Esplanade Escapades (29.75741N, 95.34261W)

Last night was fairly quiet, even for Saturday night, and I just couldn’t find the lede for the next part of the NASA set (It’ll get there. It just wasn’t falling into place right then….) so I climbed into Andromeda (the Backroads Expeditionary Vehicle) and dropped by the East End Management District’s “Evening on the Esplanade.”

It was a quiet evening there, too.

But the management district has put a bit of time and money into turning part of the Navigation Boulevard Esplanade into a park of sorts, suitable for small events and very small street festivals.

The decoration theme appears to be “Papel Picado” done in steel.

It’s nicely executed though I could wish the street-level railing signs were done in something besides this ugly neutral grey-brown. I suspect there are city ordinances in play here, though.

The overhead “shade” pieces are colorful, though…

The “Evening on the Esplanade” is a new thing, just getting started, and it wasn’t particularly bustling… a couple of dozen people, maybe, three vendors and a food truck.

The budget rarely stretches to festival food, tonight being no exception, but the barbecue smelled wonderful and by report was excellent.

All in, it was a pleasant evening; a little warm, but cooling down nicely. I spent a bit of time talking with Adriane Wiltse, one of the artist/vendors. (I ducked out of the way when the cash customers showed up, not being inclined to wear jewelry myself…)

It’s nice work, gold fill and sterling with all sorts of semi-precious stones and vintage beads and knickknacks.

And apparently I wasn’t the only one who liked it…

A pleasant evening all around….

Getting There

From Downtown Houston, head east on Franklin under US59. The road curves left and dives into a tunnel under a railroad right-of-way. When you come out of the tunnel, you’ll actually be ON Navigation. To get to the esplanade, go straight through the first light, which is Canal St., and take a right at the second, which is the continuation of Navigation. The esplanade park is four or five blocks up, in the middle of the street. I usually find the phrase “you can’t miss it” to be very dangerous in driving directions, but here, well… you’ll have to work hard to miss it. When you get to the longhorn at Plaza Laurenzo, you’ve missed it. Good work.

Alternatively, you can catch Metro – the #48 line goes right by the Esplanade, in and out. I’ve been riding Metro semi-regularly for a couple of years and have found that they’re reasonably good about meeting schedules – but they are not designed for urban transport so much as they are for commuting, so many of their lines don’t run late hours. Check the schedule and allow a little extra for connections.

From anywhere else: Get to Downtown Houston, then follow the instructions above.

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