Monday, February 28, 2011

Not Your Typical Cowboys

This morning, local law enforcement bomb squad members detonated a “suspicious package” located on the steps of City Hall. It turned out to be a false alarm as all that was in the duffle bag was a toy, but that allows me to post a close-up bit of our City Hall.

Above the main entrance is this frieze depicting two men taming a wild horse, which is meant to symbolize a community coming together to form a government to tame the world around them.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

It's All About the Angles

A clear almost spring-like day gave me the opportunity to capture a somewhat different view of the Contemporary Art Museum. Located (oddly enough) in the Museum District near Hermann Park it provides the opportunity for the presentation, interpretation, and advancement of contemporary art.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Smoking Definitely Allowed

The World's Championship Bar-B-Que Contest or more simply, the Cook-Off ends its three day run tonight with the final judging. Over 250 teams participate and crowds of over 200,000 will attend one of the best meat fests around and always kicks off the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo run of festivities.

I didn’t attend this year, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating all things BBQ. This is my pit (Yes… that’s the state of Texas on the wheel), and just last week I filtered my neighborhood with the smell of hickory smoked beef brisket. None of my neighbors seemed to mind.

Friday, February 25, 2011

All Trails Lead To…

Memorial Park.

At least today they do as over 3000 riders on 13 separate trail rides complete their journey by joining together tonight before being the bulk of tomorrow’s Houston Rodeo Parade.

These next few images are of the Salt Grass Trail Ride as they head towards town after their seven day journey. Started in 1953, this trail ride is the original and oldest ride that promotes the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo through fellowship and their love of riding.

Welcome home.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Tomorrow Reliant Stadium and surrounding facilities will begin to host the events leading to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. It is… the world’s largest livestock exhibition, as well as, the richest PRCA rodeo event in the country.

Last year over 22,000 volunteers worked the 20 day long event that saw over 2.2 MILLION people attend the various events. Seems like two is the magic number… sorry, I digress.

Beginning with “Go Texan” Day tomorrow, there will be the World Championship BBQ Cook-off, the 5K Rodeo Fun Run and a downtown parade BEFORE the rodeo even kicks off.

I’m not a big fan of needing a reason to “Go Texan”, I mean… I’m one every day of my life, right?? But the bottom line is… since its beginning in 1932, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo has committed more than $265 million to scholarships and other endowments to a various educational and youth programs.

THAT is worth it all.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Born With a Silver Spoon

As promised, here is a bit of a close-up from yesterday's image.

Almost hidden in the work is a suspended silver spoon in this mosaic.

Stringed instrument... Rooster... Silver Spoon. All makes perfect sense. Right? Sorta?

Regardless... that bit of quirkiness is actually what I liked best.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Adding Color to Your Day

This small plaza near the intersection of Blodgett St. and Almeda is quick example of recent initiatives to add bits of public art to areas all over town. Mosaics on elementary schools, murals on fire stations and this type of addition bring color to an otherwise drab day-to-day existence.

Tomorrow… I’ll show a close-up of this neat little oasis.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Perfect Spot

This shady getaway is located just outside the always busy Texas Medical Center in the Gus & Lyndall Wortham Park.

I'm all for taking as many breaks as possible, especially if it's within close proximity to HERE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Bring Out Your Dead

Well.... bring out your Day of the Day art car.

Well... art TRUCK.

Houston is art car (truck) crazy which will come to its peak on Sunday May 22 with the Art Car Parade. Until that time several locals will still drive their vehicles about adding to the flair that make Houston what it is.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Recycling At Its Finest

Built in 1968 and constructed of Corinthian-style limestone columns from the original Miller Theatre, the Mecom-Rockwell Fountain and Colonnade in Hermann Park is a popular destination for portrait photography.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Affectionately known as Willy, the William Marsh Rice statue sits proudly in the Academic Quad of Rice University. Formally known as Founder’s Memorial, it is actually also a tomb as the ashes of the university founder are deposited in its base.

It was also the focal point of one of the school’s most legendary pranks. In April of 1988, eleven students were able to lift and rotate the 2000lb statue leaving him facing in the opposite direction. All without the use of a crane.

On the 20th anniversary of their prank, the group of clever pranksters relived the task and announced the establishment of the Willy Revolution Engineering Undergraduate Innovation and Excellence Fund, which was started with their combined contributions of $138,000 going towards supporting the George R. Brown School of Engineering.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Things Are Looking Up

The 49 storied First City Tower was constructed in 1981. Its original occupants were the now defunct First City National Bank, but now is the home for the global headquarters of Waste Management.

The distinctive cutouts give an illusion of two puzzle pieces being put together, but to me resemble a very optimistic upward climbing profit graph.

I wish my retirement fund looked so promising.

It will also be the site of the May 21 Fight For Air Climb, a charity event that will see participants raising funds for the American Lung Association as they climb the stairs to the top.

