Our My Top 5 series showcases Houstonians who are creating the city’s culture and community and asks them to share their own local favorites. This week we’re delighted to feature Natalie Lin, violinist, educator, and arts entrepreneur, and founder of Kinetic, Houston’s premier conductorless chamber ensemble. You can catch Kinetic’s upcoming performance of American Spaces, which journeys from the German Baroque to 20th Century America, when they perform at MATCH in Midtown on Sunday, February 3, 2019, at 6pm.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Natalie Lin
- Midtown Arts & Theater Center Houston (MATCH) – MATCH is one of the best things to have happened to our city in the last few years. It’s a vibrant hub for arts, culture, and live performance right in the heart of Midtown, and has a way more casual and inviting vibe than the older, more traditional Downtown performing arts venues. You can catch Kinetic performing at MATCH several times a year —as well as various dance companies, theater companies and more, in its four performance spaces.
- Inversion Coffee House – As a freelancer, I spend a lot of time working in coffee shops, and Inversion is my new favorite spot. It’s well lit, has a variety of workspaces to choose from, the espresso is fantastic, and —best of all— they have Morningstar donuts.
- Glassell School of Art – It’s so hard to pick just one spot in the Museum District, but the new Glassell building is a really fun place to hang out on a sunny day. The biggest draw is that you can walk from the ground level up to the roof via a terrace, and enjoy some nice views of the neighborhood at the top. It’s also right next to the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Sculpture Garden —which is also great for walking and wandering. Next time I have friends visiting from out of town, I’m definitely taking them here.
- Columbia Tap Hike-and-Bike Trail – Houston isn’t necessarily known for its walkability, but the Columbia Tap Trail, which runs through EaDo, the East End, and historic Third Ward, is one of my favorite urban places to walk and feel the history of our city. Beginning near BBVA Compass Stadium, you’ll pass historic warehouses, walk alongside the MetroRail, and hear horns of railway trains going by.
- The James Turrell Skyspace at Live Oak Friends Meeting House – I’ll always have a special spot for this place, not least because it’s where my fiancé proposed. Although James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany Skyspace at Rice University tends to get a lot more attention, for me, the intimacy and modesty of the Quaker Meeting House, tucked away in the quiet Shady Acres neighborhood, makes this Turrell Skyspace a real Houston gem. You can expect a meditative experience during the light show —which is open to the public every Friday before sunset and lasts about 35 minutes.
About Natalie Lin
New Zealand-born violinist, educator, and arts entrepreneur, Natalie Lin, is the founder of Kinetic, Houston’s premier conductorless chamber ensemble. Comprised of 16 diverse and passionate string musicians, as Kinetic’s Artistic Director, Natalie has commissioned and premiered numerous new works for composers of our time, as well as curated four complete concert seasons for the ensemble. An avid chamber musician, Natalie has toured throughout New Zealand in concerts presented by Chamber Music New Zealand and in the UK with the Scottish Ensemble. She has appeared numerous times as guest artist with NZTrio and collaborated in performance with Paul Kantor, Jon Kimura Parker, Kyung Sun Lee, and Brian Connelly. You can catch Kinetic’s upcoming performance of American Spaces, which journeys from the German Baroque to twentieth-century America, when they perform at MATCH in Midtown on Sunday, February 3, 2019, at 6pm.