Day two: Houston

In love with this city. Maybe it’s in this area where I live, but it does not matter. I think I have captured the spirit of the city: warmth, joy, peace, southern brightness and comfort and home. Hot summer-early-autumn evening. Silence And this is a city of millions? And this is one of the central areas? Despite the fact that the city and skyscrapers are constantly looming in the distance, it is still the center of the city. But here it is so surprisingly comfortable that even a decent number of cars draws in principle an image of peace, family and even a kind of romance with its peaceful hum and its slight sound. Until recently, I did not want to enter the house – a beautiful house at sunset, half-empty streets, one-storey houses with flowers and southern brick decorations, palm trees, magnolias … And we feel that there are not many people in the streets not because no one lives here, but because at home or they go home after work, have dinner with their family, or walk quietly at home, or walk quietly on a bicycle, or walk with their dogs and chat with them. The bottom line is that nobody is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. or have dinner with their family, or go home quietly, or ride a bike quietly, or walk with their dogs and talk to them. The bottom line is that nobody is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. or have dinner with their family, or go home quietly, or ride a bike quietly, or walk with their dogs and talk to them. The bottom line is that nobody is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that.

Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. or quietly ride a bike, or walk with their dogs and talk to them. The bottom line is that nobody is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. or quietly ride a bike, or walk with their dogs and talk to them. The bottom line is that nobody is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. no one is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. no one is in a hurry. Everywhere touching comfort and warmth. My favorite cities in the south, people smile and greet you. Just like that. Just because people. They laugh, sometimes they show interest, but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “plantation palace” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies nearby. repaired roads and curved streets with colored pebbles, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children. but all this is not intrusive, not boring. Everything is close, everything is close. Nearby are the old and the new, the broken house and the “palace of the plantation” (that’s what I called Carleton House) with palms and columns and snow-white balconies, close to repaired roads and curved streets with colored stones, next to African Americans I still have American tolerance – I can not say negros anymore! And Mexicans, the elderly and very young children.

Wonderful morning I woke up many times much earlier than waking up because I did not want to sleep anymore, but everyone was too lazy to get up. I went to eat at the supermarket. Did not go in a coat, but only in a hoodie. And even inside, it was a little hot. Got from winter to summer. It would be taking this time with you for all cities to have the same summer. I met a Brazilian pediatrician on the way, but he was leaving the hostel. She promised to write him the name of the hostel in New York. He will be there too, but he has not ordered a hotel yet. And she began to open the city – morning, warm sleep, summer, home, green, floral, brick, unusual and cheerful. She passed the Mexican Embassy, ​​where people gathered and waited their turn. Road worker greeted in Spanish. True, this phrase “Do you speak Spanish?” Was my meager knowledge of Spanish, so I laughed and answered that only a little. He laughed too and noticed that, nevertheless, I understood what he had said. Funny, can my appearance even look like a Mexican girl ?

I bought incredibly tasty cheese, milk and my favorite pellet on the market. I decided it would be enough for two days. And went to discover Houston. He is so, just like in my Texas childhood dreams – merry, open, warm, somewhat careless and very comfortable. Hollow skyscrapers (the architects seemed to like this idea – they did not use it in the same building), beautiful churches with colorful windows, weather museum, blooming paper trees, cows flowers grazing on the lawn, fishermen hats with hats, South Africa or palaces and southern Arab houses, Mexican taverns. A mix of races, cultures and nationalities. The museum of African art with wooden idols at the entrance, red telephone booths, like London, snowy arrows of churches against the mirrored windows of a skyscraper (much reminiscent of the new Arbat ). Struck by the building of the University of St. Thomas. Apparently, this is one of the largest universities here, as the sign indicates that the university is close to the east on each street symbol. This helped (or rather tried to help) the college guys who conducted the survey “Do you think the Huston team will win the next football championship?” to win. It was funny when they had to write my name, because I dictated the letters, but when I said everything together, they just sighed deeply. So, about the university building – an amazing combination of modern secular architecture and religion – it turned out to be a special building of modern religion. And a huge mirror cross in honor of a certain Edward Whites, who was the rector of the university and did a lot of good for him. A very short touching “American” biography on a commemorative plaque – what a good father and what a good rector he was.

