Your weekly guide to Houston: Five (plus) don't-miss events — with free Valentine's Day tips
Smell that? Nope, it isn't the intoxicating aroma of Houston. Love's in the air. Valentine's Day is just around the corner.
If you don't take care of business and make appropriate plans for your better half, expect a cold shoulder to reign for the rest of February. On tap this week are plenty of choices for singles, twosomes and threesomes (heck, who am I to judge) to inspire the soul the kindle some romantic passion.
Do this: Click on the link below each event to find helpful features, like the ability to download the intel to your electronic calendar in addition to learning about places to hit in case you find yourself hungry, thirsty or tired.
ReelAbilities: Houston Disabilities Film Festival 2013
Don't look at this film festival as a collection of films of about the lives of those with disabilities. Look at it as a montage of the tales of people, both ordinary and extraordinary, sharing their unique points of view on what it means to to be human.
Beauty pageants, coming of age stories, sportsmanship and heroic dreams are some of the subjects explored in the ReelAbilities Film Festival.
Digital Poetry Workshop: "Muse and the Fuse"
How cool is this Aurora Picture Show workshop. The "Muse and the Fuse" is ideal for those who are at a loss of what to get their darling for V Day. Aurora's duo, Sara Cooper and Camilo Gonzalez, will help workshop guests meld text and film, fusing mismatched elements into a moving picture that promises to make a love connection.
Wine and chocolate will be served. How romantic.
A Valentine's Evening at the Arboretum: "Tapas on the Trails" 2013
Imagine taking a comfortable stroll through the woods at dusk, hand-in-hand with your boo. The smell of forest. The sound of the wind and is gently rustles winter leaves. Add gourmet cuisine, wine, champagne and sinful sweets — and voila. That's, in a nutshell, Houston Arboretum and Nature Center's "Tapas on the Trails."
Food and wine stations set up along the lighted pathways will offer roasted butternut squash bisque, spice-rubbed beef tenderloin and warm chocolate ganache griddle cakes, among other seductive selections.
The deets: Saturday starting at 5 p.m., last admission is at 7 p.m.; Houston Arboretum and Nature Center; $75 per person for members, $85 for non-members; childcare for children ages 5 and up is available for $10 per child (reservations required).
River Oaks Chamber Orchestra Concert presents "A Timeless Feast and Brandenburg No. 2"
It's a risk of sorts when a chamber orchestra decides to go commando. In music speak, that's without a conductor. No one waving a baton hoping musicians follow. No one dictating how things are supposed to go. No one making sure everyone plays together.
Can a performance without a dirigent fall apart? It sure can. That's part of the excitement of attending a River Oaks Chamber Orchestra conductor-less musicale.
On tap are Bach's Brandenburg Concerto No. 2, Sibelius' Belshazzar's Feast Suite, Handel's Alexander's Feast Overture and Haydn's Clock Symphony — and, like every ROCO performance, a surprise piece.
Houston Zoo's Beastly Brunch-Mardi Gras Style
Flock events, the throng of young professionals that support the Houston Zoo, always include some type of wild adventure. What the cool kids are talking about is what the cheetah presentation will be about. Because (almost) everyone loves a big, huge kitty cat.
You are in for animal interactions complemented with cocktails, music and good grub.
Arts smarty pants and happy-go-lucky gal Nancy Wozny's pick: Phillip Lopate book reading and signing
Nancy says: "Phillip Lopate wrote the bible on the personal essay form. He has more to say on the subject, and will be reading from his two new books, Portrait Inside My Head, his new collection of personal essays, and To Shop and Tell: The Craft of Literary Nonfiction.
"Lopate is a legend in Houston's lit circles. He taught at the University of Houston during the early years of the Creative Writing Program and he is one of the founders of Writers in the Schools and the journal Gulf Coast. Houston Cinema Arts Festival geeks will remember him for his work in Chekhov for Children as well."