Sunday, October 31, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #6

Olivewood Cemetery

Incorporated in 1877 by Houston’s first African American alderman, Richard Brock, Olivewood Cemetery was the first know graveyard for blacks within the city limits. Tucked away at the end of a dead-end street, near a bend in White Oak Bayou it was the burial site for freed slaves before becoming the resting place for several early influential Houstonians. After being abandoned in the 1960s, it became overgrown with vegetation with only the taller monuments rising over the undergrowth.

If that’s not scary enough, the ghost of Mary White is said to appear and hover over her tombstone, and neighbors report shadowy movements after dark.

In 2003, the non-profit group Descendants of Olivewood was formed with the intent of restoring the site and protecting its historical significance, and to date has cleared 2 of the cemetery’s 8 acres.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #5

Donnellan Crypt

Very few Houstonians realize that as they commute over the Franklin Avenue Bridge at Louisiana St. they are actually passing over the former resting place for several members of a prominent early Houston family.

Dating back to 1849, the Donnellan Family crypt is still visible to those who choose to venture the banks of Buffalo Bayou. While the bodies have been removed and re-interred in Glenwood Cemetery, the red brick outer wall and boarded up entry remain to not only give us a glimpse of the past, but how quickly things can be forgotten as a city quickly grows.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #4

Plus… it’s Beer & Burgers Friday, so I got creative.

I first mentioned La Carafe HERE, and it’s no surprise that Houston’s oldest bar in its oldest commercial building is said to be haunted. Just the dimly lit décor itself makes it easy to believe.
Sounds of children playing on the second floor are fueled by the tales of children killed during one of the building’s fires, and shadowy images seen in the upstairs window are said to be that of Carl, a former bartender.

Some women patrons say they feel an icy hand on their shoulder as they descend the very narrow staircase in the back of the building. Perhaps that gives credence to the story of a New Orleans woman who casually pushed her competition down those very same stairs.

Attempts to “cleanse” the old brick building of its spectral guests have had no effect.

Seems the ghosts like La Carafe just as much as I do.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #3

Nothing gets me in the Halloween mood like a few severed doll heads.

This little collection is brought to you by Texas Art Asylum (isn’t this a GREAT name?), an eclectic shop of forgotten treasures available to the creative to be artistically re-used as they see fit.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #2

Once upon a dark and stormy night in the Heights area of Houston, a rather large tree sustained wind damage. Pretty scary so far, hunh?

Fortunately (for the homeowner), this isn’t really a haunted tree… just a very unique way with dealing with the aftermath of a storm.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Creepy, Scary Halloween Post #1

The Old Jefferson Davis Hospital

Built in 1924 and abandoned in 1938, this structure has been known as one of the most haunted places in America. The building was erected atop the neglected 1840 Houston City Cemetery, which contained among the remains, Yellow Fever victims and Civil War soldiers. After it was deemed insufficient to suit the city’s medical needs, it served to house other services, including a juvenile detention center and then a psychiatric hospital.

For almost 20 years it stood empty, which led to a ghost hunters paradise with tales of shadowy figures, floating orbs and sounds of shuffling footsteps.

If my picture doesn’t capture this description, it is because in 2005 the building was refurbished and marketed as artist’s lofts.

I wonder how scary the prices are?

Monday, October 25, 2010

Light Spikes

“Light Spikes” is the creation of local artist Jay Baker and can be seen upon entering the George Bush Intercontinental Airport. Originally created for the 1990 Economic Summit of Industrial Nations, these 24-foot tall columns were never meant to be a permanent exhibit.

Twenty years later, they are still here and have become one of the more recognizable pieces in the area.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Beer and Burgers Friday

This is part of the Ring of Honor inside the The Flying Saucer Draft Emporium in downtown. Participants that taste 200 different beers get their names immortalized on a “saucer” and are displayed for all to see.

With well over 250 beers from all over the globe, they are bound to have something for everyone’s taste.

One of these days you’ll see my name on that wall!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I seeeee you

Election Day is just around the corner. One of the items on the local ballot is Proposition 3, which proposes to instill a ban on Red Light Cameras.

I won’t get into my views or the pros and cons of the proposition, but here is quick image of the focal point of the issue.

Remember to smile next time you run a red light.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Big Bubble...

This… water feature? Piece of public art? is the brainchild of artist Dean Ruck. Part of the Sesquicentennial Park development along Buffalo Bayou, it is an interactive work that highlights the importance of aerating our waterway and also reminds us that the bayou is a central part of the park.

There is a large unmarked red button along the Preston Avenue Bridge that tempts passersby.

What is it? Shall I push it?

Upon doing so, it activates a hidden compressor system and releases a large air bubble below the water’s surface. As the bubble rushes to the top, pedestrians along the promenade are surprised by the stirring of the water and its unmistakably loud BLURP.

You now have been officially warned.

This Public Service Announcement was brought to you by Houston Daily Photo

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

We have a problem...

Simply titled "Houston", this 50 ft. high steel sculpture by Mac Whitney stands in Stude Park, and is quite visible as one departs downtown Houston on westbound Interstate 10.

What's the problem?

