Last night I went through my not so extensive archives for Houston and its surrounding satellites. I picked a few possible photos for yet unimagined stories, pulled them into ‘Live Writer’ but no words flowed – nothing – nada – zip.
Had a small Drambuie. Nothing. Played a few rounds of ‘Wonder Words’. Nothing. Turned out the lights. Let it all percolate over a good night’s sleep.
This morning woke to a wish for a coffee clutch to talk over the ideas…. balancing on a high wire above the noise, checking out the day, begin to feel creative, write…..
Houston is often described a ‘ugly’, it isn’t. Like most modern cities you have to know where to look for the beauty. But, you can’t walk to find it. Remember my stories from Rio, the little hidden gems I found walking the streets. Here you have to drive, and then drive some more. All streets lead somewhere, most are tree lined and auto-clogged. When you get there, you’d better have remembered your camera. I have been forgetting my camera often lately. And I don’t stop. Is common to hear, ‘ that would make a great photo’ float through my mind as I speed by. I sometimes get a secondary thought…. ‘I could park there and walk back’, but...
I don’t know how many times I’ve wish for the nerve to stop in the middle of one of the streets and take a photo. I know for sure that I would end up dead, but maybe my camera would survive and I would become a hero to all those that despise urban sprawl. Over on the west side of town, my side, the city / state / federal governments have just completed a five year ‘increase the freeways’ plan. Since 1975 when I moved to Houston, the I-10 which runs from Florida to California, passing right through the middle of Houston, has gone from a 8 lane highway (two access on either side plus two lanes headed east and two west) to an 18, yes that is eighteen lanes; passing the upper Galveston bay, oil refineries, the financial center, the rich homes off Voss and Memorial, the now named energy corridor, and exists Houston through the once sleepy town of Katy, heading West.
And joining I-10 practically in the middle of the city is the Beltway 8. In 1975, it was a two lane country road with open drainage ditches lining its sides. Now! Now it is 14 lane toll road circling the city. The outer loop is what it was called when our section was finished in ‘89. It has grown and grown, tolls have risen, more than double as they, the government searches for money from the users to build even more toll roads; Westpark and Ft. bend county toll roads to be exact., in an attempt to get the cars where they are going without spending money on a mass transit system. Highways, the life blood of Houston.
(under construction the I-10 Beltway 8 interchange. Built by the Federal Government.)