I like old things.Â Wait, scratch that.Â I like broken, run-down, discarded, ancient things.Â I find a lot of beauty in collapsing barns, abandoned gas stations, and rusted cars.Â I’m not sure why, but it’s something that’s always been there.
Well, on July 4th weekend I hit the motherload.Â That weekend, the girlfriend and I packed up the dogs and headed to Port Arthur.Â Our goal was to go down there and spend time at the beach.Â Well, that was Shawna’s plan.Â Mine involved eating pizza in bed at the hotel.Â A man needs his vacation.
The problem (which we didn’t encounter until we hit Port Arthur), is that there’s no beach there. In fact, Port Arthur is probably the Detroit of Texas. The place has been hit by three hurricanes in the past ten years or so, and it’s a broken ruin of a city.Â With a population of over 55,000, there are no groceries, banks, or drugstores.Â The population needs to go inland for that sort of thing.Â There are streets full of boarded-up homes, and the city’s tallest structure (an old hotel) is a tower of shattered windows and blasted paint.Â A Valero refinery sits just outside of the town like a monster made of pipes and fire.
Driving around Port Arthur and the surrounding areas is like stepping into a post-apocalyptic movie.Â The highway that leads from Port Arthur to Galveston has been closed for 20 years because of hurricane damage.Â The only public beach has been washed out, with numerous piers being reduced to spare pieces of lumber jutting out of the water.Â It’s really pretty amazing.
I’d recommend anybody who wants to see something interesting look up some info on Port Arthur.Â You could do worse.Â I maybe wouldn’t go there, though. Just sayin’.