Thursday, March 13, 2008

Houston, TX: Day Two, Charming

This chair is a golf ball

On our second day in Houston we ventured out of the windowless convention hall to explore a more personable region of the city. Maria, mamma Hilary and I caught the 82 bus across from our hotel and quickly arrived at the intersection of Westheimer and Dunlevy, the heart of the Montrose neighborhood. Because there are few zoning restrictions in Houston, Montrose is home to an eclectic mix of homes, restaurants, shops, and gay bars. There is an undeniable Southern charm to this area, despite an occasional patch of strip mall (is Houston not the definition of urban sprawl?) The majority of the architecture incorporates aged bungalows with semi-renovated interiors. Ivy and flowering vine cover a typical facade. This format gives the impression that one is in a sleepy bohemian town rather than a city of 2.14 million.

We dug through a handful of the many vintage and second hand shops that line Westheimer. I made a few parsimonious purchases, including an unused pair of Keep skimmers in their green African print (SCORE! Perhaps you have seen the knockoffs at Old Navy this spring? Gah, this NOT a fashion blog.) We met up with Maria's college friend and her Devandra-channelling boyfriend for Thai. They served purple sticky rice just like Ithaca. It was a lovely evening. I think we were all relieved to see the Houston that lies beyond the soulless business district.


My spirit walls; fine shopping

That 70's Shop; "The" Shop

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