 415 westheimer • 713-527-0609 •

A Fine Romance

You might not think to look for romance in a bakery-cum-café, but that only means you’ve not yet been introduced to Ooh La La in Katy. This classy, cozy bakery effortlessly blends the style of great Paris boulangeries with a flirty, fun atmosphere, all of it centered on the confectionary creations of owner Vanessa Newbill. This 20-something baking whiz started her business with one shop on Westheimer Parkway in Katy and just opened her second sweet spot. This is the sort of place where you linger over coffee and dessert. And why wouldn’t you, when you order the dazzling Strawberry Amaretto Cake? A gorgeous display of lush white cake with a strawberry puree filling, topped with a white, sugary frosting, this is an elegant dessert, light and airy, with ample nods to sass and sweetness. The cake itself offers the most marvelous hints of Amaretto. Backed up against the sweet berry filling, it’s an exploration in flavor that ranges from deeply rich to startlingly summery. The most exquisite part is that it’s all a perfect balance. Everything Newbill makes is handmade, from scratch, using original recipes, sometimes her own, sometimes those from family tradition. Her confections are never too heavy, never too dense, and always completely decadent. This cake is no exception. And even better than sitting and savoring a slice of Strawberry Amaretto Cake in Ooh La La’s chic café is taking home the whole cake. You’ll feel indulged for simply days. ooh la la dessert boutique 23920 westheimer pkwy., katy 281-391-2253

january/february • 2010


connoisseur CLEVERLEY

CleVeRleY’s corner taBle Andrea Mckenna, Lidia Bastianich, ken Lawrence

Story | cleVerley stone

cleverley with Jonathan and Barbara Goldsmith at Mo’s

CelebRitY siGhtinGs ...

CheFs in the neWs

n October, with a dinner at catalan, television host, author and restaurateur lidia Bastianich celebrated the launch of her latest book, Lidia Cooks From The Heart of Italy. Owner/chef chris shepherd prepared a wonderful meal, welcoming Lidia to Houston. Famed New Orleans chef and restaurateur John Besh visited Sur la Table in River Oaks to sign his new book, My New Orleans, for his fans. He really loved the apple tarts that Houston pastry chef extraordinaire rebecca Masson made for him. I attended a dinner at Mo’s ... a place for steaks, hosted by owner Johnny Vassallo, celebrating the restaurant’s first anniversary. The guests of honor were Jonathan (the “Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials) and Barbara Goldsmith. The five-course dinner was prepared by certified master chef/global master chef ken arnone and Mo’s executive chef, eric aldis, with wine pairings by Mo’s manager, alan Bochi.

• Jason Hauck, formerly of Quattro and Aries, is now executive chef at soma sushi.

i t

tWO neW

• ryan Hildebrand left his position as executive chef for both Bistro Don Camillo and Bistro Provence to accept the position of chef de cuisine at The rockwood room. • Jason Gould left the new stella sola after a very brief stint. A cryptic Twitter post on Nov. 7 explained, “Bad news-no longer with Stella Sola!! Fool me once shame on you, fool me twice shame on me!!”

• David Grossman, formerly of Gravitas and Reef, is the owner and executive chef he Rockwood Room – Kudos to Michael Dei Maggi and robert Hall for creating a at a new restaurant called Branchwater restaurant concept unlike anything in Houston (and that’s pretty hard to do!). Dishes I tavern. evan turner, former sommelier at simply must have again: Oysters Rockwoodfeller made with Gulf Coast oysters, brioche *17, is his business partner in the venture. bread crumbs, applewood bacon and parmigiano; The Ball (straight from Dei Maggi’s grandma’s meatball recipe), featuring Texas Kobe beef, pecorino Romano and tomato; and the Pumpers, petite patty melts of Kobe beef, melted muenster cheese, caramelized onions, • Mark schmidt is the new executive chef wild mushrooms, horseradish garlic mayo on butter for the rainbow lodge. He comes to toasted pumpernickel bread. Houston from Annie’s restaurant in Austin. Wines by the glass are served at proper temperatures (hallelujah!) from an elaborate dispensing system • Danny trace will be the executive chef that looks like a mad science experiment. Dine to a when Brennan’s reopens on Smith Street soundtrack of Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra. this winter. A longtime employee of the Byrd’s Market – Downtown residents, rejoice! Brennan family of restaurants, Trace comes Downtown resident rusty powers opened a great to Houston from Commander’s Palace in new market and restaurant at Main and Prairie, where Destin, Fla. you can buy locally grown fruits and vegetables, wine, prepared meals and specialty foods or dinein. Hamburgers are made from ground brisket, cLeVeRLey stone while mayonnaise, ketchup and barbecue sauces are she dishes about houston’s food, wine and dining scene on Cnn 650 Radio homemade. Serving breakfast, lunch and dinner from 7 news, Fox 26 TV, “Cleverley’s Restaurant a.m. to 9 p.m., Byrd’s also offers delivery and catering. Minutes” on K-hiTs 107.5, and in her ich dw san newsletter and blog at Pumper This is the only grocery in downtown Houston proper. Pumper sandwich


connoisseur UnCORKED

Cupcake Story | JoHn DEMers



upcake Vineyards is a California Central Coast winery. It really is. Just try to remember that the next time you’re enjoying Adam Richardson’s exciting, hip and surprisingly affordable spins on sauvignon blanc from Marlborough in New Zealand, Riesling from the Yakima Valley in Washington, or Malbec from Mendoza in Argentina. Such a diverse production is neither a marketing gimmick nor a viticultural

cuPcAke vineYARds

RODeO UNCORKeD! No one outside of Houston would ever imagine winemaking could be a competitive event at the rodeo, but thanks to a hugely popular annual event called Rodeo Uncorked!, more than 1,600 wines from more than 10 countries will vie for the Grand Champion Best of show title this year at the Houston Livestock show and Rodeo. In addition to the International Wine Competition, the public event on Feb. 21 includes a Best Bites competition featuring local restaurants and caterers. The wine competition brings an unexpectedly different crowd to the rodeo, to say the least.

sleight of hand, though it certainly changes what you might think about Cupcake from, let’s say, tasting only the wines it produces near Soledad (the name most associated with a California state prison), with its cool breezes to slow down the ripening process, adding to the wines’ complexity and structure. You might say Cupcake’s portfolio comes down to Richardson serving as “global winemaker” for Underdog Wine Merchants. In other words: if you got it, bottle it. “We started the brand with a central coast focus,” Richardson explains, “but found that a good number of the customers buying the wines were also into wines from a variety of new world regions. This, combined with the fact that I was already working on a whole range of wines with winemakers all around the world, meant that I had access to some great wines. The burgeoning success of the Cupcake brand and the openness of our cool customers to drink from all over the globe meant it just made sense to develop Cupcake to include wines from all over.” In our tasting, we were certainly impressed with Cupcake’s Central

Adam Richardson

Coast Merlot, which Richardson says reminds him of “that chocolate cherry cupcake that used to call for you at the corner bakery,” as well as his Central Coast Petite Sirah. Lots of berry flavors form the start of this one, followed by spice and, again, that perfect hint of chocolate. Apparently, Richardson watched Willie Wonka a lot when he was a kid. If you’re a white wine drinker, Cupcake turns out a pleasingly mainstream chardonnay, its creaminess and butteriness balanced by bright, almost crackling citrus. Richardson believes his sparkly Washington State Riesling is the “food-friendly wine of the 21st century,” considering how well it pairs with spicy foods of all kinds but especially those with pan-Asian flavor profiles. Lemon meringue meets key lime, which then meets pink grapefruit and a tiny bit of pineapple. Not a sweet wine—as many Americans still believe in error—Riesling is a wine full of fruit, with considerable amount of minerality offering balance. “No matter where Cupcake wines originate, I work hard to ensure that they deliver on the promise of a rewarding wine with a creamy mid-palate,” says Richardson. “Our main aim from a winemaking point of view is to create an action-packed, worldly portfolio of wines that represent the best wines from the most interesting regions around the globe.” John DeMeRs Covering food and wine for more than 25 years, John DeMers hosts “Delicious Mischief” on newsRadio 740 KTRh. he recently released Follow the Smoke: 14,783 Miles of Great Texas Barbecue.

january/february • 2010




Put on your best little black dress and a scarf, tied frenchgirl style about the neck. Add lots of red wine and champagne. Set the tiniest table you can find, which will make for a more intimate meal, with plenty of pink roses. if you want to go all out, invest in a set of iconic french bistro chairs, imported directly from la france, as well as your very own replica of the eiffel tower.

