THINGS I LOVE BY ERIC BRAATE Eric Braate is a meteorologist at KPRC-TV in Houston, after forecasting the weather in many places, including Florida, Michigan, Wisconsin and Mississippi. But he found his home in Houston and couldn’t be happier. He’s an avid endurance athlete, having completed 35 marathons and two IRONMAN triathlons. When he’s not racking up miles on his running sneakers, he’s probably planning his next trip. Travel is another of his big passions. A CLASSIC HOUSTON SUMMER STORM I love all types of weather, but a tropical thunderstorm in Houston is truly spectacular. The lightning, thunder and pouring rain are true testaments to the power of Mother Nature. And the smell of rain that hangs in the still, cleansed air in the wake of a storm is nothing less than mystical. PARIS The City of Light stole my heart the moment I arrived on my first visit. It effuses style, sophistication, grace and grandeur from every avenue. It is as var- ied as it is vast, and never dull. A place I always feel at home, relaxed, even though I barely speak the language. 64 L O C A L | june 17 PAINTING I have always loved to express my creativity. So, when the mood strikes, I enjoy putting a brush to canvas and taking my best stab at creating a personal masterpiece. I may never get critical acclaim, but I certainly have fun!