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Everything posted by sunsets

  1. sunsets

    Public House

    Been there 3 times now, it's becoming my favorite local. Yeah, it's bare-bones, but if you want a nice brewed in Texas pint, a laid back atmosphere, and some decent outdoor seating, it's hard to beat. I've also discovered that I can wander over D'amico's, place an order to go, enjoy some more beer at the Public House, then pick up my food and feast whilst finishing off a pint on the deck. A+++!!!!
  2. 2 weeks ago I asked about a bike rack, and one of the staff told me they were working out some permitting thing with the city to be able to put seating outside (along with a bike rack). So apparently that is on the way. And as for this place not thriving? I'm pretty sure it will be a success. Yeah, I can order stuff like this online, but why pay the shipping and have to wait when I can just bike over to Revival and pick it up? Plus, if you don't own an industrial grade meat slicer, even mail order meats aren't going to work in sandwiches. Heights CPA, have you ever seen a catalog from Zingerman's in Ann Arbor? It's a deli, with the cheese and the meat and the bread and some amazing sandwiches that they charge ridiculous amounts of money for, but it has remained immensely popular for over 50 years. Even without their mail order business that place would still be booming. You can't get food there on a weekend without at least a 45 minute wait. People love good food, and they'll stick with the local place if it gives them what they want.
  3. Considering the mob scene at Target and the positive response to their addition of a grocery section, I would expect WalMart to follow a similar model.
  4. I agree on the above. Their work is lovely. They really have the knack for mixing old vs. new seamlessly. There's a reno on our street by this company as well: http://www.wmshawandassoc.com/index.html Definitely a more economical build - they've added a garage and at least one bedroom to a tiny bungalow. Looks pretty good.
  5. Umm, I saw some dried beans? Couldn't really tell what they were, so I guess they were "unusual" They weren't clearly identified, and since the place was mobbed I didn't get the chance to ask any of the staff what they were. They were shelved with the dried herbs and olive oil.
  6. Stopped in here on Saturday to stock up a picnic lunch for a "tour" at St. Arnolds. Wow. This place is doing it right! Everything we purchased was great - the tuscan salami was to die for, the copa and the pancetta also spectacular. Fresh herbed goat cheese was lovely, blue cheese from Houston Dairymaids tasted just like a barnyard (in that awesome way that cheese can). And the bread, oh my goodness, the bread! Slow Dough is a great company. Their rustic round loaf is the best I have been able to get in Houston. (Our household has been known to mail order bread from a deli in Michigan, just to get our rustic loaf fix on). Our out of town friends, who live in Organic Slow Food Central in Vermont,and who are familiar with "actual Italian food in Italy" were highly impressed. Oh yeah, the coffee was great, too.
  7. I have been admiring two huge remodels in progress on my street. This is the group that's been building them: http://www.lucascraftsmanship.com They rebuilt a bungalow on the 1000 block of Highland, including porch columns like you described, and it is just gorgeous. I don't know if they do "little" jobs or how pricey they are, but it might be worth contacting them. I haven't worked with them myself, but based on what I see when I walk to and from the bus, they are very professional.
  8. Westin opening is scheduled for March. Cheesecake Factory is up and running. And they have at least 50 valet spots roped off on the west side of the parking lot. Woe to the ice rink users who attempt to park nearby during mall business hours. There are some very unhappy hockey parents at Mem. City at the moment. The walls of second floor addition to the rink that connects to the sky walk are currently lined with really creepy fake storefront designs. I don't know what the plans are for that space, but the fake stores have got to go. Let kids paint murals or something. Right now all I think about when I look up there is the marketplace from "Total Recall".
  9. I don't know about your block, but I have deed restrictions on mine. So no one is going to build a 6 story building next to my bungalow. They might manage a "Victorian Revival" or a "Camelbacked whale" but they won't be higher than 2 stories. And if I were worried about a commercial building like that, I wouldn't buy on a lot next to a commercial area like Studewood. This isn't Disneyland. We can't "Imagineer" the perfect neighborhood. (That's for places like Bridgeland and Cinco Ranch). I'll take the mix and the mess and my little house and my delightfully strange mixed neighborhoods (and delightfully strange neighbors), and, possibly, a mixed-use multistory building in a reasonable spot like Studewood and 11th.
  10. I also suspect that there's a bit of disconnect regarding what constitutes "The Heights" in this case. s3mh says And there are several replies pointing out that original Victorians, such as those on 11th and Heights, are taller than 3 stories. All true. But the proposed building somewhere between the Woodland Heights extensions and Norhill, both of which are newer (1920s or so) than the Heights proper and contain smaller, more modest bungalows. However, I don't see how that building is going to destroy the neighborhood(s). It's in a commercial zone. There's a large self-serve car wash right behind it, for goodness sake! There's a permanently-under-construction former 7-11 that I have no idea what's going on with sitting next to a bright lime green corrugated metal building just to the south of the new building. How could it make anything worse? I-45 cutting through the east side did not destroy the character of Woodland Heights. The rich-person compound of 4-5 story monstrosities that overlook White Oak bayou at Houston did not destroy the character of the Woodland Heights (though I envy their views), nor did the condo development to the west of them. Heck, Skylane Central sits on the edge of Woodland Heights. Talk about a blight on the landscape! The neighborhood has changed, to be sure, but the core has remained, and probably will continue to do so, given the deed restrictions in place.
  11. Yes, yes, yes! This is so very true. And this is what we need to be focusing on when we prepare kids for the future. It seems to me education right now is so "results" oriented (and don't even get me going on the standardized tests!) that we just create these educated rote-learners that can parrot a lot of info, but have no idea about how to synthesize it or what to make of it. Not everyone is cut out for college, true. But everyone should have enough basic knowledge to understand where the employment opportunities are, and how to use what they know to make a living. We live in the age of Wikipedia, it's not a question of being able to get info. We need to teach kids to think, and think critically.
