With our My Top 5 series, we showcase Houstonians who are shaping the city’s culture, community, and even global contributions, asking them to share their own local favorite things to do in Houston. This week, in conjunction with Giving Tuesday on Tuesday, December 3, 2019, we’re delighted to feature Lauren Stanley-Alpert, founder of Therapists Beyond Borders. Her nonprofit is on a mission to propel the human right of potential by empowering communities that care for individuals with disabilities around the world.
Click here or scroll down to learn more about Therapists Beyond Borders and, if you’re able, consider donating to help the its programs that teach caregivers in impoverished communities around the world.
My Top 5 Things to Do in Houston
by Lauren Stanley-Alpert
- Ca phe sua da from Les Grival’s on Milam – Spoiler alert: my favorite thing about Houston is the food diversity. I fuel up with Vietnamese iced coffee here before hitting the ground hunting for funding to keep my nonprofit going. When I walk in to Les Grival’s, they know I need a coffee and will frequently let me skip the line. And there’s always a line, because this place rocks. A banh mi will only set you back $3. They open at 11am, are closed on Sundays, and it’s cash only for purchases under $5. So, you need cash for a coffee. But on Tuesdays, I have to stray from ol’ faithful and hit up Simply Pho, where you can get a bahn mi for $3.50 with a free coffee!
- Tacos from Tacos Tierra Caliente – This truck across from West Alabama Ice House – this is the only spot I’ve found in Houston that is spicy enough for me. Tacos are super cheap—$1.50 for corn—and super delicious. The red sauce is absolute fire (AKA bliss) and I literally take shots of the green sauce. Ask my friends… I drink it. I’ll take some taco with my sauce, please! They are cash only.
- Cocktails from Anvil Bar & Refuge – This is the standard of any cocktail bar I visit around the world. You could spend half hour reading their menu of 100+ cocktails, or get the Pliney’s Tonic, which I’m obsessed with because, surprise surprise, it’s spicy! Get there for happy hour from 4pm to 5pm Mondays though Friday for half-off drinks.
- Beer from True Anomaly Brewing Company – These former NASA employees spent 10 years perfecting their craft in a garage and have hit the big time now. The beer is delicious and always rotating with new flavors, and they always have fun events going on there. They produce different styles than most other breweries and are definitely standing out in the trending craft beer culture of Houston.
- Hermann Park – I love the Japanese Garden because it provides an escape from the chaos and stress of unfunded nonprofit life, and I can pretend I’m relaxing on vaca in another country. I also love going to the free shows at Miller Outdoor Theatre, which is walkable from my house, typically in tote with a picnic of either tacos from that glorious truck, or the awesome deli food from Central Market, along with a crowler of True Anomaly’s beer!
About Lauren Stanley-Alpert & Therapists Beyond Borders
Lauren is an occupational therapist and travel blogger turned entrepreneur/founder of a nonprofit organization, Therapists Beyond Borders (TBB). Having travelled to 46 countries, Lauren realized the significant need for an organization like this, which creates and provides therapeutic training programs to communities that care for individuals with disabilities around the world.
Her travel blog, @properjetiquette, helped propel this movement and has resulted in a large pool of skilled physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists eager to help implement TBB’s programs until they can be locally sustained by the partner communities they serve.
Their first two partner sites are community residences for children with disabilities in need of care in Nairobi, Kenya and Hyderabad, India. Having taken many exciting steps this year, including testing the pilot of their training model in October with their Kenya partner site, they are now working hard to secure the funding needed to fully develop their programs.
You can help make a difference this week now as part of Giving Tuesday 2019, which also falls on International Day of Persons with Disabilities, or any day by making a donation here. Lauren also invites ideas for other funding sources and she can be contacted directly at [email protected].