Bayou City Magazine

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Caring for the Complete athlete, from start to finish. the differenCe between praCtiCing mediCine and leading it. At Houston Methodist, our orthopedic and sports medicine specialists take a comprehensive approach to meet the unique needs of active individuals. From student athletes to weekend warriors to elite-level professionals, our board-certified and fellowship-trained physicians offer world-class care close to you, including: • Treatment of common sports injuries and musculoskeletal conditions • Management of chronic medical conditions including hypertension, diabetes, arthritis and asthma, as related to activity and exercise • Consultation on athletic performance issues • Concussion diagnosis and management • Sports physicals and general wellness exams

For more information about our comprehensive services or to find a specialist, visit or call 713.441.9000. Services are available at: • Texas Medical Center • Baytown • Fondren • Houston Sports Park • Pearland • Sugar Land • Timmons/Greenway Plaza • West Houston/Katy • Willowbrook

Michael Knit Collection Showing February 13 & 14


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contents F E AT U R E S

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54 The Reading Doctor Observing a growing number of students reading below grade level, Dr. Eldo Bergman left his medical practice, invented a method to dramatically increase literacy and is changing students’ lives.


From our homes to our offices, from the community to our family, we are rethinking and reinventing the way we live, work, connect and play.



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the bayou city


the bayou lifestyle

indulge in bayou eats

in bayou events










What’s trending in the Bayou City

Resolution Rooms

Chef’s Choice

Bayou City’s hottest happenings





Life Less Ordinary

Houston Fusion





Journey Down the Bayou


EDITOR’S LETTER Reinventing Resolutions


NOTES & NOTED Letters to the Editor






Ageless Fashion

New Heights





The Long Run






For Houston’s Kids


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

Rule the Roadway

THE POUR The Big League




TOP EATS Winter Warmers


STREET EATS Comfort on the Go



OUR NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTION TO YOU Customers and clients are key to the success of any business and nowhere is this truer than in the real estate market. For this reason at Boulevard Realty we’ve developed resolutions for 2014 that place our focus on how we can better serve YOU. • Staying informed. At Boulevard Realty we continue to broaden our knowledge and keep up with trends, not only in the housing market, but also pricing, remodeling, interest rates and more. Our clients know they can depend on our reliable resources. • Communicating effectively. We resolve to listen to what others are saying, ask appropriate questions, and convey information successfully. These skills, along with an open-minded approach, are important skills in business and in life. • Keeping it real. Our core values stand as the foundation and stake in the ground for everything we do. Number one to us is that honesty is always the best policy. That way trust can be earned. Other values that are important to us include staying positive, optimistic, passionate and caring. • Nurturing others. With a sales force of 60+ agents and a staff of eight, it’s not only important that we take care of ourselves, but we also feel a sense of responsibility to the communities in which we live and work. We promise to continue to take care of those around us in our homes, neighborhoods and the cities we serve. At Boulevard Realty we are looking forward to new experiences and opportunities in the New Year. We wish you all happiness and success in 2014.


6 1 1 7 K i r b y D r i ve Houston, TX 77005

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713.862.1600 yo u r b l vd. c o m

1545 Heights Boulevard Houston, TX 77008


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Bayou City Daily Get the rest of the story (and stay in touch between issues) when you subscribe to our Bayou City Daily email newsletters* and website at Here are some highlights: monday









Make a resolution? Show us how you’re getting started!

Got car tech? Be safe with it.



Get inside the chocolate experience: Learn to buy and eat the good stuff.

Inspired by the upcoming marathon? Get your shoes and start training now for your next race.

Rich media. Expanded content. Reflowed for an easy reading experience.

Planning the perfect picinic? Get what you need to pull it off.

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Find a few of the most romantic restaurants in town.

Tablet Bonus Helping Hand—For Houston’s Kids

Reading: when to get help?

28 Explore Bayou culture with art on the bayous.

*Bayou City LIVING shows you how to embody the Bayou lifestyle. • Bayou City DOING exposes you to our curated calendar: the events and happenings worth the time, money and outfit. • Bayou City DINING explores tips, tricks, recipes and behind-thescenes experiences with local chefs and eateries. • Bayou City SHOPPING displays sophisticated styles and trendy ideas, then offers easy access to buy your favorites. • Bayou City EXPLORING unearths local gems for your weekend jaunts. • Bayou City SNAPPING lets you flaunt what you’ve been up to. Share your best snaps from our weekly Instagram challenge for a chance to be featured. • BAYOU WEEK IN REVIEW brings you highlights from the previous week so you never miss a story.


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

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Texas tough. Cancer Center Our cancer patients are fighting some of the toughest battles, and Texas Children’s Cancer Center is there to help them in every way. Using a family-centered approach, our world-renowned faculty and staff here in Houston put kids and families first – while pioneering many of the now standard protocols for treating pediatric cancer and blood disorders. As a result, we’ve become the largest pediatric cancer center in the country and #1 in Texas. To learn more about how our nationally ranked expertise helps children battle cancer, visit

© 2014 Texas Children’s Hospital. All rights reserved. Ranking based on U.S.News & World Report. MPR845_121813

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12 Editor-in-chief Becky Davis tells you how to experience trendy bayou living. 14 Tell us what you think of Bayou City magazine. 19 Visit these hot spots and see all our Street Scenes photos. 20 See more Magritte and then buy The Mystery of the Ordinary. 22 Get the bayou hike/bike trail guide. 25 Get a map of the Heights hot spots. 26 Make reservations for romance. 27 Get the picnic necessities. 33 See behind the scenes at our photo shoot. 35 Which race will you train for? Plus, get your training gear. 37 Download these interesting apps. 41 See more photos and menus and make reservations. 44 See more of Trenza and make reservations. 46 See more photos of the League and its brews. 49 See Annie Rupani in action and order chocolate. 51 Get the goods for your chili-fest. 52 Find the food trucks!


58 See Dr. Bergman’s team at work with Rachel Payne. 59 Hear Dr. Bergman’s take on learning English. 64 See Houston’s B-cycle locations. 68 See pitches from Houston’s START members. 70 Hear Our Houston with a tour excerpt. 71 See more of the CitySolve Urban Race. 80 Tell us what conveys springtime in the Bayou City to you.

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72 Buy tickets to the Brilliant Lecture Series. 74 Meet Memorial Park Vision’s Dr. Dana Howard. 77 Get Bayou City’s guide to Houston’s hidden gem restaurants. 78 Preview TUTS’ Wizard of Oz. 79 Preview TUTS’ We Will Rock You. inside back cover Go behind the scenes with David Peck.

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editor's letter


One of my personal mind shift experiences this month? They got me out on a bike! Maybe not as thrilling as popping into a pair of skis and hurtling down a mountain at a high rate of speed, but much more practical if you live in Houston. Tell us how you’re shifting or reinventing yourself or our community. Send an email to or connect with us on Facebook [facebook. com/bayoucitymag] or Twitter [twitter. com/bayoucmag].


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014

love January. Oh, I know the New Year’s baby doesn’t really drop off a clean slate, and the clutter fairy won’t be sneaking into my office on New Year’s Day to make sure my desk is clean and projects complete when I come in on the 2nd. But it still feels like a fresh start, a whole year ahead to do things differently. I’m sure there’s a statistic out there that says that 95 percent of all New Year’s resolutions deal with personal appearance. After all, it’s no secret that we all want to stave off the gray, the wrinkles, the weight, the age. (Just so you know, I hear anti-aging is out and age reversal is in, and I’m totally OK with that.) And while I am certainly not averse to a little brightening, whitening or tightening (supported, of course, by various teams of professionals), I’ve been trying to come up with other types of resolutions—ones that both have a shot at making it beyond Fat Tuesday and help us focus on our priorities about thinking and feeling young, being more connected in our communities or finding our inner entrepreneurs. So, my editorial team here at Bayou City researched the trends in how you, as individuals and as a community, are thinking and feeling differently—and making these changes stick. In “Mind Shift” and throughout the issue, you will read about individuals and the changes they’re making to the way they live, work, connect and play. You’ll also see how trends in the community fuel and enable those individual shifts (and vice versa). One person riding a bike to work is something. A system of bikeways across the community and a city-supported cycle share make that small change community-wide. In some cases, we were surprised with what we discovered. For example, wouldn’t you think urban living and multigenerational living are mutually exclusive? Our sources tell us otherwise (read more on page 65). What if you already have a passion you want to pursue in the New Year? Be inspired


scan this page with Layar to hear how our team helps you experience trendy bayou living.

by our feature on “resolution rooms” and see ways you can dedicate a space in your home to make your creative resolutions come true. If you’re helping a child learn to read (especially one with learning challenges), I recommend a specific resolution for the New Year: visit the reading doctor. Dr. Eldo Bergman helps students dramatically increase their reading results—and along with it, their self esteem and academic success. My own son worked with Dr. Bergman and now excels in high school AP (advanced) English courses. My editorial team was obviously pretty hungry when we planned this issue, because we really hit the Indulge section hard. Chocolate, chili, small bites and spicy bites all washed down with some good ol’ craft brew. I’m hungry again already! See why, starting on page 39. After trying a few of these indulgences myself, I included a traditional diet and exercise resolution on my list after all. Speaking of new starts, we hope you’ve seen how we here at Bayou City magazine are helping to reinvent the publishing landscape in our city. Use our augmented reality app (download Layar at get.layar. com) to see more photos from our cover photo shoot or watch our editor’s video. For more videos, shoppable items and other fun augmented reality, check page 11 for a list of augmented pages. Want even more? If you’re in love with your iPad, be sure to check out the tablet edition of our magazine for exclusive content and back issues. Read on to see how the Bayou City’s inhabitants and communities are reimagining themselves and the ways they live, work, connect and play.

Becky Davis Editor-in-Chief






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notes & noted


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Experience it!

EDITORIAL I just got the magazine and it’s absolutely gorgeous and wonderful. I read it this morning while I was working out. I’m sure it will do beautifully. Barbara W. (via email)

FOUNDER + EDITOR-IN-CHIEF Becky Davis MANAGING EDITORS Libby Ingrassia Michelle Jacoby

Loved getting the first issue of @bayoucitymag in the mail today! It sure is gorgeous. @integratePR (via Twitter)


Congrats to Bayou City magazine on their

Switch Studio

first issue! The SCAN page through Layar is so clever—automatic download of recipes. Studio Communications (via Facebook) I just finished reading your fascinating story about Bill Baldwin. How do you select your folks to profile? Terry R. Wow! Just received your inaugural issue of Bayou City and I’m blown away! The content is incredible, diverse, enticing! Haven’t even used Layar app yet but what a great concept! Congratulations! Richard I. I’m a bit overdue on the website congrats, but please let me add that to my very hearty congratulations on your wonderful iPad mag. You should be very proud of all your hard work, and I admit I get a bit choked up thinking about meeting you for the first time a year ago(!) and hearing about your dream. Mary V. (via email) You guys have been busy! This is what a magazine should be! Can’t wait to see the website! Name withheld Love, love, love [ 3 <3’s] the new magazine. And [Becky Davis] your picture is gorgeous! I really believe this is the BEST magazine in Houston. Ouida D. (via email)

STAFF PHOTOGRAPHER Mark Lipczynski CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Dennis Abrams, Robin Barr Sussman, Stacy Barry, Michelle Burgess, Betsy Denson, Bruce Farr, Jessica Mebane, Julie Osterman


Terry, each month, we profile progressive commu-


nity members who are making a significant impact

Mark Standridge

on our close-in neighborhoods and communities. Our premier issue’s theme was Celebration, so we launched with a profile on someone who continually celebrates the good work done by others. Bill Baldwin sponsors nearly 100 events per year in his historical home, hosting celebrations to support non-profit organizations and community groups. He was the obvious choice. In this issue about change, we profile Dr. Eldo



Bergman who, by departing from conventional


wisdom about reading, is changing lives across


Houston and beyond. We are always on the hunt for others in the Bayou City who are either innovative or inspiring, and should be featured in the upcoming year. Send your recommendations to our editorial team at corrections

In the Nov/Dec issue, in our story “Fish for Uchi,” we named Monica Glenn as the restaurant’s pastry chef. Glenn was the original pastry chef at Uchi, but has since taken a position at Qui, Paul Qui’s new restaurant in Austin. Sharon Gofreed is the new pastry chef at Uchi Houston.

Don Nicholas, DIGITAL PUBLISHING & AUDIENCE DEVELOPMENT Jim Nissen, CREATIVE STRATEGY Terry Ribb, DIGITAL CONSUMER STRATEGY Bayou City magazine (Volume 1, Issue 2) is published bimonthly by Urban Experience Media, 1519 Oxford Street, Houston, Texas, 77008. 713-868-7023. Single issue $4.95; Annual subscription $15. Discounts available to Harris County residents.

How to reach us: Email: You can also contact us via social media. We follow @bayoucitymag and #bayoucitymag, #bayoucitydaily, #bayoucitymagstreetscenes, #bayoucitysnapping and #bayouiq. Please include full contact information on letters and emails. We reserve the right to edit letters for clarity and brevity. Submissions: Send manuscripts, photographs and ideas to the editors at or to Editors at Bayou City Magazine, 1519 Oxford St., Houston, TX 77008. The publisher assumes no responsibility for unsolicited material. Subscriptions: Contact, call 713-868-7023 or go to


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

Editorial inquiries: Advertising inquiries: Subscription inquiries: POSTMASTER: Send address changes to Bayou City, 1519 Oxford St., Houston, TX, 77008. Copyright 2014 Urban Experience Media


Subscribe to the Tablet Edition of Bayou City magazine. Gain access to extended content.

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Find all the best: Restaurants, Shops, Galleries, Museums, and Events


Subscribe to enjoy each new issue of Bayou City—plus bonus content—on your iPad®. You’ll be the first to know when new issues are available. It’s completely free! Scan page with Layar to download the Bayou City Magazine app. iPad is a trademark of Apple Inc., registered in the U.S. and other countries. App Store is a service mark of Apple Inc.



& Tour

Photographs by Miro Dvorscak

Enjoy wine tasting and tour the historic Baldwin-Gonzalez home in the Woodland Heights.

Scan this page with Layar to register for this event or go to event/88776522297


TICKETS $75 Limited Availability Thank you to our sponsors:

Proceeds benefit The Summerhouse of Houston

explore the bayou city

22 GET OUT Journey down the bayou—Buffalo Bayou, that is—for cultural and recreational fun.





Eat, shop and explore your way through the Heights.




Lasting Lectures It may very well be one of Houston’s best kept secrets: Imagine a forum in which you have the opportunity to experience some of the world’s greatest and most inspiring minds. It’s a secret no more.


edicated to motivating and inspiring people, the Brilliant Lecture Series offers appearances by national and international leaders, philanthropists, humanitarians, artists, authors and entrepreneurs. It also acts as a forum for generating new ideas through lectures, educational programs and cross-cultural opportunities. The organization hosts several programs, including “Conversations with Brilliance,” which is held every quarter. From leaders to luminaries, this series offers a rare opportunity with each visionary, who takes the audience through his or her life, followed by a Q&A session. Since its inception, the Brilliant Lecture Series has featured Betty White, Sir Sidney Poitier, former U.N. Secretary General Kofi Annan, Diana Ross, Dr. Maya Angelou, George Clooney, Stephen Hawking, and President Mikhail Gorbachev. Lectures are videotaped and shared with schools throughout the greater Houston area, reaching thousands of students for years to come. For an inspiring start to 2014, the series kicks off the New Year with some of Hollywood and Broadway’s most legendary names. For general admission and VIP tickets, and to learn more about the Brilliant Lecture Series, visit or call 713-974-1335.

