Thursday, May 23, 2013

Losing Landmarks

I lived in Houston for 34 years.  I've been gone 12 years.  You would think that I should be able to find my way around the city.  Alas, many of the landemarks are gone and I miss my turn often, have to make a U-turn and work my way back to where I intended to go down a certain street.

Yesterday I was driving to my next Port of Call, my brother and sister-in-law's house.  For something different I decided to drive the 610 Loop, south of the city.  Something I had not done in years and years.

New elaborate signage near the Meyerland Mall area confused me and the next thing I knew, I wasn't on the freeway anymore but on South Braeswood Blvd!  What?  I remained calm as I knew that there were familiar streets that would cross this one and I could eventually reach my destination without getting back up on the freeway.

I drove and drove.  Eventually I came to Hillcroft which used to be a street I used a lot as my dad lived off that street back in the 70's.  There was very little trace of anything familiar.  For one thing, neighborhoods have become very ethnic with  restaurants of all persuasions in some areas. 

It WAS interesting to travel and see the new sites, sorta.  Then I turned on Bellfort and could have been in the Bronx.  Lots of dilapidated apartments with tin foil on the windows to keep out the sun.  Cars parked willy nilly.  Strange signage that made no sense to me.  Many stores to cash checks and use Western Union. This used to be white suburbs.  No longer.

There is a beautiful Turkish Temple with a park of peace on one side of the entrance to Glenshire.  On the other side is a mosque.  An indication of the diversity of this city.

Houston is known to have ninety cultures within its boundaries.  I traveled through many of them in about a 10 mile span yesterday!


6 comments:

Kay Cox said...

That happens to me and I live here.

Matthew Smith said...

When I saw the title of your post I immediately thought it was going to be about the tornado in Moore Oklahoma. Since so many streets were leveled and no street signage First responders were having a hard time knowing where they were with no point of reference. About 10 years ago I visited San Antonio where I lived before age 6 and my old street was not recognizable. I remember large oak trees and lots of shade. The trees were gone. The rental house that we lived in looked better though. People were restoring the old houses. Oh well nothing stays the same. Jan in Mississippi.

Babs said...

Every house we lived in in Houston has been turned into commercial development or monster homes! No sign that we lived in Houston in the early days.....

Christine said...

I hate that panicky feeling of not knowing where you are. Sounds like you did very well.

Peter Kouwenhoven said...

Gotta love a recent GPS!

Babs said...

Maybe some day........Actually I prefer walking and that's why I love SMA. All this driving around in Houston is exhausting.......