Visitors and newcomers often ask about interesting things to see and do in
and around Houston, and in past I've told about something &/or sent a URL
or two, but thought I'd try to organize this a little so I can just send a link
to this page.
First, a little personal info. I live about halfway between the Westlake
office where I worked for BP (retired 2008) and downtown, near Voss Road
between San Felipe and Westheimer. We (my wife Diane Persson and I, and two
children, now grown) first moved to Houston
in 1982, from Alberta,
where we were born and educated (two degrees each from U of A). We've lived in
5 different locations around the city, and were elsewhere from 1988 to 1998 (Tulsa and Calgary). Unlike many
people we worked with, we like Houston and were eager to move back here. For
more personal stuff, visit our family Internet site, http://persjohn.net. Over the years, we
realized that we're not suburbanites, and the closer to downtown the happier we
were, since most everything we like to do is near there -- theater, music,
Church isn't everyone's priority, but is significant for us. We belong to Christ the King Lutheran Church (ELCA), at the corner of Rice and Greenbriar near the northwest corner of the Rice University
campus. The Bach Society
presents public concerts that we support, and I organized a Science
& Religion Discussion Group that meets the 3rd Friday of the month at
A big part of the reason we're U.S. citizens today is NPR, and we've supported KUHF 88.7 every year we've lived in Houston. Given our ethnic
background, we especially enjoy Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion, in addition to
the news shows and Car Talk.
We’ve subscribed to the Alley
Theatre season, and also Stages.
Besides the Bach Society, we
often attend Houston
Not just music and definitely not in town, a place we often go and recommend
is the Festival-Institute at Round Top about 90 miles northwest of
the city. They have a marvelous facility and summer residential music program,
with B&B and occasional concerts the rest of the year. Not your regular
B&B, since the main overnight event is the dinner following an afternoon
An offbeat place we often recommend is the Art Car Museum,
on Heights Blvd
just south of I-10. Related is the Art Car parade every spring
(2010-May-08), connected with another offbeat place, the Orange Show, which also looks after the
famous beer can
house (222 Malone). Not for everybody, but unique to Houston and a place we've
taken visitors is the Funeral Museum.
Definitely alternative entertainment, micro cinema is at the Aurora Picture Show. More conventional
art movies tend to be at Landmark
Theatres or Angelika. For live
comedy/theater, we love Radio Music
Theatre, home of the fabled Fertle family of
More mainstream, there's a good Visitor
Center in City
Hall. The Port
of Houston has a nice boat tour that we've done a couple times and recommend.
We belong to GPHA, the Greater Houston
Preservation Alliance, and often do their monthly walking tours of different
parts of the city, and also connected us with the 1940 Air Terminal Museum at Hobby Airport.
Rice University's Fondren Library
can be used by the public, and has an excellent collection. The Texas Medical Center is an interesting complex
and used to have a tour (Diane works there for UT). Rice and TMC are near the Museum District, where we
often visit and are members of MFAH, which
also has the historic Bayou
Bend mansion. The Menil
Collection and smaller satellite museums (Twombly,
Richmond Hall Dan Flavin, Rothko Chapel, Byzantine Fresco) are all worth a visit. The University of
Houston has a nice art gallery, the Blaffer Gallery.
Given where we live, we often shop at the Galleria, despite the perpetual
traffic snarl. Not in the Galleria but a place we often go is Ikea, partly because their
international headquarters is near the town in Sweden where Diane's father came
Our favorite pizza place in Antonio's
Flying Pizza, near us but also endorsed by Mike King as the best pizza he's had
since he grew up in Brooklyn.
I've passed over the obvious things like the Space Center, but tried to
emphasize things my wife and I especially like and which are easy to overlook,
even for people who live in Houston. I hope this page of thumbnail reviews and
links helps friends who visit or move to Houston. More info can be found at http://www.visithoustontexas.com/,
has more on the ironic side life in Houston. The http://fresharts.org/
website lists a lot of the alternative arts places and events.
Go to the persjohn