STICK TO IT In celebration of Hermann Park’s 100-year anniversary, an ambitious art project is set to launch this month. Developed by the Hermann Park Conservancy, “Art in the Park” will feature a series of contemporary art installations to be displayed over the park’s 445 acres throughout the year. One of the first pieces of art to be on display is by artist Patrick Dougherty. Known for his whimsical architectural structures made of saplings, the North Carolina-based artist’s sculptures have been erected all over the world, including a recent project for the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade, Serbia. For the “Art in the Park” project, Dougherty is also offering the community a unique experience by inviting the public to assist with constructing the sculpture. Through Jan. 24,


volunteers will work under the direction of the artist and be a

Award-winning actor, director and

part of this significant moment in the park’s history.

producer Robert Duvall will speak on Jan. 23 at 7 p.m. in Wortham Center,

For information on volunteering, contact Diane Kerr,

Brown Theater. Over the course of

Hermann Park Conservancy manager of volunteer

his long career, Duvall has won an

programs, at or 713-524-5876.

Academy Award, two Emmy Awards, BAFTA Award.



The Bayou City will most likely have its share of Mardi Gras cel-

Diane Keaton will speak on Feb. 6

ebrations come February, but for a party with a decidedly sea-

at 7 p.m. in Wortham Center, Brown

side feel, check out the annual Mardi Gras in Kemah.

Theater. Keaton is an actress, screen-

Carnival Time in Kemah

Now in its 12th year, Krewe du Lac 2014 kicks off with a party

writer, producer and director, perhaps

at Bakkhus Taverna on 6th Street in the Lighthouse District.

best known for playing Kay Adams-

Then every Saturday, Kemah will be jumping with activities


Corleone in “The

Theater, film and television actress Betty

Godfather” as well

querade balls, concerts and live entertainment. The cel-

Buckley will perform at an exclusive con-

as starring in sev-

ebration wraps up on Fat Tuesday with a parade and

cert on Jan. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in Wortham

eral films directed by

Center, Cullen Theater. Buckley, a Texas

Woody Allen.

and events ranging from fun runs and parades, to mas-

balcony party. So don’t forget your masks and your beads, because this will be a party to remember!

native called “The Voice of Broadway” by New York magazine, is one of theater’s most

Check out for

respected and legendary leading ladies.

more details and information.


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014


four Golden Globe Awards and a


scan this page with Layar to visit these hot spots and see all our Street Scenes photos.


Share your view of the Bayou City Each Saturday, in our Bayou City Daily: Snapping email, we give you an Instagram project challenge and share some of the previous week’s photos. Our editor’s pick(s) will appear here in each issue of the magazine. This issue, we couldn’t resist @thebreweddude’s photo of the bayou at sunset as a response to the “Best Bayou Photo” challenge. Look for other great photos—of the bayous and responses to our other challenges—on our Pinterest Street Scenes board. Subscribe to Bayou City Daily emails or get social with us for upcoming challenges, then tag your photos on Instagram with #bayoucitymagstreetscene to be considered (or email to

FRUIT TREE SALE It may be January, but fruit season will be here

hot list gridiron go-tos Just because our Houston Texans won’t be scoring touchdowns at this year’s Super Bowl doesn’t mean you still can’t get a little football crazy. This is Texas after all, isn’t it? Here are three great places to catch all the action. HOUSTON TEXANS GRILLE The mecca of Houston Texans football lays claim to having the longest bar in town. And why wouldn’t it? Houston football fans sure do love their beer. 12848 Queensbury Lane. 713-461-2002,

before you know it. If having fresh fruit ripe for the 360 SPORTS LOUNGE With big-screen TV screens at literally every turn, you’re practically guaranteed to have the best seat in the house. 4601 Washington Ave. 713-677-0398,

picking is in your plans for the year, then check out the 14th Annual Urban Harvest Fruit Tree Sale. Held on on Jan. 18 at Rice University, the sale offers a wide variety of trees, including new varieties: raspberry and Goji berry. “Fruit Tree Professors” will be on hand to answer

EL REAL TEX-MEX CAFÉ Located in the old Tower Theater in Montrose, El Real airs the Sunday showdown game on—what else?—its big movie screen. Cerveza, anyone? 1201 Westheimer. 713-524-1201,

questions and help customers select trees. Attendees can also sign up for classes ranging from fruit tree care to pruning and training fruit. Classes run from January to March and are held mostly at the University of Houston. The sale will be held on the university’s Greenbriar lot, located between the stadium and bike track. For HOT LIST: MARK LIPCZYNSKI

more information, visit Bayou City Social We look for #bayoucitymagstreetscene and #bayoucitymag on social media. bayoucitymag




By tagging us, you give us permission to share your photo on our social media and website, and publish it in our magazine. We’ll give you credit wherever we share the photos.




Life Less Ordinary


scan this page with Layar to purchase the related book and see a slideshow of the artist’s works.

Examine, explore and immerse yourself in the surrealist works of René Magritte.


hile you may not immediately know the name (save the true lover of surrealist art), you will recognize the images: A man in bowler hat, his face covered by a green apple. A pipe with the words “Ceci n’est pas une pipe” (which translates to “this is not a pipe”) underneath it. Men in bowler hats and trench coats raining down from the sky. Created by Belgian artist René Magritte, these iconic and thought-provoking paintings are meant to, in the artist’s words, “challenge the real world.” In collaboration with the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and the Art Institute 20

René Magritte’s “The of Chicago, The the “misnaming” False Mirror” is one of the Menil Collection of objects. It also approximately 80 works presents “Magritte: explores the “repreon display at The Menil Collection from Feb. 14 The Mystery of the sentation of visions to June 1. Ordinary, 1926seen in half-waking 1938” from Feb. 14 states.” to June 1. It is the first major This exhibit will be seen in museum exhibition to focus only three cities in the U.S. If exclusively on Magritte’s works, you’re not planning on travelmany of which are considered ing, put this on your calendar. some of the 20th century’s most extraordinary images. ART LOVER’S INSIDE LOOK The show opens with a series of THE HIGH POINTS paintings and works on paper made in Brussels in 1926 and A virtual journey through an important period in the artist’s 1927. It then follows Magritte career, the exhibit traces sigto Paris, where he met other surnificant strategies and themes, realist artists, including André including displacement, transBreton, Paul Éluard, Joan Miró, formation, metamorphosis and and Salvador Dalí. Then the

bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014

exhibit takes us back to 1930 Brussels, where he continued to paint “hallucinatory pictures of exceptionally realistic detail.” The exhibition concludes at a historically and biographically significant moment: 1938, just before the outbreak of World War II. It was the year that Magritte delivered his most revealing account of the experience of life and art that made him a surrealist painter. The exhibit—which includes some 80 paintings, collages, objects, periodicals, photographs and rare documents— is co-curated by Anne Umland, curator in the Department of Painting and Sculpture at the Museum of Modern Art, New York; Stephanie D’Alessandro, the Gary C. and Frances Comer Curator of Modern Art at the Art Institute of Chicago; and Menil director Josef Helfenstein. The Menil also explores the artist’s later works in “Memories of a Voyage: The Late Work of René Magritte,” which brings together pieces dating from 1941 to 1967. In the exhibit, oil paintings are shown alongside rarely‐seen drawings; gouaches (a medium Magritte relied on during this period) will be on display; as will a pair of rare painted bottles. The Menil Collection 1533 Sul Ross 713-525-9400


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Journey Down the Bayou Revitalized Buffalo Bayou becomes a cultural and recreational hub. by stacy barry


scan this page with Layar to get a hike/bike trail guide.


arly residents founded Houston at the intersection of the White Oak and Buffalo bayous because of their beauty, wonder, lushness and life-sustaining resources. Now, thanks to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, Houstonians can enjoy a revitalized 10-square-mile journey that offers an array of cultural and recreational opportunities. The journey begins at Shepherd Drive and meanders through most of downtown. Along the way, visitors can walk, jog, bike, skate or paddle their way through some of the most picturesque scenes in the city. Recent improvements to bridges, trails and buildings along the Bayou have only enhanced the natural beauty of the area, and improved access has called an increasing number of visitors to the downtown waterfront area. In fact, there are more reasons than ever to get down on the bayou.

One of the most enjoyed and utilized aspects of bayou life is the hiking and biking trail system, making construction and completion of pathways a top priority for the partnership. With the exception of a few places where trails don’t yet connect, much of the plan has been implemented. Eventually, the system will comprise a contiguous network of trails on both banks from Shepherd Drive to the Turning Basin, thus providing 20 miles of trails to run, walk and bike along the waterway. “Many people don’t realize that the trails now actually extend east of the downtown area,” says Anne Olson, president of the Buffalo Bayou Partnership. The system features a recently completed concrete shared-use trail for cyclists and walkers. Closer to the banks, a series of footpaths for hikers only will be complete from Sabine Street to Montrose by February 2014. The recent opening of the

Buffalo Bayou Park lights up the night with its Lunar Cycle Lighting event.


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014



Jackson Hill and Carruth pedestrian bridges in Buffalo Bayou Park provide linkages between trails and neighborhoods on the north and south banks. FLOAT YOUR BOAT

The trails on the bayou aren’t just for foot traffic. Texas Parks and Wildlife has designated a 26-mile portion of the bayou as a paddling trail, giving water access to canoers and kayakers via 10 entry points. Rentals are available at several locations along the bayou, but scheduled guided tours come with all equipment provided, including tandem sit-on-top kayaks. If you’re looking for something waterrelated that’s a little less work intensive, the partnership also offers a variety of regularly scheduled pontoon cruises of this historic waterway to fit most needs and interests. Pontoon tours include historical cruises featuring stories of our city’s development; the Waugh Drive Bat Colony Tour, allowing guests to view the evening emergence of our city’s rather large urban Mexican free-tailed bat colony; as well as seasonal and holiday tours and 90-minute private tours. In addition, 30-minute Second Saturday tours are featured monthly from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no reservation required. OUTDOOR WORKS OF ART


Situated all along Buffalo Bayou are a variety of outdoor works of art in different media that are definitely worth a look-see. From the 70-foot “Seven Wonders” pillars in Sesquicentennial Park, to the interactive “Big Bubble” beneath the Preston Street Bridge, there is something for every art lover to enjoy. One of the newest additions to the bayou’s art collection is Jaume Plensa’s “Tolerance,” a grouping of wiry aluminum frames depicting the people and cultures of the seven continents of the world. Fans of bronze will enjoy “Large Spindle Piece” by English sculptor Henry Moore, located in a large grassy expanse of Buffalo Bayou Park.


One of the most dramatic visuals of the bayou can be seen at the Sabine Promenade, the area of the waterfront from Sabine Street to Bagby. Not only is this the spot where photography buffs can get their version of the iconic shot of the Houston skyline, but each evening it becomes an even more scenic destination for nighttime activ-

by the numbers

2002 Buffalo Bayou Partnership was founded

10 12 10 20

square miles of revitalized land


canoe and kayak launches

miles of trails for walking, running and biking (when completed)

Created by Barcelona-based artist Jaume Plensa, the “Tolerance” statues at Buffalo Bayou Park are a visual reminder of the city’s unique diversity.

ity, when the 29-day lunar cycle is expressed with innovative blue and white lighting that changes with the phases of the moon. “The bayou glows blue the closer the cycle is to a new moon and gradually phases to white as the full moon appears,” says Olson. She further added that additional lighting will continue to be phased in as construction progresses. For a complete guide to Buffalo Bayou, including maps, events and projects, visit

WHO ELSE IS ON THE BAYOU? In addition to the Buffalo Bayou Partnership, other groups preserve, enhance and program for the bayou. The Bayou Preservation Association works to preserve the watershed, clean the bayou areas, and water and replant trees along the bayous. Through fundraising, volunteer efforts and educating the public, the organization tries to change how Houstonians treat their waterways. The Houston Parks Board is also embarking on a series of projects to fulfill the 100-year-old vision of a continuous series of parks and trails across the city. The Bayou Greenways 2020 project aims to connect the greenways and parks, and complete a continuous line of all-weather trails along one side of Houston’s major bayous.




New Heights


With its vast array of top eats, cool arts and endless things to do, the Heights is raising the bar on urban living.

and new. Liberty Kitchen (1050 Studewood), the

There are a lot of restaurants in the Heights, with new ones opening at near alarming regularity; here are just a few out of many, a mixture of old brainchild of owner Lance Fegan and executive chef Samuel Beier, brought some much-needed

by dennis abrams

buzz to the Heights restaurant scene. Triple A (2526 Airline), located next to Canino Produce Co., has been bringing meat, homemade baked rolls, fresh vegetables from Canino’s and daily specials since 1942. Gatlins’s BBQ (1221 W. 19th St.) is as good as barbecue gets, while Down House (1801 Yale) is a great little neighborhood hangout combined with a foodie haunt. Think great coffee, beer on tap, breakfasts and burgers, as well as unique dishes like smoked pork belly quesadillas or braised beef cheeks for dinner. Pappa Geno’s (1801 Ella) serves cheesesteak as it should be, as good as any outside of Philadelphia, along with gravy fries worth falling off of any diet wagon. Bellissimo (1848 Airline) is a hybrid of sorts, serving Italian food with Mexican “flair.” Whatever they’re doing works, especially with their grilled tuna served on a poblano pesto risotto, farfalle al cilantro, and jalapeño pizza. And a little further down Airline, Tampico Seafood (2115 Airline) serves up a truly memorable whole red snapper a la plancha, one of Houston’s most underrated seafood dishes.


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014



n Aug. 13, 2013, CNN said of the Houston Heights (in a piece on the best big-city neighborhoods), “Houstonians are blessed when it comes to affordable housing and an abundance of jobs. But Houston Heights offers something rare for this city: an urban, walkable area with a cohesive neighborhood vibe.” And that is precisely why so many people love the Heights, and why its 1920s classic bungalow houses have become some of the most sought after properties in Houston. It’s easily accessible to all parts of the city (who wouldn’t love being just five minutes from downtown’s theaters and concert venues?), but it feels very much like its own community. It feels like a real neighborhood, with a couple of main streets— 19th for shops and restaurants and a quaint small-town feel, Studewood for traffic and a rapidly expanding “big name” restaurant scene. It also boasts decent sidewalks for dog walking, grocery stores ranging from mega Kroger to Revival Market to farm-tomarket Canino’s, small parks and neighborhood businesses where people actually do know your name.


scan this page with Layar to get a map of these Heights hot spots.




People who love to walk and shop know that

Spotts Park (401 S. Heights Blvd.) offers more

One of many great things about the Heights

a Saturday afternoon spent on 19th Street is a

than 16 acres located between Waugh and

is that there’s so much to see and do. One of

Saturday well spent. You’ll definitely enjoy check-

Memorial where visitors can shoot some hoops,

Houston’s distinct cultural entities is, of course,

ing out the wide array of Mexican folk art at Casa

play a little volleyball or have a picnic. They can

the Art Car Museum (140 Heights Blvd.),

Ramirez (241 W. 19th St.), in addition to the ever-

also join one of the many exercise classes held

where one can visit an exhibition forum for

changing educational/cultural exhibits Ramirez is

there regularly.

local, national and international artists with an

proud to display, and the truly spectacular Day of the Dead crafts. Jubilee (325 W. 19th St.) is the kind of shop that

And speaking of exercise, District H Crossfit

emphasis on art cars, other fine arts and artists

(1044 Studewood) offers classic Crossfit taught

that are rarely, if ever, acknowledged by other

by certified instructors in a convenient loca-

cultural institutions. 14 Pews (800 Aurora St.), so named because

always seems to have some funky thing that you

tion on Studewood near 11th. To work out out-

didn’t know you wanted. Penzey’s (516 W. 19th

side, consider the Paul Carr Jogging Trail along

it is located in a charming old wood church

St.) is just special—the highest quality spices and

Heights Boulevard or the miles of Heights Hike

with, you guessed it, 14 pews, is that rare gem:

herbs, beautifully displayed, a place to sniff and

and Bike Trail.

a micro-cinema offering innovative and pro-

sample and buy more than you planned. Next,

If you love opera, Opera in the Heights (1703

vocative film programming. Speaking of films,


imagine the used bookstore of your dreams, one

Heights Blvd.) offers terrific performances in

don’t miss a visit to the old 1920s movie theater

with well-stocked shelves containing almost any-

the loveliest intimate setting imaginable. Nizza

now occupied by Gallery M Squared (339 W.

thing you could want with owners, John and Dee

Mosaic Studio (1331 Studewood) isn’t just a gal-

19th St.). Although the theater was destroyed

Dillman, who know their stock, their books and

lery—it also offers classes, including the popu-

by arson in 1968, the old movie projector is on

just what books to suggest you add to your read-

lar evening BYOB “Mosaics & Merlot.”

display. The art gallery itself is a true reflec-

ing list. That’s Kaboom Books (3116 Houston Ave.).

