23 August 2009

Things I love about Texas (part 2)

Since it is purely impossible to assemble a comprehensive list of things I love about Texas in a single brief essay, I felt compelled to extend the topic into two (or more) blog entries. After all, it would just be downright unpatriotic to leave anything out.

Bluebonnets – they touch the heart of every Texan. A harbinger of the coming of spring and a central character in both song and legend. A heartfelt thanks to the late Lady Bird Johnson for promoting the beautification of Texas through the proliferation of these treasured wildflowers. They are a true, blue symbol of Texas.

Longhorns – in a state where everything is big and vast, longhorn cattle are a quintessential ingredient that sets Texas apart from any other state.

Gulf coast – a large percentage of the state’s perimeter touches ocean water and the coastal plan has many contours: beaches, marshes, wetlands. The coast is one of my personal favorite recreational destinations. I love the sound of the surf, the warmth of the sun and the vastness of the ocean horizon.

Rodeo – a celebration of the skills cowboys have perfected in order to succeed in their vocation and a tribute to the agrarian heritage of Texas.

Ranches – a handful of vast family-owned ranches still remain in Texas, perhaps most notably the King Ranch in south Texas. The Kleberg family, descendants of the ranch founder, contribute to scientific innovations in agriculture.

The Mustangs of Las Colinas – the amazing interactive sculpture created by Robert Glen captures the untamed spirit of the wild horses it represents and transports visitors into that world, the essence of Texas.

Neiman Marcus – perhaps no list would be complete without tribute to the grand retail establishment, Neiman Marcus. A personal favorite shopping destination, and significant contributor to the founding backbone of the garment retail industry in Texas.

Broken Obelisk – in the midst of a quiet urban neighborhood in Houston, is a hidden treasure. This inspired sculpture, by Barnett Newman, is installed in a small reflecting pool in front of the serene Rothko Chapel. It is a memorial to Martin Luther King, Jr. and represents all that is possible when perhaps everything seems impossible.

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