Friday, December 31, 2010

Good Eats

With my New Year resolution to try and eat better, places like Dot’s Coffee House should be off limits. Sadly… Dot’s 70’s diner theme and huge portions don’t factor into a healthy diet. Unless there’s a new Steaks, Shakes and Pancakes Diet.

I’d try it… wouldn’t you?

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The All Seeing Eye...

This un-named (as far as I can find) piece of public art hangs on one of the older exposed walls of a building that is on Market Square. It really catches the light on a bright day and somewhat resembles the aperture of a camera’s lens.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

What Better Way To See In the New Year?

...than a hundred-dollar shine on a three-dollar pair of shoes?

This reminder of days gone by is still evident on the sidewalk of Main St. near where it intersects Preston. I’m glad re-developers of the area chose to preserve it (you can see the original cracked pavement surrounded by the new pavers) instead of letting this bit of our past slip away.

Now… where ARE my shoes?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Ghosts of New Year's Past

or maybe these are just Tequila Zombies??

Actually... they are an interesting tree border near Tila's Restaurante & Bar in the River Oaks area.

No sign of salt or limes.

Monday, December 27, 2010


One of the staples of a proper holiday party is proper “spirits”. Spec’s Liquor is a family owned and operated liquor business that has been in operation since 1962. While they have over 70 smaller locations that serve the southeast portion of Texas, it is their Warehouse Store on Smith St. that is their crown jewel.

80,000 square feet of items are available for your entertaining needs. Over 40,000 labels of wine, beer and spirits along with a full service deli make decision making a delightful chore.

This neon sign is their traditional store logo.

Friday, December 24, 2010

D-d-d-deja Vu

If this looks familiar, it might be because I was so intrigued by THIS, that I went back to the Highland Park Shopping Center at night. I was not disappointed.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Outdoor Skating

The Ice Rink at Discovery Green, shown here as the sun was going down and reflecting in the waters of Kinder Lake, gives people a place to experience "winter" even if it's STILL in the 70's here.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Nothing Says Christmas Like...

Hot Pink Christmas trees!!!

Usually, I'm more of a traditionalist, but this display of holiday spirit in front of Jenni's Noodle House (where it's all good in the noodlehood™) in the Heights had me humming non-traditional Christmas songs for the rest of the day.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What the Future Holds...

Yesterday we had a blast from the past of sorts, and now today we have one from the future.

Andy Mann's "Video Tree" has been an annual display in downtown Houston for ten years. This year it is presented overlooking the outdoor ice rink at Discovery Green. Stacked TVs show rapid fire video content displayed through multiple graphic effects.

A little different spin on the classic Christmas tree, but one that won't drop its needles later in the season.

Monday, December 20, 2010

A Vanishing Practice

With the advent of malls and the increased use of online shopping, the store front Christmas window displays seem to be a thing of the past.

Kudos to the downtown Macy’s, who saw fit to take five of their window displays and bring a lost art.

My lost childhood thanks you.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Holiday in the Park

The exhibit “Through the Eyes of a Child” is a series of 28 five-foot diameter internally illuminated spheres suspended in the live oak trees of Discovery Green. The “ornaments” showcase the work of student photographers working under the guidance of David Graeve and make for an interesting stroll through the park.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Christmas on Ice

The Galleria, shown here in a rare almost empty holiday state, has decked out their ice rink with an almost three story decorated Christmas Tree.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Pretty Paper... Pretty Ribbons of Red...

I k now, I know... the lyrics are "ribbons of blue". Sue me.

Not only does uptown's Highland Park Shopping Center provide the means for our holiday gift buying needs, they also wrap their stores.

How convenient.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

State Flag

December brings cold fronts and cold fronts bring brisk winds out of the north, which, in turn, make it a great day to be a flag.

Originally, the national flag of the Republic of Texas it became the official state flag when Texas became the 28th state of the union in 1845 and is the fourth of the “Six Flags” of Texas.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wreaths Across America

Every year, the organization Wreaths Across America raises funds and organizes volunteers in an attempt to place holiday wreaths on each of the burial sites at the Houston National Cemetery.

