Adventures in H-Town

Driving around Houston leaves plenty of time for random thoughts and looking at stuff on the road

Driving around Houston leaves plenty of time for random thoughts and looking at stuff on the road

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Why is it that really good ideas just flow like geysers when driving? And has anyone figured out a way to write them all down safely while navigating the streets of this mega city? Photo by © Sandy Mansfield/Flickr

Editor's Note: About a year-and-a-half ago Cathy Parsons moved from Music City (Nashville) to the Bayou City (Houston). In a periodic column, she writes about her new life here.

Now that I have gotten my bearings around the Houston, I feel compelled to share a few choice observations from all the hours I have logged hauling myself from the suburbs to take advantage of the good life inside the loop. As I explained in my first Adventures in H-Town column, I moved to Houston from Nashville to be with my love, RT, and to start a new life. So far, life in the Bayou City has been good, very good.  

The only small snag was that RT and I actually resided outside the loop, thus, I have spent an inordinate amount of time on the roads of the city in my quest to pursue meaningful employment and to indulge my many hobbies and interests and to follow up with various and sundry new friends.

 Just a few of the things that have run through my mind in the past few months of logging major road time: Is the George R. Brown Convention Center supposed to look like an ocean liner?

 

RT has listened with great amusement as I have now started offering him and others my shortcuts around the city and other choice tips. I fully agree that I am way too proud of my accomplishment of learning my way around without the use of my GPS, but I do have some musings that have continued to pop into my head during my road time. 

For example.....

Why is it that really good ideas just flow like geysers when driving? And has anyone figured out a way to write them all down safely while navigating the streets of this mega city?

And radio stations.....

I am not sure if it’s just my observation or do a whole bunch of radio stations show an overt fondness for the works of Boston and Lynyrd Skynyrd?  I mean a day without “More Than A Feeling” or “Give Me Three Steps” is like a day without classic rock radio. 

For a while, I was totally captivated by a jumbo billboard on Hwy. 59 that boldly declared, “Jennifer, I love you!” I could hardly concentrate on words of the next classic rock song for wondering about the guy who ponied up some big bucks to impress this Jennifer.

 Switching to Adult Alternative has proved to bring Train song after Train song. If you want to know the words to “Drops of Jupiter," just shoot me an email.

 Switching to Adult Alternative has proved to bring Train song after Train song. If you want to know the words to “Drops of Jupiter," just shoot me an email. Done! Just heard that they will be performing at the rodeo.  No surprise there!  Their fan base here is enormous.

Why do people choose bright neon colors for cars?  And more importantly, why do they then select a vanity plate that says something like, “R U Envious?”  Seriously??  Get stopped by the police much?

My friend Rebecca always drives like she feels. All pepped up equals FAST, exhausted or depressed — then very s l o w l y. I noticed that I too have been guilty of this trait, and recently got a lil’ reminder that I better slow it down. So if you see a silver Camry poking along, then be kind. I love nothing better than to zip along the streets just like you, but I dislike the thought of yet another day of traffic school even more.

Other questions

Why are signs stating “Historic Markers” often placed in front of a historic marker?  A bit redundant or just being thorough?  But I kind of like this.

Why does Westheimer near Montrose seem like one really big lane?

 Why does Westheimer near Montrose seem like one really big lane? 

Do people really read those flashing signs alerting drivers to a Missing Elderly Person (all of which seem to be driving an Oldsmobile) or the road conditions? 

Did anyone else ever become a wee bit wigged out by driving over that terrifyingly high and steep bridge en route to Galveston?  Scarrrrry! To the cars behind me on that fateful day, so sorry!  From now on, I am relatively sure that I will take another route when the beach calls my name.

Is the George R. Brown Convention Center supposed to look like an ocean liner?

These are just a few of the things that have run through my mind in the past few months of logging major road time.

Stuff on the road

In addition to these random thoughts, I also have a game that I brought my Nashville that I call, “Stuff on the Road.”

So far, I have a surprisingly short list — all from Hwy. 59, but here it is to date: Ladders, all shapes and sizes, ice chests and coolers (one was quite possibly the size of a dorm refrigerator), a giant patio umbrella that I am still sorry I didn’t figure out a way to stash in my car, approximately five bed mattresses, a baby bed, a dead dog that stayed on the shoulder of 59 so long — no lie —that it became mummified (which as a huge animal lover was mighty hard to see day after day), many, many shoes, bags of clothing, an uprooted tree, and no doubt other things that I failed to recall.

But this will be changing now.  Oh yes, indeedy. 2012 is a year of new beginnings for the entire world and a new address for RT and me. So Ta-DAH!! Bye, bye burbs… Hello Urban Bliss!  

So any thoughts on your driving experience in Houston?

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