It always amazes me when I discover parts of Houston that I never even knew existed. There is so much happening in this city and I feel like most of us live secluded in tiny corners unaware of the breadth and depth of opportunities.
Take downtown for instance. How often do most of us go there?
For me the answer is nearly never. In the past, when my dad used to work downtown at the federal courts, I would go have lunch with him occasionally. Most of the time, I drove up to the building and picked him up. Then we headed over to a nearby hotel, usually the Double Tree since they validated your parking, and we would valet for lunch.
A few times, I was called in for jury duty and of course I experienced the area of downtown around the state courthouses. I even got selected for Grand Jury one time and that was fun. But, again the excursions were simply to attend the courthouse in question and, for lunch, I mostly brought my own or bought something at a nearby coffee shop or deli.
I was aware, vaguely, that there was a downtown tunnel system, but I never had occasion to venture there.
Now, my brother works at the federal courthouse. We decided to have lunch together. Instead of driving up and going to some eatery, he told me to park in the garage and we would get food at the tunnel. This peaked my interest.
I arrived and met him downstairs so I wouldn’t have to go through security. We then set out across the street to the building over one block which had the access to the tunnels. This made sense that the courthouse would not have an way to enter the tunnel system. It could be a dangerous access point for the building.
Once in the tunnel we walked a ways. I felt a slight concern being aware of the fact we were walking under ground and all. The tunnel is wide enough for many people to walk in both directions, but it still felt a little tight for me. Then we arrived at a juncture.
Before us lay a wide expanse of tables and chairs around which an array of eateries had storefronts. It reminded me of the mall food courts of my childhood years. There are maps posted at certain intervals. Sadly, I didn’t take a picture of them since I, at that moment, hadn’t thought to write up the excursion for the blog.
We walked further and found an area with loungers and sofas, ping pong and corn hole, and even a table shuffleboard option. Sadly, they had no wax, so we couldn’t throw any weights. Plus, it is a short version and not the 22 foot long that is the official length for serious shufflers.
As we passed this area, my brother pointed out a wide white wall and explained that during the World Cup Soccer, they projected the games there so people could come and watch while sitting in the comfy loungers and sofas. Eventually, we selected a food choice and took it to go. We went back to his office and ate there. If you go to a courthouse, by the way, don’t take scissors or lighters. They confiscate them and store them for you until you leave. Yes. I know from first hand experience.
Anyway, if you are curious and want to enjoy a fun adventure, head over to downtown, park, and do lunch in the tunnels. Buzz me and we can make a day of it. I’m not sure which building uses these Star Wars inspired elevators, but I plan to find out on my next outing.
Oh, PS. this is a picture of me and my brother. Isn’t he cute?
One Reply to “Hidden Treasures”
I used to work downtown in the 80s. Spent a lot of time down in that tunnel. I could get from One Shell Plaza to Foley’s Department Store all underground. It’s grown a lot since then. Much more user friendly with the tables and seating arrangements.