Saturday, August 13, 2011

Houston Architecture & Dinner With a Friend

We get up and go for breakfast at a place renown for it's large variety of bagels made fresh on the premises. Even though it is small and nondescript in appearance and decor, it is Zagat rated and has been written up by a number of different people and publications.

We then begin a tour of Houston's historic areas and neighborhoods. They are a mixture of modest bungalows, grand, turret sporting Victorians and, due to Houston's lax zoning laws, new construction, at times completely out of scale with the homes on either side. In their defense, they generally appear to attempt to be sensitive to the architectural heritage of the area. One sees, however, a lack of craftsmanship and patina evident in the older structures,.

We prowl the galleries and shops of West 19th street in The Heights. I admire the Art Deco facade of The Heights Theatre. It was initially Moorish inspired prior to it's remodeling in the 1930's. After being gutted by fire, it's interior, now a gallery, has an open, loftlike feel.

We then drive through the West University neighborhood. In it's gated streets, the large, gracious professors homes hold court.

We cruise by beautifully renovated places in the Montrose district. Originally resettled by artists and bohemian gays, it is now turning upwardly mobile as the urban pioneers have moved on.

We return to my hosts home going though Meyerland. It's long, low midcentury homes are almost icons of their era.

This evening we meet with a friend from my spring cruise through the Caribbean. We have dinner in a charming restaurant fashioned from a 4 room bungalow. As we lose ourselves in conversation and champagne, the dinner goes on for close to 3 hours. There are smiles, hugs goodbye and a promise by me to exchange email addresses between my hosts ad friend. It's wonderful to see him again and reminisce about the good times we had on the cruise.

The evening winds down as my hosts and I share drinks at a local bar. We return to their home, I undress, and do not fall asleep this night so much as pass out!

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