The Dunlavy’s chandelier-bedecked space and bayou views provide a recipe for instant urban-glam. But Jacqueline Soussan and Aaron Almquist enlisted Pomp & Circumstance to infuse the venue with a hint of rustic romance for their September 2017 nuptials. Bronze and gold accents shimmered in the glass-encased room and on the wood-clad deck, offset by bright white arrangements courtesy of Flora & Eventi. Other warm touches included gold-calligraphied table numbers, a kids zone, complete with crayons and a coloring sheet, and comfort-food bites like donut holes. With their adorable, tux-clad infant son by their side for much of the night, which took place just three weeks after Hurricane Harvey, the Almquists toasted to new beginnings.
AS A FOURTH-generation Houstonian, Sarah Callaway Sulma has a unique and invaluable view of the city. Her deep seated connection to Houston led her down the path to becoming one the city's most well-respected, and renowned real estate agents. Sarah's natural passion for the real estate industry from a young age led her to where she is today. "I know that it sounds cheesy, but it is the truth! I wanted to be in real estate from a young age," Sarah shares. "The late-great restaurateur, Tony Vallone, put me together with real estate legend, Martha Turner, and Martha put me together with Cathy Cagle. The rest is history-13 years of success and counting!" Now with over 13 years in real estate and $55M+ in residential real estate sales, Sarah brings a rare combination of knowledge, skill, and advocacy to each one of her clients.
But her drive to build and maintain relationships consistently continues to help her advance in her real estate career. “Clients are the greatest investments. I am invested in helping them sell their home and find their dream home, and continue to invest in the relationship far after the transaction. A majority of my clients have already entrusted me through multiple repeat transactions over my 13+ years of experience thus far. I foster those relationships because I intend for them to last a lifetime.”
ANYONE WHO HAS seen the cute trailer for the upcoming “Barbie” movie starring oh-so-Barbie Margot Robbie and Ryan Gosling as a platinum blonde Ken can’t resist being charmed. To celebrate the Barbie movie creatively directed by Greta Gerwig, hop on the pink train for these eats and drinks!
Badolina's Raspberry Rose (photo by Ralph Smith Studios)
Pick up a heavenly Raspberry Rose cake for your Barbie movie celebration, and choose from cloud, origami, heart, pearls, waves or a custom shape. It will steal the show!
Citizens' Wellness Latte (photo by Becca Smith)
Actress Margot Robbie is from Australia, so this new Australian café is all over the pink theme. Start with a pretty pink velvet latte, and then dig into its hot-pink Margot Robbie Barbie Bowl, brimming with orange, dragon fruit, pineapple, coconut, strawberries and bee pollen.
Crave's Barbie cupcake
CRAVE’S pinktastic Malibu Cupcake is taking center stage this summer. Soft yellow birthday cake is paved in buttery, sweet strawberry frosting and decorated with sprinkles. The limited-time flavor is on offer now in stores and online. Also on offer is a limited-edition Malibu Dream Chiller – an ice blended strawberry frosting drink topped with whipped cream and pink sprinkles. CRAVE will be hosting a social media giveaway for four tickets to an advanced screening of Barbie on July 19 at Regal Edwards Greenway. Follow along on social media (@cravecupcakeshtx) for more details.
The Beautiful smoothie (photo by Elizabeth Dondis)
With three Houston locations, you’ll surely find a Barbie fix. Slurp up the “Beautiful” hot pink smoothie made with seasonal berries, pineapple, banana, mango lime, mint, and cashew milk.
Ojo de Agua's dragon fruit marg
Get dolled up in your Barbie best before hitting the theaters and stop by Ojo de Agua in River Oaks District for the perfect accessory: a fuschia cocktail. Its dragon fruit margarita is a slushy concoction of rosé wine, dragon fruit and lime. Cheers!
Picnik's pitaya margarita
Come on Barbie, let’s go party! Montrose area Picnik is shaking up a Pitaya margarita starring dragon fruit, lime, honey and, of course, tequila.
The Barbie Girl at Slowpokes
Local coffee shop Slowpokes is launching two specialty drinks. Cool down with a Barbie Girl, which is a frosted pink berry lemonade with coconut milk. Or grab a pick-me-up Barbie World — iced vanilla berry latte topped with strawberry cold foam and pink sprinkles. Available at all four Slowpokes locations the week of the premiere, July 17-23.
