Every kid has a special place where secrets are whispered and whisked away by the wind. It might be in a forest, a cemetery or along a river's edge. Adults, too, need a sanctuary from the fast track, and there is none better than Sam Houston Park. Set directly behind City Hall, the park opens onto expansive, neatly manicured lawns. Low-slung wooden benches overlook lush gardens, a gazebo and fountains that mimic the sound of a babbling brook. The park houses an outdoor museum featuring some of the city's oldest homes, which date back to the mid-19th century. Pathways slope down to a pond inhabited by red-billed ducks and a family of turtles. Every afternoon, working stiffs escape the sirens, the shadows and the exhaust and find refuge in the tranquillity of the park.