Story & Styling | JaiMee rose Photography | Mark lipczynski


an evening in W

hy can’t we all be in Paris for Valentine’s Day? It seems unfair—a whole city waiting, paved with romance and joy—and an ocean in the way. This year, bring la vie en rose to your Valentine’s table with some serious French flair, and we can almost promise that l’amour will ensue. Here are our suggestions for bringing the magic of Paris home.




Dinner for two sounds even more romantic in french. Dinnerware artist Christopher Jagmin numbers his salad plates en francais. We’re seriously charmed.

Mini eiffel towers? Bien sur. tuck your loved one’s name into this mini symbol of france.

the gOODS Place cards:

eiffel Tower Place Card Holders; set of 8, $129; available at Lamps Plus,


Plaid Napkins; set of four, $60; available at Williams-sonoma,


even French Number Plates by Christopher Jagmin; set of four, $78;


French Bistro Chairs; call for pricing; available at Maison Gatti in New York; 212-219-0447, or

Pastries are the glory of france. Pick up a couple of treats to share from your favorite sweet shop. in houston, we have a french pastry shop that would make escoffier proud: thierry Andre tellier Cafe & Pastry Shop, with locations in River Oaks and Uptown Park.

A modern french still life, right in your own home: a good candle allowed to melt and drip all over a vintage candlestick instantly evokes those old Parisian cafes, while preserved boxwood topiary reminds us of Versailles on a tiny scale.

Eiffel Tower:

Replica (without lights) available at stephanie’s in scottsdale, Ariz.; 480-970-9001 Product availability and pricing subject to change.

january/february • 2010




inside: Port isabel

54 55 56 58 59

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NOSTALGIA | Forever vinYl GUY TALK | power plaY DRIVER'S SEAT | porSChe pandeMoniUM HIGH TECH | tip top teCh Shape GREAT OUTDOORS | head SoUth january/february • 2010



foreverVinyl T

hey were large and bulky, a pain to handle and store. They were heavy. They were fragile and easily damaged through exposure to dust, heat, moisture or sunlight. They were easily scratched if handled carelessly. Once scratched or damaged they were useless and had to be discarded. They were vinyl records. Vinyl lessened our dependency on radio and television programming for our music and allowed us to explore many different musical styles and genres. For that reason, we loved them with a boundless passion, bought them by the millions and in the process, helped to create music legends. The earliest records were made from shellac and since this material was expensive,


only the relatively rich were able to afford to buy records. During World War II, vinyl became a cheaper and more readily available recording medium for the mass production of commercially viable recordings. The most commercially

popular records came in two sizes: the smaller 45 rpm disk with space to record one song on each side, and the larger 33 1/3 rpm disks which could hold many songs and were used to record albums. Unlike subsequent format conflicts in

DIDYOUKNOW? With their easy duplication and mass production, it’s difficult to imagine that CDs will ever become collectors items. Vinyl records are just the opposite. Gently played, well-preserved vinyl records have increased in value tremendously over the years and are highly sought collectors’ items. For instance, a copy of the early ’60s album Meet the Beatles, which probably sold for $3.99 when originally released, can easily fetch more than $2,000 today. So before you tell your wife she can give your old records to charity…

which one format won and the other perished (think Betamax/ VHS), both 45 rpm and 33 1/3 records were extremely popular during the entire vinyl record era. Through the years, there have been efforts to supplant vinyl recordings with newer and supposedly better technologies, like 8-tracks, cassettes and compact disks. While they have largely been replaced by CDs— which are smaller, cheaper to produce, deliver better sound fidelity, are easier to handle and store, and contain a greater amount of recorded material on a single disk—many sound purists insist that only the vinyl format captures the passion and the true essence of recorded music. The debate will ensure that vinyl records and the players needed to play them are with us for a long time to come.

eMi noRtH AMeRicA

Story | karl HaUenstein


power Story | BrUce Farr Illustration | paUl sVancara


verybody knows who we’re talking about when we mention the “rich and famous,” or “movers and shakers,” but what about “power brokers?” What does it mean, actually? Admittedly, for all I know about the term, we might as well be talking about the abominable snowman. When I stop and think about power brokers, the first thing that pops into my head is a vision of a handful of no-nonsense, heavy-set guys sitting around a table in a smoky, dimly lit back room somewhere, hashing out affairs of commerce or politics. But this can’t be very accurate, because whoever or whatever power brokers are, I do know that it’s highly desirable to hang around with them. If not, why would one swanky Washington, D.C. hotel promote its bar by inviting guests to—and I’m not kidding— “Sip a mint julep or sample a single-malt whiskey alongside power brokers?” (I can just picture sitting in that ritzy bar next to a guy in a pin-striped suit who, when you ask him what he does, cheerfully replies, “Me? Why I’m a power broker! Care for a mint julep?”) Lately, though, with Rome burning and a lot of these paragons of power caught fiddling, as it were, they’ve fallen on some


hard times. So I thought I might help us all by trying to clear up what it really means to be a power broker and, for that matter, what having power itself is all about. My most memorable experience with real power took place in the early ’90s, when I was working for a major, New York-based financial services company. The CEO—whom everyone referred to as “The Old Man”—was about to pay a visit to the southwestern branch where I was located, so, naturally, a bit of housekeeping was in order before he and his entourage arrived. I got into the office the morning before the boss was scheduled to show up and was startled to see all of the Pepsi machines from throughout our sizeable office complex sitting in the parking lot, ready to be loaded onto a truck. Now, you have to realize what an eerie sight it was: No fewer than 50 squat, red-white-and-blue automatons lined up forlornly, like worn-out racehorses waiting to be packed off to the glue factory. “What’s going on?” I inquired of a fellow worker. “Oh, you mean the Pepsi machines?” he replied. “It’s for The Old Man; he’s on the board of directors of Cocoa-Cola. As soon as they get these out of here, Coke’s showing up

to install their machines, and then, after he leaves, they’ll put Pepsi’s back in.” Maybe I’m naïve, but it was a watershed moment for me. As I stood there and watched the workmen struggle with those machines, I tried to ponder how someone could get so important that somebody who worked for him would come up with the lamebrain idea to banish Pepsi from the plant—but just for the day. These days, with the almighty “power brokers” deciding the future of the economy, healthcare, the conduct of wars and the fate of nations, for some reason, what floats into to my mind is that incident with The Old Man and the soda machines. In all likelihood, he never even knew what happened. But if he did, maybe he wouldn’t have cared a whit if we had Pepsi machines occupying every available nook and cranny of the office. The point is, somebody imagined that he might, and he or she was powerful enough to affect a whole lot people’s lives by making the decision anyway. So here’s a vow: If I ever find myself bellying up to the bar in that DC hotel to rub elbows with the people that make the planet move, I think I’ll pass on the mint julep and order a Pepsi, just for old time’s sake.

january/february • 2010





Pandemonium Story | Don arMstronG


finest. Here, you’ll find some of the most beautiful leather known to man along with a dash that is magnificent in its simplicity. While there is a distinct separation between a state-of-the-art console and center stack, designers manage to marry them in a ceremony that is uniquely Porsche. The Panamera is available in three models: S, 4S and Turbo. The S is the lone, front mounted enginerear drive configuration, while the 4S and Turbo are all-wheel drive affairs. Powering the S and 4S is a 4.8-liter V-8 that delivers 400-HP while the Turbo model spools up 500 horses. A 7-speed, dual-clutch, automatic transmission provides the power transfer. Despite the Panamera’s two tons of mass, its handling capabilities are similar to that of the 911, except you’ll be able to thrill three passengers instead of just one. In the world of high-end sports sedans, customization separates the wannabes from the aficionados. The base S model

comes standard with all of the things you’d expect, like 18-inch wheels, rear parking sensors, sunroof, adaptive bi-xenon headlights, and a power rear hatch. Dual-zone automatic climate control, a tilt-telescoping steering column, eight-way power and heated front seats, a harddrive-based navigation system and an 11-speaker CD audio system provide the creature comforts. Customization options include ceramic composite brakes, variableassist power steering, Porsche Dynamic Chassis Control, 20-inch wheels, eight-way power rear seats, four-zone climate control, rear-seat refrigerator, rearview camera, and a rear-seat entertainment system, to name just a few.

MANUFACTURER: Porsche AG LOCATION: Stuttgart, Germany CLASSIFICATION: Sports Sedan SEATING CAPACITY: Four ENGINE: 4.8-liter V-8 FUEL DELIVERY: Direct injection FUEL TYPE: Premium HORSEPOWER: 400 HP @ 6500 RPM TORQUE: 369 lb-ft at 3,500 rpm 0-62 MPH: 5.2 seconds TOP SPEED: 175 mph TRANSMISSION: 7-speed automatic BRAKES: 4-wheel disc CURB WEIGHT: 3968 lbs.

