See West Uin Life, West U, See
A case of the doldrums can be cured with a tour of Rice University’s public art. And they make it easy to find with their online art map. One of the most famous installations at Rice is James Turrell’s Twilight Epiphany skyspace (the Suzanne Deal Booth Centennial Pavilion adjacent to the Shepherd School of Music), which uses natural and LED light to utterly transform the environment. Reservations are free but necessary for sunset light sequences. Early birds don’t have to reserve space at the sunrise viewing.
Rice University Art Gallery (6100 Main Street) is unique in that it invites artists into the space to create their own installation. Exhibitions are organized around the school year, so December is dark.
A model ship mecca, the Houston Maritime Museum (2204 Dorrington St.) also has an exhibit about the Ship Channel and the Port of Houston. And who doesn’t think a ship in a bottle is cool?
A dying breed in the land of Amazon, the area boasts two great independent bookstores: Brazos Bookstore (2421 Bissonnet St.) and Murder By The Book (2342 Bissonnet). Brazos is something to see with its carefully selected books, and MBTB has a vast stock of over 25,000 books; both stores offer impressive author readings and great browsing, but buy something, too. We want them to stick around.