Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Galleria: Drive, Don’t Walk

Uptown is what the Galleria Area would like to be called, and in relation to Montrose and Downtown the analogy is apt. The Galleria could give Beverly Hills a run for its money in plastic surgery and Bentleys.

A popular attraction for family photos and romantic walks, The Williams Waterwall is a multi-story sculptural fountain which sits at the south end of Williams Tower in Uptown. The tower, the fountain and its surrounding park were designed by architect Philip Johnson.

Cafe Annie @ BLVD via swamplot

Café Annie is one of the most celebrated restaurants in town. With sophisticated food and ever evolving tastes, the chefs here are really working it. Expensive menus make it a special treat, or try their food to share at Bar Annie, every afternoon, where the goodness can be had for much less. Located at Post Oak and San Felipe just north of Westheimer.

Many streets are excessively large, with eight lanes in some places. Street level architectural flourishes verge on the futuristic. The Galleria attracts the most protests in Houston due to high traffic, difficult police enforcement and the ability to easily cause havoc.

Janitors' Protest at Post Oak Blvd

Upper Kirby: Sprawl in the City

Megan at the House of Guys
Mr. Wright

The best think about Upper Kirby is House of Pies. This 24 hour establishment holds tender memories for many, and they have the greasy Monte Christo and O’Brien potatoes to prove it. The diner is always packed, but the crowd changes from elderly couples in the morning to second-hand businessmen and tourists in the afternoon. By nightfall groups of high school students have drank their weight in coffee. In the middle of the night the restaurant is affectionately known as the “House of Guys” for the flamboyant groups on their way home from a night on the town mixing with sleep deprived college students and tables of policemen. Offering a selection of early forty cakes and pies, there is never a bad time for House of Pies.


Driving down Westheimer, Alabama or Richmond will get you to either Montrose or the Galleria, and the streets of Upper Kirby are lined with many replica telephone booths which resemble those in London, as well as replica British mail boxes.

Reenactment of Ant Farm's Kidnapping Buckminster Fuller

Rice Village: Town in the City

Just south of the 59 Freeway on Kirby Drive, Rice Village is the local spot for the affluent neighborhoods of University Place and West University. Anchored by a busy Half Price Books at the corner of University Avenue, the Village has grown incredibly over the last few years, but if you can bear the traffic there is still a significant charm to the place. In addition to good shopping, the Village holds three French restaurants, two Japanese, two Chinese, two Italian, a Mexican, two Spanish, a Mediterranean, a Vietnamese, an Indian, and three Thai restaurants. The best Reuben in the world, with purple sauerkraut, can be had at Kahn’s Delicatessen on Rice Boulevard. Next door at Salento the cappuccino is always hot, the conversation in French and the music live jazz.

Lunch at Goode Company Seafood, Patrick and Eleanor

Just off the Kirby exit at US59, at the corner of Westpark, Houston’s Restaurant serves exquisite meals that are both delicate and hearty. Nearby is the decadent Goode Co. Barbeque and around the corner on Westpark is Goode Co. Seafood, where everything is is fresh out of the Gulf. We always get a dozen oysters and iced tea.