Last weekend I hit the road to spend the weekend in Houston. Although since I drove down after work on Friday, and came home early Sunday, the goal was really to have one full but chill day in Houston. The primary purpose of my visit was the Kusama: At the End of the Universe exhibition at the Museum of Fine Arts, which were two of Yayoi Kusama’s infinity rooms.
The great thing about Texas – or at least, one of the great things – is that we do have these great cities around the state so that when one needs to have a break away, it’s easy to take a road trip and disconnect. We don’t really have to go very far so it can be done a weekend here and a weekend there. Which brings me back to my weekend in Houston.
I’d learned of the exhibition through a Dallas photographer I follow on Instagram, Joseph Haubert (who has the most incredible photos of one of my favorite skylines: Dallas), who had taken over the Visit Houston feed and shared photos of the Aftermath of Obliteration of Eternity room (pictured above) on his own feed. And that was pretty much all it took.
If you’re going to visit the Kusama Universe, then I’d recommend doing what I did and getting your tickets online early. You do have until mid-September to visit, but when I arrived around 10:30am, there was already a sign up saying that the timed tickets were sold out. I wandered around the small exhibit rooms around the Kusama exhibition until my ticketed time and my excitement grew as I waited my turn.
But it wasn’t just these incredible rooms that kept me there. There is some really amazing work in the museum (and understandably so!). There were beautiful statues from India, brilliant gold jewelry from all over Indonesia, arranged by island. And just when I was thinking I might leave, I walked into the second building and came face to face with statues from Ancient Greece. And I have always loved Classical art, mythology and history. So I stayed.
And while I wandered from the antiquities to paintings from European masters, it occurred to me that it had been awhile since I’d done this. This being spending hours at the museum, just wandering around and looking at the art. When I lived in DC, I used to do this so often. I’d walk down to the Smithsonian museums and the National Gallery and spend Saturday afternoons in those halls. As late summer goes into fall, I intend to visit the Dallas museums more and explore Fort Worth’s museums…it’s been too long since I did that.
After enjoying lunch and my book at the museum (lunch was, by the way, delicious), I walked about a half mile from the museum to Hermann Park. It was hot, but obviously. It is Texas and it is summer. But I enjoyed walking through the Japanese Gardens, and also just seeing how many people were enjoying the sunshine and being outside. And it also proved to be a great park for Quinceañera photos. There were a few young girls in these beautiful, brightly colored dresses with expansive tulle skirts and accompanied by young men and other young girls in a variation of the chosen color.
All in all, I walked over five miles that one day, and soaked up that wonderful sunshine. So for dinner I simply picked up a wrap from a nearby Whole Foods to enjoy a quiet dinner back at my hotel. Because that was also part of my road trip – to relax, for a change, to get away from the same day-to-day.
And after all that, I was ready for my drive back to Dallas having taken in art, sunshine and a beautiful cityscape. One thing that had concerned me – the humidity – hadn’t been such a problem. Here in Dallas, so much of what we hear about Houston is that it has an insane amount of humidity. Maybe I was lucky, having visited a few days in between rain. While I sat outside Saturday morning with a coffee and a chocolate chip muffin, it was even fairly pleasant. Or maybe having lived in a place with a lot of humidity once before, I didn’t mind so much. So whatever the case may have been, thanks for the day, Houston!