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CSOM

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  1. No - separate businesses. Two Shell will be vacated and Pennzoil Place has been vacated. One Shell Plaza was recently renovated and nearly all CBD staff have been consolidated there.
  2. Agree very few, if any stops between downtown to downtown. I would compare it to the Eurostar between London and Paris. There is one stop on either side of the chunnel (Dover UK, Calais FR) and they are building another just for the station near Olympic park. Plus there are non-stop options as well. Only a few trains a day stop at the alternate stations. If I were designing I'd have maybe a stop for The Woodlands, and possibly Huntsville, and only stop there maybe twice a day, while the rest run non-stop. If you want to add other options to DFW, have a direct line connection/continuation either into FW or up to Frisco/Plano at slower speeds, but the main terminus being city center Dallas.
  3. Coming in extremely late to this conversation, but check out the DLR in London that has many elevated lines/platforms and is still being expanded, the most recent opening just this year. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Docklands_Light_Railway
  4. CSOM

    Learning Spanish

    I have the same problem with lockmat - I just tried that too and mine sounded like hissing as well. My tongue didn't really vibrate at all. If anyone else has any other thoughts, I'd love to learn that as well.
  5. No worries - glad I could help. Just be careful on the checked baggage piece though. We carried on to Nice on Saturday no problems, but coming back on Tuesday they told us they were too big and we had to check them - 44 Euro in total for 2 bags (ouch!). In Nice, it's bus 98 to/from the airport - it's 4 euro per person and you can pay on the bus. Train station is kind of far away from the old town or the beach, but it's maybe a 25 minute walk if you're up for it. Let me know if you need other suggestions.
  6. Ditto that - Rick is great and we swear by his books when travelling Europe.
  7. I live in London right now, so I'll be glad to help a Haifer where I can. What do you have arranged so far? How restrictive is your budget? If you fly into London, likely Heathrow or Gatwick. Both have express trains into central London and both have regular trains. The express is twice the cost for half the time - so it depends how rushed you are. The Eurostar is the train to Paris from London and we just took it a few weeks ago. Really easy, 2 hour trip. If you book far enough in advance you can get pretty reasonable rates, as long as it's not a holiday weekend or something. It leaves from St Pancras international (Kings Cross/St Pancras on the underground map). Just remember that it is like airport security on that trip (passport control, x-ray, etc.) so plan to be there about 45 minutes before your train leaves. That means that if you aren't staying in Central London, and you have a train leaving between 6 - 8am it can be a bit difficult to get to the station. Just build that into your plan. www.journeyplanner.org is pretty easy to get guidance on how to get around in London. The Eurostar then drops you off in Paris at Gare Du Nord, in the North of Paris, and their metro is very efficient too, to get to where you need to go to. The Paris Metro has a journey planner as well, but I can't find an english link, so if you can't navigate the web page in French, it could be a bit more tricky. I'm not going to be too much help from there, but you should checkout to see if a Eurorail pass is best for you or not. You can google it and start to get some suggestions on where/how to buy tickets in advance. One thing to keep in mind, while you can get some dirt cheap tickets, you may still pay $100 or more to get between some cities and some of those trips aren't short (5 hours Paris to Nice). Train is nice and pretty convinient, but a budget airline (if you don't have checked luggage - which I would recommend to avoid) may be a cheaper option on occassion. I just googled and saw $150 for a 1 way trip to Nice, but I'm paying less than that this weekend for a round-trip flight with EasyJet to Nice from London. And it can save a few hours. Feel free to PM me if you need/want suggestions for London, Paris or Nice. I'd be glad to help. Edit: 1 other thing - if you don't have a Bank of America checking account, it may be worth opening up an account just to put your spending money in there. They have the best exhange program with international banks. You can use a Barclay's ATM in UK and a BNP Paribas ATM in France to get cash, and they don't charge you any fees for the transaction.
  8. You should ALWAYS look both ways. Cars may only come from one direction, but pedestrians come from both ways, as do vagrants on bicycles.
  9. I'm kinda of the side of this guy. I've been a midtown resident since 03, in Baldwin Square since 06. Overall, I haven't experienced any of what you've said. My biggest pet peeves are the neighbors that don't pick up after their dog and leave their front gate wide open and unlocked. Other than that, it's great. Yes, the number plates were stolen, yes I had a neighbor have their grill stolen, and yes I had a friend (who left his GPS out) get his car broken into, but those minor crimes happen living in any inner city. Not that it's right, but if those are the only things I can come up with in how many years, I'm not seeing a problem. The only people I ever encounter yelling and screaming are the people from the shelter at Crawford & Tuam. I wish that place would be torn down, but no one asked for my opinion. I do agree the HOA leaves a little to be desired. I wish they would take care of the parking issues, the dog poo issues, and the open/broken gates as well, rather than focusing their letters on how early my garbage went out the night before trash day. I wouldn't hold your breath waiting for that one.
  10. http://houston.craigslist.org/cto/959467169.html Let me know if you're interested. Can be flexible on the price.
  11. Does anyone know what the purpose of the construction on Dallas street is? For a few blocks in downtown, starting at about the Hyatt, past the Courtyard/Humble Apts and to (or through?) Houston Pavillions, the right lane has been torn up/removed, and a partial lane has been put in place, with alternating black & white colored surface, and small barrier bumps (similar to the light rail, but much lower so they appear able to be driven over). The new "lane" doesn't go through to the next block as there is a hard stop where the sidewalk/curb has been expanded out to fill up the rest of the lane before the light. The only thing I can think of is that it is in someway a method to have a bus "lane" but not blocking up the right hand lane for those turning right? But if this is the case, wouldn't it create more congestion with buses having to "exit" and re-enter the through lanes constantly? Anyway with any insights? (sorry, I don't have any pictures)
  12. We considered it, but we've only owned the house for 2 years, and there are about 10 other townhouses for sale within a 3 block radius... we'd lose our pants in the deal. Also, we are guaranteed to move back to Houston and there will be little, if any assistance upon repatriation if we sell our house, as they expect that we keep it and build that into the relocation plan. We'd have to immediately try to rent and then buy after that... we'd rather keep what we already have.
  13. We are going to be moving out of Houston for the next 2 years, but are keeping our house as we will be back in 2010/2011. That being said, we have had trouble getting any interest through word of mouth, and likely will be looking for a rental property management company to handle it while we are gone, list it, collect rent, handle minor maintenance issues, and the like. Does anyone have any views, recommendations, comments or other smart remarks that we should know about going into this? Any names of companies to go with, or stay away from, would be most appreciated. Oh - to answer the questions, if necessary: Midtown We will be overseas, so difficult to take care of rent, etc. on our own.
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