She lost herself a little while looking for the Rothko Chapel – everyone expected to see a magnificent building – as described, it is the center of spirituality of all religions. Once found, did not immediately realize that was it. No huge signage. Ordinary iron gates. Without any mark. Timidly open, entered. From the outside, it looks like a brick warehouse or an element linked to electricity. Inside, it’s more a place to visit – a reception, an information booklet. All museums offer to register as a visitor, leave your address. After that, they told me the glass doors and said, “Look!” After learning that I came from Russia, they added that Rothko was also of Russian – Lithuanian origin. Well, yes, of course, somewhere over there – Russia, Lithuania … A big round room. When I entered, I did not understand right away what to watch. I completely forgot that I read about this place about the unusual interior and surrealism of the author. And it was not until much later that I was struck, where I heard Rothko’s name. Of course! I was in Moscow in the Garage showroom, where at that time there was an exhibition of Rothko paintings – funny monochrome rectangles. Well, the truth is straightforward, he did not impress me at the time. But here I remembered how much I had read about this chapel – a sacred place for all believers, regardless of their religion or even their atheism, the place of meditation, reflection and the birth of creativity. Therefore, honestly, I sat on the bench, read the booklet and started to “dive” (or rather try, because it worked hard) in the spirituality of this round room. I have never met a foreign place in my life. I have never seen a foreign “sanctuary”! Round stone hall with gray walls. Above, a curious construction, resembling a dome, rising. True you will notice then that it is only an optical illusion and that the design is almost flat. In the middle of this circle is a hole through which a small piece of sky is visible. The rest of the light falls on the sides of the round building and the room is lighted. It’s curious, but in fact, the chapel inside is built according to the plan of the church – a kind of dome, dividing into one part of the altar (central) and the adjacent side. In a circle on all walls hang paintings – black and purple canvases. Fully shaded. That’s all. And when I came in, it seemed to me that the paintings were all equally black, but after taking a look, I found differences in nuances. So in the altar of the triptych. The same triptychs on the side walls. But behind a large canvas. Black benches and some carpets with cushions for meditation near the “altar” (not sure if it’s true, maybe I just saw it like that). And the most interesting thing that was possible in these black paintings was indeed a sacred meaning and a secret of spirituality and creativity.

After all, colors (especially bright) distract the mind, do not allow to focus on the inner thought. And looking at these images, in which nothing is really drawn, each represents his own, each creates, each one hears his own inner thought. Otherwise, he gets up and leaves. But if he stays, then everyone draws his paintings on these paintings. For some reason, the saints have continually imagined – on “the altar”, Christ, and on each side of the saints, the Virgin, the woman, the old woman. And I really saw them, it was very unusual – it really seemed to me that traditional icons were simply painted on canvas before, and that the author painted them with black and purple paint, but the outlines remained. I calmed down from there. And near the chapel, the so-called “relaxation pool” “Broken Figurine” – I do not know how it was done, but the water is really incredibly soft and calm and is really synonymous with relaxation. Until now, before his eyes, there was a discreet reflection reflected in the water, like a broken silhouette at the waist.

Then went to the museum of Byzantine frescoes. Honestly, the museum does not talk about anything. A small room (well, well decorated), two large frescoes (stolen in Byzantium at a time) and two small icons. And that’s all. Somehow disappointed. But then I went to the museum of the Menil collection. And I thought, naive, that after that, I would go to the next gallery – there seems to be modern art – a big collection. I probably spent three hours at the museum and was so overwhelmed with information that I could not look at any objects associated with art. It’s just amazing! Find the 1500 icon “Saint Nicholas” of Karelia at the Menila Museum! The strongest impression of the objects of antiquity – how could they create such a miniature, such openwork, delicate, talented and well written , carved figures, engravings, paintings, sculptures, figures, facial features? How could they create such an incredibly beautiful and proportioned art in the devil who knows what centuries before our era? Yes, I would not have refused to have pins and chests as wonderful. And my dad would really like to give this incredibly clean and touching medallion to St. George. But it is impossible to believe that these portraits of mummies are painted on cloth in 150 BC! Such a precise transfer of facial features, so beautiful human faces, that I want to watch them constantly …

Fourth Day Houston Road to New Orleans
Third day in Houston