Houston Gay Pride Parade–Version 2011

Houston Gay Pride Parade 2011 is off and running!Jonathan Lovitz, from LogoTV's "Set Up Squad" was one of this year's honorary grand marshals.

The 2011version of the Houston LGBT Pride Celebration (commonly known as the Houston Gay Pride Parade) was attended by a large crowd.  (I’ll be interested in what the official count will be.) The parade was lead off by the traditional HPD cruiser and contingent, followed directly by Houston’s own gay mayor, Annise Parker, with her partner, Kathy Hubbard at her side.

The crowd gathering before the start of the parade, here in front of Tomo's.

A broad mix of people came to view the Pride Parade. A few of them entertaining themselves before the start.

The unexpected is always expected at the parade.

Jonathat Lovitz, of LogoTV's "Setup Squad", one of the honorary grand marshals.

There was no lack of other politicians riding in the parade, including many of the current city council, and council wannabees, as well as state representatives and congresspeople.  There were a large number of groups representing a wide variety of gay interests, many who have participated year after year.  However, every year there are new participants.

Many things have changed about the parade have changed over the years.  For one there is a lot less police “presence” along the parade route.  Maybe that’s due to having a gay mayor.  There are perhaps more straight people than gay people that attend these days.  Sometimes, I wonder if they are really interested in the groups, or just want to get the beads that are thrown.  I saw more drinking than I have seen before, as illustrated by a 50-something woman, who eased in next to me, and screamed at every float or group.  Her name was Julie.  Yes, that’s what she screamed, “Hey, it’s me Julie.”  I hope she enjoys all her loot.   Yes, the Gay Pride Parade has changed.

The colorful float of Bunnies on the Bayou.

Gay Asians & Friends--this group is uniquely costumed year after year.

The Texas Gay Rodeo Association's entry.

M.D. Anderson Cancer Center's entry illustrates the parade theme "Live, Love, Be."

A perennial favorite, the boys of South Beach.

One of the many colorful contingents in the parade–this one is Jenni’s Noodle House.

See story and photos of 2010 Pride Parade here.

 
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Check Out the Traffic and Red Light Cams on Streets and Highways All Over the Houston Region

Some of my internet favs are webcam sites–not so much the ones that show people and their lives, but the ones of places around the globe. I remember the first time seeing Antartica via webcam and a strange one just focused on some doorway in Barcelona. I love how these cheap (or not so cheap) little cameras can take you half a world away. Maybe the view is not always clear nor so interesting, but that can be part of the fun too.

black_snowflakeProbably many people are aware of them but there is a whole set of traffic webcams for Houston and a wide region around the city. There are so many of them that you can check out the traffic and sometimes the surrounding views from your on-ramp to your off-ramp. They not only show many of the exits on all the major freeways, but many intersections on some of Houston’s busiest streets. There are even Transtar cameras more than a hundred miles out of the city. Check out this intersection in downtown Giddings, Texas (about 100 miles northwest of Houston on the way to Austing), or look at the snow still on the ground still on the ground today (12/11/08) near Anahuac (50 miles east of Houston).

After you click on either of these, you can choose other camera locations all over the city of Houston and a large region of Texas.

houston2The Houston TranStar site itself is full of all kinds of information about roads, weather, and transits (like the Houston Metro) for the greater Houston area. If you’re a Houston driver, coming through Houston, or just want to know more about Houston, it’s an excellent site to check out.

redlight-cam1If you want to see the locations of the intersections where the cams catch you for running a red light, check out this map, which shows you the more than 50 redlight cams used by the Houston Police Department.