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Everything posted by dbigtex56

  1. According to KTRK Channel 13 News at 11, Fiesta is closing TODAY. (and yes, the anchor mentioned the homeless - not sure if she was quoting a Fiesta official or just expressing her own opinion.) edit: Link to Houston Chronicle article
  2. I see your point. The area within about a block of Randall's is just fine. My route requires me to cross Main St. at Hadley, and the sidewalk outside Cle' is a popular hangout (usually 10, 12 people, no exaggeration). It's like walking through someone's living room. Six of one, half dozen of the other.
  3. I'd be thrilled with H-E-B replacing Fiesta. Location, location, location, quality and selection is great, their prices are competitive, and they would likely take a more proactive approach to shoppers' safety concerns. It would attract shoppers from downtown, Midtown and Montrose. True, Montrose already has an H-E-B but it's so popular that it's sometimes inconvenient. As Yogi Berra put it, "Nobody goes there anymore - it's too crowded."
  4. Their advertising campaign featured TV's most popular couple. Guess it wasn't enough.
  5. The new H-E-B suffers from that common Houston problem; it's close, but you can't get there from here without a car. For pedestrians or METRO riders, it may as well be in Pasadena (OK, slight exaggeration but the point remains). There are few residences within walking distance. Although METRO provides a sort of shuttle service, it's a minivan taxi that operates whenever the hell they feel like it, and is a COVID breeding grounds (the day I took it neither the driver nor the other passenger were wearing masks. And forget social distancing in a minivan). In contrast, the Midtown Fiesta is located directly on the 25 Richmond/Wheeler bus line, and is three blocks from the Wheeler light rail station. For some people, that's an important consideration.
  6. IIRC, the San Jacinto St. Fiesta opened in 1989. The homeless were already firmly ensconced in that neighborhood, due to sheltering under the 59 overpass, proximity to organizations that provide aid, and Sears, which provided both toilets and washrooms. I've walked into Sears men's room to discover people in various states of undress, using hand soap to scrub armpits, and balancing on one leg to wash their feet in the sink. IMO Fiesta itself has little to do with homeless people gathering in the area. It's just that it's located in a sort of No Man's Land featuring vacant lots and few permanent residents to issue complaints to HPD.
  7. It may have been an unsold 'Allstate'. which was Sears' rebadged version of the Henry J. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Allstate_(automobile) From the article: "Initially, the Allstate was offered only in the south and southwest United States, with plans to expand distribution as demand for the product grew. Sears locations selling Allstates included... Baytown, Texas; Beaumont, Texas; ... Houston, Texas..."; "...some Sears outlets tried to stock at least one sample of the car..."
  8. Illuminated road sign on Caroline states: STARTING FRIDAY JULY 10 NEW TRAFFIC PATTERN FROM MCGOWEN TO ELGIN
  9. That would have been really gross. Glad you didn't spit it out.
  10. If Greyhound was going to be taken by a rebuild of I-45, so would 2016 Main, which is even closer to the right-of-way. And I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon.
  11. Per The Leader News, the 1949 Sears North Shepherd branch will be closing soon, sometime between July 11th and August 30, 2020.
  12. It was the Key Maps Store
  13. 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?
  14. 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.
  15. There's one fewer now. Lewis Black's infamous "Starbucks at the end of the universe" has closed.
  16. 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.
  17. That’s weird. They’ve been doing interior demo for a month or two. Perhaps this is a different phase of demo? (delete)
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. Everyone sing along: "Science fiction....Water feature..."
  22. 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.
  23. Caroline St has been reduced to two lanes from McGowen St to the Pierce Elevated (?), with concrete barriers in place.
  24. 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.
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