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About Reefmonkey

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  • Birthday 01/23/1976

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    Memorial at Dairy Ashford
  • Interests
    Dining, international travel, kayaking in the Gulf and West Bay, sailing, diving, cooking, reading, gardening, wine, margaritas. Native Houstonian, grew up in Spring area, first Cypresswood, then Champions Forest.

    Schools attended: Haude Elem., Brill Elem., Kleb Int., Klein HS, SMU (college and grad school)

    Bachelors in Biology, Masters in Environmental Science, used to be an environmental consultant, doing soil and groundwater risk-based remediation for closures, Brownfields on hazardous waste-impacted sites. Now do beneficial reuse for waste chemicals, coproducts, etc.

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  1. Strack definitely looked brutalist on the outside, but I remember going to speech tournaments there in 6th-8th and thinking the inside seemed nicer, I guess because it was only 10 years old as opposed to 20. And up to that time I had never gone to a two-story school, which seemed cool. Klein was definitely a much nicer school my last two years than my first two years. The Commons, Pavillion, and courtyard between the two, the Hi Rise, pretty much everything south of the original building, was pretty nice. I was kind of surprised that they tore down all that stuff that wasn't that old, when they could have just torn down and rebuilt the main building. But I guess that open campus with walking outside wasn't secure enough in this day and age. Once I got my license, I used to joyride all around "up in the country" as I called anything north of Louetta, and I had my favorite "country roads." I'd take Old Louetta up to Spring-Cypress and then over to Huffsmith-Kohrville Rd, and then maybe turn on Boudreaux Road, and all that felt like the rural South at that time. I'd also take Louetta to North Eldridge Parkway, and head south on Eldridge, and it was nothing but dense pine forest as far south as Cypress-North Houston Rd. My girlfriend and I would pull off the road at the bridge over Cypress Creek and make out under the bridge. Shocking how built up that is now 25 years later.
  2. It definitely seems better to me. I moved into Midtown in January 2000, lived there until April 2004. Any time day or night I wanted to walk from my apartment into Downtown, I had to pass under the Pierce Elevated and all the homeless camps. Turning all that into fenced parking lots some time after I moved was an obvious solution, one that was about 30 years overdue.
  3. That 24 Hour Fitness on the Southwest corner used to be the greenhouse Kroger I was talking about. Across the street on the Southeast Corner used to be another chain grocery store, definitely a Minimax: https://houstonhistoricretail.com/grocery/minimax/ 18518 Kuykendahl Rd Spring, TX 77379 Wheat's Minimax Shoot, I would have given anything to go to Strack, I went to the original Kleb building, which was just as much of a windowless block, but older (from 1967) and run down. They moved Kleb into its current building three years after I finished 8th grade. I started out at Haude, which was Klein's first "modern" elementary school (a windowless block with open concept classrooms), then went to Brill for 4th and 5th (another windowless block), then after Kleb I went to Klein, which was pretty rundown by the early 90s. My sophomore year we had to endure all the mud and chaos and detours getting between classes while they enclosed the Commons and built the Pavillion (one of my friends of the debate team came up with the name). I haven't been in the new Klein building yet. I was in Klein Cain this February (I am the volunteer coach for my daughter's middle school speech team and Cain hosted a tournament) and was overwhelmed by the interior of that school. It felt like a major airport terminal or a shopping mall. We'll probably be going to the new Klein this fall for a tournament, I'm curious to see what it's like, but will be strange to be in my "alma mater" yet will be unrecognizable to me. Agreed on Louetta, my mom has been fighting that in the area for 20+ years, her biggest victory was convincing Kickerillo to give up the land for Kickerillo-Mischer Preserve. And Spring-Cypress and 2920, when I left for college in 1994, they were both still country roads with farms and even a few 100 year old farmhouses, now they're 21st Century Levitttown.
  4. I did see that map, after 10 years with multiple missed deadlines, a big red block that says "coming soon" doesn't mean anything as far as I'm concerned. The theme park is what Galland led with in his promotion of the project both when he started it and for several years after - even as late at 2017, he said "We bought this land for one purpose, and that was to build a theme park.” Now when I click on the "Theme Park" link on the Grand Texas website, nothing happens, the Investor Information page mentions Big Rivers Waterpark, Gator Bayou Adventure Park, Speedsportz Racing Park, the Grand Texas RV Resort, and then says "shopping, dining, and hotels currently under construction or in planning," but doesn't mention anything about a theme park in planning. So what is it that I'm missing? I'm not just skeptical about the theme park ever being built, I'm skeptical about the wisdom of using a water park as a stepping stone to a theme park, especially out there. The Houston area already has Schlitterbahn down in Galveston, Typhoon Texas in Katy, and Splashtown just 25 minutes away from Grand Texas - and Splashtown is closer to both the Woodlands and Houston's population center. Water parks have such a short operating season with high expenses, I question whether even Houston can sustain four. I don't know enough about adventure parks to know if that'll be enough of a tie-in to keep luring Houstonians away from other water parks, and given Galland's obvious lack of knack for capitalizing projects like this or managing marketing and promotion, I wouldn't be surprised if he didn't look into whether it would be enough of a lure either. Sorry to sound so pessimistic, because I like theme parks and would like to see Houston have a good one, and I initially followed this project with some excitement, but its course has been disappointing, and I worry it may make it less likely for investors to want to participate in other, better theme park projects in the area.
