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smurf

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smurf last won the day on March 6 2010

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About smurf

  • Birthday January 6

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    Washington Heights

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  1. A little birdie told me Sawyer Park is bleeding red seriously because it is not enough business on week days. I am glad to hear that. I know about 15 homeonwers in the 77007 area and everyone hates that place. On the bright side, Liberty Station and the eco-revamped Sugarcane are super cool and very chill. Go there, any day you like. Places like Sawyer Park "Club" will be weeded out soon at least in the mean time, it is better than an abandoned bulding.
  2. As much as I respect private development right , but not at the expense of others property rights. Corporations have rights (according to te Supreme Court), but we the people have rights too and a corporation cannot trimuiph over others rights (according to Supreme Court too). Do we not have the right to protest if their development affects our property rights, property value and quality of life such as traffic, utitlities? If you think outside of your one-track mind of economics and think in terms of the big picture. Life is not all about making money. It's as simple as that. Any neighborhood (West End and Lower Heights near Yale especially) would be seriously impacted by traffic. Currently Yale is not big enough to accommodate traffic, and it will affect all the surrounding neighborhoods. On top of that, the Walmart entry is on Koehler side because Yale side is below grade in this section to accommodate the rail line underpass. Does the city not do a (non-rubber stamp) traffic study before issuing permit? It may surprise some of the jaded commenters in this thread, these neighborhoods (townhomes etc), are already a pretty high value residential tax base evolved in this past decade. The city should be enouraging this and not destroying it. This area got the train quiet zone passed. Some of the commentors (who do not live off Washington) complain on clubs and bar, instead of welcoming influx of local money into the area because it is causing many city infrastructural developments to happen in the last few years than have happened in the last 40 years. These townhomes you think are so sub-standard, are built to the same standards as houses in most Houston subdivisions which means they will get re-built on 30-40 years from now and do require regular maintainence as any other house. Nothing in America is built to 100 year standards anymore unless you are willing to 3 or 4 times the price. FYI - Yale is also the route in Phase 3 of Washnington Ave light rail. I am guessing the city will be giving up on that now. I hope the city takes all these issues into the permit. City fo Houston and surrounding neighborhood had no control over TXDOT's feeder expansion, but we the people have control over our city. BTW, I am assuming this site will go thru environmental assessment and cleanup, or just be padded over because there was a heavy industry operating there for most of the last century. Most of the time, it was predates environmental regulations. I have previously stated my specific concerns with Walmart i.e. 30 hour work week, low pay, no health insurance for workers, most workers on mediaid etc programs, ruthless anti- market practices bordering on anti-trust to drive out small businesses, no neighborhood community involvement because it's not in the big picture, quality of products, sourcing of product, enviornmental, sutainability, and community responsibilities that are part of being a public corporation. So I wont dive it them again.
  3. None of you guys talk about poor people having access to good quality foods. Walmart certainly does not provide that. Walmart certainly does not educate the people on how much hormone and anti-bodies are put into USDA beef or chicken (enough to be banned in Canada and Europe). That is a whole another topic. All I want to say on this is that poor people are not blind lemmings that go for cheapest mass produced foods. And yes, if Walmart was so concerned about poor people, it would build a store in a poorer part of town. They are interested in the big picture. They only prefer big suppliers. Majority of their new employees in the last few years mostly work 30 hrs per week to keep them off health care. I expect Rice Military and 6th ward and surrounding neighborhoods to join the Heights and West End to fight Walmart mainly because it will hurt them in the pocket book i.e. lowering all immediate area property values. Walmart has a history of lowering property value within the mile (at least) besides lowering prices. Walmart does not have a reputation of catering to the neighborhood. It would be stupid of all the super 22 neighborhoods to not oppose this. I also expect all the real estate companies in the area to oppose this b/c they will seriously lose money. And Heights is not immune either from this. This will make a case for Yale expansion? Who else in the Heights want Yale to be like Shepherd or Durham? Also, I do hope the city does a traffic survey on adjacent streets. Currently, Yale and Heights Blvd cannot sustain an influx of a few thousand additional cars coming in. For that matter neigher can Washington Ave. Plus the impact on neighborhhod streets which are already too small for the turcks & SUVs the yuppies that. Also, on a related point, who else thinks why TXDOT was pushing to start the feeder road on I-10 all of a suddely and very quickly, and with major objections flooding, enviornmental and traffic concerns from the surrounding neighboorhoods. (Even the city has said this will increase flooding but they have no control over what TXDOT does)
  4. This Target complex and associated properties had so much potential but it is becoming a corporate franchises mecca. Sadly, my prediction is this Target is enroute to becoming the next ghetto Target. I have never eaten at all the strip mall chain restuarants in this Target area because why would you want to when we are blessed with so many local places in this area.
  5. smurf

