From top left: Ben Koush, Elaine Turner, Claire Smith, Hello Kitty, Robert Glasper, Rebekah DiMartino, Jacob Bocanegra, Anis Shivani

What better way to fight off the winter doldrums than with a lively bunch of party animals? Folks like Houston Mod’s Ben Koush, who can’t help reminding us of his disdain for Studio Red’s renovation plans for the Alley Theatre, especially its fly loft, which he colorfully called “a grain silo” in the Chron. Three of our favorite women, Elaine Turner, Claire Smith, and Hello Kitty, are sure to keep things light by giving us the latest on—respectively—the designer’s lovely new shop at BLVD Place, the restaurateur’s new Montrose coffee bar, Woodbar, and EVA Air, whose jets begin nonstop service between Houston and Taipei this summer (on planes plastered with Hello Kitty imagery from nose to tail). Native Houstonian turned Brooklynite Robert Glasper will no doubt be all atwitter over his two Grammy nominations (the awards air Feb. 8). But the jazz pianist, famed though he may be, has nothing on Rebekah DiMartino, a local girl who lost a leg as a result of injuries sustained in the Boston Marathon bombings and has behind-the-scenes stories about the December finale of Say Yes to the Dress. And what’s a party without a little controversy or, in lieu of that, a crotchety Twitter aficionado like Jacob Bocanegra, who complained recently that “Houstonia magazine is exactly what I thought it would be, a less intelligent version of Texas Monthly. And Ads. Lot and lots of ads...The first 7 pages of every Houstonia magazine ARE ADS FRONT AND BACK!” Never ones to engage with a jake, we decline to tell him that the most recent issue of TM was 63 percent ads, versus 39 percent at our own dear publication. Still in search of comic relief, however, we can’t resist inviting Anis Shivani, who penned the much-shared “How Oligarchs Destroyed a Major American City”—as in, Houston. Okay, we’ll admit that economic prosperity has put a dent in our beloved Bayou City bohemianism, but Shivani lost us when he went all sturm und drang over the 2013 shuttering of fast-casual eatery Taco Milagro. Cheer up, Shiv. The new fast-casual eatery that has taken its place is quite good.

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