Don aRMstRong Don’s passion for all things automotive is no secret. his popular What’s Don Driving? TV series garnered rave reviews and made him the new car go-to guy. he is also a member of the Texas Auto writers Association.

MSRP: $89,800 (S); $132,600 (Turbo) COMPETITOR: Maserati Quattroporte

PoRscHe AG


t isn’t often you hear of pandemonium at a car dealership, but that seems to be the case at Porsche showrooms across North America. This newfound excitement is centered around the German automaker’s allnew four-door offering named Panamera, a four-seater sedan with the breakneck ability of the brand’s sexy 911. To get an understanding of how big the Panamera really is, you’ll have to see it in person, but imagine something between a BMW 5 and 7 Series. Exterior styling is nothing short of beautiful. Porsche’s windcheating front end and groundhugging splitter incorporates air intakes and turn signals. Side vents are huge, its rear haunches smooth and flowing, while the rear glass is quick to bring this beauty to a Porsche-like conclusion. The interior mirrors the creative elegance of the exterior, German craftsmanship at its

porscHe panaMera

Š 2009 Porsche Cars North America, Inc. Porsche recommends seat belt usage and observance of all traffic laws at all times. Optional equipment shown is extra.

More people on the edge of more seats Allow us to introduce our next vehicle for pure, visceral excitement. The Panamera. Pure Porsche performance for four. Consider the astounding power of its engine. The seemingly implausible maneuvering. The luxuriously appointed performance seating. Then imagine bringing the same excitement thatâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s won over 28,000 races to more of your friends and family than ever. Porsche. There is no substitute.

The Panamera. Experience pure Porsche performance for four.


tip top

Story | MicHael GarFielD

Tech Shape nike lUnarGliDe+ rUnninG sHoe What do you get when you combine NASA technology with the world’s leading athletic company? A shoe designed by rocket scientists. You’ll be ready to lift off and take off when wearing this lightweight running shoe. The LunarGlide+ weighs a mere 10.6 ounces, yet provides support and a snug fit for a jog around the park or a grueling 26.2-mile race. Nike’s Dynamic Support system sits in the shoe’s midsole and responds to a runner’s changing needs. The secret, however, is in the flywire frame structure, plus both soft and firm foam to cushion on impact. The shoe also features Nike+ technology, allowing runners to insert a small device to measure and monitor their progress. $100,


oakley raDar sUnGlasses

One thing you should not compete with during outdoor sports is the sun. Eyewear is an important feature when biking, running or participating in other activities. The correct lens and design can also enhance vision while cutting down wind resistance. Oakley’s RADAR technology features a permanent lens coating that prevents rain and sweat from building up on the lens. It also repels skin oils and other contaminates so the lens is smudge resistant and easy to keep clean. RADAR is lightweight for all-day comfort. Sweat should be no issue as the frame geometry creates a nike+ sportBanD zoot coMpressrX socks cooling flow of air. The interchangeable lenses filter Some people need motivation to A sock is not a sock is not a out 100 percent of all UV get them active. If you can’t find a sock. That may not be poetic, and the semi-rimless design training partner, then virtual help but to athletes that rely on their means there’s no frame rim may be the next best thing. On a legs and feet, that statement can to block downward view. continuous quest to create cutting be a mantra. Zoot, an apparel The RADAR technology edge tools to help you keep fit and company out of Kona, Hawaii, can be found in Oakley track your progress, Nike worked makes many items to help eyewear for many with Apple to utilize iPods to athletes run and bike faster, but sports including golf, monitor speed and distances when their CompressRX socks may be running and biking. running and biking. By inserting the most unique piece of gear on Starting at $155, a small device in Nike shoes, the market. athletes can see their stats on the After a long run or bike ride, iPod display while listening to it’s important for your legs to their favorite tunes. recover. These special socks The latest Nike+ invention is provide graduated compression the SportBand. Worn on your that improves blood flow back wrist, it displays your distance, to the heart. The basic idea is pace, time and calories burned. to limit damage and aid the body The best part is after the exercise, in doing what it naturally does in MichaeL gaRFieLD when the LCD display snaps flushing damaged muscle tissue. Known as “The high-Tech off and pops directly into a The socks provide a very snug Texan®” to audiences computer’s USB slot. The data is fit, but that’s the point. Make nationwide, Michael hosts technology and issueuploaded to your personal Nike sure to get the correct size and oriented talk radio shows account for complete activity to match the shape of your foot. six days a week on The 9-5-0. see what tracking. $59, $60, he’s up to at

nike | oAkLeY | Zoot sPoRts


he weather in Houston is perfect for outdoor activities. If you’re preparing for the January marathon, the April bike ride or just starting to get in shape for the new year, check out some of these products that utilize great technology.

south for the



Story and Photography | DoUG pike


ear the bottom of Texas, Port Isabel offers a topshelf experience to anglers, sightseers and beachcombers. Despite their fun-loving neighbors across the Laguna Madre, the 5,000 or so people who call Port Isabel home maintain a relaxed and friendly lifestyle that is easy to miss and hard to forget. As a young adult, I succumbed more than once to the beach-party pace and temptations of South Padre Island. Friends and I drove right through Port Isabel on the way to the island and barely noticed the little town. It has never drawn attention to itself, but for those who stop—or at least slow to posted speeds (a good idea)— there is much to see and enjoy. PI (even the smallest towns have been swept into the nation’s fascination with acronyms) is most attractive to people who enjoy the coastal resort lifestyle, but don’t feel compelled to hear waves breaking every morning at breakfast. It’s close enough that you’ll catch yourself often with sand between your toes, but not so close to the Gulf of Mexico that you feel salty at the end of the day. What a difference there is from one side to the other of the bridge that separates PI and South Padre. Real estate prices on the island

are inflated as one might expect, even in a deflated real estate market. Want to actually see the water? You’ll pay a premium. But if you don’t mind driving five minutes from home to one of several excellent beach experiences

regardless of where I rest my head, is its fishing. There are a few dozen local guides, most quite capable of putting two or three fishermen on a nice day’s catch nearly any time of year. When PI’s Chamber of

DAILYDIVERSIONS While in pi, take a break from angling and check out these great local haunts. + DoUBleDay – Good food and a great stop for any sports enthusiast. Officially, it’s a restaurant and sports bar, but Doubleday is more sports museum than anything else. It houses one of the most fascinating and comprehensive collections on the Gulf Coast and includes authentic memorabilia from every major sport and its finest athletes. + Black DraGon – An authentic 17th century pirate ship above the waterline (and contemporary vessel below), the Black Dragon

in the area, you can save a pirate’s ransom or buy more home for your money. My favorite draw to the area,

sets sail from Pirate’s Landing daily and treats its visiting shipmates to an entertaining cruise around the bay. + MUseUMs – Three in the area, including the only working lighthouse (built in 1852) in the nation that’s open to the public. Also a historical museum and Treasures of the Gulf, which highlights three Spanish shipwrecks dating to 1554. + GolF – There are several public courses in the area. Ask the locals which they prefer seasonally. Don’t expect a “Pebble Beach” experience, but golf is all good when you’re on vacation near the beach.

Commerce invited a handful of outdoors media journalists to visit early this past fall, I accepted without hesitation. Danno Wise,

an old friend turned pro guide, babysat me and David Sikes from the Corpus Christi Caller Times through two angling sessions, both of which went down under dreadful weather circumstances. The region is nearly always windy, but we suffered two days of gusts to nearly 30 mph. And despite the blow, we still caught a generous variety of fish and plenty of each. Fishermen who can handle themselves on any Texas bay system can do as well or better here, guide or no guide. If you drag a boat south, consider staying at the White Sands Motel. It’s not PI’s newest or fanciest, but it does have its own boat ramp and private slips for guests. There are other beach towns and resorts between Houston and PI, certainly, each of which has its own distinctive flair and flavor, but I have no trouble driving past them all to visit friends who found this sleepy town before I did.

DoUg pike Doug has traveled the world to satisfy his passion for the outdoors. During his career, he has won 100-plus state and national awards for writing, broadcast and photography.

january/february • 2010


3AVE4HE$ATE -AD(ATTER 3rd Annual




desert escapes Story | sally J. clasen & MicHael HaMMett

It might be overcast and chilly in Texas, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a sunny winter escape. Pack your overnight bag for a weekend getaway to the American Southwest, where your gloomy mood will improve in a first-class desert minute. Four top cities—Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Santa Fe and Scottsdale—welcome you warmly.

