Simple Pleasures #7

While performing my civic duty on Monday, I happened across a sight that always makes me happy. We were given a little over an hour for a lunch break. The recommended spot for lunch was the police cafeteria. Hanging out around police officers just reminds me of sitting in the principal’s office which is a very appetite suppressing thought.  Fortunately, it was a fantastic spring day and I had brought a sandwich from home. (Yes. February. Houston. Spring.) So I chose to do an hour of urban hiking and exploring.

The Municipal Court building and police headquarters are located just west of what I consider officially downtown Houston, an area that I don’t know very well. First I walked around the complex trying to find the quickest and safest way back to my bus stop for the end of the day. I saw that there were indeed sidewalks along a major road that led under the interstate and into downtown proper. Houston can be a walkable city, but you may have to adjust your routes from what google maps suggests. In fact, one “road” that I was supposed to walk along was actually just thru two police parking lots.

Then I noticed an upside down canoe and followed the path it marked. IMG_1327

The area it led to is called the Buffalo Bayou Walk and/or Sesquicentennial Park. I had wandered on bits and pieces of this green space, but never really knew where the access points were from this side of the bayou. And lo and behold, I was directly across from my favorite piece of outdoor sculpture/public art in Houston.

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Officially called the Seven Wonders, each of the 70-ft columns represent a piece of Houston’s history: agriculture, energy, manufacturing, medicine, philanthropy, technology and transportation. (Click the link for more information.) The columns consist of panes of artwork by Houston school children, reproduced in laser-cut metal.

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Someday I need to bring a pair of binoculars so I can check out the panels at the tops of the columns.

Not only did I stumble across one of my favorite spots in the city, I also found a pedestrian bridge that links the courthouse area to the downtown theater district, Sam Houston Park (maintained  by the Houston Historical Society,) and near the public library, where I actually ended up on Monday before meeting the husband at our favorite downtown bar. Successful exploring indeed!

P.S. A quick tip of the cursor to the daughters. Sam Houston Park contains their (childhood) favorite piece of Houston public art, the fox pond:

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