Rocking at a funeral parlor, playing for pets & partying for France grab Houston headlines

CultureMap HoustonPosted July 15, 2011 in In The News

Jewelry-making, metalsmithing and ceramics in the middle of the funeral home bars scene? That’s what happened at the spanking new Roak on Upper Kirby Wednesday night when the Houston Center for Contemporary Craft crowd took over for a preview of the Martini Madness to be held at the center in September.

HCCC artists jewelry designer Kristi Rae Wilson, metalsmith Lisa Wilson and ceramicist Jessica Dupuis displayed their wares and demonstrated their designing talents while guests perused the intriguing surroundings of the sleek watering hole that features an interior courtyard with pool and cabanas.

Alton LaDay, Libbie Masterson and Judy Nyquist chair the Martini Madness bash that culminates the center’s 10th anniversary year. They were on hand Wednesday to welcome guests that included Jeff Shell, Miya Shay, HCCC executive director Julie Farr, Minnette and Peter Boesel, Diane Gendel, Susie Criner, Melanie Lawson, Roak owner Andy Aweida, Mickey Rosmarin, Matthew Wettegreen, Jonathon Glus and incoming HCCC board chair Paula Arnold.

For the record, we are told that the name Roak is derived from that ritzy neighborhood to the north of the chic new nightspot — River Oaks.

Martini Madness is one of the fall’s more entertaining soirées. The evening features fab martini glasses for everyone, bottomless martinis, taste treats, live music and a divine mid-century fashion theme for which just about everyone gets in the Mad Men mode.

Vive la France!

French Consul General Pierre Grandjouan and his wife, Kate, opened their River Oaks home Thursday night for the official Bastille Day celebration that included rounds of toasts to the French Republic and a special a capella presentation of La Marseillaise. Taking the lead on offering bon mots were Grandjouan and former City Councilman Peter Brown, who has a summer home in the South of France with his wife, Ann, member of the esteemed Schlumberger family. Brown spoke on behalf of Mayor Annise Parker.

Raising their glasses in the name of France were Lynn Wyatt, Hungarian Honorary Consul Phil Aronoff and wife Lynne, Nick Florescu and Dominique Sachse, Russian Consul General Nikolay Babich and wife Valentina, Karen and Byron Hood, Janine Iannarrelli, German Consul General Roland Herrmann, Drs. Susan and Dennis Carlyle, Geoff Connor, Janice Harrison and Mickey Henry, president of the Texas-French Alliance for the Arts.

A big bow wow

Houston Pet Set’s ninth annual “Fierce and Fabulous All-Star Soirée” might not be until September but fans turned out in animal-loving droves at Tootsies Wednesday night for a preview. Benefit chairs Shelby Kibodeaux and Bruce Padilla welcomed the summer crowd that sampled light bites from Jim Benton, sipped on SlimRitas and checked out Tootsies’ colorful racks of fab designer wear.

Making the scene were gala underwriter chair Elizabeth Allen, honorary chairs Brian Teichman and Andy Cordes, honoree Kristie Wade, Pet Set president Pam Radford, Dawn Scott, Evie Melcher, Magic Schwarz, Blake Barber, Lori Freese, Patti and Don Murphy, Jennifer Roosth, Tracy Hendrix and loads more. The coolest cat and most popular guest of the night was the people-friendly feline Snickers, who tagged along with his best friends Hershey Grace and John Moritz.

The Pet Set party is set for Sept. 10 at the Hilton Americas-Houston.