Parker Palm springs

january/february • 2010



Joël Robuchon Wynn Golf course

Pool, Wynn Las vegas

LAs VegAs.

in a word, hedonism. gaming, sports, headlining entertainment, dining and quickie nuptials remain the carnival attraction in the world’s most famous playground, which offers a venue to suit any mortal whim, 24/7.


Wynn las Vegas, the only destination casino resort in the world to receive the Mobil five Star, AAA five Diamond and Michelin five Red Pavilions awards. take a swing at the only links on the Strip at the Wynn golf Course, or satisfy your need for speed at the Penske-Wynn ferrariMaserati car dealership. You can also get your shop on at esplanade designer shops like Chanel, hermes and Manolo Blahnik, as well as the only freestanding Rolex retail stores in the United States. for an eye-popping stage show, check out le Rêve, a cinematic fantasy of aerial acrobatics, provocative choreography and artistic athleticism.


Wynn Las vegas


if museums are your thing, pay a visit to the liberace Museum, a flamboyant tribute to the musical showman that showcases his collection of pianos, costumes, jewelry and Rolls Royces. Or stop by Antiquities, where you’ll find rare memorabilia from the worlds of sports, history and rock ‘n roll. No trip to Sin City would be complete with out a stop at the Stratosphere tower, the tallest freestanding observation deck in the country with spectacular views of las Vegas, three rides and top of the World restaurant, which revolves 360 degrees.


the dividing line between Vegas visitor and resident isn’t always clear, but a world exists past the glare of slot machines and free buffets, particularly in the outdoors. fifteen minutes outside of Vegas, interact with locals at Red Rock Canyon, where you can hike, bike and rock climb the stunning sandstone peaks. in May and June, listen to Jazz in the Park at the Clark County government Center Amphitheater.


Alex Wynn’s signature restaurant features Chef Alessandro Stratta’s french Riviera cuisine and has earned Mobil travel five Star Awards and AAA five Diamond Awards of excellence, while fleur De lys, famed Chef hubert Keller’s contemporary french offering at Mandalay Bay, was dubbed “hands down the best fine dining in las Vegas” by Bon Appetit. hungry for more? there’s also the Joël Robuchon at the Mansion. located at the MgM grand, it is considered one of the finest restaurants in the world, according to Travel & Leisure.

don’t miSS:

garth Brooks comes out of retirement with a series of special engagements at encore theater at Wynn las Vegas throughout January and february.

Gene Autry Residence, Parker Palm springs

Bar, Parker Palm springs

north Pool, Parker Palm springs

PALM sPrings.

Jet-setter reputation, retro vibe. hollywood-types and other sundry rich and famous have flocked to this desert colony located 111 miles due east of los Angeles since the mid-30s. Patterned golf pants are optional, but celebrity gazing, taking tours of stars’ homes, antique browsing and lounging are favorite past-times among the hip, non-famous crowd who have discovered the casual cool of Palm Springs.


Parker Palm Springs. filled with whimsical Jonathan Adler designer touches throughout the 13acre garden-filled estate (formerly gene Autry’s Melody Ranch and Merv griffin’s givenchy Resort), this uber-hip resort reinforces a guest manifesto dedicated to fun and games like croquet, petangue, golf, tennis and swimming.


Climb aboard the Palm Springs Aerial tramway and ascend 8,500 feet above the desert floor to the top of Mt. San Jacinto for a 360-degree view of the Coachella Valley or explore, picnic, meditate, hike or horseback ride among the indigenous flora and fauna and abundant palm trees located on the Agua Caliente tribal land in indian Canyons. At the Palm Springs Air Museum, see a propeller-driven World War ii aircraft or catch a show at the 60seat Buddy Rodgers theatre of the Air.


Palm Canyon Drive is the center of the Palm Springs universe—and the best place to rub elbows with locals

as you stroll an array of unique souvenir shops, restaurants and galleries. On thursday evenings, the thoroughfare is blocked off for Villagefest, a free street fair featuring 200 booths, performers, food vendors and handcrafted art.

Lounge, Parker Palm springs


Melvyn’s Restaurant at the ingleside inn features continental cuisine with two wine cellars and was voted “One of 10 Best” by Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous. Or enjoy a europeanAmerican lineup at Zin American Bistro, recipient of a 2009 Award of excellence by Wine Spectator. then there’s Mister Parker’s, the Parker’s french bistrostyle dinner spot, described as a “deconstructed formal hangout for fops, flaneurs and assorted cronies.”

don’t miSS:

the 2010 Palm Springs international film festival, held Jan. 5-18. More than 200 films from approximately 60 countries will be screened. Opens with annual blacktie Awards Show on Jan. 5 at the Palm Springs Convention Center.

Palm canyon drive

january/february • 2010



sky city cultural center


sAnTA fe. scallops and spanish chorizo with Lemon späetzle, Luminaria Loretto chapel

Santa fe is celebrating its 400th birthday throughout the year, and the northern New Mexico arts haven is really showing her age…in a very good way.


hotel St. francis, the only hotel in town on the National Register of historical Places, was recently transformed into a tranquil boutique hotel that is the perfect marriage of vintage Santa fe charm and modern luxury, and it is steps away from all the fun.


ten thousand Waves, a hippy-chic spa nestled in the side of a mountain, offers Japanese-inspired wellness and beauty treatments, such as a menu of herbal tea detox wraps. Shopping is a sport at tin-Nee-Ann trading Co., where locals discover one-of-a-kind silver and turquoise jewelry at big discounts.


Santa fe Plaza, dating back to the early 1600s, is at the center of world-class galleries, funky and fabulous boutiques and top local cuisine. Art connoisseurs meet at the georgia O’Keeffe Museum, the only museum in the world dedicated to the legendary American artist.



luminaria, an elegant dining space tucked inside the historic inn and Spa at loretto. Chef Brian Cooper infuses dishes with the flavors of New Mexico in such favorites as ancho bbq shrimp, chile-crusted pork tenderloin and award-winning tortilla soup. You’ll wait in line for brunch at Café Pasqual’s, featuring organic, local ingredients and a James Beard Awardwinning chef.

don’t miSS:

Pueblo of Acoma, Sky City, a scenic 30-minute drive from Santa fe, is the oldest continuously occupied community in North America. take a walking tour to the top of a 367-foot sandstone mesa and stroll the narrow streets lined with adobe dwellings. Witness the San esteban del Rey Mission and a breathtaking view of the untouched valley below. the visitor’s center is a modern, eco-friendly work of architectural art. enjoy blue corn pancakes at Yaak’a Café.

JW Marriott camelback inn


eternal sunshine (329 days a year) and Sonoran desert beauty. Once inhabited by the hohokam, Scottsdale is referred to as the “West’s Most Western town,” but today it’s more suited for urban cowboys drawn to the diverse resorts, spas, restaurants, nightclubs and championship golf courses.


town Scottsdale, a shopping district featuring Native American and modern art galleries, boutiques, and multiple restaurants and bars. Chat up local hikers on Pinnacle Peak trail, elevation 1,300 feet. in March, catch Major league Baseball action at Scottsdale Stadium for Cactus league Spring training games.


Deseo at the Westin Kierland Resort & Spa serves up latin-influenced cuisine by James Beard Award-winning chef, Douglas Rodriguez, considered the inventor of Nuevo latin Cuisine. Or try Cowboy Ciao’s, a perennial Scottsdale favorite nationally recognized for its irreverent take on American modern fare. indulge yourself at Blt Steak, Camelback inn’s celebrated American steakhouse led by Chef laurent tourondel, named 2007 Restaurateur of the Year by Bon Appétit.

JW Marriott Camelback inn, recipient of Mobil travel guide Award and AAA five Diamond Award. Set on 125 acres of lush desert landscape with stunning views of Camelback Mountain and Valley of the Sun, this stunner underwent a $50-million renovation that preserved the authentic Southwestern charm of this landmark resort.

Visit frank lloyd Wright’s taliesin West, the former home and studio of the famous architect and international headquarters of the frank lloyd Wright foundation, or take a stroll at Scottsdale ArtWalk, where every thursday, from 7 to 9 p.m., visitors can browse more than 100 galleries in downtown Scottsdale. for more creative expression, visit the Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art. Designed by award-winning architect Will Bruder, SMoCA’s minimalist building hosts exhibits on contemporary and modern art, architecture and design.


