Sunday, July 22, 2007

Urban Beauty

This past week, I took a course at Rice University and was able to drive through my favorite area in Houston on a daily basis. Two of my favorite neighborhoods, Southampton and Boulevard Oaks are located here. To most people, these neighborhoods are seemingly one in the same, as they don’t have huge stone signs flanked by waterfalls at their entrances like the neighborhoods in my two syllable suburb do.

I am completely enamored by the fairy tale streets lined with majestic Live Oak trees. I love the image of stately homes from the 1920's - 1940's cohabitating peacefully with modern mansions. This jewel box of an area is a true oasis. Peaceful, beautiful, and dignified, yet urban in every sense of the word. Its residents post signs saying things like "War is not the answer" or "Poets for Peace" in their lawns. To me, it seems as though every house has its own story. If the walls could really talk, I would sit and listen intently for hours.

The Live Oaks, which I mentioned earlier, are what makes the area so special. Their canopies shade the streets from the blistering Houston heat. They add a sense of romanticism as their branches contort gracefully down the esplanades on North and South Boulevards and throughout the rest of Boulevard Oaks. A writer from The New York Times once wrote:

"To stand at the foot of South Boulevard in Houston is to look down what
is perhaps the most magnificent residential street in America. Staged rows
of soaring live oaks form the vaulted arches of a great Gothic cathedral over
a grassy esplanade, lined with imposing yet graceful mansions from the 1920s by
such eminent architects of their day as John F. Staub and Birdsall P.Briscoe."

Yesterday, Fabian and I spent a couple of hours strolling the the area and took a few photographs.


amy <> said...

What beautiful pictures! I saw on MySpace that you started a blog (out of summer boredom)... I did too! You'll have to check it out. :)
Hope you're enjoying your summer!
Amy (Bromley) Owen :)

MrsKatherineA said...

That was a fun read - I've never been to those neighborhoods but have the same enchantment with some of older neighborhoods in San Antonio and Dallas, I could spend all day driving through them!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful homes. I love old neighborhoods w/ character. I would leave the stone sign flanked by waterfalls and the guard gate in a second for one of these! That era of homes is one of my very favorite, we spend lots of time driving through the old neighborhoods down the hill from us. Thanks for sharing. :)

Cote de Texas said...

I live about 5 minutes from this street! Sheer torture to be so near, yet so so so far away! hahahahha, love this!