April 14, 2008
Thumbs up on Day One for Discovery Green

Pretty good reviews, I'd say.

Those who flocked to the opening "Family Day" event gushed with enthusiasm as they surveyed the green space. While the park is compact, visitors Sunday said they were amazed at how much there was to do.

Visitors could hit golf balls, play shuffleboard, explore a new playground, dine in chic restaurants, stroll through gardens and enjoy a myriad of live entertainment venues.

Eric Andell, who has lived downtown for 10 years, enjoyed his meander through the park. "What's not to like here?" he said. "It's great to have some green space."

Nine-year-old Zeal Alexander, who was soaking wet after dashing repeatedly through a fountain, agreed.

"It's like going through a force field that's icy cold," he said.


In Discovery Green, the trees are strategically located in rows around open areas. Some 100-year-old live oaks were brought from other parts of Houston, where they had been slated to be destroyed.

"I especially like the old trees. It just feels like Houston,"said Amy Curtis, who brought her two young children to the park's opening.

Visitors who prefer using the trees as reading posts can even have books delivered to the park's reading room. Those inclined to more high-tech entertainment can access free Internet and even check out laptop computers to use in the park for free for two hours.

"This will be particularly good for those on a lunch break or convention visitors," said Edward Melton, who oversees the program.

I'd think that a big beneficiary of the new park will be the George R. Brown Convention Center. One reason for having a convention in a particular town is because there's stuff to do there, optimally nearby or at least within transit range, for when you're not sitting in a seminar or workshop. Between the park and the Main Street rail line, which makes the Museum District easily accessible, there's now a lot of stuff to do outside the GRB. That wasn't the case before. I don't know how much that sort of consideration weighs on convention planners, but I'll bet the opening of Discovery Green is going to make these people's job a little easier.

As I said before, we'll make our first official family visit to the Green on Thursday for the opening of Green Market. I'm looking forward to it.

Posted by Charles Kuffner on April 14, 2008 to Elsewhere in Houston