Wednesday, November 14, 2012

we don't even have to try. it's always a good time.

Inheriting the friends and family of your boyfriend could either be one of the worst or one of the best things about dating. 
In the case of Walker, I got extremely lucky: they are seriously the most awesome people. Like, the type of people that just inherently make life better.

And inspired by Anthony Bourdain's talk this weekend (Who, it turns out, was forty-four when he was "discovered." Forty-four people! Never give up.) I thought I should get back to blogging by starting with our recent trip to Houston, Texas to visit some of these people.

I've never been to Houston.
I thought: traffic, sprawl, strip malls, NASA, oil & gas, humidity.
But since everyone keeps moving there; and with articles like this one in the Atlantic; and the fact that it topped the Forbes list of America's Coolest Cities; I've been pretty curious lately...

First was happy hour at Uchi. Which was sushi-that-melts-in-your-mouth AMAZING. I've wanted to eat there since Paul (who I was rooting for) won Top Chef.

Followed by fajitas for dinner at Ninfa's. Pictured below.

The next morning, after grabbing some incredibly good coffee at Catalina, we got our art fix at the Rothko Chapel and the Menil Collection.

The Rothko Chapel has been on my MUST DO BEFORE I DIE list ever since I had a spiritual awakening in a room full of Rothkos at the Tate Modern in London.
I just loved the idea that this place existed in Houston that was built around exactly what I had felt staring at those paintings an ocean away.
And though I'd be lying if I said I had another spiritual revelation, it was awesome: I wish I could dive right into the canvases.

At the Menil I loved de Chirico's Metaphysical Interior with Biscuits and the Cy Twombly gallery.

Then we had Indian brunch at Pondicheri.

Followed by a stop into Walker's sister's apartment to visit Ellen the bunny!

We were ostensibly watching the OU game, but when Walker gets together with longtime friends: Star Wars.

When in Houston in October, you must check out the Dia de los Muertos festivities:

Then on to The Orange Show. I feel this speaks for itself.

Visiting some awesome dogs at a laundromat + Champagne break:

Then a surreal field of Giant President Heads nestled behind a warehouse right by Super Target. I feel this also speaks for itself:

Topped off with dinner at Oxheart.
Our friend Mark scored reservations weeks in advance to this Bon Appetit-approved hot spot.
And oh my, the vegetables + wine pairings alone.

Plus, best bar of the night: Anvil.

...this post would not be possible without Ashton, Scott, Megan, Jay, Liz -- and Mark (pictured left), who let us stay in his beautiful new art-decorated home, drove us around, made an amazing to-do list for the weekend (i so meant to save and keep), and, in small part, because I stole a lot of his Instagram pictures.

My conclusion: I really love getting to explore great American cities. They are infinitely complex and interesting, and Houston maybe even more so for its lack of zoning laws. 

Commentary regarding the drive from OKC to Houston: Buc-ee's gas station emporium = hell.