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The thing about a driving city is that people often move too fast to notice the pockets of interestingness hiding in plain sight. But now that we’re all biking along bayous and walking around downtown, we’re rediscovering hidden treasures, hence the weekend lines—yes, lines—to push the button for Buffalo Bayou’s formerly insider-y Big Bubble. The next big thing? It could be one of these:

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43rd Restaurant

Now that Wells Fargo Plaza and Chase Tower have officially closed their sky lobbies to the public, there’s no longer a downtown observation deck. No problem: make a lunch reservation at 43rd Restaurant inside Wedge Tower. The food is unremarkable, but the panoramic views from (you guessed it) the 43rd floor are exceptional—there’s no seating on the outdoor deck, but diners can linger there with a drink and soak in the views.

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Image: Katya Horner

Listening Vessels

Sitting in a quiet corner of Discovery Green, these could be mistaken for the boundaries of another bocce court, but they’re a functional piece of art by Doug Hollis—the round stones form perfect parabolas, so a whisper into the center of one can be heard perfectly in the other vessel 70 feet away.

Frog Wall

From Rice University’s central academic quad, make a beeline for the main entrance to Anderson Hall—it’s a straight line north from the William Marsh Rice statue’s left shoulder—and run your finger over the pattern of round indentations on the stone façade. This will create a loud ribbit sound that’s both weird and delightful. According to lore, it was designed to honor the frogs displaced when their swampy home was drained, but who knows?

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