Besides fitness, retail therapy and dining are residential sports here. for the best people watching, browse Scottsdale fashion Square Mall, the Waterfront and Old

taliesin West


scottsdale Museum of contemporary Art

don’t miSS:

the fBR Phoenix Open, feb. 22-28. the tournament Players Club of Scottsdale plays host to a raucous golf event dubbed PgA’s “greatest Show on grass” and features the infamous, stadium-style 16th hole.

scottsdale Museum of contemporary Art

january/february • 2010


live well

Every Woman Has a Heart

In the past, the public has primarily associated heart disease with men. Historically, men have also been the basis for research used to develop treatment guidelines and programs. This led to a lowered awareness level among women and healthcare providers. Fewer than half of all women can identify healthy levels for cardiovascular risk factors like blood pressure and cholesterol. Women need to know they are at risk so they can take action to protect their health. Unfortunately, women tend to be more concerned about their weight than they are about cancer or cardiovascular disease. The passion radiates from Dr. Michael Macris, a Houston cardiovascular and thoracic surgeon who is affiliated with Memorial Herman Northwest, when he speaks about women’s heart health. His passion instills great confidence. “Heart disease is the No. 1 cause of death in American women and yet, because so much of the original data is predicated on men, the emphasis is still on men,” he says. Dr. Macris specializes in the surgical treatment of diseases of the heart, lungs and blood vessels. Five years ago, he was instrumental in overseeing the development Story | sUe HaUenstein and implementation of everything from the design of the operating rooms, to protocols for patient care at Memorial Hermann o, Red! No, I’m not a confused Texans Northwest Hospital’s heart center. He is recognized in the medical profession for his fan. And I’m not talking Battle Red. I’m talking about the American Heart participation in the advancement of surgical Association’s recommendations for helping to techniques that greatly improve the level of positive patient outcomes. save women’s lives. “Fewer than 20 percent of all women Ninety percent of women have one or more risk factors for developing heart disease and too suffer classic pain or angina indicating a many of us die each year because we are simply heart problem. The majority have very subtle symptoms” says Dr. Macris. “They are, unaware that heart disease is our No. 1 killer. therefore, less likely to consider a heart attack Cardiovascular disease kills one woman when experiencing symptoms. Women just almost every minute. The American Heart don’t get the kind of attention we give men. Association states that more females die of Their heart disease is not diagnosed as early as this disease than the next five causes of death combined, including all forms of cancer. That’s men and they ignore their own symptoms. It is very common that women are not approximately 450,000 women each year. screened with a stress test. We don’t even talk The good news is that heart disease is about the increased risk for blood clotting largely preventable. In fact, 80 percent of disorders in women who smoke and take cardiac events in women may be prevented supplemental estrogen. Because women tend if women made the right choices for their hearts, involving diet, exercise and abstinence to present later in life, their profile is not as high and they don’t get the press.” from smoking.


aChY, bReaKY heart



How Can You Mend a Broken Heart? More than five million Americans visit hospitals each year with chest pain. When chest pain is the symptom and a heart attack

is a possibility, speed, teamwork and skill can make all the difference in an emergency

room setting. Every minute is critical in saving heart tissue. It is vitally important to quickly diagnose patients who arrive in the emergency department with chest pain. Teaching the public to recognize the early symptoms of a possible heart attack—and to react quickly to reduce the time it takes to receive treatment—can significantly reduce the mortality rate of heart attack patients. Research also shows that women who “Go Red” are more likely to make healthier lifesaving choices. Selecting healthier options is not a complicated process; it simply requires the resolve to choose wisely. Look for opportunities to take short walking breaks (10 minutes or so). Use the stairs instead of the elevator. At work, walk to the water cooler more often. Take a walk around the block. Walk your kids or grandkids to the park. Exercise while you watch TV. Park further from the door. Eat at regular intervals. Plan quick and simple, healthy meals. Eat healthy snacks. Know your family heart history and learn your personal risk factors. Reduce your stress level. Reward yourself with a massage or a facial. Lastly, and most importantly, listen to and understand what your heart is telling you.

who shouLD Be sCReeneD? if you are over 45 and have at least one risk factor for vascular disease—smoking, high blood pressure, cardiovascular disease, pulmonary disease or family history of heart disease—you should consider consulting with your physician about these screenings: Abdominal aortic aneurysm Peripheral arterial disease (PAD) Carotid artery Atrial fibrillation (heart rhythm) Complete lipid panel glucose high-sensitivity C-reactive protein (hs-CRP)

live well

WaRninG siGns

there are heart attack symptoms specific to women. When having a cardiac event, women may experience: • Uncomfortable pressure, fullness, squeezing or pain in the center of the chest lasting more than a few minutes. • Pain spreading to the shoulders, neck or arms. the pain may be mild to intense. it may feel like pressure, tightness, burning, or heavy weight. it may be located in the chest, upper abdomen, neck, jaw, or inside the arms or shoulders. • Chest discomfort with lightheadedness, fainting, sweating, nausea or shortness of breath. • Anxiety, nervousness and/or cold, sweaty skin. • Paleness or pallor. • increased or irregular heart rate. • feeling of impending doom.

beauty HaVe a Ball!


Show your support for the fight against heart disease by attending these American heart Association events and galas: JAN. 23 Northwest harris County heart Ball Chairs Dr. Robert Behar and Stacy thornton, and North Cypress Medical Center host this black-tie event. hilton Americashouston, 1600 lamar St. 7 p.m. $300. 713-610-5030, feB. 5 National Wear Red Day Wear red to show your support and empower women to fight heart disease. 713-610-5019, feB. 13 life’s a Ball: houston heart Ball Black-tie event honoring Dr. James grotta, lilly and thurmon Andress, and Noble energy. hilton Americas-houston, 1600 lamar St. 7 p.m. $1,000. 713.610.5000, feB. 27 Montgomery County heart Ball “Circus of the heart” features entertainment by the Party favors. Woodlands Waterway Marriott, 1601 lake Robbins Dr., the Woodlands. 7 p.m. $300. 713-610-5021, APRil 23 Power of legacy Benefitting the Power to end Stroke. hobby Center, 800 Bagby St. 7 p.m. $200. 713-610-5024, APRil 24 galveston County heart Ball Black-tie-and-boots event honoring Rep. Craig eiland. Moody gardens hotel & Convention Center, 7 hope Blvd., galveston. 7 p.m. $150. 713-610-5072, MAY 4 houston go Red for Women expo & luncheon heart-healthy event featuring fashion, health screenings and keynote speakers. hilton Americas-houston, 1600 lamar St. 9 a.m. tables starting at $2,500. 713-610-5058, houstongoesred



Story | sally J. clasen

mericans have had a long-standing love affair with anything Asian-inspired—from home furnishings to clothing to food. In fact, there are more Chinese restaurants in the United States than McDonald’s. On the surface, that might not be heart-warming news. But the next time you get a little hungry and are undecided about a drivethru hamburger or a Peking duck, you might want to pick the more cardiac-friendly Chinese option. Particularly if you’re prone to heart attacks. In a recent study, researchers tested a common ingredient, Chinese red yeast rice or rice fermented, using a certain yeast species and found that it reduced the risk of repeat heart attacks in people who have already had one. Red yeast rice is a Chinese product that has been used for centuries in food as a preservative, flavoring and coloring agent. It makes Peking duck red, for example, and is also used in red rice vinegar. It has also been used in traditional Chinese medicine for indigestion and to promote blood circulation. The Chinese study, published on June 15, 2008 in The American Journal of Cardiology, tested 4,870 men and women who had had heart attacks within five years. Over five years, those who took the extract reduced their relative risk of a coronary event by 45 percent. The risk of death from cardiovascular disease and from all causes in the extract group was about one-third that of the placebo group, and the need for an operation to improve blood supply to the heart was also reduced by about a third. The health benefits from red yeast rice are promising and, according to one researcher involved in the study, exceed those of statins, or cholesterol-lowering drugs, which are prescribed to those at risk for cardiovascular disease. january/february • 2010


diningGUIDE Whether you’re craving a thick, juicy steak or a spicy little Latin number, Prime Living’s dining guide gives you everything you need to know (and then some) on Houston's wonderful array of dining options. Use our handy legend to find out each restaurant's amenities and features.