For local art, check out First Saturday Arts

You may not garden, but, rest assured, if you

Market (548 W. 19th St.), a monthly outdoor art

Boyd Harrison’s and Michael Kubis’ love of the

were a gardener, Another Place in Time (421 W.

event offering food, live music and art displays.

Heights is equally obvious), with two exhibition

11th St.) would become your second home—a

Finally, don’t miss Thursday-Night Bingo at

spaces that change monthly.

beautiful array of orchids, perennials, annuals,

the SPJST Lodge 88 (1435 Beall St.). Not just for

herbs and more, with a staff that not only knows

seniors, games start at 7:30 p.m., but get there

Houston’s great dive bars and the home of the

their stuff, but won’t make you feel like an idiot

early (doors open at 5:15 p.m.), grab a burger and

buck-fifty Lone Star or Shiner Bock served in an

for all the stuff you don’t know.

a beer (you can bring your own wine or liquor)

icy cold, 20-ounce glass goblet.

tion of the Heights community (owners Max

Alice’s Tall Texan (4904 N. Main St.) is one of

and claim your spot. They fill up practically every week and have to turn folks away!





scan this page with Layar to find the romance and make reservations.


Discover romance in the heart of the Bayou City. by stacy barry


hether you’re celebrating Valentine’s Day or, let’s face it, any moment you get some alone time with your sig-o, if romance is in the plans, we’ve got you covered. Houston is filled with a variety of activities and destinations to fit whatever a couple’s idea of romance might be.

TAKE YOUR RELATIONSHIP TO CENTER STAGE On just about any evening, theater lovers can plan a just-right night in the theater district, home to nine renowned performing arts organizations, and many smaller ones, in four world-class venues. For a truly special Feb. 14, spend an evening with Broadway legend Linda Eder, who will perform a special Valentine’s Day Concert at Jones Hall. Or watch the pottery scene Demi Moore and Patrick Swayze made famous in the movie “Ghost” come to life at the Hobby Center. “Ghost The Musical” runs at Sarophim Hall Feb. 19-23. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana. for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St.,



For the perfect lover’s stroll or even an intimate


picnic, the multistory water wall at the Gerald

If a cultural excursion gets your heart racing,

D. Hines Waterwall Park is a sight to behold.

then the Houston Museum District should

Visit at night for a truly unparalleled experi-

make you swoon. This season, nothing says

ence in both sight and sound. This breathtak-

true romance more than French Impressionist

ing architectural attraction is one of the most

paintings by such masters as Monet, Degas

photographed spots in the city, and is the per-

and Renoir. “The Age of Impressionism: Great

fect backdrop for a romantic moment—amid

French Paintings from the Sterling and Francine

the roar of the cascading water and the nearly

Clark Institute” is on exhibit through March 23.

200 live oak trees in the park. 2800 Post Oak

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, 1001 Bissonnet.


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014



scan this page with Layar to get these picnic necessities.

the goods splendor in the grass Enjoy romance al fresco with these perfect picnic finds.

WINE AND DINE YOUR VALENTINE If a cozy dinner for two is in the cards for you and your Valentine, make reservations at Mark’s American Cuisine, considered one of the city’s most memorable and romantic restaurants. Located in a renovated 1920s church, the awardwinning restaurant offers an intimate atmosphere, gourmet menu and extensive wine list. End your one-of-a-kind culinary experience with a taste of executive pastry chef Sam Major’s handcrafted truffles. The 72-hour process results in five flavors, including Grand Marnier and Spiced Coffee. It’s a sweet ending to a perfect dinner. 1658 Westheimer.

1. SOMETHING TO CUDDLE ON An enticing way to present your picnic, lean back and look at the stars…while protecting your clothing from grass stains and damp lawns. This Montauk stripe blanket is lightweight, water repellent, easy to fold and has a padded shoulder strap. $19.99. Available at Bed Bath & Beyond. Visit for locations. 2. SOMETHING TO EAT ON Elegant disposables are acceptable, but reusable non-breakables like these artsy melamine plates are both pretty to look at and sturdy in a strong wind. Acrylic stemware and resin-handled flatware complete the setting. Plates, $3.96 each; acrylic stemware, $3.15 to $5.95 each; flatware, $1.96 each. Crate & Barrel, 4006 Westheimer. 3. SOMETHING TO EAT While homemade is nice, there are many options for getting your picnic ready-made. Picnic Boxed Lunches in Rice Village specializes in homemade soups, breads, salads, sandwiches and sweets that are boxed and ready to go. In the museum district, a different gourmet food truck pulls in daily serving a curated selection of artistic eats from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. 1928 Bissonnet St.

PULL AN ALL-NIGHTER If an overnight stay is what you had in mind, check into Hotel ZaZa, where you can book a couples massage for the ultimate romantic getaway. The Menage a Deux treatment offers a Swedish-style massage for him and her in the spa’s exclusive couples’ room. MARK LIPCZYNSKI | HOTEL ZAZA

Located in the heart of the museum district, ZaZa offers luxurious accommodations with eclectic themes and furnishings, along with Monarch, a chic on-site restaurant, 24-hour room service, a cozy poolside bar, and personalized pampering at ZaSpa and Fitness Center.



4. SOMETHING TO TOTE Tuck your treats into a stylish basket or insulated cooler—something attractive from basic rattan to this all-inclusive carryall featuring blanket, dinnerware and everything you need for a wine and cheese picnic, including the corkscrew, insulated flask and thermal mugs for soup or hot drinks. $349. Available at 5. SOMETHING TO REMEMBER If the picnic itself isn’t a surprise, including a few definitely ups the romance factor. Candles, flowers, music or a favorite sweet makes the occasion more special. Now, get planning and get outside. Love is in the air.


5701 Main St.







embody t h e bayo u l if est y l e

30 DOWN HOME Resolve to create a space for your New Year’s commitments.





Hit the ground running with expert tips on marathon training.





Y Resolution Rooms Make the right space to help you keep your New Year’s commitment. by jessica mebane

ou don’t have to wait for some momentous, life-changing event to let a little bit of positive change into your home and, by extension, your life. While some folks take a look around the old homestead and begin to book contractors the moment Junior leaves for college, others can be stymied by the emptiness of their “bonus room” and wind up using this space as little more than ready storage for life’s overflow, when flow is actually what’s needed most of all. What if you seized the opportunity this year and resolved to turn an overlooked area of your house into a place of greater creativity—a room where you could perhaps achieve perfect Zen, maybe raise the bar on those ballet barre workouts or configure a truly walk-in humidor? Here are myriad possibilities that one could consider while designing a “resolution room,” which will accommodate your yearning to try a new hobby or long-simmering interest that’s been ignored for the last time.

Before embarking on a home design project of any size, it’s mission critical to delineate as precisely as possible what this process will entail. Get some professionals involved in the early stages of spitballing ideas and assigning the must-have room features. Because even if you wind up going all-in on a DIY project, you need the logistics in place or things will go sideways pretty quickly. For example, if you have a passion for music and want to take up or rediscover that musical oeuvre that speaks to your soul, find a designer with experience using acoustical building products and accessories. Also, call in an electrician to assess your electrical outlet capacity and power panel’s ability to safely support additional recording devices or other equipment. You may have to demolish the room infrastructure to the studs in order to beef up outgoing sound-muffling A meditation room or serene sanctuary can help bring balance to your busy life.


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014



insulation such as sound batt or rock wool, which will also reduce incoming HVAC “white noise” interference. Even if you just want a thoroughly personal listening room, where the headphones go on and the music or audio files take you away from it all, consider downloading a copy of F. Alton Everest’s “Master Handbook of Acoustics” to really dial into the proper way to prepare a room for sound that surrounds without driving out your cohabitants.

“North light is commonly known as reflected or indirect light, which produces cool and controlled value shifts,” she says. “This light not only basks the subject matter and painting in the same cool atmosphere, but also helps the artist have far greater control over values, contrasts and subtle color changes.” Other art studio design considerations include plenty of artificial light (preferably 110- to 125-watt CFL bulbs) for painting at night, lots of wall space for inspirational works, ceiling fans and ducts for drawing paint fumes out of the room and some kind of music source to help the creative process. HIDDEN SPACE FOR A CRAFTY LIFE

Channel your inner Martha Stewart and convert a small space like a closet or attic into a craft room.



If you’re of an artistic bent—and enjoy a detached garage on your property—take a step outside to see if you can convert that cramped carriage house into an airy, light-filled studio. Go into it with the understanding, of course, that some serious light sources may have to be added, as well as an efficient ventilation system to keep from fainting dead away before the oils are even properly mixed. In terms of light sources, all expert advice points north. According to Lori McNee, professional artist and exhibiting member of Oil Painters of America, there are several good reasons to stay true to this direction.

Don’t be scared of that dark and creepy crawl space above your head. Instead, embrace that square footage as the new and improved command central for whatever messy, cluttered and incredible hobby has struck your fancy and threatens to take over a crucial common area. Houston’s Design House owner Connie LeFevre took a neglected and dusty guest room tucked away in the attic and changed it into an amazingly light and bright hobby and crafts area for a local client. Ashley Wynne, Design House marketing director, acknowledges the challenges and rewards of renovating a small space. “Connie relished the idea of tackling a smaller space in the house that had been overlooked for some time. After a total overhaul, which included overcoming some electrical issues and installing some much-needed cabinetry and storage, we amazed ourselves at how cozy yet spacious this little attic nook became,” she says. “What was once kind of a cramped guest/storage space is now a charming giftwrap/craft area where the kids can let the glitter fly without upsetting any adults.” Because attics are typically asymmetrical or irregular in shape, built-ins such as bench seating and cabinetry can really add some function to a small space like this. And don’t forget your portable A/C unit, as this is going to be the hottest place in or out of the house during the warmer months.

diy on that note For the true music lover, there’s no question that the sound of music can brighten up any room or space. But music can also be a unique inspiration for decorating your home, as well. Whether you’re a seasoned musical performer or a self-proclaimed sound junkie, a music room is a great place to fuel your passion for song. If you’re looking to jazz up your home with a sound-inspired space, here are a few tips to get you started on the right note. FOCUS, PLEASE Start by settling on the focal point of the room, which helps create a unified look. The focal point also showcases the homeowner’s interests or taste in music. For instance, if you love classical piano, a baby Grand would be a great centerpiece to the room. Or use the beautiful wood grain of an upright bass to set the design tone of the space. ON DISPLAY Artful displays of instruments can create a dramatic look to any room. If you’re a fan of string instruments, create an art wall of various pieces, such as a guitar, mandolin, banjo, ukulele and violin. Fasten them securely to the wall, making sure they don’t fall or shift if someone touches them. SHOW IT OFF You knew there was a reason you’ve saved all those records and LPs over the years. Record-album jackets make for great art displays, so frame your favorites. Or if your collection is pushing hoarder status, stack them on bookshelves all over the room. Not only will your massive collection impress guests, they also make for great conversation pieces.




Ageless Fashion The key to looking and feeling young is simpler than you think. by jessica mebane


he recently departed and muchbeloved novelist, director and playwright Nora Ephron once reflected upon her youthful body image and lingering self-consciousness by saying, “Oh, how I regret not having worn a bikini for the entire year I was 26. If anyone young is reading this, go, right this minute, put on a bikini, and don’t take it off until you’re 34.” But if we followed this sage advice, would all of our edgiest, fashion-forward choices come to a screeching halt at 34? Or can we cling to such overly optimistic truisms as “Fifty is the new 30” or “You’re only as old as you feel”? Dressing young may not be the only key to staying young, but finding the right forever young fashions can help keep you looking as young (appropriately) as you feel. David Peck of David Peck USA says it ultimately comes down to three basic guidelines for dressing young: Know what your lifestyle demands are, develop a sharply defined sense of personal taste and, above all, choose clothes that celebrate your unique appeal.



bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

Peck also advises investing in a good tailor. “Not every off-the-rack look will fit your body type and, in fact, most women are not the same size, top and bottom. A good tailor can be your best friend in making a strong dayto-day wardrobe statement and making sure that the higher quality items you’ve invested in really become workhorse clothing pieces that can take you seamlessly from day to night, occasion-wise.”


While spring and summer are still a few months away, it looks as though the short and flirty profiles are still coming on strong, with lots of body-conscious looks that feature risqué amounts of skin and bare limbs. Peck has reassuring words to help you navigate the delicate line between fresh-looking fashion and overexposure.


Peck firmly believes in looking beyond the fleeting trends of the season. “I like to listen to my clients and, irrespective of age, get a real sense of what their lifestyle is. My customer base isn’t about age, but lifestyle,” he says. “We dress professional women who have lots of functions, and young mothers with myriad social events. As a result, we often end up dressing the daughter or granddaughter of a customer, with many of these women saying, ‘This [piece] is something that will last 10 years.’ We really take pride in offering items that our customers can pair in multiple ways.


scan this page with Layar to go behind-the-scenes at our photo shoot.

but be aware of both hem and waistline when choosing a top. If it’s a low-waisted pencil skirt with a long hem, don’t pair it with a longer top; the whole look will begin to look as though it’s dragging you down,” he says. “Also think about a great tailored sheath dress, because that’s a solid look to take you from office lunch to dinner event, or even a good shirtdress always looks fresh in the spring and summer.” CREATE YOUR SIGNATURE LOOK All three of our models are wearing the same David Peck USA dress, showing that regardless of your age, you can pick the piece you love and make it work for your style. Thanks to our models, and friends of Bayou City, Ashley Thompson of David Peck USA, Donae Chramosta of The Vintage Contessa and Bayou City’s own Michelle Rogers. Thanks also to The Vintage Contessa for the purses and necklaces pictured.


“Stylish Houston women come to my showroom feeling apprehensive about the short skirt styles, but they’re also in the best shape ever. I urge them to go for those shorter hemlines, but pair them with some great opaque hosiery or tights if it makes you feel more confident,” he says. For the longer, more retro, “Mad Men” lengths, Peck says it’s all about proportion. “By all means, try that edgy pencil skirt,

There’s lots of chatter out there about “statement necklaces” and layering accessories for a look that trumpets just how closely you follow the current “more is more” trend. But Peck makes a great case for paring down your look to find the right balance between a discordant mishmash of trends, and a sleek, clean look that becomes a part of your stealth fashion uniform. “If you really stop and think about all the little baubles and things you buy throughout a season and the total cost of some of this impulsiveness, you might find that you’d be better off using that money to have one good piece of jewelry that’s your signature,” he advises. “Look at Anna Wintour. She’s the editor of Vogue and hall-of-fame member of countless best-dressed lists, but she essentially wears the same thing season after season because she has edited her wardrobe to a signature look.” Peck says he likes to create items for his customers that can be paired in multiple ways. “Then they add one funky wardrobe item that becomes their neutral piece of the ensemble,” he says. And for himself? “I’ve got a uniform way of dressing that includes colored chinos, a great blazer or cardigan, and nothing too matchy-matchy. Then my one funky, splurge item is comfortable, great-looking shoes like tan and blue Cole Haan saddle shoes.”

dress take a colorful approach So you’ve examined the best of what fashion glossies have to offer in terms of looks for the season and you’re about to set forth and conquer that retail rack frontier. But wait. Have you considered which fashionable colors are flooding this season’s offerings versus your best color? Houston designer David Peck shares which shades work best for whom: 
 BLONDES Have more fun in neutrals, as it happens. “Try some cool neutrals, like cool grey or beige, with a hint of blue or green. I think that really makes the hair look vibrant.” REDHEADS “I love to put my redhead customers in jewel tones and spicy tones to set off that fiery aura.” RAVEN TRESSES Black hair, with all of those great highlights and low lights can really get away with more pops of bright, intense color, like chartreuse.” SILVER FOXES “People with silvery hair do best in jewel tones as well as powdery blues and pastels, which make their hair pop.”




