Sunday, December 09, 2007

The Galleria

I sometimes think of The Galleria as a metaphor for my life. Ever since the tri-level mall opened in 1970, some portion of my life has involved either hanging out there, shopping or browsing its 375 stores or entertaining myself inside its walls.

My high school prom was held at the Galleria Plaza hotel. My neighborhood chums at Ross Sterling were holding their prom the same night at the Galleria Oaks. I remember us walking back and forth between the two hotels going to each other's events while window shopping along the way.. I learned how to ice skate on its rink and spent more than a few days and nights blissfully skating (or falling) on its surface. One of my neighbors worked at Neiman Marcus and she used to take me and her son there on Saturdays. She'd drop us off at the ice rink to spend all day skating and pick us up when she got off.

Even one of my transition benchmark goals involved the Galleria. I tested my ability to pass by walking the entire length of the largest mall in Houston. When I stopped getting derisive looks, stares or giggles I knew I was evolving to the level of passability I desired.

Like I have, The Galleria and the area around it has grown, changed and evolved as time moved on. I have an ice rink less than half a mile from the house in Da Ville, but it's not the same as skating and looking up through that vaulted glass ceiling at a clear blue Texas sky or while its backlit against a dark Houston night. Darting around that three story Christmas tree that's plaxced in the center of the rink during the holidays brings back some fond memories as well.

Darn, getting homesick again.

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