Artesia, New Mexico is an oil and gas town. That history, as well as the old west cattle grazing is celebrated throughout town in bronze statues. Also featured are some of the cultural leaders, including the librarian.
San Antonio is a great city, full of character. As usual I find the more interesting sights away from the big tourist spots, but the Riverwalk and the Alamo did provide a few interesting views.
Adios San Antonio!
We had a great couple of days in Houston, coming away with a great feel for the city. This posting is to cover the random sights that don’t fit anywhere else, like the featured image above from the Sam Houston Park Village with a little church in the middle of the skyscrapers downtown.
Even though I had been in Houston briefly a couple of times previously I had never seen the Astrodome. The world’s first indoor baseball and football stadium when it was completed in the early 1960s, it still stands unused.
The Wateralls across from the Williams Tower is 64′ high, 1 foot for each floor of the nearby skyscraper.
The ‘Twilight Epiphany Skyspace’ is located on the campus of Rice University. I had read that this was a cool thing to see, but when we got there in the middle of the afternoon I couldn’t understand why. It turns out you must be there at sunset or sunrise – maybe next time.
Houston is notorious for their traffic, with over 6 million people in the area and very little public transportation. They do however have a streetcar that covers a few miles in the center of the city.
As well as crossing a man made pond in the middle of Main Street.
Discover Park has an interesting pinwheel display with a device that when you blow into it just right, kicks off fans that make all the pinwheels spin.
Buffalo Bayou Park is a nice urban park space complete with a skateboard park.
The highlight of the park though was our tour of the Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern. Once used for retaining water for the city, it is now a cool space to explore on a guided tour.
The city has numerous examples of public art.
I have often wondered who has the concrete contracts for road construction in Texas as they build ramps that seem far longer than needed, and never pile up dirt to make the overpasses shorter.
In the theme of ‘Everything is Bigger in Texas’ – As we left the city and reached the suburb of Katy, Texas we made a stop at a Buc-ee’s. A Texas based chain, Buc-ee’s are massive – this one has over 60 gas pumps (the photo is only showing about 1/2 of them)!
The highlight though was the World’s Longest Car Wash (according to the Guiness World Records) – the 255′ long one at Buc-ee’s easily cleaned off 2,000 miles of dirt and grime. Now it is off for San Antonio!
Just south of downtown Houston is Hermann Park, and the McGovern Centennial Gardens. It is a small, well thought out space with flowers, plants and statues.
The statues featured great Latin American leaders, as well as (strangely) Scottish poet Robert Burns!
David Adickes is a Texas born sculpture who, among other works, created large busts of American presidents for a park in Virginia. That park no longer exists, and many of the heads have made their way back to David’s studio in an industrial part of Houston in the shadow of a freeway bridge.
The overall feel of a bunch of giant presidents heads is surreal, but very cool.
And one giant Charlie Chaplin!
Galveston is located on an island, just off the Texas coast. While there is a major freeway crossing the bay onto the island, we chose the more interesting route by taking the ferry from the Bolivar Peninsula.
The Gulf of Mexico was angry this day, with a very rough surf, and red flag warnings for all to stay out of the water.
One the ocean side of Galveston there are the typical beach town activities such as an amusement pier.
One of the fishing piers shows how rough the surf was.
A monument to the victims of the 1900 storm is on the beach.
The bay side of Galveston is all business. An off shore oil rig construction company is located on the mainland side.
The Houston Ship Channel is one of the busiest shipping lanes in the country.
The tall ship Elissa is located in Galveston. Built in 1877 it sailed under Norwegian and Swedish flags before being located in Galveston and after extensive restoration, is used for tourist and training of young would be sailors.
Another view of Galveston Harbor.
Like Morgan City, Louisiana, Galveston has a historic offshore oil rig. Unlike Galveston, this one has much corporate sponsorship. We passed since we had seen the ‘real thing’ a couple of days earlier.
One harbor was filled with shrimp boats.
Galveston has always been a point of origination for cruise ships, as was evidenced as one was in port ready for departure.
New Orleans has a large collection of public art, both traditional and murals by street artist. Below is a visual representation of some of the more interesting seen around town.