THE PREMIER ISSUE of Houston CityBook was the most talked-about publication of the year, and we were honored to throw a buzzy party to match! Executive Publisher Lisa Holthouse and her husband, Michael, opened up their Memorial manse for the cocktail soiree, coordinated by the Sullivan Group. Guests entered the property via a winding, candlelit driveway, grabbing champagne out of an airstream trailer, decked out in the magazine logo by Air Space Creative. Bubbly in hand, partygoers continued back to the sprawling backyard, outfitted with sleek lounge furniture by BeDesign. Swift + Co.'s spread included tender lamb lollipops, which paired nicely with Yellow Rose cocktails and tunes by Unique Style Productions' DJ Cesar Gil. But the most showstopping moment occurred when musician William Close played his “Earth harp," an instrument with strings that reached from the roof all the way down to the ground.
Growing with great mentors, such as Travis Torrence, Global Litigation Bankruptcy & Credit Team Lead at Shell, has enabled me to have more confidence in myself, foster meaningful relationships in the community, and sharpen my business acumen. He recruited me to my original firm, Fulbright, and has stuck with me on my journey. He has helped me keep in touch with former colleagues, contacts and friends, which has helped me translate those connections into working opportunities. We both mutually support each other.
And… let’s not forget hard work.
Whom do you credit? Mentors, business partners, my friends. I have a really close group of girlfriends who are in town. Women support women. We always lift each other up, provide contacts, share war stories, and encourage each other.
Also Judge Patricia Kerrigan, Texas State Judge of the Year, provided a lot of insight to me at a young stage in my career. She always encouraged me to stay the course and would continually affirm my natural skills in trial and in the courtroom.
What lessons have you learned that might enlighten and inspire others? Don’t listen to the haters! No one can tell you that you can’t do something. Where there is a will, there is a way; if you really want something, go for it! Don’t let people make you afraid of taking the next step.
Relationships are really everything! Making the effort, staying in touch with former clients, colleagues, introductions, connections are always valuable. Even if they don’t lead to business, you need network support in this industry. Even if that person can’t give you work, they can introduce you to someone who can, write a letter of recommendation, or just provide you with guidance or additional resources.
What’s new in your life or work that you’re excited about? Opening the Houston office of Michelman & Robinson is a huge honor, it is such an amazing opportunity. I have a vision; I am one of those people. You are always vested better in yourself. It’s not a risk because I have the support, and I am happy to charge the new generation of leaders as a “shaleinnelial.”
IF YOU DON’T have a view of the many fireworks displays around town on July 4, these spots are celebrating Independence Day with dinner, brunch, live music, deals, drinks and a seat to Houston’s spectacularly lit-up sky show.
After grabbing a nosh downstairs from the sprawling food market — try Lea Jane’s fried chicken, Soy Pinoy or Andes Café — celebrate the Fourth with the Houston Brass Band on the largest rooftop park in America. The POST's five-acre Skylawn is the ideal location to view the Downtown fireworks display and experience live patriotic music.
Score prime views of Downtown from the third-level deck at this sprawling new patio bar to celebrate Independence Day starting July 1. The weekend bash includes a pop-up rooftop bar, games and a red-white-and blue Independence Day Lemonade cocktail. On July 4, the top level will be open for the Downtown Freedom Over Texas fireworks spectacular.
Photo by Becca Wright
Grab a poppin’ to-go special and post up elsewhere to catch the show! Both locations of Max’s Wine Dive will feature fried-chicken buckets for $45, July 1-6. Included: homemade jalapeno-buttermilk-marinated fried chicken (gluten-free also available) and sides of Texas toast, mashed potatoes, and collard greens. Add a bottle of prosecco ($15) or G.H Mumm Brut Champagne ($45).
On the west side, CityCentre’s beloved fireworks celebration returns. Leading up to the big 10-minute fireworks show at 9:30pm, there will be live music from country-pop group The After Party. Parking will be $10 (cash only) in all four CityCentre parking garages, and the district’s restaurants will offer a variety of to-go menu options for snacking and sipping under the stars.