The Long Run Are you a Houston Marathon wannabe? Instead of sitting on the sidelines, start training now for next year’s big race. by betsy denson


ouston FIT Organizer Felix Lugo didn’t consider himself very athletic before he ran his first marathon at the age of 40 to knock it off his bucket list. Fifty marathons later he’s still at it. Want to join him?


Find the right program. There are a lot of online resources available, like Hal Higdon’s Marathon Plans. Find the program that’s right for your level and goals. Lugo recommends beginners focus on minutes run during the week and distance goals on weekends.

get the gear Now that you’ve put next year’s marathon in your sights, it’s time to outfit yourself for success. Here are a few marathon training products that will put you in the right step.

even down to your socks. Because you aren’t going to perspire. You’re going to sweat.


Get the right nutrition. If you head to a morning workout without eating breakfast, or run after work on an empty stomach, you aren’t optimizing your workout. He recommends a protein bar, a banana or a peanutbutter bagel as a quick pick me up. In the evenings, eat a healthy meal with a protein plus a vegetable. My Fit Foods or your local grocery store makes it easy with prepackaged options, because that late-night Whopper will negate everything you’ve worked on.



Find the right training group. Houston FIT is one option; Kenyan Way is another. One running buddy is not going to motivate you as much as 60 like-minded runners will, says Lugo. They will hold you accountable and keep you safe on the road. Most likely, they’ll become your tribe, too.


Buy the right pair of shoes. Lugo says more than anything the wrong shoes will put you off your training. He also counsels new runners to forget about color. “Shoes are meant to get dirty,” he says. As for running apparel, he suggests wicking material to draw the moisture off your body,


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014


Hydration, hydration, hydration. Lugo says the way you hydrate today will affect the way you perform tomorrow. Obviously caffeine and coffee are out, but runners also need to be careful about sports drinks. They are designed to replace what you’ve lost, but if you drink them too early in a race, you’re overloading. “Chevron (sponsors of the Houston Marathon on Jan. 19) has hydration down to a science,” says Lugo. “It’s there when you need it, not when you want it.” And lastly, don’t set out to be a Boston qualifier. Lugo says a lot of new runners push themselves too hard, too early. “A half-marathon is still a marathon—just concentrate on finishing,” he says. Later you can go for broke.

WATCH THIS If James Bond ran marathons, he’d wear the Garmin Forerunner 610 GPS Sports Watch. Track your distance, time and heart rate. If you really want to keep yourself honest, the virtual options will keep you at your desired pace. $350 without heart rate; $400 with heart rate. Available at Fleet Feet Sports, 2408 Rice Blvd. and 6590 Woodway Dr.


scan these pages with Layar to get the gear and find races to run.

POWER SHOT For hydration, the Nathan Sports Vapor Shot is a good option for


runners because of its handheld strap, which works for both hands…even on the 10th mile when they’re bound to be super sweaty.


$30. Available at Luke’s Locker.

Get your carb fix during a marathon with GU

Energy Gel with flavors that include Salted Caramel, Peanut Butter, Tri-Berry, Vanilla Bean and more. The 100-calorie gel isn’t a substitute for fluids, but it will keep you going toward that elusive finish line. $1.35 each. Available at Fleet Feet Sports.


SUIT UP If you want your running gear to support joints and muscles, the


CW-X Conditioning Wear is right up

Houston resident Katie

your alley. They also help with circu-

Flaherty—who has 13 marathons under her belt, by the way—is a big fan of the Mizuno Wave Rider because


lation and endurance, giving you the extra edge you need. $80 to $90. Available at Fleet Feet Sports and Luke’s Locker.

they’re light and comfortable. $105. Available at Luke’s Locker, 1953 W. Gray St.





Rule the Roadway The driving experience enabled by new technology is more interactive and immersive than ever before. by jessica mebane


BELLS AND WHISTLES Yes, today’s cars make sure our drive is safe and let us “feel the

The Lincoln MKC welcomes the approaching driver with a virtual “welcome mat.”

noise” with the latest in car stereo systems. But who would’ve thought there would come

the cabin, a visual alert on the wind-

shield and automatic brake assist sensitivity. While this feature notifies the driver of crashes outside the car, inside, a dash-mounted

as you walk up to it? Lincoln Motor Company—

camera will “assess the driver…to see if he or

which has designed its Lincoln MKC model

she is becoming tired.” According to Lincoln, if

to have more than the usual list of bells and

the system detects a driver’s alertness level

whistles in its luxury package—has figured out

dropping below a given threshold, an audible

a way to do just that.

warning is issued and a pop-up message

car ownership comes from the MKC’s ability to

appears on the screen. In mid-November, the auto giant announced

greet its driver with Approach Detection, whereby

on its website that the MKC would also include,

the car senses the owner’s approach and lights up

an enhanced THX® II Certified Audio System,

virtual “welcome mats” on the ground outside the

featuring THX-distributed bass technology and

front driver and passenger door areas.

14 right-, center- and left-slot speaker assem-

As far as augmented safety features go,

bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

system issues an audible alert in

a day when your car would actually greet you

Perhaps the cuddliest feature ever offered in


a potential front-end crash. The

blies. The audio system is designed to deliver

Lincoln MKC will have a collision warning system,

an “immersive surround sound experience” that

which is designed to alert the driver if it detects

reproduces music as it was mixed in the studio.


hese days, our cars are getting smart about fuel consumption and pointing you in the right direction to find Grandma’s new condo. In fact, they’re even smarter than that. More and more cars are this close to becoming somewhat sentient beings with vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V) communication about road conditions, interactions with traffic signals and connectivity that lets you cruise your in-dash Internet source at highway speeds. Are you ready to drive in a world where automobiles can pull your driver history info on a particular vehicle and make necessary adjustments to how you interact with the car? Do you need theater-quality sound to elevate your road trip playlist to chestthumping levels of soundtrack awesomeness? Would you like your car to greet you upon approach in the parking lot with a friendly light show? Then you were born at the right time, and that time is now. As technology weaves itself ever tighter into our everyday lives, it only makes sense that you should be able to incorporate the best of what gadgets and apps can do into one of your most important investments, your car. Just be sure to keep your eyes on the road while you chat with your Facebook buddy or pick tonight’s movie date, since no amount of connectivity can replace common sense on the busy highway of life.


Always at the forefront of automobile technology, Mercedes-Benz will soon offer “door-to-door” navigation in collaboration with Google Glass.

scan this page with Layar to download these apps.

This is all in early stages for Mercedes, but after becoming one of the first auto manufacturers to integrate the iPhone into its entry-level model CLA, it’s clear that (for this German auto powerhouse at least) alternate reality’s addition into the driving experience is becoming a true reality indeed. And take heart, Android users. Mercedes projects to have Android integration

download app-etite Check out a few of our favorite apps this month

with their auto line before the end of this year. COMMERCE IN YOUR CAR With today’s car technology, it’s doubtful you’ll ever need to leave the confines of its doors to do such things as peruse movie times, book AUTOMOTIVE VIRTUAL REALITY

reservations at your restaurant or check traffic

While “Wizard of Oz”-like mystery still surrounds

in real time.

Google Glass and when exactly it will be available

In a crowded field of luxury vehicles offering

to the gadget-loving masses, Mercedes-Benz is

touch-screen features, Lexus stepped up to the

wasting no time partnering with new technology.

plate in 2013 to offer the biggest multimedia

Their latest offering is something they’re

split screen in cars currently on the market. At

calling “Door-to-Door” navigation. In an inter-

12.3 inches, this in-dash feature has some inter-

view with WIRED magazine, Johann Jungwirth,

esting perks. For example, Lexus GS owners can

Mercedes’ North American Research and

access Bing for driving directions, make restau-

Development President & CEO, said the first

rant reservations through OpenTable, buy movie

application will be a navigation program wherein

tickets via, and listen to their

you enter an address through Google Glass, get

favorite tunes through Pandora or iHeartRadio.

in your car, plug in your phone and then the des-

They can also access Facebook Places in the car,

tination is transferred to the in-dash navigation

and search for restaurant reviews on Yelp.

system. Once you’ve arrived, you then unplug your phone and the system re-transfers the data back to Glass to complete the journey.

Lexus GS owners can access popular apps like Pandora, Yelp and through their in-dash navigation screens.

LINCOLN REMOTE ACCESS If you’re the proud owner of a (select) Lincoln vehicle, this handy app will let you do such things as start, lock and unlock your car directly from your phone. It can also help you locate your car with an audible car find option. LEXUS ENFORM With just a few taps on a smartphone, Lexus owners can plan trips, send destinations to their in-vehicle navigation system, and even share travel plans with friends and family via Facebook. MERCEDES-BENZ TV For the person who truly appreciates the beauty and power of a Mercedes-Benz, this app’s for you. Watch exciting films of MercedesBenz vehicles in action all around the world in stunning definition. BUFFALO BAYOU GUIDE From Shepherd Drive to Allen’s Landing, discover all the Buffalo Bayou has to offer when it comes to hike and bike trails, parks, wildlife and public art. You’ll even be up to date on current and future improvements.


WHAT WE WEAR WHERE Not only do you get to see what people are wearing at school, work, restaurants and events, you also find out where they bought their outfits. See photos or share photos—either way, you’ll be up on the latest fashion trends wherever you go.

Find these apps in the iTunes and Google Play app stores.


Experience it!





indulge in bayo u e ats

48 HOME GROWN Satisfy your sweet tooth with unique treats from Cacao & Cardamom.





Trenza owner Susie Jimenez is living out her culinary dream.





Chef ’s Choice Houston restaurant-goers indulge with spectacular tasting menus worth the splurge.

On the tasting menu at The Pass & Provisions is the seared-rare venison dusted in coffee, served with cardamom-crusted rutabaga.


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014


by robin barr sussman



here’s a new genre of dining targeting jaded foodies craving off-the-grid specialties: tasting menus. These multicourse menus crafted by a young breed of innovative chefs are based on inspirational whims, seasonal offerings and the latest trends. Like restaurants and chefs, tasting menus run the gamut in cuisine style and presentation, each being unique. While old-school prix fixe menus consisted of soup or salad, entrée and dessert, Houston chefs now tout menus that range from five courses of all organic vegetables to 10 courses of opulent fare paired with different wines, beers or cocktails. Stalwart Tony’s is in on the act, too. New chef de cuisine Kate McLean crafts overthe-top, nine-course tasting menus dripping in foie gras, truffles and Belgian chocolate but with updated touches.

scan these pages with Layar to see more photos and tasting menus and to make reservations.

lobster salad in a mini loaf. Pumpkin cake is presented with homemade ice creams crafted with fall herbs and a whole pumpkin is dramatically smoking with dry ice. The vegetable might be a cardamom-crusted whole rutabaga baked in salt crust presented tableside, cracked open and served. “This is our version of what formal dining should be; hence, the set tasting menu concept,” says Gallivan. Like most tasting menus in Houston, the portion sizes are perfect. And the wine pairings by sommelier Travis Hinkle enhance every bite. If you shun sweets, try the artisan cheese course finale. Cremont, a new fromage paired with fizzy Moscato d’Asti, was recently served with champagne grape aspic and a warm rosemary baguette that was lick-the-plate delicious.


At The Pass & Provisions by chefs Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, it’s about luxury, but also intrigue. At The Pass, the contemporary formal area of the restaurant, you literally pass into another culinary world. In a softly lit space swathed in plush charcoal with pale linens and fine stemware, you’ll experience all the beauties of fine dining—from champagne carts to amazing service—but with a young whimsical touch. And you’ll never, ever be rushed. “We want to provide a special evening and not rush guests. You are paying a premium price for the five- to eight-course meal, so when you book a table, it’s yours for the night,” says Gallivan. Think of it as your own little epicurean bubble. What arrives on your table is never what you might expect or imagine. From the dark-suited server, expect a story about each creative dish. Menu options include one set tasting menu per season, which is paired with a wine or a cocktail for an additional fee. Unlike most upscale menus with a laundry list of ingredients, here it reads concise: foie gras; risotto with truffle oil; venison. But expect a playful twist. Seared-rare venison tenderloin gets dusted in coffee. “Potato bread” arrives with a surprise luxe

Oxheart’s tasting menus reflect seasonal and local ingredients such as Gulf wahu fish with cane syrup and collard greens.


While tasting menus featuring local produce, meats and Gulf seafood are kicking up restaurant menus at Triniti and Cove Cold Bar inside Haven, chef-owner Justin Yu of Oxheart offers seasonal tasting menus only (no a la carte). It’s open five nights a week so nature can put on the show with fresh ingredients Yu painstakingly sources from the likes of Three Sisters Farm in Needville and Revival Meats in Yoakum. Located in the rustic Warehouse District, the whitewashed industrial 30-seat space with a small open kitchen is streamlined and natural. Reclaimed wood dining tables are functional with drawers to hold napkins (big soft tea towels). Hand-forged flatware is

dine bayou bites Get the dish on the Bayou City's culinary happenings GIVE ME LIBERTY New to the River Oaks area is Liberty Kitchen & Oysterette, sister restaurant to Liberty Kitchen & Oyster Bar in the Heights. Crafted by chef/partner Lance Fegan, the menu has an extensive selection of seafood with a focus on special oyster selections showcased in the unique and robust oyster bar kitchen in the center of the restaurant. Other gourmet comfort food selections include banana leaf hot smoked Pacific salmon, California royal osetra caviar, littleneck clams, and pies and cakes from Petite Sweets. A large circular full-service bar anchors the restaurant, half of which is dedicated to cocktails and the other half to oyster and seafood prep—it’s a really big show. 4224 San Felipe St. 713-6221010, CORNER MARKET Heights General Store, a natural food store and restaurant, opened recently in the former Harold’s clothing store site. Executive chef Antoine Ware, most recently with The Hay Merchant, is dishing a healthful-bent, full-service restaurant menu with seasonal specialties. The multilevel space will includes a second-level restaurant with a bar area, private dining room, indoor seating and rooftop dining space. Downstairs is a more casual menu of pizza, deli and artisan sandwiches, salads, fresh juices and a unique shopping set up. 350 W. 19th St. 713360-6204, IN THE CLUB Looking for a cool outdoor patio for a drink and nosh? The Rosemont Social Club is a chic newcomer near Uchi. The indoor bar has a Moroccan feel with rich red walls and matching velvet banquettes. Outdoors, there’s a huge deck with tented cabanas, plush lounges and oversized cushions. The craft cocktails are flowing and the menu includes made-to-be-shared food. Smoked hummus, flatbread pizzas and Houston Dairymaid cheese plates make perfect nibbles. Heartier appetites will enjoy the beef sliders or andouille mac ‘n cheese. Cheers! 910 Westheimer. 832530-4698,




appear simple, but taste swoon-worthy. One bite of the chocolate layer cake with kieffer pears, rosemary and almond dacquiose, and you’re convinced the husband-and-wife team wants to challenge your palate.

