This bar is located in the heart of River Oaks, and we're always leery of anyplace called a "saloon" that sits amid so much gentrification. But our doubts vanished the moment we saw the sign off San Felipe boasting a "large TV." Next, when the barmaid announced, "What can I get you, honey?" like an oral history of the South itself, we knew this place was genuine. The clientele isn't all River Oaks, either, but a mix of folks from all walks of Houston life who know a good thing when they drink in it. If you wanna play pool, though, you may have to wait; the Roll'N runs a bit short on tables (there's only one). But folks go there for the relaxed mood, the friendly staff and the great atmosphere. The drinks are pretty good, too.
Choreographer Jennifer Wood set out to be boring, and instead created her most provocative piece of the year. Go figure. Midway through Suchu's The Dirty Show, the dancers simply stood facing the audience for a full two minutes. Wood says she had to force herself not to throw in any of her signature energetic, explosive moves. But it's not as if nothing was going on: The intensity of the dancers' facial expressions, the properness of their curiously colonial costumes and the large mound of dirt in the middle of the stage all contributed to an eerie sense of anticipation. Finally, the dancers did what the audience was waiting for: They got their nice clothes dirty, sliding and rolling through the mound, scattering the dirt all over the stage. The storm was engaging, to say the least, but not nearly as much as the calm before it.

Choreographer Jennifer Wood set out to be boring, and instead created her most provocative piece of the year. Go figure. Midway through Suchu's The Dirty Show, the dancers simply stood facing the audience for a full two minutes. Wood says she had to force herself not to throw in any of her signature energetic, explosive moves. But it's not as if nothing was going on: The intensity of the dancers' facial expressions, the properness of their curiously colonial costumes and the large mound of dirt in the middle of the stage all contributed to an eerie sense of anticipation. Finally, the dancers did what the audience was waiting for: They got their nice clothes dirty, sliding and rolling through the mound, scattering the dirt all over the stage. The storm was engaging, to say the least, but not nearly as much as the calm before it.

Inman Gallery is nothing if not hip, so hip it's been included in New York's Amory Show, that commercial mecca of über-cool contemporary art, for the past two years. Inman focuses on emerging artists with an emphasis on Texan talent, and their openings are attended by a roll call of the Houston art world. If you're looking for Bill Davenport's quirky sculptures and paintings or Amy Blakemore's lushly skewed photographs, this is the place to hit. The gallery consistently presents high-caliber work and thoughtfully composed group shows. Next year will find Inman in a brand-new space. The 1925 brick home that has housed the gallery since 1990 will be demolished to make way for a new and improved venue. An expansive, high-ceilinged gallery space will replace the narrow converted living room that previously doubled as the central exhibition space, allowing Inman greater flexibility in the scale and number of works it shows. During the construction process, the gallery has temporarily relocated to Lawing Gallery's gorgeous downtown space while owner Doug Lawing is on sabbatical from his own schedule of cutting-edge exhibitions. The interim space on Travis is known as Inman@Lawing.

Inman Gallery
Inman Gallery is nothing if not hip, so hip it's been included in New York's Amory Show, that commercial mecca of über-cool contemporary art, for the past two years. Inman focuses on emerging artists with an emphasis on Texan talent, and their openings are attended by a roll call of the Houston art world. If you're looking for Bill Davenport's quirky sculptures and paintings or Amy Blakemore's lushly skewed photographs, this is the place to hit. The gallery consistently presents high-caliber work and thoughtfully composed group shows. Next year will find Inman in a brand-new space. The 1925 brick home that has housed the gallery since 1990 will be demolished to make way for a new and improved venue. An expansive, high-ceilinged gallery space will replace the narrow converted living room that previously doubled as the central exhibition space, allowing Inman greater flexibility in the scale and number of works it shows. During the construction process, the gallery has temporarily relocated to Lawing Gallery's gorgeous downtown space while owner Doug Lawing is on sabbatical from his own schedule of cutting-edge exhibitions. The interim space on Travis is known as Inman@Lawing.

