Bayou City

Make the Most Out of Houston's First Post-Harvey Weekend

Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is one of the AL's leading MVP candidates this season.
Astros second baseman Jose Altuve is one of the AL's leading MVP candidates this season. Photo by Jack Gorman
What a week, huh? With Tropical Storm Harvey finally out of Houston, many of us are finally realizing how much our worlds have been changed by the storm. Many of us are without homes, or have lost vehicles, and a few of us have even lost loved ones and pets. While we grieve and scramble to do what can be done to restore some semblance of order back to our grievously wounded city, this weekend is the first time when many of us can at least begin to relax a little. The horrors of the past week will be talked about for years, and may have changed Houston forever, but we have to go on, and remember that our city can be a place of joy.

In the spirit of that, let's explore a few things we can do this weekend, despite the fact that many bars, clubs and other social gathering spaces are likely to still be closed because of the storm or flooding.

Get to Know Your Neighbors
Sometimes it's easy to live near other people without ever exchanging enough words to get to know them. They say you can't choose your family, and for the most part that's true of neighbors — sure, you might meet one or two upon moving into a new neighborhood, but a whole lot of us never really interact with the people living around us. If your neighbor is a stranger but isn't the kind of person who may be cooking meth in his bathtub, why not use the storm as a way to strike up a conversation? Times of shared stress can be a great time to make new friends and allies. It's good to have people close by that have your back.

Go Dancing or Check Out a Band
Yeah, this falls under the heading of things you could do any other weekend, but with a lot of venues still closed, why not head down to Numbers on Saturday to dance away some of the pent-up energy and stress from enduring the storm? The club is also donating all cover charges to Mayor Sylvester Turner's Hurricane Harvey Relief Fund. And while it's a good idea to check before heading out, other clubs, like Rudz, Mucky Duck and the Continental Club, should also be operating this weekend. More shows over here, too.

Go Biking With Friends
After Ike, I went on a long bike ride with several friends. Something about hitting the streets after a terrible storm is different…spooky, but it also makes bike rides or walks interesting in ways that aren't always obvious under normal conditions.

Board Games
Hey, why not? Having a game night is kinda awesome anyway, but after a storm the kind of friendly competition that a game of Monopoly provides can be a welcome break from watching TV. Plus, there are a lot more tabletop gaming options these days than old-fashioned “board games,” and some of them are fun enough that you don't need an excuse to break them out on the weekend.

The Astros Are in Town
Though they've struggled after the All-Star Break, Houston's MLB club still enjoys a healthy lead in the AL West, and returns for a Saturday doubleheader (1:10 and 7:10 p.m.) and Sunday series finale (1:10 p.m.) against the New York Mets to a city ready to greet them with open arms, and maybe even a few tears of joy. If the 'Stros start lighting up the scoreboard the way they have many, many times before this season, expect Minute Maid Park to explode.

Volunteer, or Help Out a Neighbor
There are plenty of people in need right now, and people across the region have stepped up to help other folks. It's one of the best things about this city and the surrounding area — we come together in a crisis and help each other out. This weekend is a great time to give a few hours in service to our communities, and there are many ways to do just that.
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Chris Lane is a contributing writer who enjoys covering art, music, pop culture, and social issues.