Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Texas Medical Center

The Texas Medical Center has been a focal part of the city for over 60 years. Simply, it is the largest medical center in the world with 49 medicine/health related institutions including 13 hospitals, 2 medical schools, and 4 nursing schools. It is the home of M.D. Anderson, the nation’s utmost center for cancer treatment and research and was also the home for the practices of Michael DeBakey and Denton Cooley, pioneers (and competitors) in the development of artificial heart transplants.

In recent years, expansion and construction has led to the development of its own skyline with several marquee structures easily recognized from afar. It has its own zip code and is fast becoming a city within a city.

While I hope I never have to use its facilities, I am still very grateful that it is here.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Happy Birthday!!!

Today marks the birthday of the City of Houston.

174 years ago toady Augustus and John Kirby Allen posted in the Texas Register an advert announcing the "Town of Houston". The rest, as we say, is history.

Houston Fire Department regulations prohibit the lighting of so many candles, so a cake was not in order. However, to honor his courage and foresight, here is the final resting place of John Kirby Allen. Located in Founders Cemetery on W. Dallas St. just a few miles from where he and his brother landed on Buffalo Bayou, he lies forever watching over the continued growth of his dreams and labors.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Your Guess Is As Good As Mine

This beastie takes up residence in front of some prime real estate on Kirby Dr., bringing attention (and hopefully patrons) to The Armadillo Palace, a provider of Texas food and music.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Rails To Trails

This is a recently opened 5-mile stretch of the MKT hike and bike trail that runs through the Heights area of Houston. Named after the Missouri-Kansas-Texas Railroad, it is part of the Rails-to-Trails Initiative that utilizes abandoned rail right of ways and converts them into bicycle and jogging trails. The Houston area has close to 15 miles of these converted trails.

Friday, August 27, 2010

It's All About the Angles - Part 3

The last installment of Michael Heizer's exciting triumvirate is his 180 Degrees.


Heizer is unique, in that, he categorizes his work as Land Art, which explains the size and mass.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

It's All About the Angles - Part 2

Today's installment is Michael Heizer's 90 Degrees. Weighing several tons, it is also located in the Engineering Quad of Rice University.

There is one more piece to this set. Any guess what angle is next?

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It's All About the Angles - Part 1

Made of the same granite as the campus buildings that surround this piece, Michael Heizer's 45 Degrees is located in the Engineering Quad of Rice University.

Check back tomorrow for more exciting information about his work.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Smells Like...

Texas Spirit (with apologies to Kurt Cobain)

Remember when I mentioned Texas Pride HERE? The owner of this building seems to have taken that sense of state pride to the extreme. Unfortunately, it didn't help, as this former furniture store went out of business, and this building is now vacant.

However... for travellers on Interstate 45 south of town, this building still reminds them exactly what state they are in!!

Monday, August 23, 2010

I Wanna Hold Your Hand...

Well… not really.

These larger than life renditions of The Fab Four reside near their creator, David Adickes’ SculptureWorx Studio just off the Washington corridor. Adickes has several works scattered throughout the city, but I’m not so sure you can honestly say scattered, as most of his pieces weigh several tons. John, Paul, George and Ringo tower to almost 40 feet in height and each weigh approximately 5 tons.

Unfortunately, they are still looking for a true home/owner.

Anyone interested?

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Chapel of St. Basil

At the end of the Academic Mall on the campus of the University of St. Thomas sits the architecturally contrasting Chapel of St. Basil. Very geometric in form, the tent-like flap visible to the right of the chapel is actually the entrance to the building.

I’ve always found this building in the Neartown area to be one of Houston’s more interesting structures.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Friday, August 20, 2010

What was Sam pointing at?

In yesterday’s post, the statute of Sam Houston is pointing in the direction towards the site of the battlefield that won Texas its independence from Mexico. The San Jacinto Monument is the centerpiece to the Battleground Historic Site, and is the world’s tallest monumental column (exceeding the Washington Monument by 3.5 meters).

Feel free to insert any “things are bigger in Texas” joke here.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sam Houston

This bronze sculpture of the city’s namesake is located in Hermann Park. Atop his horse the former President of the Republic of Texas is pointing towards one of his famous accomplishments, the sight of the battlefield at San Jacinto.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Wheels of the Bus...

Next week at this time, these nice, clean buses will be hitting the streets as classes in the Houston Independent School District will start and they will be filled with orderly students eager to end their summer vacations and hit the books.


Did I really just type that?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

City Hall

Built in 1939, Houston’s City Hall is almost a museum unto itself. Seemingly undersized as it is dwarfed on three sides by much larger buildings, it still stands out. Constructed of Texas limestone and adorned with numerous friezes, it is simple yet elegant. The main entrance and leading steps are framed by the reflecting pool in Martha Hermann Square.

…and here is where today’s tidbit comes in. George Hermann, who donated the land for the square, reportedly stipulated in his will that any person should be allowed to sleep in the park should they so choose. The City takes the stand that the will’s language is subject to debate, but the City Attorney advises against the challenge, not wanting to risk losing the park for violating the terms of Hermann’s will.

