Comment of the Day: Away from the Ropelines

COMMENT OF THE DAY: AWAY FROM THE ROPELINES “I’m new to the area, and am trying to learn about different neighborhoods. I thought [Rice Military] was a good place, but these posts are making me rethink. I want an area close to restaurants and neighborhood bars, maybe a few shops, but not late night strobe light clubs with velvet ropes and VIP sections. Are there any areas in Houston inner-loop that are cool like this, or are they all either club areas or suburban areas where everyone lives in a house with a yard? Why aren’t there any cool areas for the 30-something crowd that doesn’t want clubs and drunk drivers, but does want shops, bars and restaurants?” [Joe, commenting on Coming Soon: Late Night Rice Military Action]

21 Comment

  • In response to your question, “Why aren’t there any cool areas for the 30-something crowd that doesn’t want clubs and drunk drivers, but does want shops, bars and restaurants?”

    There are lots of areas like this. You just need to know where to look for them. It’s hard to advise without knowing your price range, but here goes:

    1. First, just get far enough off Washington and you can largely avoid the club going masses. Or better yet, cross Westcott and live in Camp Logan.

    2. Lots of options around the Rice Village.

    3. Lots of options in the greater Montrose area.

    4. Midtown has many options and has gotten a lot more peaceful now that so much of the night life has moved to Washington Ave.

    5. Lots of options around River Oaks Shopping Center.

  • If you like the general location of Rice Military, just go across I-10 to Cottage Grove. All the town homes, but extremely quiet with no bars.

  • We’ve landed in Oak Forest near 43rd and Ella. There are a few restaurants and shops within walking distance, and a library too. The neighborhood is awesome with (mostly) well cared for older homes in the somewhat affordable price range. We hit up the Petrol Station with our dog most weekends for great food and a few beers. Friendly neighbors. Close enough to 610 to shoot anywhere in the city.

  • Oak Forest to me is a gem in the city just like many parts of the Meyerland area too.

    When and/or if I might move out of Cottage Grove, the Oak Forest area will be one of the first places I go to look.

  • Look around the River Oaks Shopping Center. I live just behind California Pizza Kitchen. You can walk to everything you need.

  • Rice Military is fine for any age group, but especially the 30 somthing crowd. There are still houses with yards and townhomes.

    I live in the area and have not had a single problem with drunk driving or loud bars, etc. Just dont live right behind a bar! :-)

    The heights, just north of Rice Military, on the north side of I-10 is still pretty quiet… you might find a good deal there with a yard, etc…

    Good luck!

  • Montrose, man.

  • Wouldn’t Montrose be sending this person into the belly of the beast.

    Montrose really isn’t much better than Washington Ave with the party. And believe me, I’m a regular in Montrose on the weekends.

  • montrose. it has a few scketchy people walking around at night, but it’s safe, and as as long as you stay away from the fairview/south beach area, then you should be fine. (washington avenue is nothing like anything in montrose outside of Southbeach–no comparison.)

  • Depends where in Montrose you are looking.

    Just north of Westheimer and you will be up all night, but will have some interesting views.

    South of Westheimer and it is as quiet as oldladyville. (I mean, The Heights)

    Pick ’em!

  • Montrose, west of Dunlavy, is relatively quiet as well, even though I live just one block north of Westheimer. And still in walking distance of stores and restaurants. Generally, the closer you get to the Montrose Blvd/Westheimer area, the worse things get.

  • South of Westheimer is OK, but there is a fair amount of street crime (car burglaries are the biggest but narcotics and home burglaries are higher than you would expect). Rice Military does not have nearly as much of that type of crime, thought the Washington Corridor on weekend evenings can be a real headache as you’ve read.

    Even better than Camp Logan, if you can afford it, is Crestwood and Glen Cove. But entry point is near $1M.

    Bernard’s list is pretty decent for in the loop. Main thing is to be near, but far enough off, the main restaurant/bar area (for Washington Ave, at least 3 blocks off in my opinion).

