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dbigtex56

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dbigtex56 last won the day on April 3 2013

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About dbigtex56

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    Male
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    Houston (previously Montrose, now Midtown) TX
  • Interests
    vintage cameras, music, crossword puzzles, cooking, movies, art and industrial design, current events, literature, history and of course architecture.

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  1. According to the Houston Chronicle, METRO began suspending fares and taking measures to promote social distancing on March 22nd. For a while, masks were required before passengers could board a bus. The policy is now enforced unevenly. Some Park & Ride routes were suspended; a limited number have been restored. Do you think METRO has responded appropriately to COVID-19? Any thoughts on how their policies could be improved?
  2. It would be interesting to know when that portion of The Tower's tower was taken down. The theater opened February 14, 1936, and according to imdb.com "River Lady" was released in 1948, so it was up for at least 12 years. It definitely had been removed by the late 70's - probably earlier. I don't know whether it was eliminated to reduce maintenance costs or if it was an attempt to give the building a more 'modern' appearance.
  3. There's one fewer now. Lewis Black's infamous "Starbucks at the end of the universe" has closed.
  4. I'd forgotten about the 300. In 1962 the Fairlane had established itself as a model separate unto itself (midsize car), as opposed to being just a trim level of the standard full-size Ford. My father bought a new 1961 Fairlane, and I cannot imagine that there could have been a trim level below that one. It had the smallest 6 cylinder engine available, manual (3-on-the-tree) transmission, rubberized flooring rather than carpeting, no side moldings (like the '63 shown above), and no radio. It did have a heater and backup (reversing) lights, which many years ago were options; not sure if they came standard on the Fairlane in 1961. My dad even installed the seat belts himself as a cost-saving measure. I think it had to be special ordered because the dealers usually only sold them as utilitarian fleet vehicles.
  5. That’s weird. They’ve been doing interior demo for a month or two. Perhaps this is a different phase of demo? (delete)
  6. 1. Montrose, the Heights 2. Cloverleaf, Galena Park Did I say that cost of land should be the only determinant? Did I even suggest that? No. I took pains to explain that's NOT what I meant. Your remarks are appropriate and applicable to places such as Vail, or Aspen, or even San Francisco, where there is a real shortage of affordable housing within commuting distance for those in the service industries. Houston? Not so much. "If this lot doesn't meet your criteria, then where would?" There's property on the East Side, and in the Astrodome/610 area that is not what I'd call "increasingly marginalized". I'm betting that the land goes for less than it does in the 77019 zip code. Further, the potential for development adjacent to the Light Rail lines has not been fully realized. These areas would take advantage of efficient transportation while also boosting ridership numbers. I think I understand your concerns. We don't want to repeat the public housing mistakes that were made in the 1950's and 60's that have had such long-term bad effects on our society. Nor do I. So let me say it one more time. We need to build affordable housing, and much more of it. It should be built in places where people would actually like to live. And it's preferable to build a greater number of units in a moderately priced area than fewer units in an expensive area.
  7. In that case, the logical solution would be to include servants' quarters when planning luxury highrises. However, some workers may question such a paternalistic approach, as it raises concerns about their employment and housing being so closely tied. The "highrise people" you describe seem implausible, like characters in some lowbrow sit-com. However, if they existed I'm sure they'd appreciate the advice. I don't know how to make my point any clearer. I want as much affordable housing as possible, not in an inconveniently located crappy neighborhood, but not wasting money on overly expensive real estate either. Seems pretty reasonable to me.
  8. I agree. The red dot on the map on page 2 (located in the first 'o' in 'Houston') aligns exactly with that site. While a greater number of affordable housing units are desperately needed in Houston, building them in an area where luxury high-rises are springing up like mushrooms seems like an odd choice. Surely a less expensive site could be found that's conveniently located (while not in a slum or industrial area), and the money saved applied to the construction of more units.
  9. Everyone sing along: "Science fiction....Water feature..."
  10. The only rendering I've found for the new building is on the Fairfield Residential website's 'Coming Soon' page. It appears to be ~ 12 stories, but the rendering's pretty small. The address is listed as 1810 Main St., and the community name is pending.
  11. Caroline St has been reduced to two lanes from McGowen St to the Pierce Elevated (?), with concrete barriers in place.
  12. While it's possible that these locations were named 'in jest', it also seem possible that it was a way to give some distinction to an otherwise undistinguished area as a marketing tool. Think of the streets and subdivisions in Houston that incorporate words like Glen, Brae, Woods, Valley, etc. into their names, when such a topographical feature is patently absent.
  13. Sorry, I almost forgot to address this remarkable statement. Why is doing something good for an urban neighborhood elitist? Given your proclivity for using words in novel ways, I assume that you mean something, but I cannot puzzle out what it might be. And please tell me more about the economic and social damage. I'll be interested to hear about it. I doubt the lack of a freeway entrance is going to doom Midtown's Whole Foods, and lead to Amazon's collapse. Same goes for Spec's, and Randall's. Let's hold them to the same standards that TXDot does to existing businesses, churches, schools, etc. when they're building or expanding freeways: "Get over it." I'm especially interested in the "moral hazards" I seek to create. While I'm not as frisky as I once was, this does sound intriguing. Tell me more, and don't skip any of the details. I'm a big boy. I can take it.
  14. Please allow me to correct you on a couple of points. First of all, the word 'bailout' does not mean whatever it is you seem to think it does. The definition is "an act of giving financial assistance to a failing business or economy to save it from collapse." Perhaps you meant 'handout'? But that makes no sense either. No one's asking for charity, only to be treated fairly. The second half of this run-on sentence is just as problematic as the first. I'll answer to one possible interpretation of that sentence by saying that in no way do I regret living in Westmoreland. I regret that the freeway was built there, but that was hardly my error, as I was four years old at the time and living 1500 miles away. Thank you for bringing this up. I cannot imagine how we've overlooked something so apparent. Far from "creating a precedent'", abandoning underused, intrusive, poorly designed and antiquated freeways is now an accepted practice. Think of the West Side Highway in Manhattan, or Boston's Central Artery ("the other Green Monster"), or the Embarcadero Freeway in San Francisco. Even smaller cities have jumped on the bandwagon (the abandonment and reclamation of the Inner Loop in Rochester, NY). In every one of these cases, freeways were eliminated and the cities benefited by their absence. This "precedent setting" practice has been going on for forty years. It's time for Houston to reevaluate some of the choices (and mistakes) that were made many years ago.
  15. And isn't that nice. And irrelevant. Pay attention: the abandonment of this section of the Spur will not create a park. Not. A. Park. What it will do is remove an awkward, ugly obstruction that should never have been built to begin with. It's the Montrose/Midtown equivalent of the Berlin Wall. Reclaiming that land will create a green space that will allow residents (especially in Westmoreland) much easier access to the Red Line, and the growing restaurant scene south of Elgin. It will provide a safer, more pleasant, and more direct connection between Elgin and W. Alabama. If you choose to dispute this, I can say with certainty that you haven't walked around this part of town very much (or, more likely, at all). I lived in Westmoreland for almost 25 years. I know this part of town VERY well, and the frustrations brought about by the intrusion of that damn highway into an urban neighborhood. There is no shame to changing your mind in light of new evidence. I hope that you will reconsider your position.
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