This week Mayor Annise Parker accepted on behalf of the city some artwork commemorating the 50th anniversary of the flights of Soviet cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin and the USA's John Glenn.
(Gagarin, of course, was the first human in space, Glenn the first American.)
The donations will be displayed in the Gragg Building at 2999 S. Wayside Drive, the first headquarters of NASA and currently the headquarters of the City of Houston Parks & Recreation Department, which is in no way a comedown for a building.
"Today we see a representation of one of mankind's greatest achievements -- traveling into outer space," Parker said. "Houston is also known as Space City, and what better way to commemorate such a great moment in history than to have artworks at NASA's original headquarters."
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Russians love Gagarin, the cosmonaut with the legendary smile who spent plenty of the years after his historic flight chasing tail and vodka, a route that Glenn didn't exactly follow.
Russians also love their unique quasi-realistic paintings, and Gagarin was the subject of many. Here are five we'd like to see at the ol' Parks & Rec building (Note: Due to artistic license, we can't absolutely guaran-damn-tee every one of these deathless pieces of art portrays Gagarin as opposed to some other cosmonaut) :
5. Incoming!!! Gagarin stoically ponders the ack-ack, flak and other anti-aircraft fire he'll apparently be flying through, which makes a 1943 bombing run over Germany seem like a cakewalk.
4. The seductive sounds of Yuri Having a little trouble breaking the surly bounds of some hostess's garter? Don't fret.
Just open an ice-cold bottle of the national drink and pop this baby on the turntable. You'll be planning your entry and re-entry in no time.
3. Oh, you guys are flying in comfort now We assume this is Gagarin looking on and blessing a later product of the Soviet space fleet. He looks like he's comparing the relatively roomy conditions being offered at the time, as opposed to the cramped contraption he had to squeeze into.
He doesn't seem that pleased, truth be told.
2. That helmet keeps getting bigger and bigger If it grows any more, it's going to wind up in a Mel Brooks spoof.
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1. Something for the ladies Soft-focus dreaminess, romantic eyes sadly thinking of lost amour...ladies, you and he are ready for takeoff.