    The only area I would add is the Heights.

  • I lived in the West End for about 5 years, moved to Oak Forest for 17 (to the day) and moved back to the West End (Rice Military).

    Oak Forest is one of the best buys around Houston for price appreciation, especially on the teardowns. I got tired of my trashy neighbors and finally decided to get my sweat equity out and move back inside the loop. The nightlife around Oak Forest leaves alot to be desired. Please don’t misunderstand my trashy neighbors comment. By no means are all people in Oak Forest trashy. I just had really lousy neighbors who would not take care of their places. I like Rice Military much better. I have a great house with an excellent view of the downtown skyline, a small park across the street, an elaborately landscaped yard and great neighbors. I know more people in Rice Military after 4 years than I knew in 17 in Oak Forest (and I served on the board of the HOA for years there). Rice Military has been completely transformed from the ramshackle culmination of run down homes and junky shops that were there years ago.

    If you do a little homework in Rice Military, you can be close to the restaurant row action, yet be far enough away to avoid the parking issues. Property values are also stable, if not increasing in the the neighborhood as well.

    In reference to the above mentioned 30 year old crowd, I am by no means 30 any more…. if I knew then, what I know now.

    Rice Military will continue to escalate in value because of where it is. It is truly one of THE most convenient neighborhoods in Houston.

    Here’s my plea to all those comm’l realtors: help me find the president of a grocery chain some affordable dirt to build on in the Washington Ave. area. I won’t say the name, but it kinda sounds like siesta. I miss the store they closed and Rice Military needs a grocery store.

  • Timbergrove/Lazybrook. All of the comments so far about Oak Forest apply (moderately priced with excellent appreciation), and they are inside the loop – closer to the nightlife you are looking for. Just hop on TC Jester across I-10 and in 2 minutes you are at Benjy’s, Cova, Candelari’s, El Tiempo, and everything else on Washington.

  • Most of the negative posts in the original discussion were from one ignorant suburban CRE jackass making predictions based on a club that was never built or planned. He understands nothing about what succeeds or fails in that part of town. RM is a great neighborhood. Just live 3 or more blocks south of Washington and you’ll be fine. North of Washington west of TC Jester might be ok too, but it has the train tracks and is generally riskier. Camp Logan if you can afford it.

  • I live at 59 and Shepherd. There are several restaurants and a couple of pubs within walking distance. We have a park with a dog park, and I walk to the Farmers Market every Saturday morning.

    Crime is what you make of it – stop parking across the sidewalk or leaving valuables in your car. Lights (non-motion) at night deter people from walking up your driveway. Get to know your neighbors and watch each other’s homes.

  • I would suggest looking into Midtown near Baldwin Park. You are far from the clubs, but still close enough to walk/ride a bike to any restaurant/club/store in Midtown/Downtown/Museum District… plus you have a beautiful park nearby (

  • just type 77098 into the “Information Superhighway.”

  • I rented in Montrose and loved it (Hazzard and Westheimer). Ended up buying in Rice Military (near Waugh and Memorial).

    Key thing is both areas is to live a few blocks away from hyped up areas (ie Washington Ave or Westheimer & Montrose). Both areas I lived in were quiet and virtually crime free, but still walking distance to bars/rest/etc.

    I got lucky with Rice Military and found a fully restored bungalow with both a back and front yard. Plus 1 block away is the park along Buffalo Bayou.

  • I just moved here myself and faced the same dilemma. I wanted to be in Midtown near Grey and Brazos for the tiny slice of walking city but I didn’t see anyplace I wanted to live. I like the modern townhomes in Rice Military but didn’t like the overall area.

    I ended up in Montrose near Mandell and Richmond and it isn’t too bad. I had one friend from out of town stay and his car was broken into overnight. That sucked but he wasn’t careful about making sure there was nothing visible worth taking.

    I am able to walk to a lot, though not as much as I did in NY, Chicago or even Dallas. Houston is what it is and that isn’t a very urban place.