07/25/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: AN IMPORTANT RULE ABOUT LOCAL RULE “What seems weird to me is the idea that one government body is passing a law that says that other government bodies are not allowed to pass laws that do certain specific things. Maybe this is common and I’ve just never noticed it before, but it seems like a brazen attempt by one ideological group to attempt to use their success getting elected into a majority in one jurisdiction to legislate (or block legislation) in another jurisdiction where they were not able to get elected into a majority.” [wcthoms, commenting on The State of Texas and the Right To Cut Down Trees Without Notice] Illustration: Lulu

07/21/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MIDTOWN HOME OF DESTINY’S CHILD HAS MET ITS DESTINY “Sorry to be the bearer of bad news but House of Deréon is but a memory now, a pile of rubble.” [Fe Bencosme, commenting on Destiny’s Child Mural on House of Deréon Media Center Wins Midtown Demolition Staredown; more here] Photo of House of Deréon Media Center, 2204 Crawford St., Midtown Houston: Jordan

07/20/17 4:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW TO HELP CANINO’S NET THAT DESTINATION FISH MARKET APPEAL “Something that seems to make other markets around the world such successful destinations (Pike Place, Borough Market, Reading Terminal, etc.) is their accessibility within a dense urban core. In each case, the locations are accessible to pedestrians and located near high-traffic public transit locations. They are also near other walkable destinations like stores and restaurants, art galleries and museums; within walking distance from hotels and other destinations. It will be interesting to see how this works out in Houston on Airline Dr., with all of the car traffic and expansive space needed to accommodate parking. I hope Airline and Cavalcade get to be a little more walkable, and buses run there more often.” [Nearnort, commenting on Destination-Ization Plans for Airline Dr. Farmers Market Show New Rooftops, Playground, Multistory Observation Tower, Some Whitewashing] Rendering of plans for Canino Market on Airline Dr.: MLB Capital Partners

07/19/17 4:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHERE THE TEXAS OFFICE SPACE BUBBLES TEND TO BLOW “Houston is somewhat more diversified in terms of total jobs than it used to be – that’s why the region never went negative on job growth during this downturn. . . . That said, as far as users of large-scale office space go, there’s no question that diversification is sorely lacking. The energy industry and its service providers are still extremely dominant and drive the major swings in the market. This is a huge contrast to the Dallas side of the North Texas region . . . Look at the major relocations to the north suburban market there: huge deals — none of them are energy companies. . . . Around here, when an oil and gas boom is on, it seems to suck up all the oxygen, and growth in other sectors is squeezed out. When the inevitable downturn happens, there’s no rush by other economic sectors to fill the vacuum, despite the availability of high quality space and housing (and labor). I believe the Austin office market’s level of dependency on its tech sector is akin to Houston’s energy sector dependence, so a tech bust would be a disaster for them.” [Local Planner, commenting on Hines Parting Ways with 21 Eleven; The Most Expensive ZIP Code for Renters in HoustonIllustration: Lulu

07/18/17 2:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WAITING IMPATIENTLY FOR THE TRENDY DEVELOPER NICKNAMES TO SPREAD NORTH “The dumbest is ‘Near Northside’, separating it from the actual Northside, which no one understands unless you live there. So you have to tell people ‘Acres Homes’ (which it is not at all) or say ‘behind the Fiesta’ or ‘behind Gallery Furniture on 45 North.’ What other point of reference is there — across the freeway from Dago’s? Basically I’m waiting for gentrification to name my hood something that gentrifiers can easily recall.” [Robin, commenting on Comment of the Day: When They Move the Neighborhood To Sell the Home] Photo: Dago’s Tatt00 & Piercing Studio

07/17/17 2:46pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: IS ‘ONE BIN FOR ALL’ TOO BIG TO SUCCEED IN HOUSTON? “Seems to me this innovative program steps on the toes of so many entrenched industries (and their political, financial and criminal associations.) Too big. If he could start in small communities, gain popular support and a groundswell of political goodwill, it would be better for success — but I suppose small-scale would not be at all economically viable.” [movocelot, commenting on Here Come the Pizza Chains; The Rise and Fall of One-Bin Recycling; previously on SwamplotPhoto of recycling bin in the Heights: Charles Kuffner

07/13/17 2:30pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE BIG THINGS YOU GET WHEN YOU LEAVE JUST A TINY SPACE BETWEEN HOUSES “The City of Houston’s codes are different for a ‘free-standing’ or ‘detached’ ‘single-family’ home, as opposed to a two- or multi-family property of some sort. Detention, lot coverage, building code, legal description, all different. So maintaining even the tiniest gap means you have a fee-simple, stand-alone property.” [dave102, commenting on Can You Beat This Townhome Gap?Photo of 3108 Baer St., Fifth Ward: HAR

