Archive for September, 2004

Houston underground

Just got back from a rather tasty business lunch at Habana’s Latin Bar and Grill (818 Travis). Walking back to the parking garage, I was reminded of the 7 miles of tunnel underfoot that I otherwise never think about when trying maneuver the psychotic one way streets and construction in the downtown area.

I don’t work around downtown, so before I hit the Interstate to visit clients I’ll check Downtown Streets to make sure my whole drive/parking plan isn’t completely impossible. It usually is.


If any of you are headed out to the Texas Renaissance Festival this weekend (or any other weekend through November 14th), don’t miss the spectacular show provided by Houston’s own Empyrean Fire Tribe. This group of talented (not to mention courageous) firespinners, whom you may remember from shows at Helios (or whatever its name is this week) and Astroworld, will be performing just before the big fireworks shows in the evenings. Their choreographed poi routines involving staffs, chains, hula hoops, and whips all alight with real live FIRE are not to be missed!

Public art surprises

hedgehog tapper billboard.jpg

Have you seen the Lawndale Art Center’s Billboard Series yet? I think it’s a really neat idea – basically an alternative for showing local/Texan art in a ‘car-defined city’ while their gallery is being re-modeled.

I’m always interested in the various public art pieces around town. Sometimes I get surprised when driving down a bit of road I’m constantly on – ‘why hello there, bright pink shiny thing swaying in the breeze that I have never in my life seen in that random parking lot’.

Im in heaven

Being as I have an amazing aversion to shopping in all its forms, I’m still going to have to say my favorite place in Houston so far is the shining beacon to all things geek. Thats right I’m in love with Fry’s. There are few things that make me skip and giggle like a schoolgirl but this is one. From ATX cases to Zip drives they’ve got it all. The only thing that is missing is ‘the guy’ who can answer all my inane and random questions with that knowing smile and nod.

As far as a place to go have a drink, I’m rather partial to La Carafe, nice, dark, semi-quiet and very different than any other place I’ve been in town.

56th Semi-annual Houston Camera Show and Sale

Anyone interested in cameras or photography might want to check out the 56th Semi-annual Houston Camera Show and Sale. It’s Oct. 2 – 3 at the Marriott Hotel, Hobby Airport. Runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The cost is $6 to get in, but parking is free.

They’ll have film and digital cameras, new and used, for sale. A few repair experts will be able tell you what’s wrong with your broken camera as well as how much it might cost to fix. They’ll give you the diagnosis for free, but they won’t do any repairs. You can also get a free appraisal if you have an antique or unusual camera. If you need more info, call 713-868-9606.

I’ve never been to this thing, but I’m planning on attending this year. I really don’t need any new cameras, but it won’t hurt to look. Who knows, maybe I’ll find a deal I can’t pass up.

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The Rent Is Due

This weekend brings about another edition of Rent, supposedly one of the best underground parties around.

Rent is an event that is held once a month (the last Saturday) at Union Bar, located on 202 Tuam. This has been its recent home for the past 6 or so months. Prior to Union Bar, it was held in a more underground-like location (I have no idea where, I just remember I could never find it when people gave me directions).

The concept: the rent is due, and we’re going to throw a big “house party” to help pay for it.

Or at least that’s what I can make of it. What I can’t make of it is why it costs $10 to get in ($5 for email list members). I’ve gone to Rent a couple of times (March and May – see my post about May’s Rent) and have found it to be somewhat uncomfortable. It’s packed, the A/C is weak, and there are some wierd people there. Drink prices are average.

Nevertheless, the vibe is great, the music is good to dance to, and its a great idea. There are two music rooms, as well as a deck outside. DJs playing there are: Little Martin, Michael DeGrace, Brotha Jibril, and Selecteur Thomas de Paris.

I’ve only heard of Michael DeGrace, but I thought I’d throw those names out just in case any one else had heard of the others.

If you’ve never gone before and are looking for something different, it may be worth a shot. With the weather getting cooler (supposedly), the heat problem may no longer be an issue. If that is the case, I suggest you go check it out.

Oh, and arrive early to avoid the lines.

You’re the best

Sweet – the Houston Press’ Best Of Houston edition is hitting the stands today.

For me, this means it’s time to hop in the car and wander around town trying to find the elusive ‘Best Mariscos’ and ‘Best Socioanthropolgical Study’.

I do disagree with at least 2 items on the Best Of list this year:

1) Best Mussels – It’s got to be Cafe Montrose for me. Their moules et frites transcends any other I’ve had in the States, bringing me right back to my Belgian days.

2) Best Pizza – As a self-proclaimed pizza addict, I find myself gravitating more towards Late Nite Pies than Star Pizza, but that could be more of an atmosphere preference. I’m also in love with Cafe Brasil’s and Fuzzy’s pies as well. Who am I kidding? I’ll eat anything with cheese on it…..

(Thanks to Xeni-lover Digit for the reminder)

Ivan: Part III? IV? V?

So look whose back? Our dear storm Ivan….and after not watching the news for the last 3 days, I find out we’re due to be hit. What happenned?

According to the Channel 2 (KPRC), they’ll be some beach erosion and a possibility of rain and strong winds.

According to CNN, we could be hit sometime tonight or Friday along the coast as it may strengthen today with the warm Gulf waters.

According to me – I walked outside today to perfectly clear skies with no clouds and the sun shining brightly.

Hmmmmm……I’m still confused. Maybe it would have been better had I continued to not watch the news.

Spur 527

In case you haven’t noticed the destruction of Spur 527 (a.k.a. the “downtown split” of 59) that occured a few months ago, you’ll probably be surprised that the City of Houston actually has a website detailing all of the construction that is going on in that area, expected completion, and suggested alternate routes.

There’s even a real time closure report available. Too bad we don’t have Internet access in our cars…

By the way, don’t be expecting Spur 527 to come back anytime soon. Expected completion: February 2007.

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