Super Bowl 2004 Parties

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Edit

Super Bowl 2004: It’s More Than Just A Game

Super Bowl 2004 More Than Just A Game

For the week before the big game, Houston’s hip, ultra-swanky M Bar, located at 402 Main Street, will become The Point After, the officially sanctioned and highly exclusive after-hours destination for Super Bowl superstars and other high rollers who want to see and be seen.

One of Houston’s reigning ‘it’ spots will bustle with sports icons, fashion divas, jet-setting corporate executives, high-profile media personalities and – you too, if you dare. The Super Bowl Host Committee is making a limited number of tickets available to Houstonians and corporate partners. Festivities kick off Tuesday night with a media VIP party for sports’ most popular reporters and commentators.

On Thursday, Super Bowl Champion St. Louis Rams’ Marshall Faulk hosts happy hour with hand-selected celebrities joining him the following day out on the course for the annual Marshall Faulk Golf Tournament, followed Thursday late-night, rumor has it, by a motion picture release party by a major movie studio. On Friday and Saturday nights, Baltimore Ravens lineman and Super Bowl Champion Tony Saragusa brings his annual Super Bowl party to this spot. This off-the-wall, 11-year NFL veteran is known in party circles as a party pied piper, attracting celebrities everywhere he goes. Expected partygoers include Brett Favre of the Green Bay Packers, Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino and a plethora of NFL players. Saragusa, who rumor has it is on break from filming the new season of HBO’s “The Sopranos,” is personally flying in more than 100 pals to party with him. A limited number of tickets will be made available to the public for $250 each.

The premier event at The Point After will be Sunday when San Diego Chargers Jay Wayman and Marcellus Wiley co-host the sixth annual Players Gala 2004, the official Super Bowl after-party of the NFL. The Players Gala was created six years ago when NFL players decided that they wanted, as Wayman puts it, to “party with a purpose – a place to kick it after the game and a way to give back at the same time.” This year’s gala features a red-carpet celebrity arrival and, rumor has it, will be hosted by superstar Eve and attended by none other than Houstonian-turned-interplanetary-megadiva Beyoncé. For the scoop, check out www.players or

Between official Super Bowl Host Committee festivities, M Bar stays hopping. On Friday early evening, San Diego talk-show personality Elaine Wood, host of the “Elaine! Show,” and Sequoia Productions host a celebrity fashion show and unveiling of the official coin for the coin toss. The red carpet rolls out at 5:30 p.m. for celebrity arrivals, and the models hit the runway shortly after. Part of the proceeds will benefit the Peresita Foundation for Women. Hip hop artist Nelly will also be in the house to feature his new clothing line, Apple Bottoms. Check out www.super or For info on everything going on at M Bar visit www.mon or call (713) 222-1022.

The official festivities are just the tip of the party iceberg. Midtown’s Red Star is tenting off its entire parking lot for the entire week, converting Red Star into a whopping 18,000-square-foot party pad. On Super Bowl Eve, Red Star will be an all-star athlete destination, with a party co-sponsored by former Green Bay Packer Santana Dotson and San Francisco 49er Terrell Owens. More than 30 athletes have already scooped up their tickets to this, including Los Angeles Lakers’ Shaquille O’Neil, Green Bay’s Donald Driver and Pittsburgh Steelers’ Hines Ward. Tickets are going for $150 to $250.

If watching the game is more your speed, Red Star, together with co-sponsor Coors Light, is having a game-watching event on Sunday for locals – out-of-towners are always welcome, but a ticket to get in will cost a holder of a driver’s license with a non-Houston address $50 compared to just $20 for locals. For complete information, click to

