Pick Five (Plus)
Your weekly guide to Houston: Guerilla gardening, Julydoscope, rock starpartying and a Berry kids benefit
Had a good week? I'd say I did last week. Throw in naughty stories, a tribal bacchanal and some local vocal talent and you have the blueprint for a fab week courtesy of Houston happenings.
Don't you just love a good story? BooTown's Grown-up Storytime "The Return" was a reminder that one is never too old to be entertained by the simple (and hilarious) act of storytelling. With tales filled with sex, booze, embarrassing moments and senseless thoughts, the monthly happening rocked — in part due to the grungy ambiance and good beer, not to mention the zany corps of actors/comedians enacting audience stories.
That's right. You submit your writing and they perform it.
At Idol of the Heights, Houstonians showed up with ridiculous talent. A bit of country, some rock and roll, plenty of sass and good tunes filled the air at Taps on Washington, where 20 hopefuls exercised their vocal chords before an eager panel of judges — myself included. Judging wasn't easy, and it came down to just one point between the 10 contestants moving on to the next round.
How could I pass up an opportunity to go all Rambo and happy-bomb unfortunate, ignored lots?
There is much to love about every one of the singers. If you are curious to catch the finals — where I will judge again — make plans to be at the Grand Finale at the 2011 Heights Community Expo Wednesday night. I guarantee a good time.
Fashionistas showed their spirit at Hotel Sorella's Fashiontini. CultureMap's first young professionals happy hour featured Women of Wardrobe (the YP arm of Dress for Success) at Hotel ZaZa. And Workshop Houston's Ice Bike Baby social raised money to continue to help Houston's youth.
Next week, we turn to events that help ourselves, our friends and our city.
Silent Auction Benefiting the Family of Robin and Joshua Berry at I W Marks Jewelers
After the tragic loss of their parents, Robin and Joshua Berry's kids — 9-year-old Peter, 8-year-old Aaron and 6-year-old Willa — continue their recovery. The Houston community has responded with overwhelming support and love, offering a helping hand whenever an opportunity emerges.
And here is one: I W Marks is hosting a silent auction where all donations and proceeds will benefit the Berry Family Fund. Monies raised will offset the children's medical costs and care. To donate auction items or make a monetary donation, please contact Tracey Cleckler at 713-880-3387. Thursday at 6 p.m.
Cooking Class: Vegan Dishes for the Summer at Whole Foods Market Montrose
Summer is all about eating light, fresh foods with lots of sass and flavor, words that can easily describe vegan cuisine — if you know what you are doing. For those that need a little help getting started, Whole Foods Montrose has just the class for you. Plus, mom always told you to eat your veggies.
For $15, pupils will learn how to craft fruit salad with cashew cream sauce, collard green veggie wraps, traditional kale salad and sundried tomato and basil hummus. My mouth is watering already. Thursday at 6:30 p.m.
One Green Street's Mission Possible I: Guerilla Gardening at t'afia
How could I pass up an opportunity to go all Rambo and happy-bomb unfortunate, ignored lots? I couldn't. One Green Street, in collaboration with t'afia, REV Eco-Shuttle and Greenaid, is putting together one bad-ass, not-so-secret green resistance army in an effort to beautify abandoned and neglected parcels of land.
Hop on the REV, grab your seedbomb grenades to attack and "destroy" enemy territory — and afterwards enjoy nibbles courtesy of t'afia. At $25 a pop, it's an eco-conscious way to wine, dine and contribute. Friday at 7 p.m. Camo attire.
Julydoscope at Discovery Green
What better way to wave adieu to July than with an art fete filled with Houston's favorite bands and performing art troupes. Think of Julydoscope as a colorful evening, a cornucopia of local talent where favorites like Tyagaraja, Musiqa, Suchu Dance and Stages Repertory Theatre combine their talents into an evening of free summer fun.
When groups like Houston Cinema Arts Society, QFest, Fresh Arts Coalition, Spacetaker, Theater Under the Stars and Museum of Fine Arts, Houston all come together, you know it's going to be a fab affair. Saturday beginning at 6 p.m.
If you are the shopping type, grab some goodies at the art walk. Following the live performances, catch the screening of Xanadu, starring the timeless Olivia Newton-John, at 8:20 p.m.
"Party Like a Rock Star" Planned Parenthood Benefit at House of Dereon Media Center
In the mood to get dolled up in rock star attire and party into oblivion? Well, this event is for you, and it'll make you feel good about letting your hair down. Chaired by Planned Parenthood Young Leaders and co-chairs Jenn Char and Erin and Adrian Patterson, the party will include drinks and nibbles by Melange Catering, Oh My! Pocket Pies, 42 Below Vodka, Bacardi, Bud Light, Silver Eagle and Patrick Bertolino.
Find my colleagues at these Houston happenings:
Assistant editor and nightlife expert Caroline Gallay's pick: Harvest at Messina Hof Winery & Resort
Caroline says: "I was lucky enough to make the trip (in a party bus, don't feel too bad for me) for last Friday's Moonlit Harvest, and had (almost) too much fun picking grapes on my hunt for a Big Kahuna cluster, stamping grapes and of course, guzzling wine. The Friday night event includes a three-course meal in the cellar room. Yum!"
Arts Contributor and Dancehunter Nancy Wozny's pick: QFest
Nancy says: "It's QFest time, people, as in The Houston GLBTQ International Film Festival, which is celebrating its 15th anniversary celebration with 'Queerceañera.' We are talking 14 film screenings, Thursday through Monday, at the MFAH Brown Auditorium Theater, Rice Media Center and Discovery Green.
"The big highlights include a 20th anniversary revival of Poison, the 1991 Sundance Grand Jury Prize-winner by acclaimed director Todd Haynes; two shorts programs in collaboration with Outfest: The Los Angeles Gay & Lesbian Film Festival; and a two-film tribute to the late, great Elizabeth Taylor. For a complete schedule, click here."