07/12/17 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHY HOUSTON FREEWAYS SHOULD BE BUILT TO FLOOD Houston in High Water“. . . Why would you NOT want a massive freeway that would otherwise be empty in the event of a true emergency to flood? Spend the money on barriers/signage for flooding, throw in some pumps and you have a perfect deterrent for neighborhood flooding in the event of an emergency. I don’t remember any of the surrounding areas along 59 complaining about it being a great place to store flood water during Allison.” [joel, commenting on What Could Go Under When I-45 Moves Underground and East of Downtown] Illustration: Lulu

07/11/17 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHAT FLOOD INSURANCE FLOWS FROM “The NFIP is a creation of Congress meant to insure against a peril which the private insurance industry refuses to insure against. The reason private insurance refuses is because there is no actuarially sound method to do so. Effectively, federal flood insurance is not pure risk insurance but actually a type of social insurance. To move the conversation forward on flood insurance reform, that fact has to be acknowledged first. By properly characterizing it as social insurance, we can start talking about how much more people in flood prone areas should pay.” [Jardinero1, commenting on The Limits of Mapping Flood Risk; Original Beaver’s Takes a Summer Vacation] Illustration: Lulu

07/10/17 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE OLD URBANISM “None of these places achieve anything like the feel of a real town because they abandon all of the design elements which actually create that feeling. There are no real walkable main streets with mom and pop stores lining the sidewalks. No town squares at the heart of real (albeit small) downtowns. It’s all just strip malls and McMansions along freeways and 6-lane collector roads. If you want a small town feel you have to start with traditional pre-WW2 urban design.” [Christian, commenting on Still Selling a Little Place in the Big City] Illustration: Lulu

07/06/17 4:15pm

ADDING NEEDED FAST-FOOD DIVERSITY TO THE NRG PARK—SOUTH MAIN DONUT NEXUS “At least, an Arby’s will add a different fast-food chain to the area. Another donut shop would have been useless with the Shipley’s (Murworth/Main: SW corner), Dawn Donut (Murworth/Main: NW corner), and Glazed (Old Spanish Trail near Kirby) giving them a run for their money.” [Major Market, commenting on A Peek Inside the Half-Baked Krispy Kreme near NRG Stadium] Illustration: Lulu

07/05/17 2:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WHEN THEY MOVE THE NEIGHBORHOOD TO SELL THE HOME “I think the branding is more about attracting people to an open house. Future buyers scanning online listings are going skip right past something that says Fifth Ward, but might give a second glance at something labeled EaDo (bars! restaurants! sports!). Then, if you get them to look at the place, that’s when you hard sell. And homebuyers and renters for the most part don’t really care about neighborhood designations. I certainly think it’s disrespectful to the histories of these neighborhood and like most gentrification issues there’s undertones of racism and classism. But I’ve met a lot of people who live in GOOF, Shady Acres, Timbergrove, etc., and if you ask where they live, they just say ‘The Heights —either for shorthand or because they don’t even know their neighborhood’s name.” [Pitts, commenting on Renaming Acres Homes; Bringing Back Curbside Glass Recycling] Illustration: Lulu

06/29/17 3:45pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: SOME ADVICE FOR WHEN THE TRAIN ISN’T MOVING AND YOU NEED TO CROSS THE TRACKS FOR SOMETHING SUPER IMPORTANT “Some ‘stalled’ train advice: 1. Never crawl under. Always climb over the coupling. 2. NEVER CLIMB OVER THE COUPLING! I was with my bike team waiting for a stopped train in this part of town. Beer was on the other side of the train, so after some time some of the cyclists started discussing crawling under or climbing over. I said not to do it, that it was too dangerous. I was assured that when the train started it would do so ever so slowly and gently. One of the cyclists started to get between the boxcars to climb over the coupling (see #1) when the train VIOLENTLY LURCHED into motion and scared the crap out of everyone. It turns out the train starts very slowly near the front, but very quickly near the end.” [Memebag, commenting on Where Lyons Ave. Will Go Down, West St. Won’t Go North, and Fifth Ward Trains Will Continue Through] Photo: Ruben Serrano, via Swamplot Flickr Pool

06/29/17 2:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY RUNNER-UP: HOW TO ADDRESS THE TOWNHOME GAP “I’ve always wondered how it will be possible to maintain (or one day have to replace) the fiber cement siding in between all those 3-story homes separated by what looks like mere shoulder width. Super thin scaffolding?” [Progg, commenting on Comment of the Day: The Real Difference Between a Townhome and a Patio Home] Photo of 3108 Baer St., Fifth Ward: HAR

06/28/17 4:00pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE REAL DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A TOWNHOME AND A PATIO HOME “I see you crossed out townhouse and wrote patio home. So just what makes it a patio home? Does a 4 x 6 ft. space outside constitute a patio? Are all town-homes devoid of outdoor space?” [icerad, commenting on If You Like the Idea of Living Upstairs from Kay’s Lounge, Here’s the Next Best Thing] Illustration: Lulu