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august948

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Everything posted by august948

  1. I keep hearing people talk about the Heights so I finally got around to driving through last weekend. For reference, we drove up Heights Blvd from I-10 to 20th, took 20th to Rutland, went north on Rutland almost to 610, cut over to Yale and drove Yale all the way back to I10. I saw some nicely restored homes, but also many run down places and small apt complexes. There were a couple of coffee shops, a couple of antique stores and a few bars but nothing that seemed out of the ordinary for other neighborhoods of similar age and location. We stopped at the Kroger on 20th and it was fairly shabby. I don't intend this to be a put down of the Heights, but we didn't see anything particularly special about the area. Can someone enlighten me? Did we drive down the wrong streets? Why does the Heights seem to be so popular vs other inner loop neighborhoods?
  2. Rain and thunder on the west side too...just in time to breed mosquitoes for the 4th...
  3. First Farrah, now MJ. Sad day for 70's and 80's pop culture.
  4. This is a great idea but they should also find a way to make materials available to the general public as well. With all the teardowns in this city, some treasures are bound to show up if remodelers start diverting their salvage to this warehouse.
  5. Good question on the train traffic. Somewhere I read that some economists were tracking train tonnage through certain choke points in the rail network to gauge economic activity.
  6. The law may remain on the books, but without TRCC to enforce it I'm not sure what good it will do unless the legislature assigns it to a different agency. Regardless, I read through this regulation and it excludes owner-built structures so it wouldn't apply anyway.
  7. We haven't decided, but it will probably be somewhere in or near the Houston, Austin, San Antonio triangle. Are there building regulations at the county level and do they apply to DIY projects?
  8. We are looking to buy a couple of acres out in the country, probably in an unincorporated area. Other than deed restrictions, are the any other restrictions on what an owner can build on his own land in an unincorporated area? If I want to build a small cabin myself, do I need to deal with any government permits and/or inspections or can I do as I please?
  9. I've never been to Greenspoint, just passed it by on 45 north. Is the mall and the surrounding area similar to Sharpstown? Do these two areas share a similar story?
  10. Reminds me of the first apartment the missus and I shared...40 ft from the CSX mainline into Atlanta from the north.
  11. Best part of this weather pattern is no mosquitoes in my backyard. Sat in my backyard last night for an hour enjoying the evening breeze and didn't get bit once.
  12. The best you're gonna get on that is a blue tarp and a brita pitcher. You're on your own for the a/c and bacon.
  13. Street cleaners? LOL...in 10 years here in Houston the only time I've seen street cleaners is in one of the parades downtown.
  14. Riding on sidewalks is not always illegal. This is from the city of Houston's website: "Can I ride my bike on the sidewalk? It is acceptable to ride on the sidewalk under certain conditions, except in a business zone. A business zone is the territory that includes the contiguous 600 ft. along the roadway where there are buildings in use for business or industrial purposes that occupy 300 feet collectively on both sides of the roadway. Remember that pedestrians have the right-of-way." That includes downtown and some commercial thoroughfares, but leaves a lot of sidewalks where biking is allowed. I ride (and see others riding) on sidewalks all the time up and down Westheimer, Richmond, Dairy Ashford, Memorial, Wilcrest, Kirkwood and other streets and have been passed many, many times by police cruisers without incident. They may ticket you in downtown, but further out I suspect the police have bigger fish to fry than bikes on sidewalks. I think if you do it resposibly (no wheelies down sidewalks crowded with pedestrians, please!) you won't have any problems. Has anyone out there ever been ticketed or warned by police not to ride on sidewalks? If so, where?
  15. Just out of curiosity, are there sidewalks you can ride on in this area instead of using the bike lane? I know we should be able to use bike lanes without being hassled, but the reality is that there are a lot of jerks out there who believe the roads are just for them and everyone else should get out of their way. Living and biking in west Houston (mostly) outside the beltway I find it much safer to use sidewalks on main streets even though we've got bike lanes on several cross streets here. I'd much rather ride the sidewalk and deal with the occasional missing or broken section than tempt fate in traffic.
  16. Can someone explain why the quickline only goes to Ranchester and not all the way out Bellaire?
  17. Who said I have a 42 inch plasma? Seriously, though, I think you can create a decent mix of car/bus/bike/walk to fit the transportation needs of a lot of people in this city, even outside the loop. For a Southern city, we've got it pretty good. Sometimes all it takes is for you to get out of your car and walk/bike around the edges of your neighborhood to discover that a lot of places are within an easy walk or bike of home. Find some nearby places you can bike or walk to for some of your errands and use public transport and/or your car for the farther away spots or commutes or where you just need to haul that plasma back to the house.
  18. Is there a map somewhere that shows voting patterns by polling place in Houston for the 2008 election? That would give you a pretty good barometer of the local political spectrum.
  19. Much of the south voted democrat prior to the 80's. I think some of it could just be the post-civil war legacy where the Republican party was seen as 'northern'. Regardless, the Democrats had such a lock on the south that I recall my father saying he was a registered Democrat because otherwise he really couldn't vote in any elections, particularly local ones, since the Republicans weren't really a factor. In those days, elections in Texas and elsewhere in the south were mostly determined in the Democratic primaries.
  20. It's entirely possible outside the loop or beltway, depending on where you live. I'm near Westheimer and Dairy Ashford and can bike to numerous big box and smaller stores, restaurants, coffee shops, grocery stores, a couple of cinemas, a hospital, etc. in 15-20 mins or less. I run errands this way as often as I can, 2 to 3 times a week. If you are on the west side you can access the Terry Hershey park trails which run from cinco ranch to the beltway. And, of course, Metro crisscrosses the area. Most of the west side from the loop to highway 6 and Westheimer to I-10 has a similar mix of residential and retail close enough for easy biking. I suspect similar situations exist in other parts of the city outside the loop.
  21. Ahh...Atlanta. What a great city. Lived there for most of the 90's. If you want this to happen to Houston, though, you will need to tear up a lot of our roads and force commuters into narrow corridors with few options for alternate routes. That way development would have to concentrate in response to the hassle of getting around. As long as Houston can spread out in all directions, there isn't a much impetus to concentrate. Unless, of course, gas prices go through the roof again.
  22. The rotunda/gazebo across from the museum of natural history at hermann park is popular with wedding photographers here.
  23. I think I would just laugh and make a rude comment to him about the size of his equipment.
  24. I just hope all the characters don't have the exaggerated accents that the Hollywood types think all Texans have.
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