We Go to the Park to Go Somewhere Else: On Houston’s Green Havens
You’re in the city, but you aren’t. You don’t have to spend any money. No one’s asking about your documentation. You don’t have to do much at all except for exist, and open your eyes.
Through all of our everything, there’s a stupefying chunk of nothing; but for all of that emptiness, you’re likely to find a green space. Houston never misses an opportunity to dedicate them. There’s Hermann Park, by the zoo. There’s George Bush Park in the suburbs, stretching just under eight thousand acres. You’ve got Moody Park on the Northside, and Market Square Park downtown, and you’ve got folks so ingrained in the city’s lore that they’ll rattle another nine or ten offhand. Which is hardly uncommon.
But of course she started walking. Most of us do.
Bryan Washington’s debut collection, Lot, is forthcoming from Riverhead Books. He has written for the New York Times, the New York Times Magazine, Vulture, BuzzFeed, The Paris Review, Boston Review, Tin House, One Story, GQ, FADER, The Awl, and Catapult. He lives in Houston.
More by this author
Montrose was unofficially codified as the nexus of queer life in Houston. If you held a map to the wall, I could tell you how we came to be on those streets.
There will be as many different iterations of this storm, and the ones to come, as there are Houstonians. And we have to hear them—they’re what will determine our map for the next one.
More in this series
We’d made a connection across tables, generations, tongues, our own tiny blip of transcendence. Holiness in the noodle bar.
In Houston, as with everywhere else, the arts serve as tiny lifeboats—and sometimes, if we’re lucky, we all find ourselves floating together.