    Antique Bar

    I love other old school Houston places like Warren's or Davenport for their strong drinks, but Anvil is like fine dining for liquors. So this is like comparing apples to oranges, right? Whether they are weak or strong, the bartenders are like chefs, they follow their recipes. If you are true old school liquor connoisseur, this place is fantastic. I have known some of these bartenders and they love what they do. Orangic drink bars is hard work and you have to love to do it. LIke fine dining, you cannot sustain this if you lose quaility. I want more of these places in Houston. A friend of mine from Chicago told me that she wants a bar like this in Chicago, and Chicago has some great night life neighborhoods.
  6. Can we just get over this "businesses will close, businesses will lose out" crap and start the Richmond & Uptown rail lines construction already? There will always be speculative buyers on the rail line. So many of Main St's vacant lots are owned by developers who want to cash out by putting a high rise up. With the little propoerty tax they have to pay on them, they can easily hold out for 20+ years before cashing out. It's corporate capitalism at work unless the city can enforce some kind of building codes for these corridors.
  7. Anyone else gets this logic? .... But this is exactly the irrational reasoning Anti-Rail folks have been saying for this past decade. I have lived in this area before and after rail and visited many a establishments before and after. Light rail has no real correlation to them. There are way too many other factors that contributed to the pre-rail fall, post-rail rise & fall, and now rise of downtown establishments. Same thing applies to all the other rail lines including the Richmond line.
  8. BW3 was good if you have ever eaten at the few local ones years ago in Ohio before they became corporate. All their stores now have the same interior look too. Now to justify a 20% revenue & profit increase every year due to stockholder pressures, they have to open new places (for revenue) and use cheapest possible ingredients (for profit) and cheapest possible labor (for profit) yearly.
  9. smurf

    Antique Bar

    First, just to clarify a few points, we were dressed well that night to get into almost everywhere. Second, I emailed back & forth with the onwer that night and the next day, and he said yes they had a small private party that night but the place was open to all. He said he would look into re-assigning the bouncer. Third, the bouncer did not know the girls and they were unaware of this party. Fourth, my friend and I go out enough times a week and there are too many other locally owned nearby night life places deserving of our money so I am in no hurry to go or positively promote Antique Bar anytime soon. Similiar stories have surfaced about the former Brownstone antique restuarant on Westheimer, now a lounge called Red Room lately also. Does anyone know if they are owned or financed by the same group? Same of these places do not want to lose their "white" label and be a "minority" place. I am pretty sure if we were with a group of "whites", the bouncer would have just checked our IDs and let us in. When I use the term "minority" here, I mean 20 or 30 something professionals who happen to be "non-whites". We are craft beer connoisseurs - How much more yuppies can you not be? I just wanted to say what I had experienced there,a nd I don't care if you love the place and go there often. But next time, any of you go to Antique Bar, ask yourself, how many "minorities" are hanging out in the place compared to "whites" or coming in there in groups? The point is are we losing our international city identity and becoming another southern segregated city like Dallas? Luckily, I discovered a really cool relatively new dive bar yesterday with old school blues music which gives me hope we are not. I will leave the advertisement for another place & time
  10. smurf

    Antique Bar

    Antique bar opened on Main near Anita. My friend and I walked over to from a few friends' place nearby aftter playing poker to check out this bar. We were told by the guy at the door that they have a private party tonight even though the bar is open. Fair enough. But as we were walking off, two white girls walk up and they are unaware of any party and the guy was welcoming them in. My friend and I are minorities. I have heard of this happening to a few people when a new trendy place opens up, but this is a first hand experience. I had higher expectations of this place considering they were promoting antiques and historical stuff, but this is turning into another trendy wanna-be douchebag bar. I suggest people should enjoy Community (Wine) Bar nearby. It is one of the better low key recent establishments in the area. Irfan
  11. 3 of the 4 detached street facing townhouses built Spring of 2009 on my street in Upper West End are occupied. I did not see a realtor sign up on the 4th. They were listed for 324K each. I looked at them when they were "almost" finished and they are done a lot better than many of the Parra "cheap" Designs. If the developers keep building street facing town houses rather than 4 or 6 townhome complexes, they sell a lot easier according to a realtor friend of mine. He also expects all of Washington area housing prices to jump at least 10-25K with the coming quiet zone.
  12. A person from West Side of Houston was trying to convince me that the City Centre is the natural center of Houston. I just said, you are joking, right? I said it's basically re-invented mall with residences. they are popping up every where in the country in suburban neighborhoods and cities. Having said that, it is still better than having old style huge parking lot malls.
  13. I missed this meeting too but I emailed the Quiet Zone folks and got a reply that they were waiting on details on schedule slides from the city, but the quiet zone work is scheduled to start in January and will be fully implemented by end of April. It still includes Thompson & Bonner closure. The Public Works dept is typically pretty good about project milestones once they get the go ahead, so I would expect by May 2010 we should have a Quiet Zone in place. On a side note, we in UWE shoudl expect TX DOT to start work on I-10 feeder roads between Yale & Patterson soon (as in 2010). Irfan
  14. smurf

    Hearsay

    great place and was pretty busy with "old school" downtown crowd this past weekend. downtown needs more of these places!!! it definitely caters to locals residents too.
  15. Sorry to detour back to politik. This is funny! I think Mex-Tex border towns are libertarian's dream too with no govt and free market. Good riddance ~ I really love the blame game tactics of the tea-partiers and libertarians (both former GOP members).
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