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Quirky Houston: Hidden Eccentricities

quirky-houston2Houston may exude a contemporary sophistication, but that doesn’t stop people from going out on a sometimes-quirky limb. From underground tunnels to listening vessels, vintage clothing lounges, whimsical mosaics and even a beer-can house, there’s a subtle humor that lets you know: We do things our own way here in Houston!

Leopard Lounge

Starting with an iconic Vegas-style sign painted on the side of its building, the Leopard Lounge moves and grooves to a throwback tune. But make no mistake: the draw here has nothing to do with alcohol and everything to do with collectible vintage clothing. Choose your favorite time period, and go crazy decking yourself out with threads from the 1920s up to the 1990s. Retro has never been cooler than at the Leopard on Westheimer Road.

The Listening Vessels

Whether eavesdropping or loudly whispering your secrets to the world, the Listening Vessels at Discovery Green give you an eerie audio vessel. Look for the magical concavely engineered structures simulating enormous limestone bowls, and then stand at one end. Whisper anything you have to say, and then watch the person on the other end (about 70 feet away) jump at the sound. It’s the perfect chance to get your message across, whatever it may be. Rumor has it that more than a few proposals have taken place at the Listening Vessels on McKinney Street.

Houston Underground Tunnels

Ever wonder what lies beneath the concrete when you walk along dense urban streets? Well, at least in Houston, it’s a lot. A labyrinth of underground tunnels eerily connects about 95 blocks of downtown Houston. Lest you picture a Ninja Turtle-ish secret hideaway, be aware that it’s actually a bustling enclave of small shops and cafes stringing for about six miles, at a depth of 20 feet. There’s direct access from Wells Fargo Plaza and McKinney Garage on Main, but you can also enter from lots of points, including streetside staircases and escalators inside major buildings.

Smither Park

A constant work-in-progress by dozens of Houston artists and entrepreneurs, Smither Park provides a deep-dive into the upper-eccentricity of Houston’s East End. From the memory wall and meditation area to the spectacular interactive sculptures and pavilion, each piece throws a burst of color and creativity from thousands of intricate mosaics created from recycled or “found” materials. It also works in coordination with The Orange Show monument on Munger Street, one of the city’s quirkiest and most cherished living art creations.

The Beer Can House

This one is no secret to anyone who’s lived in Houston for a while – how can it be? There’s no missing the Beer Can House on Malone Street, a creation by John Milkovisch back in the 1960s. It still beckons today as homage to Houston-style folk art, created by thousands of beer cans, pull tabs, marbles and stones. It really is an actual house in a “normal” neighborhood – whose residents surely have an enduring sense of humor.

Houston Art Car Parade

This is a heads-up for the spring: mark your calendar for the annual Houston Art Car Parade in April – it’s a doozy! Check their website to get an idea of what goes on at this decades-old tradition, which includes a Main Street Drag, the Legendary Art Car Ball, celebrities and awards ceremonies.

Wherever you choose to live in Houston, count on enjoying a vibrant art and culture scene. Give us a call today to discover our Houston apartment communities and to find out about move-in specials.