Benches below the traffic

Buffalo Bayou under Smith St.The two benches in this photo are below Smith St. and on the banks of Buffalo Bayou. The concrete walkway was one of the initial pathways along the bayou that winds through the north end of Downtown Houston. In very heavy rains the water can rise almost to the bottom of the bridge. When it recedes the next day the benches have a small collection of debris and the trees look like they have been in a washing machine.

The trail is used often by joggers and bike riders. The interesting part to me is how different the city seems from down below. Of course it depends on when one as during morning rush cars and buses race by as Smith is a heavily used route. You are only one block from the end of the IH-10 Eastbound exit ramp from the Katy Freeway.

When the water recedes the big issue is removal of the silt and sand that washes onto the walkway and the grass. The areas where the grass is not solid is actually silt that filled in the sod. As you can see the wall that holds back the street is lush.

An interesting thing about the area, as evidenced by the wall, is that downtown was once at the bayou level when cotton was put on barges and other freight was shipped out on sailing ships from this same location. Someone then surely sat on the docks where this bench is and saw a very different view than one does today.

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