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The Great Hizzy!

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Everything posted by The Great Hizzy!

  1. Even with that, there still needs to be enforcement of "standards." As with anything and anyplace, it doesn't take a lot of any particular group of people to contribute to an area's unsightliness. Those of you who have visited SF can attest to a handful of homeless people or just generally obnoxious drunks urinating/defecating and trashing the city's streets to the point of making the experience lousy but I don't think anyone believes that San Franciscans overall are trashy. You've gotta enforce standards, and if that means PAYING for that enforcement then it's time to put our money where our
  2. We're slipping. Five years ago WE were supposedly #1. Dern Pittsburghians (Pittsburghers?)!
  3. When viewing the skyline from the north/northeast, it may have an impact but I doubt it will have more impact from other directions as, say, the new courthouse tower. In backing up Semi-Pro, I did see during lunch that it appears that some digging has taken place on the lot where the Shamrock is supposed to be erected. There's no construction equipment onsite at the moment, but it does look as if some digging has taken place in the past few days.
  4. LOL! That's an interesting way of putting it, and I don't entirely disagree.
  5. Someone mentioned Idylwood a while ago and it reminded me of some thoughts I had from last week when I was there visiting a friend. Nice, historica area surrounded by nice landscaping and natural scenery. However, with that, it seems as if it is detached from some of the other nearby areas, areas that aren't quite as impressive but are far from dicey. It also looks as if it could be the catalyst for a larger resurgence of the area in general if someone invested in amenities such as expanded retail, roads (both Wayside and Lawdale are in pretty rough shape). Brays Bayou could be rehabbed into q
  6. Bingo! Great eye, KZ. I think there needs to be something called a "City Standards" ordinance/project that puts the onus on not only area governments but commercial entities and residents to take better care of their surroundings. It's teh same frustration that I started feeling in Miami before I moved. Areas of note get the city services but most of the rest of the city is a "fend for yourself" type deal, and when you do that sort of thing, you leave yourself open for neighborhoods that are typically middle class looking tattered and less than itself. If Houston's going to allow so many homeo
  7. In addition to Westchase, I think Meyerland is a solid area as well. The Heights has lots of charm but the houses are more expensive and, depending on what you're looking for, you get less for your money (IMO). If Clear Lake were about 12 - 15 miles closer to downtown, it would be a pretty good option as well.
  8. Frankly, other than the N-C in Dallas and the trenched part of the SW Freeway (and maybe the completed section of the West Loop renovation from the SW Freeway to Braeswood), TXDot has screwed most of the state with regard to freeway design and asthetics.
  9. I've heard the same, TNJ, but it's been a while since any kind of work has been done on the building. It's pretty much been sitting dormant with that construction fencing around it for close to two years, I believe.
  10. I'm not sure if cheap is the reason entirely. I think someone posted a while back that there was an ordinance passed some years ago that limited what could be put on downtown highrises in terms of lighting and marquees. This may not entirely be the reason why there is lighting on Houston's central skyscrapers compared to some others but I think that it's played a part in it. I think the lighting on BOA tower is more a case of being a bit too understated rather than not having ANY lighting. There is lighting in the niches of the corners at the higher elevations but the lighting is very subdued.
  11. I've always thought that Sharpstown, both the mall and the neighborhood, received a bit more stigma than it deserved but I'm not a Houston native and can't comment on what the area was like years ago. I'm sure it's digressed from when it first came along but it still seems like a fairly decent area, especially compared to some other areas like in NE Houston.
  12. I would say that Northwest Mall is the best next candidate to be renovated. There are a lot of new residential complexes being built in the nearby industrial corridor just outside and just inside the loop near 290 and you would think that with the MarqE nearby along with some of the "wealthier" neighborhoods along I-10 that new and old residents might want an alternative location to the Galleria and Memorial City. Of course, it all comes down to money and who is willing to invest it into such a project. IMO, the renovation to Gulfgate and Meyerland have helped both areas significantly. Northli
  13. I like the building's design (given it's purpose and its function) and I like its proximity to the lake but the parking lot looks scatterbrained, even for a parking lot. I'm also thinking that the western portion of the complex could've done with a parking structure to help maximize space. That way, you could have a green feature in front of the building (due to the reduced parking space) that makes the complex look more appealing overall.
  14. Heh. Good point, KZ. Nevertheless... we here at HAIF reserve the right to be dissatisfied with anything less than perfection, especially where our suburbs are concerned.
  15. Speaking of Applebee's (well not really but kind of), I saw that one of their main competitors, TGI Friday's, has reacted to Applebee's latest expansion effort by changing the marquee on their buildings. Kind of funny. Considering that the handful of good dishes that TGIF DID serve some years ago have been replaced by carbon copy concotions found at any other type of franchise grill, I don't see who they think they're really fooling.
  16. The question, in my mind is: what type of park are we talking about? A simple neighborhood park with a playground, basketball court, racquetball/tennis? Or a grand urban park with water falls, outdoor plazas, statuary and what have you. I think neighborhood parks would seem to be more of a priority because those of the type of parks that are used more often than not. A grand urban park can be a showplace for an area but how many of those do you need in a city of xxx size before it's overkill. For example, do we need three or four more Herman Parks inside the Loop? I wonder if that would be tak
  17. Sorry, but Skyscraper city is so irrationally pro-urbanity that you can't have a serious discussion about the overall nature of cities. I like the fact that people are passionate about creating quality urban spaces but when you become so passionate about it that you're irrational about ALL facets of a city (including your own), I can't take your discussion/points-of-view seriously. Skyscraper Page is bad about it as well but I think there's a bit more give there. Skyscraper city, however, is all-controversy, all-confrontation, all the time. Anyone who drives an SUV is the devil, anyone who doe
  18. A couple of movies: 1) There's a Burt Reynolds movie from the 80s called "The Man Who Loved Women" or something like that, and in one of the scenes, he comes accross the eccentric Kim Bassinger, a Texan from Houston, on a visit to Houston. You can see a police officer giving Bassinger a ticket on Memorial Drive between downtown and I would guess it's Waugh Drive. You can see the America Tower in the background. 2) "Jason's Lyric" starring Jada Pinkett and Allen Payne. Urban love story set and filmed in Houston. Lots of charming scenes of the surrounding meadows and pine forests as well. 3) The
  19. I can verify that the Midtown Randall's does pretty good business during the middle of the day (saym, 9:00 AM to about 5:00 PM). Lots of downtown and Midtown workers go there for lunch and surprisingly, a lot of the local residents choose that time to do their shopping. They also appear to be fairly busy on Saturday afternoons. Frankly, from what I've seen, there are a lot of grocery stores that are pretty empty after nine o'clock in the evening. There's a Randall's near my cousin's off Fry Road in Katy and that place is almost always empty. Same with the Fiesta on Hwy 6 @ Clay Road near my gi
  20. On one end of Main Street, you've got people breathing scented oxygen, on the other end you've got people tasting flavored tobacco through a straw. Trendy, trendy, trendy...
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