Archive for February, 2007

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Te House of Tea – Fairtrade happiness in a tea cup


We visited the Te House of Tea (1927 Fairview St) for the very first time this weekend and are already having tea withdrawal symptoms.

They have an astounding selection of teas (as the name would imply), but more astounding still was the staff’s patience in describing, recommending and walking us through the different varieties and families of tea. It’s nice going to a tea/coffee shop where the staff really knows their stuff, but don’t make you feel ridiculous for not having written an encyclopedia on it yourself.

It’s a laidback kind of place with some couches, cool tea sets for sales, good lighting, decent music and free WiFi. At around 9pm on Friday nights, the lights start to dim and the Tango dancing starts which is quite beautiful to watch (if not rather unexpected in a tea shop, but eclectic is good).

We’ll be back to meet with friends, munch on yummy fresh baked goods and create our own elaborate tea ceremonies. Tea-licious. Photo thanks to Oolong

Spawn Lake Trilogy continues…


Beans Barton & the Bi-Peds has been a Houston institution for more than 20 years. The band will be playing tonight at Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar in the Heights, and the show is something that I think everyone should see at least once. It’s almost impossible to describe, but essentially you’ve got a rock opera involving aliens, open mic night, Elvis, poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Lawrence Welk and others rolled into a 2.5 to 3 hour first set that will blow your mind. During the songs the lead singer will be working on a painting, starting from scratch on a blank canvas at every show, and at the end of the night auctioning it off to benefit the Houston Food Bank. And get this: The last few performances of this show have ended in a cliff-hanger. When’s the last time you went to a rock concert and were left hanging at the end wanting to know what happened when the Dark Guitar was stolen?

Belly dancers start the show at 9:15, and the band goes on at around 10. Cover is $10. I don’t know if it’s an all ages show or not, but parents regularly bring their kids, so it’s at least family friendly. (With a band that’s been playing for 20 years, a lot of fans have started families of their own and tend to introduce them to the experience at an early age…) Dan Electro’s Guitar Bar, 1031 E. 24th St., (713) 862-8707 for more info.

Dynamo to play in Sugar Land?

It seems very possible thatSugar Land may become the future location for Houston Dynamo games. While the games are currently being held at Robertson Stadium at UH, the Dynamo are considering having a stadium built in the Sugar Land area, supposedly by the UH Sugar Land location. Having been in that area before, I can attest to the fact that there’s plenty of open space, making an ideal spot for a large sports venue.

However, I don’t think the current traffic situation can handle Dynamo games. After the Sweetwater exit on 59, the lanes cut down considerably, and I can only imagine the mess that would ensue on game days. I believe the lanes will be expanded soon, but even then I don’t think it makes sense to have people drive out that far to go to a game. I would expect the location to be within the city of Houston, not one of the four surrounding areas.

This would help out Sugar Land’s economy though. With the Houston Museum of Natural Science recently considering building a satellite location in the area, it looks like Sugar Land still has much untapped potential.

Houston Roller Derby 2007 season tickets and new venue


Houston Roller Derby season tickets are on sale for $80 and you get in 15 minutes early! This means 15 extra minutes to scramble for the coveted ringside floor seats (all the better for catching the Derby girls).

This season the bouts are located at the Verizon Wireless Theater instead of the Arabia Shrine on Braeswood. The new location means no hiking 2 miles to your residential street parking spot, but I’m not sure I’m keen on the Verizon locale either.

But you know what, I’m not too concerned about it either way. It’s going to be an amazing season!!! Be sure to head over to the Proletariat (903 Richmond) on March 3rd for the 3rd Annual Derbyoke to drink a little beer and bond with the Derby ladies before the season gets going.

Copperheads move to Berry Center

TXcopperheads200wide.jpgThe Texas Copperheads have a new home. After a great season (11-4) at the Merrill Center in Katy with the National Indoor Football League (NIFL), the Copperheads made the move to a new venue (The Berry Center) (located off Barker Cypress Road) and a new league, the af2. The af2 is the developmental league for the Arena Football League (AFL.)

Head coach Bryan Blake has really beefed up the front office by adding former Houston Oilers head coach Ed Biles as Assistant Coach, former AFL all-time leading passer Todd Hammell as Offensive Coordinator, and three-time championship winning GM Gary Saunders.

The Copperheads kick off the 2007 home season on Friday, April 6th against the Florida Firecats. To get your 2007 Texas Copperheads season tickets or reserve a group outing in 2007, please contact the Copperheads office at (281) 392-5592 or visit


photo courtesy of Yar

Onion Creek goes smoke-free early – your thoughts?


The Houston Heights Onion Creek had its last indoor smoker friendly day last Thursday, February 15th. The patio is still tobacco happy, but the O.C. has decided to honor the Houston-wide bar indoor smoking ban a little early. From their press release:

… Onion Creek will remain ahead of the curve by no longer allowing smoking indoors. We are one of the first establishments in the city to adopt the recently approved smoking ban prior to its actual date of enforcement in September of this year, and we look forward to providing a clean, smoke-free environment for our patrons and employees. Onion Creek values our customers who smoke, and will still allow smoking on its spacious patio. We see this as a win-win situation and hope that our customers – smokers and non-smokers alike – will appreciate our efforts to provide a comfortable experience for all Onion Creek visitors.

Will other Houston-area bars banning smoking early lose your business? Or will you be more likely to visit them, knowing that even a late night DJ-accompanied beer will mean a nicotine-free adventure? Photo thanks to Onion Creek Cafe

Bikini-clad Beyoncé makes Houston proud


Mad props to Houstonian Beyoncé Knowles for making the cover of Sports Illustrated Swimsuit edition this year. She looks really amazing and because of that I know you’re probably not even reading this text, so that’s all I really have to say.

Judge Robert Eckels moves on


Well known for his work with Hurricane Katrina evacuees, County Judge Robert Eckels announced his resignation at the State of the County address yesterday for the Greater Houston Partnership.

As Charles Kuffner mentioned earlier, it is irritating that he would decide 2 months into the new 4 year term that he was leaving for the private sector. Is that fair to voters or is that just standard practice in the political world?

The above photo was taken by Ed Schipul at the Accessible Internet Rally (AIR Houston) where Judge Eckels served as a co-chairman. The only other interaction I’ve had with him was as a speaker at a PR luncheon where he outlined Houston’s efforts to help Katrina victims. He impressed me at both events by not being a greasy politician. Sometimes I’m easy to please… or maybe just easy to fool?

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