We were invited (via Facebook) to a Danza Azteca (Aztec Dance Circle) taking place in Moody Park. The event hostess is an old friend of mine from the Northside who has been traveling the US and Mexico learning this type of Dancing. She was in Houston for a short time and decided to do a dance circle in Moody Park, open to whoever wanted to participate regardless of their familiarity or experience. We joined in and so did a few other park-goers who passed by the gazebo where the dancing was taking place. Everyone dancing had to get smudged (cleansed with a type of incense) before participating.
My friend told me that she had seen quite a few of these kinds of events happening regularly in neighborhood parks when she lived in California. It sounds like maybe there isn’t much of this going on in Texas, much less in Houston. You can see from the photo above that park goers that day were equally as interested as we were. Some young soccer players stopped by and watched for probably 30 minutes. A small family who came by to watch later joined in the dancing. A group of older men sitting at some tables nearby leisurely watched the whole thing unfold that Saturday morning at the park.
We were very glad to see that she decided to just come out to the park one day and do this and we hope she does it more often.
The following Saturday, we came to see the Near Northside BOND annual March on Crime Parade.
The Northside Blocks Organized for Neighborhood Defense (BOND) puts on an annual parade called the March on Crime. This time it started at Clemente Martinez Elementary School, through the neighborhood, ending up at Marshal Middle School.
It’s possible that the route was chosen because of all the Light Rail construction on Fulton. The neighborhood side streets were kind of cramped and quiet, but there were still people out on the lawns, on their porches, and just walking around that stopped to gawk and point out the clowns to their kids.
Going through the side streets was actually really nice. It might have been a little more spectacular on Fulton, but making those tight turns near people’s houses made it strangely intimate. Definitely something unexpected, but not so big and loud to be obtrusive. They did a great job.