03/18/16 1:45pm

Garden Oaks Deed Restrictions Signs, Garden Oaks, Houston, 77018

What’s the story behind the tiny question marks that recently appeared at the end of the low-dangling “DEED RESTRICTIONS ENFORCED” signs on at least a couple Garden Oaks welcome-to-the-neighborhood markers? More than just your usual neighborhood grumbling and graffiti-ing, it appears.


Punctuation Add-Ons
12/08/14 12:00pm

Sign on Huffmeister Rd. South of Fleur de Lis Blvd., Cypress, Houston

Signs at 1102 Shepherd Dr. at Center St., Washington Corridor, Houston“I found him!” declares reader Kristen W. The portrait she happened upon, captioned “Jesus, I trust in you” over draped ankles, had originally been noted by Swamplot readers 4 years ago in ready position adjacent to a redevelopment site on Shepherd Dr. at Center St., just north of Washington Ave. (See smaller photo above right; similar sightings were also reported at the time in Lindale Park and on Westpark between Fondren and Gessner.) Later, the icon’s purported property-restoring powers were noted in its nomination for the Washington Ave Award in that year’s Swampies.

Kristen W. reports the latest visitation: “He’s just hanging out on the east side of Huffmeister Rd. south of Fleur de Lis Blvd. among the cattle and horses. . . . I was making the long trek up north for a job interview [Friday] morning and had to turn around to snap a few photos because I couldn’t believe it.


A Sign
04/21/14 11:00am

IT’S HIGH SIGN SEASON IN HOUSTON Appliances Wall Mural, HoustonSpring has sprung, notes local film curator Peter Lucas. And that means a fresh crop of hand-painted signs has already sprouted: “Each spring — that all-too-brief time when the sun starts to shine in a few bright spurts but hasn’t yet begun to make being outdoors nearly unbearable and opening our eyes wide nearly impossible — this town begins to reveal an exhibition rivaling those in any of our art galleries and museums. Colors pop against each other. Structures pierce the blue sky. Degraded materials reveal complex textures. Drop-shadows create depth interplay with architectural flourishes and telephone lines. Emerging amidst these illuminated color fields and intersecting shadows are countless hand-painted signs. All around us, unique paintings of tires, kitchen appliances, people, foods, animals, and collages of typography show themselves and remind us that this is quite literally an art town.” [Glasstire] Photo: Peter Lucas

04/05/12 11:15pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: TO KILL A GIANT COCKROACH “It’s not really dead. While we’re asleep it will emerge from the scrap heap and continue to wander under the cover of night. Somewhere a husband will find it and attempt another violent execution, only to have the wife frantically call him home when it crawls back out the next day.” [mek ju, commenting on Giant Neon Cockroach That Haunted Southwest Freeway, Eradicated at Last]

04/05/12 3:20pm

GIANT NEON COCKROACH THAT HAUNTED SOUTHWEST FREEWAY, ERADICATED AT LAST Bubba, the cockroach enshrined in an enormous neon sign for Holder’s Pest Control, which stood guard for years along Westpark next to the Southwest Freeway, will not return to the Houston skyline, the company reports. The 8-ft.-by-16-ft. sign was taken down in 2004, after Holder’s relocated. But after almost 8 years of residence in a company warehouse, the sign was “cut up and hauled off for recycling” earlier this year, reports Travis Alford. That menacing, old-fashioned cockroach is no longer a part of the brand identity of the company now known as Holder’s Pest Solutions, and it won’t be coming back. Holder’s just-unveiled new logo instead features a gentle curve at its top that references instead a much more modern feature of Houston: the Astrodome. [Houston Chronicle] Photo: Holder’s Pest Control

09/29/11 8:56am

In time for campaign season, Mayor Parker announced yesterday that the city would begin cracking down on bandit signs placed on public property by fining violators under an existing city ordinance that — as far as she knows — has never been enforced. Political candidates will be given 24 hours’ notice for each violation before being charged $200 a pop, she said. Collected funds will be used to defray the cost of removing the signs — which reached $450,000 in 2009.


