For all the poshness of its sleek two-level interior, SWAG Sports Lounge's menu is a stars-and-stripes salute to soups, salads, sandwiches, and burgers. Snack on jalapeño poppers ($5.95) and honey barbecue wings ($15.99 for 24 wings) without ungluing your eyes from the 32 HDTVs broadcasting the day’s top live sports and political roundtable knife fights. For something more in an entree size, indulge your inner werewolf with a hearty 10-ounce rib eye steak ($9.95), or idle away long commercial breaks by demolishing Big Bob's fish basket ($8.95) piece by battered piece, with occasional tartar sauce slam-dunks. SWAG’s many dartboards, pool tables, and video games let interactive eaters supplement their snacking with as much needle tossing, ball clinking, and barrel jumping as they like. Challenge friends to a game of darts, then steal fries from their buffalo chicken sandwich plate ($7.95) after “accidentally” hitting them with the game’s designated tranquilizer dart. Otherwise, cap a game of blindfolded pool with an equally befuddling chocolate confusion cake—a mocha-tornado of Oreos, fudge brownies, cream-chocolate mousse, and chocolate-chip cake topped with swirling fudge frosting and chocolate chips ($3.95). Along with a respectable array of beers on tap, SWAG stocks its full bar with many high-end liquors—allowing sports fans to upgrade to stiffer drinks every time their team’s quarterback runs off the field in tears.
The Free Press Summer Fest is nothing if not ambitious. Two days and eight stages light up with genres from indie-minded folk to female-fronted surf rock to bone-buzzing dubstep to sleek, futuristic Eurotronica. Among the elder statesmen headlining the 100-plus lineup, Snoop Dogg rolls onto the stage with his signature hazy, ultra-laid-back flow, Willie Nelson takes an oddly complementary outlaw attitude into the backwoods, and a Primus set offers the chance to count all 13 of Les Claypool's fingers.
Hailing from a family of artists—including a grandfather and uncle—Lazhante' set out to make his own imprint on the art world. Armed with a camera, he snaps away at special moments in his clients’ lives, from graduations to weddings. He also captures the more intimate parts of life when he opens his studio for boudoir photo sessions and shoots involving people brushing their teeth. On his website, Lazhante’ further demonstrates his immersion in the art of photography by writing posts on topics such as black-and-white photography.
The 2004 MLB All-Star Game. The longest baseball game in postseason history. Craig Biggio’s 3,000th hit. For a stadium that just opened in 2000, Minute Maid Park has already hosted its share of memory-making moments. Astros fans pack the field’s 40,963 seats during baseball season. The Astros invite fans to take in full-field views from luxury boxes and terrace decks or track players from seats along the first and third baselines situated within 43 feet of the game's action. The stadium welcomes teams and performers from across the spectrum of sports and entertainment. Whether tracking the pitch during international soccer face-offs or jamming to tunes of artists including Madonna and Taylor Swift, visitors stay comfortable beneath a retractable roof designed to combat the unique climate conditions that Texas weather can present.
Designed with Texas’s railway history in mind, the park blends naturally into the classic red brick and glass looks of nearby Union Station. A full-sized vintage locomotive runs intermittent trips along 800 feet of track along the left-field wall, giving fans a glimpse of Wild West transportation and the lead character of next summer’s Cowboys Vs. Transformers.
Shecky's Girls Night Out makes planning a social outing between friends easy with its dozens of fashion, jewelry, and beauty product displays and samples to peruse. Having started as a published guide to New York City nightlife, Shecky's now stages stylish shindigs across the country and has garnered nationwide notice from media outlets—including Bloomberg News —for its ladies-only soirees. Drawing on its roots as a party-planning brain trust, Shecky’s relies on a talented staff to augment vendor wares with complimentary snacks and cocktails, goody bags, and makeovers. Take a peek at one of Shecky’s past events, where, like the locker room at a WNBA game, men are conspicuously absent.
Hosted by the happy-hour champs at Lucky’s Pub, Halfway to St. Patrick’s Day douses eight bands and two DJs in green beer to welcome fall Emerald Isle–style. Atlanta duo Dead Rabbits puts a bluesy spin on vintage garage sounds, and local quartet Lost Element rocks crowds with a giant cradle while performing its latest EP, Back Again. Wielding metal riffs as sharp as they are funky, Downfall 2012 cuts grooves deeper than a fortune cookie on the ocean floor. Other highlights include rousing bagpipe jams and a performance by Eddie Peery & the Rattlesnakin’ Daddies, who blankets fans in comforting country covers.
The PG-rated program is led by a talented team of in-house improv experts in the vein of Drew Carey’s popular Whose Line Is It Anyway? show on the ABC Family Channel. As a member of the audience, you’ll not only create the show (skits are created on the spot from audience suggestions), you might be in the show, too. Each week, the guffawing gurus invite members of the peanut gallery on stage to act out scenes and test their improv skills.