The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
FIELD NOTES: I was in Houston, Texas. How was your weekend? Back in July I made travel plans to see “Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910–1950” at the Museum of Fine Arts. I flew in Wednesday. When I picked up a rental car the counter guy advised me to not drive through flooded roads. “We may get 'bout 15 inches of rain,” he said in a relaxed tone.
Two blocks from my hotel, the Astros played the Washington Nationals. Around town restaurants were open. People were concerned, yet no one seemed to be in a panic. I followed the lead of Texans who were doing business as usual, though they were doing extra chores like piling up sandbags and clearing the shelves of local stores. No need to start flapping arms until the water is at your waist, I thought in an appropriate Texas drawl. I went ahead and saw “Paint the Revolution” on Thursday.
On Friday things changed. Museums closed early. My hotel went from being booked by fans wearing baseball uniforms to officers in rain gear waiting for storm shifts. Many brought their families with them. The rest of my weekend was luck and timing. Some early back-up plans were made when news came there were cancellations for some flights. I kept checking my flight. No change. There was a window to stay on track when the storm headed south from Galveston to Corpus Christi. On Saturday I went to the airport. The highway was clear of traffic. There was no line at airport security. I boarded and landed in Las Vegas on time.
By then Harvey shifted north and was moving toward Houston. Now the region is a mess. I find myself thinking of the people I spoke with: owners of bookstores, museum guards, and coffee drinkers. I don’t know how they fared on Sunday. It will be a long week of more rain ahead. For the region, it will be years of recovery, according to FEMA.
Godspeed, Houston. Godspeed, Southeast Texas.
"Help those affected by #HurricaneHarvey. Visit redcross.org , call 1-800-RED CROSS or text HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation." Via @RedCross
"Support our disaster relief efforts for #HurricaneHarvey & related floods. Text CCUSADISASTER to 71777 to donate." Via @CCharitiesUSA
Text STORM to 51555 to help Salvation Army EDS @SalArmyEDS
WashingtonPost on how much water fell on Texas.
"Thanks to the skill and preparations of our on-site staff, there has been no damage to our collections so far. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Our thoughts are with our fellow Houstonians as we weather the storm." MFAH website
A Kroger on a late Friday afternoon. Top sellers: TP, bread, peanut butter, ramen and water.
Above: "Blue Angel: Between Heaven and Earth" at The Neon Museum's Ne10studio.