AMERICAN backstreet cafe

Charming 1930s house-turned-bistro is Houston’s foremost al fresco restaurant. Features award-winning American bistro fare, full bar, winning wine list and live jazz at brunch. • 1103 s. shepherd. 713-521-2239,

benjy’s Benjy’s modern American experience is the combination of a focused, chefdriven menu and warm Texas hospitality. Since 1995, Benjy’s has strived to build a restaurant that is uniquely Houston. Specialty dish: Sesame crusted ahi tuna • 2424 dunstan, 713-522-7602; 5922 washington ave., 713-868-1131;

Dessert gallery bakery & cafe Houston’s sweet spot for decadent desserts, sandwiches, wraps and salads. Perfect for a quick sugar fix or leisurely lunch or dinner. Specialty dishes: Calypso Chicken Salad, Old-Fashioned Diner Cake. • 3600 kirby dr., 713-522-9999; 1616 post oak blvd., 713-622-0007; 2260 lone star dr., sugar land, 713-797-8000;

gravitas Restaurant Featuring a sophisticated-yet-laidback interior by architect Ferenc Dreef and an eclectic American menu from executive chef Jason Gould, Gravitas—as the name implies—takes food seriously while keeping the atmosphere warm and comfortable. Specialty dish: Applewood smoked pork chop with apple slaw. • 807 taft st. 713-522-0995,

Laurier cafe & Wine A new American neighborhood bistro whose focus is fresh, seasonal, highquality foods and dishes that let the ingredients shine. Award-winning wine list has moderately-priced niche wines from around the world. Specialty dishes: Crab Cake, Steak Frites, Soft Chocolate Cake. • 3139 richmond ave. 713-807-1632,

Masraff’s on post oak Lane A casually elegant restaurant with unique Euro/American cuisine and ambiance. Specializing in seafood, lamb, beef and fowl, Masraff’s is the recipient of numerous prestigious culinary awards. Specialty dishes: Chilean Sea Bass, Osso Bucco, Rack of Lamb. • 1025 s. post oak lane. 713-355-1975,

Mockingbird Bistro Wine Bar The French and Italian rivieras meet Texas at Mockingbird Bistro, where Texas Provence cuisine is praised by media and diners alike. Casual and inviting, this bistro offers two private dining areas, a full bar and award-winning wine list. Specialty dish: Steak Frites. â&#x20AC;˘ 1985 welch. 713-533-0200,

Ouisieâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Table Elouise Adams Jones, aka Ouisie, invented this restaurant of Southern food and eclectic tendencies decades ago and has been the darling of diners ever since. Elegant, imaginative, warm, always entertaining and daring only begin to describe this Houston icon. â&#x20AC;˘ 3939 san felipe. 713-528-2264,

Poloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Signature Boasting a French-American fusion menu, the swanky Poloâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Signature is the namesake of restaurateur Polo Becerra. Live music, exquisite lighting and an inviting interior design complement Executive Chef Adam Puskoriusâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; imaginative fare brilliantly. â&#x20AC;˘

3800 southwest freeway. 713-626-8100,

Post Oak Grill Uptown Elegantly presented American fare with a Mexican accent, this veteran of the Houston dining community is owned by restaurateur Polo Becerra who once worked as a line cook in its kitchen. Business people fill it by day, romantics by night. â&#x20AC;˘ 1415 s. post oak lane. 713-993-9966,

Prime A casually elegant and relaxing waterfront showplace for the farm fresh, New American cuisine of award-winning Executive Head Chef Joseph Trevino. Prime indulges the senses with a menu and decor that are equally sophisticated. Specialty dish: Lamb chop and Cassoulet with Roast Baby Roots. â&#x20AC;˘ 600 la torretta blvd., 936-448-4400,

Rainbow Lodge Well known refined Lodge setting â&#x20AC;&#x153;In The Heightsâ&#x20AC;? featuring Gulf Seafood, Wild Game & Local Harvests. Lunch, dinner

and Sunday brunch with a view. Stellar wines and a super patio for parties and receptions. â&#x20AC;˘ 2011 ella blvd. 713-861-8666.

RDG + Bar Annie RDG + Bar Annie is the new signature restaurant from Chef Robert Del Grande and the Schiller-Del Grande Restaurant Group, and the spiritual successor to the world famous Cafe Annie. The all-new BLVD Lounge is located on the venueâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s first floor â&#x20AC;˘ 1800 post oak blvd. 713-8401111,

The Remington Restaurant Decidedly modern American with a definite dash of Texas. Busy executives can take advantage of a special lunch menu that adheres to tight schedules without sacrificing culinary excellence. Specialty dish: Southwest Caesar Salad. â&#x20AC;˘ 1919 briar oaks lane. 713-403-2759,

Serenitea Tea Room A superb venue for Tea parties, showers and private events. Offering lunch, dessert and English-style afternoon tea service with custom blended loose-leaf teas. â&#x20AC;˘ 13889 southwest freeway, sugar land. 281-491-4588.

VOICE Hotel ICON is proud to present the awardwinning VOICE restaurant, where Executive Chef Michael Kramer pairs inspired modern American cuisine with one of the cityâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s most dazzling venues. Recognized as the No. 1 best new restaurant by Texas Monthly. Specialty dish: Mushroom Soup â&#x20AC;&#x153;Cappuccino.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;˘ 220 main st., 832-667-4470,


Gigiâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Asian Bistro & Dumpling Bar By combining exquisite modern Asian cuisine and top-notch service with a chic, exotic ambiance, owner Gigi Huang and Executive Chef Junnajet Hurapan have created a true see-and-be-seen

""!!"""" #%# #%# &"###$" Ladies, where else can you bask in the glow of his generosity and be surrounded by this decor and 20,000 bottles of fine wine? Gentlemen, it takes more than a great steak to mend a great relationship so for starters, order her the crab cakes.

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dining destination in the heart of the Galleria. Specialty dishes: Shu Mai Dumplings, Braised Short Rib • 5085 westheimer, 713-629-8889,

FRENCH au petit paris photo by: Jon Kral

Considered one of Houston’s more unique spots, Au Petit Paris will remind you of Paris with its authentic French creations from Chef Eric Legros and Pastry Chef Dominique Bocquier. Specialty dish: Sautéed sea scallop, smoky bacon, and curry cauliflower puree with green asparagus. • 2048 colquitt st. 713-524-7070,

chez nous, cuisine Francaise World Class Competition Outstanding Southern Hospitality

March 17 - 28, 2010

Great Southwest Equestrian Center Katy, Texas 713.621.6290

The Pin Oak Charity Horse Show is a 501 ( c ) 3 entity, benefiting The Ronald McDonald House of Houston and Texas Children’s Hospital.

Presented by

A small, quaint restaurant situated in a former Pentecostal church, Chez Nous specializes in the sturdy classical French style of cooking. “The chef is the owner, as it should. The chef is in the kitchen, where she belongs.” Specialty dish: Dessert soufflés. • 209 s. ave g, humble. 281-446-6717,

chez Roux at La torretta Del Lago Resort & spa The crown jewel of La Torretta Del Lago Resort & Spa’s cuisine experience, Chef Albert Roux, a revered name in the international restaurant world, created this fine dining gem. Specialty Dish: Chef Roux’s Soufflé au fromage a la crème de mais blanc • 600 la torretta boulevard, montgomery. 936-448-4400,

textile Restaurant Located in a turn-of-the-century textile mill from which the restaurant derives its name, Chef Scott Tycer’s fans will recognize his sophisticated take on modern American cuisine complete with seasonal, organic ingredients • 611 w 22nd st. #1-a. 832-209-7177,

INDIAN kiran’s

Enjoy modern Indian cuisine in a fine-dining experience. Accolades include Zagat Rated Excellent and Wine Spectator Awards of Excellence. Specialty Dish: Kiran’s Chilean Sea Bass with Mango Chutney. • 4100 westheimer. 713-960-8472,








diningGUIDE ITALIAN arcodoro

This beautiful Galleria area restaurant reflects owner Efisio Farris’ Sardinian heritage, and the glamour and sophistication of the Costa Smeralda. The menu shines with a simple, rustic cuisine rich in flavor and texture. Specialty dish: Malloreddus a la Bottarga. • 5000 westheimer. 713-621-6858,

arturo’s Uptown italiano Savor a romantic slice of Tuscany while indulging in exquisite Italian dishes prepared by renowned Chef Arturo Boada. Enjoy your meal on the flowering patio or inside among warm hues of golds and reds. Complimented by excellent service and a great wine list. Specialty Dish: Crabmeat Raviola. • 1180-1 uptown park blvd. 713-410-8694,

grotto Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in a warm, entertaining atmosphere that will transport you to the cozy setting of a trattoria in the Old Country. At Grotto, everything is homemade on-premise. Specialty dish: Shrimp Paillard. • 4715 westheimer. 713-622-3663,

Lagriglia LaGriglia offers guests a delicious display of authentic Italian dining. Colorful Italian murals and busy mosaics provide a playful ambience while creative pastas, chicken, beef and fish tempt guests with an array of fabulous choices. Specialty dish: Shrimp and Crab Cheesecake. • 2002 w. grey. 713-526-4700,

