Despite countless, gut-wrenching images of flood waters and devastation, places in Houston are starting to see bursts of normalcy.
By Thursday, it could've been a typical morning for Sig's Lagoon Record Shop in Houston's trendy Midtown district.
Two customers walked in shortly after lunch, thumbing through stacks of vinyl and quietly speaking about the music making its way through the overhead speakers. There was little mention of flooding or evacuations, just simple small-talk of a beloved record or two.
"That mental relief is kind of important," said Tomas Escalante, owner of Sig's Lagoon. "I think it's important just for the general psyche of people to see some normalcy and go back to places they frequent in their neighborhood."
Kitty corner from the record shop, Alexandra West stood out against an exterior brick wall as her hairdresser from the Kat's Meow delicately combed through her newly dyed pink and blue hair, which now almost resembled the mane of a unicorn.
Her hairdresser snapped a picture with her phone under a passing gray cloud, providing the perfect filter for a future Instagram post.
"It feels wonderful just to be out in the fresh air, see the sunshine and enjoy all the blessings that we have," said West.
Took four hours to get this done. People have been stir crazy. pic.twitter.com/oOi84WZKu7— Michelle Li (@MichelleLiTV) August 31, 2017
She made the drive from flood-ravaged Katy to appear for the four-hour hair appointment because she said she needed a break.
"Knowing that there’s going to be more struggle to come, but just grateful for this moment right now," she said.
Hope is what a lot of people are living for these days, even if they can only catch a glimpse of it during the lunch rush.
The unassuming Alamo Tamale and Taco off Navigation Boulevard is back to feeding its dedicated customers and even putting its 10 employees back to work behind the cafeteria-style tacqueria.
"People were calling and asking when we were going to open," said Lucrecia Garza, Alamo Tamale's supervisor. "Thank God we're open for business again."
It seems a lot of people are stealing mundane moments in exchange for the havoc Harvey fast-balled into their paths.
Chef Isaac Chun decided on a whim to clean up debris from one of his favorite spots in the city while his restaurant remained closed. He and a few friends filled three heavy-duty trash bags at Eleanor Tinsley Park, a place with an iconic view of the Houston skyline.
"Little things help out," said Chun. "Honestly, it's going to take some time, but I believe in our city."