Every week, our My Top 5 series highlights a Houstonian who shapes the culture of the city, and reveals what they like do in their down time. This week, we’re pleased to feature a special Downtown edition, showcasing the Downtown District‘s very own Angie Bertinot, who’s been shaping lifestyle and entertainment in the heart of Houston for more than a decade.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Angie Bertinot
- Market Square Park – This amazing little park has come to be the heartbeat of Downtown Houston’s Historic District. (I admit that I’m biased, since I’ve been working on the park since 2007.) My favorite event is Blanket Bingo—a surprise sleeper hit—and I love the live music because it feels like going to a small, intimate concert venue. Mark your calendar: Shinyribs is performing on Saturday, October 14, 2017!
- Historic Market Square Bars & Restaurants – Some of the spots that I love the most are The Honeymoon Café & Bar (Boomtown coffee is the best and they have the nicest folks behind the bar); Public Services Wine & Whisky (owners are fantastic, but the space itself—the beautiful historic Cotton Exchange Building—is the star); La Carafe and Warren’s Inn (both owned by Caroline Wengler, they are institutions); Local Foods (my new go-to spot, I’m obsessed with the crunchy chicken sandwich and their homemade kombucha on tap); Conservatory (H-Town’s first food hall, love the new wine bar that they’ve recently added. Sauvignon Blanc for $6? Yes, please!); and Treebeards (another institution, I’m a super fan of their link sausage, squash casserole, cornbread, and butter bars… not the most balanced lunch, but you only live once!).
- Buffalo Bayou – I live in The Heights, and one of the things my husband and I love most about the location is being so close to the bike trails along Buffalo Bayou. (A shout out to my great friends at Buffalo Bayou Partnership for the amazing work they did with the Sabine to Shepherd transformation.) I feel so lucky to have this amazing recreational asset in my backyard. While I’m on the bayou bandwagon, I would also recommend renting the Spirit of the Bayou pontoon boat for a private tour. Round up 20 of your friends, load up a cooler, get some snacks and cruise. Seeing Downtown from that vantage point is really spectacular.
- Art Markets – We have amazing local artisans here in Houston and I love supporting them at arts markets, especially during the holidays. Some of my favorite shows include Heartmade Art Market at Main Street Square (save the date for their first annual holiday show on Saturday, December 9, 2017), DesignCraft at Market Square Park on Saturday, December 2, 2017, Craftidote at Antidote Coffee on Saturday, December 2, 2017, and WHAM at Winter Street Studios from Friday, November 17 through Sunday, November 19, 2017.
- Ultimate Downtown Days – We’ve made up a term for those perfect days in Downtown where there is a ton of stuff going on. Take Saturday, August 19, 2017, for example: Get zen with a morning yoga class at Discovery Green or you can put your do-gooder hat on and volunteer to clean up the bayou with Buffalo Bayou Partnership. Hoof it over to Hermann Square at City Hall for the 2017 Houston Food Fest where you’ll find your fave food trucks plus live music all afternoon. And then finish out the evening by cheering on the Astros against the Athletics at Minute Maid Park or a free summer flick at Main Street Square… Ghostbusters.
About Angie Bertinot
For the past 12 years, Angie Bertinot has led the Downtown District’s marketing and retail efforts. In addition to developing quality materials such as Downtown Magazine and DowntownHouston.org, she has also spearheaded efforts to revitalize Historic Market Square including the redesign and ongoing management and programming of Market Square Park. Current projects are focused on building a shopping district at Main and Dallas, rolling out new branding and parking campaigns and working on Plan Downtown, a new vision framework that will shape Downtown’s future for the next 25 years. Angie is a University of Texas alumn and lives in The Heights with her husband Jerry and dog Frisco.