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The Top 10 stories of 2011: Michelle Obama's $15,000 jewels, LeBron James' H-Town love triangle & Leo's Rice love

The Top 10 stories of 2011: Michelle Obama's $15,000 jewels, LeBron James' H-Town love triangle & Leo's Rice love

News_Leonardo DiCaprio_Rice Hat
Leonardo DiCaprio represents Photo by Noel Vasquez/Getty Images
News_Michelle Obama_diamond cuffs
Courtesy of The Obama Report
News_Mike Sherman_Texas A&M_coach
Texas A&M didn't win as much as it expected on the field, but all the drama made the Aggies an irresistible story.  Photo by Stuart Villanueva
News_food trucks_Htown StrEATS_truck
2011 brought food truck fever to the forefront. Photo by Ruthie Johnson Miller
Qui West
Qui West
News_Leonardo DiCaprio_Rice Hat
News_Renu Kahtor_Beyonce_UH
News_Michelle Obama_diamond cuffs
News_Mike Sherman_Texas A&M_coach
News_Casey Anthony_Tell Casey Anthony Texas Doesn't Want Her
News_food trucks_Htown StrEATS_truck
Qui West

One thing's for certain, Houston: When you like it, you really know how to put a click on it. With more than 4,000 stories published this year alone, we've had a lot of local, national, and international news to share with you in 2011 at CultureMap.

But you've certainly had your favorites — and you've made no bones about it.

Without further ado, we present to you CultureMap's 10 most popular stories published in 2011.

10. "Dominique Sachse gets engaged in Rome, Donne di Domani cooks up a book & Mosaic throws a bark fest," by Shelby Hodge (Oct. 18, 2011)

An international story of Rome-ance with a local twist? Count us in.

You simply couldn't tear your eyes from Dominique and husband-to-be Nick Florescu, and we don't blame you. Their engagement tale would make even the sweetest of sweethearts swoon.

9. "H&M opens Dallas store, confirms plans for Houston expansion," by Heather Staible (Aug. 18, 2011)

All we've ever wanted was a Trader Joe's, an In-N-Out, and an H&M — and they all went to Dallas this year.

But being the half-full Houstonians that we are, we always look on the bright side — that's one step closer to our hometown than it was before Dallas.

8. "ESPN adds to Texas A&M's final insult by turning rivalry into a shameless Longhorn Network commercial," by Chris Baldwin (Nov. 25, 2011)

The Aggie decision heard 'round the world to bolt the Big 12 for the SEC was (and still is) fraught with emotion.

But the way ESPN grossly exploited the death of one of sports' greatest long-standing rivalries was, in our opinion, way over the line. Even for ESPN.

And no, Chris Baldwin is not an Aggie.

7. "Rice University's cool factor just went up: Leonardo DiCaprio spotted in Owls cap," by Caroline Gallay (Feb. 27, 2011)

Why was Leo sportin' the Rice logo on his noggin at a Lakers game? We may never know. But it certainly lent Houston's resident brainiac institution a little more street cred.

6. "Hide your kids: Casey Anthony makes plans to start over in Texas," by Sarah Rufca (July 13, 2011)

She might've been acquitted of murder, but no one wanted the most hated woman in America as his or her neighbor.

So where did she consider trying to make her fresh start? None other than the best state in the union — ours.

5. "Beyoncé is in the house at the University of Houston: Shocks crowd by showing up in audience," by Chris Baldwin (Oct. 3, 2011)

Birds of a feather flock together, and when one famous Knowles is in the house, the other is sure to follow.

Not that anyone was expecting it, though. Beyoncé sent UH students into a Twitter frenzy with her casual appearance on campus, and we loved seeing her in the role of supportive daughter.

4. "Best team in Texas hands down: Texas A&M serves notice to UT & Oklahoma in a Sunday night football party," by Chris Baldwin (Sept. 5, 2011)

We swear Chris Baldwin isn't an Aggie.

3. "Where to eat right now: 10 Houston food trucks you need to find," by Ruthie Johnson Miller (April 4, 2011)

If you didn't think food trucks were the new black in 2011, you certainly didn't live in Houston. Tracking what was in, out, and about with the food-on-wheels frenzy was a full-time undertaking.

But thankfully, Ruthie Johnson Miller swung her lasso and rounded up the herd for you. If ever there was a cause for a browser bookmark, this article was prime.

2. "Houston hip-hop DJ lands in the middle of LeBron James girlfriend love triangle rumors," by Chris Baldwin (June 12, 2011)

Oh, the tangled webs we weave for the love of babes and basketball.

Thankfully, all it took was Houston DJ Qui West to sort out the mess between Miami baller LeBron James, longtime James' girlfriend Savannah Brinson, and her supposed NBA paramour, Rashard Lewis.

1. "Michelle Obama dazzles in New York, wearing diamond bangles by H-Town's Katie Decker," by Shelby Hodge (Sept. 21, 2011)

We thought we were merely highlighting the work of a local designer featured on the wrists of Michelle Obama. But the rest of the country took the price of the jeweled cuffs — $15,000 a pop — and ran with it.

They were expensive accessories, no doubt. But they weren't Michelle's.

Is it really such a surprise to think that the First Lady would borrow the best of the best? Some of you weren't so sure — and you expressed yourselves quite prolifically.

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