The explosion of downtown drinking establishments provides crowds with more choices than ever for the forays into the central city: disco, rock, retro, high-dollar, lowbrow, jazz, freak/geek/sleek and so on. And that makes the other option -- none of the above -- that much more valuable for visitors and regulars alike. Market Square Bar & Grill serves as a needed rest stop of sorts for any ultimate destination downtown. The place is centrally located. It a well-stocked bar and pours a good drink at a reasonable price. And there's no one type of crowd -- everybody can shed the social airs and just feel comfortable awhile, before the rest of the barhopping or mate-hunting resumes for the evening. Best of all, this bar offers quality grill fare -- top-notch burgers, tasty salads and more -- to stabilize stomachs for the drinking sessions ahead. And the back patio would make New Orleans proud as a fine retreat from the rigors of downtown hustling.
Bitterman's Market Square Bar & Grill
Photo by Houston Press Staff
The explosion of downtown drinking establishments provides crowds with more choices than ever for the forays into the central city: disco, rock, retro, high-dollar, lowbrow, jazz, freak/geek/sleek and so on. And that makes the other option -- none of the above -- that much more valuable for visitors and regulars alike. Market Square Bar & Grill serves as a needed rest stop of sorts for any ultimate destination downtown. The place is centrally located. It a well-stocked bar and pours a good drink at a reasonable price. And there's no one type of crowd -- everybody can shed the social airs and just feel comfortable awhile, before the rest of the barhopping or mate-hunting resumes for the evening. Best of all, this bar offers quality grill fare -- top-notch burgers, tasty salads and more -- to stabilize stomachs for the drinking sessions ahead. And the back patio would make New Orleans proud as a fine retreat from the rigors of downtown hustling.
Steven K. Barnett's exquisite set built into the wide-open space at Atomic Cafe for Infernal Bridegroom's production of Maria Irene Fornes's The Danube was most charming for all its stunning detail. Painterly and delicate, the minimalist creation started with a stage Barnett built in the middle of the playing space from rough-hewn planks, framed at the corners with brown towering four-by-fours. Across the back wall hung a drop that looked like a wall-sized postcard from the Hungarian countryside where the strange avant-garde play takes place. Each time the scene changed, a wall-sized card was removed, revealing the one beneath it, as lovely and fantastical as the one before. These dreamscapes stood in stark relief to all the terrifying strangeness happening in the scenes. Poignant and beautiful, Barnett's carefully wrought set was simply magical.

Steven K. Barnett's exquisite set built into the wide-open space at Atomic Cafe for Infernal Bridegroom's production of Maria Irene Fornes's The Danube was most charming for all its stunning detail. Painterly and delicate, the minimalist creation started with a stage Barnett built in the middle of the playing space from rough-hewn planks, framed at the corners with brown towering four-by-fours. Across the back wall hung a drop that looked like a wall-sized postcard from the Hungarian countryside where the strange avant-garde play takes place. Each time the scene changed, a wall-sized card was removed, revealing the one beneath it, as lovely and fantastical as the one before. These dreamscapes stood in stark relief to all the terrifying strangeness happening in the scenes. Poignant and beautiful, Barnett's carefully wrought set was simply magical.

Lilting accordion swirls over rhythmic dance steps echoing through the auditorium. The dancers are not professionals, just community members of different ages polishing some basic "folkloric" steps. For 24 years, Talento Bilingue de Houston has fostered and showcased the cultural wealth readily mined in Houston's East End and beyond. The center recently featured an exhibit of the area's mural art. Shot by photographer Richard Sanchez, the photos highlighted the astounding array of this popular form, which graces walls along Navigation, Maxwell and other local streets. Talento began in 1977 as a theater program and has since branched out to include mariachi music, video and film production, dancing and a summer art camp for children. The center frequently teams up with institutions like the Houston Symphony for special events.

Talento Bilingue De Houston
Lilting accordion swirls over rhythmic dance steps echoing through the auditorium. The dancers are not professionals, just community members of different ages polishing some basic "folkloric" steps. For 24 years, Talento Bilingue de Houston has fostered and showcased the cultural wealth readily mined in Houston's East End and beyond. The center recently featured an exhibit of the area's mural art. Shot by photographer Richard Sanchez, the photos highlighted the astounding array of this popular form, which graces walls along Navigation, Maxwell and other local streets. Talento began in 1977 as a theater program and has since branched out to include mariachi music, video and film production, dancing and a summer art camp for children. The center frequently teams up with institutions like the Houston Symphony for special events.

Tony Diaz read science fiction until, at the age of 20, he discovered there were authors out there who had similar experiences and backgrounds. Despite a growing Hispanic population, he found he was one of the few Latinos in the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, in a city bereft of outlets for Latino voices. Tired of having his book rejected because "Latinos don't read," he started a little reading series on the fourth Wednesday of every month with the humble goal of giving Latinos their say. Three short years later, he showed that not only do Latinos read, they also write, act, direct and do sketch comedy. He's got his own Tuesday-night radio show, a public access television show, and hosted the New York Times Speaker Series "Latino Voices," all of which has helped make Houston a national center for the boom in Latino literature. New York is just beginning to try to catch up.

Tony Diaz read science fiction until, at the age of 20, he discovered there were authors out there who had similar experiences and backgrounds. Despite a growing Hispanic population, he found he was one of the few Latinos in the University of Houston Creative Writing Program, in a city bereft of outlets for Latino voices. Tired of having his book rejected because "Latinos don't read," he started a little reading series on the fourth Wednesday of every month with the humble goal of giving Latinos their say. Three short years later, he showed that not only do Latinos read, they also write, act, direct and do sketch comedy. He's got his own Tuesday-night radio show, a public access television show, and hosted the New York Times Speaker Series "Latino Voices," all of which has helped make Houston a national center for the boom in Latino literature. New York is just beginning to try to catch up.

Reading series come and go, but ever since Robert Clark rescued a dying gathering of beatniks at the Sand Mountain coffee shop back in 1975, First Friday has been plugging along under his direction. The location may have changed over the past 25 years, but loyal scribes have followed Clark to every nook and hobbit hole. Past venues have included Bowles Auction company, Hard Thymes soup kitchen, KPFT studios (where the series was broadcast live), the Firehouse, DiverseWorks's old location, and even outside in the elements on the Orange Show grounds. But Clark has happily spent the last three years at the snug but word-friendly Inprint House, featuring one established poet the first Friday of every month, followed by an open reading.
Reading series come and go, but ever since Robert Clark rescued a dying gathering of beatniks at the Sand Mountain coffee shop back in 1975, First Friday has been plugging along under his direction. The location may have changed over the past 25 years, but loyal scribes have followed Clark to every nook and hobbit hole. Past venues have included Bowles Auction company, Hard Thymes soup kitchen, KPFT studios (where the series was broadcast live), the Firehouse, DiverseWorks's old location, and even outside in the elements on the Orange Show grounds. But Clark has happily spent the last three years at the snug but word-friendly Inprint House, featuring one established poet the first Friday of every month, followed by an open reading.

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