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Robert W. Boyd

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Robert W. Boyd last won the day on January 8 2010

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About Robert W. Boyd

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    Exploring Houston by bike, urbanism, Houston's art scene
  1. Yeah, I see the Falun Gong people out front protesting/praying all the time. If the police didn't know it was the consulate, they should have.
  2. I went to the festival and didn't notice people parking on the grass and generally saw a bunch of well-behaved arts-n-crafts browsers. I assume (but don't know for sure) that most of the attendees came by the free shuttle buses provided. One from Northwest mall (I took that one) and one from downtown somewhere. Sorry we spoiled your jog.
  3. Has anyone seen the Fountains at Memorial City? These are new condos going up on Gaylord right next door to the Cemex building just east of Memorial City. They are being developed by MetroNational which pretty much owns everything from Bunker Hill to Memorial Hermann (the president of MetroNational has his office in the "crown" of the Memorial Hermann Tower). Anyway, there is nothing particularly special about The Fountains except that it is unusual for high rise condos to be built so far out. But the parking garage is surprisingly a thing of beauty! (Photos here.) The have put a mural on the
  4. This isn't true, according to what few stats there are about Houston bike accidents. The problem with suburban streets, especially arterials, are manifold. The obvious one is speed--speed limits are higher in the burbs, and even when they aren't, heavier traffic in the city keeps speeds lower. Another problem is inattentional blindness. There are more cyclists in the city, therefore drivers are more accustomed to actively seeing them. Out in the burbs, people don't notice bikers as much because they aren't trained by experience to notice them. Consequently, it appears that the further you go o
  5. This is an amazingly silly statement. Texas is a large state--of course there's lots of stuff outside of Houston. But the same is true in each of the other states you mention and casually dismiss. I lived in western Massachusetts for several years and still miss its beauty, its colleges (Williams, Amherst, Smith, Mount Holyoke, U. Mass, and Hampshire) and the many excellent cultural events they had, Tanglewood, Mass MOCA, the freaking Berkshires in autumn, etc. (I could do without Springfield, though. But I could say the same about Waco as well, heh heh.)And that's just the western, more rural
  6. Peter Moskos suggested that beat cops might help reduce crime in densely populated areas, but worried that there hadn't been enough study. On his blog, he announces that very interesting and hopeful research has been done:
  7. It's a bad time to be a mall. Especially one that was already struggling. I work just down the street from the mall, and I wish it were better. I have shopped at Macy's, but the mall interior struck me as underlit and depressing (I haven't been in it for about a year, though--it may have improved).
  8. I can't speak to what "urbanists" have said about crime, but I can refer to what Peter Moskos said in his great book Cop in the Hood. He said that the rise of policing from cars and 9-11 have turned police from being proactive to reactive. No one responding to a 9-11 call ever stops a crime (unlike 9-11 calls for fires or medical emergencies, in which lives are often saved). The cop on the beat had more of a relationship with the neighborhood, was a visible presence, heard things from folks, etc. (This was also pointed out by Jane Jacobs, of course.) Moskos was writing about Baltimore in parti
  9. As far as I know, riding on sidewalks is completely legal except in "business districts".
  10. According to the Chron, BCM has decided to go it alone. (For now.) If it was Baylor U. that killed the deal with Rice (which is what I have heard), BCM may have had pretty bad feelings towards Baylor, to say the least. BCM also had to wonder what Baylor was bringing to the table. Anything? While I have nothing at all against Baylor U and have known many people over the years who attended or were alums of that school, it seems Baylor acted pretty poorly in this matter, and as a result are ending up with nothing.
  11. I spoke with a professor at Rice who was sort of in a position to know what happened, and he gave me his version of the story of the failure of the Rice-BCM talks and the part in that failure played by Baylor University (a BIG part). At the risk of seeming like a complete blog whore, I'm going to link to my blog post about it. In short, it looks like Baylor U. played a sneaky and decidedly unchristian waiting game, letting Rice do a lot of heavy lifting and then musciling them aside once the bucks were all lined up.
  12. The Chron doesn't have much yet: I wonder what this means for Leebron.
  13. The question of which areas have the most crime (or highest crime rate) is tricky to answer. 1) total crime versus crime rate. Different areas of Houston have different population densities. Also, different neighborhoods are different sizes. So if you add up all the crimes in a big neighborhood and compare that to a small neighborhood, it may make the big neighborhood appear more dangerous when in fact the crime rates are identical or even even greater in the small neighborhood. Consequently, I think one should look at crime rates versus total number of crimes. (That, of course, makes the task
  14. All of you interested in The House of the Century are going to kick yourselves--Chip Lord and Curtis Schreier (two of the surviving founders of Ant Farm) were just in town for the Cinema Arts Festival, which showed a documentary about Ant Farm called What If Why Not. Marilyn Oshman was at the screening and they all answered questions. This is a house that should definitely be renovated and preserved and opened to the public!
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