Comment of the Day: For Whom the Bell Tower Toll Calls

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FOR WHOM THE BELL TOWER TOLL CALLS “The bell tower was already there. It was the result of the neighborhood going ballistic over a cell tower going in, and is the disguise for said tower, making it the Ma Bell Tower. And the only ringing for which it is responsible is in your purse or pocket.” [mollusk, commenting on Union Kitchen Expanding to 1111 Studewood Place]

31 Comment

  • In other parts of the country, cell phone towers are cunningly disguised as trees. Whenever I visit Phoenix, I see many very large and odd-looking saguaros and palms. Surely Houston could do the same with imitation live oaks and magnolias.

  • Every time my cell phone signal goes out I think of the ignorant bastards who screamed about the cell towers in the Heights, succeeding only in ruining cell phone service for Heights residents.

    Way to go, assholes. You really showed those cell phone companies who’s in charge.

  • @Dave, your comment got me thinking about other public infrastructure (-s?) that offends sensibilities. Water towers came to mind: If people spent half as much time thinking of ways to dress up or hide cell towers as they do fighting to keep them from going in, we’d all be much better off.

  • Dave,
    I live in the Heights and I can’t remember my cell phone signal ever going out. Maybe there is a problem with your particular phone, you ignorant bastard.

  • Yep, every time I lose service at the electric power station on Yale, I curse the electric company. Otherwise, no problem with my service provider throughout the area.

  • Dave, are you sure it is the tower that is the problem??? Maybe the “ignorant bastards” have learned how to block your signal specifically. I sure there is a conspiracy in here somewhere if we look deep enough. There is an entire group of assholes trying to make your life miserable.

  • @Dave: The bell tower disguise does not interfere with the functioning of the cell phone signal from the tower. The cell phone company designed it, not Heights residents. If you experience a lot of dropped calls in the Heights it is probably because you were to much of a tightwad to pay a few extra bucks to get extended service and roaming. Otherwise, dropped calls are usually the result of an overloading of the capacity of your provider’s system, which just means that the cell company was too cheap to establish sufficient capacity or has spread out coverage too thin in an area. I have never had a call dropped in the Heights or had a problem with smart phone reception. And I have crap ass AT&T. So, if ignorant assholes like you got your way, you would have an ugly cell tower in the middle of the neighborhood and the same crappy cell reception. Fortunately, ignorant assholes tend to spend more time on internet message boards than out in the community trying to improve the quality of life for the neighborhood.

  • i’m always mildly embarrassed at my Heights brothers and their bitching.

    while bell towers cover cell phone towers to make people happy, the line at the new Starbucks grows, Walmart is packed, and this historic ordinance means my next door neighbor is stuck FOREVER with no value in his dump because he has 8′ ceilings and an undersized lot.

    i’ve been steadily recruiting my fellow hated young families to build an army of reasonable, business friendly people to the area. these are the people making $500,000+ investments in the neighborhood, and just waiting out Johnny Hipster and his gang of elitists to finally give up on the carry cost of their duplex and missing sidewalk.

  • @ HTX – Thank you for sharing the perspective of the entitled.

    You’ve inspired me. In order to keep up with the business friendly young families, I think I’ve now decided to go ahead and paint my house, that’s needed it for years. It’s undersized for your taste, so it shouldn’t be hard. Electric blue ought to be good. Or perhaps Safety Lime Green. What the hey – maybe both.

  • Sprint has a deal putting cell transmitters on Walmarts. I guess the folks who swear never to use the Heights Wally-World will still be contributing revenue on the sly. Just saying…

    Does calling someone an “ignorant bastard” on a blog make you feel like a big man? From here it just makes you look like a total douche.

  • LOL.

    The only reason the business friendly crowd, whatever that means, is moving to the Heights is because the gays and hipsters have made it cool. The next generation made it relatively safe. The pro business crowd is just now moving in and will drive out all the life that made it desirable in the first place.

  • While recruiting business friendly young families to the Heights area, please inform them that parking their SUVs across the sidewalk is in violation of city ordinances, not to mention rude. Also inform them that lawn waste bags are not yard decorations and are, again, in violation of city ordinance when placed at the street for days and days.

  • Well that escalated quickly.

  • Fake tree cell phone towers are far more hideous than a no-nonsense cell tower. They just look stupid.

  • It appears that the cellular transmission equipment has been moved to the top of the new building. Perhaps the ersatz bell tower will eventually be taken down.

    For me, GSM cell phone service in the Heights, and particularly the Woodland Heights, has always been poor. And it’s not because I’m cheap – latest phones, full plan, no service and/or many dropped calls.

  • @mollusk – I’m in the demographic that htx claims to be speaking for. And while I won’t speak for him, I will say that I’m totally cool with you painting your house whatever funky colors you want. If fact, I think your statement validates his point. You should be able to do whatever you want with your property without having to worry about preservation nazis. Just don’t complain when I do whatever I want with my property – and yes, that means scraping my 1940 bungalo to put up 2 McCharlestorleans (Mr. Potato Head) houses.

  • I love how mentioning the word “Heights” in a post gets people swinging at each other. It’s like a pheremone in the air that does something biologically to cause anger and fear.

    So glad I live in a dull neighborhood that generates apathy – not hatred, name-calling, and bitching.