The Causa de Pato at Latin Bites is a feast for the eyes with its purple potato causita, avocado mayonnaise and poached quail egg.

served with oversized ceramic plates made by Houston potter Three Dot Pots, and servers wear locally made leather aprons. If you crave quiet, Oxheart is it—and full of serious foodies. Kitchen counter seating is casual fun and the best way to watch the meticulous chefs in action. The lofty yet small dining room can get cheek-tocheek full (psst: you’ll hear your neighbor’s conversation). “My inspiration is to showcase the best vegetables and freshest ingredients possible,” says Yu, who worked in famous California kitchens like veggie haven Ubuntu. His Garden Menu might include a course of roasted and pickled okra with an 42

bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

enchanting accent of smoked black garlic and crème fraiche. Or lovely steamed young potatoes dressed with orange leaf and jasmine, with “fuyu” persimmon pudding, clementines and basil. It’s the stuff that makes you forget about meat. But it’s definitely not all about vegetables. The four-course seasonal dinner usually includes meat (or poultry) and a fish. A recent order of Gulf wahu with cane syrup, collard greens and pickles was a perfect symphony of flavors: perfectly cooked fish sweetened with glaze and slightly bitter greens kissed with salt from the housemade pickles. Pastry chef Karen Man’s (Yu’s wife) desserts usually entail laser-sharp angles and

Other chefs, like Roberto Castre of casual and bustling Latin Bites Cafe, allow you to feast with your eyes by focusing on presentation. Specializing in bold Peruvian fusion fare, Castre adds a six-course dinner tasting menu to his extensive a la carte menu quarterly, based on seasonal ingredients. Each course, which is paired with global wines, portrays Castre’s meticulous presentation style and keen use of ingredients to layer flavors. He dazzles guests with artful little gems that are almost too precious to eat. Witness tinier than baby carrots, micro cilantro, petite cuts of fish buried in colorful mini crocks, or jade green sauces made from herbs. Friendly servers deliver courses over about a two-hour period, explaining each dish, while the chefs huddle in the kitchen hard at work. Dinners start with tiradito, a cool marinated sashimi-style dish, as they do in Peru. Tiradito de Maracuyá is composed of fresh fish served with passion fruit leche de tigre sauce, avocado puree, baby radish, crystallized mint or rose petals and micro greens. After a gorgeous purple citrus-infused Peruvian potato causita brightens the table, a final course of Mandarin braised quail over Peruvian corn puree and baby veggies arrives paired with a silky Oregon Pinot Noir, presented by beverage director Carlos Ramos. Desserts are just as detailed. Try skipping it, and the passionate soft-spoken chef usually notices. “Please just have one bite. You’ve never had anything like it,” says Castre. Tiny balls of passion fruit sorbet topped with peppers for contrast, housemade cookie crumbles, “chocolate air” and gelato with edible flowers? Like most Houston chefs with out-ofthis-world tasting menus, he’s right.



2102 WEST 34TH ST. HOUSTON, TX 77018 | 713-956-9595 | KITCHENANDBATHWIZARDS.COM Showroom Hours: Mon. to Fri. 8 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Saturday 9 a.m. – 2 p.m. Closed Sunday



Houston Fusion ‘Rule-breaker’ Susie Jimenez spices up the dining landscape. by michelle burgess


scan this page with Layar to see more of Trenza’s food and to make reservations.


s a child, Susie Jimenez used to follow the work with her family, traveling along California’s Central Valley and into Oregon to pick fruits and vegetables as the various crops became ready for harvest. She’s come a long way since then—not just geographically, obviously, but in the very scope and breadth of her life, from migrant farm worker to celebrity chef and now owner of just-launched Trenza, a 4,700-square-foot Mexican-Indian eatery in West Ave. One of four children born into a huge family—we’re talking 22 aunts and uncles—Jimenez says she learned early on the importance of hard work.

“I didn’t complain much and I was always a little out there,” she says, attributing these traits to helping her get to where she is now. Indeed, it was that little twist on how she viewed the world that allowed Jimenez to dream big. Moving out of her parents’ house right after high school, she began learning about cuisine beyond the traditional Mexican fare her mother and grandmothers had always prepared. A friend introduced her to Italian food and various cooking techniques, which “sparked an interest” in culinary school, which she began at 20. Her father’s death soon after further fueled her desire to succeed. Jimenez’s ascent in the culinary world has exceeded anything she could have imagined. Like most newbies, she began her career as a line cook, then became a cooking instructor and the owner of a Susie Jimenez mans the kitchen at her new restaurant Trenza, located in Upper Kirby.


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014


Jimenez can still be awed by her success, but she is quick to point out that hers is less a fairy tale than a story about hard work and vision.

successful catering company in Aspen, Colo. In 2011, Jimenez earned the runnerup spot on the “Food Network Star” competition. When the show aired, she was already at work on the next step in her plan: opening her own restaurant. “I think chefs always want to have a place to showcase what they have,” she says. As for why she decided to marry Latin and Indian cuisine, Jimenez explains: “I have always been told that I have a natural gift to put things together. Trenza is breaking all the rules. We serve Latin food with Indian essence, but showcase lots of techniques and flavors from around the world.” Jimenez promises that diners will “walk out with so many flavors in your mouth, but most importantly, wanting to come back and experience more.” She encourages

guests to come in groups and order several small plates to share. With its open kitchen, small-plates approach and rustic-modern design, Trenza strives to offer an interactive dining experience. Upon entering the restaurant, diners are greeted by an elegant dining room with a view of the open kitchen on one side and views of bustling Kirby Drive through floorto-ceiling windows on the other. For a more intimate dining experience, pull up to the chef’s bar right in front of the open kitchen, where you catch all the action while interacting with fellow foodies (and the chefs) over a surprise menu. Or get cozy in one of the restaurant’s private dining rooms. While Jimenez can still be awed by her success, she’s quick to point out that hers is less a fairy tale than a story about hard

Jimenez encourages guests to order several small plates to share in order to experience different techniques and flavors.

work and vision. “I believe this is a dream well-deserved,” she says. “I work very, very hard, and I’m involved in every aspect of everything I put my name on. Sometimes I think, ‘Wow!’ But I always knew I had it in me and I believed in myself 100 percent. My father’s passing made me realize that you have this one life, what are you going to do with it? I am going to do as much as possible.” Trenza 2800 Kirby Drive 713-526-1414





The Big League

scan this page with Layar to see more photos of the League and its brews.

Collaborative brewpub opens the doors for future beer masters (you?) to build their brands. by dennis abrams


Lucrece Borrego, equipment and, between) can use a founder of The League of in her own words, working kitchen to test Extraordinary Brewers, their concepts. Borrego has developed a unique “the light bulb went cobrewing concept that started the League off.” She decided to is gaining popularity extend the Kitchen when she noticed more among homebrewers. Incubator concept to and more homebrewcraft brewing. ers—including herself—bringing their ideas to the incubator. With the idea in place, Borrego “It wasn’t just my own brewhad to think about funding. And in a world where the power ing, but others from the brewof social media has proven to ing community,” she says. “I began to host more bottle launch some of the most successshares and beer dinners. I even ful brands today, she turned to Kickstarter to help get the projlaunched a beer baked goods business that had me working at ect off the ground. a few local beer festivals.” “Kickstarter was both exciting and nerve-wracking,” she says. As the interest in beer began “We held beer dinners and tastto pick up, Borrego says she dreamed of brewing with better ing parties to help promote the

bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

The League of Extraordinary Brewers 907 Franklin St. 281-406-0652



t’s not only unique to Houston, but it’s the first of its kind anywhere in the world: a collaborative brewpub known collectively as The League of Extraordinary Brewers. “As the world’s first coworking brewery and incubator, we foster the development of craft breweries by providing a pilot facility, tap room, support network and audience accessible to aspiring brewers,” says founder Lucrece Borrego. The League’s concept mirrors that of the Kitchen Incubator, which Borrego also owns. Located in downtown Houston, everyone from caterers to food truck owners (and everyone in

incubator. Our efforts culminated in a bottle share, which raised almost $10,000 in a single night.” The hard work eventually paid off and today, the League is up and running, welcoming new brewers interested in applying to become members. As part of the application process, the breweries must already be fully formed concepts with a name, theme or niche, initial branding, solid beer portfolio and a timeline of launching their own brewery within the next five years. Once accepted, breweries enter the program for a minimum of one year. But it’s not only members who reap the rewards. Craft beer lovers can partake of these small-batch brews at the incubator, which acts more like a neighborhood bar than an experimental test kitchen. According to Borrego, they serve only house drafts, but are adding an additional 20 taps to carry other craft beers. Borrego also says the incubator specializes in “creative beers and quirky events.” “You won’t find a typical fourcourse beer pairing dinner here. We’ve hosted everything from a beer and graphic art show, to one-night-only, pop-up brewpubs,” she says.


OSCAR® is the registered trademark and service mark of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Photo by Joan Marcus.


New Year. New Designers.

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! FEBRUARY 18-23 • WOMEN’S CLOTHING BOUTIQUE 2402 Rice Boulevard, Ste. B Houston, Texas 77005 713.526.AZUZ (2989)

Due to the nature of live entertainment, dates, times, prices, shows, actors, venues and sales are subject to change without notice. All tickets subject to convenience charges.





crystallized fennel


cayenne pepper



crystallized rose






crystallized basil


crystallized ginger


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014




Edible Art

scan this page with Layar to see Annie Rupani in action—and to order chocolates.

Cacao & Cardamom uses unexpected ingredients to create specialty sweets as beautiful as they are scrumptious. by stacy barry


here’s chocolate—an often tasty and heretofore satisfying piece of candy or pastry to which we treat ourselves occasionally—and then there’s Cacao & Cardamom chocolates, which are much more than treat and more full-on visual and culinary experience. Each piece, a different combination of the purest ingredients and spices (yes, spices), is the creation of Annie Rupani, a young but seasoned businesswoman, world traveler and chocolatier who happened on her burgeoning career by a series of delicious accidents. While learning abroad her sophomore year in college, Rupani studied and sampled the cuisine of whatever town she was visiting, especially chocolate sweets. “I realized that if I was going to indulge so regularly, I needed to find a healthier way to do it,” she laughs. She started focusing on the more nutritious dark,

single-origin chocolates, those made from one variety of cacao harvested in a single region. “The more I ate, the more I noticed the different notes produced by different regions.” Mass-produced chocolates tend to be blends of beans from all over, resulting in a taste that is popular but common. For Rupani, it became an entertaining challenge to see if she could identify the flavors of the different regions just by tasting. Hawaiian chocolate, she says, has notes of coconut, banana and pineapple, while chocolate from Madagascar has an inherent acidity and brightness of red fruit that makes it unique. Rupani then took the information she gleaned from her personal taste testing, mixed it with spices like cardamom, curry and fennel that her Pakistani mother regularly used in the kitchen, and created tangy, smoky and fruity flavor combinations not usually associated with chocolate. But it wasn’t until she was back home doing an internship at the Houston Racquet Club, under a chef who encouraged her experimentation, that a business was born. When the club hosted an event challenging chefs to create unique foods with curry, she talked her way in. “I had never done anything so big and wasn’t quite sure how,” Rupani says. But with her family’s help preparing and transporting

Annie Rupani feels right at home in the kitchen as she whips up a batch of her unique and colorful chocolates.

the artisanal chocolates, her creations made their debut and garnered sweet attention. Since then, she has honed both her recipes and technique for creations such as Cardamom Rose, Guava Tamarind and Coco Curry, as well as other specialty lines (including one she created for Bayou City magazine), and each is as exquisitely beautiful as it is delicious. Exotic swirls of color inspired by the spices within adorn perfectly molded drops of melt-in-your-mouth chocolate.

Rupani plans to open a storefront at Post Oak and Westheimer in the spring, but until then, Cacao & Cardamom chocolates are sold at select retailers and online, where customers can order collection boxes including the Signature C&C, Southern Comforts or Mendiants, which are chocolate disks studded with fruits and nuts. Cacao & Cardamom 877-222-0567




Winter Warmers No matter how you stir it, the Bayou City serves up some of the best chili of the season. by michelle jacoby


hili is the perfect winter dish. Whether you’re a true Texas-chili aficionado and eschew beans, or whether you’re willing to expand your vision to include beans, unexpected spices and unusual meats, chili is warm, filling and has just the right zing to pep up otherwise dreary days. VENISON CHILI, ARMADILLO PALACE It may be the biggest matter of contention TURKEY CHILI, ELEVEN XI

between chili-loving Texans: Beans or no beans?

Sure, you had your fill of turkey over

Whichever side of the bean debate you’re on,

the holidays, but while the chill is still

the folks at Armadillo Palace have taken a side

in the air, give the trusty bird one last

with their venison chili and are sticking to it.

hurrah with Eleven XI’s Turkey Chili.

Made with venison from Broken Arrow Ranch

Made with plump turkey breast, toma-

in Ingram, Texas, the chili has—wait for it—no

toes, beans and pumpkin (yes, pump-

beans or even chili powder for that matter (the

kin), it’s served with cheese, scallions

chili sauce is made with cumin). It is served, how-

and toasted bread slices perfect for

ever, with fresh onions and jalapeños, and pack-

scooping. Get it in a bowl, get it in a

aged saltine crackers on the side. 5015 Kirby.

cup, just get it. 607 W. Gray. 713-529-



Cordúa Restaurants offers a Latin take on chili with its Cubana Sopa, a rich and smoky dish that is guaranteed to bring the heat this winter. Available at Churrascos, Américas and Amazón Grill (with each restaurant serving it a little differently), the black bean-based soup is made with smoked ham, onion-cilantro relish and provolone cheese. Served in a sourdough bread bowl and garnished with tortilla strips, it’ll warm your heart and soul. Visit for restaurant locations.


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014




scan these pages with Layar to make reservations or to get the goods for chili at home.

cravings stir things up Have your own recipe for chili perfection? Whip up your pot full of chili love with these must-have products.

CHILI CON CARNE, MOLINA’S CANTINA When Raul and Mary Molina opened their first Mexican restaurant in Houston in 1941, who would’ve thought their recipe for chili con carne would still be on the menu 73 years later? It’s really no wonder this mainstay remains a favorite among Tex-Mex-loving Houstonians. Chili the traditional way, the dish is simply made with meat, melted cheese and chopped onions. It doesn’t get any better than that.

1. BOWLED OVER While these Italian double-handle soup bowls are great for gazpacho or ragout, they’re also a wonder for a heaping serving of chili. Available in a range of classic colors, they feature white interiors and a rustic-edge finish. $12.95 each. Sur la Table. For locations, visit


2. TEAM SPIRIT While the home team won’t be making an appearance at the big game this year, you can still show your support with the Houston Texans NFL Crock-Pot Cook & Carry Slow Cooker. With a 6-quart capacity, this ode to the home team can feed an army of chili-loving football fans. $59.99.


Visit for locations. 3. HOME SKILLET What’s chili without cornbread? Like peanut butter and jelly, and milk and cookies, they’re a match made in heaven. For your cornbread creation, do it the oldfashioned way by baking it in a cast iron skillet. Williams-Sonoma carries the Lodge brand of skillets, which have been around since 1896. $19.95 set of two 6½-inch skillets. Williams-Sonoma. For locations, visit

HILL COUNTRY WILD BOAR CHILI, HAVEN Chef Randy Evans at Haven has a knack for turning the most classic and simple dishes into something more…something so much more. Take his Hill Country Wild Boar Chili, for example. Not your run-of-the-mill chili protein, the boar pairs well with jalapeño Cheddar cheese, minced onions, KIMBERLY PARK | HAVEN

a topping of crema (think sour cream) and the accompanying “corn stick.” 2502 Algerian Way. 713-581-6101,


4. TASTY TRIO Since everyone has his or her own way of dressing up chili, serve up sides in this three-piece bowl set. Made with 100 percent ceramic in bright, inviting colors, they’re the perfect vessels for everything from cheeses to onions to peppers. $29.95. Pier 1 Imports. For locations, visit 5. TIE ONE ON Now that you’ve got your chili-making gear, it’s time to start cooking. To make sure your chili creation stays, for the most part, off of you, cover up with The Haus Coat apron by GFA Aprons. Ideal for the home chef, this apron is outfitted with loops, pockets and buckles. $45.







scan this page with Layar to find these food trucks.