If “Invite Only” is your thing, Houston will deliver that, too. Expect to get into downtown’s Mercury Room and Boaka Bar by invitation only – both are hosting private parties virtually every night of Super Bowl week. On Thursday night, they are the scene of Upperdeck Trading Card Company’s private soiree, with anticipated guests such as Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan and Derek Jeter in attendance. On Friday night, ESPN Magazine and Miller Brewing Company are expecting 1,500 for a “who’s who” in the world of sports. Finally, on Super Bowl Eve, Radio One, 97.9 The Box and The Corral Group host The Red Carpet Star Walk, a music and motion picture industry event at Mercury Room. The $500 ticket includes an open bar, live entertainment, a lavish buffet catered by Zula and a silent auction with proceeds benefiting The Learning Planet. So far, Beyoncé and P. Diddy have RSVP-ed that they’ll be there. Mercury Room and Boaka Bar plan to roll out the red carpet for its celebrity guests, literally. A red carpet will stretch from Fannin to Prairie for celebrity arrivals, and seats in the bleachers lining the red carpet are available for sale to the public. For ticket information for this red carpet event, check out www.redcar For complete info on the events at Mercury and Boaka, check out

Just down the street at Zula, David Edward’s swankily-clad bistro, Super Bowl superstar Franco Harris hosts a private party for himself and a few hundred of his best pals. The next night at Zula, Sports Illustrated hosts a private party for sports celebrities certain to be rivaled only by the ESPN Magazine party just down the street. As of press time, rumors buzz about what’s in store for this hip eatery Saturday evening. For more scoop on Zula’s Super Bowl goings-on, check out If your invitation to Coors Brewing Company’s private party at Live on Main Street on Friday and Saturday nights gets lost in the mail, you can still check Live out for “Fox Sports Radio” broadcasting live each evening Monday through Thursday Super Bowl week and upscale hot spot Suede just up the street with tickets to the general public on Friday night for $50.

It’s not just for bunnies anymore! Playboy magazine and Houston’s own chef and caterer extraordinaire, Jackson Hicks, have teamed up to throw Playboy’s annual famous and fabulous Super Bowl bash. This lavish soiree will grace the Corinthian Ballroom occupying the first two levels of the magnificent neoclassical building at the corner of Main and Franklin downtown in the Franklin Lofts building. For more tantalizing information, call (713) 523-5780.

Certainly, what will prove to be the granddaddy shindig of them all is the Coors Light Super Bash, a 100,000-square-foot music festival that will start at 11 every morning and rock until 2 a.m. the next morning for five days in a row. Put together by David Edwards and George Ciotti of Big Night Ventures and Louis Messina of the Messina Group and cosponsored by Coors, the Coors Light Super Bash will occupy two full city blocks across Texas Avenue downtown, just a block away from the NFL Experience next to the George R. Brown Convention Center. Designed for locals who may not get invited to any of the city’s prestigious private parties or don’t want to plunk down serious bucks for a cover charge, Coors Light Super Bash is just $20. Main acts include Sammy Hagar, Jesse Dayton, Ezra Charles and Trick Pony. Rumor has it that Kid Rock and Rascal Flatts may also be headlining. To make it even more worthwhile, the event will donate a portion of the proceeds to the Downtown Entertainment District Association. The Super Bash is family friendly during the day until 6 p.m., after which only people 21 years and older are permitted inside. Get your ticket at Ticketmaster or at the door.

To help Houstonians and out-of-town fans take advantage of the big game festivities, Jeff Rosenberg of Tri Star Productions has created the TriStar Production’s Ultimate Game Weekend Playbook complete with big game tickets, celebrity golf at Houston Oaks Golf Club, a jam-packed celebrity party at Champps Americana, tickets to the NFL Experience and more. Would you like to be in the huddle at Champps Americana with Troy Aikman, Bo Jackson, Bart Starr and Roger Clemens, just to name a few? Check out all the action at

There are plenty more parties springing up everywhere, each one more embellished than the next. Rumor has it that Magic Johnson will have his famous two-night Super Bowl bash at a still-secret location downtown. So, football shmootball. It’s all about the parties! The real question this Super Bowl is not which team is going to win, but which party are you going to and what are you going to wear? ###

High Fashion Fabrics

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Edit

High Fashion

High Fashion Fabric Center

Houston Super Bowl

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Blogs, Edit, Hot Button / Lynn Ashby

Super Bowl Then and Now

by Lynn Ashby

Visitors to Houston for the Super Bowl will find an interesting city with T-bone steaks going for less than $2 a pound, new Impalas selling for $3,695 and 1.2 million citizens.

Oh, wait ? that’s not Super Bowl XXXVIII but rather Super Bowl VIII. Yes, it was 30 years ago, 1974, when Houston hosted its first, and up until now, only contest for championship in the National Football League. Anyone who visited Houston for that ’74 game and has not returned until now might notice certain differences in the host.