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A HEAD-SPINNING mid-career survey of over 60 drawings and paintings by Houston artist El Franco Lee II delving deep into the musical culture and history of Houston is on view through Sept. 2 at the Houston Museum of African American Culture.
Curated by HMAAC’s chief curator Christopher Blay, the exhibit is an opportunity for those unfamiliar with El Franco’s work to experience first-hand the breadth of his talent and gain insight into an underground strata of the city’s culture, including the storied history and ongoing creative influence of the late Robert Earl Davis Jr., a.k.a. DJ Screw.
El Franco is also unflinching in his portrayal of racially motivated violence, as seen in his series of paintings depicting the horrifying 1988 dragging death of Jasper resident James Byrd, Jr. by a trio of avowed and unrepentant white supremacists. “With painting, you have to go 360 degrees into that 2D canvas to tell a visual story,” says El Franco. “So why not throw in the political and social side of things? Otherwise, it’s just going to be a portrait or a reproduced photo in paint.”
Born in 1979, El Franco grew up in the Kashmere Gardens area of the Fifth Ward and started drawing at age three, trying to create “something that looked like the human form.”
His father El Franco Lee served as a Texas State Representative from 1979 to 1985 and was the first African American elected to county commissioner in Harris County. From the very beginning, he fully supported his son’s first attempts to draw such subjects as Bert and Ernie, Voltron and He-Man. (El Franco II recalls throwing out a drawing in frustration, only to have his father fish it out of the trash to keep.) Another role important model for El Franco II was his father’s older brother, Robert E. Lee III, a Chicago-based activist for the Black Panther Party, who returned to Texas in 1970 to serve as a social worker in the former Harris County Hospital District.
A sports fan since he was young, the younger El Franco finds a great deal of visual inspiration in the anatomy and muscle tone of great athletes, as well as the contrasting colors of team uniforms. But he does view the world of professional sports with a critical eye. In El Franco’s painting “Clydesdale,” LeBron James stands with his back to the viewer, arms extended and head tilted back as if yelling to the heavens, as menagerie of pissed-off white basketball fans respond with threatening signs and extended middle fingers. Boxing legend Jack Johnson stands on James’ left, having just knocked out his opponent, while on the right, Michael Jordan looms over the familiar logos for McDonald’s and Gatorade. As figures both past and present often share the space within El Franco’s paintings, and nestled between Johnson and James is a young boy, perhaps a self-portrait as a pre-adolescent, simultaneously playing two video games, Grand Theft Auto and Call of Duty.
“To me, those are two pivotal games that changed the demeanor of society, and its desensitization to violence,” says the artist. Bringing it all home is yet another figure in this densely populated painting: a Black man with a noose around his neck. “There are a lot of innuendos from my point of view of Black athletes being used like work horses and discarded when they fail to perform,” says El Franco of “Clydesdale.” “But then again, that’s true in the entertainment industry and the art world. It cuts across all forms and aspects of entertainment.”
Meanwhile, “Da Black Al Capone” transforms a petty beef between Houston rapper Lil’ Flip and Atlanta-based artist T.I. into a modern day history painting. (There’s as much Jacques-Louis David as John T. Biggersin El Franco’s work.) Back in 2004, Lil’ Flip very publicly took issue with T.I.’s claim to be “The King of the South,” which prompted T.I. to roll into Cloverland in an ill-advised attempt to embarrass Lil’ Flip in his own neighborhood. Lil’ Flip’s friend and fellow Clover G recording artist Da Black Al Capone was there to greet T.I. with a solid connecting punch to the jaw. “Down here in Houston, we have several kings of the South,” says El Franco, whose friends in Cloverdale witnessed and provided him with details about the fight. “So for T.I. to call himself ‘King of the South’? That struck a nerve.”
The variety and sheer number of works on display by El Franco at HMAAC speaks to the richness of Southern life and culture, and all of its crazy, grim and beautiful contradictions, as painting after painting venerates individuals who might not otherwise appear on canvas in a museum. Looking ahead, El Franco says he plans to focus on the political and musical landscape of Houston in the 1980s and ’90s, with his father being a recurring subject. Before then, there is plenty but not an infinite amount of time for you to catch up with El Franco’s vision.
'DJ Screw in Heaven 2' by El Franco
'The Black Al Capone' by El Franco