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s3mh last won the day on January 10 2013

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  1. s3mh

    Heights House Hotel

    I am a card carrying historic preservationist with a yellow yard sign in my closet ready for immediate deployment. I do appreciate keeping the original architecture, but not as passionate about a fairly pedestrian mid century HoJos next to the highway. Whether you demo and build new or lovingly restore a historic building at great expense, when you go from a $35 a night flop house and murder scene to a boutique hotel with a hip restaurant and bar, you are doing some big time gentrification.
  2. https://www.chron.com/entertainment/restaurants-bars/article/Monkey-s-Tail-open-new-bar-Petrol-Station-Houston-15454856.php?cmpid=hpctp New life for Petrol Station location. I would presume that they will be permitted as a restaurant so they do not have to worry about getting shut down due to the virus. I would generally think that opening a new bar or restaurant right now would be insane unless you are prepared to go take out until their is a vaccine. But the Petrol Station property is huge and has lots of room for outdoor dining/drinking, which seems to be significantly safer than indoor service. So, maybe this is a restaurant/bar that is ready for a "new normal".
  3. The Astro Inn has been gentrified with a capital "G". www.heightshousehotel.com
  4. If you are looking at schools in the Heights, you need to remember that they are all part of HISD and all have to some degree their curriculum affected by STAAR testing. For elementary kids, that means a fair amount of reading random passages and having to answer trick questions and doing lots of math word problems that are poorly worded and difficult to understand. Generally speaking, I do not think that private schools are that much better than HISD, but if I had the money I would seriously think about private school to get away from the garbage that is the STAAR testing curriculum. That being said, we are sticking it out with HISD and enjoying the fact that we got to skip STAAR this year. Most of the schools in the Heights have improved significantly over the past 10 years. For elementary, Travis is the best. PTO raises about a trillion dollars every year. Lots of great teachers and a well run school. Lots of after school activities. Harvard has slipped a bit after losing a long time principal. It is still a good school for elementary and I would not hesitate to send my kid there. But you will hear some parents complain that things are not as good as they were a few years ago. Field focused a lot of getting test scores up and they have gone way up in the published rankings on that basis. As noted above, I find the testing to be crap and have doubts about schools that focus on testing. Other parents love Field and need the external validation of STAAR test results. Helms is dual language. They do not get up high on rankings because the focus is more on dual language than test taking. It is also a more diverse school with a higher number of economically disadvantaged students. Love Elementary has been left behind. Parents have tried to turn it around, but the focus has been on keeping numbers up by having kids transfer in from really rough parts of town. Browning is similar. There are also a lot of magnet spots in the Greater Heights/GOOF area. We were at Garden Oaks for elementary. Montessori is not for everyone and there is an incredibly wide range in quality with the teachers with the quality going down as the kids get into the upper elementary grades. We eventually had to jump ship because our kid would get into a rut every year and not do his work. He is doing much better in a regular class environment. Sinclair is a really good school and gets overlooked by a lot of families. It is a magnet and is fairly easy to get a spot compared to others. Oak Forest is the Travis of GOOF. It is a very good school and families line up for magnet spots. For middle school, Hogg is the best choice in the Heights. Hamilton has improved a lot, but Hogg is an overall better school. Black Middle School in GOOF is also a good option. Some people will try to magnet in to Pin Oak or Lanier. It is a very, very long bus ride if you can't pick up and drop off your kids or find a carpool. Heights HS has improved a lot and keeps improving every year. HS is tough because you really have to look at whether your kid is a high flier who will need lots of AP classes or just wants to get good grades and is not shooting for big name colleges. There are good opportunities at Heights HS for high flying kids, but their are better opportunities at Lamar, Carnegie and DeBakey. And a lot of families end up in private school for HS to boost college acceptance chances. If you choose public, you need to be ready for the crazy ride that HISD has become. They are still under the boot of a possible TEA takeover and there are constant fights over the distribution of resources and magnet programs.
  5. Yes and no. It is all local fruits and veggies, but Central City Coop is the vendor instead of having a bunch of individual farm stands. They also have coffee and other treats. Haven't been in yet, but it looks nice.
  6. Central City Coop took over the space that used to be Steel City Pops on E. 20th.
  7. Bernie's burger bus is permanently closing all of its locations including Yale St.
  8. Common Bond takeout is open. For those of you who always wanted a vintage motorcycle shop/coffee bar, your prayers have been answered. https://wolfsmithsheights.com/
  9. I could not even begin to describe the hot mess that is playing out in the courts over Terry Fisher's businesses. If you go to the Harris County District Clerk's webstie and search for KAVACS, LLC as a defendant, you can see for yourself. 829 Yale changed hands last summer. I have seen what looks like a security guard sitting in a car at the entrance now and then. The building is all steel and concrete if I recall correctly. So, I would assume that it can be finished if you go in and pull out whatever has been damaged due to exposure to the elements. Terry Fisher's Xanadu recently went on the market. It ended up in the hands of Stallion Funding, an Austin outfit that has been muddling their way through a renovation of a house on W 12. I guess the upside is that the amount of schadenfreude that Terry Fisher's demise has generated will carry many Heights residents through the pandemic. But I am pretty sick of seeing that building rotting away and am ready to see someone just put the thing together already. https://www.har.com/homedetail/832-yale-st-houston-tx-77007/2972500
  10. 0% chance of moving. Musk is freaking out because he needs to deliver vehicles before customers cancel their orders due to the pandemic. California is in his way and he is just ranting about moving to try to get someone in Sacramento to push ahead with reopening or give him some sort of exception. Tesla has too much money sunk in its California facilities and too little money to throw around for moving facilities that really do not need to be moved. And despite all the moaning and groaning, tech firms are totally married to Silicon Valley. None of the higher ups in Silicon Valley want to trade their $5 mil home with a bay view for a McMansion in some Texas suburb.
  11. Asbestos remediation going on at the old Blue Line Bike Lab location that Agricole bought. Never heard anything about what they were going to do over there, but it looks like they are getting started on something.
  12. The old Lee’s Fried Chicken building is turning into a Common Bond take out concept.
  13. For those of you who enjoy consuming their mass quantities, Barnaby's is moving to the spot where Pi Pizza used to be.
  14. So, China dumps steel on the US market and Trump starts a trade war with big tariffs. Saudis do the same with oil (yes, I know it is traded on an international market, but effect is the same) and no one bats an eyelash. Is the benefit of cheap energy to US business great enough that the government just looks the other way and makes the O&G sector take one for the team? Or is our alliance with SA as a counterweight to Iran more important than the domestic O&G sector? I can see how the 2015 glut was something that the energy sector could be expected to ride out as the economy was otherwise doing well. But the Saudis' move potentially could set off a systemic crisis in financial markets with a waive of bond defaults coming out of the O&G sector and spreading to the rest of the corporate bond market. Or does the government just let the Saudis have their fun, bailout the O&G sector and try to recoup the money in arms sales to the Saudis?
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