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Everything posted by Arivechi

  1. OK, you're upset. But this posting was put into a general "Houston real estate" thread. So we're all responding. If you only wanted responses from people that live within 2 miles of you then it could have been put into some other specific discussion forum. The original post sounded like a desperate plea for help, but I'm still not certain I understand what the real problems are. All I've seen are lots of postulations but no real facts or numbers. I have a feeling any exposure of the objection to the project on the evening news is only going to make your area sound very prejudice and elitist.
  2. It's NIMBY but I don't see that the new neighborhood would really be in anyone's "backyard". The outline of this development doesn't abut existing neighborhoods (according to Google's Satellite view). It looks sorta isolated and vacant. So, I guess I'm not sure why you are worked up? The blog website states concern for the design/architecture of the complex - but this isn't IN a single-family home neighborhood. Even in the rest of Houston there isn't anything anyone can do about what is ACTUALLY built/developed next door to them luxury nor low-income. Ashby skyrise for example. Would this be a problem if it were simply any-ole apartment complex? Is it the "low-income" part that you're unhappy about? The site is within a block of Walmart and a gigantic shopping center and restaurants and a super market so it shouldn't be hard for the residents to get to services and food and whatnot. Seems like a fine place if you ask me. I think the only arguments would come related to suggestions above: school population or environmental impact or something else infrastructural. I don't know the area well so I don't know what traffic is like on those streets.
  3. To me the big difference is whether the home has a front porch or some sort of welcoming front entry. Those garage-under-homes have nothing that says "hey, I'm your neighbor, come knock on the door". The front door is down the path to the side. In my opinion that's what makes them undesirable in a neighborhood. So, even if that 2nd house you call a Megalomaniac dream house is a bit big, it's pretty, it's nice to look at, it's welcoming, it has character, it has landscaping and greenery. (the fence says stay-the-heck-off-my-property but that's a different topic) I'd rather have a bunch of those on my street. Going back to that original red house that started the topic.... I think the house would look fine if it didn't have that big protrusion over the driveway. That's the part that makes it look odd in my opinion. Still over-scaled for the lot even without that room-over-driveway? sure. But I'm not putting it in the McMansion category. I'm from Southern California and this house is nothing like what we'd label a McMansion. In order to be a McMansion, first it has to be a "mansion"... I don't think this Craftsman wannabe really qualifies as a mansion no matter what size lot it's on. It's just a big house. And I think it actually looks pretty good minus the over-driveway part.
  4. Right, regardless of whether I would want to live here, I could have friends that might buy one and I'd be sure to wear my hiking boots to get to the top. Or I'll stop for a rest at the 2nd floor deck :-) Dumb waiter is a great idea yes. --- but lame placement in the upstairs powder room. If they switched the kitchen to the powder room location (yes, changing a couple walls) it might make more sense. Then the dumb waiter would be far more convenient possibly put adjacent to a pantry. Fireplace can be moved to accommodate this, too. Actually I hate where the fireplace is currently placed... I mean you can put a couple chairs in front of it but it's certainly not a focal point since it's right next to the kitchen. Why not over on one of the living room walls? The existing kitchen's "triangle" looks a bit big. I think the deck on the 2nd level is fine since it's adjacent to the master bedroom... but why no additional deck on the 3rd level? Put a big deck off the dining room! That would make for a selling point if indeed the design was to take advantage of some amazing view or have high 3rd level ceilings for entertaining. (after looking at the pictures and satellite view of the map I'm not sure that the 3rd floor has any better views than the 2nd floor since there's some other big building and parking lot to the southeast). I'm also curious why they'd label the 3rd level bathroom as "powder room" when it has a shower... call it a bathroom! To me it would seem like a big selling point. Powder room to me conjures "half-bath". All the built-in shelves and desks and cabinets are a nice touch.
  5. St Emanuel St between Walker and McKinney on the west side of the street in a little shopping center. It's fabulous, but during the lunch hour don't expect rapid service. You'll wait a good long while after ordering before the food arrives. Seems that they need a couple extra lunchtime kitchen helpers. But soooo delicious.
  6. I think I'm still surprised to hear how little effort businesses (especially restaurants) exert to get their waste recycled. But at least someone out there is willing to physically do the collection of glass. Chronicle article from today (May 26)
  7. Where was this published? The article indicates an attached map and I'd love to check it out.
  8. I saw this item posted in this week's City of Houston eNewsletter. Very excited to hear that Houston is taking another step to divert material from landfills. I know it could go under "environment" but it seems more of interest to the construction topic: CITY'S REUSE RECYCLING WAREHOUSE NOW OPEN The City of Houston's newest recycling opportunity, The Building Materials Reuse Warehouse, opened on April 29, 2009. Contractors can drop off excess materials at the Reuse Warehouse which benefits them in three ways: 1) eliminates landfill fees, 2) donations are tax deductible, and 3) provides LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification points. Citizens can also make donations. Donated materials are available for reuse by any non-profit organization. The formal grand opening is scheduled for June 2009. To make a donation of materials call Project Manager Jonathan Lohn at 281-814-3324 or jonathan.lohn@cityofhouston.net. Items accepted include cabinets, fans, sinks, showers, windows, concrete blocks, pavers, copper, doors, windows, flooring material, glass and gutters. For a complete list and additional information, visit www.houstonreuse.org.