What can you do with a flood-damaged bungalow? Mold remediation, schmold remediation. Turn some artists loose in it. Slumber House, organized by Poissant Gallery, transformed a decrepit, mildewed structure into an installation-art venue filled with work by ten artists. Jewel Baird Gleeson transformed the pink tile bathroom into the scene of a crime, or at least a mental breakdown, with clumps of hair littering the floor and towels stained with a toss-up between blood and hair color. Overhead, a woman's leg dangled out of an upper cabinet as she banged on the ceiling. In the living room -- a.k.a. Paul Horn's Haunted Room -- plastic skeletons dangled from the ceiling and a hole gaped in the floor, which was littered with indigenous and imported debris. Other rooms presented everything from a simulated office to a boxing ring filled with sheer punching bags. The overall effect was freewheeling, quirky and dank -- an art event ideally suited to the Bayou City.
What can you do with a flood-damaged bungalow? Mold remediation, schmold remediation. Turn some artists loose in it. Slumber House, organized by Poissant Gallery, transformed a decrepit, mildewed structure into an installation-art venue filled with work by ten artists. Jewel Baird Gleeson transformed the pink tile bathroom into the scene of a crime, or at least a mental breakdown, with clumps of hair littering the floor and towels stained with a toss-up between blood and hair color. Overhead, a woman's leg dangled out of an upper cabinet as she banged on the ceiling. In the living room -- a.k.a. Paul Horn's Haunted Room -- plastic skeletons dangled from the ceiling and a hole gaped in the floor, which was littered with indigenous and imported debris. Other rooms presented everything from a simulated office to a boxing ring filled with sheer punching bags. The overall effect was freewheeling, quirky and dank -- an art event ideally suited to the Bayou City.
Behind every great man there's a great woman, right? Well, forget the first part, and you've got the idea behind the fascinating lecture series that is Unique Lives & Experiences. This forum provides its audience with an intimate look at the personal tragedies and triumphs of its famous female speakers. This year's lineup consisted of Jerri Nielsen, the physician who diagnosed and directed the surgical removal of her own breast cancer while stationed at the South Pole; Mae Jemison, a Dartmouth professor and the first African-American woman in space (aboard Endeavour); Marie Osmond, child actress, country music star and mother of seven who survived a gripping bout of postpartum depression; Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, who shared intriguing tales of both the difficulties and benefits of being a woman in world politics; and exiled Chilean Isabel Allende, the best-selling author of The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune. Each lecture ends with a Q&A session, providing educational, entertaining interaction. So who needs men? Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

Behind every great man there's a great woman, right? Well, forget the first part, and you've got the idea behind the fascinating lecture series that is Unique Lives & Experiences. This forum provides its audience with an intimate look at the personal tragedies and triumphs of its famous female speakers. This year's lineup consisted of Jerri Nielsen, the physician who diagnosed and directed the surgical removal of her own breast cancer while stationed at the South Pole; Mae Jemison, a Dartmouth professor and the first African-American woman in space (aboard Endeavour); Marie Osmond, child actress, country music star and mother of seven who survived a gripping bout of postpartum depression; Madeleine Albright, former U.S. secretary of state, who shared intriguing tales of both the difficulties and benefits of being a woman in world politics; and exiled Chilean Isabel Allende, the best-selling author of The House of the Spirits and Daughter of Fortune. Each lecture ends with a Q&A session, providing educational, entertaining interaction. So who needs men? Sisters are doin' it for themselves.

It's Wednesday night and there's nothing to do? We like to spend the midweek drinking a glass of wine or sipping a cup of coffee at Agora. It's a dusky place with dark heavy furniture mixed with a few Greek artifacts here and there and hip magazines you won't find anyplace else. And where else can you get banana bread or baklava while you play a game of backgammon? And as the night wears on, out come the belly dancers. They shimmy and shake their stomachs wearing sequined I Dream of Jeannie costumes as smiling patrons stuff dollar bills into their belts. You can't see that at Starbucks.

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