Aesop Montrose

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A first Texas signature space in Houston’s diverse Montrose neighborhood now complements our established presence in Saks. Created in collaboration with Quebecois architect Alain Carle, an informal design for the 1260-square foot store responds to the relaxed character of the district, heightening a departure from the bustling city.

 

In a nod to the area’s domestic roots, original wood flooring pairs with curtain-like panels of translucent cotton and joinery in locally-sourced Texan Pecan, instilling a sense of familiarity and ease. Lush foliage layers with galvanized steel supports, exposed joists and powder-coated aluminum shelving, to softly echo the intersection of Houston’s urban sprawl and its sylvan bayous.

 

With this in mind, it is a pleasure to offer recommendations for verdure vast and small, manicured and meandering, known and unknown. Each within a short walk or cycle from our new space.

Buffalo Bayou

Shepherd Drive to Sabine Street
Houston TX 77019

 

To revel in the open air: explore this verdant stretch of the Buffalo Bayou – a brushstroke of green against Houston’s urban canvas. The park teems with life and stillness; surprising, given its popularity with all on two and four legs. Come for its prairies, overgrown thickets, and wildflower slopes of native beebalm, Texas vervain and Indian blanket. And for agreeable symmetry, descend into the subterranean cistern, a droning concrete cathedral hidden in the bowels of the park. 

 

Peggy H. Shiffick Park
700 Bomar Street

Houston TX 77006

 

For an afternoon in the company of a good book: visit Peggy H. Shiffick Park – a pint-sized lot in East Montrose cocooned by suburban homes. Easily overlooked, it comprises little more than a mail box, two benches, and a wide-branching evergreen oak. Donated to the state by local philanthropists Peggy and Bill Shiffick, you can thank civic-minded neighbors for preserving this shady spot for deceleration rather than for development.

 

Menil Park Campus
Branard Street
Houston TX 77006

 

To be among art and nature, and yet entirely within yourself: take a short walk from Aesop Montrose to this leafy district. There is much to entertain the eye, and gardens fit for all manner of outdoor pursuits, so soak up a responsible amount of Vitamin D and take in all you can of complementary-admission art at the Menil Collection, Cy Twombly Gallery and Dan Flavin Installation. Finish with a little therapy, contemplating the fourteen inky murals at the non-denominational Rothko Chapel.

 

Cullen Sculpture Garden

900-998 Bissonnet Street
Houston TX 77005

 

For balance, in the city: rest among groves of pine, elm, bamboo and sculpture. Designed by modernist artist and designer Isamu Noguchi, the garden is a sculpture masquerading as garden. Amid flowing contours, raised lawn beds and changing levels sit works by Alexander Calder, Henri Matisse, Louise Bourgeois and Ellsworth Kelly, among others. Bring lunch and digest Noguchi’s outlook that ‘in the city, you have to have a new nature.’

 

Twilight Epiphany
Skyspace by James Turrell
Rice University
Houston TX 77005

 

To escape the everyday: experience Twilight Epiphany. Set above, and within a quadrangle of close-cropped grass at the Rice University, Turrell’s structure appears to levitate over its lawned plinth. Arresting as this is, the real experience is to look up from its belly to a framed aperture of sky. At dawn and twilight (we recommend a reservation at the latter), a light sequence transforms the milky-white roof into a melting canvas of alien-purple, soft apricot and glowing tangerine, depending on the proximity to dusk.