Fire Fighting Memorabilia
If there's any fire-fighter in your blood or in your family, this is an interesting side trip to make while in Houston. It's a little South of downtown at 2403 Milam Street. There are nice displays of old fire-fighting memorabilia including a hand-powered and a steam-powered pumper. It' s mostly for the kids with a section of a brass rail for them to slide down and the cabin of a fire truck to climb in and turn the lights on. And lastly, there's a gift shop with a nice selection of T-shirts, tie clips, emblems, and other trinkets with a fire-fighting theme.
Admission is $2 for adults, $1 for kids.
I said since we couldn't go up the San Jacinto Monument for a view of the harbor and countryside (It was closed for renouvation.), we should at least take the FREE Lynchberg ferry over to the north side of the San Jacinto River.
So we did that.
Since 1888, Harris County has operated the Lynchburg Ferry Service. There is no charge for the ferries’ 16 hrs. 7 days a week service.
Todd Shipyard built the William P. Hobby and Ross S. Sterling ferryboats in 1964. Both ferries are 61’8" x 40’5" in length and 8’9" in depth. Their gross weight is 110 tons, and a capacity of 12 vehicles.
There's a lot of current in the river, judging by the way the ferry crabbed into the dock. It doesn't take long to get across though (approximately 7-10 minutes depending on current and weather). We saw quite a lot of barges and tugs.
On the momument side it is on Battleground Rd. The other side is in Baytown (1001 South Lynchburg Road, Baytown, TX 77520)
There was a State Historical Survey Committee site sign next to where you wait for the ferry. It said:
A pioneer ferry of Texas under Mexico and the Republic, established at the confluence of Buffalo Bayou and the San Jacinto River, 1822, by Nathanial Lynch, one of Stephen F. Austin's "Old Three Hundred Colonists". Usual charges at ferries like this were man and horse, 25 cents, cattle 4 cents a head, but rates could be raised for risky high-water service.
Lynch, from Missouri, was an active Texas merchant and judge. After a small settlement grew up near the ferry, he platted the town of "Lynchburg" about 1835, but few shared his enthusiasm for the spot.
In March and April, 1836, as Texan settlers flet the Mexican Army during the War for Independence, hundreds cross the San Jacinto at Lynch's ferry. By April 2, the prairie was covered with wagons, horses, mules, tents, and baggage, but 19 days later at the Battle of San Jacinto, the Mexican General Santa Anna, hoping to cut off a Texan retreat at the ferry, was himslef defeated near the site.
Arcodoro is an intimate restaurant with amazing Sardinian/Italian cuisine. The restaurant is divided into 2 areas; the grill area is a little informal and has bar and patio for both dining and drinking, the dining room has a romantic formal atmosphere where meals can be enjoyed in peace and quiet. Whether you are interested in partaking of the menu while people watching or would simply like to have an excellent meal in an intimate setting Arcodoro can't be beat. Antipasti - Sa Fregula
Insalate - Marchese
Pasta&Rosotto - Agnelotti Dorati or Bomboloni ai Carciofi
Carne&Pesce - Salmone alle Ostriche or Pesce al Sale
The Menil collection
Great museum, not too big, not too small. Paintings of contemporary artists and surrealists, "primitive" art from all over the world. Very pleasant architecture, great lighting inside.
Other buildings that belong to the Menil collection and are within walking distance: the Rothko chapel (spooky), the Byzantine Fresco chapel (elegant), the Twonbly gallery (is this guy an artist???), and Richmond Hall (interesting).
Everything is free!
Bayou City Art Festival
The Bayou City Art Festival is a bi-annual event that has been named one of the 200 best events in the USA. It takes place in the fall and in the spring either in downtown Houston or in Memorial Park. It was amazing to see so much talent set up around Memorial Park. Artists come from all over and personally sell their items. I think that's half the appeal...to look at art (or purchase) from the artist directly.
For me? Going on Saturday was a bit of a disaster. I think everyone else in the city had the idea to go and it was TERRIBLY crowded. The artists were set up around a concrete sidewalk circle. You could hardly get through to the booths and stopping to admire the art was almost impossible as people were pushing around and strollers were running over everyone's feet.
Other than the art there are two stages with multicultural musicians playing. And there is pleeenty of food from all sorts of vendors. Almost all types of food. Then, my personal favorite area, the kids zone! The kids zone is about 5-10 art projects set up like decorate a plastic car, paint a rock, decorate a paper hat, etc. If/when I have kids this is going to be an annual event, for sure.
Getting there: There is not much parking around, as it's more of a biking area. However, the city has set up two park-n-rides. We went to the one at Memorial Park Mall and found it to be extremely efficient. When we got there, a long line was waiting for two coach buses but the line moved continuously. We never stood there waiting for a bus. It was great. The deal breaker? It was free.....woohoo!
So, recap...great event. Probably better to go on a Friday evening or Sunday. Take the bus! Enjoy the art!