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Everything posted by feufoma

  1. One thing I've noticed while traveling and doing business in Asia, including the Middle East, is that by and large individuals don't matter. The culture is such that if people are harmed by development then so be it-it's all for the 'common' good. That's why you see large swaths of inner Beijing being leveled and displacing thousands of people all to host the Summer Olympics or build a mega office structure. That's also why you see slave labor exploitation in places like Dubai. Individuals simply don't matter in these countries. Personally, the slower and arguably less 'grand' development that is taking place in the U.S. is fine by me. At least we care about people somewhat. Certainly more than some sheikh in the UAE.
  2. This thing's gonna be horrible! My wife pointed out the fact that most views from the western face of the Doubletree seem to hold the promise of being 'obfuscated' beyond reproach. Goddamnit! Why can't we in this city work together to promote and maintain any (normal) sense of urban aestheticsm? Opie for Mayor! Doo doo dyoot do do do dyoot do doooo... P.S. Whistle that last part... Rockin' in the Carolina's yo'.....!!! Geez Ange.....!! Barney and Floyd could rock this city like no other!!
  3. Let's think about this, seriously. It's been so long since there was any type of news at all about the 'superblock' (and I use that term loosely)-why now? A chain link fence? REALLY? I'm enthused-I don't know about y'all. It's almost criminal that the acerage hasn't been utilized. But, face it, it's not gonna' happen. Let's look for a downward trend in "mixed use" development in Houston after the current crop comes to fruition. Economy (worldwide) is gettin' ugly. Your most recent edition of The Economist should be consulted for more dystopic fodder.... P.S. Turnberry=Orion (+ $$$$). Naagonnahappen....
  4. Yeah, but kids should go to private school anyway. So, the quality of public schools isn't a deciding factor for me.
  5. I second your opinion. The city (what a bunch of feckless morons in our city government) was indeed duped; and, now, HP is proceeding in a direction that won't differentiate it that much from, say, The Woodlands Mall. This could have been soooo much better. We'll see... That previous post regarding whether HP's future will be similar to Bayou Place's is becoming more germane every day.
  6. I agree. However, people could choose to pay about the same for an ILP house (say $200-300k) as they do on a suburban home that has more square footage and a yard. I do that very thing and it's not that big of a deal. Do more with less... There's no reason to have a huge home filled with a bunch of stuff.
  7. I'm not addressing use of the multi-colored walls for the underground parking entrance. The sculpture I'm referring to is at the east end of the park just across the street from the convention center. I doubt that the intent is for children to climb on the art. Frankly, the city should be concerned not just about the aesthetics issue but also the threat of lawsuits (tort immunity be damned).
  8. Not to the extent they essentially take over the park and start camping, etc. "Use" is one thing but the homeless generally take it to the next level to the exclusion of others. Where's the fairness in that? Taxpayers (you know, the one's that generally fund parks and such) should be able to use a park without the negative impacts that often accompany the homeless onslaught. The homeless are ruining Midtown.
  9. We walked over to the park yesterday with our son and found it to be great! Frankly, in my 13 years in Houston I saw more people downtown than at any other time. The park should prove to be a catalyst for helping downtown improve to a level commensurate with a city of Houston's size and importance. This is something that we should be very proud of. Just keep the homeless out; and parents please keep an eye on your kids. I nearly fainted when I saw parents allowing their kids to climb on the Debuffet sculpture. Come on people...really.
  10. Well, we now have a strong contender for ugliest highrise built in Houston in the last decade. Seriously, I think this might be worse than the Mercer. How could Memorial Hermann approve something like this? 500 feet of awful...
  11. I take the Spur every week day and really don't have any problems coming into DT during afternoon rush hour. I think a lot of the backup for the lanes heading away from the Spur (toward Cleveland and 288) has to do with people using the far left lanes that are actually for the Spur into DT to essentially skip in line for their trek to Pasadena and points beyond. I know they put up some plastic dividers, but I think they should make the signage clearer around Greenway Plaza that you can only use the left lanes for the Spur and then put up a concrete barrier to keep the traffic divided. I realize that is probably a stretch for our traffic engineers to pull off judging from other feats of engineering like the one lane exit from 59 S to 610 West, etc. Better signage and concrete barriers might induce people to stop driving like aggressive children and stick to their lanes. (I'm really sick of people skipping: it's so juvenile.) Traffic might move better even if the Spur construction didn't really add much capacity. The trick if you're coming from UT or Greenway toward DT is to stay in the far left lane-I'm only usually in traffic for 5 mins and then zip into DT. I do feel bad for the 'burbers, though. Concrete barriers: that's the ticket!
  12. Yes, you're absolutely correct. I bought an inner loop townhome just a couple of months before meeting my future wife, who has a house in Kingwood. We chose to live in my home when we got married and had a child instead of dealing with the ridiculous commute from Kingwood to DT and UT. Now my wife's commute is non-existent and mine is 10 minutes tops in morning and afternoon. We don't have a yard but we've got nearby parks for our son to enjoy. It is all about preferences. It's nice to see that in Houston we finally have some options to fit various preferences! Plus, it's nice to lease my wife's house out to someone with a different preference and reap the tax benefits and additional income! Cheers...
