Saturday, November 1, 2008

Gaveston, Oh, Galveston...

Tuesday my Northern Friend and I took a road trip that included a stop over to see Glaveston after Ike.

Let me set the scene... in the past, when I entered Galveston, I drove down I-45 admiring all the lovely homes on stilts and the boats bobbing in the water. I-45 ends on Broadway which was a beautiful street full of older homes with a wonderful bouelvard down the middle of the street full of huge Live Oaks and Royal Palms. It made me feel like I was in a different time all together and that Scarlett O'Hara would come bounding down the steps of the Bishop's Palace at any moment. Eating lunch on one of the piers over the water and visiting Quilts by the Bay were just the icing on the cake.

The homes on stilts are mostly there, just empty. The boats are lying on the side of the road. The houses and businesses on Braodway are still there but very little is left of the beautiful street. Not that there is a lot missing but it is hard to overlook the mounds of rubbish on the side of the road. It looks like many of the homes and businesses lost everything on their lower floors and it was now all on the street. In addition, the boulevard has been devastated. The Royal Palms have lost most of the bark on their trunks and are covered with a muddy brown residue. The Live Oaks did not have one green leaf left on them. In addition, athough the street along the gulf has been cleared of debris there is nothing in tact of all the piers that used to jut into the Gulf of Mexico. We found where we had had lunch in the past and it was just a shell on a crumpled pier.

My friend and I next found Quilts by the Bay - a wonderful quilt shop that catered to area residents as well as visiting tourists. The building will not be rebuilt and they are tryng to decide where they will go and how they will recover. Here is a shot of the front of the building:

That broken sign says it all. Here is a shot of the interior:
So sad to see such a vibrant shop devastated. The shop did come to the International Quilt Festival with any stock they had saved. Their booths were packed every time I went by there. I don't know if it was because of the deals on Ike damaged fabric, the 3 for 2 sale of Jim Shore items or the fact that Jacqueline DeJonge was there but pople were buying like there was no tomorrow.

I hope Quilts by the Bay will reopen soon and, despite the threat of future hurricanes, I hope they find space on the island for this venerable Galveson institution. Besides, on a selfish note, I loved visiting the island and spending time (and money) there. Here's hoping!

1 comment:

mamalife said...

In 2004 Hurricane Charley devastated Punta Gorda, not far south of where I live. This is a beautiful sleepy little town located on Charlotte Harbor with a main street of quaint shops and restaurants and also places to eat on the water. The most amazing quilt store was destroyed in that hurricane. It is the quilt store where I found fabric and patterns for my daughters wall hanging and two crib quilts which I made her while I was pregnant. We first drove down there about 3 months after the hurricane. And even then there was so much devastation, it was impossible to take it all in. Piles of rubble everywhere. Many buildings completely gone. Others with roofs gone and walls half-standing. Of the homes and buildings that remained, it was hard to find one without blue tarps covering their leaky roofs. Only now is this area really bouncing back.