Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Houston, Texas . . . Visit December 12th

Addendum 12/18/13:  I checked the blog this morning and see that there are strange things going on with the photos in the finished post.  I don't know what the problem is!  Same camera, same process; something's going on!!!!!

I've had a devil of a time uploading photos from iPhoto for this post.  I've started it several times and the photos have caused me lots of angst.  Just now, I decided to get back to it and see that all the images I'd uploaded previously are gone.  Drats.  Anyway, I'm going to try again.  I think I'll leave out some of the dialog; maybe that's what the issue is.  I made the jaunt into Houston last Thursday; it's really not a bad drive from Livingston, about 72 miles.  I waited until after 9 that morning; being a seasoned commuter in the San Francisco Bay Area, I figured traffic would be difficult during morning rush hour.  As I got closer and closer to the city I wondered where the traffic was.  There just wasn't any problem at all.

Click on photos to enlarge
This is a photo of Houston skyline, taken on a sunny day
This is the first view I had of the Houston skyline driving south from Livingston - very
overcast and cold
Just getting ready to leave the freeway and enter the city
I drove off the freeway into the theater district and was able to park right on the street outside Bayou Place.
Bayou Place is a complex of cinema, restaurants and convention center
Directly across the street from Bayou Place is the Wortham Center Theaters
Beautiful, lush grounds around Wortham Center
Wortham Center Theater grounds
More theater complex grounds - absolutely gorgeous
I parked Petunia here at about 11 and watched lots of mothers with their children arriving for a showing of "The Nutcracker;"  I think it was to begin at 11:30.  Christmas traditions!
Across the street from the side of the Wortham Center is a wonderful sculpture, called "Virtuoso," located in front of the Lyric Center Building.  It's just one of many sculptures throughout downtown Houston.
Lyric Center Building


"Virtuoso"

Next door to the Lyric Center is the Alley Theater; here's the marquis for this season:

I was very impressed with Houston, founded in 1836; it's modern, cosmopolitan, clean, not crowded (at least what I saw) and has managed to show off a lot of greenery.  It seemed to me that every huge building complex has done a wonderful job of making sure that one can always see some green:  trees, shrubs, grass . . .

The history of the high-risers in Houston began in 1904 with the completion of an 8-story Lomas & Nettleton Building; but it certainly didn't stop there!  There are now 360 high-rise buildings; 45 of which are skyscrapers, meaning that they're over 400 feet tall.  I simply drove up and down the streets of downtown and stopped from time to time for a photo op. 

Bank of America building
Tallest skyscraper in Houston - J.P. Morgan Chase Tower - 1,002 feet, 75 floors

Another side of the Tower - check the traffic at about 12 noon
Houston Chronicle building - takes up one full block

More tall buildings

Interesting design - a little different than the reflecting finishes on many buildings
Check out the trees - all throughout downtown.  It's very refreshing.
I couldn't get over the lack of congestion
Walkway between skyscrapers
Lunch time
I had a pulled pork sandwich with 2 sides:  macaroni & cheese and coleslaw
More greenery

Parking garage - no traffic jams!

I really enjoyed my short visit to Houston; of course, one visit can in no way do it justice.  I'd chosen to go to one museum, "The American Cowboy Museum."  It's actually located about 10-miles south of the downtown area.  I'd read about it and was interested in the fact that it was created by two women.  The mission of the museum is to preserve the western heritage of Native Americans, Blacks, Hispanics and women.  The founder, Mollie Taylor-Stevenson, Jr. and her mother were the first living African Americans inducted into the National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame in Ft. Worth, Texas.  In 1988, Mollie Stevenson, Sr. and her daughter, Mollie Stevenson, Jr., founded and continue to operate the museum in the effort to preserve the multicultural history of the West.

After lunch at Pappas, I drove out to the museum that is actually located on the Taylor-Stevenson Ranch, which has been owned and operated by the Taylor and Stevenson family for over 150 years.  The ranch was established in the mid-1800s by E. R, Taylor and his slave, Ann.  The founder of the museum, Mollie Stevenson, Sr. is the great-granddaughter of that couple.

I share all this because when I arrived at the ranch, I found that the gate was locked.  Hmmm, wonder what that's about; the museum is supposed to be open Monday through Friday from 10 - 4.   So I took out my iPhone and called the number on the gate.  A lady answered the phone and when I asked if the museum was open, she said, "You have to have a reservation."  I said that I hadn't seen that mentioned anywhere.  "Oh, that's right," she said,  it's not in the brochures."  Then she suggested that I return the next day; I said I didn't think I could.  She asked how many would be in my party.  I said, "Just me."  Then she informed me that they only open for a minimum of five in a group.  That cancelled me out completely.  I told her I'd have to gather up some others and return the next time I'm in Houston!
What she did share was that she is Mollie Stevenson, Sr. and that was something interesting so it wasn't a complete bust.

I headed 'home' to Rainbow's End, leaving Houston about 3:30 and was home before 5 where my trusty Lacy and Eleanor were waiting patiently for me.

8 comments:

  1. You have more patience than I would have had under those circumstances. I guess it would depend on her tone of voice directly, but the method of admitting folks to the museum, particularly without broadcasting those peculiar rules, seems just plain snotty to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, I just chalked it up to catching her at an inconvenient time; after all, she wasn't expecting me!

      Delete
  2. Looks like a beautiful city - I love all the tall buildings and especially "Virtuoso."

    I have problems every so often with my photos, spacing, etc., too. One thing I figured out is that when I put captions under the photos, it screws up the spacing sometimes. So I usually just delete all the photos and re-insert them with the explanation over or under the photo as text. And then everything is fine. That doesn't make sense, but it works. Go figure! Just FYI. :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You know what? I figured that out after I'd finally finished the post. I was reading my novel when, all of a sudden, I remembered that I'd been using the caption feature! Guess that goes by the wayside!
      I was very impressed with Houston - actually most of Texas. Being unfamiliar with any of it except Dallas, El Paso and San Antonio, I thought most of the state was simply wide open spaces. It's a beautiful state and Houston is a beautiful city. I'm so happy I've visited and will definitely be back.

      Delete
  3. Houston looks like a nice city, and I gues Molly doesn't need the business!
    Nice story, thanks for sharing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think they do a kind of presentation with costumes and all; so, it's probably not possible to 'get it together' for one person - without a reservation.

      Delete