Saturday, October 13, 2007

The Houstonist, Brought to you by Moved and Shaken

Once upon a time, I set about to document a side of the City of Houston only capable of being seen from astride a bicycle. I decided I would name this endeavour the Houstonist, and it would be good. Then, nature took its course, I once again became a deadbeat blogger, and my well-intentioned experiment was left dormant, like a bear in slumber, waiting for the spring. Then somewhere along the way, those that carry the mantle of the Gothamist descended upon the bayou city, stealing away the magic and respectability that was the two-wheeled adventure of the Houstonist.

What's a man to do when confronted with such affrontery? Nothing lads, nothing at all. Simply continue the deadbeat bloggery, nay, imbrace inaction.

Until now.

Thursday brought a bike commute to work, and with it, at wife's suggestion, the camera. I've been meaning to bring the camera along on the ride to work for some time, but in the mornings its usually too dark to take any decent shots, and I'm preoccupied with actually getting to work in reasonable time.

Thursday afternoon I left work early for a haircut in Rice Village. Afterwards, I had some time to kill, so I thought I'd ride east to the new Columbia Tap trail the City of Houston is building through the Third Ward as part of the rails-to-trails program. I had to cross Rice University and Hermann Park to get to the Brays Bayou trail that links up with Columbia Tap on the east side of town.

On campus at Rice.

The old and the new.

The obelisk and reflecting pool in Hermann Park, with the Kona Smoke in the foreground.

The Columbia Tap trail looking south from the campus of Texas Southern University.

Looking north from campus.

Let me be the first to say that the Columbia Tap trail may be the most forward thinking, progressive public works project the city has undertaken in a good long while. Not only has it been an incredibly fast moving construction project (groundbreaking was in May, with construction really beginning in earnest around late July). It's a bicycle highway, with entrance points along the way in various neighborhoods throughout the ward. It's great that it's being built in a part of town where a poorer demographic, more inclined to use bikes as primary transport, will get to put it to real use in their everyday lives. I can't speak highly enough that the city has had the foresight to undertake this project, and I hope it catches on in other areas of the city.

The George H.W. Bush monument along the banks of Buffalo Bayou on the northwest side of Houston. Say what you will about the man and his progeny, but I have to confess that I want one, too.

Until such time, moved and shaken I remain.

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