"You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
~ Mohandas Gandhi
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So while we were in Galveston, I realized that I didn't know that much about the history of the town. I knew that at one time, Galveston was THE city in Texas (until Houston built its port), but I didn't know much more than that. So naturally, I turned to that authority of all authorities, Wikipedia.
Who knew Galveston was so cool? In addition to being the original Sin City (until Las Vegas hit the scene), it was also the site of the first post office in Texas, the first electric lights in Texas, and the first telephone in Texas.
It's also the home of the largest natural disaster in US history: the hurricane of 1900, which was more devastating than even Hurricane Katrina. After the 1900 hurricane, the seawall was built to protect against future hurricane storm surges.
Still, Galveston took a hit two years ago when Hurricane Ike came ashore (you remember Ike -- the one that left our tree on our neighbour's house?). And even thought it's been over two years, there are still signs of damage in and around the city.
Like, for example, the luxurious Hotel Galvéz, which is right on the seawall:
It looks beautiful, but as we were parked in front of the hotel, Marcus noticed the entire third floor was still boarded up:
Unfortunately, seeing damage like this wasn't uncommon. One hotel, the Flagship Hotel, which was built on a pier into the water, remains empty, and rumour has it that it's to be torn down and turned into an amusement park. There were signs like this all along the seawall -- buildings and condos and apartments that were clearly abandoned and boarded up that were thriving a few years ago.
It's sad, really -- especially since Galveston is really a cute little town. And while the historic district of Galveston is still in good shape, I hope one day soon the whole town gets fully back on its legs.
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The image at the top of this post is the 17th image of Photovent 2010. You can download the pdf for it here. And click here to learn how to use it to assemble a beautifully different photo garland. And the images of Galveston, below, were shot with the Nikon D700 and the 16-35mm lens that Nikon so very kindly lent me. I'm having a ball with this camera and this lens. More in how it's working for me in coming posts.