Not your usual Christmas image, but still a very moving one.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

All Lit Up...

These holiday lights adorn both sides of Post Oak Boulevard and provide seasonal spirit to the high volume of shoppers in the area. Providing additional lighting is the Williams Tower beacon, which might come in quite handy for guiding Santa into the area in a few short days.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Oh, Holiday Tree... Oh, Holiday Tree...

The seasonal colored flood lights bathe City Hall as it serves as the back drop for Mayor Annise Parker's Holiday Tree.

The official lighting was earlier in the month, but it still keeps downtown visitors in the holiday spirit.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

As Promised...

Here is an example of yesterday's children's version of the Gingerbread House Build-Off.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Gingerbread House Build-Off

In Market Square today was the Second Annual Gingerbread House Build-Off. Teams competed in several categories constructing their masterpieces using only edible materials and a desire to have fun with gingerbread in the park. Winners and other selected competitors will have their creations displayed for a week at the Architecture Center Houston.

Check back in tomorrow for a few of the entries in the Children’s Division.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Cotton Exchange Building

Back when cotton was king, this was the place to be. Dating back to 1885, the Cotton Exchange Building housed the Houston Cotton Exchange & Board of Trade. It was a hub for important business dealings that fueled Houston’s early economy, and housed the early effort to lobby the U.S. Congress for a deepwater channel to the Gulf of Mexico. Socially, it was the first home of the exclusive Houston Club.

Its Victorian Renaissance Revival architecture is a downtown historic treasure. So much so, it was one of the first Houston buildings to be included on the National Register of Historic Places.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Build It and They Will Come…

Or maybe not...
This abandoned building could very well be the headquarters for the next James Bond villain or maybe even a theater for cool 3D movies. Tucked away in the suburbs of west Houston is what was to be the Chong Hua Sheng Mu Holy Palace, the centerpiece for an 11-acre complex meant to bring spiritual rejuvenation to the followers of leader Kwai Fun Wong’s Tien Tao based religion.

In 1999, as the complex was being constructed, Kwai Fun Wong travelled home to Hong Kong. Upon her return, she was confronted with INS red tape and was eventually deported, leaving the sect without its local leader.

Highlighted by the 40 ft. diameter golden geodesic dome, the interior of this building was never completed. Although the grounds are still kept mowed, the building remains empty and securely gated, teasing the public and remaining one of the most unknown of Houston’s odd places.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I've GOT the Power!!!

I thought everyone might get a charge about this recent shocking revelation about my electrifying personality.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Brothers Really Grimm

This column, located in Market Square, is etched with the history of this historic city block. Overlooking this chronology are some very interesting characters with no known significance. Not really the classic gargoyles, these creepy “brothers” could very well be some sort of urban legend.

Victims of a concrete foundation accident gone horribly wrong??

Who knows…

Monday, December 6, 2010

A Lost Practice

There are still hundreds of old mosaic tiled street markers around town, but they are slowly disappearing as they become casulties to new street construction.

Don't get me wrong... I LIKE having the new streets. It's just a shame they can't save these subtle bits of the past.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Tis the Season...

The Galleria is not only the largest shopping mall in Houston, but also the biggest in Texas.

Over 375 stores give holiday shoppers every opportunity to find just the right gift.

I apologize for not having a photo of the inside... but I couldn't find a parking spot.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Colors Galore

This abstract piece, Monument au Fantome, was sculpted by French artist Jean DuBuffet. Originally located in a downtown plaza on Louisiana St., its new home is in Discovery Green across from the George R. Brown Convention Center.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Jesus Saves

Considered, perhaps, to be Houston’s most historic church, Antioch Missionary Baptist Church dates back to 1875, and is now almost surrounded by downtown skyscrapers. It was Houston’s first black church built for the newly emancipated slaves, providing them a place to worship and develop educationally.

It became somewhat famous, as television viewers worldwide saw its iconic “Jesus Saves” sign framed in front of the collapsing Enron Corporation’s headquarters (seen in this image)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

December Theme Day – Time

Taken at night in downtown Houston, I’ll give you ONE guess as to what street corner this illuminated clock face is located.

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