For example, the nation’s sixth largest city is now the nation’s fourth largest city. If our visitors from 1974 return this year, they may find a few more people around – some 567,631 more folks in the city and 1,518,589 more in the county. It is as though in the period from 1974 to 2004, every man, woman and child in Philadelphia had moved to Harris County. Visitors will find more residents in this county than in all of Oklahoma. Also, for some weird reason even Harris County’s area has grown by 4.61 square miles, which makes no sense whatsoever.

If the out-of-towners find gridlock, it’s because today, there are 1,798,532 more vehicles on our streets than there were in ’74, but we?ve only added another 154 miles of expressways and toll roads. Back in ’74, J.C. Penney was selling washers and dryers for $138 each. New Pontiacs could be purchased for between $2,995 and $3,695. A Chevy Impala was yours for $3,695. Turkeys were 63 cents a pound (today they sell for $1.29 a pound), fryers went for 39 cents (today, $1.29), a dozen eggs cost 59 cents (about $1.30 now) and six quart-bottles of Dr Pepper sold for one dollar ($8.94 today). T-bone steaks were going for $1.95 a pound (now, $11.49) and a can of shaving cream sold for 33 cents ($2.39 today). If you had just moved to Houston, and thousands did that year, two-story Perry Homes in Sagemeadows sold for $41,500. Houses in the Briar Forest-Dairy Ashford area, two-story, four bedrooms, were $52,000. On the other hand, truck drivers were being hired for $3.36 an hour, and administrative positions garnered $700 a month. McDonald’s was looking for store managers – the annual pay: $9,300.

Turn on KPRC-TV today for the evening news and you will no longer see Ron Stone as anchor, Doug Johnson giving the weather, and “here with sports is Bill Worrell.” Speaking of television, the hot programs today are “Friends” and every form of “CSI” imaginable. Thirty years ago, Houstonians were watching “Gunsmoke,” “The Mary Tyler Moore Show” and two families: “All in the Family” and “The Partridge Family.”

Today, the hot movies are “Master and Commander,” “Cat in the Hat” and anything with the word “Matrix” in it. Back then, “The Sting,” “The Exorcist” and “M*A*S*H” were bringing in the moviegoers. In ’74, Houston had eight city council members. Now, we have 14.

Since our last Super Bowl, Houston’s light rail system has increased by a bit more than 7 miles to a new total of a bit more than 7 miles. Hey, visitors, come back in another 30 years and we’ll be up to 14 or even 15 miles, and by then the ox carts will be air-conditioned. The Foley’s Thanksgiving Day Parade, Transco Tower and Houston Intercontinental Airport are gone, replaced by newer names. In 1974, HISD had 220,000 students enrolled in 232 schools. Today, the district has 210,000 students in 307 schools, and not one student has dropped out, but note that the district has 10,000 fewer students than it did 30 years ago, which explains why our school taxes keep rising.


Room Re-do

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Edit

S.W.A.T. Style

Recently, the Fox 26 Morning News intrigued Houstonians with their S.W.A.T. (Speed with Attitude and Taste) Style home makeovers. From Nov. 10-14, Fox 26 Morning News made over five Houston homes. Armed with $1,000 from both Lowes and Ikea, the support of SunTex Landscaping, the know-how and experience of Emmy award-winning lifestyle designer Gil D. Warrick and a newsroom of manual laborers, the S.W.A.T. Style team hit the streets and transformed Houston homes.

S.W.A.T. Style

continued from page 1

With a severe time crunch of four hours, the only continuous local morning news broadcast entertained as they rearranged. Five lucky families were given the chance to redecorate a room and landscape their front lawn with the haute help of the S.W.A.T. team. With a brisk morning wake-up at 5 a.m., Houston viewers were able to take part in local makeovers.

“Everybody likes to see the before and the after, and everybody likes to see the transformation; and we thought, rather than show them, here’s what you can do, we decided to do a contest and then give our viewers the opportunity to not only see it but be a participant, to have it happen in their home,” says Aprille Meek, special projects managing editor of Fox 26.

