Of all the photos I've ever taken -- from crappy shots as a kid with a Kodak Instamatic -- to covers of the Houston Press, the above shot is by far my least favorite. Never mind that it's not a particularly good shot -- nice slanted landscape there, Balke -- but it's what it depicts that just kills me.
A few years ago, I was driving along the South Loop when I saw it, the field where I used to spend chunks of my summer. Except, instead of being filled with rides and kids having fun, it was just dirt and shame. Yes, that field is where AstroWorld used to be.
When I saw it, I stopped immediately, grabbed my camera from the behind the seat and shot this photo through the chain-link fence. It was not my happiest moment, but there you go.
So, as we wait out the dog days of summer, why not celebrate what once was and give kids a glimpse of what they missed through the miracle of YouTube videos. And I'm not posting any creepy ads with that weird dancing old man. That freaked me out!
Where in the world but AstroWorld can you have so much fun? Honestly, I don't know. Oh, and they had a killer whale?
WaterWorld! And not the shitty Kevin Costner joint.
Nice Vegas dancer cleavage, AstroWorld.
Wow, even before my time.
The only roller coaster I truly loved, the Texas Cyclone.
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Good ol' clean fun.
Greased Lightning. Sigh
Now, wasn't that worth it?