That sound you hear is me… already gasping for my breath.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day

Valentine’s Day is all about love and hearts and stuff, but here’s a little different take. The American Heart Association has set up a display in Discovery Green to bring attention to something we should all be concerned with. Go Red for Women displays 48 red dress silhouettes that represent the 48 women who die each HOUR in the U.S. from heart disease and stroke.

So today… and everyday for that matter… cherish your mother, your sister, your wife or your daughter and make sure their heart takes care of themselves.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

The Houston Firefighters Memorial

“The Rescue” is the centrepiece for the memorial dedicated to those that have lost their lives in the line of duty serving the Houston Fire Department. The Houston Firefighters Memorial Garden is located on the grounds of the Houston Firefighters’ Relief and Retirement Fund office in north Houston and also includes the Wall of Honor that includes the names of those honoured.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Stepping Back a Bit

First discussed HERE, this is a more general view of Helen’s Park. If you look real hard, you can see the mosaic fountain that feeds this babbling stream.

Friday, February 11, 2011

I Hope I Never Need This

With the Harris County Civil Courthouse in the background, this is just one of several bail bonds businesses located in that area.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Hines College of Architecture

Designed by Philip Johnson and built in 1985, the Gerald D. Hines College of Architecture Building on the campus of the University of Houston is one of the school’s marquee structures. Its Parthenon-esque cap actually has a glass floor that acts as the ceiling to the main building’s atrium.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Look REAL Close

The Houston Press Building is home to Houston’s free weekly paper. Located on Milam downtown it also uses a bit of architectural creativity. In 1994, artist Suzanne Sellers took the original rear walls and used it as a blank 12,000 square foot canvas. Windows, doors and even rain downspouts were painted to create a faux building front… well… back.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Up Close and Personal

IMG_9779, originally uploaded by lc_db.

The follow-up to yesterday’s post.

Each of the column’s 150 laser cut stainless steel panels were taken from the artwork of local schoolchildren that were born in 1986, which was the year Houston celebrated its sesquicentennial anniversary. Depicting the themes of agriculture, energy, manufacturing, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation we get to see how Houston is seen through the eyes of our children.

Monday, February 7, 2011

The Seven Wonders

Part of Sesquicentennial Park along the banks of Buffalo Bayou, Mel Chin’s Seven Wonders transforms the east wall of the Wortham Center into a glittering canyon of public art. 70 ft. tall and cut from 150 different stainless steel panels that depict artwork from local school children, they highlight different parts of Houston’s history.

Tomorrow, I’ll post some of the highlights of these columns.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

St. John Church

Just a brief walk from City Hall on the northern edge of downtown is Sam Houston Park, the city’s very first public park. Backlit by downtown’s skyscrapers and pinned in by major freeway arteries, these 20 acres house a collection of Houston’s past as several historic buildings have been relocated here and refurbished.

St. John Church was originally built in 1891 as the place of worship for a German speaking Evangelical congregation. In 1968 they donated it to the Heritage Society, and it was relocated here. It still has its original altar, pews and pulpit and highlights its simple neoclassic beauty.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

False Advertising

Spring is no where in sight, as evident by the remaining ice from this past week's "winter event".

Friday, February 4, 2011

Beer and Burgers Friday

Here in Texas, “icehouses” have become somewhat of a cultural tradition. Basically... they are open air bars with overhead doors that open up to serve patrons ice cold beer on warm summer nights.

Last night however, we experienced a rarity in this part of the country: Freezing overnight temperatures and sleet giving way to today’s image.

At least the locals at Jimmy's Ice House in the Heights don’t have to worry about keeping their beer cold!!!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box... Car

The law offices of Tim Hootman are located on Pease St. just as you enter the south end of downtown. Combine a 1960’s boxcar, a 1920’s Pullman car and a Burlington caboose with several eclectic pieces of contemporary art, paint it all very brightly and… Voila!! Not only do you have one of the more unusual work places in town, you have one of the most recognized.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

The Rothko Chapel

In 1971, Houston philanthropists Dominique and John de Menil partnered with Mark Rothko to create one of Houston’s timeless landmarks, The Rothko Chapel. Fourteen of Rothko’s canvases adorn the walls of this interfaith place of meditation and reflection, and during this, its Fortieth Anniversary year, several events are scheduled.

Photos are not permitted inside, but this is an image shot across the reflecting pool where Barnett Newman’s “Broken Obelisk” resides. A visit here is a very moving, yet tranquil experience.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

February Theme Day - Fountains

This month's theme for the City Daily Photo community is Fountains.
Located in the newly renovated Market Square Park, this fountain is the centerpiece for Lauren’s Garden, a memorial to a local passenger on United Flight 93. Honoring Lauren Catuzzi Grandcolas and all those that perished in the 9/11 tragedy this soothing fountain also has a very unique “smoke” feature.

Click here to view thumbnails for all participants