Sunday, March 27, 2011

Three: Red Telephone Boxes

There's a neighborhood near downtown Houston called Upper Kirby that has a very visible and distintive feature: the red telephone box.

Scattered throughout this neighborhood are several of these British telephone booths, all of them either empty or sealed off. Most of them are proudly labeled with the "Upper Kirby" mark, and they're all randomly placed and clearly spotted from the road. I spent the afternoon yesterday circling the neighborhood in search of all of the red telephone boxes this neighborhood houses and successfully found most of them. Oddly enough, I could not find a list online to help guide me.

Box #1 was placed off the beaten bath of what is known as Upper Kirby, and the only booth that, to me, looks authentic. It still has the "Telephone" label, and you see the remnants of what once was a telephone inside.

Booth #2 rests on a busy street across from newly built, super swanky condos and lofts. If one wanted to label this feature of the Upper Kirby neighborhood as stuck up and upper-crusty, this particular booth's location would be the ammunition.

Booth #3 was tucked away a bit and stood within an unremarkable, modern strip mall right outside a CVS Pharmacy. There was also a dumpster rather close to this booth, making it the most randomly placed of the seven I found.

Booth #4 was the sister to #2, also placed in the "new swanky condo high-rise" district of Upper Kirby within the parking lot of a recently built Wells Fargo. It had a cosmopolitan feel to it that I liked.

Booth #5 has further down Kirby, which quickly loses its cosmopolitan feel as you drive to the south. This booth was placed in the park stip right in front of a car wash and repair shop that might have been related. It didn't blend well with the surroundings, but it added that touch of class it might have needed.

Booth #6 was located at a street corner off the main drag of Kirby. It was surrounded by hip, young shops (Whole Foods, Borders, etc.) and boxed in with flowers. I thought it was a beautiful location.

Booth #7, the final booth I found, was shaded by huge trees next to the outdoor seating of a local cafe. It would be the perfect spot to eat outside on a pleasant day and, perhaps, imagine yourself in London, staring at the red telephone box.


  1. Nama, YOU should put these online. In fact you should call whoever runs the Houston touristy website and try to sell this whole set, AND your narrative. This is awesome, Nama, really, really good stuff. It makes me want to visit Houston.

  2. I didn't realize there were so many around town. These boxes were one of the first things I really loved about Houston. Fantastic pictures, of course :)

  3. Where can I find the first and last booths? Do you happen to know the name of the cafe that the last one is near? I'd love to visit these!

  4. They're not just in upper Kirby, there's one on West Little York near the beltway, and one downtown.