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Everything posted by dbigtex56

  1. A correct impression, IMO. The conditions that make Austin's South Congress Ave such fun also made Lower Westheimer a destination back in the day . Unfortunately, unsympathetic development has eroded Westheimer's density over the years. Every chain restaurant (I'm looking at you, Raising Cane's and McDonalds), every strip mall with parking in front, every vacant lot serves as a disincentive for pedestrians. I hope that future development can help sew the fabric of the street back together (and that Skanska doesn't take forever to start moving dirt).
  2. Did you ever see the bands at The Ale House? The manager who booked their acts (Angela) was my neighbor and dear friend.
  3. You're correct, it is. I don't drive, so I'm not familiar with how people feel about using surface streets to reach freeways in unfamiliar cities.
  4. That Walgreen's was one of the few pharmacies in town to stock the medications that fought opportunistic infections brought about by HIV/AIDS. When they moved to the 'new' store a block away it was known locally as "The Walgreen's that AIDS built".
  5. They're raingardens. According to macmillandictionary.com "A raingarden is a garden area deliberately planted in order to deal with the water which runs off roofs, driveways and other hard surfaces in periods of heavy rain. ... They often contain flower or vegetable beds with underlying sandy soil which helps water filter away." In other words, they help filter road oils and other forms of pollution from storm water before it's drained into the bayous. Plantings will include cypress trees and native irises.
  6. There's La Colombe d'Or across the street, but its units seem to start at ~ $600/night. Something at a lower price point might be very welcome. How important is having convenient freeway access to hotels?
  7. Welcome to HAIF, reallydave. That comment sums up the eighties for quite a few of us.
  8. Obviously, this will be effectively block the path against everyone except highly athletic evil geniuses. I mean, who would want to enter such a bustling construction site? All those open trenches, and heavy equipment and surveyors' stakes. It's a deathtrap, I tell you. A deathtrap.
  9. I notice that the building behind the Eldorado Ballroom (3212 Emancipation Ave) looks like it was built from reclaimed materials, including glass blocks commonly found in buildings from the 1930's. I wonder if they were originally from the Eldorado Ballroom, and salvaged when the size of its windows was reduced.
  10. Cyclists or pedestrians would find themselves in a place where running for help is not an option, where other people can't see an attack take place. It's tailor-made for robbery, rape, and assault. People who have any street sense know to avoid such places when possible.
  11. This has been bugging me for a while. At the end of the Mike Calvert Toyota TV ad, there's a depiction of the skyline. Not Houston's skyline. Dallas's skyline. Why, Mike? Why?
  12. Oh, I remember that unit. A friend was all excited because he'd rented it - only $400 a month (this was 25 years ago), no deposit, first month's rent cash in advance. We were looking the place over, discussing its possibilities, when a couple of other people walked in without knocking. "Hi, what are you doing here?" "Hi yourself, I'm here to look over my new apartment. What are YOU doing here?" Turns out that apartment had been 'rented' to at least four different people. The person doing the renting was not the owner, and conveniently disappeared before it hit the fan, with at least $1600 in cash.
  13. Can someone please explain what we're looking at? I see the sandwich, but is it being held by one hand? Two hands? One hand and a foot? Is that a neck or a wrist, and WTF are those oval things? I've stared at it for 10 minutes and it still doesn't make sense.
  14. Haven't checked to see if there's already a demo permit, but the windows have been taken out, the entire building is covered with graffiti, and there's a prominent "FOR SALE' sign. . Corner of Westheimer and Mulberry St.
  15. Read 'How the Astrodome was saved'. "In 2014, the Astrodome became a National Historic Landmark on the National Register of Historic Places. Three years later, it became a State Antiquities Landmark." (Hidalgo defeated Emmett in the November 2018 election. Please explain how Emmett had the Dome receive two landmark statuses retroactively while "on his way out the door".)
  16. You're wrong. You know you're wrong, so there's no need to expand on that statement.
  17. If this makes you feel better about not having experienced the 'old' Montrose, there was another side that nostalgic people don't often mention. Sex and drugs were big business. Many of the small businesses on lower Westheimer were so-called "Oriental Massage Parlors" which in retrospect were exploiting young Asian women who had no recourse. Teenage runaways flocked to Montrose, sometimes squatting in abandoned buildings and engaging in underage street prostitution. In retrospect, the 'johns' who paid for their services were rapists. There was a high incidence of meth and other 'party' drugs. Some people were unscathed, others became addicted. Some displayed psychotic behavior, some overdosed and died. Some men were cross-dressers or drag queens, and enjoyed the reactions they got when they'd venture onto the streets. Fine. But some transgender women had to engage in prostitution because there were few other opportunities open to them. They risked being robbed, beat up, raped or worse. They were flashy because it brought in business. A girl's gotta eat. Yes, the old Montrose was fun, and I miss it. But there was a gritty side too, and people got hurt.
  18. It's not just about the building itself, which is really little more than a shack. These small, run-down low rent buildings in odd locations allowed young entrepreneurs to open the quirky little businesses that made Lower Westheimer unique and a destination. Those days have passed, and are unlikely to return anytime soon. Still, it's a bit sad to see these holdovers eradicated and the Montrose become increasingly slick and 'corporate'.
  19. It was mentioned that the tunnel would start at 150' below ground . If Houston is approximately 50 feet elevation, that would still leave the tunnel 100' below ground by the time it reached the coast. I think the short answer here is that I have a fundamental misunderstanding as to what is being proposed, and probably shouldn't have posted my comment.
  20. Happy 7th Anniversary, Caroline Street Project! So far as I know, most blocks still do not have contiguous sidewalks, the new streetlights aren't functional, the water gardens and landscaping aren't complete, but what the hell...trees have been planted. Woo-hoo!
  21. But surely if the outlet is 100' below sea level that would have some bearing on matters, wouldn't it?
  22. COH also was indifferent to supposed "community input" on whether the Spur 527 should be rebuilt after it was taken out of commission. My recollection is that there wasn't much time or publicity given for opportunities to respond. Even so, some well thought-out alternatives were presented, and promptly ignored by the COH. And we're stuck with that concrete dinosaur for another 50 or so years. These alterations to a workable plan seem unnecessary, unless their desire is to add insult to injury. My question; who's behind this indifference to the desires of the people most affected by these changes? Is it all of City Council, or just Mayor Turner?
  23. Although it was is very rough shape, the house had the original windows (both double-hung and decorative), the appropriate siding, and that small bay window. They're the elements that gave the house appeal. As they say, you have only one shot at original. The redeeming quality is that it's scaled to the neighborhood. I don't know what the restrictions would be if had been razed and something else built in its place, but at least one building on Fairview (The Ripcord) has been extensively rebuilt to remain grandfathered in to maintain its footprint.
  24. I had firsthand experience with the November 16, 1993 tornado. At the time I lived in a garden apartment building in Westmoreland (Montrose area) and was still in bed when it hit that morning. That was an odd, selective tornado. At least four 1950's apartment buildings suffered serious damage, yet the historic homes were almost entirely unscathed. In one building, a rooftop air conditioning unit was torn loose and neatly dropped onto the hood of a beautifully preserved 1966 Oldsmobile Toronado, totaling it. One of my neighbor's apartment seemed untouched, except the roof had disappeared and his piano exploded. Another neighbor worked nights and usually would have been in bed. He had a bout of insomnia and had just lain down on his living room couch to watch TV when the roof collapsed. The back and arms of the couch spared him; his bed was completely flattened.
  25. Soma was also the drug of choice in Huxley's "Brave New World". When the stresses of everyday life became too much, people would take a Soma vacation.
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