Ever since I moved here, last September, I’ve been exploring Houston via maybe a dozen bus routes that have taken me where I need to go. I’ve visited the store at City Hall, and Park & Recreation HQ, picking up all sorts of maps and brochures, a couple of books, and the Rand McNally Houston Atlas, as well as read the Houston Chronicle, Houston Press, and Texas Monthly, all in an effort to inform myself about this sprawling metropolis so I could finally begin to get out to see more of it.
More recently I’ve followed folks on Twitter and pages on Facebook, and chatted, via e-mail, with my few Texas friends who blog. One such friend, encountered after moving here, is a dog blogger, and involved with a local rescue.
Sarah Ricca is a life-long Houstonian, of 65 yrs., and I decided to take her out to dinner, to meet her in person, and pick her brain a little bit.
It was an informative, amusing, and interesting 3 hours, and the first thing I learned is that she has never, not once, ever, ever, ever, set foot in a James Coney Island Diner, a city institution since 1923. I was astonished and amused, as were the employees. She laughed sheepishly, admitting she drives past them all the time, just never was hungry, apparently.
We ordered, found a table, and dug in when our food arrived. Living here all her life she can remember early city boundaries, how few buildings the historic hospital she was born in had when she was a kid, compared to the sprawling facility she works at today. She can remember how outlying cities that no longer have mass transit, once had it, she knows the historic areas of town, and admits that the city has grown so much there are parts of town she is not as familiar with as she once was.
Along with James Coney Island she has never visited the sky lobby on the 60th floor of the Citibank building to take in the view.
I asked her questions about things that interested me to get her thoughts, told her about myself, and my creative and other interests, and why I moved here.
I told her that, now that my bicycle is ready to rumble again, I was looking forward to getting out more and exploring the city, and even outlying areas that Metro might get me to. She suggested we get together one Saturday so she could drive me around and give me a tour of the city she grew up in and what she likes about it.
Sarah is a very nice lady, with a great sense of humor, who has no doubt forgot more about this city, in a lifetime of living here, than can be found in one of those “This is” guides to Houston.
Her blog is called Just us Dachsies – Mona, Weenie, & the Mommie, too.
The dogs are rescues adopted from Dachshund Rescue of Houston.
Sarah helps out with the above and All Texas Dachshund Rescue to help Dachsies all across the state find their own forever homes.