by Norma Crosby
From the Editor: Norma is the very active president of the National Federation of the Blind of Texas. She is also a member of the national board of directors. What the Texas affiliate will be doing in July is acting as the host of the 2020 convention, and here, in the first of several articles, is her explanation as to why you should start making plans to be in Houston:
Houston is a city with lots of personality. Think Dolly Parton with a dash of Freddie Mercury, Beyoncé, and Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure. It boasts not only the world’s biggest rodeo, but great sports teams, more than 10,000 restaurants, and spectacular entertainment venues. While we love our cars in Houston, the downtown area is both walkable and beautiful. Our headquarters hotel is right in the heart of downtown, and you’ll find food and nightlife nearby.
You may be surprised to learn this, but it’s hot in Houston in July, ya’ll. That’s why we developed a tunnel and skywalk system that helps to keep Houstonians cool in the summer by entering buildings that are a part of the system and navigating indoors. Tunnel entries are usually found in office buildings, and, once inside, visitors can just go downstairs and wander around to find shopping and dining opportunities. We’ll offer you some suggestions about using the tunnels while you are here. Just grab a restaurant and shopping guide from the Texas Suite or our information table and find out what I’m talking about.
Shopping and eating are not the only activities you can engage in when you’re downtown. Discovery Green is a twelve-acre park that sits just across the street from our hotel. The park includes two restaurants, a kid’s play area, two dog runs, and a multiuse amphitheater. So, if you need some outdoor time, this is the perfect spot. If you want to venture a little further afield, there are other parks in the downtown area, including the Buffalo Bayou Park. This park includes a great nature play and picnic area, a two-acre dog park, boat and bike rentals, and the Waugh Bridge Bat Colony.
There are six hundred square miles of Houston to explore, but you’ll never be bored even if you just stay downtown. Next month I’ll tell you a little bit about the city and share some information about tours that we have planned for people who want to come a little early or stay a little late. So, tune in for the next installment of our Houston Proud series.