Saturday, March 25, 2023

Checking Out Commercial Houston (TX 04)

Houston is one giant commercial engine. Everyone is rushing around, 18-wheeler trucks thunder along the freeways, long cargo trains rumble on the tracks, strip malls with sort-of reasonable and grotesque stores can be found every few blocks, construction cranes reach up to the sky, and there is constant traffic. 

The good side of this booming prosperity is that you can find superb restaurants and truly top-class arts and museums. For me, it was such a contrast to be in a metropolis with an expanding economy, a place where something is happening. During my recent stay in Houston, I wandered around looking for my type of photographs. There was plenty of good material!

Waiting for the tram at 07:15

The METRORail light rail (tram) is efficient and runs most of the day. You can take your bicycle. To pay, you use a pre-loaded fare card or a phone app. 

N. Fannin Street view north to Texas Medical Center - pretty crummy walking but at least there is sidewalk
 Vote for Tires, 3801 N. MacGregor Way - not sure if I would buy tires here
Dakk T-shirts, 3801 N. MacGregor Way
Secret Recipe West African cuisine, but not any more

Head west out of the downtown business district and you reach the Montrose Neighborhood.

Americana strip mall architecture at its best, 1660 Westheimer Road 
Americana signage at its aesthetic best, Westheimer Road

Westheimer Road runs east-west through Montrose. In the 1980s, this was an artsy area with galleries and alternative clubs and bars. At that time, it was the center of Houston's gay and lesbian community. Today, it is one of Houston's main cultural centers, noted for its art, food scene, and night life. 

And some Montrose galleries are seriously upscale now. In November, my wife and I visited the Catherine Couturier Gallery. At first we did not recognize the featured artists. But then, while flipping through their stacks of matted prints, we saw genuine original silver gelatin prints from Weegee, Bill Brandt, Callahan, Doisneau, and more! Prices ranged from $4000 - $10,000 each. If only I had a bit of spare cash.....

Not upscale apartment, Kyle Street, Montrose - maybe I won't rent here
TR Acupuncture Herb Clinic, 6723 Weslayan Street - they will fix anything that ails you
La Calle Tacos, 401 Grey Street

In the 1980s, Grey and West Grey were grungy. Now this district has been renovated. I need to scan some of my 1980s negatives from this area.  

Historic Niels Esperson Building (1927) and its tempietto, Travis and Walker Streets
Houston Camera Exchange museum of good stuff (digital file mobile phone)

These 2022 photographs are from Kodak Gold 200 film. I used my little Kodak Retina IIa camera with its 50mm ƒ/2 Schneider Xenon lens.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Gyro King! Mmmmmm!