Comfort on the Go Bayou City food trucks put a gourmet spin on comfort food classics. by dennis abrams

THE WAFFLE BUS Who doesn’t love a good waffle? Certainly not the folks at the Waffle Bus, where selections include fried chicken and waffles, smoked salmon and waffles, and cheeseburger fryders (waffle fry sliders). For a sweet somethingsomething, try waffle sandwiches in Nutella and banana, strawberry Irish Cream crème brulee, and s’mores. OH MY POCKET PIES Let’s face it, a slice of pie can be a pain to eat standing up. A pocket pie, on the other hand, was designed to be eaten standing, driving, walking, you name it. Besides, isn’t there something thrillingly sinful about the selfishness of


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014


having your own personal pie? And with flavor

If anything is guaranteed to bring back memo-

ranging from chicken chili relleno to bourbon-

ries of childhood (and what’s more comforting

candied apple, one can make an entire meal out

than that?) it’s a classic peanut-butter-and-jelly

of pie!

sandwich. But mom probably never served up sandwiches this good, custom-made with your


choice of fresh-ground nut butters, sliced fruit

It’s pretty much a fact that everybody loves

and local jams.

dessert. So it’s nice to know that food truck desserts has come a long way since the days


of Mister Softee. If you’re looking to satisfy

In the mood for a warm, gooey grilled cheese

your sweet tooth, try Porch Swing’s pies in

sandwich? Look beyond the classic (albeit made

Buttermilk, Strawberry and Sweet Potato. There

with your choice of five different cheeses) and

are also cookies (try the Mounds O’ Chocolate

go with something more unique like the Green

and molasses spice); caramelized banana

Eggs&Jam, made with green tomatoes, smoked

pudding; or the chocolate mocha and vanilla

gouda, truffle egg and bacon jam. Or try a

pound cake. They even have muffins, biscuits

Kimcheese, with kimchi, cheddar and a perfectly

and homemade granola bars (with sea salt!) for

fried egg.




t might have taken a while for the Bayou City to jump on the food truck bandwagon, but now that it’s here, Houstonians just can’t get enough. Serving everything from American classics, to international cuisine, to fearless fusions, local food trucks are pushing the culinary envelope—even when it comes to good ol’ fashioned comfort food. If you want to grab a quick bite of comfort without sacrificing a bit of deliciousness, check out these mobile meal makers. With their homemade offerings, you’ll discover that comfort can come from the most unlikely of places…including a food truck window.


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cARMEn Apr. 25-May 10, 2014

Tickets start at $15! Order now. | 713-228-OPERA (6737)

Scan page with Layar to preview the current season.


Reading Doctor by Julie Osterman photography by Mark Lipczynski

Dr. Eldo Bergman brings literacy to life for struggling readers in the Bayou City and beyond. About 40 percent of today’s students read and comprehend below their grade level. Dr. Bergman is making a difference in their lives.



On a quiet Friday morning in west Houston, Dr. Eldo Bergman meets with a couple concerned about their daughter. Their faces are lined with worry and desperation, but Bergman calmly reassures them that he can help. You might expect the white-haired, bespectacled man with the gentle bedside manner to be dressed in a white coat, and the parents to be discussing a serious illness in a hospital waiting room. Instead, they sit in the makeshift conference room of the Family Literacy Network, a beacon of hope for countless families of struggling readers. A pediatric neurologist before launching the nonprofit organization, which continues the work of the Texas Reading Institute, Dr. Bergman is the first to argue that literacy is a serious problem. This problem is why he’s devoted his time, his energy and, for the past two decades, his career to helping children and youth with reading difficulties through an intensive, methodical program called explicit reading instruction. “Learning to read English is a beast,” Dr. Bergman says. “Some do quite well no matter how you teach them, but about 40 percent of kids just really struggle.” The statistic he refers to is known as the Nation’s Report Card, or the National Assessment of Educational Progress. In the 2013 report, 34 percent of fourth graders scored “below basic,” which means these children cannot pick up their science or history book and comprehend what they are reading.

“If we do the right things, most of those kids can learn to read at grade level, and almost all of them can develop reading skills that are useful for self-care, self-entertainment and job training,” asserts Dr. Bergman, whose highcaliber staff of reading clinicians currently serves 120 students with challenges ranging from attention deficit and English as a second language to dyslexia (which affects spelling and reading), dysgraphia (writing), dyscalculia (numbers), autism and mental retardation. A PARENT’S DILEMMA

The father of five children, Dr. Bergman’s passion for literacy began as he witnessed severe cases of poor readers in his medical office. But when two of his own sons began to fall behind in reading, the passion became a quest. “I remember when my second son, Philip, was in the 6th grade and I would help him with his spelling,” Dr. Bergman recalls. “And the tears start coming down your cheeks involuntarily—you can’t control it. You’re just so frustrated in trying to be positive, but you don’t know what to say to make the words understandable. You just don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.” Despite Dr. Bergman’s efforts in getting his son’s school to adopt a systematic phonics approach, the progress was grim. Philip entered high school at a 5th grade reading level and by the time he graduated, he had only advanced two grade levels. Meanwhile, Dr. Bergman delved through research from the National Institutes of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), and made cold calls to Switzerland and Wales to glean knowledge from the world’s major reading researchers. Convinced that explicit instruction was the only way to achieve results, Dr. Bergman worked intensively with Philip after high school and three years later, he was finally reading at an adult level. Today, Philip is one of Family Literacy Network’s reading clinicians and has been the examiner or teacher in five NICHD studies. A FAMILY’S CHALLENGE

On this particular Saturday morning, Philip Bergman works with 9-year-old Rachel Payne and her mother, Tricia. They are situated in a small room with two workstations, separated by privacy dividers and simply equipped with a table, several chairs and a few instructional Founded by Dr. Eldo Bergman, the Family Literacy Network helps children and youth with reading difficulties through an intensive program called explicit reading instruction.


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scan this page with Layar to see Dr. Bergman’s team at work with Rachel Payne.

Nine-year-old Rachel Payne has been going through the intensive reading program. After just a few months, she is reading at grade level. “That was incredible,” says Rachel’s mother Tricia Payne (far right).


materials. The walls, a calming pale yellow, have telltale scuffs from the back of a chair. But a new coat of paint can wait. There is important work to be done here. Just outside the room are five other workstations filled to the brim with children, clinicians, observers and the steady buzz of one-on-one instruction. Even Dr. Bergman’s office is occupied with diagnostic testing. Rachel, a third grader from The Woodlands, comes to a particularly difficult word: religious. Philip directs her to break it into “chunks” and “build” the word. But she’s just not getting it. He brings out a white board to try a different approach. She keeps trying, but at one point turns to her mother with pleading eyes and whines, “Mama.” Her mother and instructor offer patient guidance. Rachel sticks with it and she eventually gets “religious.” But it’s seeing this anxiety in her eyes that brought George and Tricia Payne to Family Literacy in the first

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place. They noticed signs that Rachel might learn differently as early as preschool with the unconventional way she formed her letters. In kindergarten, it was obvious she was just memorizing words, not reading with understanding, Tricia Payne recalls. “By the first month of first grade, we realized we were in a crisis,” Payne says. “She was not going to develop [to the next level] because she did not have the phonemic awareness.” The Paynes hired a tutor for Rachel, but a year later, realized it wasn’t enough. In desperation, they discovered Family Literacy Network online and had Rachel tested. The results revealed dyslexia, dysgraphia and dyscalculia. Although Tricia Payne was nervous about the long drive to the office and the challenge of serving as “tutor” at home, Rachel experienced immediate results. After just a few months in the program, she was reading

what is

Explicit Reading Instruction? The term “explicit instruction” has existed in education since the ’80s (Rosenshine, 1986), if not before. According to reading expert Dr. Joseph K. Torgesen, explicit instruction “does not leave anything to chance and does not make assumptions about the skills and knowledge that children will acquire on their own.” Simply put, every concept is fully explained. Children don’t have to memorize or guess unfamiliar words, a source of frustration and anxiety for any struggling reader. This method identifies a child’s specific reading obstacles, and tailors lessons to overcome these hurdles in an intensive, systematic approach. Unlike most school reading programs, explicit instruction doesn’t rely on “sight words.” The focus instead is on “building” words and providing students with the skills to improve phonemic awareness (understanding that individual sounds make up words), segmenting (isolating sounds) and blending (putting sounds together to form words)—all at their own pace. “If steps are small enough, you can restore confidence in the child,” says Dr. Eldo Bergman, director of Family Literacy Network. “If you work at the level of their current achievement, then it’s easier for them to add things to it.” At Family Literacy, the process looks something like this: ++ The student is tested to determine the status of the knowledge and skills needed to learn to read. This determines the appropriate instructional level. ++ One-on-one instruction begins, typically once or twice a week during the school year. An intensive program is also available for out-of-state, homeschool and summer students. ++ Family Literacy provides support materials and trains parents on new coaching strategies and appropriate daily support at home.

at grade level and earned her first B. “That was incredible,” Payne says. “Because we are diligent about working with it at home, we can see her success, and she sees her success.” A PHYSICIAN’S BREAKTHROUGH

For Dr. Bergman, leaving medicine was a 10-year process that culminated in 1992. His focus shifted to the efforts of his nonprofit and he began a doctoral program in psychology to “get the statistical tools to be efficient,” he says. The instructional materials that the Family Literacy Network uses today were written entirely by Dr. Bergman and his staff—a gradual process over 25 years. “We originally didn’t plan to write our own materials for our own program,” he says. “We were thinking we could take books from different programs and mix and match.”

+ scan this page with Layar to hear Dr. Bergman’s take on learning English.

++ Parents send in weekly recordings via Internet and Skype, and instructors give feedback for optimal success. ++ The student progresses through the program’s scope and sequence, moving up to the next level as new skills are gained. ++ With consistent daily practice, students of explicit reading instruction make significant strides in accuracy, fluency, vocabulary, syntax, spelling and— the epitome of literacy—comprehension.


But after reviewing materials from 20 existing programs, including 906 student readers, Dr. Bergman concluded that the task was impossible because of the lack of consistency in scope and sequence. So in 2001, he began devising his own materials with the cooperation of researchers, constantly updating and revising as new issues and challenges arose for his students. In the meantime, Dr. Bergman participated in a groundbreaking NICHD study with the University of Texas, which used brain scans to show how the visual, sound and language centers of the brain interact while reading. The brain scans of readers were markedly different from nonreaders or poor readers, in this case dyslexic students ages 7 to 17. After the initial scan, each student began one-on-one explicit instruction, two hours a day for two months. The follow-up brain scans showed astonishing results, published in 2002. “This study was the first demonstration that explicit reading therapy not only brought reading into the average range in just two months,” Dr. Bergman says, “but also led to massive shifts in brain activity, normalizing the brain scans.” A STUDENT’S CLIMB

In recent years, Dr. Bergman has become fascinated with the study of how languages differ in their reading demands on students. The biggest problem with the English language, he says, is the complexity of the code. “You can show people right away that you can say the letter ‘o,’ but you have to know the context of the word to know how to pronounce it.” In English, many letters have multiple pronunciations depending on the structure of the word they appear within. This is not true with most other languages. Children in Finland, for example, learn to read with remarkable ease. Dr. Bergman explains this phenomenon with gusto. “In Finnish, you have single letters, each representing a sound, and each sound you hear is always represented by the same letter. Period. End of the reading task. No exceptions. No digraphs. After the first 10 weeks of initial reading instruction, the average Finnish child is 90 percent accurate,” he says. EARLY INTERVENTION

Learning to read English, on the other hand, Dr. Bergman compares to climbing a steep mountain—a journey that takes children an average of 2.7 years, according to Philip H. K. Seymour in his 2005 research, “Early Reading Development in European Orthographies.” Using explicit instruction, Dr. Bergman strives to “carve a staircase around the mountain” with small, manageable steps. “Some kids are going to catch their breath after one 60

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step,” he says. “The important thing is to go up step by step, whatever the rate is, because as you go up, the view of the valley becomes more interesting. It becomes motivating and you want to continue climbing to get to the top. And, of course, at the top is grade-level comprehension.” Dr. Bergman’s vision for students and families dealing with reading challenges is simple: early intervention. He plans to conduct a study with a local university using explicit instruction in a lab school kindergarten classroom, in the hopes that the subsequent findings will urge all schools to adopt the method. “The best research shows that about 95 percent of children could learn to read in the average range if they received appropriate instruction,” Dr. Bergman says. For now, he encourages parents, teachers and friends of struggling readers to call Family Literacy Network for help—the sooner, the better. THE THRILL OF SUCCESS

Ask Dr. Bergman about his average success rate compared to other approaches, and he responds not with statistics but with success stories. Like the sixth grader, a nonreader with an IQ of 43, who reads at a mid-first grade level one year after starting at Family Literacy. Or the child with muscular dystrophy who moves out of the resource class and receives a “Ravenous Reader” award. Or the autistic third grader, homeschooled by mom, who achieves grade-level reading after 18 months. Or Rachel Payne, whose reading, once choppy and monotone, is now fluid and full of inflection. It’s stories like these that keep Dr. Bergman’s passion for literacy alive. “I suppose I will never retire until I’m buried,” he says, only half joking. “You see them responding and that’s gratifying. You see them not responding and you want to know why and what can you do about it.” And thus, his quest continues.

Explicit reading instruction identifies a child’s obstacles and tailors lessons to overcome these hurdles. Since starting the program, Rachel Payne (right) earned her first B in reading at school.



bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014

It’s the start of the year, when people are making—and struggling to keep—resolutions. From changing yourself to changing the community, resolutions run the gamut. But they have one thing in common: They require you to make a change—you have to shift how you think. From our homes to our offices, from the community to our family, we are rethinking and reinventing the way we live, work, connect and play.

by betsy denson

t was an unknown cynic who said that a New Year’s resolution is something that goes in one year and out the other. Sure, there are those plans—many of which involve getting back a belt notch or two—which may not survive February. But there are other resolutions that are more deeply rooted in who we are, how we live and what we really want to do with our time. Houston is an evolving city and we are changing right along with it, whether it’s our desire to wean ourselves from our cars or our desire to know more about our food before it shows up on a dinner plate. We may be looking for a game changer in our careers or just a more leisurely pace to our days. And it is these innovative ways to live, work, connect and play in the Bayou City that have a shot at making it to 2014, and beyond.


+ scan this page with Layar to see Houston’s B-cycle locations.

The way we live has changed dramatically over the course of just a few years. Where once we were comfortable in the predictable tasks and motions of our daily lives, we’re now looking for ways to live outside of the expected norms. From giving up four wheels for two, to discovering new foods through community gardens, to seeking a new place to call home outside of the suburbs, small, but significant changes are the sign of the times.



