Golden lanterns dangle inside of intricate iron spheres. Bright purple, yellow, red, and pink fabrics drape over booths. Colorful tiles coolly cover the floors and bar. The staff at Medina Oven & Bar wanted a genuine Moroccan look for their eatery, and they got one by flying in every piece of decor directly from Morocco. In fact, everything at Medina Oven & Bar exudes this air of authenticity, from the interior aesthetic to the menu. Chefs drizzle chicken breasts with preserved lemon-saffron sauce and bedeck warm beds of cinnamon couscous with shrimp and scallops. A fiery oven bakes oregano, fennel, and lamb-sausage pizzas; skewers of tenderloin and Andalusian shrimp also see flames before they’re served, much like a break dancer with a horrible temper. The cuisine here has garnered much praise from the likes of Haute Living magazine, which named Medina Oven & Bar the city’s best Mediterranean restaurant in 2010.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.
The Hershey Theatre, conceived in 1933 by noted philanthropist and chocolatier Milton S. Hershey, stands as an opulent tribute to the performing arts. Taking architectural cues from Saint Mark’s Basilica in Venice, the foyer’s towering arches gleam with golden paint and crystal chandeliers. The blue-and-gold mosaic that leads to the main seating area is the masterwork of two German artists who spent two years on its construction. Once inside the theater, audiences might think they’ve stepped onto the streets of Venice thanks to the atmospheric ceiling, stonework facades, and gondoliers paddling them to their seats. ####Bethel Woods Center for the Arts Music has permeated the 800 manicured acres where the Bethel Woods Center for the Arts has stood since 1969, when farmer Max Yasgur agreed to let love, peace, and harmony grow wild at the very first Woodstock festival. These days, the renowned outdoor venue and cultural center continues to attract the biggest acts in music to its pavilion stage. The open-air design ensures ample ventilation on the natural sloping lawn, and a roof protects up to 15,000 fans from inclement weather and the prying eyes of Cessna pilots.
Pirates, ballerinas, and characters straight out of the 1980s flood the streets of Dallas each and every fall, racing their way through TeamQuest Urban Race for Hope, all in support of Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers. Teams of two clad in matching costumes or plain clothes gather clues and complete challenges throughout an 8K radius. Racers can take the course by foot or hop aboard buses, trains, and pedi-cabs–but not taxis–throughout the race and are free to use smartphones to call old cartography teachers for help. The first clue envelope is passed out promptly at 9 a.m., and the hunt concludes by 1 p.m., just in time to reward first-, second-, and third-place winners with cash or gift certificates. One hundred percent of the proceeds raised through registration fees are donated to Mary Crowley Cancer Research Centers.