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Posts posted by Porchman

  1. I'm not sure what else we can expect... If they do somehow wind up allocating more to green space and incorporating additional retail (not sure how there would be space), then even better

    This was generally the reaction of the attendants.

    Also, Okie, they purportedly have offered a key-coded entrance from Sul Ross for local residents. It was reported that the Lancaster Place Association has turned this down.

  2. From the Neartown Association Forum today..

    -Same renderings that look like Richard Florida did drugs with Walt Disney

    -They think things need to be changed around there, but acknowledge no budget for acquisition, little landowner cooperation and no synergy for eminent domain.

    -Discussion centered on centralized parking on on Lovett, between Montrose and Yoakum.

    -Also addressed, planning around the Waugh/Commonwealth corridor, public art, pedestrian friendlienss, maintaining the organically cool pieces.

    Many ideas far from the ground.

  3. …and now with its own thread!

    A few things that came out of the Neartown Association Forum today

    -The footprint for the building will likely be along W Alabama. There will be pedestrian access from the W Alabama side and parking access from the south side.

    -Parking alignment is going to be the biggest issue to the configuration of the lot. HEB seems to be looking at a combination of subterranean and surface parking, using about 2/3 of the existing plot, with the other 1/3 committed to green space. The Montrose Land Defense Coalition is advocating parking on top of the store and additional retail, using only about ½ the plot, with the other ½ committed to park/green space. They also conceive head-in parking spaces on the Dunlavy and W. Alabama side. (ummm…yeah).

    -HEB wants to make the store neighborhood friendly. They are working to speak to the “3 T’s” – Traffic, Trees and Trash. They are looking at presenting three different renderings for neighborhood feedback. One concept mentioned is something complimentary to the Menil. They also plan to use shorter, 40-foot trailers to service the store (something they are doing at the Buffalo Speedway store). Ultimately, HEB asserts a recognition that not dropping a big box is the best way to woo the ‘hood.

    - The Montrose Land Defense Coalition has presented a rendering of a pond, a dog meadow, a performing arts shell. (Sorry no pics and they have not posted any at their Facebook site, either). Councilwoman Sue Lovell is strongly supporting a park for part of the land. She would like it to focus on performing arts space as a compliment to the visual arts at the Menil and in addition to the facilities other local parks offer. In her concept, this would not only benefit the neighborhood, but it could also benefit the schools in the area.

    -HEB wants to make the facility environmentally friendly. They are focused on energy conservation and water conservation. They may use porous material on the parking lot. They are not committed to LEED certification because it’s freaking expensive.

    -The rough budget is $16-$17 million for the land and $30-$40 million for the building.

    -HEB spokespeople assert that they want to open in 2011. (Since they don’t have renderings and plats in May, 2010, and because they are facing some neighborhood concerns, I find that doubtful).

    • Like 2
  4. "Heights West" what a joke. Ella... not a chance. Shepard yes. The historical boundary stops midway between Durham and Beall right where the alley ways end and the old acre lots of Shady Acres begins (with the exception of the last few blocks before 610 where fiesta liquor is). And of course to the south of W 16th there is the Houston Heights Annex where, though not originally included, the area was annexed by the Houston Heights while it existed.

    Here is a link to a portion of the original Houston Heights plat of the John Austin survey from 1824. This is the 800 block of W 18th St. At this location Nashua is now Durham and the "No Street" is now a continuation of W 18th in Shady Acres from midway between Durham and Beall. Sorry to get all technical, but I work in cadastral mapping so I look at this stuff all day long and getting it right is sort of a pet peeve for me.


    All that said, I still think the name is cheesy! biggrin.gif

    You did get all technical. rolleyes.gif Shady Acres is generally considered Heights. This forum has accepted that, celebrating/defining Cedar Creek and receiving Samiamj's open invitations to be involved in Shady Acres activities.

    Southern by day, French by night?

    WHAAA? That doesn't even make sense. blink.gif

    Red, you just don't get the nuvo-Cajun scene. It's about compartmenalizing (and small plates, of course!). It's woohoo-merveilleux!happy.gif

  5. [raises hand]

    I can.

    Richard Florida's methodology for qualifying and/or quantifying the "Creative Class" is flawed beyond even the slightest hope of redemption. Therefore the data that I presented lacks validity...and so does every editorial that references either the theory or the data as a premise.

    HOWEVER, he has an interesting sociologic theory which follows with urban-planning-beuta-hoo-ha. OK. Christian Lander needs to add him to the list.

    You forgot to mention that Richard Florida is last decade's news. No one (other than outdated bloggers) even listens to him anymore.

    Oh, but they do. He is, in many circles, still deemed to be the urban futurist (or validator).

    I personally am interested in his theories. However, I realize in his own declaration he is a classist. He fails to recognize the allocation of talents among our global population. You know, places that don't achieve the Florida model - Rio, Moscow, Bombay, Beijing - actually might achieve some level of level of success. So might Houston unless its citizens feel that the provincial portention of Austin is game changing.

    • Like 1
  6. The effect is unclear. Lack of clarity creates uncertainty… creates fear…creates an opportunity for Channel 13 to flog the issue for their entire 6 PM broadcast.

    What I think sucks about the Obama proposal:

    · It’s too long term. We’ll see about eleven Presidential terms before we see Mars. I think we are closer to the technology to get us there. However, we could be far from there, based on changing political tides.

    · It negates a program in which we already have a tremendous investment. Inconsistent.

    · It creates a sense of deflation at NASA, and, potentially around space exploration as a whole.

    · It negates Houston’s opportunity to annex the moon and put a billboard on it.

