WHAT IS IT ABOUT MARIJUANA that makes politicians hallucinate? The faintest whiff of “the weed of madness” (as government propaganda used to call it) causes them to see distorted images of things that aren’t there and never were: law and order, justice, reelection. But they don’t see the obvious. The war on drugs was lost years ago, and pretending otherwise only makes the problem worse.
Everything happened at once. Texans woke up to discover service stations running out of gasoline all over town. Highway travel was not the quick, easy bet it had been last year. At 55 miles an hour, motorists had the feeling that some giant hand had lifted Dallas and Houston and deposited them a good hundred miles farther apart.
"OH, YOU MUST COME. You simply must come," Becca Cason Thrash exclaimed. I had called her to see if I could get myself invited to the party she was throwing in April to benefit Houston's Stages Repertory Theatre. "We're calling the night 'A Celebration of American Fashion,'" she said, her voice as creamy as vichyssoise. "Anna Wintour [the editor in chief of Vogue] will be here, and some of the great American fashion designers are coming—Diane von Furstenberg, Mark Badgley and James Mischka, and Carmen Marc Valvo."
I assume the Secret Service agents will arrive first, checking out everyone in sight. But suddenly the door opens, and in she comes, all alone, dressed casually in an inexpensive gray dress with a matching cotton sweater, her sandy-blond hair held back with a rubber band.
“So is this okay? Mexican food?” asks Jenna Bush. “I figured it might make you feel more at home.”
Houston is the fourth-largest city in the United States. Of course, a city of this size offers a little bit of everything—professional sports, art, dining, shopping, clubs, theater, and more. Naturally, someone visiting Houston might need some direction from a person in the know (hey, I was born and raised there). Here's my take on fun things to do in H-town.
If there is one person who embodies Texas style, it is Lynn Wyatt. Tall and forever blond, glamorous without being pretentious, simultaneously sweet and shrewd, with arguably the most famous whiskey laugh in the world, she rose from a comfortable Houston childhood—her family started the Sakowitz specialty store chain—to become a global symbol of Texan hospitality and grace. In 1963 she married Oscar Wyatt, the infamous founder of Coastal Oil and Gas.
It was Saturday night in Dallas, and beneath the towering crystal chandeliers at the W hotel bar in Victory Park, personal concierge Gary Jackson was working three smartphones and two groups of clients on opposite sides of the city. Forty-four-year-old Jackson—known around town simply by his surname—gets you past the velvet rope.
Elvira Butz, a septuagenarian adventurer who has dived to the Titanic aboard a Russian submersible, trekked solo through the rainforests of Papua New Guinea, and searched for meteorites in Antarctica, spent the final minutes of December 21, 2012, the day the Mayans supposedly predicted the world would end, dancing to “Gangnam Style” at the base of a 30-foot replica of a Mayan pyramid built on the shore of Lake Austin.
One afternoon in early September, I pulled up to the gates of a nine-acre estate in North Dallas. I waited for them to open, then drove down a long, curving lane to a 15,254-square-foot mansion that looked like a country home for England’s royal family. I rang the doorbell, and a voice over the intercom said, “Please, come in.” But when I opened the door, there was no one to greet me.