A Houston Heights Tradition: White Linen Night August 6, 2011

The Heights, one of Houston’s oldest neighborhoods, is known for its tree-lined streets and beautiful period homes, awesome shopping and dining, super family friendly parks and esplanades, great schools, rocking trick or treating and their annual events.  One of these great events is just around the corner…White Linen Night 2011 will be on August 6 from 6 to 10 PM.  Of course, all the locals attend as well as Houston residents from all over (lasts year’s attendance reached 40,000).  The festivities occur throughout the Heights area, with the two major locations being 19th Street and White Oak (6th Street).

What is White Linen Night?  Well, it’s one big street festival that takes over the whole “town.”  Many of the businesses, shops, art galleries, and restaurants feature complimentary receptions (yes…free food and drinks).  Touted as a celebration of art, culture and “citified” bohemia, there are also fashion shows, street performers, games, live music, and an just an awesome vibe.  And, as the name implies and the Houston August weather dictates, white linen fashion is in abundance although not a prerequisite to attend.  This year, be sure to also throw in a little pink to your ensemble as the Heights has partnered with The Rose of Houston to raise breast cancer awareness.

We are working on trying to get more information on parking and transportation during the event.  As soon as we have it we will update this post!  For other updates and details, check out the event website at http://whitelinennightheights.com/.

New Installation at Buffalo Bayou Art Park

If you’ve driven down Studemont near Allen Parkway recently, you have probably noticed a stunning collection of serene beings perched along the edge of Buffalo Bayou.  This is the newest installation to the public outdoor art space located near downtown.  The Buffalo Bayou Art Park has officially been in existence since 1997, although it traces its history back to a grass roots start in 1987.  The BBAP operates as a non-profit 501 (c)(3) and is working to expand its installations throughout the greater Houston area.

So more about the newest addition…

Representing cultural tolerance and harmony, seven stainless steel figures (representing each of the seven continents) emote a tranquil aura.  The construction of each continental figure contains the alphabets of nine languages.  It is intended to convey that despite our cultural differences, we are all human and we need to embrace all that we have in common.  The inspiration behind this newest installation is tragic. Channel 13 reported the story of David Ritcheson, who at the age of 16 endured a brutal and violent attack that was determined to be a hate crime.  David was unable to live with his trauma and sadly ended his life a year later.

Because of its diverse cultural population, Houston has the opportunity to demonstrate to other cities and countries how to successfully blend a community that actively embraces its diversity.  It seems to me this is the most important message of the new artwork.  In any case, it is a beautiful piece of art and kudos must be given to philanthropist Mica Mosbacher for raising the money for this project.

Events: Houston Ifest spotlighting The Silk Road

Of all the great festivals and events our city has to offer, one of the most popular is the Ifest (previously known as the International Festival).  No where else is cultural diversity and cultural education more celebrated than the Ifest.  Originally established as the non-profit Houston Festival Foundation, Inc. in 1971, Ifest provides art and education programs that reach nearly a million students in the Houston area.  

Each year the festival focuses on a particular culture or region, this year being the cultures of The Silk Road.  As part of providing cultural education to Houston students, a curriculum is established for area teachers that help our children explore the spotlighted country or region during the school year leading up to the festival.  The Ifest has it all rolled into one great time:  art, live music, awesome food and more ensure that everyone has a fab time.

The festival takes place at City Hall, Tranquility Park, and Sam Houston Park in downtown.  Dates for this year’s festival are:  April 30-May 1 and May 7-8 from 12 to 10 Saturday and 12 to 8 Sunday.  Go to their site to learn more and find out the skinny on parking, tickets, etc.

A Jazz Brunch presented by Divas World

Get your spring groove on with the Divas Jazz Brunch at Zilkha Hall in the Hobby Center for Performing Arts, Sunday April 17 from 11 AM to 1:30 PM.  A champagne brunch will be catered by Artista so it’s sure to be fabulous!  Guest artists include Delfeayo Marsalis, Bobby Lyle and more.  Tickets are $65 and may be purchased in advance through the Hobby Center or by calling 713-315-2525.

Check out the full line-up for the Jazz Brunch and other Diva events here.

Upcoming Events: Bayou City Art Festival

Feeling a little cagey with the recent cruddy weather we’ve been having?  Remember that March is just around the corner and it is usually the perfect time for an outdoor festival in Houston with sunny spring skies, fresh green everywhere and bearable temperatures (read: “warmer but not stifling”).

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of the Bayou City Art Festival, which has been ranked by American Style Magazine in their Top 10 Festivals in the country.  Mark your calendars for the weekend of March 25-27 and head out to Memorial Park.  Hit the trail where over 300 artists representing multiple types of media will showcase their wares.  There will also be wine cafes, restaurants, a kids interactive Creative Zone, and more.  Me personally..I’m a fan of creative performance art so I’m hoping to check out The Living Garden, a performance troupe from Orlando, Florida that combines human statuary, natural elements, and more for a pretty cool live show.  I know my daughter will love it, too!

Tickets for the festival are $12 and children under 12 are free.  If you can’t make it, don’t worry.  The festival is so popular, they do it again downtown in the fall.

Note that there is no public parking for the spring event at Memorial Park. Check out the Festival Website for shuttle information.

Must See Exhibit! The Hermitage: The Winter Palace

What an incredible honor for Houston and major kudos to the Houston Museum of Natural Science for securing the only venue, stateside or otherwise, to exhibit an incredible collection from Russia’s Hermitage Museum.  The exhibit will run from May 20, 2011 until November 27, 2011 and will feature objects from the Imperial Russian Court including items from the private collection of Peter the Great.  I was able to attend the Cartier exhibit a few years back at MFAH which was breathtaking…I am pretty confident this exhibit may trump the Cartier.  The collection will also feature “The Regalia,” Carl Faberge’s miniature replica of the Russian Crown Jewels.  If you are a history and museum lover, this should top your list!  Check out the HMNS Website for all of the details.

Upcoming Events: Cirque du Soleil’s oVo

Coming March 10 and running through April 3, Cirque du Soleil’s touring production of OVO represents “An immersion into the teeming and energetic world of insects.”  What a great way to kick off spring with or without kids!  Go here to get ticket information and check out the cool trailer: