I wish you could see how this looks large and in person. These are tile mosaics called “Navigation” by Jesse Sifuentes and commissioned by the Houston Arts Alliance. The building is at 3130 Navigation Boulevard. East Downtown is a neighborhood in transition; there’s something particularly gratifying about seeing art among weedy lots and rusted buildings. To me, these times are when areas are the best–emerging from decay and before they are fully gentrified and regular folks are priced out of living and having businesses there.
What is it with rain and Mondays? No wonder they write songs about it. Today I was able to go into EaDo again (East Downtown), and because I got lost (normal), I saw even more murals that I want to take photos of. But not only was I there for job-related training, there was a torrential rainstorm.
EaDo has become my blog’s Shangri-La. How will you ever know it exists?
Today Tom, Tim, Jim, and I tried a new-to-me restaurant in the Heights called Lola. (That’s right, L O L A Lola.) The food is all locally sourced so of course that appealed to my hippie-ish vibe, and even better was how the decor was very Keith Haring and Tim just happened to be wearing a Keith Haring T-shirt. Here are a couple of shots I took inside.
Our table was next to the window. At one point I glanced out and a bird, probably a grackle, was sitting on a half-wall outside the restaurant keeping his eye on us. I pointed him out, saying I was having a kind of Hitchcock moment, and Tim reminded me to fight him off with my purse. (That sentence is making me think of two things: a poem Mark Doty wrote about Houston grackles and Mattel’s Tippi Hedren doll. I feel like a Gemini going off in all directions mentally.)
ANYWAY, later we went to the Menil Museum and I swear, every single damn work of art seemed to have a bird or an allusion to a bird or a bird shape somewhere in it. Birds became the theme of the day, and at one point I did say, “Bird is the word.” Thus today’s button.
Later, I snapped a photo of Timothy and Jim under James’s favorite Tree of Trees. How I love my tribe and making new memories to join the old ones.
Tonight Debby, Lynne, and I ran some errands. When Lynne got into the car, she showed me a box she was donating to our coloring supplies–our pencils have outgrown their current holder. Thoreau being a favorite of mine, it’s a good choice. I do believe that the quote proves that Jack is also a Thoreau reader. Jack can not be wild and free because he is a Bad Boy, and the world thanks me.
Of course, Lynne being Lynne, I found there were other surprises inside when I arrived home and opened the box.
Anything to get more slices in the house! It reminded me that there was a print of orange slices in the condo where we stayed on vacation. I meant to get a photo of it and forgot. I blame the arrival of Tropical Storm Cindy for my omission in the ongoing Fruit Slice Campaign.
How is it possible that in all the times I’ve been to New Orleans, I never knew about the French Quarter Gem and Lapidary? Tom and I stumbled into it by accident. Actually, we didn’t stumble into it. We found it and I pressed my nose against the glass kid/candy store style, and I think they opened a few minutes early to stop me from drooling on their window.
Seriously, if you love stones and crystals, do NOT miss this place when you’re in New Orleans. The staff is wonderful, the merchandise is amazing, and the jewelry they make is extraordinary. I could have stayed there all day and been happy. Tom and I came away with a couple of new friends to take with us on vacation.
I tried to find info on this mural online. No luck. It’s behind Charles Beverage on White Oak Drive in the Heights. Their lot is extra parking for Onion Creek Coffee House, Bar & Lounge. In fact, I used that lot for parking at our last Pup Crawl, and I’m lucky I didn’t get towed. Maybe I was surrounded by Jacob Energy. =)
ETA: Another mural led me to the muralist! The artist is Nicky Davis, and this is actually titled COYOTE. Sorry, Jacob, the wolves did not give me good parking fu. It was the coyote. –bc August 13, 2017
For the second week, the Photo Friday theme is “Bright.”
You can find Houston’s Mini Murals all over the city. The one above is on the corner of Main and Alabama. The Mini Murals are painted traffic signal control cabinets meant to brighten our urban landscapes. It’s not often I’m stopped long enough with a ready camera to shoot one from my car. I’m going to try to get more of them, because every time I see one, it makes me happy.
This time to April of 2001. We’re back at Baba Yega Cafe–I guess it was a tradition. I didn’t know it, but Jim would be a surprise visitor joining us soon. We all had so much fun together being in the same place at the same time.
I’m sharing this because these guys know one fast track to my heart–ART! Both of them gifted me with art on the latest celebration of my birthday.
Another fascinating artist from the Bayou City Art Festival was Jennifer Lashbrook of Lashbook Studios and her Swatch Paintings. She uses tiny paint swatches to create these. When you view them with the naked eye, you see pixels, but you can view them through your phone’s camera and the image becomes defined. There’s a better explanation on her website, of course.
Timothy gave me this one for my birthday.
Viewing it on your monitor doesn’t have quite the same impact as viewing it in person, but if you look at the monitor through your phone’s camera, you can see how the image emerges.
This painting below I first saw online. I think I said something like, “That one’s mine, right?” And my other Timothy–Timmy!– who painted it gave it to me for my birthday. I need to start demanding more of these. 😉
You can check out more of his work here (I LOVE the mole paintings so much): his Whiting Mills site, his Saatchi Art site, or follow him @forry_t on Instagram, where he frequently posts photos of his art.
Inside joke this painting reminded me of just now, Timmy: “I was becoming a snack.”
I’ll have more birthday memories to come, I’m sure. After all, you don’t turn 135 every day. Just every year.