  9. Hearing all that compensation/benefit information at once might be overwhelming if you don't have other campuses to compare it to. You might be interested to see survey results from the Chronicle of Higher Education. There are annual surveys of faculty salaries, administration salaries, fundraising results, tuition rates. And the data are usually divided into private institutions and public. http://chronicle.com/stats/salary/salary.htm Nuts, I forgot you have to have a subscription. The information is readily available. I bet if you went to any one of the local campuses they'd have e-subscriptions to the Chronicle so you can access the data if you didn't want to fork out the $$ for your own subscription. Even HCC has a subscription, but you have to be on-campus to access it on-line. I don't think it goes into detail about sets of bedsheets but usually items like car+driver, social memberships, and housing allocations are listed. Frankly, it's not hard to spend $500 on sheets if you have 2 sets plus a couple extra pillow cases. That's not an out of the ordinary value.
  10. someone mentioned it above but be sure you check the flood zone maps. http://maps2.tsarp.org/tsarp/ it's always good to have as much information as possible. I would guess that in areas that have had significant development in the last couple years (like areas with lots `o new town homes) the drainage patterns may have been affected - for the better (if the builder paid attention to drains) or worse. Ask the neighbors how much water collected in their yards/streets.
  11. I second this view. And I'll add that no matter that I drive through different parts of Downtown maybe 2 times a week, I never get comfortable with all those 1-way streets and sky-scrapers and people crossing streets. It's all a bunch of visual distractions and driving decisions for me. So I appreciate those in-ground flashing lights to help signal I'm at Main St and the metro is coming.
  12. I have had great response from the on-line 311 service. April 19 I reported that one of the street lamp poles on our street was severely corroded at the base. April 29 there was a truck and work crew replacing the pole. Considering that this probably required checking the pole to make sure I was telling the truth, contracting and scheduling with an outside company (it wasn't a COH truck) this seems like rapid response to me. Fantastic. I have also reported street lights that burned out/weren't going on and those have been repaired within a couple days also.
  13. Here's the ALA "report card" for the state of Texas http://www.stateoftheair.org/2009/states/texas/ And the article that was in the Chronicle (AP writer) http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/nation/6397540.html
  14. Not even during Ike? I can't remember precisely but I'm pretty sure the water was up higher on those trees the morning after the hurricane went though. But ok, maybe it's the highest non-hurricane level. anyone have a comparison for what happened during Allison? I wasn't around here then.
  15. thanks for posting this event here! I'm now free of a bag of batteries and a group of partially empty paint cans.
  16. hurray I can bring my bag of used batteries. I hadn't found a place that accepts them.
  17. I went to one of the home shows recently and picked up a brochure for Belgard Hardscapes (pavers). I have no idea what the cost is (no doubt pricier than concrete or gravel). But, they have a line of pavers that are permeable with different ways of designing the base layers to either allow simple through-drainage or even drain pipes to be placed beneath or subterrainean drainage to a retention basin. In a few years we hope to put in a new driveway and I was considering the turfstone to be in a center strip down the middle of the driveway. http://www.belgard.biz/environmental-pavers.htm
  18. I hope it's a success! all you guinea pigs in this pilot program - recycle like mad. I am looking forward to the day that OUR neighborhood has this service. http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/autorecyclingmap.html http://www.houstontx.gov/solidwaste/press-20090311.html
  19. I attended the BCAF last weekend and thought the park was a PERFECT place for it. I have been to the one in Downtown twice - it's ok but very urban feeling. I loved having all the booths essentially in a big circle so you didn't even have to plan a path through the event. The art seemed to be even more highlighted when it was surrounded by trees instead of being towered over by downtown skyrises. Attendees shouldn't have been trying to park at Memorial since there were free shuttles from off-site locations. We parked at the NW mall and hopped on a bus right to the ticket booth. It was simple and fast. no driving around for a far-away spot that was taking away from other non-BCAF-park-patrons' parking options. just my 2 cents.
  20. ditto. just give it a thorough repaving from one end to the other - no more patching. The patching is what makes it crappy.
  21. What that place needs is one of the automated postage machines for packages. Like the POs at West Gray and on E TC Jester in Oak Forest. This doesn't fully solve the 3-inch fingernail lady, parking lot design, or the poorly stocked supply stacks, but it'd cut down on some of the people standing in line to send large envelopes and packages.
  22. any new updates as to the other businesses that will move in near that new Starbucks? And now I'm curious about what businesses will move in to the shopping center that is only a graded dirt lot at Oak Forest and 43rd. Please, let there be a real restaurant. Not a Pizza Hut, not a Subway, not a McDonalds.
  23. I was at a friends' house last Saturday afternoon when the COH water-meter reader came around. The water meter is in the front yard so it wasn't a big deal but I'm just adding another example to "utility folks do come into our neighborhoods on the weekends". But I agree that they should be well labeled and identifiable via their uniform and vehicle etc.
  24. Perhaps they could have advertised a bit more? or participated in Heights First Saturday events to encourage foot traffic? Some sort of coffee drink special for First Saturdays or something. I had no idea what was there till I stopped by. The 1 time I did go in there I thought "what? why does it look so empty?" there's the coffee bar, a small fridge with cheese, a meat counter, deli counter and then the whole middle of the floor only had like 2 or 3 display shelves with nothing but fancy boutique jams, sauces, and brownie mixes. It didn't seem like an efficient/productive use of space when the goal is making money. I bought the box of brownie mix and then found out it was dollars less at Central Market even. Nothing on the outside even indicates that you can get a fresh made sandwich, regardless of the cost. I was expecting to see much more produce with that "go local" slogan. Hopefully they are just refocusing and will reopen soon. And they should consider a couple sandwich-boards that indicate what can be found inside.
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