The Rest of the Best: The 10 Best Places to Just Go and Think in Houston

Beyond My Ken
It's a very busy time to be alive. We're coming out of a recession, and those of us who have jobs are working as a hard as we can to make sure it stays that way. The underemployed and jobless spend every moment trying to find a way to keep their particularl trains a-going. It's a time of crisis for the Rebel Alliance is what I'm getting at.

Walking from one job to another the other day I abruptly stopped and just sat down on the curb in the sun to sip a Route 44 Coke Zero and watch the traffic go by. It was a mere fifteen minutes of slightly less noise in the day, but it made me reflect on how desperately important it is to have these little mental vacations if you don't want to be shipped off somewhere where they don't let you have anything sharp to write with.

So I did some digging around, and if you're trying to find an appropriate place to let your thoughts gather then there are ten really good spots in Houston.

10. Cullen Hall of Gems and Minerals at the Houston Museum of Natural Science (5555 Hermann Park Dr): It's the price of the museum that ranks the Gem Hall so low on the list, but on the basis of pure soul-soothing calm alone it would land near the top. The pitch black exhibit lit only with the best of nature's rocks and metals is one of the calmest places in the whole city. What compares to examining the product of thousands, even millions of years of pressure and slow creation as a teacher of patience? Nothing says, "It all turns out beautiful in the end" like a diamond.

9. St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital Train Exhibit (6720 Bertner Ave): If the work of nature isn't your cup of tea, then the children's wing at St. Luke's sports an absolutely mindblowing model train exhibit that also allows you to push the buttons to control the trains. There is just something about model trains that is good for the soul. Maybe it's the connection to Mr. Rogers. Maybe it's just seeing something some whimsically engineered. The motion of the engines and the inventive model background is pure mechanical Zen.

Red Tricycle

8. Houston Galleria Family Lounge (5085 Westheimer Rd): In addition to sporting a very nice playground for kids, just off the hall there is a perfect spot with comfy chairs and a first-rate aquarium that is great for a ramped-up children's cool down and a bit of parental mental vacation. You can still hear the sounds of all the good times being had just outside, but between the artwork from the MD Anderson Children's Art Project and the softly shifting colored walls the sound adds rather than detracts from the tranquil atmosphere.

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I would add Glenwood Cemetery to this list and remove number 8 altogether. Trying to think while inside the Galleria, with the sound of children shrieking nearby? No thanks!


this is some patriarchal nonsense!

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