  • HTX REZ,
    You’ve been recruiting people to live in the Heights? I’ve never heard of that before. So these are people with a big bunches of money laying around just waiting for someone like yourself to tell them that they need to invest in properties in the Heights in order to muscle out (and of course wait for the eventual deaths of all hipster doofuses in the area) so that you all can then build the community that you really wanted all along. I’m calling b.s. on that one!

  • This psuedo hipster aint going nowhere. Deal with it ya johnny come latelys. = ]

  • …if you zoom in on AT&T’s cell coverage map (at there own website) there is an area in Woodland Heights that is a lighter color, indicating less coverage. At my house (smack in the middle of that area) I waver between just the one little bar, and no bars on my phone. I frequently have to go outside onto the porch or front yard to get the phone to connect to the cellular network so I can make a call. This is my work cell phone, corporate account, so switching from AT&T is not an option. This is not a problem with the phone hardware, I have had a series of the “latest-greatest” phones. Also this is with a fully enabled roaming phone plan, including international roaming package… GSM cell phone coverage in the eastern part of the Heights is rediculously bad.

  • HTX and WALT: There are neighborhoods ALL OVER THE CITY that don’t have restrictive preservation ordinances. Only in Houston does preserving property get up the dander of the new elitest group (tea partiers) who buy in areas knowing that there is a least some sort of preservation, but apparantly only buy to tear down and rebuild. Look all over the country and see financial success for those who have preserved. There are so many other neighborhoods to screw up with McMansions and faux victorians. Let at least one tiny part of Houston survive to the future. Someday in the energy starved future these small houses may become VERY expensive and desireable.

  • SJ,
    Your point would make sense if the owners of said historic districts voted for them, or supported them. The original ordinance is completely different than the heavy handed rediculousness that it is now. The new elitist group you speak of is actually the historic preservationist who strongarmed this ordinance revision without public support. Nothing really changed for Norhill, which shows if a community actually supports historic preservation they will push for it themselves.

  • I knew when I called out the “enlightened” Heights crowd, I’d generate some page views for Swamplot. Glad to do my part. I am also glad that the new midrise may be renting some roof space to the cell companies. Some of us actually run those small businesses that are supposedly cherished by the “enlightened” set, and we need our cell service.

    Far and away my favorite comment comes from Old School, who claims to have never dropped a call in the Heights. What he failed to mention is that he only moved here a year or two ago. I have never dropped a call in neighborhoods I don’t live in either.

    Thanks for the laughs, you ignorant bastards! :)

  • Oh. Well I’m glad Dave finally settled this discussion. Only the community’s prized small business owners need their cellular calls to not drop. The rest of us dumb bastards in the Heights can take our otherwise very well functioning cell phones and shove them up our asses. As an on-call oncologist, I will have to reassess my value in this world compared to Dave.

  • people in the heights keep it classy.

  • @Dave: I guess you are just going to concede that you are the ignorant bastard. There is no cause and effect between disguising the cell tower as a bell tower and your claim to have your calls in the Heights dropped all the time. If you are going to make the accusation, you need to back it up with some facts rather than just calling people names. The fact that the cell tower has been built with a bell tower facade has nothing to do with the cell reception in the Heights. Nothing.

  • SwampLot,
    Thank you for this website. I can’t tell you how much I enjoy the posts and comments on topics like the Heights, Montrose, Ashby Highrise. I could not have imagined the train wreck discussions that make each day complete. The funny part is that Houston is so classist, but this is still Houston.

  • @Dave, when I replied to your comment, I was under the impression that you were angry that further towers had not been erected because of so much opposition to the one that did finally get put up. Of course, the disguise has no impact on the functionality of the tower, but then I didn’t think that you were of that impression. Can you clarify?

  • Rodrigo, you are absolutely correct. The annoying Heights neighbors who complained about the cell tower succeeded in getting it disguised, which does not affect the signal, but also got the cell phone company to limit the height of the tower, which does affect the signal. Further, no other cell carriers erected towers, as they did not want to deal with the NIMBYs. That included my carrier, Verizon. Posters such as Old School love to argue a point that was never made in an attempt to win a point that was never in dispute. But, there is no mistaking that a certain number of our Heights neighbors will bitch about any and everything, just to bitch, even when it ends up cutting off their nose to spite their face.

    However, it does appear relief is at hand. If the cell carriers do install towers on top of the condo, reception will be much improved, even for super important oncologists. Now, if only Terry could cure the cancer that is invading my neighborhood…

  • @Dave, thanks for the reply.

  • Verizon has a huge tower on Gibson. They do not need that little Heights tower. Your problems with dropped calls have nothing to do with lack of tower coverage. It is probably just Verizon overloading the capacity of their tower. Your problem is that Verizon is too cheap to upgrade their tower to handle the capacity that they need. Verizon never proposed putting up a tower in the Heights. They do not need it. There are plenty of towers in the Heights on buildings on Harvard and 19th and in the surrounding areas. The tower on 11th was never meant to service all of the Heights and does not do so. You cannot blame all the problems in your life on people who you think are nimbys. The fact is that the neighborhood is much better off not having a 200 ft cell tower on that lot. The developers of the condos may have never wanted to build there if they were going to be in the shadow of a huge cell tower.