From forgotten kids’ rooms to kid-friendly funk and out-of-service office nooks to superbly structured space, more than 300 Houston homeowners vied for the chance to make their dream homes a reality. The bite was such a successful one, Fox plans to do it all again in February.

If you are interested in participating in the next Fox 26 S.W.A.T. Style home makeover segment, write 50 words or less on why you want to redo your room and take a picture of the room and the front of your house. Then send these materials to: S.W.A.T. Style, KRIV-TV, 4261 Southwest Freeway, Houston, TX 77027 or e-mail to



January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Blogs, Travel Blog

36 Hours in Memphis

Everything moves just a little slower in Memphis. From the ease of traffic to the ease of city dwellers, you’ll relax, unwind and find some unexpected treasures here. Although we only spent 36 hours here, each attraction really deserves more time. It’s a simple and easy hop out of George Bush’s Terminal B to Memphis. It feels as though, as soon as you get in the air, you are touching down, and you’re ready to experience a fun weekend getaway.

Day One 7:00 a.m. Get a room

Catch a flight to Memphis and check into the Peabody Hotel. This historic hotel opened to the public in 1925. It has been restored and is in pristine condition. Notice the photos on the wall that chronicle the old hotel in all its glory.

11:00 a.m. The Peabody ducks

When you checked into the hotel, did you notice the ducks frolicking in the fountain? Probably not. That’s because they don’t arrive until 11:00 a.m. At this time, they come down from their penthouse on the roof, waddle in on the red carpet and swim around the pond until later in the day, when they go home – not for the winter, just for the night. The story is that an old employee brought his hunting decoy ducks with him to work one day. They were such a big hit, they started a tradition.

11:30 a.m. Step back in time

The National Civil Rights Museum has been added to the Lorraine Motel, the site of the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. For a mere $10 you march along the civil rights movement right up to his assassination. The audio tour points out the highlights and makes sure you don’t miss anything critical to the story. A key point is a full-sized bus with a statue of Rosa Parks. The background music on the audio ads to the drama as you get to see King’s motel room and the view from the patio and sidewalk where he died. In a new $10 million expansion, the museum continues across the street to the boarding house where James Earl Ray stayed.

2:00 p.m. Who’s hungry?

Meander down to Beale Street for lunch. King’s Palace Café has great pulled-pork barbecue and a fabulous chicken salad. 5:00 p.m. Bid farewell to the ducks At 5:00 o’clock the red carpet rolls out, and the ducks march back up to the elevator on their way to the penthouse of the Peabody Hotel. It may sound childish, but it packs a crowd every day. You can also enjoy high tea with great pastries in this bustling, historic lobby.

9:30 p.m. Historic Beale Street

Known as the Home of the Blues, this street brings the best of Sixth Street in Austin and Bourbon Street in New Orleans together. They say that this city changed the way the world hears music. In fact, many of the hits performed by Elvis were originally heard on Beale Street. This pristine area is user-friendly and includes B.B. King’s Blues Club, Pat O’Brien’s and the Memphis Blues Museum.

Day Two

10:30 a.m. We’re going to Graceland

What can we say about Graceland that hasn’t already been said? It’s a must-see. It’s the reason to come to Memphis. In 1978, I insisted that my family drive out of our way just to see this historic landmark. Back then, you weren’t allowed inside the house, you only saw the grounds and the grave. Today, you can take a tour of the home and see how Elvis lived his final days. You’ll get a kick out of the shag carpeting on the ceiling in the jungle room. The trophy room is great for its historic stroll down memory lane. You also have the opportunity to tour his two planes, the Lisa Marie and the Hound Dog II, as well as view his car collection. You’ll also find many gift shops, all directly benefiting the Elvis Presley Foundation. Yes, all the money goes to Lisa Marie.

