Monday, January 31, 2011

Swing Time

This workable through truss swing bridge crosses Buffalo Bayou and enables high load barge traffic to pass this railroad crossing. Shame I wasn’t there to see it in action.

I just really enjoy the older bridges.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Chevron Houston Marathon

This morning, over 22,000 runners from all 50 states and over 30 different countries participated in both the marathon and half marathon distances of this year’s Chevron Houston Marathon. Competing in unseasonably warm (65° F) temperatures compounded with high humidity and intermittent showers, they wound their way through several different areas of town, including my own neighbourhood.

Winner Bekana Daba from Ethiopia set a new marathon course record by finishing in 2:07:04.

Just how fast is that??

Pretty fast.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Houston Public Televison

Based in the LeRoy and Lucile Melcher Center for Public Broadcasting on the campus of the University of Houston, is the nation first public television station.

HoustonPBS, channel 8 has been broadcasting since 1953 and was one of the first members of the Public Broadcasting Service that still brings us Seaseme Street, NOVA and Masterpiece Theater. Other local firsts include the first Houston station to utilize closed captioning in its broadcasts.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Prometheus Unbound

Houston’s Texas Medical Center has been in the news lately as Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords begins rehabilitative therapy after being shot in the head in Tucson earlier this month. The start of her recovery will take place at TIRR (The Institute for Rehabilitation and Research), a premier rehabilitation hospital renowned for its treatment of traumatic brain injuries.

The statue “Prometheus Unbound” welcomes visitors to TIRR and inspires people that, “Man uses the tiniest strengths for the greatest purposes.”

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Sisters of Charity Park

Located on the grounds of St. Joseph’s Hospital, this respite gives patrons a place to seek solace.

Houston’s first general hospital was founded by three nuns from Lyons, France in 1887, and later in 1937, on this site the Sisters of Charity founded the area first maternity hospital.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011


D, too.

A quick capture of a cornerstone relief at the entrance of the Fondren Library on the campus of Rice University. Also notice the school’s owl mascot on the upper right.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Street Art

Urban Art, Street Art… whatever title you want to give it. Houston has some outstanding graffiti artists whose works are seen almost everywhere one looks, including several local galleries in town.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Pretty Little Boxes

Built in 1962, The Bob Casey Federal Courthouse is (in my mind) the epitome of government buildings. Located downtown on Rusk St. it is an almost perfect cube, as it seems to be as wide as it is long as it is high. All four sides are symmetrically aligned with perfectly square windows.

The only redeeming feature is that those perfectly square windows are nicely trimmed with a bright red frame.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

National Pie Day

Today is National Pie Day, and nothing makes a day better than free pie. To my surprise, to celebrate, a local pie eatery, The Pie in the Sky Pie Co. was giving away free pie.

I had Lemon Cream, thank you for asking.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Sad To See You Go

As detailed HERE, the Forbidden Gardens west of town will be closing. Here are a few captures of the actual detail of these recreations.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Delmar Field House

Nationally acclaimed Yates High School looks to defend its title at the Houston Independent School District Boys Basketball Tournament that will conclude tonight at 7:30pm.

Delmar Field House, where the finals will be held, has been hosting high school sporting events since 1958. The classic Mid-Century Modern look of its parabolic roof is still an eye catcher today.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Forbidden Gardens

Located just a bit west of Houston is place few locals visit. Opened in 1996 with the dedication towards bringing the wonders of ancient China for the American public, The Forbidden Gardens has replicated in 1/3 scale the terracotta warriors that protected the tomb of Emperor Qin.

The privately funded labor of love of Ira Pun, a Hong Kong native, spans over 40 acres and includes over 6,000 individual pieces.

Unfortunately, the Forbidden Gardens will soon be closing, making way for the expansion of the thoroughfare, the Grand Parkway.

If you get the chance... make an effort to try and see this before it closes for good.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The City Seal

Developed in 1840, Houston’s official City Seal includes a plow to symbolize the agriculture empire of Texas (at the time) and the locomotive/rails from which the city would draw her fortune. Also prominent is the ever-present symbol of Texas Pride, the Lone Star.

