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Everything posted by jfre81

  1. Well, it wasn't a very good day to go out and do pictures, but I was out and about anyway. Wanted to see what they did with Market Square. So I did. In case you're not aware, this is the historic center of----well, I won't even say "downtown Houston" but Houston as a whole. There was a time, kid you not, when it was no less centralized than any other city. And this was where it was. City Hall was here before it went where it is in the 1930s. For everything that's gone down over the years, many of the older buildings around here remain. This is one of the few places to see Houston as it was, more or less, 80+ years ago. I hope when the work's done and the weather's better that people will come check this out. I'm even left under the impression that you'll be able to get a beer with your gyro or whatever you get from the Niko Niko's stand. That could be cool. In more ways than one. Anyway, let's go check on another recent development concerning another part of Houston's history. The JPMorgan Chase Building, or probably better known by its former name, the Gulf Building. There was a fire on the 27th floor on Monday evening, and it does appear there is some outside smoke damage. It looks like nothing irreparable, which is good, because this is the kind of thing they don't build anymore. I could smell a lingering smoke odor as I walked outside the lobby door heading out. Anyway, pretty short and sweet. It was time to head home, so I did. Happy 174th birthday, Houston (as of Monday).
  2. Wow, talk about cutting the Press some slack. The Press, all in all, is not terrible for an "alternative" paper, if not as good as this size of market should have. And that is, in my humblest of opinions, is largely because of one fact, which is its music coverage. Music coverage in the Press, at least of the local scene, defies conventional physics by its ability to suck and blow at the same time. I haven't seen one lately but it seems like not long ago I'd see some newsprint wasted on whining about how nobody ever makes it out of Houston, or if they do, their name is Blue October and they moved out of town before signing a major label. Nobody actually seems to go out and about in an effort to give any exposure to the bands that are out there. By not doing that, the bands that do have what it takes to make it are moving to Austin or wherever they might get that exposure necessary to become anything bigger than what they are in the Houston underground. Of course, this does not necessarily apply equally to all genres. Screw went national in hip-hop but that peaked probably some time before Weird Al Yankovic did a Chamillionaire parody. (Which was actually pretty funny.) Basically, Houston was to hip-hop for a couple years what Seattle was to alt-rock in the early 90s. That passed too. ....there is no coincidence here. These NIMBY suburban refugees and trust fund babies' date=' the ones who buy condos right next to bars that were there before the condos and then complain about the noise, are probably even worse than the crappy local media about this. [b']tl;dr version: The local media's music coverage sucks, as do people who move next to bars and complain about noise/music/stuff that walks a thin line between noise and music.
  3. This is interesting. I was born and raised in Texas City which, distance-wise, isn't far from Houston but culturally it's worlds apart. I left and lived in North Carolina for awhile, when I started really appreciating what we do have here. July and August suck just about everywhere. It might be a little more humid here, but there's a point when hot and humid is hot and humid. It stops mattering. But I saw enough of a winter in NC to make me know I don't really look forward to winter when that comes around. At least in the summer here I am not going to experience the thrills of driving in an ice storm. Has nothing to do with the way I physically feel when it's cold. I'll get out in most anything. I just don't want to drive in that crap. I'll go somewhere if the right thing comes around, but I'm not actively looking to leave town. I just might move closer in instead.
  4. jfre81

    Inner Katy LRT

    Fair enough. I do think once that scene moves on that it won't fall as hard as the Richmond strip did after its day in the sun back in the 90s. Other concern would be the flow of auto traffic. Not everyone is going to ride this thing all the time. Other than limited-access Memorial Drive, there aren't a whole lot of side streets equipped to handle overflow traffic like along Main (e.g. Fannin, Travis).
  5. Indeed it is. Thanks everyone.
  6. What exactly does it mean to be a "rival" when cities are involved, anyway? Besides, Houston is a major metropolis. Austin is a really big college town. They are in two different classes. These crack statisticians who've probably never been to any of these places likely haven't experienced I-35 at rush hour. Puts anything in Houston to shame, except 290. Maybe.
  7. jfre81

    Inner Katy LRT

    Don't know what to think about this - I mean, it sounds cool and all, but then there's the execution and how to pay for it. If this ties into inter-city high speed rail going west to San Antonio and beyond (ostensibly) it might be a sound investment. Might as well do it now than later. Washington I don't really see being the "hotspot" for too long. When the Phase II rail lines open, I can see that action moving back downtown, to Main and eastward toward the Dynamo stadium site. It makes sense, there will be less NIMBY opposition (the people who live downtown can pretty much expect it to not be too tranquil) and it will have good freeway, bus and rail access. Washington has none of this, really, other than being close to I-10, and there are a lot of old neighborhoods there with people who have been living there for a long time. Usually I dismiss NIMBY crying such as the condo owners in Rice Village who bought units next to a bar, but in the case of Washington I can see where they're coming from.
  8. I wasn't aware this was an either-or proposition. The aim, as I understand it, is not to replace the private automobile but to provide an alternative. Just as cars and streetcars coexisted way back when. As for the weather - once again, total copout. Chicago, NYC or DC don't exactly stay cool in August either.
  9. Can we at least get some grade separations at a few key intersections (e.g. Shepherd, Kirby)?
  10. Hello HAIF. It's been awhile. This shoot was from May, and our very own JMancuso met up with me for a little tour around Downtown Houston. He posted his back then. Now it's my turn, now that I've gotten around to working this stuff into something I feel like posting. This one won't have as many street level shots as you might have seen in the past. I've done enough of that downtown. For now, anyway. However, that first shot shows what we haven't seen much this summer - sunshine, and good photo weather. The heat I can deal with. The constant thunderstorms, not so much. But it has held down the heat some. On we go. Not much to say really. Practicing a bit at the Texas Medical Center rail stop before heading downtown to meet Mr. Mancuso. Did I mention I miss this kind of weather? Just throwing that out there. And that's pretty much it. Relatively short and sweet. H-town rocks.
  11. Indeed we do. It was fun getting to meet a HAIFer for a shoot too. I'd have posted, but these are much better and we hit the same spots. I've been pretty lazy on the photo front lately...
  12. http://travel.yahoo.com/p-interests-34348516

