Last week I highlighted artists, what inspires them and how they get out of creative ruts. They were inspiring, weren’t they?
What about me? I like to recharge by changing the scenery, and I’ve not done that very effectively lately.
My favorite go-to space in Houston is Hermann Park. The park is a great spot for short or long trips. Maybe you’ll spot me at my favorite haunts there over the next week.
It’s massive yet easy to walk. Parking there can be an issue, but there’s plenty of parking near the museums if you don’t mind walking. There’s also public transportation or car service. Once there, park yourself on a bench near the reflection pool with the Sam Houston sculpture behind you. Fifteen minutes there watching the comings and goings of humanity and ducks, and you realize the simulates are horrifyingly similar!
I almost always trek up the Miller Outdoor Theater hill to watch the kids roll down it. Satisfied that I won’t be trying that again, I wander off to discover new areas in the park that I tend to miss on short trips.
The McGovern Centennial Gardens can help you get inspired and healthy all in one afternoon.
From the hermannpark.org website: “To commemorate Hermann Park’s centennial in 2014, Hermann Park Conservancy transformed the former Houston Garden Center site into the 8-acre McGovern Centennial Gardens. Visitors can explore a variety of themed garden rooms arranged situated along a spacious central lawn, the Centennial Green, and are home to more than 490 new trees of over 50 species, 760 hedge shrubs, 55,000 perennial bulbs, 650 azaleas and 4.5 acres of grass.”
The main entry into the gardens is through the Cherie Flores Garden Pavilion, which was designed by Peter Bohlin, architect of Apple stores worldwide. Now, how cool is that?
What I could not find was information on “The Mount.” You’ll know it when you see it, though. The green spiral “hill” draws people in like a magnet. This hill towers 30 feet above the gardens opposite the pavilion like a round pyramid, begging to be climbed. You’ll know what kind of shape you’re in, too, when you finish exploring this “hill.”
The Japanese Garden is another favorite, you won’t believe you’re still in Houston!
From the Houston Parks And Recreation Department website, I found this: “Designed by world-renowned Japanese landscape architect Ken Nakajima, the garden was built to symbolize the friendship between Japan and the United States, and to recognize Houston’s thriving Japanese community.”
Nakajima based his design in Zen philosophy, stating, “We must work with nature to create a new space and sense of beauty. This is the essence of the Japanese garden.”
I’m champing at the bit to get out there now, but alas, I’ll be spending my afternoon daydreaming while I do my duty waiting my turn in the bowels of the city’s jury assembly rooms.
Soon, though. Soon.
Explore before you go at www.hermannpark.org. There are interactive maps, suggested tours and a lot more, all thanks to the Hermann Park Conservancy. Navigate to 1700 Hermann Dr.
Cohen is an artist and founder of First Saturday Arts Market and the Market at Sawyer Yards. Find him at ArtValet.com.