Saturday, May 9, 2009

Art Car Parade. Houston, Texas. May 9, 2009.

It's still a couple of months before the most likely starting date for my around the world trip but it seems I am already trying to live more like a traveler. Today Houston, Texas hosted the annual Art Car Parade, a huge three day extravaganza of folks taking their creativity out on their vehicles. It was a perfect day, a bit hot, and Lexi and I enjoyed the artistic labors of over 200 projects in the parade near downtown Houston.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Yes, it's the Batmobile, and I mean THE Batmobile! This is the actual car used in the movie, the one actor Michael Keaton sat in. The lady with the company that owns the car alluded to the fact that it gets the most ooohs and ahhhs but she said it "ain't nothing under that shell".

Yes, that's me next to the car wanting to be a superhero.


Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
A classic type of art car with over-the-top ornate detail.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
'Venus Hairse'
A hearse filled with ladies dying for a good time.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
The cars are always more amazing when you get in to see the details.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
You would not want to be in front of this scary creation.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
The Blues Brothers, and they actually were pretty darn good. Funy too.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
This car was completely covered in mirror shards. Look close and you can see my white shirt and jeans, even my eye in one of the pieces. (By the way, note to travleling self, jeans... HUGE mistake in the heat!) The reflection of legs and red on the right would be my daughter Lexi.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Grand Marshall of the parade was Kinky Friedman, writer, recent Texas gubernatorial candidate. marketer of salsa and cigars, and all around unique human. He seemed to be wildly popular with the crowd and also to be having a good time himself.
Kinky's car was decorated with steer horns, pistol door handles, and the inside was covered in silver dollars. Kinky, Texas style.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
It's hard to tell from a photo but this creepy monster had animated head and mouth and snarled it's way through the parade.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
In the past I had seen this car at Houston's Art Car Museum. One of those incredibly ornate art cars it is set apart by the huge and bizarre beast attached to the front end!

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
An evil easter bunny. And yes, this is just for you Charli in Cambridge, MA, we both know how you like bunnies.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
The very portable porta-potty. Believe it or not this laid-back gent drove this crazy car all the way from Waco, Texas to Houston at 4 miles per hour!
Enjoy the Crapper Mobile short video below.



Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Silly rabbit slippers come to life as art cars.
Sorry Charli.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Yes, he did crow, often and loudly.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Small balls on springs bounced back and forth as the car moved but the coolest thing about this car is the strange shadow it casts.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
These cars with hydraulic lifts almost seem like they are out of control. Very popular and very cool. Check out the short clip below.



Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Brass this, that, and everything else covered every square inch of this entry.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
I am going on an expedition, how did they know? It's more of a peace of mind expedition though.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Some folks can't be bothered to get out of bed on parade day.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Red horses. I don't get it either, but I like it.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Houston has a few giant cockroaches but this is the only one that has a horn that plays that classic tune 'La Cucaracha'!

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Cute dogs are popular art cars. This panting pup was one of several in the parpade.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Very dramatic, and titled the Onaminivanapeida.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Wow. Silly singing fish and harmonizing lobsters were totally animated, lit up, and incredibly, sang the most unlikely tune... Handel's 'Messiah'.
Here are the vocalizing sea life on video as they passed.



Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Even the police patrooling the parade played along as they rode on their Art Horses!

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
TP! I may be looking and wishing for that in foreign lands.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
Surprising to me as I thought it was all cars but there were walkers, skaters, and a wide variety of odd and unique bicycles.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
High handlebars.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
A chopper. There also was a woman on a bike with a cage around her. I tried to get the shot but she was fast! I hope my bike doesn't start to feel like a cage.


Tail plumage opens up on this peacock car just as on the real bird.

Art Car Parade, Houston, Texas, May 9, 2009
All of this took place on Allen Parkway (nice name, spelled wrong) which abuts Eleanor Tinsley Park, a wonderful strip of green in Houston stretched between the road and the Buffalo Bayou. (I'm from Louisiana and we say By-you. Here they say By-YO. What I am saying is that they say it WRONG!)
Nice park though, great for skating, biking, and an incredible view of the Houston skyline.
Thanks for stopping in. I will be posting more about my trip preparation, some snippets from e-mails I have been getting, and how the plans are firming up and coming together.
Hope to see you somewhere out there on the road.

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9 comments:

Douglas May 10, 2009 at 8:02 AM  

Linda Ronstadt pronounces it bye-oh and since she is much cuter than you, I go with that.

Alan May 10, 2009 at 10:46 AM  

Douglas, to me Linda has always sounded like she is singing Bie-you, the correct way! I think my description was off because her's sounds right. It's here in Houston where they say Bie-YO, and sorry Houston, you throw a heck of an Art Car Parade but that Bie-yo thing still sounds silly.

Nicole May 21, 2009 at 12:42 PM  

Oh...I'm thinkin' we're just so freakin' cool here in Houston that we're allowed to pronounce water ways in any way we please! ;)
(19 art car parades later and Houston Art Car Klub President)

Cory May 21, 2009 at 4:41 PM  

What's the loneliest Bayou in the world? The one that's by youself of course. The closest one? The one that's by you house. And I'm from Houston. And I drive an art car. So there.

Alan May 21, 2009 at 9:02 PM  

Nicole - Yeah, and that was the point of the post maybe, Houston is cooler than people from other places realize with tons of awesome art, theater, and museum offerings. So I can accaept that they pronounce the word bayou incorrectly.

Alan May 21, 2009 at 9:03 PM  

Cory - Don't be so snippy lol. New Orleans is older than Houston so they are correct and Texas is wrong, but I still love you and the art cars. Mardi Gras is fun but your parades are much more civilized!

Cory May 21, 2009 at 9:34 PM  

I was agreeing with you, Alan! Guess I'm just an exception to the rest of those Houstonians who 'mispronounce' it. But, maybe that's just my roots (of the deep East Texas variety) showing.

Thanks for the great write-up on our little parade, shingdig, ho-down, gathering, processional, party, festival or whatever the rest of the universe chooses to call our annual art car craziness. Glad you enjoyed it. Ya'll come back now, ya hear?

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