Buffalo Bayou Park Cistern #30

You take us on a tour of Houston’s old Buffalo Bayou Park cistern, the City’s first underground source of drinking water. Built in 1927 it provided decades of service until it sprang a leak, was drained and rebuilt as a monument. You walk backwards, facing us, your arms sway rapidly back and forth. You peer intently into dark spaces between cement pillars, between reflected light moving towards infinity. You mesmerize the cistern into an underground cathedral and offer us a song composed by Irwin Berlin. We wait, wondering what you will sing, perhaps They Say Its Wonderful, It’s a Lovely Day or Doin’ What Comes Natural. You position your body towards the cavernous space. You take a deep breath and you sing, oh my God, NO, you sing, God Bless America, over the glistening shallow water. Quick! Before the cathedral disintegrates, someone, please, get us some Tex Mex tacos and ice-cold beer!

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