First in a series on cool stuff to see and do in Houston. Got a lead for me? Let a sistah know.

Make tea fair

I went to Té House of Tea on Sunday afternoon. I don’t know what it is about that place, but it’s perfection. Mm, and their veggie panini kills! It’s veggie heaven between two slices of focaccia, grilled hot to melty perfection. Can you tell it’s a favorite? The veggie panini is the only thing I must get every single time. The first time I had it, in fact, it was the first time I had ever been to Té at all, was after yoga class with my friend Tiphanie.

The teas at Té are phenomenal. Imagine any flavor: Lapsang Souchong, Mara Mieh, Oothu, Ceylon, Thai… their tea list is really impressive. I got Darjeeling the last time I was there because I got flustered and picked the first thing I recognized. But I do my best to get something new with every visit. And it’s true, I haven’t had Darjeeling from Té, so I’m in the clear.

And I can visit at least 70 more times without ever having the same thing twice.

Fair warning for people who don’t want an exercise in patience on a lazy Sunday afternoon: Don’t bother! Té is definitely going to make your sandwiches in their own good time. The tea? You will have to wait at least 5 minutes while it steeps on your table and yeah, okay, it might take half an hour for them to bring it out to you. But I promise, it’s not ‘cuz they’re rude intentionally. I believe that the owners and workers just go at a different pace than we do.

For me, when I sit down at Té with a book or a friend I want time to slow down. So, I expect my service to be what it is for one woman cooking in the kitchen and one college guy working the register to be… a little bit slower. I have nothing planned except to spend the next hour or two just soaking up atmosphere.

Who cares about fast, right? With credentials like these (best veggie panini, generous list of teas, zen setting) who needs to rush to leave?

Te

Té House of Tea
1927 Fairview St.
Houston, TX 77019

Pictures courtesy of The Eyrie.

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Radiohead In Rainbows

I quite literally have no money (I spent my last fiver this morning on a soy toffee latte from Diedrich Coffee). But that didn’t stop me from buying 3 albums from the record store on Sunday (and apparently, it also didn’t stop me from buying that soy latte this morning either, sigh!).

“In Rainbows” has been available for a few months now. You might have been able to pay/not pay and download it from the original In Rainbows site. I tried like mad, but it wouldn’t take my credit card. So, I was S.O.L. That’s okay. I’m still sort of old fashion. I like my music in tangible form, too.

Anywho! I love the latest installation from Radiohead. It’s been on repeat in my various players for the past 24 hours. It’s quite impressive and I got on to thinking about how they’ve evolved from their first record to this one. It’s MAJAH! The thing that stands out the most for me is how they’ve seemed to evolve with their audience.

Is that the only reason you should pick it up? Probably not. If you’re into ambient guitar riffs, strings and piano laid over a ‘pop’py bass line, then you’re probably into this.

If you’re unsure, check out the tracks:

Jigsaw Falling Into Place
15 Step
Bodysnatchers

What, that’s $3 on iTunes or something? You can’t be as broke as me, right?

This week in review

November 16, 2007

In case you missed it, this is what we posted this week in the blog:

PSH

Coming next week:

An un-sponsored holiday gift guide.
Who knows what else. Ooh, exciting! Stay tuned kids.

Movie geek: The Savages

November 14, 2007

The Savages movie poster

This movie probably had me at the movie poster. The poster was drawn up by Daniel Clowes himself, one of my favorite graphic novelists. Clowes is probably most known as the creator of the graphic novel/comic book Ghost World. Ghost World the comic book, of course, became a movie in 2001 starring Thora Birch and Scarlett Johansson. Clowes also wrote and helped produce the movie.

So, I remember watching the trailer for the movie ‘The Savages’ and thinking, “Finally… a holiday movie that doesn’t look like it follows the same old holiday movie formula.” Plus, is it just me or is Philip Seymour Hoffman getting to be semi hot…? …Wait. Did I just admit to having a crush on PSH? Sweet minty…

Anyway, ‘The Savages’ is for grown-ups with a sense of irony and enjoy dark humor. Although, for a black comedy, this movie looks to have a lot of laugh out loud moments. A word of warning, though, if you’re looking for a typical romantic/get back to the family comedy for the holiday season, this is probably not your bag. But if you’re like me and you’re tired of the same G.d. ‘Love, Actually’** type crap that comes out every year around this time, then get in line, sister!

A scene from the movie The Savages

I’ve only watched the trailer twice, so I’m no authority on the movie yet, but I will admit to tearing up and connecting to the movie when it gets to the part where PSH’s character and Laura Linney’s character are on the phone with each other discussing the options for their father’s care (after, what I’m guessing, to have been a stroke). I mean, there will come a time for most of us when we’ll have to figure out how to care for our parents once they’re no longer independent enough to take care of themselves. And I think I’d have the same reaction as Laura Linney’s character did of slamming the phone down on anyone who even thought about the words “nursing home” as an option for an ailing parent or loved one. It’s a tough decision and usually not one even brought up in any serious terms by a holiday movie.

I had another connection with the film at the end of the trailer where it shows the two of them snacking at the refreshments table at a dementia support group and they get called out by the female speaker. Because, isn’t that exactly why you just hover at the food table but never dive in until someone else does it first? I don’t want to look like a pig in front of all these strangers.

Click here to see the movie trailer for the movie ‘The Savages’. Limited release Nov. 28, nationwide Dec. 26. It is directed by Tamara Jenkins. I will be watching it in theaters as soon as it’s released in my neck of the woods.

**Well, I’m not going to lie totally. I did actually watch 20-30 minutes of the actual movie ‘Love, Actually’ and it wasn’t necessarily actually awful, but it wasn’t actually anything worth writing to my actual home about either.

Now hear this: Black Kids

November 13, 2007

Black Kids

Yep, I love them. And I love them because

1. Their songs are infectiously darling
2. There are black kids in the band the Black Kids

Those two points are running neck and neck for ultimate reasons why I like this new band. And they’re precious looking (I want to become instant bffs with the lot of them!).

KEXP’s blog offers a free mp3 of their single ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ as Song of the Day (mp3).

But what do they sound like? Think early The Shins given a healthy pinch of lo-fi power pop and female doo-wop backup singers (a wee bit reminiscent of their contemporaries The Go! Team).

Read the KEXP blog entry for the Black Kids ‘I’m Not Gonna Teach Your Boyfriend How To Dance With You’ song of the day. (Psst! I think KEXP might have just as much of a band crush on them as I have!)

Rapide Blanc graphic novel by Pascal Blanchet

I stopped at domy this evening to browse their selection of comic books when I found this amazing story book in the form of illustrations by Pascal Blanchet entitled ‘Rapide Blanc’. His drawings are seriously amazing works. I could rip out all these pages and paste them to my wall and have instant art. Each drawing leaves a lasting impression of the 1960s.

Rapide Blanc graphic novel by Pascal Blanchet Rapide Blanc graphic novel by Pascal Blanchet