by Ingrid Norbergs - 0 Reviews - 2 List
Why should Austin get all the credit for being a city with intriguing attractions? Houston can be as weird as the rest of them. We've got bats, Hippo-potomobiles and batty old dudes with art projects. Take a tour of the roadside attractions that make our city wacky and wonderful, and help Keep Houston Weird. (Photo: Beer Can House)
Updated: June 25, 2010
Houston's got its fair share of eccentrics, and some of them sure do like to show it. In 1968, retired railway car upholsterer John Milkovisch got sick of mowing his lawn and started planting it with rocks, marbles and chunks of metal. But by the time he ran out of yard, he?d caught the decorative bug, and pretty soon his entire house was sheathed in flattened beer cans, with wind chime-like can streamers adorning the front eaves, clinking in the breeze.
Like the Beer Can House, the Orange Show sits on an otherwise ordinary residential street and stands out from the rest. Over the course of 25 years, postal worker Jeff McKissack built a shrine to his favorite fruit--the orange. The Orange Show is less a building than a network of arenas, enclaves and interconnected stairways, and is now frequently used for concerts and events.
?Giant sheet metal porcupine? hardly begins to describe Houston's Art Car Museum, whose exterior is a work of art in itself. Inside this massive metallic anemone is a collection of rotating art cars and special exhibitions of artwork that are typically unusual and intriguing. What is an art car? Anything you can think of that could have a car hiding underneath it and still drive. If you happen to be in Houston on the second Saturday in May, you shouldn't miss seeing the art cars in action for their annual parade, which draws more than 250 entries from all across the country.
The Waugh Drive Bridge is an overpass just like the many others in Houston, but this one happens to have a colony of Mexican Free-Tailed bats living in its struts. The Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin may be home to the largest urban bat colony in the world, but you don't need to travel that far to witness a bat flight; at dusk between March and September, a small crowd gathers at the corner of Waugh and Allen Parkway to watch the bats take off for their nightly snack. It's quite a sight.