  5. I don’t see anything in the Chronicle article or the Grande Texas website to corroborate that, unless you want to count a broken link to a theme park page. After a decade of delays just to get this much open, I’ll believe it when I see it IRT a theme park ever opening. Let’s see if what they’ve got now survives as long as Hanna Barbara Land or Busch Gardens Houston.
  6. So ten years later, "Grand Texas" is finally opening next week. https://www.chron.com/neighborhood/east-montgomery/news/article/Grand-Texas-theme-park-Houston-opening-2019-13840991.php?utm_source=dlvr.it&utm_medium=facebook&fbclid=IwAR33ol83ZFyHf9kjXbe350nWLJ-Q0DMxWHgEEcakp39sAU_lfOLMRnLlA9c Here's what it offers: Doesn't really sound like a theme park to me. Seems to have scaled back a bit from what they were saying it would offer 10 years ago. And they ashcanned the "no admission fee" idea.
  7. Not necessarily: https://www.completecommunitiesde.org/planning/landuse/what-is-mixed-use-development/ Also, the Houston Chronicle article uses the term "mixed-use" in regard to Memorial City in the following way: That comma, followed by "as well as", means that plans for mixed-use tenants (whether residential is part of that or not) is separate from what they are going to do with the former Sears store. And the 265 acre Memorial City campus is more than just the mall and its parking lot, it is also Memorial Herman Hospital and medical/professional buildings, as well as several office buildings and even apartment buildings which are already there: http://www.memorialcity.com/about-us/metronational/
  8. I'm not seeing in the article any mention of any plans for anything like that, so don't know where you're getting that.
  9. Huh. I took my daughter here two-three (maybe four?) years ago, for old times' sake for me, and because I thought she'd like the ghost stories. Interior was just as cool as I remembered it, food was a lot worse than I remember, I'm surprised it lasted as long as it did, especially since the late 90s revitalization of downtown and all the much better dining options. My nostalgia aside, it's probably for the best that building is going to be put to a better use.
  10. Violating city regulations for scooters on a trail as their very first activity in our city - kinda sends a message about what their attitude is going to be vis a vis respecting and working with city authority, and pretty typical for these "disruptive app" companies.
  11. Pleasant Bend: Upper Buffalo Bayou and the San Felipe Trail In the Nineteenth Century, by Dan M. Worrall. I also agree with Earlydays on Blood Rich by Jane Wolfe about the Sakowitz family from the 1800s to the 1980s oil bust and Oscar Wyatt. The infighting in the 70s and 80s between Robert Sakowitz and Oscar Wyatt reads like a story arc from Dallas with JR Ewing.
  12. I got acquainted with the Live Oak Grill on Hempstead Road and Dacoma when my office was out there from 2012-2013, enjoyed a few lunches. And my daughter has gone to a few events at Speedy's Fast Track recently, so during the last one my wife and I decided to get lunch and have a couple drinks at the Live Oak while we waited for her instead of driving all the way home only to turn around in a couple hours. It's always intrigued me that this rather large house from 1915 has survived for over 100 years while the area around it has been industrial for as long as I can remember, (the story of the house can be found here: http://www.liveoak-houston.com/our-story.html) and I was curious to see what the area immediately around it looked like before. The earliest aerial photo of the area only goes back to 1953, and the area around the Live Oak house appears to be residential, though much smaller houses on smaller, closer together lots. Those houses were all torn down sometime between 1966 and 1973. It's hard to tell when those houses were built, as the topos don't depict any structures until the 1946 one, not even the house that is now the Live Oak Grill in the 1932 topo, even though we know the house was there at the time. I have to assume the houses are pre-war vintage, because it doesn't seem likely that a bunch of houses 20 years old or less would have been torn down like that. Another thing caught my eye, just northwest of the Live Oak Grill house on Hempstead Rd was a large structure that almost looked like an ampitheatre to me at first. It's clear as day in the aerial photo from 1953, and the 1957 topo labels it as a drive-in theatre. It's not on the topo before that, from 1946, so built sometime between 1946 and 1953. It's still there in the 1966 aerial, but by the 1973 aerial it's gone. Any oldtimers here remember that drive-in theatre?
  13. Bought this book this weekend to give my mother for Mother's Day or her birthday next month, and spent the afternoon looking through it. What a great resource, more than just a simple listing of notable closed restaurants with blurbs about their histories, the front section of the book is a great general history of Houston's restaurant scene going back to the Allen Brothers. Plus I loved the inclusion of recipes for favorite dishes from many of the restaurants listed, intend to try several. May have to buy a second copy so I can keep one for myself.
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