Sunday, September 17, 2006

Class

Yesterday was another long run. 18 miles in glorious Houston heat and humidity. But it got done, that is the important part. I started strong (in my mind anyway), stayed strong most of the way, fell into a slump for a bit, recovered, then finished semi strong.

The one thing that kept popping in my mind this weekend (first during the run, then today during the ride) was the huge difference in social classes in a span of a couple miles.

Our run route consisted of running from Memorial Park to the George R. Brown in downtown, then coming back and then going into River Oaks before returning back to the park.

While trudging along the bayou on the way to the GRB you pass a number of homeless people, either sleeping on benches or amongst the trees. But it is when you get into downtown the numbers increase drastically. They are wandering the streets, sleeping against buildings, clustered in parks, etc.

Then, less than 5 miles later on the return trip you are passing multi-million dollar homes with 3, 4, 5 car garages with cars that cost several thousand dollars sitting in them. Some houses are gated with their own private security guard and have huge lawns with gardeners trimming hedges and mowing the grass.

As my running buddy and I are looking at these mansions we wonder - where do these people get all their money? Is it inherited? Does it come from screwing others out of their retirement (Ken Lay)? Is it from oil?

And what do they do with all that space? You would need to do a lot of entertaining to want that much space. Or have tons of kids.

Don't think I am saying anything bad about the people that live in these places. If they can afford it they can certainly do what ever they want with their money. Besides they are supporting a lot of other people with their grandioseness - gardeners, pool boys, cooks, nannies, house keepers, etc.

I just find it amazing that within the span of a couple miles you can see people with nothing to their name except for a couple plastic bags of stuff to seeing huge mansions (because you rarely see the people who live in them) with elaborately landscaped gardens.

Anyway, I did 35 miles on the bike today. The highlight was riding amongst the headstones and monuments in Glenwood Cemetery. What a beautiful cemetery with some very beautiful trees.

3 comments:

Barbara said...

That puts my 12-miler on Saturday in perspective! Our runs are through similar neighborhoods the whole time, which is still surprising even out in the 'burbs.

The bigger the house, the more room you have to make a mess (even if you pay someone else to clean it up). Pass on that.

Vic said...

You got it done. Nice run.

DisseminatingData said...

Very thoughtful commentary.