How does a week that includes a mega book sale, a cultural film festival, a concert with Cuban soul, an outdoor shopping fete and a performance that shows off local movers and shakers sound to you? Sign me up, I say.
Read on for this week's suggestions for getting to most out of Houston happenings. As always, be sure to click on the links below each event suggestion to find additional intel, such as where to eat, drink, shop and crash for the night around your final destination.
Friends of Houston Public Library Winter Book Sale
So what if the literary world is going digital. Do I love the modern conveniences afforded by my e-book reader, which carries a stack of books in less than a pound of weight? I sure do. But there's something irresistible about holding the real McCoy.
You'll find 22,000 plus of these treasures at the Friends of Houston Library Public Library Winter Book Sale — all priced $1 for paperbacks and $2 for hardcovers.
I once scored a first edition signed copy of Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Amid the masses of printed pals — in categories that include art, music, children, biography, fiction, history, how to, sports, entertainment, health, fitness and so on plus CDs and DVDs — there's surely more than one that speaks to you. All credit cards are accepted.
The skinny: Member preview is on Thursday, 4:30 to 9 p.m. (membership levels start at $20); sale is open to the public on Friday, noon to 8 p.m., and Saturday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; Resurrection Metropolitan Community Church; free event.
21st Houston Iranian Film Festival
Thank goodness for the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston's film department. Helmed by curator Marian Luntz, the program screens noteworthy films of today and iconic flicks of yore to offer movie buffs an alternative to lame Hollywood cliche storylines. The Houston Iranian Film Festival, MFAH's longest running film festival, bespeaks of her efforts to represent the broad range of motion pictures outside of the popular silver screen.
The lineup of six films opens with The Patience Stone, directed by Atiq Rahimi, a film that unfolds through Persian mythology to reveal what lies hidden between a man who becomes paralyzed after suffering wounds from a Jihad and his wife. From director Kambuzia Partovi and banned Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, Closed Curtain plays with reality and fiction in a setting that conveys the effects of trying to silence creative voices. Censorship is bad news all around.
Da Camera presents Paquito D'Rivera with the Brasil Guitar Duo
You have to love the music of Cuban jazz mogul and clarinet plus saxophone badass Paquito de D'Rivera, whose melodies sway between slinky, frisky and a nostalgia for days gone by. His youthful energy is matched by the Brasil Guitar Duo, winners of the 2006 Concert Artists Guild competition.
Together, presented by Da Camera, expect a concert that will introduce a swing in your hips and a snap into your soul with compositions that display a timeless truth about Latin culture: Everyday is a party.
"Pop-Up in the Park" benefiting Evelyn's Park Conservancy
A new series of outdoor shopping grounds is popping up at Evelyn's Park. Food trucks and local bands add to an al fresco family-friendly ambiance that raises awareness about the five-acre urban green space in the heart of Bellaire, the former site of Teas Nursery.
Among the vendors is the super adorbs merchandise of Cuteheads, a children's clothing line designed by Esther Freedman, who's also curating the 20 plus merchants for the market. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the Evelyn's Park Conservancy in its efforts to sow the seeds for this community garden.
Dance Month at the Kaplan Theatre performance: "Houston Choreographers X6"
Dance is alive and well at the Evelyn Rubenstein Jewish Community Center. An ongoing tradition at the Kaplan Theatre, Dance Month brings national and international talent to Houston for workshops and performances. The first show, "Houston Choreographers X6," presents choreography by seasoned and emerging local movers and shakers, including Rebekah Chappell, Randall Flinn, Ashley Horn, Kristina Koutsoudas, Cori Miller and Heather Nabors.
Arrive 45 minutes before show time to watch dance-inspired film.