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City of Houston sustainability manager Lisa Lin is, appropriately enough, the No. 2 user of Houston’s B-cycle bike share program with more than 1,000 miles logged. “I try to use it between two and four times a week for work,” Lin says. “I’ll stop at Midtown on the way home to pick up groceries.” She’s not alone. B-cycle, which started in May 2012 with three stations and 18 bikes, has grown to 29 stations and more than 200 bikes. Between 1,300 and 1,700 bikes are checked out each week. The self-service stations (similar to Redbox) allow you to check out bikes from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. daily and then drop them at any other B-cycle station. You can buy a 24-hour pass at the kiosk, or weekly and annual passes online. Annual members are able to check out bikes in other B-cycle cities like Boulder or Nashville. Farrah Chickerneo was with friends at La Carafe in Market Square when she saw a kiosk. They checked out some bikes and rode them to The Hay Merchant. “We just did it for fun,” she says. “We will definitely do it again.” Lin says that for many of her friends, trying out the program has jumpstarted their interest in biking. “The bikes are good because they can’t go superfast and they’re sturdy.”


roll with it

And it helps that there are more and more places to ride them. “What we’re doing is a complement to what’s going on with the bayous,” says Will Rub, director of the Houston Bike Share program. “It’s only going to get better.”

sowing the seeds of change

For Westbury residents in southwest Houston, a garden is transforming their community. Becky Edmondson, president of the Westbury Civic Club, says that when they first partnered with Urban Harvest Community Gardens in 2009, there were 35 volunteers who wanted to help. They leased seven acres off of Hillcroft from the Houston Housing Authority and broke ground in 2010. Today, they have 65 raised allotment beds and 100 people to tend them. According to Edmondson, a third of them come from nearby Section 8 housing. Because of the large number of Spanishspeaking gardeners, a translator comes to their meetings, and recently two refugees from Plant It Forward have joined the group. “The garden is the bridge between two worlds,” says Edmondson. “When we’re in this garden together we’re all the same.” Erin Eriksen, the Urban Harvest community gardens coordinator, says the Westbury garden is one of about 100 affiliated school and donation gardens in Houston. She’s part of one herself in Montrose where the members donate the majority of their harvest to the nearby Loaves and Fishes soup kitchen. She explains that Urban Harvest offers resources and classes to interested parties in order for them to start their own sustainable garden. The first thing they learn is how to engage the community because it’s the group effort that makes a garden successful…and fun. “That’s the great thing about it,” says Eriksen, who recently went to see a new

garden friend in a play. “I met a bunch of awesome people I wouldn’t have otherwise.”

from the suburbs to the city

Sometimes, a mind shift dictates a more wholesale change of scenery, as well as a lightened load upon arrival. According to Dr. Stephen L. Klineberg, who with his colleagues administers the Kinder Institute Houston Area Survey each year, more people are rethinking life in the suburbs. Less than half of people surveyed in 2012 said they would like to live in “a single family home with a big yard, where you would need to drive almost everywhere you want to go.” Fifty-one percent said they wanted a “smaller home in a more urbanized area, within walking distance of shops and workplaces.” “Once people were fleeing the city and now there is movement both ways,” he says. For Shannon Watson and her family, a move from Cypress to Candlelight Estates, just north of Oak Forest, was a no-brainer. “I was commuting 10 hours a week,” she says. “Now I spend that time with family.” Sometimes Bellaire or Oak Forest isn’t close enough to the action. One Park Place is a luxury apartment high rise across from Discovery Green. It has 24-hour concierge services and the 30,000 square-foot Phoenicia grocery on the ground floor. Manager Katherine Scott says residents range from college students to retirees, and that they have their fair share of Park Place babies, too. “People don’t want to take care of a yard or pool, but love having a pool terrace and landscaping without the work,” she says. Don Guter moved in with his wife Pat after becoming president of the South Texas College of Law, which he can see from his apartment. Longtime residents of Washington, D.C., the couple was accustomed to city life. “For the first six months we would sit on the balcony, look out at the city and think, ‘how did we get so lucky’?” he says.

“When we’re in the garden together we’re all the same.”

multigenerational living While downsizing and moving into town is clearly a trend, you’re not doing it alone. According to both Realtor Mag and, multigenerational living is on the rise across the United States. Closer to home, John A. Daugherty Jr., chairman and CEO of John Daugherty Realtors, confirms that he and his team are also seeing this trend. “Grown couples with families are buying or building to make room for quarters for mother-in-law, father-inlaw,” he says. Today, many of us have forgotten that multigenerational living was the norm not too many years ago. Prior to World War II, many families stayed in the family home, with parents, grandparents, children and grandchildren. Daugherty has seen some of that over the nearly 50 years he’s been selling homes in Houston, but says that in the past, it was mostly single adult children or single parents living with their parents. Compared to 10 years ago, today he sees more of the older generation moving in to live with their children and grandchildren. “After all, there are more people over [the age of] 50 than there were 20 years ago,” he says. “So more people are thinking about it.” While you might think that this trend and the moving-into-town trend aren’t compatible, Daugherty says the opposite is actually true. “We’re seeing [multigenerational living] more in the urban, inner city than the suburbs—areas like Bellaire, West University, Tanglewood, the Heights, Museum District. Basically, inside the Beltway,” he says. In those areas, Daugherty sees a mix of people buying and building new to accommodate the necessary family spaces. “They may also buy a home and do an addition to have a family member move in with them. Sometimes that’s in the house, and sometimes over the garage.”



Thanks to technology, we are more connected than ever before. But while electronic connectivity has brought us closer together, personal connections seem to have fallen by the wayside. Fortunately, trends in interpersonal interactions show people are taking some time away from their computers and smartphones and engaging in their communities through volunteering and simply getting to know their neighbors.

Houston Ballet dancer Lauren Strongin was recently looking for a way to give back. After visiting the Volunteer Houston website, she learned about ArtBridge Houston which brings visual art programs to children in area homeless shelters. “I liked the idea of using arts to help children,” says Strongin, who visits a group of kids every Monday. “They blossom through their work and gain confidence. I love seeing how art can make a difference to everyone.” Strongin is one of the 32,000 people in Houston who have connected with their community through Volunteer Houston. “You can find a need anywhere in the city— in your backyard, or next to your workplace,” says CEO Cameron Waldner. “It’s a streamlined process.” Recruitment director Walter Black says that what started with a list has evolved into a fully searchable database. You can search by location, such as projects in downtown; or by interest, like working with kids at Big Brothers Big Sisters. People who want a short-term project can visit the online calendar for one-time special events. Sometimes people just call, too. “When people think about volunteering they contact us,” he says. “We can always come up with something.” It’s important to the staff that the 66

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something be significant. According to Waldner, all opportunities are properly vetted to bring meaning and value to participants. “There’s nothing worse than standing around doing nothing.” Next year will be the 40th anniversary of Volunteer Houston. The organization feels confident they will be able to celebrate it with 40,000 volunteers. Maybe you can be one of them.

a night out with neighbors

Sometimes it’s a date on the calendar that brings people together. For much of the country, National Night Out takes place the first Tuesday of August, but since we’re sweltering Texas, we get to wait until the first Tuesday of October. Get this on your calendar now, so you don’t miss the 2014 event. Originally envisioned in 1984 as both a crime prevention event and neighborhood meet and greet, National Night Out festivities in the Bayou City differ from street to street. Those who register their event with the Houston Police Department get a visit from officers assigned to their area. Officer Jerome Vitello is the contact for the Central Division, District 2, which encompasses everything from Hardy and Beltway 8 down to 610 and 18th Street. He says that officers try to spend about 15 to 20 minutes at each


make a difference in your community


house or block party. Sometimes the K-9 Unit or bomb squad might come by, too. “It’s more of a community event to introduce ourselves rather than to work the area,” he says. “Everybody can just get out and have a good time.” A good time is definitely on the agenda for Pat Walker’s neighborhood in Garden Oaks Plaza where they have a “progressive dinner” each year. “It’s kind of like a mini home tour,” she says. And for Mandie Eichenlaub’s Timbergrove neighborhood, there has been a ripple effect. “It was awesome weather this year, so many of the older homeowners came out and met all the new young families,” she says. “It has actually spawned a monthly get together.”

get social in your neighborhood

It might be considered ironic that neighbors would need an online social network to be more neighborly, but in the case of NextDoor. com they are on to something. Unlike Facebook, where a “friend” can sometimes be defined in broad strokes, your NextDoor contacts are actually people you stand a chance of seeing every once in a while. Neighbors verify their address to participate in the network and everybody uses their actual name, so there’s no chance of getting spammed by snazzylady24. People trade recommendations and information over the virtual fence. Megan Rasmussen in Candlelight Plaza, near Oak Forest, says that almost half of the households in her neighborhood use NextDoor. “It’s nice for people who aren’t on Facebook,” she says. “We can post neighborhood-only items like civic club meetings and events without yelling to the world: ‘Hey, I’m going to be away from my house for a few hours. Come rob me!’” “It’s a way to share positive community events as well as keep track of crime and support our safety west of Yale,” adds Ashley Day in the Heights. “It’s also a great go-to for referrals on household needs.” Not a stand-in for a face-to-face encounter, but in these busy times, NextDoor just might be the next best thing.


+ scan this page with Layar to see pitches from Houston’s START members.

The fluctuations in our economy in the past decades have forced us to rethink the way we work. Gone are the days of traditional corporate ladder climbing and churning out 8 to 10 hours in a sea of cubicles. Today’s workers are establishing their independence by changing up their work process, whether it’s through coworking, continuing studies or new ways of networking.

At one point, the lobby of Andrew Swick’s apartment was also his office. He, along with sister Rebecca Hyatt, had started their company Checked Twice. The online gift registry for families began to take off and six more employees came on board. They needed something bigger. Since August, they’ve been a part of START Houston, a collaborative work environment located East of Downtown (EaDo). Managing Director Leah Mayo says START has two primary missions: to promote entrepreneurship in Houston and to help promote EaDo as a place to work, play and live. “There are a lot of startups here in Houston, but I think that with the other large companies and industries in Houston, like oil and gas, they get overlooked,” she says. “We want to bring attention to the startups here.” START’s approximately 40 members get access to mentors and other entrepreneurs, as well as funding and educational resources. Their Startup Demo Days offer tech startups in Houston the chance to compete in a “Shark Tank”-like contest where they answer a pitch question for judge mentors. “It gives a lot of companies exposure,” Mayo says. As some of the members have full-time jobs elsewhere, START is open nights and 68

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weekends. And the work environment is pretty relaxed. “There’s a lot of entrepreneurial energy, which is nice,” says Swick. “It keeps you going in the face of adversity.”

you’re never too old to learn

When successful 50-something architect Peter Boudreaux decided to get a Master of Arts of Liberal Studies at Rice in 2010, he didn’t do it to get a leg up on the career ladder. “I wanted to open up my mind to new things,” he says. Jenifer Jarriel initially applied to Glasscock’s Leadership Institute for Nonprofit Executives program to become a better volunteer. Then after a call from a recruiter, she left her private sector job to become CEO of DePelchin Children’s Center. “It wasn’t the timing I had planned,” Jarriel says, but the support she received through the program was invaluable. “There are so many tenured people on faculty, and not just academics. I still have contact with a lot of them.” According to Dean Mary McIntire, there is no typical student among the nearly 20,000 enrollments at the Glasscock School. “It could be an 85-year-old from the Hallmark Retirement Community or a 19-yearold from Caracas learning English,” she says. Those who pursue the professional development courses do tend to be in their 30s


coworking together

and 40s, while the personal development scholars skew older. Students attend on a part-time basis, and while most classes are held on campus, about 700 students take theirs online. “It’s still instructor led,” says Dean McIntire. “With our Blackboard Collaborate web conferencing, they still feel connected.” The traditional atmosphere is what Boudreaux likes best—that and his poetry and creative nonfiction classes, which was a surprise to him. He’s a good student and got a kick out of comparing his grades to those of his college-age son. “He told me, ‘But Dad, you’re just taking one class at a time.’ ”

work the room


Old-school instruction still has its place, but for life after college, a Rolodex is about as helpful as, well, a Rolodex. Social media is how people network now and realtor Jill Curran is a pro at it. Curran uses LinkedIn to stay in contact with builders, title companies, contractors and others in related fields. “That way I can see the events they have going on,” she says. She also posts her own open houses and broker tours there. Surprisingly, Pinterest is working for her, too. She’ll pin her listings on a board or sometimes those of famous people to garner some interest. Recently, she’s begun to utilize NextDoor to soft market herself to those in her neighborhood by offering tips on hurricane preparedness. “I use a mixture of things,” she says. “They all work out pretty well.” For others, the tool of choice depends on the profession. START’s Leah Mayo says they use “This is great for tech stuff, especially if you’re a programmer.” Photographer Jayne Maltbie has seen Instagram posts as invites for networking events. And while she uses the photo-sharing social media site to follow other photographers, Facebook is still her go-to medium. “We use the events calendar to invite people to things,” she says. “It’s very handy as it has a map, and the ability to take RSVPs.”


+ scan this page with Layar to Hear our Houston with a tour excerpt.

To live a balanced life, we need to make room in our busy lives for a time to play. From hitting the park with the kids, to enjoying the great arts and culture the city has to offer, this “play time” helps keep us grounded. But by adding purpose to the way you play, you open the doors to discovering new things about yourself and the city you live in.



bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

Explore Houston in a way you never imagined. Hear Our Houston offers audio tours, recorded by every day people who speak about a specific place, but also about a particular experience in time. It might be a Vietnamese student who shares his sense of isolation before finding comfort at his Jersey Village Starbucks or the “Mum Lady” who makes homecoming mums and garters for Katy high schoolers. Conceptual artist Carrie Schneider invented the experience. “I’ve always been a fan of Houston, even when others weren’t. I wanted to celebrate what was valuable and important about it.” What she’s come up with has people talking and walking. “It’s meant to be a blend of personal narrative with the story of the space,” says Schneider. “It requires an investment from the listener. Their experiences are layered over yours.” The tour MP3s, which range from 5 to 30 minutes in length, can be downloaded from the website, as well as a mobile app. If they need it, Schneider helps the narrators on the technical side, as well as with content.


hear our houston

+ scan this page with Layar to to see more of the CitySolve Urban Race.

With Alex Tu, she did a series of public walks based on a 1987 map where Art Guy Michael Galbreth plotted the human form over Houston. Tu and Schneider traveled his 40-mile route 26 years later. The public could join them for each of 10 walks, with disk jockeys and restaurant stops along the way. Elaine Johnson, whose family was the recipient of a 2010 “Extreme Makeover Home Edition” in South Union, says that her family’s audio tour was important not only because it documented the history of her grandparents and their home, but also the work of community-driven development in the neighborhood she loves. “People said they were inspired,” she says. “We get people all the time who stop through.”

find your inner zen

addition to the occasional animal participant. “There was an armadillo coming for a while,” says student Cindy Appleman. Blanton notes that it still surprises a lot of people the Arboretum offers tai chi as well as Iyengar Yoga. “They walk by and do a double take. It’s a bit of a disconnect.”

get to know your city

Each year, 300 people hit the city streets in April for the CitySolve Urban Race. Creator Jason Hofsess describes the event as a oneday “Amazing Race,” except that many of the participants resemble circus escapees thanks to the costumes-encouraged clause. “It’s a fantastic atmosphere, like Halloween in the middle of April,” says racer Bing Kao. “There’s a lot of excitement.” Teams of two, three or four solve clues with a pop culture bent leading to a specific destination in Midtown, Downtown or EaDo. Racers access the locations by foot or public transportation. Clues are layered and organizers throw in plenty of red herrings. A clue might have multiple answers with the wrong one putting you at a dead end. That’s where teamwork comes in. John Wagner does the race each year with wife Mary and his daughter and sonin-law. “They’re either with us or against us,” he says. He’s now a pro at public transportation after a bus schedule mistake cost him and Mary first place in their age group one year. Still, they take it pretty easy compared to Kao and friend Judy, ultra-marathoners, who run the entire time. There’s a philanthropy component too. Last year, CitySolve partnered with The H.E.A.R.T. Program and donated 20 percent of the entrance fee to the nonprofit, while H.E.A.R.T. provided staff on race day. This year’s CitySolve is April 5, so get your bear suit—and your strategy—ready.

“It’s a fantastic atmosphere, like Halloween in the middle of April. There’s a lot of excitement.”

