Designed by award-winning architect Gunnar Birkerts, the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston's stainless steel building safeguards a multitude of work designed to intellectual engage viewers and invoke complex reactions. The museum's two galleries, the Brown Foundation Gallery and the Zilkha Gallery, collectively host 8–10 free exhibitions every year.
The Brown Foundation spotlights work by internationally renowned artists and pieces organized around themes; past exhibits include a Kiki Smith survey and a showcase of performance art by black artists. The Zilkha, meanwhile, hosts the museum's Perspective Series, which gathers the work of emerging artists. The museum's Teen Council curates a biyearly edition of Perspectives, unveiling work by young, Houston-area artists that mine for deeper feelings than the normal teenage angst toward parents, teachers, and singing animatronic bears. The Teen Council also contributes to the museum's numerous programs, which include lectures and discussions for each show, as well as Musiqa concerts based on each Brown Foundation Gallery exhibition.
Goodyear Car Care's mechanics, certified by the institute for Automotive Service Excellence, slip under car hoods and undercarriages to perform tasks from routine oil changes to intricate engine replacements. Tools let out pneumatic whines as they install new tires from brands such as Michelin and Goodyear, and the complete list of services includes brake adjustments and state inspections. They also pick up and drop off customers by appointment and provide loaner cars when needed. Tow trucks rumble out of the lot en route to get patrons unstuck from ditches or give third graders an idea for their thesis papers.
Dance fitness is already fun, but for her own classes, Amy Ell at Vault Houston sets her sights a bit higher. Literally. Aerial dance classes can help students get in shape and try something they might not have even considered before, all while having a blast. In aerial fabric, beginners can get a feel for the swaths of cloth aerial dancers use to suspend themselves, and build their upper body and core strength as they practice climbs, locks, and tricks. In Air-Tone, Amy combines Pilates, yoga, and aerial hammock exercises for a conditioning workout like no other, while in trapeze classes students learn to fly with the greatest of ease. And in aerial hoop, students learn to navigate a suspended metal hoop while building upper-body strength and preparing for next season's gigantic-earring trend. In every class, teachers spot and offer modifications to students while stressing strength-training and flexibility to ensure each maneuver is as safe as possible.
"Don't worry if you don't know much about wine," Manager Mike Kurth told the Houston Press just after the restaurant's grand opening in 2010. "I'll find you something you like." Drawing from a palette of more than 170 wines, Cork Soakers' bottle-handlers exude a casual confidence in dispatching potions to pair with a menu of artisanal meats and cheeses. As they consider the flavor notes of herbed Da Vinci gouda, chévre goat cheese, and smoked duck breast, the wait staff never cross over from savviness into snobbery: as Kurth notes, "Anyone who says they know everything about wine is lying. You can always learn more."
While continuing to build their knowledge base, the Cork Soakers team marinates in an atmosphere of full-on wine culture: cork-covered tabletops and menus, wine-barrel light fixtures, and a giant grapevine slowly entrapping the kitchen staff. At the center of the rustic space, a big table carved from a single mighty tree trunk holds a scrumptious brunch spread every Sunday. In fine weather, diners can take their beverages and bites out to the expansive patio.
Glenbrook Park Golf Course’s narrow fairways stretch across 6,700 yards of relatively flat terrain undulating with vibrant tree lines for a challenging, par 72 layout. Running in a straight line through the course, a 180-yard ravine stands in players’ way on six holes, placing confident swings and 9-irons unafraid of heights at a premium. Though not an overwhelmingly long course, the layout counters with narrow fairways and small- to medium-sized greens that are difficult to hit from any distance. Glenbrook’s par five ninth hole—the hardest rated on the course—amply illustrates the course’s manifold difficulties, as players must bisect a narrow, tree-hedged fairway, lay up to the edge of the ravine, and send their third shots somersaulting over the chasm and into a bashful green hiding behind a treacherous bunker and trust issues.
Course at a Glance:
We Can’t Stop the Beat is a lively concert featuring music from all over the world. The focus, as the name coyly implies, will be on percussion, rhythmic beat, and dancing. The Gay Men’s Chorus of Houston will provide vocals, and special guests will clamber on by to help keep the drums pounding. Musical samplings include pieces by George Gershwin and The Glen Miller Band, contemporary pieces from the musical Hairspray, and more. Revel in the thrum and musical undulations in the beautiful expanse of Jones Hall, a grandly lit building with an acoustically supreme interior and a ceiling of 800 moveable hexagons.