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Friday, January 31, 2014

Leading Lines Houston Style

SAM_0266Last 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…..DSC04994
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.
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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. DSC_4533 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.) 

10 comments:

  1. Oh Wow Ginger what a blank spot your locale in Houston to what you experienced in Rio must be. How things change. I cannot imagine living in a city with all those lane. Of course I would adjust as we all do. I have only been there on a stopover to either Austin or Belize. Long distance between loading docks for this old lady. Great shots.

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  2. I live only a few miles from the I-10 as it runs through California. It doesn't look like that, though.

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  3. i lie these photos... let me share my story of the only time i was in Houston. while driving for J.B Hunt trucking, we had to go through Houston. i was terrified.. all those lines in your last two photos scared me silly. we were on the top of the stack, the truck sat up high and looking down at all of that had me holding on for dear life. i missed Houston because i had my eyes closed praying. LOL

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  4. forgot to say that many times i put photos in my drafts and they sit there until something pops to say and sleeping always helps. sometimes i wake up in the middle of the night and the idea is there. i write it on a pad by the bed

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  5. I can't imagine living in a city (or countryside, for that matter) where I'd have to always drive to "get somewhere". All my grown-up life I've been living in cities that are small enough to walk from one end of the inner city to the other, and yet big enough to provide everything essential (shops, hospital, a bit of culture etc).

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  6. I drove through Houston in 2012 and we found some amazing beautiful places. We always take back roads when we travel to avoid the traffic jams, however, we did manage to hit some of the traffic in Houston. It was much bigger city than I had imagined.

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  7. Gosh, Ginger, and I thought Rio was huge! I close my eyes but still can't imagine 18 lanes of traffic. They do make for great photos, though.

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  8. I particularly like the photo of the birds on the wires!

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  9. It was nice of those birds to line up for you, kind of like a bird choir.

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