Unlike the ubiquitous TV "reality series," which are about as "real" as Lady Gaga's blonde locks, Vanguard's Two Americas, airing on Current TV at 8 p.m. Monday night, is the real thing — a close-up look at two Houston-area families, one highly successful, the other struggling in a tough economy. And it's Lucinda and Javier Loya who open the doors to their privileged lifestyle (for which both have worked tirelessly) with no scripted situations, no play-acting.
Call it a documentary not "reality TV." The Loyas will view the program in their comfy Memorial-area swankienda and are hoping that producer John Henion can make it in from his home base in San Francisco to watch it with them.
As Henion said in a previous interview with CultureMap, his goal was not to make a statement but rather to present the thought-provoking question: Is America's middle class becoming the working poor? That might have been the question but the trailer presents an uncomfortable juxtaposition of lifestyles of the rich and famous with that of the barely surviving.
Houston shops art in Miami
In the meantime, Lucinda Loya is in Miami along with a gaggle of art-hungry Houstonians that includes off-and-on over the weekend Barbara and Michael Gamson, Becca Cason Thrash, Karen Pulaski, Mike Loya, Stephanie Perkins and loads more.
Art Basel Miami Beach regularly draws a heavy contingent of gallery owners and collectors from Houston for the four days of art interaction and as many nights of swell socializing. Or as guestofaguest.com says, "Art Basel is all about the partying!" Check out the star-studded Ferrari party held there earlier this week, where Solange Knowles did the DJ thing.
Tehmina Masud and Sultana Mangalji took the reins of the Interfaith Ministries for Greater Houston benefit luncheon at the Junior League and brought in $80,000 for the ministries' refugee services department. Reflecting the international work of the service, the luncheon featured traditional Iraqi music performed by refugee Zubair Al Awadi. Featured speaker was Alban Shahini, a Kosovo refugee, who shared the story of suffering and ultimate triumph.
Susan and Dan Boggio received the Refugee Services Humanitarian Award and Richard Steele was presented the first Richard Steele Refugee Services Volunteer Award for his years of service in the Interfaith Ministries' refugee department. Lily and Charles Foster served as honorary chairs.
Dallas-based designer Abi Ferrin, after showing her yummy wares at Nordstrom, joining hostesses Lisa Holthouse and Ericka Bagwell and a posse of fans for lunch at Up . . .
Dancie and Jim Ware hosting a holiday dinner in the bar at Tony's where their guests included Karen and Mark Johnson and Sheridan and John Eddie Williams . . .
Michael Mandola entertaining RentTheRunway.com honchos AJ Nicholas and Ashley Savage over dinner at Ava . . .
La Griglia hopping at lunch where Sheridan Williams and Patrice Ferguson treated Janet Gurwitch to an early birthday lunch and where the notables included Scott Rozell, Bill King, Kitch Taub, Sylvia Garcia, Tom Roupe, Larry Johnson, Kara Howes and a host of others were scattered around the bustling dining room and patio.