  13. And, in typical Houston fashion they're not going to bury the electric lines!! Great, less trees, more concrete, and the same unsightly stretch of road-just more road. F'ing "real". This city never ceases to disappoint. Just 7,848 days to retirement... Damn, that's a long time. Civil tort immunity is such a delicate flower-or, I swear, I'd sue!!.
  14. Yes, the "older" section of DT L.A. is Skid Row and is definitely the largest concentration of the homeless that I have seen. But, really, the homeless in DT L.A. proper pretty much keep to themselves and have never hit me up for money, etc. The homeless in Houston are always asking for money. Many are clearly deranged/ high and are probably dangerous. I agree that it's wrong to feel ill will toward the homeless; and I would never intentionally hurt one unless I was defending my family, myself or my property. What I don't understand about the homeless in MT and DT Houston is the fact that the police don't do anything to enforce the existing ordinances (e.g., sleeping on sidewalks). Shouldn't there be a full time law enforcement presence to protect the public from being pestered or worse? On a lighter note: why not just provide the homeless in Houston an exclusive (and, notably, one way) trip to exciting Dallas or Austin!?
  15. What amazes me is that I can go to, say, Chicago or Los Angeles and never be hit up for money in their "downtown" or other close-in areas. Yet, in Houston it's literally one (generally aggressive) bum after another when I go out to eat in DT or MT! And, yes, CVS on W. Gray is unreal. You'd think that the store would hire a security person to keep some order in the parking lot. And, where is HPD? I suppose eating donuts and pulling the middle class over for going 5 miles above the speed limit. This town... We've got so many problems....
  16. 1900 ft2 over 3 levels 2005 Dynowatt 200 (highest over the last 12 months was last month; bill in cooler months averages 70) I keep the house at 72 and 78 during the day (can't stand heat).
  17. I agree. I make good money but live below my means so that I can ensure a good retirement and education for my children. I remember reading an article on CNN.com last week that reported only 15% of people over 45 (still quite a few years away for me) have at least $100k in savings!! That stat just blew me away. I think I had that much when I was 25. Yes, taking inflation and cost of living into account, I think that men in their 30s have less spending power than their fathers. Conversely, men today just aren't saving. It's pretty pathetic if you think about it.
  18. I really don't see what the big deal is. Rosie clearly asked a rhetorical question insinuating that most of the people killed in Iraq are in fact civilians and that there's no jus ad bellum for the War in Iraq (pretty much a no brainer). She didn't call our service people "terrorists." And, yes, Elizabeth what's her face is particularly ignorant.
  19. Isn't this a spec project? If so, I can see why Trammel Crow would be cautious. Moreover, just because this project isn't slated to be that large doesn't mean that other possible projects (Brookfield in particular) won't be more 'ambitious.' Hey, it's a good thing to be somewhat conservative when adding Class A office space to Houston's DT. My opinion is we need more 15-30 floor buildings with a mixture of residential, office, and retail (including parking) amidst green space rather than two or three 40-60 floor buildings that just serve the office market. One thing I would like to see however, is something akin to the Oriental Pearl TV/ observation tower to be built DT or near DT that would create a higher focal point. Then in fill the rest of the deserted blocks and parking lots.
  20. Well, actually, that picture is of the Stemmons Corridor looking north. It's not DT Dallas.
  21. Very interesting stats from KinkaidAlum. Where did you find those? I've always marveled at the overbuilding in DFW. It was the same situation when I lived in Dallas years ago. As to the topic: I would love for Houston to at least find more of a middle ground on the lighting of DT's major buildings. It does make a city look better and arguably creates an 'attraction factor'. DT Houston needs that. Could making the skyline look better at night increase the possibility of a residential surge? Who knows. I live near DT and think about the topic of lighting nearly every night when I'm taking a walk. It really is pretty bad compared to other major cities (and even a few relatively minor ones like Austin).
  22. Don't let the insecurity of my fellow Houstonians offend. I for one think the proposed towers are really very attractive and would look great in that location. I'd love for Houston to get something like that developed. Fat chance...
  23. I would absolutely love for something to be done with this structure. However, I'm not awaiting any modifications with baited breath. This case is a prime example that the city should be doing to constructively encourage development that spurs further thoughtful development. (Tax breaks and insightful planning anyone?) How many years has this property been vacant? Obviously, Houston had to bounce back from the mid 80s slump, but prime real estate (?) shouldn't sit unimproved for this long. Let's hope that this thing turns around! And then for God's sake please someone redevelop the old Holiday Inn site. That's a damn shame in a nutshell. I betcha' if that property were in Dallas or Atlanta a developer would've already done something cool with it... No kidding. WAKE UP HOUSTON!!!!
  24. Totally agree! Austin is SO overrated! I think it's just PC to 'follow the crowd' and sing the town's praises. This development is ok but can't begin to compare with true shopping/ dining destinations. Austin: it's enough to make you sick...
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