Do you ever find yourself in a place that just doesn’t float your boat? I travel frequently for work and was recently commuting to Houston, Texas. Don’t get me wrong, I lived there for roughly 13 years and have many wonderful friends and family there. I just don’t have a strong appreciation for Houston the city – it’s big, hot, humid, traffic is insane and clearly there are no mountains close by.
Now that I have just slammed this vast city, I have to say, last Monday night I had an amazing experience in Houston. I ended my long work/travel day and shuffled my way from the office to the Hilton hotel located near the convention center in downtown. My work buddy Lisa and I mustered up some strength and ran at Memorial Park (an excellent 3 mile loop should you make it to town). Afterwards we decided to check out a great restaurant called The Grove (across the street from the Hilton) in search of some good grub and a juicy glass of wine. We found both of those things, AND came across one of the coolest art exhibits I have seen in a long time.
The Grove sits in the middle of Discovery Green Park which was built to provide a little oasis for those visiting downtown Houston. There is a pathway lined with century-old live oaks that cuts through the park. Given winter never really arrives in Houston, all of the trees are still a deep, velvety green. Now for the good stuff: Hanging like ornaments in the trees, were incredible balloons of all sizes adorned with images of people from all walks of life. It was a stunning and powerful exhibit and one I could not get enough of – I passed through this park every day that week I was in Houston (too bad all I had with me was my iphone camera).
The exhibit is called “Through the Eyes of a Child” created with images by the talented artist David Graeve and those taken by children who participate in a program called Change Happens. Change Happens is a 3rd Ward based non-profit who provides various programs for adults and at-risk kids in the Gulf Coast region of Houston – probably one of the poorest in the state. Their new facility in the 3rd Ward stands where crack houses and condemned properties once reigned supreme.
Even though Houston doesn’t float my boat per se, this creative display will stick in my mind for years to come and for that I am grateful. Just goes to show, there are nuggets of beauty no matter where you are in the world and in unexpected places!