History and Culture
African American Experience
Houston is rich in African-American history. There are many historic sites to visit and enjoy. Third Ward is a historical part of Houston and the Shrine of the Black Madonna Museum and Bookstore is located there. Also, there’s the Buffalo Soldiers Museum and Texas Southern University, one of the nation’s largest historically black universities. So allow us to take you on a tour of a rich part of American History right here in Houston and/or enjoy some of the amazing soul food restaurants such as Just Oxtails or Mikki’s Café to name a few.
Houston has substantial Vietnamese, Chinese, and Korean communities. The Hong Kong City Mall is one of the great concentrations of Chinese and Southeast Asian grocery stores, restaurants, bakeries, and more. Come explore this exciting place with one of our Greeters.
Asia Society Houston
Asia Society is the leading global and pan-Asian organization working to strengthen relationships and promote understanding among the people, leaders, and institutions of the United States and Asia.
Recently, the Asia Society opened its new building in Houston. The 40,000-square-foot Center features the 273-seat Brown Foundation Performing Arts Theater, Louisa Stude Sarofim Gallery, Edward Rudge Allen III Education Center, Fayez Sarofim Grand Hall, and more. The building was designed by Japanese-born, Harvard-educated Yoshio Taniguchi. It is a graceful design with stunningly beautiful stone, wood and glass that contribute to its distinctive character. Visit the Center with a Houston Greeter to see this wonderful new addition to the Houston cultural scene.
Aurora Picture Show
Located in the historic Houston Heights neighborhood, this non-profit movie theater is housed in a former church built in 1924. Visit its website at www.aurorapictureshow.org to check on upcoming screenings focusing on experimental, avant-garde, and underground films. A Houston Greeter can accompany you to watch a film or tell you about the wonders of this nationally recognized treasure.
Visit Battleground Park and tour the Battleship Texas, moored in the Houston Ship Channel. She was commissioned in 1912 and decommissioned in 1948, with battles at D-Day, Iowa Jima and Okinawa. The Battleship Texas is a floating museum that shows the life of sailors aboard US fighting vessels during the first half of the 20th century.
Houston’s East End (EaDo) is located at the eastern edge of downtown, the Port of Houston and Hobby Airport. It is full of history and served as the seat of government for the Republic of Texas in 1836. East End consists of many different ethnic groups, including Hispanic, Asian, White, and African American. Latinos make up more than half of the 100,512 residents, The area includes two of Houston’s oldest Hispanic neighborhoods, Magnolia Park and Second Ward. The district is home to The Orange Show, Our Lady of Guadalupe Church, Mutalistan Hall, a Chicano mural by artist Leo Tanguma, and the original Ninfa’s Restaurant.
Houston boasts many vibrant Hispanic neighborhoods and a lively cultural community. Join a Greeter to experience this culture first-hand.
History of Houston
Houston is a city rich in history. Choose between the city’s oldest Historic District, which offers 19th century cottages and some original brick streets, stroll under the majestic oaks of a 1920′s neighborhood with homes representing Houston’s finest architecture, or visit the main boulevard of Houston’s first streetcar suburb.
Houston Grand Opera
Houston’s Grand Opera is truly one of the best in the world! Feel free to check the Houston paper or Houston Grand Opera’s web site for shows. If there is something you’d like to see with a Greeter, please let us know.
Houston’s Third Ward
Project Row Houses (PRH) a neighborhood-based nonprofit art and cultural organization in Houston’s Northern Third Ward (one of the city’s oldest African-American communities), was founded in 1993 as a result of discussions among African-American artists who wanted to establish a positive, creative presence in their own Third Ward community. A Greet could include a tour of the row houses used as galleries for professional art exhibitions, award-winning newly built low-income housing, the Eldorado Ballroom (which throughout the middle part of the twentieth century, reigned as one of the finest showcases in Texas for the live performance of black secular music — blues, jazz, R&B, pop and zydeco), Emancipation Park (a site purchased by two black congregations in 1872 to celebrate Juneteenth and donated to the city in 1916) and the outdoor sculpture installation Field of Vision by artist Bert L. Long, Jr. presenting 50 concrete eyes affixed to multicolored concrete pedestals that represent various ethnic cultures. Your vision of Houston will be broadened by experiencing the Old Third Ward.
Do you want to know more about Islam? There are a number of beautiful Mosques in Houston. A Greeter can meet you at the Mosque of your choosing and answer any questions you may have. No basic knowledge of this religion is required, just bring your curiosity.
Internationally recognized novelists, poets, and critics are drawn to Houston’s rich mix of acclaimed University of Houston professors, the Inprint Program, WITS (writing in the schools), and Nuestra Palabra.
San Jacinto Battleground
Meet your Houston Greeter at the birthplace of Texas, the San Jacinto Battleground (just east of Houston), where Texas won its independence from Mexico and became a sovereign nation in 1836. You’ll find a museum of early Texas history and view a 20-minute slide presentation of the story behind Texas’ desire for and road to independence. Take the special elevator to the top of the Monument (more than 40 stories tall) to view the Houston Ship Channel and the oil and gas refineries in the area. You’ll get to experience a wonderful view!