Here we go with another really long walk in Houston.
EDIT: By popular demand, full sized images now in place of the thumbnails, which were put in originally because of the sheer volume of images.
Photos taken May 20, 2009
Remember newspapers? Remember when we had two of them? (The Houston Post closed in 1995. The Houston Chronicle remains as the only daily newspaper in the city.)
An abandoned restaurant or bar of some sort. Let's take a look inside.
Whoops, my bad. Hope I don't get sued or something.
Frenchy's Cleaners. Not to be confused with Frenchy's Chicken.
Gentrification getting under way on Houston's near north side.
This is pretty much the classic Houston skyline shot. It looks great, but you can't see the older towers like the Gulf (Chase Building) and Niels Esperson, which were the cornerstones of the Houston skyline before the modern skyscraper boom starting in the 1960s.
Interstate 45 heading north. I'm standing on the Quitman Street bridge over 45.
I'm just north of a huge freeway interchange at I-45 and I-10. Kind of easy to lose track of that as I venture toward Woodland Heights.
All this a stone's throw away of downtown in the fourth largest city in America.
A Hurricane Ike casualty?
Woodland Heights, a neighborhood established over a century ago. It's nearly as old as Houston Heights, a formerly independent town which is now part of Houston and portions of it are now a designated historic district.
Lots of back streets covered in trees and greenery around here. And some say there's nothing in this city but concrete.
I sat in this park for a little while to rest.
Continuing on my way now...
Houston is flat, but there is actually a semblance of rolling terrain here along White Oak Bayou. By this city's standards these are hills!
If there actually were a lot of hills though, I probably wouldn't have made it walking this far. Climbing hills gets tiresome. Flat terrain doesn't always a good postcard make but it makes for good long-distance walking. Good for cycling too.
I wish they hadn't concreted this bayou. This was intended to be a flood control mechanism, leaving us with concrete ditches that flood anyway. There are projects underway to restore a more natural appearance to the bayous in Houston however. The sooner the better, because this whole stretch here along White Oak Bayou has the potential to be really beautiful.
Look! A hill!
Just picture this without the concrete bayou banks.
Taylor St. bridge.
I've followed White Oak Drive for most of the stretch since crossing over I-45 but I went across this stretch of Usener Street, going off into a neighborhood and straying from the bayou for a bit.
Fitzgerald's. Plenty of bands have played here.
There are a lot of great cities in the world, but Houston has to be the only one where I could show you a sign like this with a club/rock concert venue right next to two peaceful-looking houses.
They're damned serious about preservation though. Good on them.
Interesting this is called the Montrose Skate Shop when I'm a couple miles north of Montrose, in Houston Heights and not even that close to Montrose/Studemont/Studewood Boulevard (same street, different names) anymore.
I should pick this up and take it when I go shoot pictures in sketchy neighborhoods; that way if someone comes up to mug me or whatever I can just smack them over the head with a eight-foot-long traffic sign.
Turning right from White Oak Drive onto Heights Boulevard, and drawing closer to the destination for the evening.
Between the evening sun and all the trees, getting clear shots was a little tricky.
This promenade runs down Heights Boulevard.
Houston Heights used to be its own town, but was annexed by Houston in 1919. This is its own downtown of sorts.
Before there was Cinemark...
Time to head back.
The Heights used to be a streetcar suburb - that is, people rode a streetcar from the center of Houston into the Heights, which for most intents and purposes is considered part of the inner city now.
Houston Heights was annexed by Houston in 1919. Today the term "the Heights" is typically understood in Houston to mean Houston Heights, despite other neighborhoods with "Heights" in the name, like Woodland Heights or Independence Heights to the northeast across the North Loop. It was a dry town; per the annexation agreement the alcohol sales restrictions remained and are still in place today in parts of the Heights.
Instead of streetcars we've got buses now.
Riding back downtown, about 8 pm. And they say nobody walks around downtown after work lets out.
Thanks for viewing and reading.