This specific recreation is presented on the Oak Forest Lions Club Bicentennial time capsule in T.C. Jester Park.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Pien Hou Taoist Temple

First seen from the outside HERE, this is a close-up of one of the worship shrines inside the Pien Hou Taoist Temple

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Pioneer Memorial

Located at one end of McGovern Lake in Hermann Park, this obelisk was donated to the City of Houston by the San Jacinto Centennial Association to honor the pioneer men and women of Houston, and was dedicated during the 100th anniversary of the founding of the city on August 30, 1936.

I just noticed… this very well might be my longest sentence published on this blog.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Bug Problem...

If one has a big bug problem as was seen in yesterday’s post… how would you handle it?

Why… a stealth fighter with proper air-to-spider missile attack system, of course.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Itsy, Bitsy Spider

With huge, sharp pointy teeth!!!!

Another visit to the Eclectic Menagerie Park brought to us by Texas Pipe Co. More details on this wonderful roadside collection HERE.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Am I Blue??

A little worse for wear, this geometric sonnet presented by local contemporary artist, John Runnels adorns the pavement that winds through the Buffalo Bayou ArtPark.

Located near the Sabine St. Bridge between Memorial and Allen Parkway, the park is a place for the rotational display of public artworks. Not to mention, just a lovely place to take a stroll.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Faux Gothic

This gargoyle and his lofty buddies have no historic value other than adorning some recently built lofts in Midtown, giving the Metropolis a bit of gothic flair.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The “Old” Downtown YMCA

I say old, because back in October this building, which opened over 65 years ago, closed its doors, giving way to the opening of the brand new Tellepsen Family YMCA just two blocks away.

Eventually, this building will be razed, so I thought a last quick glimpse was warranted, even if this picture was snapped in August before it closed.

It won’t be completely forgotten though, as its original cornerstone is displayed in the new lobby and the original “Y” sign that used to rest atop this building now hangs over the new fourth floor workout area.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tools of the Trade

Following up yesterday’s post about The Magnificent Seven Ice Sculpting Competition at Discovery Green, each of the artists used several different means to create their entry. Chainsaws, roto-tools and even the more traditional chisel were used to turn simple ice blocks into works of art.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Thank You… Thank You Very Much

Not only was today Elvis Presley’s birthday, it was also the Third Annual Magnificent Seven Ice Sculpting Competition at Discovery Green. Seven artists from around the country competed for the grand prize, with one chosing to capture The King in all his icy glory.

I’ll have more photos of the other competitors tomorrow.

Friday, January 7, 2011

Mount Rush Hour

Located on the southbound side of I-45 just north of its intersection with I-10 sits David Adickes, “A Tribute to American Statesmen”, giving morning commuters a welcome diversion as they crawl into downtown.

As mentioned HERE, Adickes creates “larger than life” pieces, and this one is no exception, featuring George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin combining both U.S. and Texas historical figures.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Texas Pride

Another example of the Texas Spirit that is reflected throughout the city, at times almost subtly.

This example is a cornerstone relief on the abandoned Houston Light Guard Armory building. More on the history and possible future use of this building will come later.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

The Architecture of Lamar High School

Built in 1937, some of the original architecture of Lamar High School still remains. With road frontage to the busy upper Westheimer, the façade of the school’s performance hall/auditorium, with its landmark State of Texas map, remains in constant view of passersby.

Refurbished and renamed after Ned Holmes, the performance hall was re-opened in 2009 with a special performance by acclaimed Lamar alum, Tommy Tune.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Staying Balanced

The Lee and Joe Jamail Skatepark is a state-of-the-art 30,000 square foot in-ground public facility, providing the area with its first world-class skating facility. Located just off the Sabine Street Bridge in the shadow of downtown, it provides an area for skaters of all levels a place to perfect their craft.

Best of all?? It’s free!!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

McKee Street Bridge

At the time of its completion in 1932 the McKee St. Bridge was the longest unreinforced concrete bridge in the world. Spanning Buffalo Bayou in the Warehouse District, this low-slung, wavy crossing wasn’t always so festive. In the 1980’s it became artist, Kirk Farris’ pet project as he removed years of urban neglect and gave it the new trademark colors.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January Theme Day – Photo of the Year 2010

This month’s City Daily Photo Community theme is the Best Photo of 2010. It was easy for me to select this image I first posted back in September as I really enjoy this backdrop of Houston’s skyline compared to the older water tower and rails, capturing the past and the present.

While that was “my” favourite it was THIS IMAGE that was selected to be featured on the local website for Discovery Green.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants