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How To Revitalize Downtown Houston

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"Okay, so today I'm going to talk about..." is a bad opening.

"And then there's Bayou Place, which brought some, uh, stuff downtown." That's one heck of an attribution!

"One of my ideas for downtown is that we could do something like an open house for downtown where... [nose twitches] ...where we have each residential building on one day has open apartments..." Yeah, they already do this from time to time. Except they don't shut down the street grid because it would confuse the attendees. And that would be stupid.

"Now, here's where I think I'm gonna put together the reasons why downtown living isn't growing." Weak opening. You didn't mention land prices or prevailing parcel sizes. That's why the patterns of growth are different.

There were moments where I wasn't sure whether this was a manifesto for urban developmentt, or an advertisement for tourists or exurbanites. Figure out your audience, then address them. Develop a better script. Don't indulge yourself in cliched opening lines and transitional phrases. Turn off the music and introduce it as a separate audio track later on in editing (if its appropriate in the first place). Lastly, make your points more precise, less vague. If a specific entity has done something right or wrong, call them out as a case study. And lastly, try to be more original. Develop your own unique perspective. Right now, you're just rehashing information and others' perspectives. It just isn't particularly interesting.

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Why should I watch this, when you could have typed it? I can read much, much faster than you can speak. It also takes a few kilobytes of data to transfer, as opposed to tens of megabytes of badly compressed video.

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I didn't realize downtown needed revitalizing. We are talking about Houston's downtown - not Buffalo's or Detroit's - right?

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why attack the man for making an observation? There was alot of the vid i agree with. Some of you guys on here are some bullies at best!

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I kinda agree, I give this guy props for putting his face out there on the internet and saying his opinions.

Sometimes I think HAIFers could be a tad nicer :(

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I'm just wondering what the purpose of the vids is? Is the guy doing it for some school/class project? Does he have aims at making documentaries in the future and this is his start? Without understanding the purpose I think it's easy for people to jump on the guy - a few factual inaccuracies along with a rather dull video open it up for easy pot shots. If there was something in the original post to go along with the vid like, 'hey I have a real passion for filming documentaries and this is my first shot, please add some contructive comments so I can improve"; people might actually rise to the challenge and give the guy some honest feedback.

For me - 7:33 of just monotone speech doesn't grab my attention. If you're trying to get your message across, spice it up with some passionate speech and maybe some imagery of the areas you're commenting on or renderings of things you'd like to see done. My .02.

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Were'nt we supposed to get some kind of jumbotron screens outside one of the downtown buildings??

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I don’t know if I am one of the people listed as being a "bully," though I will respond as if I am.

I am not going to lie - I find it hard for someone who lists their location as The Woodlands to say something about how to revitalize ("if we can achieve revitalizing") the neighborhood that I have called home for 10 years.

It’s also hard to take him seriously when he speaks about growth within the last 10 years but talks about starting from 1998 but he doesn't mention any of the old places that were around back then such as Prague, Red Square, Cabo or even Brother Petronella (sp?). And while he mentions the Downtown Houston Alliance, I would venture to say that the Houston Downtown Management District has had a lot more to do with the revitalization of the neighborhood than DHA has.

Also, it seems like all the ideas or items he speaks of are reminiscent of what people usually state of when they comment on any Chronicle article that deals with living downtown - just regurgitated items from someone that doesn't or hasn't lived there. While I do acknowledge that he mentions the growth of midrises with storefronts/retail on the bottom floor, this has already been mentioned in the Downtown Management District proposed plan for the retail district that they want to propose for Dallas street towards Discovery Green. Additionally, I hear him mention Los Angeles as being a city that we are modeling after - which sounds reminiscent to what someone posted on another one of his threads.

It's not that I am not supportive of someone trying to make the city better, especially downtown, I just find it weird that someone who just seems to regurgitate ideas from others while barely touching on those ideas is trying to speak an authority. I think that he should live in some of the neighborhoods that he has posted videos on in order to get a real feel for them, get facts straight (the Theatre District has been around a lot longer than 10 years…) and maybe take some of the advice others have given so his videos don't have this suburbanite-wanna-be-urbanite feeling of disingenuousness.

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The best way to keep downtown going is to spend your money there. It works better than a thousand BS strategic plans.

Edit: although, yes, I am guilty of viewing lustfully the renderings full of mixed-use midrises in Southern DT/Midtown that always fill up strategic vision documents.

Is there anything the City can do to tip the balance away from speculators and more towards residential development? It seems fairly easy to build residential midrises in Midtown, they come up with the flowers in the Spring, but people have had poor luck just across the freeway. Is the land just too expensive, because people are holding it for future highrises that might not ever come?

Edited by woolie
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I'm with scarface 100%.

Some of these comments on here are downright unnecessary. I understand there's freedom to disagree, but there's no need to be an a%% about it.

There was no trolling involved with this post, just merely a viewpoint. Everybody on here is like "He should've opened his post like this or that!" Screw that! As far as i'm concerned,as long as this post did not violate any forum rules, who the heck are we to tell someone how they should've opened up their post? And yes, i'm glad it was stated that there's alot of bullying going on this forum, most notably by the top posters on here (no names). I used to hold back my opinions on here in fear of getting challenged to death or attacked but now, I don't care!

People need to respect everyone on here, as well as their viewpoints and understand that their opinions aren't the only ones that matter.

I remember the O/P from the old HAIF before it crashed, before i even joined. Since then, this site has grown rather hostile and unwelcome of others viewpoints.

C2H (ComingtoHouston)

Edited by C2H

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I'm pretty sure that I am the target of the "bully" comment. I don't mind, of course. I stand by my criticism as being constructive. I'm not completely sure of his vision or purpose, but that's just the thing. The message was ineffective. By tweaking his content and presentation, the message can become more cogent and effective.

Of course, if no lesson is learned and future videos are posted in the same style, I'll either stop watching them (which probably is not his intent because he's bothering to make them in the first place) or I'll watch them and get annoyed because my time is being wasted.

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I'm pretty sure that I am the target of the "bully" comment. I don't mind, of course. I stand by my criticism as being constructive. I'm not completely sure of his vision or purpose, but that's just the thing. The message was ineffective. By tweaking his content and presentation, the message can become more cogent and effective.

Of course, if no lesson is learned and future videos are posted in the same style, I'll either stop watching them (which probably is not his intent because he's bothering to make them in the first place) or I'll watch them and get annoyed because my time is being wasted.

That's the thing Niche.

I can't speak for scarface or anyone else on here, but yes I personally thought of you first when scarface made the bully comment. Trust me, you're not the only one on here though and you're not the only one in this thread alone.

I don't really come on this site as much as I used to, but I've been an HAIF member for a long time, even before the old site crashed. For years, I've read your comments. Many of which were so long and wordy, they've darn near put me to sleep. But i never attacked you for being who you are or your choice of wording. I've always respected your viewpoints because all in all, you seem knowledgeable and experienced. But many people don't share your knowledge and your use of technical jargon would often make it hard for an average reader to understand your posts. That may have had something to do with why you were given that Nickname back in the day, "The Pedant."

My response today is not to attack anyone on here for being who they are, but to get a point across that we all have different ways of doing things and should be open and allow others to have their viewpoints without attacking them.

Now i've said what i had to say on that!

Now back to the topic: how to revitalize downtown. We need more residents, but we also need more variety of choices in grocery stores. Phoenicia's is great, but not everyone is going to want to pay more money for specialty items. We need something kind of like a small Walmart neighborhood center, kind of like how Dallas has one off Central EXPWY

C2H (ComingtoHouston)

Edited by C2H

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It is NOT 'bullying' to assert that someone did a poor job of conceptualizing and communicating a point of view in a public, highly criticized and open format such as video. No one has challenged or denied his right to have or express an opinion, much less threatened him. It really steams me to see people throw around the term-- as if every time you don't get a goldthousand dollarsingstar for coming to the party, you've been 'bullied.'

He needs to learn to do it better if he wants his opinion to be heard and not discounted. I don't know about the 'old HAIF', but in life you don't get a pass for just showing up and saying something. His poor delivery sank whatever he intended to communicate. The topic of conversation was compromised when he made simple factual misstatements. He should educate himself more about the topic and the medium, then practice, and try agian. That's not bullying, that's advice on how to succeed.

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I agree that Houston seems to be headed in the same direction as Los Angeles. But Los Angeles has proven itself and is the densest metro in the country. It's not a bad example to use because its a city that has been able to achieve greatness and world status in spite of not having everything inside its downtown. Heck, Los Angeles skyline is really no better than Houston's.

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I agree that Houston seems to be headed in the same direction as Los Angeles. But Los Angeles has proven itself and is the densest metro in the country. It's not a bad example to use because its a city that has been able to achieve greatness and world status in spite of not having everything inside its downtown. Heck, Los Angeles skyline is really no better than Houston's.

Los Angeles is the best example there is of where Houston is headed, but it is only a fair comparison whereas all others are poor or very poor. The only great comparison to Houston is an extrapolation that is somewhat linear, I think. We will grow upward and outward and in every direction. Los Angeles was hemmed in by mountains and the sea; our barriers are trivial by comparison.

But there's something about Los Angeles. Did it actually achieve greatness, or was it merely the intersection of geography and climate that thrust greatness upon it? Perhaps there is nothing we can do but to sit back, enjoy a beer, and watch.

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Los Angeles was hemmed in by mountains and the sea; our barriers are trivial by comparison.

That's part of what I'm afraid of. Wouldn't that be a factor as to why Houston could continue to grow outward? I think and hope you're right about Houston growing upward. It needs more of that.

But there's something about Los Angeles. Did it actually achieve greatness, or was it merely the intersection of geography and climate that thrust greatness upon it? Perhaps there is nothing we can do but to sit back, enjoy a beer, and watch.

Point well taken.

But couldn't the same be said about most great areas in the country?

Example (figuratively speaking) Los Angeles and the weather? Houston and the oil?

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CA cities exists because of the incredible weather and beautiful landscape. I decided to try and average 4 days a week riding to work on my bike, but this last week has just been intense. If I didn't have a walk-in refrigerator to cool down once I arrive, I don't know if I could do it. Even then, my mind starts to drift to San Francisco. The insane cost of living might be worth it....

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Update: My wife proposed a plan that sets the wheels in motion for a 2014 move to Honolulu. We want an adventure, and we're still young and foolish enough to make it work.

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I was one of the early repliers to this thread to - so I guess I am one of those big mean bullies also.

So we have yet another thread about how to "fix" downtown. I have been reading HAIF for many years before I actually joined and that is definately one of the top 5 topics. And I still maintain - what is wrong with downtown?

It does exactly what it is designed to do. It is a powerhouse workplace. Even though Houston is spread out and has several other massive employment centers, downtown is still the economic focus of 6 million people.

We just passed through the worst economic mess that most of the people posting here have been alive for. And Houston's downtown is actually in fairly good shape compared to most of the other large cities in the U.S. We had a few canceled projects - but I don't recall any buildings stopped halfway through construction like Chicago had. Aside from the Days Inn which is a hopeless case, there are few abandoned buildings downtown. Even some of the really old ones are being redevoped - see the threads on this forum. Over the last few years, there have been many of the parking lots on the east side of downtown developed.

But none of this is enough because Houston does not have hip little sidewalk cafes or funky little hostels for backpackers to throw their rucksacks in. Or the clusters of Miami-Vice condo towers. Or a subway. Yes it tends to shut down after hours and on weekends. But that is what it has been designed to do. Downtown has been designed to make money - not entertain the SimCity fetishes of wannabe architects. Not once in any of these threads bitching and moaning about downtown have I seen anybody say, "Hey! I'm going to put up my own money and build a 60-story hotel-condo tower with cool nightclubs and restaurants that will attract everybody downtown".

In Houston of all places (no zoning) - there is nothing holding a developer back. If a 60-story hotel-condo tower would be financially sucessful - we would have a dozen. But we don't. That should tell people something. But as long as they can spend someone else's money and whine about it, I guess HAIF will have plenty of new threads.

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I was one of the early repliers to this thread to - so I guess I am one of those big mean bullies also.

So we have yet another thread about how to "fix" downtown. I have been reading HAIF for many years before I actually joined and that is definately one of the top 5 topics. And I still maintain - what is wrong with downtown?

It does exactly what it is designed to do. It is a powerhouse workplace. Even though Houston is spread out and has several other massive employment centers, downtown is still the economic focus of 6 million people.

We just passed through the worst economic mess that most of the people posting here have been alive for. And Houston's downtown is actually in fairly good shape compared to most of the other large cities in the U.S. We had a few canceled projects - but I don't recall any buildings stopped halfway through construction like Chicago had. Aside from the Days Inn which is a hopeless case, there are few abandoned buildings downtown. Even some of the really old ones are being redevoped - see the threads on this forum. Over the last few years, there have been many of the parking lots on the east side of downtown developed.

But none of this is enough because Houston does not have hip little sidewalk cafes or funky little hostels for backpackers to throw their rucksacks in. Or the clusters of Miami-Vice condo towers. Or a subway. Yes it tends to shut down after hours and on weekends. But that is what it has been designed to do. Downtown has been designed to make money - not entertain the SimCity fetishes of wannabe architects. Not once in any of these threads bitching and moaning about downtown have I seen anybody say, "Hey! I'm going to put up my own money and build a 60-story hotel-condo tower with cool nightclubs and restaurants that will attract everybody downtown".

In Houston of all places (no zoning) - there is nothing holding a developer back. If a 60-story hotel-condo tower would be financially sucessful - we would have a dozen. But we don't. That should tell people something. But as long as they can spend someone else's money and whine about it, I guess HAIF will have plenty of new threads.

Many people (including myself) would like to live in a city that has a little more lively downtown.

The difference between our downtown and many other cities with respectable downtowns is that ours is solely a place for designed for work. Many other cities' downtowns are places that are designed for working and living, therefore creating a much more desirable downtown.

Our downtown has quite a few abandoned buildings actually. And an enormous amount of parking lots which suck the life out of downtown. If you're fine with having a dead one-dimensional downtown, then that's fine. But I would like for downtown to be more desirable, lively, aesthetic, and livable. Is that too much to ask for the 4th largest city in America?

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Many people (including myself) would like to live in a city that has a little more lively downtown.

The difference between our downtown and many other cities with respectable downtowns is that ours is solely a place for designed for work. Many other cities' downtowns are places that are designed for working and living, therefore creating a much more desirable downtown.

Our downtown has quite a few abandoned buildings actually. And an enormous amount of parking lots which suck the life out of downtown. If you're fine with having a dead one-dimensional downtown, then that's fine. But I would like for downtown to be more desirable, lively, aesthetic, and livable. Is that too much to ask for the 4th largest city in America?

What have you done to make Downtown what you desire it to be?

That was Pleak's point. All you are doing is complaining. What are you DOING?

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Many people (including myself) would like to live in a city that has a little more lively downtown.

The difference between our downtown and many other cities with respectable downtowns is that ours is solely a place for designed for work. Many other cities' downtowns are places that are designed for working and living, therefore creating a much more desirable downtown.

Our downtown has quite a few abandoned buildings actually. And an enormous amount of parking lots which suck the life out of downtown. If you're fine with having a dead one-dimensional downtown, then that's fine. But I would like for downtown to be more desirable, lively, aesthetic, and livable. Is that too much to ask for the 4th largest city in America?

Quite a few? Any such buildings of significance could probably be counted on one hand. And as for the parking lots...you know, I kind of define the edge of downtown according to where the buildings are, not where the buildings aren't...even if some vacant land is encompassed by the same inconsequential freeway loop. (After all, when we think of the inner loop, nobody thinks of the tank farm north of McCarty and south of the North Loop as qualifying for that designation. Ever heard of Pleasantville? That's inner-loop, too. Did you know?)

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Update: My wife proposed a plan that sets the wheels in motion for a 2014 move to Honolulu. We want an adventure, and we're still young and foolish enough to make it work.

Have you been to Honolulu?

I've been more times than I can count due to an old job, and each time I went, I liked that place less. Now, the other islands I enjoy but not Oahu. Here's why;

1) Super expensive place to live (same as other islands but at least those feel like paradise)

2) Not easy to find some things that you're used to on the mainland

3) Race relations. They're not good.

4) Dog the Bounty Hunter- there's a reason he films in Honolulu and his "customers" aren't atypical residents

5) Drunk Samoans. Crystal Meth Samoans. Mean-assed Samoans that don't like crackers. See #4.

I knew of 3 folks from my old job that requested a transfer to Honolulu in their 20s thinking they'd be happy. Only 1 lasted longer than a year and she's back in California now too.

Check it out first and don't stay in Waikiki so that you can get a true sense of the place (not that you'll be able to afford anything near Waikiki or the water considering your post on the East End house you loved).

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What have you done to make Downtown what you desire it to be?

That was Pleak's point. All you are doing is complaining. What are you DOING?

I visit as often as I can, and one day I hope to live there. That's about as much as I can do without devoting life to revitalizing downtown, lol. All that needs to happen is for more people to live there. It'll happen one day.

Quite a few? Any such buildings of significance could probably be counted on one hand. And as for the parking lots...you know, I kind of define the edge of downtown according to where the buildings are, not where the buildings aren't...even if some vacant land is encompassed by the same inconsequential freeway loop. (After all, when we think of the inner loop, nobody thinks of the tank farm north of McCarty and south of the North Loop as qualifying for that designation. Ever heard of Pleasantville? That's inner-loop, too. Did you know?)

Well, I am including all buildings. The problem isn't the buildings of significance, they are the small old dilapidated buildings on the south/east/northeast side of downtown.

Got a point there, but there are many parking lots in between, say, Toyota Center, Minute Maid Park, Downtown Transit center, etc. and I consider all of those to be located downtown.

If you don't consider the sea of parking lots around those areas downtown, then what are they? Empty space? Lol.

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Have you been to Honolulu?

I've been more times than I can count due to an old job, and each time I went, I liked that place less. Now, the other islands I enjoy but not Oahu. Here's why;

1) Super expensive place to live (same as other islands but at least those feel like paradise)

2) Not easy to find some things that you're used to on the mainland

3) Race relations. They're not good.

4) Dog the Bounty Hunter- there's a reason he films in Honolulu and his "customers" aren't atypical residents

5) Drunk Samoans. Crystal Meth Samoans. Mean-assed Samoans that don't like crackers. See #4.

I knew of 3 folks from my old job that requested a transfer to Honolulu in their 20s thinking they'd be happy. Only 1 lasted longer than a year and she's back in California now too.

Check it out first and don't stay in Waikiki so that you can get a true sense of the place (not that you'll be able to afford anything near Waikiki or the water considering your post on the East End house you loved).

I've been looking to move *somewhere* for a while. As I said above, I've been to San Francisco many times and loved every single visit, and that was always the basis of my plans. I've always lived in Houston, ready for a change. I'm flexible on location -- anywhere but here. Anyway, we went to Hawaii (Big Island) last year (best research conference EVER), and my wife fell totally in love with the climate and environment, and has been talking about it ever since. We're going to Honolulu later this year, and will make at least one more trip to Oahu before we start making serious commitments to the this idea (selling house, jobs, etc.)

I'm aware of the cost. I've already been bracing myself for years for SF prices; Hawaii is about the same. The rentals I've been looking at in Honolulu are in the ballpark of what my home ownership costs are here, albeit for less space and lower quality. The tax differences complicate things -- but fortunately my wife is a CPA and is running tax/budget projections. I could also change from an academic to an industry job, which would increase my income significantly. Finally, lots of frivolous discretionary expenses here that could be cut out (nice car and many other toys.) I can be somewhat of a romantic, but my wife is a meticulous line-by-line planner. Everything will be carefully laid out and all the financial decisions analyzed before we commit.

I've heard about the race issues. It takes alot to offend me. Where I work, we have a big world map with labeled pins for each person's origin. Less than half are in the US.

It will be much harder to find many things -- but as long as I have my cameras, a good laptop, and internet, I'm a pretty happy guy.

And yes, we're both in our 20s, and sure, we could go and it might not work out. If I end up in California after burning out in Hawaii, worse things have happened.

Edit:

For rentals, something like this would be my dream.

http://www.hawaiirea...nolulu-HI-96816

Although something like this is more realistic:

http://www.hawaiirea...nolulu-HI-96816

http://www.hawaiirea...nolulu-HI-96826

I'm not really looking at Waikiki. From my explorations so far, I'm mainly looking at houses/duplexes/garage apts in Maunalani Heights, or a condo near Downtown. Ideally, 2 bedrooms because we'd expect many visitors. But if I had to do a 1 bedroom to make it work, ok.

Edited by woolie

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Woolie, everywhere has a set of problems, but Kinkaid is right. Honolulu is especially problematic.

To be well-educated or a professional in Houston, you more or less have to get past any sort of social hang-ups. We've done it especially well, as cities go. And the people from different cultures that moved here tend to be similarly open-minded, reinforcing a belief that what lies beyond should be pretty much like what you've seen and experienced here. But there's sample bias present. Your co-workers are atypical. They emigrated! It takes balls and some intellectual curiosity to will oneself to do that.

You're talking about placing yourself into a bi-cultural area with a stupendously messed up social heirarchy. There will be people there that go out of their way to make you feel unwelcome, but far more that are simply passive-aggressive, not doing anything to make you feel welcome (which is different from the former, more pervasive). And in addition to the issues that Kinkaid brought up, there's not much of a sense of ambition or a will to improve oneself among the natives. The ambitious natives emigrate. If you'd like to live in Honolulu, then you may as well go live in Brownsville; a lot of the same sociological patterns are at play there, too. It's also far more affordable, closer, and the beach is close enough.

(Please note, my perspective on the matter is that I lived with a Samoan emigre for a couple years, and he and I had talked about this. He hated Hawaii for pretty much all the same reasons that Kinkaid stated, citing lots of examples from within his own family.)

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4) Dog the Bounty Hunter- there's a reason he films in Honolulu and his "customers" aren't atypical residents

5) Drunk Samoans. Crystal Meth Samoans. Mean-assed Samoans that don't like crackers. See #4.

These two reasons simultaneously scared me and made me laugh.

I instantly got this mental image post-10161-0-91832400-1340207449.jpg

but hopped up on crystal and pissed off. Scareeeeee......

And then anything with Dog in it is both frightening and fascinating in a car-wreck fashion.

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The only friends we have here are coworkers and family. Everyone else I know moved away a long time ago. Besides that, my wife and I keep to ourselves. The only other socializing I do is online. Anyway, I'm gonna move this to a different thread later today.

Edit: Also, I grew up in a rural area. I'm familiar with not fitting in and dealing with random aggressive acts from people who "don't like the way I talk."

Edited by woolie

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The Niche nailed it way more eloquently than I could have. He's spot on.

I've traveled the world. I've been a high school social worker in the Bronx. I've been on a panel as an out gay person on a PFLAG presentation at Texas ATM in 1990 at a mandated sensitivity training for the athletic department. I worked at a coffee shop in Manhattan right after college and I don't drink coffee nor do I know anything about it. I've had a camel attack me in Egypt. I've been stung by a scorpion 3 times.

None of those things were as bad as the feelings I had working in Honolulu. It is an odd place but not in a good way. If I never have to go back there again, I will be pleased. I traveled there for work for over 5 years, sometimes spending as much as a month at a time. I didn't make a single friend. Not one. And, people LOVE me. I am awesome.

If I were you, and I am not, I'd choose the Bay Area. If you're worried about price and wanting an adventure, look at the East Bay. Oakland has some neat spots and the views if you can get a place up in the Oakland Hills/Berkeley are amazing. Plus, it's less pretentious than SF proper.

Edited by KinkaidAlum
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Well, I was in Boston a couple weeks ago. It had been on my list, but not so much now. Even with all the family I have in that part of the country. I can't imagine people being any less friendly or helpful than there. Also, pretty sure I couldn't handle the snow and seasonal changes. Anyway. Go on an adventure in Hawaii for a couple years. If it doesn't work out, and I end up in the Bay Area, that's fine as well. I'll have some notches on my life experience belt and hopefully some great photos. I don't want to look back in 50 years and wish I'd moved around more. We've decided against kids, and freedom to move at will is a major benefit of that decision.

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Woolie, everywhere has a set of problems, but Kinkaid is right. Honolulu is especially problematic.

<>

(Please note, my perspective on the matter is that I lived with a Samoan emigre for a couple years, and he and I had talked about this. He hated Hawaii for pretty much all the same reasons that Kinkaid stated, citing lots of examples from within his own family.)

Learn something new everyday. I think some of the pros of living in large, diverse city like Houston (or LA) can be overlooked or not appreciated sometimes.