To me, it looks like a large swordfish, and I can not "see" what it has to do with Houston at all.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Not... a U.F.O

Adorning the major intersections throughout the Uptown area on the west side of town are these ultra-modern street signs.

Hovering over the intersection, they are quite an interesting twist on the usual way of marking streets.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Saturday, October 16, 2010

This Old House

DiverseWorks is a non-profit group that brings the area new visual, performing, and literary art. This builidng used to be an eye-sore, but now it's a bright pop landmark also functioning as temporary housing for travelling artists and the group's archive.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Amen... It's Friday!!

IMG_9242, originally uploaded by lc_db.

I need to come up with a cool theme for Friday's postings.

Until I do this will have to suffice. It's from the Beer Can House that I posted about a week or so back.

I wonder... beer might be a good Friday theme... or maybe burgers.

Beer? Burgers? I might be on to something!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Name That Tune

These clever little bike racks are located on the backside of the Wortham Center, which just so happens to be the home of the Houston Grand Opera and Ballet.

Cue Queen's "Bicycle Race" in... 3... 2... 1...

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Wortham Fountains

These water features are located within Tranquility Park in downtown. In fact, you can catch a glimpse of City Hall in the background.

Opened in 1979 and dedicated on the tenth anniversary of the lunar landing, these towering stainless steel cylinders were meant to resemble the Apollo mission's rocket boosters.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Beer Can Sculpture

Ok... so they aren't ALL beer cans, but this folk art sculpture of Our Lady of Guadalupe is constructed solely of aluminum cans and can be seen in front of the Dow School in the Sixth Ward area of town.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Kelvin Arms

In keeping with yesterday's theme, I give you the Vault Room at Kelvin Arms. A pub located in the Rice Village area, it occupies a former bank building complete with its huge steel vault. A proper pub (in my eyes) with a decent array of beers on tap and an incredible selection of scotch. I always enjoy a place with character and this place does not disappoint.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Oldest Bar in Houston

Today is the kick-off for Houston Beer Week, and what better way to celebrate than with a post of what is considered to be the oldest bar in Houston.

La Carafe is located on the historic Market Square area of downtown Houston. While it is distputed whether it really is the oldest bar, there is no arguing that the building that houses this gem IS the oldest standing commercial building still in use, dating back to 1847. Originally the Kennedy Bakery, some of its first patrons were Civil War soldiers.

Small, creaky, dark and full of history, its an excellent spot for a quick beer or glass of wine. A true classic.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Bayou City Arts Festival

IMG_9825, originally uploaded by lc_db.

This weekend, the downtown area including the City Hall Refecting Pool and Tranquility Park will be transformed into what is considered to be one of the top ten Art Festivals in the country. The Bayou City Arts Festival combines over 300 artists from all around the U.S. showcasing their wares with all sorts of live performances and epicurean delights. A true feast for all the senses.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Fins to the Left... Fins to the Right

IMG_9805, originally uploaded by lc_db.

This flash from the past is a completely restored 1958 Cadillac Sedan DeVille that is on display in the Art Car Museum in The Heights area of Houston.

Technically... it's not really an "Art Car", but really...

Art is in the eye of the beholder.

or something like that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

The Lombard Lamp

IMG_9688, originally uploaded by lc_db.

Right... Just one.

This fixture was donated to the people of Houston by the City of Hamburg, Germany. Similar to the ones that grace the Lombard Bridge, this one sits in the Melvalene & Carl Cohen Plaza located in the Heights area of town.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Jamail Plaza Fountain

IMG_8834, originally uploaded by lc_db.

This dramatic fountain is located on the Rice University campus in the plaza between the James A. Baker Institute for Public Policy and the Jones Graduate School of Business.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Autumn Colors...

IMG_9300, originally uploaded by lc_db.


Not really.

Houston is notorious for NOT having the seasons of spring or autumn, most years seemingly going straight to winter from summer.

This past week, the temperatures FINALLY dropped below the nineties and the weather has been spectacular. This faux tree is actually calling attention to a complex of condominiums on Fannin St. near the Medical Center, but will be the closest we get to seeing the leaves change color.

Monday, October 4, 2010

The Hanging Tree

A little bit of old west still lives in the shadow of today's downtown skyscrapers.

Legend has it, that this over 400 year old oak tree was the site of at least eleven hangings during the years of the Republic of Texas, and is also reported to be the oldest tree in Harris County.

Hang 'em high...

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Minute Maid Park

Major League Baseball ends today and with it, Minute Maid Park will close till next season. No more hot dogs... no more peanuts... no more Cracker Jacks.

With its retractable roof open, you get a glimpse of the train that runs after each Astro home run.

Opening Day 2011 will be here before you know it.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Heights Theater

IMG_9095, originally uploaded by lc_db.

Built in 1929, the Heights Theater was an independent neighborhood theater until it was sold in the late 1950’s. It is now an event hall and on evenings that it is booked, it comes to life, giving us a glimpse of its former glory.

Friday, October 1, 2010

October Theme Day – Graffiti

IMG_9680, originally uploaded by lc_db.

One person’s graffiti is another person’s street art. I’ve already touched on my views HERE. Houston is fortunate to have several outstanding urban graffiti artists.

Sooooo... be on the lookout as you drive about town… You might be surprised at what you might find.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants