Creative team TJ and Merlina Porter, both Clear Lake natives, joined forces with JeMarr Rivers to open a bar and lounge that offered an upscale, sophisticated nightlife scene. As of December 2011, JeMarr has trekked on as the sole owner while still maintaining the luxe atmosphere that draws crowds for nightly dancing and partying. An expansive interior paves the way for individuals or large parties, with a full reservation and VIP area for nights on the town or special occasions. The full bar slings beer, liquor, frequent specials, and 13 flavors of daiquiris, many of which are made with Everclear so that they can be used as a torch in the event of a power outage. During the week, live entertainment including jazz bands, standup comedy, and poetry readings fill the soundscape, and DJs spin tunes almost every night. Cultivating a truly carefree yet mature atmosphere, Daiqui-Ritas often hands out complimentary door prizes, which patrons can enjoy as they watch any of the lounge's five big screen TVs.
The jungle would be a safer place if the chin-high grass, towering trees, and wild animals were painted on the walls and everything three-dimensional was inflatable. This dream of a danger-free nature preserve comes to life at Jump N Jungle. Voted the Best Kids’ Party Place in the Bay Area Citizen Reader's Choice Awards, the jungle lets kids leap toward the rafters on inflatable jumpers, test the bounds of gravity on giant slides, and navigate an unending labyrinth of mazes and obstacle courses. Both locations play host to weekend birthday gatherings by supplying invitations, plates and plastic cutlery, as well as staff supervision in the party room and play areas. Additionally, its childcare services include an educational curriculum for toddlers and preschoolers, as well as before school and afterschool activities for older children.
The consortium of professional instructors at Fred Astaire Dance Studios, which was cofounded by the legendary toe tapper himself, shepherds students of all ages and skill levels through lessons that span the style spectrum. Low-pressure private sessions allow enthusiastic teachers to fine-tune individual students' techniques and form, using their expert eyes and mechanical dancing shoes preprogrammed to do the Charleston. Patrons can learn how to cavort through classic waltz and fox-trot romps or swivel through the modern steps of salsa, swing, or samba. For dancers hoping to hoof it up in a social setting, the group practice parties provide a one-night extravaganza of instruction, demonstrations, and amateur firewalking.
For more than 35 years, The Yoga Institute has been educating and enlivening its members through the exploratory practice of yoga. Classes help quiet the mind and loosen the body as students delve deeper into an eclectic blend of Vinyasa, Ashtanga-based, and Jivamukti-infused classes. Mix It Up classes take a different focus each week, including poses that use a wall and partner poses. Early-morning classes wake up the body with fluid movements, whereas advanced classes challenge students with rigorous inversions, arm balances, and backbends. Instructors pay special attention to proper alignment, offering adjustments to deepen a student’s physical practice and accompanying mental release.
Across nearly three-fourths of the United States, AMF Bowling Co. reverberates year-round as families, friends, and competitors send bowling balls in search of upright pins careening down slick lanes. The company first established itself as an industry leader in 1946, the same year the sport introduced automated pinspotters.
Today, more than 20 million bowlers annually make AMF their battleground for wars against pins. As the largest owner and and operator of bowling centers in the US, AMF locations offer high-tech scoring technology, a classic design, and a menu stocked with American-inspired classics such as wings, pizzas, burgers, and beer.
Over his 25-year career in snapshottery, Jimmy Loyd has accumulated an impressive list of skills as freelance photojournalist for the Houston Chronicle, portraitist, and studio owner. An early adapter to the digital-camera revolution, he can capture digital or analog family portraits, professional headshots, and in-the-moment sports images with ease. Loyd also employs his expertise in intermittently scheduled classes and photo tours, which might occur on-location at the Houston Zoo or, for more candid shots, out in the wilderness where animals don't have access to stylists.