THOUGHTS FOR THIS WEEK
Hurricane Harvey is on everyone’s mind right now, as the one-year anniversary lands this weekend. I will never forget that weekend and the weeks – and months – that followed. The tragedies and the joys abound and all of us will never be the same. Many people escaped flooding (like my family) and many are still dealing with the effects of flooding (like so many friends of mine). Every one of us – here and nationally – was affected by that storm. It is tied with Hurricane Katrina as the costliest storm on record ($125 billion worth of damage) and ended up submerging 30% of Harris Country. The National Weather Service added 2 new colors to the rain index representing around 50% of the maximum rainfall dropped by Harvey (60 inches and 15 trillion gallons of water!) and over 100 people died. And – lucky for us – many fantastic organizations and coalitions emerged, including Harvey Arts Recovery, the Harvey Relief Coalition, and the Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. If you or anyone you know are still experiencing trauma, many organizations are still offering free counseling, including Jewish Family Services and the Council on Recovery. And, if you’d like to share your stories – or hear stories – about Hurricane Harvey, check out the Harvey Memories Project. They are hosting an event this weekend, listed below, and they are serving as an online library of memories.
One year ago, I wrote a prayer for Harvey – it was my way of dealing with the horror that happened to my beloved city. I plan to light a candle and read it again. However you choose to commemorate this anniversary, I hope you find comfort in knowing you are not alone. Reach out and you will see! There are several ways the city is marking the anniversary and some are my PICKS below. The Westchase District unveiled a lovely Hurricane Harvey mural and local filmmakers Michael Sterling and Nkem DenChukwu created a movie, “Harvey,” scheduled for release soon. Rebuilding is happening everywhere and we are, as always, HOUSTON STRONG!
School will be back in session next week (some have already started, gasp!) so while you still have time, enjoy these last days of summer. I recommend visiting some of my favorite spots: the Houston Arboretum; beaches (Sylvan, Galveston, Surfside); and museums such as The Museum of Fine Arts, Houston and the Contemporary Arts Museum and unique smaller ones such as the Houston Maritime Museum or the 1940 Air Terminal Museum. For a list of museums and to find out which ones are always free and which ones are free on Thursdays, go to the Houston Museum District’s website.
This week’s VIDEO PICK is a sneak peek at the Theater District’s open house; you can see all the details in my PICK below. This event is a poignant and hopeful one, since one year ago, thanks to Harvey, the Theater District was submerged in water. The Alley Theatre, Houston Grand Opera, Houston Symphony, and Houston Ballet were hardest hit, so for them, this is an especially wonderful time of celebration. For my VIDEO PICKS, I have occasionally been posting my PICKS-ON-WHEELS adventures, but they are on hiatus this summer. So, I’ll be choosing Houston-oriented videos to share with you from the Houston Visitors Bureau and the Heritage Society.