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March 17, 2013 -

Mariachi performance at the old library columns in Castillo Park

The photo above was taken during the National Night Out in 2012 at Castillo Park. Mariachis performed beneath the columns that were original to the old Carnegie Branch Library building, which was demolished around 1980 to build a new Carnegie Branch Library, again renamed as Carnegie Neighborhood Library and Literacy Support Center.

The library was called "Carnegie" in name only. It actually opened as the Northside Library around 1910 on Henry Street, and was one of the first branches of the Houston Public Library. Its architecture was supposedly based on Thomas Jefferson's Monticello. The library was renamed when the real Carnegie Library and Lyceum in Houston, originally on the corner of Main and McKinney) was replaced in 1924 by a new Central Library building which still exists today as the Julia Ideson Building of the Central Library (itself replaced by the current Central Library building in 1976).

At the time that the new Carnegie Branch Library was being built, the architects and stakeholders decided to save only the columns of the original building as a monument. Those columns exist today and are used as an amphitheater setting for performances like the one above.


March 21, 2008 -

Buffalo Bayou at Wayside

This is not in the Northside, but I thought it was cool. This is Buffalo Bayou over by Hidalgo Park on Avenue Q, in the East End. Unlike many other cities I've visited, Houston doesn't have a large body of water near the city center. We have Buffalo Bayou as it runs on the north end of downtown, but it looks so small, like a little canal. Austin has "Town Lake", Chicago has Lake Michigan (and a river), San Francisco is a peninsula, and Manhattan is an island. It's kinda weird that downtown Houston, where Buffalo Bayou is so narrow, developed so far away from the Ship Channel where the Bayou looks so grand and has been used as the center of the shipping industry.

I guess its because Allen's Landing is supposedly at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and White Oak Bayou and the city didn't involve itself in shipping until after it was founded. It just kinda seems like a nicer layout if downtown was built where the Bayou is big and strong. I guess the soil around the ship channel must not be very good. the soil around downtown is already clay and mud, so it must be worse even further down the Bayou.

Anyway, I was impressed when I saw this vista over by Hidalgo Park for the first time the other day.


March 16, 2008 -
Wordpress is giving me problems, so I guess I'll just have to blog the old fashioned way. It's loading really slow, so I figured I'd just go back to what I know rather than try to blindly try to fix something. We'll see how this works out. If you still want to see what's on the blog, you can go here.