Mezzanotte italian Ristorante This modern Italian ristorante welcomes diners with dramatic and stylish decor, convivial bar area and a sophisticated atmosphere. The menu features Italian fare with modern accents including pasta, seafood, steaks, rack of lamb and more. Specialty dish: House made lobster ravioli, rack of lamb. • 13215 grants road, cypress. 832-717-7870,

Mingalone italian bar &grill Reminiscent of the family’s trattoria in southern Italy, with an open kitchen and an elegant interior, Mingalone serves dishes such as Gnocchi al Zafferano (potato dumplings tossed with arugula, saffron and Parmesan cream sauce). Specialty dish: Vitello al Teatro. • 540 texas ave. 713-223-0088,

prego This contemporary Rice Village trattoria has been a neighborhood favorite for more than 20 years. Menu features house made breads and pastas, and the freshest meats, seafood and produce. Attentive staff, award-winning wine list. Specialty dishes: Center-cut pork chops with prunes, Chianti essence, rapini and sweet potato gnocchi. • 2520 amherst. 713-529-2420,

trevisio Located in the heart of the Texas Medical Center, this stunning restaurant features two 64-foot exterior waterfalls, while a sixth floor perch affords diners incredible views. Considered one of Houston’s most attractive restaurant interiors. Specialty dish: Porcinicrusted beef tenderloin with wild mushrooms, pearl onions, roasted garlic and broccolini. • 6550 bertner, 713-649-0400,

JAPANESE kata Robata

Kata Robata is a new, chef-driven Japanese grill and tapas concept built on the pillars of high quality, creative food and exceptional service. The menu from rising star Chef Horiuchi is a combination of traditional and modern Japanese cuisine. Specialty dish: Foie Gras Sushi. • 3600 kirby dr. 713-526-8858,

yoi sushi bar at La torretta Del Lago Resort & spa Located on the second level of La Torretta Del Lago Resort & Spa’s exquisite lobby, Yoi offers the finest in contemporary Japanese sushi. Freshly carved sashimi, carefully sculpted nigiri and meticulously wrapped rolls are offered daily. • 600 la torretta blvd., montgomery. 936-448-4400,


americas Restaurant Americas offers an adventurous menu specializing in the foods of all the Americas: North, Central and South. Experience signature dishes including ceviche, churrasco steak and mouthwatering tres leches. Specialty dish: Churrasco steak. • 21 waterway ave., the woodlands. 281-367-1492,

MEXICAN hugo’s

Hugo’s celebrates the vibrant, diverse cuisines of Mexico with delicious dishes made fresh in-house: hand-formed tortillas, cheeses, chorizo and houseground chocolate. Enjoy the city’s best margaritas, hand-shaken with only fresh juices. Specialty dish: Ceviches and chiles rellenos. • 1600 westheimer. 713-524-7744,








diningGUIDE SEAFOOD grotto

Enjoy authentic Italian cuisine in a warm, entertaining atmosphere that will transport you to the cozy setting of a trattoria in the Old Country. At Grotto, everything is homemade on-premise. Specialty dish: Shrimp Paillard â&#x20AC;˘ 4715 westheimer. 713622-3663,

Massaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s seafood grill Serving fine seafood since 1944, familyowned Massaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Seafood Grill is located across from The Four Seasons Hotel and is a favorite for corporate lunches, conventions, sporting and entertainment events. Specialty dish: Redfish Ponchartrain. â&#x20AC;˘ 1331 lamar, 713-655-9100; 1160 smith, 713-650-0837;

pesce From the tasteful design and elegantly appointed dining room to the unparalleled cuisine, Pesce is a feast for the eyes as well as the palate. Renowned Chef Mark Holley has carefully crafted a seafood menu featuring a melting pot of flavors. Specialty dish: Seafood Martini. â&#x20AC;˘ 3029 kirby dr. 713-522-4858,

STEAKHOUSE brennerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s on the bayou

Situated in a picturesque retreat on Houstonâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Buffalo Bayou, this rustic-yetelegant restaurant is surrounded by lush landscaping, a waterfall and gazebo. Brennerâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s classic dishes include prime steaks and succulent seafood. Specialty dish: Steaks and German potatoes. â&#x20AC;˘ 1 birdsall. 713-868-4444,

shulaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steak house Shulaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s serves the Shula Cut, premium Black Angus Beef, the best beef money can

Known for prime signature cuts of beef charred to perfection, Strip House also serves up decadent side dishes including Black Truffle Cream Spinach and Goose Fat Potatoes. Part of the experience is the sumptuous, all red decor featuring vintage photographs. Specialty dish: New York strip steak. â&#x20AC;˘ 1200 mckinney st. 713-659-0000,

sullivanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steakhouse Named after the champion bare knuckle boxer John L. Sullivan, who was nicknamed â&#x20AC;&#x153;the best of the best,â&#x20AC;? Sullivanâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s has been a local Houston mainstay for the last 10 years. The 1940â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s styled steakhouse features the finest steaks and seafood. â&#x20AC;˘ 4608 westheimer. 713-961-0333,

Vic & anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s steakhouse Vic & Anthonyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Steakhouse features an elegant yet intimate atmosphere created with an undeniable attention to detail. Their award-winning menu features only the finest prime beef, fresh seafood and more, as well as an extensive wine collection. Specialty dish: USDA prime Midwest grain-fed steaks â&#x20AC;˘ 1510 texas ave. 713-228-1111,

TAPAS capriccio tapas

Capriccio brings Spanish flavors and fine dining to northwest Houston. Enjoy a menu of more than 30 tapas (literally â&#x20AC;&#x153;small platesâ&#x20AC;?) to sample yourself or share among friends while enjoying fine wine and great conversation. Specialty dishes: Paella, extensive list of tapas. â&#x20AC;˘ 10865 jones road. 281-807-9442,

tintos spanish Restaurant & Wine bar Tintos serves great traditional Spanish tapas, as well as modern style tapas. The menu also features tapas that have Cuban and South American influences. Signature dish: Paella. â&#x20AC;˘ 2015-j w. gray. 713-522-1330,



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The ultimate steakhouse destination for people seeking a stylish, lively and contemporary dining experience. Renowned for its superb prime beef, warm and inviting ambiance, and gracious and knowledgeable yet unobtrusive service. â&#x20AC;˘ 2405 w. alabama. 713-520-5959; 788 w. sam houston pkwy. north, 713-827-1120; 1201 lake woodlands dr., the woodlands, 281-362-0103;

strip house

Flemingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s prime steakhouse & Wine bar

buy. Great steaks and seafood with attentive service. Steak selections are presented on hand-painted Wilson footballs â&#x20AC;˘ 1200 louisiana st. 713-375-4777,




Sugar Land Regional Airport

It was luxury in overdrive at the Gateway to Luxury event, held Oct. 29 at the Sugar Land Regional Airport. Hosted by Prime Living, Porsche and Marquis Jet, the unique, invitation-only event featured an evening of premium specialty drinks, fine culinary offerings and high-end cigars served amidst the stunning inventory of Marquis Jet’s private jets. Over the top florals by Nino’s decorated the venue while guests walked on the most elegant rugs by Abrahams. Guests were also treated to an exclusive unveiling of the 2010 Porsche Panamera, the high-performance automaker’s first four-door sedan. Vintage cars owned by Steve McQueen were showcased. Guests also got the opportunity to win a luxurious Porsche for a weekend, as well as a number of other upscale items. Photography | leroy GiBBins, aaron nelson, toDD parker




january/february • 2010



2010 LAND ROVER INTRO • 11.5.09


Land Rover Houston North

Not that Land Rover needs any special introduction—the name is already synonymous with luxury driving with a rugged twist. But the newly-designed Land Rovers were the VIP guest at a special event held Nov. 5 at Land Rover Houston North, where guests were treated to delicious hors d’oeuvres, drinks, and entertainment while previewing the 2010 lineup. The first 200 attendees were treated to specialty gift bags and new model buyers were treated to a complimentary weekend stay at the Hotel ZaZa, including dinner at Monarch. Proceeds from the event helped benefit the Houston SPCA. Photography | leroy GiBBins


Morton Street Gallery

More than 80 artists competed in the “Boots to Heal” Juried Art Competition, which kicked off with a special VIP preview event and artist’s reception on Oct. 23 at Morton Street Gallery in Richmond. Guests were treated to an evening of wine provided by Texas Legato, Maker’s Mark and food by Italian Maid. It was an exclusive preview of various western-themed art by such artists as Dave Wilson from Austin and Laurin McCracken of Fort Worth. The juried art show, which concluded on Nov. 14, gave art collectors the opportunity to acquire unique pieces of art, while supporting M.D. Anderson’s Children’s Cancer Hospital. Photography | leroy GiBBins






Expo Motorcars / Spyker of Houston

Dutch automaker Spyker’s motto is “Nulla tenaci invia est via,” which is Latin for “For the tenacious, no road is impossible.” That much is true—and then some—with the debut of the all-new 2010 Spyker Aileron, a high-performance vehicle that can go from 0 to 60 mph in 4.5 seconds. On Nov. 19, car enthusiasts celebrated the grand opening of Spyker of Houston at Expo Motorcars, where they unveiled the all-new vehicle as guests enjoyed bites and martinis, and a showcase of upscale items from Lalique, Mont Blanc and H. Harloquin.