  12. Did you ask Centerpoint directly if they have plans to mitigate the damage? They (well, their subcontractors, who my husband nicknamed "team mayhem") re-worked the gas line in front of our place in December, and tore the crap out of the public right of way between our sidewalk and the street. By the time Lights in the Heights rolled around, they had managed to at least put sand on top of the mud. Lo and behold, two weeks ago, Team Mayhem came back around and replaced the sod. It's not great, but at least it's grass and not sand.
  13. Again, I somehow feel obligated to defend those apartments. Probably because I bike past them and/or ride the bus with the people who live there. Sure, the complex is old, but next time you go past it, really look at the place. It's pretty much spotless. I've often witnessed the manager outside picking up trash left on the sidewalk. They plant flowers, for goodness sakes! Compare that to the Skylane on Watson and White Oak, and tell me which one you'd rather tear down! And, for the record, I'm more annoyed that the developer is choosing to replace the apartments with a strip center. Just what the neighborhood needs - another strip center. Because the three sitting half-empty on Heights already just can't keep up with all of the demand for retail space, apparently.
  14. Yes, absolutely. As much as I like the new Heights trail, it gives me the heebie-jeebies at night. Too many places for someone to hide if they want to leap out and stick a spoke in your wheel or something. (and before you scoff, my department chair got attacked by a crazy guy on the Braes Bayou trail who did exactly that. And that was in broad daylight!)
  15. Yep, it's a Westin. Never been inside, but I hatehatehate the outside facade of that hospital. What the heck IS that thing, a spaceship?????
  16. They are installing escalators from the second story of the new Cheesecake Factory addition to the ground floor just to the south of the ice rink (near the CA Pizza Kitchen). Obviously someone is expecting significant traffic flow from the hospital/hotel crossing. Now if they'd just finish up whatever they're doing to the plumbing and get the locker room hot water back on I'd be pleased.
  17. Sorry to hear about the collision, Outfield Dan. I hope you feel better soon (though I know broken ribs are a nightmare) Remember, it's not the bike (or clips) it's the rider. He should have known how to unclip before he ventured into traffic. And yet, he probably figured it was safer to learn how to use the clips on the bike path. Multi-use paths are the WORST - no one biking at speed should use them during crowded times unless they know what they're doing. (for the record, my own moment of embarrassment when learning to use my new pedals came when I couldn't unclip fast enough at the Heights Blvd/White Oak intersection. The car drivers got a nice show, but at least I didn't hit anyone!)
  18. Exactly. Really, you'd probably do better to compare the Med Center with the Energy Corridor research parks out on 6. Except that the Med Center also has 2 medical schools, 2 dental schools, 2 big graduate programs, and I'm not sure how many P.A. and nursing programs there are, but that means a lot of students live nearby. Plus there is a constant turnover of postdocs, residents, and students looking for short-term housing. That's what really drives the condo/apartment market south of TMC. And those people aren't looking for luxury or proximity to Anthropologie, they want affordability and safety! Most of them arrive at their institutions via TMC shuttle buses. In my experience, most of the permanent staff and faculty commute in, and the distance depends on when they arrived in Houston. Meyerland, Bellaire, and West U. are common residence areas for more established faculty, while the younger arrivals with families tend to settle in Pearland and Sugarland. DINKs and singles have townhouses in Midtown and the Museum District, or some go to Montrose or the Heights.
  19. No kidding. I'm starting to worry on the nights when there ISN'T a helicopter circling overhead.
  20. Yikes! That's crazy. That also explains the police helicopter circling around early this A.M. Glad no one was hurt, at least. Looks like a patron at Andy's was carjacked.
  21. So I lied, I have additional news. The Cheesecake factory construction is also including an addition of a second floor on top of the existing locker rooms next to the ice rink. I've been told there will be a bar/observation area up there. If it does turn out to be a bar, there are going to be a lot of happy adult hockey league participants!
  22. I can't believe no one has picked up on the fact that a Cheesecake Factory is going up in place of the old department store on the west side. That's where the skywalk from the hospital/hotel will connect. So there's your Memorial City Mall construction news for the month.....
  23. Clearly you have never visited my block. We tend to pursue our quest for good-vibe living aided by the generous sharing and consumption of wine and martinis. Makes for some interesting arguments Though not about Wal-Mart! We're all OK with that. However, I don't have a fixie (though I bow to you who can ride one without crashing) and I have long passed the age where I can pull off skinny jeans.
  24. Yes! Absolutely. I was one of those buyers. Of course we wanted a little, charming, beautifully fixed up bungalow with a clawfoot tub and a big front porch. And we got it. But here's a dirty little secret - that big front porch isn't original to the house. A developer re-did a plan-jane boring flat-fronted bungalow and built out a lovely, "craftsmanesque" porch. Which the neighbors across the street somewhat copied when they did their new front porch. And the stone fireplace in the living room? Not even "actual" stone. It's a concrete substitute. Judging from the oohs and ahhs we get from visitors, no one is the wiser. The renovation probably wouldn't have passed muster with the committee, and that would have been a shame. It's a perfect example of a neighborhood-appropriate (though not "historically accurate") fix that improved the aesthetics on the block.
  25. Aw, I'm kind of sad to see the apartments go. I know they are low-income, but that place is always spotless. Flowers are always planted and several times I've observed management picking up the yard. Compared to the dreck that is Skyline on White Oak, they are very nice.
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