07/11/11 10:55am

A reader sends in photos of several signs posted near the corner of Spring and Goliad streets, in the shadow of the 45 overpasses not too far north of Downtown. And there they are, like halved pears, stripped skinless, golden in heavy syrup. Our tipster wants to know who the artist is. (And really, don’t you?) Also, if this qualifies as . . . graffoetry? Grafauxetry?

More First Ward sign findings below:


06/15/11 4:26pm

It’s just about summertime, and all you fans of fresh West University produce know what that means: Yes, it’s well past time to set up those security cameras to monitor your vulnerable front-yard fruits. “The camera and fruit-thief deterrent signs have returned,” notes the reader who sent in these photos of this ripe “either peach or nectarine” tree on Tangley, west of Buffalo Speedway. But the security effort actually appears to be a bit more subdued than last year. The bilingual warning signage featured on the tree and a few of its neighbors last season has been replaced with a smaller and simpler handwritten “Camera” warning.

Swamplot’s West U fruit scout says there’s another sign on the other side of the tree “that says something like ‘Don’t even think about it.’” No photo of that? Explains the source: “I was in a hurry and, of course, wanting to stay out of the camera’s wily view.”

Photos: Swamplot inbox

06/06/11 10:18pm

Ever wonder what’s behind all the political endorsements made by so many vacant lots in Houston? Why is it that the weedy site shown above at the corner of Heights Blvd. and Center St., near the future West End Walmart, for example, appears to be supporting Jenifer Rene Pool in her bid for an at-large city council seat? Among the empty lots of Washington Ave, there seems to be a lot of support for another candidate for the same position, Eric Dick. What’s up with that? Political consultant Greg Wythe, who’s long studied the demographics and political opinions of Harris County’s human population, has begun a new website devoted to exploring the campaign preferences of Houston’s vacant properties — as expressed by the various signs and banners they’re regularly festooned with.


05/02/11 9:23am

Upset at New York Senator Chuck Schumer’s oh-so-cruel insinuation that Houston isn’t much of a tourist town, local talk-show host Michael Berry has responded with an ad on this billboard, carefully situated at the scenic crotch between the Southwest Freeway feeder road and the Westpark Tollway near Chimney Rock, surrounded by a number of fine automotive repair establishments. It’s been 13 days since your outrageous insult, Senator. Apologize now or it’s just going to get worse. Sure hope it doesn’t have to come to that, but don’t think we won’t resort to putting a bunch of those inflatable gorillas on top of the Downtown Aquarium to get our point across — if we have to. [Previously on Swamplot] Photo: Swamplot inbox

01/25/11 11:13am

The New York sculptor behind those new splashy welcome signs on JFK Blvd. outside IAH passed away over the weekend after a short bout with liver cancer. Dennis Oppenheim explained the inspiration behind the Radiant Fountains sculpture and light show to the Chronicle‘s Douglas Britt last August: It was a sign he had seen as a child from the Bayshore Freeway in Oakland, California, which featured an animated version of the famous Sherwin-Williams “Cover the Earth” logo.

It was the world globe and then a bucket of paint dripping on top of it, and this captivated me. I told them [the Houston Arts Alliance] quite frankly that I would be extremely satisfied if I accomplished something like that, because it really did capture the ongoing traffic. I also said that it would be nice if these works were so … whatever … that people would turn around and come back to see them again.

Video: Andrew Vrana

01/18/11 12:12pm

Sculptor David Adickes is almost ready to plant this giant concrete-on-steel sign on property he owns along Chester St. on the south side of I-10, just east of Patterson. You’ll be able to get your best view of it when traffic comes to a standstill on your way downtown. Just needs a few more finishing touches, like a figurine or 2 or 8 to accompany that little guitar player hanging out between the O and the U. And hey, you’re right! If the Hollywood sign were 15 feet shorter, came down from the hillside, grew an ego, and stood by the freeway, it would kinda look like this.

Photo: Imelda Bettinger [license]

12/07/10 2:41pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: WOULD MAKE A MORE PROPER HOUSTON WELCOME “All that said, I still regret that we didn’t put up two enormous inflatable gorillas, standing on either side of JFK Blvd., like the statues of [Isildur] and Anárion flanked the river Anduin in The Lord of the Rings.” [RWBoyd, commenting on Here’s Your Splashy New Welcome Sign, Houston]