    What I like about the Obama proposal:

    · Public-private partnerships. I like introducing a profit motive to this. (It’s the American way, dammit.) But seriously, it’s coupling public money with investor money.

    · It increases funding for space exploration.

    · It aspires to testing frontiers. That is what our space program is about. Consistent.

    I don’t know how this is going to play out for Houston or NASA. I am hopeful for both. It does mean a change in business model for many. You know, sometimes that happens in the non-government funded arena, as well.

  7. According to the Yahoo news story (http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Nearly-half-of-US-households-apf-1105567323.html?x=0&.v=1) almost half of America no longer pays anything at all in Taxes. Even worse "The bottom 40 percent, on average, make a profit from the federal income tax, meaning they get more money in tax credits than they would otherwise owe in taxes. For those people, the government sends them a payment"

    You have a way of bringing things alive, Mark.rolleyes.gif

    To which credits do you specifically object? Please also state what you feel would be better alternatives to the general intentions of said credits.

    · Foreign tax credit

    · Credit for child care and dependent care expenses

    · Credit for the elderly or disabled

    · Education credits

    · Retirement savings contribution credit

    · Child tax credit

    · Adoption tax credit

    · Earned Income Credit (EIC)

  8. Kroger if you need them - hardware stores are sold out. $.63 per bag. Note sure what to do with items too large for the bags (such as tree branches...).

    Note that they recommend you keep the bags store at below 80F, so the bags for your yard waste should probably be store inside the home. There's some counter-intuition for you.

    • Like 1
  9. Does anyone know if the bluish-purple house just south of 14th Street on the west side has sold? I was browsing through HAR.com and could not find it but had not seen anything posted here.

    I have had my eye on the property for a while, in the hopes of restoring it. Maybe if it was purchased the person/company will try to get the building back into shape.

    Looks like it was. HAR recently listed

    Heights Reserve, aka Harry James, builder of the next-door brownstones (and destroyer of other things) owned it HCAD Record.

    Note that the HAR listing shows Ashton Martini/Boulevard Realty as the selling broker. He reps a number of new home builders in the Heights, so I am tending to believe it will not be retored.

  10. The only two Heights places I go 12 times a year would be:

    Cricket's - Breakfast

    Berryhill- Fish Tacos, margarita, free chips.

    I eat/take-out from Jenni's at least once a month. I expect that I will be getting my fix more often.

    We really have enjoyed a couple of happy hours at Pagoda. I'm not sure if this will be an ongoing trend.

    I can't say that we don't eat out that much. We go to almost all the other Heights places 2-6 times a year, and sometimes, we cross out of the Heights and eat in other parts of the City. It's just so far, though.happy.gif

  11. I wonder if the 'New Bigger Store' comment means they are taking over some of the empty space next door (I can't remember are they next to an empty store?)

    There is a small space between Penzey's and the Pie Shoppe. I saw contractors going back and forth between the empty space and exisiting space a couple of weeks ago, so it would appear that Penzey's will take over that space.

  12. Any advice for killing clovers in flower beds? The mulch layer (IMO) is too thin and the weed screen is doing nada against the. They're popping up faster than I can pull them.

    Long term we're going to add a wall of pavers and double the mulch thickness (but that requires gutter cleanings first, long story). Anything effective in the mean time?

    As you discovered it's easy to pull out. Consider it your spring workout!biggrin.gif It will abate as the weather gets hotter. Do know that it charges the bed with beneficial nitrogen, so it's doing its part to help your flowers grow.

    • Like 1
  13. Booths or tables and chairs? I would lean toward tables because they can be more easily re-arranged for larger groups. When you do go to Pie in the Sky (as mentioned in your other post) check out their set up with the benches running down the side. I think it works well.

    Counter service or full service?Either way. However I would want the ability to easily run in and pick up some dream rolls to-go, the way I do at your Shepherd location.

    Should we close at 10pm or 9pm? 9 is fine.

    What time should we open on Sunday noon or 11am? After church lady's simple carbs on Sunday morning, I'm looking for more substantial by late morning. 11.

    How many high chairs will I need 4, 6, or 8? A system of adjustable tethers suspended from the ceiling rafters. It's novel. It takes up less room. It provides an easy way for the parents to lift the child away from the table when the kid starts acting up. biggrin.gif (Ah..yeah..I have no opinion on this).

    Will the neighborhood walk or ride their bike? Yes. They'll drive, too. It's still Houston.

    How many bikes should the bike rack hold? 6 should be plenty.

    Patio out front under the awning or in the back with a big grassy play area? If workable, I would do some of both. Some people like the serene outdoors, and others like the bustle of traffic, people coming and going, etc. Also, some might want the sun of the south-facing back, while others would prefer the shaded north side.

    Coke or pepsi? Coke.

    Access to water for dogs outside and free dog bones? Y or N Sure...or rolls with Beggin' strips.

    Looking forward to your arrival.

  14. I lived on Kraft Macaroni and Cheese for over a year after I moved out of my parents house when I was a teenager. Although I can appreciate the concept, I don't think I could actually patronize such a place. Perhaps if my kids were still little but then again they enjoyed the cheap stuff just fine.

    Pretty much what I thought when I saw this. In high school, the lunch ladies burned the top of the Mac/Cheese and served pears for dessert...Repeatedly. As a teenage boy I was...well, underwhelmed.

    Ingredients can make a difference. I have since learned that poached bosc pears in cointreau are fabulous. I am still hopeful about the mac/cheese.

    I hope there's like a gourmet mac with gruyere or something...

    Yes! Gruyere..with bacon and wilted greens.

    That would be cool.

    I enjoy throwing in Beef tips and bell peppers in mine.


    {Hungry now}

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