Hidden above the Buffalo Bayou, along the streets of the Theater District, there lies a little red button — a button which many Houstonians are completely unaware even exists. Camouflaged inside a brick pillar at the bridge on Preston Street, this button controls something very intriguing – a bubble of compressed air which shoots through the calm waters of Buffalo Bayou (dun, dun, dun).
What’s the purpose of the button, you may ask? It’s to satisfy those of you in need of a quick fix of entertainment, as well as to provide a flow of oxygen into the Bayou. If it weren’t for this little burst of oxygen, the Bayou would be too stagnant and become rotten… Eww. “The Big Bubble” is set on a timer to go off throughout the day. However, with the quick push of this hidden red button, any passerby can make the bubble erupt.
Once you discover the fun behind “The Big Bubble”, you can’t resist pushing the button over and over because, well, it’s awesome! Some button-pushers like to surprise the nearby pedestrian or kayaker. For us, it just made us laugh. And even though watching the bubble erupt got slightly anticlimactic after the third time, we couldn’t help ourselves from each wanting to take a turn pushing the button.
The little red button is a lot like the culture of Houston. It’s unknown to many and seems pretty irrelevant except to those who are in the know. But, with a little detective work, you’ll uncover something pretty cool. Also, much like the Houston culture, finding the little red button can be enjoyed by anyone. So, whether you’re a 5-year-old kid, 40-year-old dad or a 22-year-old intern, we challenge you to visit the little red button and find the other little red buttons of culture in Houston.
• Go with at least one other person so that one can press the button and one can watch. You can’t see the bubble from where you push the button.
• There isn’t a sign or plaque announcing the button, so you will need to do a little searching.
• It’s FREE to push the button!
Preston Street Bridge in the Theater District
Paid Lots (in front of the Wortham Center)