Over at Houstoned, professional barfly John Nova Lomax and crooner David Beebe take a long, strange trip down the entire length of Bellaire Blvd.—on foot. Lomax’s conclusion:
If Westheimer is mainly about the fetishes, broken dreams and vanities of Anglo whites, and Shepherd is all about the needs of cars, Bellaire is a world market of a street, a bazaar where Mexicans, Anglos, Salvadorans, African Americans, Hondurans, stoners, Vietnamese, Chinese, Koreans and Thais go to shop and eat.
The report from western Chinatown:
Tall bank buildings are sprouting, with glass fronts festooned in Mandarin. Strip malls fill with Vietnamese crawfish joints, Shaolin Temples, and acupuncture clinics. As we crossed Brays Bayou, a huge temple loomed in the distance, and it didn’t take much imagining to pretend you were gazing across a rice paddy toward a Vietnamese village. A Zen center abuts one of the last businesses in town to carry the all-but-forgotten A.J. Foyt’s once-omnipresent name. A couple of ratty old apartment complexes have changed into commercial buildings, each unit housing its own business.
The rice paddies, of course, have left the neighborhood.
More highlights of their journey, as they walk east: live turtles in the water gardens outside the Hong Kong City Mall; front-yard car lots in Sharpstown; Jane Long Middle Schoolers rushing convenience stores; the “Gulfton Ghetto.” Plus, this illuminating report from Alief:
Alief Ozelda Magee, the town’s namesake, is buried right there, under a slate-gray monument with a touching epitaph: “She did what she could.” And hell, maybe she still is. The adjoining apartment complex, which is rumored to cover some of the graves here, is said to suffer from a poltergeist infestation.
Photo: Cruising down Bellaire, by flickr user corazón girl