The other day, after posting a piece about how people in Houston are wondering if the downtown core is even worth their time, aside from being a place to work, I picked up the latest edition of Texas Monthly. This issue had, as its focus, articles on 6 of the biggest, most important, cities in the state.
The 5 Houston articles are a varied lot:
John Nova Lomax claims that the original capital of Texas needs to be the future capital of Texas. He calls the 4th largest city in the United States “one of the strangest and most wonderful metropolises on earth”, and “weirder than Austin” which IS the capitol, and mentions the 17 sq. block theatre district, as well as the 19 museum district venues.
He writes about how “the traditional, the modern, the bizarre, and their collisions” are what make Houston weird, and mentions several other interesting areas of town as well.
Downtown is as good a place to start exploring all this weirdness as any, and if exploring it, above ground, on foot, or via bus, seems too intimidating there are always the Segway tours, or you could do like an ostrich, and stick not just your head, but your whole body underground, and explore the core via the tunnel system.
There is a nice visitor’s map that will help you explore the downtown in any of these ways.
The other articles give ample reason to explore other parts of the city:
William Broyles Jr. shares a lifetime of living in the Montrose neighborhood.
Eric Greider talks with Asian-American activist Glenda Joe, and shares another part of the long history of Houston.
Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni introduces the newcomer, and maybe even the longtime resident, to the uniqueness of a lengthy stretch of a street named Hillcroft, via a beautiful poem that evokes the sights, sounds, and smells of Mexican-American, Indian-American, and just plain ol’ American, enterprise and capitalism, at work, from beauty salons to markets, music stores, spice shops, and more.
All of this exploring has probably made you hungry, right? Well, Patricia Sharpe, shares interesting places to eat, past and present, so dig in!
After reading all these articles I realized just why the idea of living here appealed to me in the first place.
It’s all that bizarreness, strangeness and weirdness just waiting for me to explore it on foot, by bus, and by bike, camera, notepad, and pen, in hand. :-D
As the website Downtown Houston soothingly explains:
"Lots of people are intimidated by downtown, but it’s actually pretty easy to get around. With a little guidance (and a map or two), we promise that you soon will be an expert navigator of downtown streets.
Keep in mind, that all of downtown is WALKABLE! Park once and walk to mulitple destinations downtown."
***The 2 photos of wider Houston, and the one of part of the downtown, were taken, yesterday, afternoon, from the 60th floor Sky Lobby of the JPMorgan Chase Tower, the tallest composite building in the world, and tallest building in Texas.
NOTE: Is Downtown Houston Worth the Trip: Follow-up = http://tinyurl.com/aaahx2q
Articles referenced for this story:
Read the full articles:
1. This Is Texas: Why the capital should rightfully be Houston, not Austin by John Nova Lomax
2. Found in Translation: Activist Glenda Joe on the immigrant experience in Houston by Eric
Greider = http://www.texasmonthly.com/2013-02-01/feature23.php
3. On Hillcroft by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Log in to read more than the preview version:
1. My Montrose by William Broyles Jr.
2. Where to Eat Now by Patricia Sharpe
Resources for exploring the downtown core
1. Above & Below/Destination Downtown Map
2. Info on the 11 different downtown districts.
3. Other maps and resources for the area