Downtown Houston in mostly Photos, Tx

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

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So this morning I am wondering what are we really doing here? From “The Oasis” it was a bit of the Hill Country, weather deteriorating we took up an invite near by Houston to spend some time with Kristi and her family, much cooking, photography and throughout these bursts of time missing our deserted “back there” space. The urban setting is interesting. We picked a Saturday and Sunday to park ourselves downtown and just walk around catching odd lines of new buildings, of old ones, water fountains and everything in between. Too many photos as usual. Together we tried to sort them out keeping the ones that spoke to the senses. But do they really?

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There is no doubt that the strolling, camera in hand, the exchange of opinions toward what to shoot and not to shoot, “how and why”, is more than interesting, even more so as I always thought, and actually have written about it, the fact that company while photographing could not be done, this was my own opinion. I have been wrong, similar situation really as two wheels or three wheels riding. There is a “zone” one gets into, I always thought that “zone” would be disturbed, I now know that with mutual respect of one’s space, ideas and shots are actually enhanced as time goes on discovering new sights. There were angles I did not see, there were lines she did not either and together we end up having a wonderful and positive time coming back to this same destination “downtown Houston”, probably very different then on a weekday!

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Man made structures of defiant forms and shapes and sizes. Not much left here from Mother Nature’s palette, maybe a tree or two transported and grafted into this cement and glass dense forest. A bit of brass here and there, a resemblance to make us think through a few fountains that water indeed still runs when helped by gravity, steel protruding in every direction one can imagine, I had in front of me the result of gazillion man hours resulting into this giant shelter called “downtown”. The senses cannot be helped, they are constantly and rightly so in admiration or is it maybe some consternation for it all, but seemingly, one’s avenue’s mindless traffic never flowed these past couple days. It was that feel of my feet through my thin leather moccasins with no rocks and adobe powder to be one with, it was the touch of my hands only grasping these artificial materials so abundant but never old enough to raise any awareness or deep thoughts as our old paths always had.

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And I think, I have to think, “it is all good”. It is all good because this nest is the seed for thousands of families and their dependants enabling them to create a living to make it through their own lives. The choice of the geographical aspect does not play much, does not give anyone much freedom. Lets face it, what would a family with two children do in Big Bend Valley when it came to a much needed income to live through it all. So again there is as in everything else the other side of the coin, not necessarily a darker one, just another side where one due to personal needs more than anything else has to remain structured within these man made extensions sheltering the masses in need of urban survival.

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Even if I did not feel that extra touch that so often grabs me when in our favorite spaces, even if my ears are not filled with the past constant silence experienced so often, the motions of being here only shows me how right I am for my own self not to deviate from the path we have taken these past months. One has to be hungry at times to appreciate food, one has to be troubled in some moments to at other times adorn a smile. There is a facet of Life I am missing right now, but, I am aware of it, I know where to find it, I know where it lays and will welcome us back, these days, today, these hours, they are all the ones that make me appreciate what we have left behind only for a short time.

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We also lived by need in the past within urban surroundings. I did not have a choice at the time, not much choice really now either besides the fact that I am forcing the issue and every day taking a chance that we will survive it all as we have been. As much camping and riding I have done in the past, the depth of the difference between the urban living and getting lost within Mother Nature’s dwellings was never as sizable as it is now today, almost as black and white, almost now a “need” versus only a desire, a prescription for the times to come, feeling as I would slowly fade away if left within these spaces lacking a natural signature.

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We are headed back today, there are a few totally freezing nights coming up in the Hill Country, we will just have to endure it all as “The Oasis” awaits for us on our way to Death Valley very soon, at least that is what I am thinking about right now. Amazing what “space” can do, can feel like. A good thing? a bad thing? who knows… all I know is the fact that I feel my environment all too well, it’s materials, colors, temperatures and all. I am curious sometimes myself as to what will be next. All the well liked spaces seems to have a common denominator “silence”… “vast” and spirited on the path of a pure and white soul I feel reaching closer and closer.

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This whole experience has been good for Spirit and myself. The company of a good Friend like Kristi, her kindness and her own spirituality is what made us take this detour for a bit. I am starting to appreciate more and more as time goes by the company of good Friends. The ability to ride together, photograph together, meet her family, her fun and entertaining children, well, it has been an experience I never imagined would take place. Not quite these days “Life under the Stars”… not the night’s skies Stars anyhow, but the Human Friendly Stars we have met.

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Twenty eight months of Photography is finally in order on SmugMug… In “Your Favorites”, in “States”, some labeled “first year” and second year”, now also “Texas the third year”. Feel free to browse, you can even use the slide show mode and have fun.

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Merchandise is also available through SmugMug. If you like to order a print all sizes are available as I store the originals myself considering the huge bandwidth needed to upload on the Gallery.

Help us keep the site alive. Please contribute… The logistics of it have become costly. It is an open book, its pages for the taking with always the hope that you will support their presence.

Be well…

Ara & Spirit

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5 Responses to “Downtown Houston in mostly Photos, Tx”

  1. Barney Says:

    Your Houston pictures remind me that after living there 56 years, living on the road is sooooo much better.

  2. Marti Says:

    Hi Ara —

    I do love these images, especially the ones where you isolated a part of the environment or looked at the environment from a very unique angle. You’ve developed quite an eye and it shows more and more every day.

    Hoping you can hang around in Death Valley until the end of February. If not, I’ll see you in Big Bend in the fall.

    Happy riding — Marti

  3. Colorado Kid Says:

    Ara, your photography is fabulous, as usual, even if the subject matter leaves much to be desired this time around.

    Glad you survived the city, makes me glad I don’t live in one. I’ll take a little shack or even a tent out in the middle of nowhere any day over a palace in a city. Travel safe.

  4. JayElDee Says:

    YES!
    That is what I meant a few days ago. The contrasts will sharpen your senses. It is not a “fix,” but a needed dose of spiritual medicine to repair what ails you. It is not the destination, but points the way.

    Nice pics, btw

    stay well!

    John

  5. Randy Says:

    Ara, I enjoy your photos wherever you are. The city’s straight lines and angles have an appeal all there own. I like following you on the Spot tracker too. Like riding 10 minutes behind you. And Spot provided a safety solution for our back country fly-in camping and hiking so I bought one. I fired up my V-Strom and Pam’s Honda this afternoon because I couldn’t stand it any long. Even if it is only15 and snow everywhere. You help me dream. Thanks!

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