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Well, I was in Boston a couple weeks ago. It had been on my list, but not so much now. Even with all the family I have in that part of the country. I can't imagine people being any less friendly or helpful than there. Also, pretty sure I couldn't handle the snow and seasonal changes. Anyway. Go on an adventure in Hawaii for a couple years. If it doesn't work out, and I end up in the Bay Area, that's fine as well. I'll have some notches on my life experience belt and hopefully some great photos. I don't want to look back in 50 years and wish I'd moved around more. We've decided against kids, and freedom to move at will is a major benefit of that decision.

Well this just proves that different people can have completely different experiences with the same city. For the year I have lived in Boston so far I have found people to be nice enough, certianly not worse than the average Houstonian.

If you want to go live in Honolulu, then go for it. Don't be discouraged by other people's experiences. If you like the city, people, and lifestyle, then go for it!

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With the recent housing numbers and other positive indicators, Houston is on the verge of exploding with new development. We are all part of a renaissance.

The only thing that scares me is that I lived here during the 80s, right after the explosion of new developments cratered, along with the whole city.

color me optimistic, yet reticently so.

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Downtown Dallas is really urban Houston should get tips from Dallas infrastructure a make more of love an work enviroment

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if that's not a trolling comment I don't know what is - I'm not even going to go there but I'm sure someone will.

 

1st post too - real creative. Why not post in the general forum on how Dallas is just overall better than HOU

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Although the previous poster did seem trollish, Downtown Dallas has really come a long way. I was just up there in February and they have really created quite a nice little scene there. Uptown Dallas is now merged with downtown where it seems that most of the activity between both places has spilled over into eachother.

 

The previous poster could have mentioned how downtown Houston could take notes from downtown Dallas. That would've made him/her seem less trollish. I will say that Houston has done alot inside the core of it's downtown, but when it comes to areas around and right outside of it's CBD, we are simply lagging. There is nothing wrong to admit where Houston  could stand to improve. Moving that darn Greyhound station would probably do wonders for that section of midtown to where we see newer type of developments like what we see around downtown Dallas.

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I doubt the greyhound bus station would solve problems. Dallas Greyhound station is right next to their Amtrak station, and both are centrally located in their CBD. It would make sense to put in a donut shop, or a police substation across the street, but moving it? It's centrally located, and has multiple connections via public transit to other parts of town.

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I doubt the greyhound bus station would solve problems. Dallas Greyhound station is right next to their Amtrak station, and both are centrally located in their CBD. It would make sense to put in a donut shop, or a substation across the street, but moving it? It's centrally located, and has multiple connections via public transit to other parts of town.

Putting in a substation would be a good idea. I've seen that done elsewhere in places I wouldn't think were as much of a problem. Is it a matter of a landlord donating a space or is it more complicated than that?

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A few articles in the past month about how abysmal the downtown Dallas commercial market is.  Yes, if only we could be more like downtown Dallas   

 

http://www.city-data.com/forum/dallas/1847291-downtown-dallas-infamous-vacancy-rate.html

 

http://www.dallasnews.com/business/columnists/steve-brown/20130314-downtown-dallas-retail-space-still-lagging-as-residential-and-office-population-grows.ece

 

http://www.mysanantonio.com/business/article/Downtown-office-market-struggling-4413709.php ("Downtown Dallas, for example, has nearly 27 million square feet of available office space, which is almost equal to San Antonio's entire office inventory. There, the vacancy rate is more than 27 percent . . . .")

 

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Well, i'm starting to think that Dallas is making it work for them. Despite their excessively high vacancy rate in the CBD, the Uptown area is healthy and is booming, and now with the completion of the park, it's bridged the gap to feel like one unified place. I don't think your average person will really be able to tell the difference.

Edited by scarface

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So, why won't actual companies move to downtown if it is "working" for them? And, why is all of downtown's retail empty? And, the BIG question: Is it "working" if your skyscrapers are empty and your storefronts are empty? This reminds me of citykid bragging about Miami's condo towers back in 2008, wishing Houston was more like Miami and Atlanta, when both were ghost towns. Downtown Dallas sounds more like a Potemkin Village.

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I know people who work, live and play in uptown dallas and won't step foot past Woodall because they never have any reason to. Downtown dallas is nowhere these days. Believe me, there's a difference. A huge one.

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Is the topic "Houston", or "How to revitalize downtown Houston"? I don't see why we wouldn't consider what other cities are doing for the topic of how to revitalize Downtown Houston, pros and cons.

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