A Sleepy Little Neighborhood Called the Houston Heights

“When it comes to the sparkly allure of a new mattress,” writes Heights newbie Taryn Peine, “Heights folks just can’t seem to say no.”

After a year of living here, much . . . has become commonplace. We are careful not to hit the livestock, we don’t even hear the drill anymore, and we barely notice the empty shopping carts. These are all things I never saw in Bartlesville, and certainly would never have gotten past the homeowners associations in the suburbs. (I know someone who recently got ticketed for having the wrong color of mulch in their flowerbeds. Can you imagine what the ticket would say for the family down the street who has an entire sectional in their front yard?) Yet somehow, I’ve gotten used to every weird sight around this neighborhood except for one. That is the mattress.

The mattress? What mattress?


Peine takes us on a quick neighborhood photo tour:

. . . the next time you’re in need of a new mattress, I would urge you to come to the Heights. Neighborliness is free here, and so are the mattresses.

Photos: Taryn Peine

35 Comment

  • HaHa! I have one in my garage. Maybe I should put it out in the yard!

  • Talk about charm!

  • I am so glad I didn’t make this photo spread. I cleaned out my garage and kept a matterss and box spring up on its site being held up by a couch under my carport in the back. I finally put the mattress/box spring on the curb this past weekend and put the couch back into the garage. It is so terribly tacky, I had every rationalization and justification but there it was. Doesn’t matter the reason. I decided to get rid of the carport because it is just a place to store junk that you don’t want, but don’t want to get rid of. Maybe I’ll get rid of the garage, too!

    The shed you see in the first pic looks like the one I saw driving down my street last weekend (See bizarro Heights article). HMMM! Maybe they need one for their unlicensed mattresses, too.

  • Part of the reason for the outdoor furniture fest may be the new alternating month heavy trash regulations – March was a Tree Waste month. Per the City of Houston website:

    “‘Junk Waste’ is defined as items such as furniture, appliances, and other bulky material. Junk Waste may not be placed for collection during a Tree Waste Month.”

  • My favorite site yet in the Heights was the day that all the ditches on my street were full, and my nextdoor neighbor (an attorney) had a client in the front room for an arbitration, and the client said, “is there a place to fish around here?” Walking up the street was a drunk, carrying a twelve pack and a fishing pole. He was found an hour or so later by the postman (who thought the man was dead) laying halfway in one of these ditches. I wonder if they let him fish in jail that night?

  • Is that backyard in the first pic on Princeton St?

  • Hellsing, that is exactly why my mattress box spring stayed under the carport for a month and a half.

  • The house across the street has a sofa tucked under the carport by the house where a gentleman known to all the neighbors as Grandpa sits and watches the goings-on, waves at people who slow down and honk/wave and listens to the ball games. Maybe not the most aesthetically pleasing sight, but the day they move it is the day Grandpa won’t be well enough to sit and watch the world go by any longer. I think I can live with a little “tacky” for a while.

  • Grandpa is the best guard dog there is!

  • “Renters”

  • LOL…. good one Bagby

  • It really is just like New Orleans :)

  • Leaving the mattress in the yard? Come on…
    If you can’t afford to have someone haul off your old mattress, buy a hacksaw, some wire cutters, and some garbage bags, cut up the mattress & box spring, put the pieces in the bags, then leave a few bags on the curb each week until they are all picked up.

  • I rent. My house is nice. My front yard is nice. I don’t block driveways. I don’t crank music up loudly at night. I don’t leave my trash on the street. I don’t leave my dog in the yard to bark all night. Generally, I try to be respectful of everybody else whose homes are near mine.

    The same cannot be said for many of the homeowners who live within a block of me.

  • John, well said. As a homeowner turned “renter” (Although technically a lessee), I’ve yet to pull a rusted Camaro into my driveway and put it up on cement blocks. The owner of my townhome says I take better care of the place than he would. I fix things when they break, I maintain the physical plant and the yard as it was mine. If only the cedarchopper owners of the dump across the street were as tidy.

    Bagby has shown herself to be a snob.

  • Brad,John: I think you missed the point. CK got it.

