Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Galveston, Ike, & Recovery

Galveston, Texas is our local beach spot. It's not Aruba, or the Greek isles, but it's home. In 2009 that home was hit by a powerful & devastating hurricane. Ike wiped out most of the city, flooded it, washed it away, and took a century of memories and, tragically, some lives. But Galveston has survived. It's still recovering, but things are really looking beautiful! I had two photo sessions on the beach at sunrise over the first weekend of April, thus my long absence from this blog, and in my free time my family & I enjoyed afternoons on the beach, and strolls on The Strand. 


 The quaint humor of the victorian town always makes me smile as I walk around the store fronts admiring all the fun sights. The horse carriage rides, the games and artists on the street corners, and the great beer pubs and food joints are all a great reason to visit this fun city.


 Seeing the new mixed with the old is one of the coolest things in Galveston to me. This ally of warehouse loading dock doors is a perfect example!




I could not help but notice these three lamps, each representing a different period in the history of Galveston, all together like 3 generations of a family just waiting to be photographed.



 The beautiful architecture fought against the waves and the wind, but most of it came out with a clean new life when it was over. Even the hotels all got a new overhaul & have the look and feel of a new building. My dog clearly loved feeling so welcome in the LaQuinta we chose to stay in on the Seawall!


 As we drove by the newly rebuilt Murdocks shop on Seawall Blvd my son saw this sign with the seahorse & yelled out "Hey! A seahorse factory!" So of course we had to stop & go inside. We used to love this street, the series of piers with shops and clubs and gangs of fisherman hanging at the ends waiting for that reward or maybe just some good luck is always so inviting. We have memories of the elegant Flagship Hotel, out on the pier challenging the ocean to a war of stability. This time the hotel lost. We could not figure out if they are taking it down or rebuilding, but we have great hopes!



 Not everything was rebuilt. We are heartbroken that the long history of the famous Balinese Room, where Frank Sinatra & his gang would hang out, and where we most recently had the pleasure of enjoying a great rock-n-roll show by Tracey Conover & her group, was wiped off the map, leaving only a few lonely piers peeking up out of the water. Oh if those walls could talk! They would have spoken of a speak-easy joint hidden in the back where people could go to get liquor during the prohibition days, or gamble and shake hands over business deals in the dark corners of a seemingly innocent night club. 


 Not all of Galveston is healed. Many places are still abandoned, hoping for some successful investor to come bring some love and attention. Some places are left empty of any previous life, nothing but a cement slab with grass growing around for sale signs. The Seawall is alive and well. It's ready for company, and The Strand is equally eager for newcomers to discover what quaint beauty and pleasure it has to offer.


As I said at the start of this, I had the pleasure of doing two photo shoots in one weekend in Galveston, so I thought these shots would show you what Galveston is becoming. It's the best time to invest in Galveston's future. You can come for a weekend & enjoy a great vacation, or you could think about investing in something developing here, but no matter what you do, I know you will have fun.


3 comments:

Jan @twoscoopz said...

Such wonderful shots. Sad that so many historic buildings were lost.
Your writing and photos painted a perfect picture for me though.

Beth Crocker said...

Thanks Jan, glad you stopped by!

hezro said...

Great shots!