    Your work got a little exposure here - well done.

  13. I notice that article says the lot is for sale again. I guess maybe it will move and something actually be done with it now that the old Savoy building's a goner?
  14. walks along the avenue. He never thought he'd meet a girl like you, meet a girl like youuuuu

  15. The whole "it's big, it's spread out" meme is an old, tired copout. All major metros have multiple centers of employment, transportation etc. They're making it work in Los Angeles, where car-centric low density sprawl was pretty much invented, and if it can work in LA it can work here. Or anywhere.
  16. roffle I was being facetious and all, but it seems like that's what these people really want. Hopefully they can work this out and find a way to go underground with most if not all of the University Line, maybe even running it under lower Westheimer instead. But the longer we screw around with this, the more we're going to regret it in the future. We are reaching, particularly inside 610, a density level where driving everywhere and riding buses hung up in the same traffic is not going to work.
  17. So the deja vu feeling isn't just me then. Since a new Wendy's is going up, this works well. I mean, people who work there aren't going to afford even the HOA fees on a KB Home out there, and nobody is going to commute far for minimum wage. Suppose you could always go back to driving 20 minutes for your Frosty fix.
  18. I'm absolutely stoked to hear about a new Wendy's opening in Katy. There. I confess everything.
  19. That looks pretty cool. I guess that's more outside 610 heading toward Northline Mall/Center/whatever it is now?
  20. Sounds like a winner on both counts. sevfiv, what would I do without you? I think what's happening here is when I break it up in three posts, the two replies to the first post get merged and because it's over the photo limit we just get links instead of the actual photos.
  21. Whoops....we were here last week. My bad. How about we fix that? WELCOME TO WARP ZONE I'll do more of a neighborhood tour in the Upper Kirby/Montrose area sometime. Haven't done anything like that in a good while. Today is a day for the Heights. And....here we are. Now Playing: Aerosmith > Toys In The Attic (1975) > Walk This Way I kind of just randomly meandered through streets here, but I'll try to give us some idea of where we are. You can get a cool little garage apartment in some spots around here. I'm disappointed. I went right by Sheila Jackson Lee's congressional office. With a camera. And she didn't come out to mug in front of it. I'm gonna try not to let this spoil my day. Anyway, I've actually been through here before, but the shooting conditions are a little better this time. "Downtown" Houston Heights. As you might know, the Heights was once its own town. I didn't stick around to see which pigeon won this fight. I didn't place any bets either. Historical markers are not an uncommon sight around here. Mind, what the historical markers are marking might not be with us anymore. The walk down Heights Boulevard is a great one, but I did it last year. Let's try something a little different this time. The folks in the Heights are still coexisting with apartment dwellers. And then sometimes that no-zoning thing sneaks up on us here too. Reagan High School. Right here my camera tells me "WARNING! BATTERY EXHAUSTED!" And then a few seconds later I turn it on again... I keep shooting... And I don't have to actually change my batteries until quite a few shots later. Today was a good day, you see. ARF ARF RRRRRRRR Approaching Studewood. This turns into Studemont and eventually Montrose as you go south. See, if we didn't change street names every two miles or so, it'd be boring. You know, there's something missing in this photo thread....let's see if I can find what it is... Aha. Wouldn't want to alienate the grit-o-philes. Conveniently - well, look where I happen to be now. SEE THIS LITTLE POSTERBOARD THINGY AINT WRITTEN IN AMURICUN I CAINT UNDERSTAND WHAT ITS SAYIN Coronado was an explorer. He went places people didn't much see before. I'm kind of doing something similar. And Walling, well....Denny Walling played for the Astros back in the 80s. They've got the bare necessities of life here. And food too. Well, that was fun, and I'm not even tired yet. Unfortunately, I regret to report that the card in my camera's about full. Need to get a new big one since my other busted. I'll come back here again some other time. In fact....north on Airline or east on Cavalcade? You decide. Thanks for viewing. Follow me on Facebook!
  22. Over-promising and under-delivering. I'm practicing for a career in government.
  23. It's the Glitter Vampire Posse. They're pushovers. Yeah kylejack, I like a little city with my rows of Starbucks too.
  24. Maybe both can be a giant two-story Starbucks.
  25. Which had a Starbucks in the Bookstop at one point IIRC, and there's another one across the street.
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