When I was in my teens, I would take family trips to San Antonio, Austin, and Houston. Austin is a fun hipster college town while the city of San Antonio has a very romantic charm to it. I was not very fond of Houston growing up. Even though it is the largest city in Texas, I always found there was never anything that made me want to come visit and it was always very humid (I hate humidity). Now in my 20s, I find that the city itself has grown into a place that caters to a diverse population and has become a very appealing location for young millennials.
When I was on my way back from New Orleans, I made a pit stop in Houston to check out some locations that caught my eye through social media. First on the list was BAPS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir Hindu Shrine. I have only ever been to Vietnamese Buddhist Temples so seeing the architecture for a Hindu Shrine was very interesting. The stones used to build this shrine were imported from overseas in different pieces and assembled together here in the states.
In most Asian culture, shoes and formal attire must be worn in places of worship. At this shrine, women must have their shoulders covered and if you are wearing a skirt, it must go past your knees. They provide shawls and cover ups if you are not wearing the appropriate attire but still want to go inside the shrine. Unfortunately, I did not get to go inside but my brother did and he thought the architecture inside was very unique and captivating.
After visiting the Hindu shrine, I went to the Biscuit Paint Wall! This was a little hidden gem located on the side wall of a home decor place called Biscuit Home located in Montrose. It is literally a wall with dripping paint and was painted by French, Houston based artist Sebastien “Mr. D” Boileu. Like the “I love you so much” wall in Austin, this is a fun place to stop by for extra fun photos!
For my last stop, I went to see giant statues of different Presidents. The cool thing was that the statues were only of their heads! The artist that made the President Heads series is David Adickes. His studio is located in a quiet area a little bit out of the city under the highway and is fenced off. I read that the heads used to not be fenced in but due to vandalism it had to be done. Nowadays you can’t get into the studio area unless you happen to catch the artist there on that day. I believe the President I took a picture of was George H. Bush but I could be wrong. Do you know which President this is? Along with the heads, there was a surprise guest! Mr. Charlie Chaplin was added to the statue collection back in 2014 and he is overlooking the Presidents at 35 feet tall! I read that there are also statues of the Beatles but I did not see them when I was there.
Overall, I had a good time during my short visit in Houston. It is now definitely a place I wouldn’t mind coming back to visit. Back then I probably would have said “Houston we have a problem” but now I think it is safe to say “Houston we are good to go”!
Thank you for reading! Until next time.
Yours truly, Linh