Open House at Sam Houston Park, Houston

This week’s #haveboomboxwilltravel finds us at Sam Houston Park’s “Open House” exhibit in Houston, Texas. The project, designed by Dan Havel and Dean Rucks, sources a 1940’s house from the Santa Fe area, drills holes in it, fills what is drilled with repurposed PVC pipe, and lines the interior with photos of Houston history. The result provides a “Swiss Cheese” effect throughout the building that within the structure’s placement, provides views of Houston’s City Hall, Downtown Skyscrapers as well as The Heritage Society’s other 19th century period buildings. The result is a definitive juxtaposition of where Houston has come from and where, through thought and industry leaders, Houston continues to venture forward. Adding to a notion of repurpose and fluidity on this interactive installation on display through February 2019, once the exhibit has completed it’s run, the building materials are to be sourced out to local artists and craftsman in need.

The track this week is “Heart Go Bang (The Egg Night Mix)” by Houston’s own Blue October from their 2016 album “Home”.

Intention is a funny thing sometimes. When I started selecting a musical piece for this week, I thought that I would use the album’s title track, as admittedly I am a fan of the outfit’s lyrical depth and “Home” seemed to ring true. Yet, it was the resulting track which spoke to me in a more fitting ode to what the project is. The words of a love song that address a familiar yet new and transformative experience.

I don’t know much about buying a house, but have looked into the prospect a time or two in my life. While I think that renting in Houston is the most viable option for me at this juncture, there lies a point at which yearning for a place of my own extends past just wanting freedom to paint a few walls colors that aren’t neutral. From what I gather about the process from friends and family who have had the experience, there seems to be quite a bit of preparation to financially justify creditworthiness to lenders with whom one enters into a contract with for, at best, 15 years. You check credit scores, collect paycheck stubs, pool all of the savings you can toward a down payment, only to come to the table to enter a bid on a property.  You have looked at school zoning, M.U.D.’s, crime rates in different areas of town, and annual Homeowner’s Association fees. Even then, that is not a guarantee that you will secure a place that you originally have in mind.

Assuming you have a preliminary approval, there are formalities with an escrow account, inspections, contract negotiations, and when you actually might be able to sign for and collect keys to a place that is legally your own.

None of which makes this house, now “yours”, a home. Home has little to do with the amenities you select or upgrade. Home has to do with the dreams that you set and achieve in a place. Home isn’t always about having everything perfect, instead, home is about things coming together. It is history mixed with a focus on the future. Home provides purpose and potential. Home is as much a title for a place as it is a plan working out.

In this way, I am to call Houston “Home”.

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