Life at Isabella Court: Point, Counterpoint

Houston art blogger Sean Morrissey Carroll remixes a glowing profile of the Isabella Court Apartments at Main and Isabella — penned recently by Corilyn Shropshire for the Chronicle — with resident Cathy Matusow’s terse response in Hair Balls. The result? Pure magic.

Here’s a taste, with source indicators removed for full effect (but really, it’s not too tough to figure out which lines come from which report):

When Vernon Caldera walked through Isabella Court’s ornate wrought-iron gates and spotted the courtyard that seemed magically transplanted from his grandmother’s hometown in Nicaragua, he gasped.

Then he fell in love.

The picturesque 80-year-old building in Midtown, a Spanish Colonial with original porcelain sinks and no-two-are-the-same apartments, “had me at hello,” he said.

When I first heard the Chronicle was doing a story on the building I live in, Isabella Court, I thought, “Oh great, is rent going up now?”


For years, the weekend scene in the courtyard might be tango dancers or mariachis, costumed guests grooving to live music with chatter and liquor flowing into the wee hours.

But in the spirit of full disclosure, just so people know what they’re getting into, here’s a few things I’ve seen simply looking out my very window:

— A person smoking what appeared to be crack (twice);

Drunk men lounging by the Dumpster, one of them seemingly dead (he wasn’t, he was just extremely wasted, as the cops ascertained);

Or talk to artist Amanda De Rosario, who moved out in 2005 after four years of throwing rocking bashes, including the “treintañera, or quinceañera times two” she hosted for her 30th birthday. The party featured a piñata; De Rosario, decked out in a pale-blue dress and tiara, danced all night to a live band.

“My parties got too big,” she said, giggling. “It got to the point that maybe it was a good idea that I left.”

More here.

Photo of Isabella Court Apartments interior: Justin Hamilton