Photography | leroy GiBBins




John Palmer Gallery & Studio

The Greek islands came alive in stunning beauty at the John Palmer Greek Afternoon event, held Oct. 17 at the John Palmer Gallery & Studio. The mid-day art exhibit featured a unique monoprint series Palmer created on his most recent trip to Skopelos Island, as well as a number of pieces by contemporary mosaic artist, Chris Silkwood. A silent auction raised funds for the Houston Heights Association’s Heights Boulevard Beautification and Reforestation Project. Later that evening, a black-tie gala was held, giving art lovers another opportunity to view the series. Photography | toDD parker


january/february • 2010



Westin Galleria Hotel, 5060 W. Alabama. 7 p.m. $350. 713-7785781,

Jan. 26

Jan. 14 Paul “Bear” Bryant College Football Coaching Awards An annual tradition since 1957, this event was adopted by the American Heart Association in the “Bear’s” honor after his untimely passing from a heart attack. Omni Houston Hotel, 4 Riverway. 7 p.m. $250. 713-6105026,

Jan. 15 3rd Legacy’s Annual Cabaret for a Cure Gala Marilyn McCoo and Billy Davis Jr. will perform at this black-tie event benefitting HIV/AIDS programs at Legacy Community Health Services. Hilton AmericasHouston Hotel, 1600 Lamar. 6:30 p.m. $500. 713-574-9736,

Jan. 23 “Fleur de Coeur” – A Night in New Orleans Heart Ball Community and corporate leaders from the Northwest area of Harris County provide their support to make this Heart Ball the largest suburban gala in the country. Benefitting the American Heart Association Northwest Harris County Division. Hilton Americas-Houston, 1600 Lamar. 7 p.m. $300. 713-610-5030,

Rienzi Society Dinner 2010 marks the 10th annual meeting of the Rienzi Society, which benefits Rienzi, the former home of Carroll Sterling and Harris Masterson III. Proceeds from the dinner will be used to purchase fine European decorative arts and paintings for the Rienzi collection. Rienzi, 1406 Kirby Dr. 7 p.m. $2,500. 713-639-7355,

Feb. 5-7 Abracadabra The Junior League of Houston celebrates the 62nd year of their annual charity ball with this event filled with cocktails, dinner and dancing. Benefitting Junior League community programs and initiatives. Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks. 6:30 p.m. Call for prices. 713-6278777,

Jan. 29

Feb. 19

4th Annual Australian Day Gala Celebrate Australian culture in Houston at this fundraising gala benefitting Australian American Chamber of Commerce projects including Project Joy and Hope. Hilton Post Oak, 2001 Post Oak Blvd. 6:30 p.m. $175 and $225. 713-527-9688,

Debutantes Run Wild Gala Come in tux, tails or a fabulous gown. However dressed you come, be prepared to have a great time at this gala benefitting Diverse Works Art Space. Bell Tower on 34th, 901 W 34th St. 7:30 p.m. $175 (available after Feb. 1). 713-863-2355,

Jan. 30 Art 4 Life Art exhibit and silent auction featuring locally and nationally acclaimed artists. Benefitting Aids Foundation Houston. New World Museum, 5230 Center St. 8 p.m. $50. 713-623-6796,

Feb. 2 Girls Just Wanna Have Fun Fun-filled event featuring exclusive boutique shopping and luxurious indulgences including massages, and hair and makeup makeovers. Benefitting the Houston Ronald McDonald House. Crowne Plaza Reliant Park, 8686 Kirby Dr. 6 p.m. $120. 713-795-3585,

Feb. 4

Girlfriend’s Giggle Enjoy an evening of fabulous shopping, delicious food, Jan. 23 massages, makeovers, manicures and pedicures while helping Sail Away on the U.S.S Seven raise money to assist victims of Acres Winter Gala Winter gala benefitting the Seven domestic violence and sexual Acres Jewish Senior Care Services. assault and their children.


Fluor Corporation, 1 Fluor Daniel Dr., Sugar Land. 6:30 p.m. $60. 281-494-4545,

Feb. 20 “Surreal Movement” Ball Held in the grand foyer of the Wortham Theater Center, the Houston Ballet’s annual ball is considered one of the most prestigious and elite events of the social season. Wortham Theater Center, 501 Texas. 7 p.m. $1,000. 713-535-3276,

Feb. 21 Saddle Up Get into the rodeo spirit with the Fort Bend Symphony Orchestra and it’s cowboy concert featuring favorites like “Shenandoah” and “The Magnificent Seven.” The orchestra fosters local musicians through competitions and performances. Stafford Centre, 10505 Cash Road, Stafford. 3:30 p.m. $5 to $25. 281-276-9642,

Feb. 21 Rodeo Uncorked!, Roundup and Best Bites Competition Taste Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo award-winning wines and signature bites as local restaurants and catering institutions compete for the title of Houston’s best bite. Benefits the Houston Livestock Show & Rodeo. Reliant Center, One Reliant Park. 6:30 p.m. $100. 832-667-1128,

Feb. 24 Books and Brunch Enjoy brunch while listening to authors share experiences about their writing careers. This year’s authors include Merrill Bonarrigo, Katherine Center and Lester Smith. Junior League of Houston, 1811 Briar Oaks Lane. 9:30 a.m. $75. 713-526-7983,

Feb. 25 Toast and Treasures Enjoy an evening of signature cocktails, delicious hors d’oeuvres and exciting treasures at this first annual event kicking off the Race Against Violence. Benefitting the Houston Area Women’s Center. Ruggles Grill, 903 Westheimer. 6 p.m. $40. 832-215-9471,

Feb. 27 Park Lovers’ Ball The ball promises to be an exciting and unforgettable evening featuring a seated dinner, silent auction, live auction and dancing. Benefitting Friends of West University Place Parks Fund, Inc. Crystal Ballroom at the Rice Hotel, 909 Texas St. 7 p.m. $200. 713-662-5396,

Prices listed are for individual tickets. Sponsorships may be available. Event dates, times and prices subject to change. To have your event considered for inclusion in the Datebook, send complete event information to

American Heart Association, Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo




John LoMonaco, M.D., F.A.C.S. Board-Certified Plastic Surgeon


Who is a good candidate for liposuction?



P L 9-* *=5*79

your questions



Dodd Burnette

Karen McKemie

Marina Leasing & Yacht Club Memberships

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Harborwalk Marina & Yacht Club

Momentum BMW


Q. Lease vs. buy?

What should I look for when choosing a marina?



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Harborwalk Marina

Momentum BMW

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Dr. Rick L. Kline, DDS

Michael Macris, M.D.

Vice President, Sales

Smile Texas

Cardiovascular & Thoracic Surgery

Marquis Jet



How is the Marquis Jet Card SM program different than one-off charter?


How can I overcome my fears at the dentist?


Should women over age 50 have annual heart screenings?

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hot wheels

not even a torrential Houston downpour could stop car enthusiasts from getting up close and personal with a gorgeous vintage porsche at Prime Livingâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Gateway to luxury event. Driven by steve mcQueen in the 1970 12 Hours of sebring race in sebring, Fla., the porsche 908 definitely had heads turning. Photographed by Leroy Gibbins on Oct. 29, 2009.



Connie Reeves Cooke and Phyllis Knight Williams Honorary Chairman

Margaret Alkek Williams

ABC-Channel 13

Presenting Sponsors

Emirates Airlines

Saks Fifth Avenue

Honoring 2010 ABC-Channel 13 Women of Distinction

Carmen Maria Montiel-Lechin Patti Murphy Helen Shaffer Laura Spalding Donna Vallone

Joan Dunlap Harriet Gertner Melissa King Traci Lee Linda Lorelle

2010 ABC-Channel 13 Woman of Distinction Ambassador Jan Carson

Saturday, January 23, 2010 InterContinental Hotel

For purchasing information 713.572.2232 or

5120 Woodway, Suite 8008 Houston, Texas 77056 713.572.2232

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Prime Living January/February 2010  

Prime Living January/February 2010

Prime Living January/February 2010  

Prime Living January/February 2010