    There is a difference between Renters and “Renters”

  • I thought Bagby was a boy.

  • Sorry to dissapoint EMME, not a boy!

  • I don’t get the difference between renters and “renters” either. :(

  • EMME, there is no difference. Bagby’s shown her class mentality on this site many times and is trying to weasel out of slurring those who are not property owners. Adding quotation marks changes nothing.

  • Yes, I am very aware of Bagby’s venom. Sad.

  • Yes, lets stick up for the renters who toss mattresses in their front yards, or how about the guy that throws his trash from his pick up into his/my yard as he walks to his home. I have every right to complain because I was raised to respect my neighborhood, my home, and the enviorment. When I have my nightly walk I come home with a bag full of trash.

    I have every right to complain about certain renters. They dont respect their home or neighborhood so why should I respect them.

  • If you have a specific problem with specific renters you have every right to take action on them and find remedy. That makes you a good and participating neighbor.

    What you don’t have the right to do is lump them together as a class and pre-judge the quality of all renters by the actions of a few.

    It would be akin to assuming, based on your comments, that all “owners” in the Heights are snobs. Sorry “snobs”. That is not the case.

  • “I have every right to complain about certain renters. They dont respect their home or neighborhood so why should I respect them.”

    So this means all renters are bad, and the homeowners on my street who do the same things you describe are actually good neighbors in disguise?

    Do you know that all the mattresses are left there by renters?

    Get over your assumptions.

  • You see Bagby, people aren’t saying you don’t have a right to complain about those that do as you describe. We are offended by the way you demonize whole peoples for it. It is mean spirited and hateful, and if you don’t understand that, it’s just sad. I would prefer to call those that do what you describe a#@holes, that way I am calling them for their behavior rather than who they are.

    On the other hand, I would call you a bigoted a@#hole, again, calling you on your behavior rather than who you are. Others might call a who%ing bi#@h, which makes it about your gender.

    Do you get it now?

  • Oops, my filter took the day off.

  • Well said, EMME, John and DMc.

    I’m going to step out on a limb and guess Bagby will not grasp the concept, though.

    My disgust of her bigotry must be because I lease my townhouse. I didn’t realize after selling my last home I would not only lose my social standing, but begin to throw trash in the street, leave large waste items in my little yard, put aluminum foil on my windows and leave the toilet lid up.

  • I don’t know Bagby from adam, but the real venom displayed on this thread is not from her. Just because someone who’s frustrated makes some generalized assumptions that may or may not be accurate does not provide for a forum for others who want to jump on their PC high horse to deride someone else. Some people on here need to start behaving like adults instead of immature name callers ranting on with typed out temper tantrums.

  • immature name callers, hmmmm…like “renters” “trash”

    EMME thinks CK dost projecteth too much.

  • If being tolerant, kind and sensitive to others means politically correct, then I’ll take it. What you call PC, I choose to call integrity.

  • Get over yourselves.

  • Actually, marketingwiz, I agree with you. I am signing off of this thread.

  • Maybe Taryn could provide an update for those locations in May after heavy trash pickup is done? That should separate the lazy from the space-challenged.

  • Aside from the bantering about renters (there are good and bad renters- just like good and bad homeowners) there are remedies available to us in the Heights for those inconsiderates who leave mattresses and junk laying around in public. First of all, junk causes rat harborage and we certainly don’t need more rats. A call to Neighborhood Protection will bring them out to warn the occupants (renters OR owners). And Neighborhood Protection is now part of the HPD and they use their enforcement powers more than they used to. If this doesn’t bring you satisfaction, get to know the HPD storefront officers. They can go and cite the offenders and a warning isn’t even required. But use these agencies for true problems, not just petty things. Good luck to you. There is a broken windows theory that says a broken window brings more broken windows if not fixed, then graffiti, then street crime, then violent crime. It can start with a mattress…one mattress, then a pile of jnk, then graffiti etc. etc!

  • Good call River Oaks. By the way, Bagby uses “Renters” not to define renters actually, it is more to define a nationality and/or color in a derogatory manner. Just an fyi.