Three generations of the Hamilton family own and operate The Artist Within.org, a boutique studio that encourages artists of all ability levels to try their hands at painting in a communal environment. The studio provides all the necessary materials for recreating specific projects that include Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Monet’s Bridge and over a Pond of Water Lilies, and it only requires that students bring their own wine, goodies, and Bob Ross wigs. In addition to public painting classes, the Hamiltons also host private events such as bachelorette and birthday parties and can create custom paintings for groups to reimagine.
Some of Marshall Hosea's earliest memories involve water lapping gently about the ankles of his oversized boots as he waded into a river or creek for some classic fly-fishing with his father and grandfather. What started as a childhood pastime became a lifelong passion, and Marshall began experimenting with all kinds of boats to enhance his fishing experience. He loved feeling close to nature and the water as he cast lines and baited hooks, and he found the kayak offered him the best experience. As a bonus, the paddle-driven craft left no trace upon the natural beauty he so loved.
Now, he teaches others the joy of kayaking and fishing as the owner and head guide of Texas Kayak Guide. He takes passengers down rivers and creeks, or skimming across bayous and bays, showing them raccoons hunting shellfish, osprey darting into the water to snatch fish, and porpoises swimming alongside the quiet craft. While on the water, he also teaches the finer points of fishing, including everything from how to spot a fish to changing one's tactics to match the seasonal behavior of one's prey.
At the dine-in movie theater Star Cinema Grill, concession stands are obsolete. By pressing a button, customers signal a server and are able to order restaurant-style without disrupting their viewing experience or screaming at an usher for a lobster bib. From angus sliders to ice-cream floats, Star Cinema Grill's menu appeases all ages with its gourmet-pub cuisine served amidst the glow of screenings and first-run film releases.
Members of Sail Ventures take turns cruising in a fleet of new or late-model Catalina and Beneteau sailboats. The system, known as fractional yachting, teams up members who share their luxury vessels on a monthly basis. A rigorous training program ensures sailors are seaworthy, and the club picks up maintenance, slip fees, and other costs. Sail Ventures also hosts special membership events throughout the year, such as regattas, boat christenings, and boat-show parties.
Taught by a certified Texas DPS concealed handgun instructor, CHL-Training.com's 10-hour class takes an interactive approach to covering the laws, shooting fundamentals, and safety tips necessary to carry a concealed weapon. Held at The Marksman Indoor Range, the class includes a classroom portion and a shooting session, during which students test their aim by firing 50 rounds of ammo at a B-27 target from a complimentary loaner 9mm semi-automatic handgun or their own gun. Pupils purchase those rounds from the range, where they also receive ear and eye protection and complementary refreshments. Upon completing the class, each student's required paperwork is notarized free of charge so it can be used to apply for a concealed handgun license.
Although the 24- to 28-member Houston Chamber Choir resists categorization, there may be one thing that defines the group: flexibility. Equally comfortable performing Bach's B minor mass with period instruments or singing along with Dave Brubeck and his quartet for an evening of choral jazz, it's no wonder Everett Evans of the Houston Chronicle dubbed the choir "one of the jewels of the city's cultural scene." And together they're a jewel that shares its sparkle with the world. The choir's concerts have spanned from the Palacio de Bellas Artes in Mexico City all the way to Wales while taking special care to promote the music of Texas composers.
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