Photo by Kirsten Gilliam
Expect the regular dinner menu on July 4, plus a Texas Wagyu hot dog special served with giant steak frites. After dinner, catch a view of Houston’s Freedom Over Texas fireworks from the parking lot — hot diggity dog!
Head north for a family-friendly entertainment spectacular on the Fourth. The Woodlands’ display will be one of the largest firework shows in the region. Plenty of children's activities and concessions will be spread out throughout Waterway Park, Hughes Landing and beyond. Live music begins at 6pm and the fireworks starts around 9:30pm.
Accessible with a $20 ticket, this third-floor rooftop has prime views of Downtown’s Freedom Over Texas show. Pub food (awesome pizzas!), beers and frozens will be available to purchase a la carte.
B.B. Lemon's Bloody Mary (photo by Jenn Duncan)
Rise and shine Monday, July 4,for a patriotic brunch featuring tunes courtesy of DJ Mohawk Steve. Guests can also choose dinner service (3-9PM) coupled with a great view of the Downtown firework display from the B&B Butchers parking lot across the street. It’s better than a drive-in movie!
…But speaking of movies, are you in search of a different kind of show? Meet in the beer garden on July 4 for a free screening of the classic The Sandlot — all ages welcome! Umbrella Fellas with be grilling burgers and hot dogs all evening, and Axelrad’s bar will be open.
Photo by Becca Wright
Head for the water in San Leon for Pier 6's Fourth of July bash (11am-9pm). It’s a family-friendly seaside celebration with nostalgic snacks — including a popcorn machine and cotton candy! — plus live music, face-painting, Lady Liberty on stilts and a local fire truck making daytime rounds through the marina, waving American flags.
Experience one of Houston’s highest open-air bars, perched on the 23rd floor of this hotel with sweeping city views and a view of the Freedom Over Texas fireworks display. Outdoor dining is available, and the bar will be open until 10pm on the Fourth.
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“IT LANDED RIGHT in it,” says Houston artist and scientist Suzette Mouchaty.
She’s talking about her show, Reckless Meditations, which opens this weekend at G Spot Gallery, just days after the Supreme Court announced its decision to overturn Roe v. Wade.
“I think we saw it coming,” says the artist, who also holds a Ph.D. in genetics, of the reversal. Her reproductive-system-themed sculptures and drawings were created during the summer months of 2020, when she says she observed condemnable motives arising from some quarters. “Those issues really became urgent during the pandemic, when folks who want to reclaim some bygone era, [during which] things were very different for women and ethnic and racial minorities, saw an opening, while the rest of us were trying to survive Covid.”
Mouchaty herself suffered “deep stress” during the pandemic, and, despite having taken all the prescribed precautions, become seriously ill with Covid-19. The trauma of those months of quarantine can be felt throughout Reckless Meditations — though there is also a sense of empowerment and plenty of dark humor throughout Mouchaty's art.
A series of untitled 24-by-18-inch drawings, each done with Prisma colored pencils, transform an illustration of the female reproductive system into a kaleidoscopic explosion of wild and psychedelic patterns, looking more like something you’d see in Heavy Metal than Harvard Medicine magazine. “It’s also a power symbol,” says Mouchaty of the image. Also included among her Reckless Meditations is a gaggle of steel, vaginal speculums, poised like a flock of birds with open beaks, and ignoring the saggy presence of an X-chromosome, a hand-stitched soft sculpture made from curtain fabric and stuffing from an old comforter.
Although she pursued art during high school, she stopped when she got to college, where she studied science; she got a Ph.D. in genetics from Lund University in Sweden and now teaches science classes at UH Downtown. But years later, the need to create art returned, and Mouchaty completed an MFA in 2018 at UH in interdisciplinary practices and emerging forms. In conversation, Mouchaty is quick to laugh, and exudes all the wonder and enthusiasm you would expect from someone who views the world both as an artist and a scientist.
And despite her feeling that world has gone off its rocker, the meditative process of making art provides her with a profound sense of calm. “When I’m making art, my preferred mode is to be operating in a way where my conscious thinking is pushed aside,” says Mouchaty. “It’s also a spectacularly fascinating to step back and go, ‘Oh, my God. That’s what I made?’”