Galveston Oh Galveston

The weather for the last few days has been spectacular. Lows in the 50’s and highs in the 60’s and 70’s. I had Friday off and wanted to take advantage of it so I invited my friend Jim Henkel to head off on a road trip to post-Ike Galveston to have a look around.

The Flagship Hotel

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The Flagship Hotel

Galveston is still very tattered. Lots of debris and devastation but signs of life and reconstruction were plainly visible. I wasn’t all that interested in documenting the destruction, but the sight of the Flagship Hotel was pretty compelling.

The Flagship Hotel

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The Flagship Hotel

The Flagship Hotel

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The Flagship Hotel

We checked out Seawall Blvd and then headed to The Strand (Galveston’s historic district) where they were making preparations for the Galveston Mardi Gras. And by preparations I mean people were busy stocking the storefronts with booze.

We found some lunch and then headed off to catch the ferry over to Bolivar Peninsula to have a look around. That was way more depressing. We took a quick look around and then made our way back to Houston.

The road to recovery is a long one for poor Galveston.

2008 Dragon Boat Festival

Despite the rain warnings on the local news stations, Saturday turned out to be a spectacular day for the 8th Annual Dragon Boat Festival hosted by The Texas Dragon Boat Association downtown at Allen’s Landing.

I’d been meaning to get down there one of these years to see the festival and this was the year.

Cynthia and I got there early and it did look like it was going to rain. We headed up to the top of Fanning street bridge to shoot the early races. This afforded us some unique perspectives and great overview of the whole event…

Ultimately, though, it was sitting under the shade trees on the opposite bank of Buffalo Bayou that presented the best viewing option. We camped there for a few hours and watched the races while taking pictures and hanging out with our friends Barrett and Amanda.

Row you maggots!

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Row you maggots!

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Ramming Speed!

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Pull that thing over and show me your dragon boat license

Good Times In San Antonio

I must say, I enjoyed my (work) trip to San Antonio much more than I had anticipated. The River Walk didn’t smell like I remember from my last visit many years ago, so that was a plus. Must have had something to to with the spectacular weather last week.

And even though it was a work related event and there was plenty to do, I did manage to get out and shoot some interesting pictures and make some surprising discoveries.

We wrapped up the event at a ranch on the outskirts of San Antonio for the awards banquet. That’s where I encountered this odd fellow…

Cowboy

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cowboy

Cowboy

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cowboy

That’s one tame bull, I tell you what. I kinda felt sorry for the poor thing. But I suppose being a trained bull is one way to steer clear of the slaughter house. *rimshot*

And much like last year, I spent some time with The Irish Contingent which netted me a few more pictures of the gang from Galway who are more fun than a bar full of Irishmen. Speaking of which, here are pictures of a bar full of those same Irishmen plus one Irish woman (and Patrick, who’s Dutch but lives in Ireland).

The Irish
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the Irish

The Irish

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the Irish

Jesse Trevino

While in San Antonio I went with a group of co-workers one evening to eat at Mi Tierra. After a great meal and maybe one too many margaritas we decided to walk back the hotel rather than catch the bus or a cab. The weather was quite nice and it was only a mile or so and it ended up being a great decision. It was on the walk back that I noticed the multi-story mural I posted a picture of previously.

In my research to find out more about that piece I learned it was done completely in mosaic tile by a man named Jesse Trevino, a local San Antonio artist who lost his painting hand in the Vietnam war and had to rehabilitate and re-learn to paint using his left hand.

That lead me to read about the two-story mosaic candle depicting the Virgin of Guadalupe on the side of the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center on Guadalupe street. This was something I decided I had to see and I made the decision to go find it before driving back to Houston.

It is proclaimed to be the largest depiction of the Virgin of Guadalupe outside the Cathedral in Mexico City. It is, in fact, a replica of the Virgin of Guadalupe votive candle.

The detail is impressive!

I’ve taken the time to add a collection of detail shots which you can see by clicking on any of the thumbnail images below.

Guardian Angel

Jesse Trevino’s mural “Spirit Of Healing.”

The impressive tile mural, which is permanently displayed at the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital, is the only one of its kind in the United States. This tallest mural is made with tiles of 70 different tile colors, all imported from Germany. Each panel is cemented and put together like a jigsaw puzzle.

2,000 pieces of tile
70 tile colors
93 feet high by 43 feet wide.