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Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners Houston 2000 - Cleveland Turner's house, 3311 Sampson Street

Sometimes referred to as the Flower Man, Cleveland Turner is a former drunk who slipped the grip of booze by promising God he'd dedicate his life as a sober man to creating a place of uncommon beauty. God must have held him to the vow, because Turner's home and yard in the Third Ward are a cacophony of flowers, fruit trees and vegetable plants, discarded musical instruments and scavenged oddities that, when considered in sum, constitute one of the city's most engaging folk-art displays. Earlier this year, though, the city's public works and legal departments threatened to fine Turner for encroaching on the sidewalk and drainage ditches in front of his house. Turner made another promise: He'd "rot in jail" before he'd alter his artistic vision to appease a small group of philistines from City Hall. While pressure from neighbors and folk-art enthusiasts, who say Turner's creations are one-of-a-kind, tempered the city's position, the Flower Man was forced to make a few concessions. With cookie-cutter developers ferociously altering the character of inner-city neighborhoods like the Third Ward, it's appropriate to wonder how much longer something so far from mainstream sensibility will survive. Our advice is to see Cleveland Turner's house while you can.READERS' CHOICE: Tie: NASA/ Kemah Boardwalk

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