Adult programs director Joe Blanton says it was serendipity that his predecessor came across someone doing tai chi with a group at the Houston Arboretum. “He was looking for programming ideas,” says Blanton. “They formalized a relationship and we were able to optimize the use of space and to advertise the classes.” That tai chi instructor eventually passed the mantle to Greg Illich, who has been at the Arboretum for two years. A 27-year practitioner of the martial art, he teaches at other locations in Houston and also has his own studio. Illich says that tai chi means the “grand ultimate” and that traditionally, it’s meant to be practiced outside. Thanks to Houston’s mild climate, that is a possibility more days than not at the Arboretum where they set up Sundays and Wednesdays out by the turtle pond. Sue Greensmith did tai chi in Scotland before moving to Houston. “I found a community here,” she says. Up to 20 people attend classes, in

the energy for change Can’t quite get the energy to make a change? We’ve heard from study after study that we need to calm our stress and ease our aches, activate our minds and divert our boredom. Sometimes, we need some external relief so we can feel young and energized again. When you’re presented with a challenge and you don’t know what to do with it, when you’re flailing, that’s when you have to make a change, says Henry Richardson of DEFINE Body & Mind. Local practitioners suggest a few solutions that work on both body and mind. Michele Stamos, owner of Happy Belly Studios, says “feeling old is a mindset.” Her solution is to challenge both the body and the mind through yoga and Pilates, which provide energy and flexibility to battle aging. “[With regular practice], it is not surprising to find a more youthful body and state of being,” says Stamos. Richardson agrees that shifting, changing both body and mind can offer a full recipe for health, “your body is going to be what keeps you healthy and lets you make other shifts in your life. Physical movement is an essential part of a productive life. Then, you can use meditation or breathwork to connect to your internal source of inspiration.” Another energizing option is massage. “Routine therapeutic massage can help elevate your everyday by improving your mood and your life,” says J.D. Busch, regional developer at Massage Heights. With physical benefits that include reducing heart rate, lowering blood pressure, improving circulation, relieving pain and releasing endorphins (the body’s natural painkillers), combined with mental benefits that include relieving stress and creating a sense of well-being, massage sounds like it may be more than a luxury. Richardson is an advocate of finding something you love. “You don’t have to run a marathon. You could just take regular walks around your neighborhood with your best friend, your loved ones, your pet. The key is to create something healthy, sustainable and right for your lifestyle.”



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in bayou events

74 EXPERIENCE IT From neighborhood festivals to city-wide extravaganzas, discover the breadth of what you can see, do and experience in our Bayou City. For even more events and happenings, check the Bayou City Daily Doing calendar at


engage Scan page with Layar to meet Dr. Howard.

at the home of Bill Baldwin and Joe Gonzalez, proceeds from the event will benefit The Summerhouse, a nonprofit organization that works with young adults with intellectual and developmental challenges.

Dr. DanaHoward

$75. 6 to 9 p.m.

003809_BayouCityAd.indd 5535 Memorial Dr. Ste 1 Revision: 0 Created: 10/8/13 Printed @ 100% Art Director:

now to next.

Bleed: n/a

museum district



Trim: n/a

Proofreader: N. TUCKER

Live: 4.8542" x 4.7261"

Studio Artist: BSM

Voted best Optometrist/Optical Colors: 4/c in Houston Press DPI: 300 2012 & 2013


Since its opening at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston on Dec. 22, “The Age of Impressionism: Great French Paintings from the

Inspected By:

Sterling and Francine Clark Art

Production Manager: C. CAPOSINO

Institute” has captivated visitors

Project Manager: L. WILMESMEIER


Oliver Peoples, XXV Sun in Coco

with its collection of masterful paintings. The last stop on its international tour, the exhibit runs through March 23. 5601


Main St. 713-639-7300,





Who says kids get to have all the spelling bee fun? On Jan. 16, bring your “A” game to the 22nd Annual Great Grown-Up Spelling Bee, which raises community

On Jan. 19, the 2014 Chevron Houston Marathon will debut a new course that features wider streets to accommodate the growth of the event and enhance the runner experience. Each year, the nation’s premier winter marathon, half-marathon and 5K bring more than 250,000 participants, volunteers and spectators together, making up the largest single-day sporting event in Houston. Race entries are available through the Run for a Reason Charity Program at George

awareness and program support for adult literacy efforts in Houston. The event features a seated dinner and a spelling bee for teams of two from each table. All proceeds support Houston Center for Literacy and its work to improve the city’s literacy. $500 individual ticket.

R. Brown Convention Center,

6:30 to 8 p.m. Julia Ideson Library,

1001 Avenida de las Americas.

500 McKinney St. 713-640-8230, downtown

8570 Katy Freeway, Suite 111, Houston, TX 77024 713.827.9292 |

003809_BayouCityAd.indd 74 bayou city1 m ag a z i n e January/February 2014




With more than half a million square feet showcasing vehicles from the world’s top automakers, the 2014 Houston Auto Show is a great opportunity to spend a fun-filled weekend with the whole family. Held

On Jan. 16, Bayou City magazine presents Taste, Talk & Tour, an evening of delicious food, great wine and the opportunity to tour a spectacular home in the Woodland Heights. Held 10/11/13 3:47 PM Events subject to change.


Client: Back Row

Houston, Texas 77007 Creative Director: K. BABB 281-888-9256

Jan. 22-26,

the show brings the automotive world to Texas, allowing visitors to see, touch, drive and experience the latest and greatest. Hours are noon to 9:30 p.m., Wednesday through Friday; 10 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Saturday; and 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. $10 adults, $5 children (ages 6 to 12); free for children 5 and younger.

Reliant Center, One Reliant Park.


Randall Murrow Photography Headshots Commercial Editorial Weddings 832.712.2230

Worldwide hit “We Will Rock You,” featuring music from Queen, comes to TUTS from Jan. 22 to Feb. 2.



From Jan. 22 to Feb. 2, Theatre Under the Stars presents the hilarious, multi-award-winning “We Will Rock You.” Featuring the greatest hits of the legendary rock group Queen, the performance will bring you to your feet and have you singing out loud. This smash-hit musical is in Houston for a limited engagement, and you don’t want to miss out on this party! Starting


at $24. Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St. 713-558-8887,

Events subject to change.



spring branch

discovery green



Hosted by the Texas Basket Weavers Association, the firstever basket weaving conference in Houston is set for Jan. 23-26. The four-day “Basket Bonanza” event features classes of all skill levels taught by professional basket weaving instructors, as well as vendors selling weaving supplies and kits. A limited number of classes will be available for walk-ins, so pre-registration is highly recommended.

Get ready for a weekend of Creole-inspired food, music and fun at the Houston Creole

Crowne Plaza NorthwestBrookhollow, 12801 Northwest Freeway. 832-233-8859,

Heritage Festival and Mardi Gras Parade. Held Jan. 31 to Feb. 2 at Discovery Green Park, the festival begins Saturday with the Mardi Gras Parade through the streets of downtown and continues throughout the day with a carnival, festival games, a Creole food cook-off, live entertainment and more. On Sunday, the festivities continue at the Knights of Columbus Hall with a Mardi Gras Dance and Super Bowl Watch Party. 1500 McKinney St. 832-429-7375,

museum district

As the city’s newest cultural block party, The Museum Experience allows you to explore and learn about 20 museums through four walkable “zones,” each featuring a few museums at a time. The experience begins with Zone 1 on Jan. 25, showcasing The Menil Collection, Rothko Chapel and Houston Center for Photography. Each zone will include special programming, pedicabs and food trucks to complete your personal museum experience with the Houston Museum District. the_museum_experience


bayou city m ag a z i n e January/February 2014

Events subject to change.



China’s most gifted performers, the Peking Acrobats return to Houston for one night only on Feb. 7. Redefining audience perceptions of Chinese acrobats, the performance troupe has captivated audiences with



Gen’s Antiques their vibrant presentations of ancient fold art, daring moves and gravity-defying contortions. Their skills and ability to push the limits of human possibility are reason enough to catch this performance. 7:30 p.m. Jones Hall, 615 Louisiana St. 713- 2274772, JonesHall

Art Antiques Furniture Collectibles Home Decor

713-868-2368 540 W 19th St Houston, TX 77008

Beginning Feb. 14, an original copy of the Magna Carta will be on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science.

Will your money retire before you do?

museum district



Beginning Feb. 14, history buffs will get the rare opportunity to see an original edition of the Magna Carta on display at the Houston Museum of Natural Science. All the way from its home in Hereford Cathedral, the document will be available for viewing along with the only known copy of the King’s Writ, a letter from King John to the Sheriff of Gloucester announcing the signing of the Magna Carta. 5555 Hermann Park Drive. 713-639-4629,


The sooner you start investing, the more likely you are to reach your long-term goals. Ask me about State Farm Mutual Funds . Like a good neighbor, State Farm is there. CALL ME TODAY. ®


Houston’s Hidden Gem Restaurants Scan this ad with Layar (or go to to get Bayou City’s free guide to Houston’s best restaurants you’ve probably never heard of: hidden gems, plus a few hidden in plain sight.

Barry Hoskins Registered Representative Bus: 713-426-4440

Before investing, consider the funds’ investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses. Contact State Farm VP Management Corp (1-800-447-4930) for a prospectus or summary prospectus containing this and other information. Read it carefully. Securities are not FDIC insured, are not bank guaranteed and are subject to investment risk, including possible loss of principal. AP2013/03/0938 State Farm VP Management Corp. One State Farm Plaza, Bloomington, Illinois 61710-0001. Neither State Farm nor its agents provide investment, tax, or legal advice. 1101413.4

Events subject to change.



restaurants. $125. Reliant Center, 8400 Kirby Dr. Scan with Layar to preview TUTS’ The Wizard of Oz. Season Sponsor



The American premiere of David Bintley’s “Aladdin” brings the magic alive to the Wortham Theater Center, Feb. 20 to March 2. Originally created for the New National Ballet of Japan in Tokyo in 2008, this tale of love, trickery and triumph features spectacular scenery by English designer Dick Bird, an original score by Carl Davis, and a stunning performance by the Houston Ballet. 501 Texas St.

hermann park


Each year, the Hermann Park Conservancy’s Hats in the Park Luncheon welcomes stylish philanthropists in their best spring fashions—complete with their most fabulous hats, of course. On March 4, this year’s luncheon celebrates Hermann Park’s 100th year anniversary. Guests will enjoy a champagne reception and luncheon while saying “hats off” to Hermann Park. $500 individual ticket. 11:30 a.m. Historic Clubhouse at Hermann Park, 6001 Fannin St. 713-5245876, museum district



march 4-16 hobby center


To taste the delights of awardwinning wines from the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo’s International Wine Competition, don’t miss the Rodeo Uncorked! Roundup and

call today for best seats! tickets start at only $24! 713.558.tuts


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014

Best Bites Competition on Feb. 23. Top winners in the competition will be announced and attendees will be the judges in the Best Bites Competition featuring signature dishes by local catering institutions and

Events subject to change.

Get ready to tease, tousle, crimp, poof and spray your ’do for Lawndale Art Center’s Hair Ball, “set” for Jan. 25 at the center’s historic art deco building in the Museum District. Enjoy food, cocktails, music and dancing, as well as the Parade of Hair featuring hair-raising styles in hair fashion. Proceeds benefit Lawndale Art Center and its programs. 8 p.m. $250 individual tickets. 4912 Main St. 713-5285858,



Season Sponsor

Scan with Layar to preview TUTS’ We Will Rock You.

The Music Of T h e s Ou L O f A G e N e R AT i ON


museum district



Looking for a great way to kick off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo? Strap on the ’ol feedbag for the World’s

“Made for Magazines: Iconic 20th-

Championship Bar-B-Que Contest. From Feb. 27 to March 2, approximately 300 cooking teams will try to out ’cue each other at this three-day event filled with cooking, eating and entertainment. $15 adults, $5

Century Photographs” celebrates magazines and the significant types of photographs made for them. Showcasing 60 images published by such magazines as Harper’s Bazaar, Life, Texas Monthly and Vogue, this exhibition is drawn entirely from the MFAH collection. The exhibit runs from Feb. 9 to May 4 at the

for children (ages 3 to 12), free

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

for children 2 and younger.

Beck Building, 5601 Main St.

Reliant Park. 832-667-1000,





Rediscover the story of the Great and Powerful Oz in this musical adaptation of the all-time classic, March 4-16. Presented by Theatre Under the Stars, this production of “The Wizard of Oz” has all the favorite songs and characters from the original movie, plus a few surprises! Hobby Center for the Performing Arts, 800 Bagby St.

In Houston, you know it’s springtime when the annual Azalea Trail makes its return. From March 7-9, fans of the beautiful flower can relish its beauty at the azalea gardens at Bayou Bend, Rienzi, the River Oaks Garden Club Forum of Civics Building & Gardens and private homes in River Oaks. A Houston tradition since 1935, this annual event is not to be missed. 713-523-2483,

januaRY 22 – febRuaRY 2 call today for best seats! tickets start at only $24! 713.558.tuts pg13


Events subject to change.


what's your bayou IQ?


Play Time

scan this page to visit our #bayouIQ tagboard and to tell us what conveys springtime in the Bayou City to you.

Where do you get out to play in the Bayou City?


esearch shows that playing is one of your best tools in the quest for the fountain of youth. And since this issue is all about rethinking how we live, work and play in 2014, we asked Bayou City magazine insiders how and where they’re playing. Get to know some of the magazine’s team and see where and how we like to play. (Want to know more about our writers? Read their bios on our website at

Run barefoot in the park. At first, my kids are appalled

I love to take my kids to the

As much as we collectively complain

that I would let my ghostly white amphibian feet loose

zoo. I also love to go by myself.

about Houston not having seasons, ours

in public, but within seconds, all three are shrieking

If I want to spend 25 minutes

is an ideal climate for getting outdoors

with laughter and running for their lives, because I also

at the flamingo pond, it’s my

and staying in shape. I’ve been walking

believe in side-goosies and rolling tackles. One of the best

party and I don’t feel guilty

the tree-lined streets of my neighbor-

places in the city in which to run barefooted is the Gerald

monopolizing the giraffes—

hood for 15-plus years and for a change,

Park) in uptown Houston, located mere steps away from

all of whom show pretty good

we love Memorial Park for walking and cycling. I’m not a fanatic, but

the Galleria. Now, remember to respect the venue and

restraint waiting

I’m a firm believer in exer-

other patrons as this is private property, but do yourself

for their treats. Betsy Denson

cise for feeling my best,

a favor some twilit evening and park

and even in the heat of the summer, there is

at Nordstrom, then walk over to the

some time of day I can

Waterwall Park and indulge in a little

get outside. Stacy Barry

youthful gamboling; your inner child will thank you! Jessica Mebane

With two young children in tow, it’s easy to play anywhere we go. One thing we love With a nod to Julie Andrews, these are a few of

is taking family bike rides along White Oak

my favorite things: Singing with the Houston

Bayou. There are several great downhill

Symphony Chorus and my church choir; enjoy-

stretches where my 7-year-old and I lift

ing live music at Cezanne’s—especially the

our feet off the pedals and fly down the

music of Houston jazz pianist Pamela York;

hill. Wheee! We also stop for

exploring the MFAH on free

some Frisbee golf when

Thursdays; beginning

the weather’s nice. Julie Osterman

(again) piano lessons with a patient teacher, and finally, good coffee— anytime, anywhere! Sarah Clark

The Bayou City’s got questions and we know you’ve got answers. Join the conversation by sharing your answer to March/April’s Bayou IQ question. Is there something that says spring has arrived in the Bayou City to you (besides turning on the AC)? A festival? A flower or tree? A tradition? Submit your answers and we’ll publish the ones that inform or engage us (or just tickle our fancy). We follow the hashtags #BayouIQ and #BayouCityMag on social media.

Or email We reserve the right to edit submissions for space and clarity. By submitting or tagging us, you give us permission to publish your answers.


bayou city m ag a z i ne January/February 2014


P. Hines Waterwall Park (nee’ Transco Tower Waterwall

Scan page with Layar for a look into the David Peck USA Fashion House.

Scan page with Layar to see our 2014 catalog.


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