2:00 p.m. “That’s All Right Mama”

Sun Studio is the actual recording studio where Elvis got his start. This studio was also a second home to Carl Perkins, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis and Roy Orbison. When Elvis recorded “That’s All Right Mama,” the owner took an entire year to even notice Elvis. Then, when the studio was about to go under, they sold Elvis to a major label for $35,000. Hey, back then it was enough money to keep the studio afloat.
5:00 p.m. There’s a museum in these strings That’s right. At Gibson Guitar Memphis they make guitars. Big surprise, but it is a really informative tour where you can watch the process take place. Then, the treat begins. The Memphis Rock ‘n’ Soul Museum is located on the grounds and is a partnership with the Smithsonian Institution. It guides you through 100 years of blues, soul and rock’ n’ roll.
7:30 p.m. How about some great food and great music? “Eat, drink, boogie, repeat” is the slogan at the Rum Boogie Café. We tried the funky chicken salad, which is named after the dance created by Rufus Thomas. If you’re really hungry, go for the Southern feast: a full slab of ribs – only pork ribs per Memphis tradition – red beans and rice, gumbo, patriot fries and slaw. The ribs here are served with special spices wet or dry and are finger-lickin’ good. Stick around for some of the best live jazz and soul music around.

Day Three

10:00 a.m. Brunch at Paulette’s

If you’re a fan of John Grisham, you’ve surely heard of Paulette’s, his favorite restaurant in Memphis. We’re not sure if it’s famous because of Grisham or for their oven-fresh popovers. These light and fresh bread pastries are eaten with strawberry butter. Don’t miss the crepes with Louisiana shrimp, grilled brochette of chicken or the spinach soufflé. You’ll love the autographed page from “The Firm” hanging on the wall, and the pictures of France add to the charm and character of this historic restaurant.

11:30 Mud Island River Park

Mud Island is truly an island made out of mud. It appeared, then sunk, reappeared and now is protected by man-made engineering to make sure it doesn’t sink again. Here resides the museum that includes a replica of the Mississippi River from its origin in Cairo, Illinois to the Gulf of Mexico. This working replica of the river includes flowing water and historical markers throughout, and the changing landscape depicts the changing environment along the river. You’ll also learn how modern engineering tries to tame this ever-changing body of water. Along the way, you’ll also learn the history of the river, which is rich in Civil War, logging, engineering and travel. Wear your walking shoes; reading each historical marker can take hours.

3:30 Great Barbecue at Rendezvous

Stashed away in an alley and down a flight of old stairs is one of the city’s most famous and unusual eateries. Antiques and novelties cover every inch of wall and ceiling space, and the crusty waiters are actually reputed for being brusque. Even so, folks have clamored to the Rendezvous since 1948 to sample the most tender and delicious ribs anywhere. Charcoal-broiled and rubbed with a special seasoning mixture, these ribs take barbecue to a new level. By the time 5:30 rolls around, it’s time to head to the airport and back to Houston.

Makeover Houston

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Edit

Makeover Madness

by Jessica Rossman

If you don’t know what “jeuging” is, if you cant rattle off your hair products on command and if, heaven forbid, you have not even heard of the term “metrosexual,” then I hate to break it to you, but you need a makeover, my friend.

No worries, then, the dynamic trio in charge has come to save the day. Mario A. Romero, hair designer and owner of Avant Garde Spa Hair and Makeup Studio, is the coif master. Todd Ramos, fashionably (and all-around) fabulous local stylist and Couture boutique owner, is fashion commander, and Nordstrom’s Fadi Armanious is the lifestyle and culture man. These men have committed to root out bad hair, outdated ensembles and uninspired routines wherever they may be and make Houston prettier, better accessorized and more chic than before – we have the technology.

The H Texas Trio’s eye can zero in on when a makeover is due, and Casey DeShazo‘s was running overtime. Even DeShazo knew it was time for a makeover and had started on it on her own. A native Houstonian and single mom, she was in a rut. For eight years, DeShazo split her time between her daughter (“9 years old going on 17”) and her “crummy job.” She spent no time on herself, her health, her lifestyle or her looks, and it had taken its toll. Suddenly, she realized, “Excuse me! I am out of shape and sit all day in a 10 by 12 foot room with no windows.” This mom didn’t fool around – she quit her office job, enrolled in college courses and began a new job as manager at hip eatery, Blue Plate Bistro, on Post Oak. She even decided it was time to change her diet and exercise habits, as well. The result is several lost clothing sizes and a brand-new buzz about life. But there was something missing, and that something was the magic touch of the H Texas Trio.

