Don't let the recent relentless rains make you feel like a wet noodle — limp, flavorless, undesired. Perk up and paint the town with a schedule of events where you'll experience spicy maki, international films, naked ladies, the beginning of a wine fest and ceramics from the rising stars of the craft.
AZUMApalooza Asian Night Market
Do you like it hot? Prove it, says The Azuma Group of restaurants at this Asian "street eats" al fresco fete. Kata Robata, Soma Sushi and the Azumas vow that they've concocted the world's hottest sushi roll, with which they'll test your courage and your taste buds at the world's hottest sushi eating competition.
Or you can just lay low, sip on cocktails, shop for jewelry, art, photography and crafts from local vendors and chill to the world beats of fusion band Moodafaruka while watching Sahira belly dance.
Seventh Annual Summer Israeli Film Showcase: Screening of Salsa Tel Aviv
Perhaps what whets your appetite is the tale of an unlikely friendship that ensues following a random encounter of two seemingly disparate travelers on an airplane. Or a Mexican salsa dancer who ends up cloaking herself as a nun to spy on her baby daddy (watch the trailer here). But for me, south-of-the-border grooves mingling with Jewish themes hits close to home.
Growing up in Peru, every all-night bar and bat-mitzvah party had a melange of Fiddler in the Roof and Gloria Estefan. Think: My Big Fat Greek Wedding with Jews.
Don't expect Salsa Tel Aviv to be an iconic, life-changing flick. To some degree, it's an international Sister Act with more dancing and healthy dose of sex.
Barenaked Ladies "Last Summer on Earth Tour"
Jim Creeggan, the group's bassist, hails from a suburb of Toronto near my teenage hood. We performed in the same youth orchestras, though as he's five years my senior, we never shared a stage. Yet he was still the talk of the town; the legend that emerged from the dark, foul-smelling basement practice rooms of the University of Toronto.
Who doesn't love "If I had $1,000,000" from the Barenaked Ladies' debut album, Gordon, or "One Week" from Stunt? About the latter, it was a popular college drinking game: You screwed up the lyrics, you took a swig of Goldschläger. Fun, I know.
Founder Steven Page is now out of the picture and with frontman Ed Robertson as the lead vocalist, BNL has a fresh, new sound. If "Last Summer on Earth" seems a bit dark — yes, it nods to Mayan apocalyptic prophecies — the music is still joyful. Joining this musical party are Blues Traveler, Big Head Todd & The Monsters and Cracker for this '90s revival musical tour— a time when AOL ruled, baggy pants rocked and Beverly Hills, 90210 was all that.
Messina Hof Winery & Resort's Harvest Festival
Every year when this five-week vino carouse comes along, I feel like Tattoo from Fantasy Island running around in circles shrieking, "The wine, the wine!" But alas, before I know it, life gets in the way of daytripping to the Bryan winery for grape picking and stomping, luncheons, vineyard tours, tastings, food parties, murder mystery and special dinners.
Those excuses end now. I am going this weekend and so should you. Click here for a full schedule of what's happening every day.
Ceramic Arts Museum and Education Organization (CAMEO) Texas Emerging Artists
Rather than gallivanting to every college, art school and university across the state to view what's fast and furious in the world of ceramics, this exhibition is a one-stop-shop that gathers the craft of 80 professors and talented students from 29 higher education programs.
As with any show that includes student work, there's no telling what you'll find. But then again, isn't that part of the adventure?
Staff writer and most adorbs Houston explorer Whitney Radley's pick: Houston Zoo's Flock Young Professionals "Jaws Summer" Cocktail Party
Whitney says: "Flock, the Houston Zoo's young supporters group, will be taking over Black Finn on Thursday from 6 to 9 p.m. for a Jaws-themed summer cocktail event. What better way to learn about protecting sharks from extinction than over specialty drinks and light bites with like-minded young professionals? Learn more about Flock here.
Arts smarty pants and in-the-loop seeker of crafty experiences Nancy Wozny's pick: Modern and Contemporary Masterworks from Malba - Fundación Costantini
Nancy says: "Time is running out to catch the Modern and Contemporary Masterworks from Malba - Fundación Costantini, which is part of an ongoing exchange between the MFAH and Malba - Fundación Costantini, Museum of Latin American Art of Buenos Aires. I had the privilege of touring the exhibit with my son who has just returned from Argentina.
"The exhibit contains several of Berni's work from including fine examples of his neo-realism days to most surrealist, along with paintings by Xul Solar; Brazilian artists Tarsila do Amaral and Cândido Portinari; Chile's Roberto Matta; Mexico's Miguel Covarrubias; and Uruguay's Joaquín Torres-García and others. The show is a perfect way to escape the heat."