Even while the holiday celebrations were running in high gear, there was plenty happening in H-Town in recent weeks, some of it newsworthy and some of it sheer merriment. Herewith, we catch up with a few Houston notables.
Oh, how we hated to miss the annual post-Christmas bash for politicos and media types hosted by Jason Fuller and Cindy Clifford at her Montrose home. Never mind that the hosts spend an entire day gathering literally "a world" of food from their favorite spots — Phoenicia, Central Market, Van Loc, etc. It was the guest turnout that made this night so interesting.
Among the 150 who packed the bungalow were Mayor Annise Parker and Kathy Hubbard, Yellow Cab president Roman Martinez and wife Diana Davilla, Harris County Judge Ed Emmett and wife Gwen, Miya Shay and State Rep. Gene Wu, Mary Benton, Arthur Schechter, U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, Rice University president David Leebron and wife Y. Ping Sun, State Rep. Carol Alvarado and on and on.
Add CultureMap editor-in-chief Clifford Pugh and John Dascoulias to the mix.
As might have been expected, the buzz was all about the new members of City Council (several of them in attendance), Houston's soaring economy and who might be the city's next mayor. An interesting topic considering that it was just days before Parker began her last term at the city's helm. Also creating a lot of party talk was news that Parker and Hubband plan to get married in California in mid-January. CultureMap was the first to report that scoop earlier that day.
Applause, applause for Project Row Houses founder Rick Lowe, who has been appointed to the National Council on the Arts by President Barack Obama. The appointment comes at the same time that the arts-based community in the city's historic Third Ward celebrates its 20th anniversary.
Congratulations to Mach Industrial Group exec Steve Mach, who was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve on the state's Public Safety Commission. The two-year appointment means that Mach, a member of several non-profit boards, will be part of the commission that formulates and oversees policies for the Texas Department of Public Safety.
It was a happy New Year's day for Judge Ken Wise, who celebrated his engagement to Sara Campbell over dinner at Brennan's. It was exactly one year from the day of their first date, which happened to be at Brennan's. This time around, the good judge surprised his betrothed by having their parents and children on hand for the celebration.
High five for Milton Townsend, who made Bill Cunningham's society column in the New York Times on Sunday. The New York Times photographer captured our man at the Metropolitan Opera's New Year's Eve Gala, which began with a production of Die Fledermaus. A champagne glass in hand, Townsend looks ever the gent in his formal kilt attire. Townsend and his partner Jackson Hicks, partying with friends from their vacation spot in Vermont, were among those making merry.