Makeover Madness

DeShazo’s makeover begins with groundwork – DeShazo herself. She admits to spending less than approximately one second on her hair and makeup every day, a self-confessed “mascara-in-the-rearview-mirror kinda girl.” That’s just fine, according to Romero and his staff at Avant Garde Spa. At Avant Garde, DeShazo learns that looking hip and polished doesn’t mean waking up at the crack of dawn and heating up rollers every morning. Shortly after a smart mani/pedi with nail specialist Heather Pedregon and a invigorating facial by facialist Maria Muñoz, Casey is sporting a new cut and hair color by Romero himself. This new do is one that she can still “wake up and run her fingers through” but that will look good even at the end of a long shift at Blue Plate. After a tiny reprimand from makeup artist Lourdes Garcia for putting on mascara in a moving car, DeShazo learns how to apply minimal but fresh makeup that looks like her, just a little bit better. Her “just rolled outta bed look” is a thing of the past.

Next comes a whirlwind fashion tour under Ramos’ expert guidance. What did DeShazo need to shop for? Ramos’ answer’s short, “She needed everything.” DeShazo has lost so much weight and dropped so many sizes that her clothes simply didn’t fit her anymore. “She needs good, solid basics for her new and improved – and smaller – body,” counsels Ramos. ?She will need to learn to start dressing like a thinner person.” This lesson includes smart and casual denim pieces from Ralph Lauren and Tommy Hilfiger with low-heeled, pointy-toed boots from Foley’s at the Galleria.

Makeover Madness

Finally, it’s a lifestyle adjustment, Armanious-style. Even though DeShazo spends a lot of time at work and on her feet, quality of life, according to Armanious, is just something that cannot take a backseat. For DeShazo, the quality of life boost she needs involves learning how to combine effort with relaxation. Off to the park they go for a brisk run. Although tough to do when she works on her feet, DeShazo learns that no tough task should ever go unrewarded. For her lap around the park, DeShazo is rewarded with a rose-petal bubble bath and a glass of wine by candlelight. “It’s all about the reward,” says Armanious. “I’m not going to just make her run and then just send her home. That’s no fun at all. This is a lesson in learning how to start pampering herself so that she can get ready to go out there and meet someone she can be happy with.”

Coiffed, dressed, exercised and bubble-bathed in a flash, DeShazo has been “made over.”


Big Time

January 1, 2004 by  
Filed under Edit

Big Time

John O’Quinn

the video

This tall, awkward boy raised in West University Place never forgot what it felt like to be bullied. Little did he know then that many years later, as a plaintiff’s attorney, he would eventually crusade against the biggest bullies of our time. Big John O’Quinn does everything in a big way as he crusades against large corporations and big businesses. He is undeniably one of the leaders in law, not just in Houston but also in the country. If there is a major case to be had, you can bet O’Quinn has a hand in it.

He continues to win mammoth cases against oil, diet pill and breast implant companies, although his name is still synonymous with the first consumer win against the tobacco companies.

He is totally fascinated by law, a place where his titan memory found its niche. This master of rhetoric can easily recall quotes from the Bible, poetry and passages from depositions, which this legend uses to impress a jury.

His generosity from winning trials benefits numerous charities that hit a soft spot with him. He gave The Center for Abused Women $1 million over lunch with Director Ellen Cohen. The Children’s Assessment Center benefited from a $1 million matching grant that John offered when Ellen Cokinos softly twisted his arm.

When the University of Houston had a difficult time raising money to renovate the 1941 Robinson Stadium, O’Quinn said, “Build it. I’ll pay for it.” Six million dollars later, the new football field was christened O’Quinn Field. O’Quinn is a member of the UH System Board of Regents and a 1967 magna cum laude UH Law Center alumnus. His philanthropic heart pounds hard for education. He not only funded law study fellowships, but also contributes to the University of Houston and Monterrey Tech Education Exchange.

Just where does such a Houston icon spend his time out of the office?

Well, thinking big has never been a problem for O’Quinn. Not having lost a case in 17 years, it’s no wonder he indulges himself with a peaceful retreat with O’Quinn-sized rooms. He tore out hundreds of pages from Architectural Digest and other magazines for inspirational details when he designed his approximately 10,000-square-foot River Oaks mansion. He brought his dreams of a restful respite to life in this home.