Small Experiences in Houston, TX

Passing through in just a few days, I had some notable small experiences in Houston, TX this week.

Here they are:

Eating Dinner with a Lizard

First, I enjoyed a delightful meal at Bistro Menil with this guy below. He sat on the floor; I at a table, and we both chomped away at our dinner together. Not sure what he was eating (bread?), but I had the eggplant fries as an appetizer (highly recommend) and then a steak soaked in truffle butter, which is how best I like my steak.

I really like lizards. I like how they keep their head so still and then move it really fast. And I like watching their eyes move, too.

He was nice company.

Eating Dinner with a Lizard in Houston, TX

Ending up at the Rothko Chapel 22 Years Later

When I left Bistro Menil, I realized that I was across the street from the Rothko Chapel — the only landmark I visited when I was last in Houston 22 years ago.

The chapel is a non-denominational place of meditation/prayer that was founded by philanthropists who commissioned Rothko to create the space. If I remember correctly, the building is decorated with some of his paintings, and the only window is a skylight. Rothko died before the chapel was completed in 1971.

It was closed when I got there, but I walked around the grounds and sat on a bench and tried to remember what it felt like to be 22 years younger in the same place.

Spotting a Clothing Steamer on a Car

The next day, out for a walk, I spotted a curious contraption affixed to a car. It looked like a really big clothing steamer or one of those terrible hair dryers that hang from a holder on the wall and only work if you keep the button depressed throughout the hair drying. Or a loud speaker that yells things at people while driving. Or a vacuum attachment for upholstery.

What is it?

This is a new one for me as compared to the ho-hum bikes and trunks and kayaks I see on cars in New York.

Comparing Houston Gluten Free Pho to Louisville Gluten Free Pho

For lunch that day, I had a delicious bowl of gluten free chicken pho at Lúa Kiet Kitchen. While waiting for my soup, I looked back to my 2019 photos from the same conference, that year in Louisville, Kentucky.

I found the comparison very satisfying.

Enjoying a Cella on the Street

I was overjoyed to come across single, sealed Cellas at the CVS near my hotel. As I lack the self-control to purchase an entire box of Cellas, the good fortune to grab a single Cella is not to be passed up.

I enjoyed two on the street.

Eating a Cella on the Street

Sitting on the Floor at a Convention Center

Over at the convention center, I reluctantly took to the floor and listened to the livestream on my phone because the rooms were full. That’s my dress in the picture.

Observing grown adults clad in professional clothing sitting on the floor is, I find, a phenomenon unique to a conference at a convention center. I wish there would be better design. Bigger break-out rooms. More seating in chairs and benches.

But there we all were on the floor.

This time, however, I noticed a lot of sneakers, and I gladly took the cue and ditched heeled sandals for my soiled Birkenstocks.

Oh, and just an aside — apparently there’s no more shoe removal at the airport these days — except if you’re wearing Birkenstocks. After multiple announcements from TSA that shoes could stay on, one TSA officer loudly yelled out at me, “Your Birkenstocks are going to set off the alarm. Just saying.” Off they went.

Watching Law Firm Associates Play Table Tennis in a Corporate Food Court

I tried not to look.

But this must be the new thing at the big law firms — table tennis and cornhole — a take on the Google-type campus. I wonder if they’re also having internal meetings in a hot air balloon basket.

My hotel was situated in the big law firm neighborhood, and I was surrounded by all of the partner name pairs from my past life. I spent 20 minutes on a bench outside one of the firms’ lobbies, just watching the lawyers come and go.

Coincidentally(?) Hearing Blue Bayou (the Linda Ronstadt Version) in the Lower Level of a Skyscraper

And finally Blue Bayou.

I remembered just how much I love this song — particularly the Linda Ronstadt version — when I saw “White Oak Bayou” appear in my Google Maps and briefly planned a bicycle outing (that never transpired).

Blue Bayou then popped into my head, and for the next three or so minutes, I walked down the street singing it kind of out loud.

Having spotted a GF restaurant that I saw the day before in my app, I headed across the street and entered the skyscraper to check out the restaurant’s menu for a future lunch.

And there it was. One of those moments too coincidental for the laws of physics. Blue Bayou playing loudly as I rode down the escalator.

I love the flower in her hair. I want to wear a flower in my hair every day. This article discusses how she deeply regrets the flowers, sadly.

Have you been to Houston? What’s your favorite thing to do there?

Say some things.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this post on small experiences in Houston, TX, you might enjoy this one on Glencolumbkille, Ireland.

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  1. Thank you for sharing these experiences !! You seem to find something special in all your excursions!!!!!!!

Say some things.