East Downtown

This is a mural I shot in EaDo just before the flood. I remember that I was going to research it, so I didn’t put it on the blog. Or did I? I feel like I’ve lived in a kind of fog for the last month. Happy mensiversary*, Flood.

Best I can ascertain, the artist is Walker Wooding, though when I try to find it online, there’s a different background. Maybe there is more than one mural, or maybe he changed it for Pride, or maybe he changed it for the Rainbow Coalition.

Regardless, I love the mural.

*Google it.

Portrait of the Artist

I think I did pretty well after the flood as we started pulling stuff out of the house and I ruthlessly decided what was trash and what wasn’t. “I don’t care” became my stock response to every item someone else expressed sympathy about. But when I found this in a flooded bin, it made me physically ill. I didn’t know I still had it. I’d even asked my brother last year if he had it, and he thought he did.

This discovery about broke me.

Debby and Lynne painstakingly lifted it from the water and found a way to place it where it could dry. It did dry, and the truth is, there was already some staining on the sketch long before our flood, but nothing like it has now.

Written on the bottom: HERE’S AN ARTIST’S CONCEPTION OF ME. I can’t read the artist’s name, but I think the date is 1949, which would corroborate what my mother once told me, that the sketch was done of my father by one of his fellow art students while he was in college.

Today’s Daddy’s birthday. The sketch is weathered but it will be okay. Like me.

He was one of the biggest reasons I’m a strong person.

Backdated post re Harvey No. 1

It was raining when I went to bed Saturday night. In fact, Lynne was with us and left just before the hard rain began. I could see water moving steadily down the street toward the bayou. I wasn’t too worried. We’ve had heavy rains, even flooding, in Houston since we moved to Houndstooth Hall, and we’ve been okay.

Tim was away house- and dogsitting, so I slept at his house with his dogs. Around six AM, I heard a dog whimper next to me and thought, Oh, they’re probably hungry. I swung my feet out of bed and put them down in at least two inches of still-rising water.

That’s when I knew things were bad and likely to get worse, because the rain was torrential at that moment.

The below photo sums up a few things. I had to bend that screen to get it out of the window to hand Pixie, Penny, and Pollock out to Tom because there was less water in our house at the time than in the apartment. Dogs came first.

But immediately upon getting out of bed, as I was texting Tom and evaluating the water levels at the doors, I thought to do two other things. The first was to make sure Tim’s violin was safe (that’s his guitar case pictured here, because by the time I was shooting photos, Tom had moved the violin even higher). The violin was built by his great-grandfather and was one of the only things Tim kept with him wherever we were during previous hurricanes. The second was to move his painting of Rex by Houston artist Kermit Eisenhut to the safety of the table.

Things may be just things, but some of them we shouldn’t have to lose.

EaDo No. 3

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.

There’s always a place for art anywhere.

Again with the rain

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?

Button Sunday

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.

She Moves Ahead!

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.