If it weren’t so hot, I might attempt a nap there during my lunch hour.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Mecom Fountain

Located at the northern most part of Hermann Park in a traffic circle that sees the intersection of Main St. , Montrose Blvd and Hermann Dr., the Mecom Fountain finds itself centered between the Museum District, the Texas Medical Center and Rice University .

While it is the backdrop for many formal photo opportunities, its Houston landmark status also sees it as a target for late night soap bubble antics.

This blogger does not condone or participate is such "clean" antics.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Reflective Images

Heritage Plaza, one of the landmark mainstays of Houston's skyline, provide the perfect backdrop for reflecting today's partly cloudy skies.

Saturday, August 14, 2010

The Sweeney Clock

Once the mainstay in front of downtown store fronts, as well as, a hitching post for horse drawn carriages, the Sweeney Clock has been keeping Houstonians on time since 1908. Restored and atop its base built from the original pavers of historic Navigation St., she now keeps time near Hobby Center in what is called the Sweeney Triangle.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Follow the red brick road...

The intersection of Andrews and Wilson streets in Houston's Fourth Ward is one of the few examples left of brick paved streets. What make this even more interesting are the signs of the trolley tracks that have long been removed.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Antici….. pation

The River Oaks Theater is the only theater left from Houston ’s golden era that still actually shows films. A few still exist, but in different capacities such as reception venues and bookstores. Built in 1939, the River Oaks survived the growth of the mega-plex and still gives Houstonians a place to possibly catch a late night… double feature… picture show.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Are you ready for some...

(American) football?

The professionals are already scrimmaging and city wide both college and high school teams have begun their practices. This goal post is located in Rice Stadium located on the campus of Rice University, whose Marching Owl Band get as much press as their football squad.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Houston Police Officer's Memorial

With the skyline of downtown Houston as its backdrop, the Houston Police Officer’s Memorial honors the sacrifices police officers make on a daily basis for the City of Houston, as well as, those slain in the line of duty. Erected in 1990, the stepped pyramid hewed of Texas pink granite is guarded 24 hours a day by an on-duty officer.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Anywhere But Here...

Street art by 2:12

There will always exist the classic debate between street art and vandalism. Say what you will about street/urban artists, but in my not so humble opinion they bring color to hueless walls and attention to otherwise neglected parts of the city. It’s a shame that works as this will be categorized with other acts of public vandalism, shortening their life spans when they are removed or covered by civic task forces.

Oh... and pencil me in for the 3:00 departure, please.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

All Diamond

Sculptor James Surls’ exhibit Magnificent Seven: Houston Celebrates Surls is displayed throughout the campus grounds at Rice University . Here is his All Diamonds which from this angle, compliments nicely the profile of the Methodist hospital in the Medical Center .

Saturday, August 7, 2010

White Linen Night

Tonight is White Linen Night in the Heights which is self billed as a sultry, steamy exotic and artfully provocative evening of championing art, culture and community. The Heights, the earliest planned community in Houston, is located just three miles northwest of downtown with a very eclectic mix of residents partnered in a “small town in a big city” setting. Plus… it’s where I’ve chosen to live, so I have that going for me… which is nice.

Borrowing the idea from New Orleans’ Art District, White Linen Night expects to draw close to 30,000 people to sample some of the best entertainment, boutiques, art galleries, restaurants and eclectic bars in Houston.

Friday, August 6, 2010

Please Don’t Eat the Daisies

The City of Houston Department of Public Works joined hands with Houston Beautiful and Urban Harvest to bring downtown its own little container garden series. Outside the Bob Lanier Public Works building, each floor has created its own little Eden to share with passers-by.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Republic of Texas Citizen

I’ll admit it… there is a certain stereotype (among several) that people from Texas seem to exude more state pride than other states.

Maybe… just maybe that stems from the fact that Texas was once its own country.

Regardless of the reason or the perception, this metal marker adorns several gravesite markers throughout Glenwood Cemetery, and honors the fact that they once were actual citizens of the Republic of Texas. In fact, Anson Jones, the last president of the Republic of Texas, is buried in Glenwood.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Love Jack, baby...

(with apologies to the B-52’s)

This piece of public art can be seen near the Menil Collection near its parking area. As far as an artist or name? You’ll have to accept my apologies as I have been foiled in my attempts to find any information about it.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Houston Skyline

Part of the Houston skyline as seen from Buffalo Bayou Waterfront park.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Summer in Houston

...or rather Houston Ave. at Summer St.

Quite fitting actually, as we are presently experiencing some of the highest temperatures and heat indices of the year.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Welcome to Houston

…and so the adventure begins.

Welcome to my attempt to bring you Houston, Texas as seen through my eyes.

Becoming fascinated with the City Daily Photo community several years ago while living in London, I decided that upon my return “home” I would channel my efforts to represent Houston. I may not have the most conventional view, but I can guarantee it will be different.

I hope you enjoy it as much as I do assembling it.

What better place to begin, than an image from what is occasionally described as Houston's "Plymouth Rock", Allen's Landing. The spot on Buffalo Bayou where the Allen brothers stepped onshore and started their community is now undergoing major revitalization with hopes to rejuvenate an area that suffered through many years of neglect and deterioration.