What puts the Mc- in McMansion? McMansion Hell hit the Internets recently hoping to answer that question, bringing along slews of illustrative photo examples covered with detailed (if at times bitingly sarcastic) annotations. The author notes that not all large post-1980 houses are McMansions — that’s a matter of factors like these. And not recognizing one isn’t necessarily a matter of having bad taste — it’s a matter of familiarity with basic design principles, which the site attempts to provide.
COMMENT OF THE DAY: TURNING HOUSTON INSIDE OUT “It might be that the best outcome for Houston is for the Inner Loop to have an exurban quality of life. Send commuter rail out to the suburbs — not for the suburbanites to commute to downtown — but for the Inner Loopers to commute outbound in the mornings to densely clustered (out of necessity) suburban tall office towers surrounding the stations, and then back into town in the evenings.
This is more viable than the traditional idea of New Urbanist suburbs with transit connecting them to a downtown core since politically none of Houston’s suburbs are on board with cultivating a small town ambience, but are ok with letting office builders do their thing.
To be sure, suburbanites would still commute to downtown but it will be seen as an aberration. Downtown will still have things to do after dark, but other areas of the Inner Loop, connected by LRT/buses/cars/bikes/sidewalks, will do a much better job of providing the QOL aspiring exurbanites may crave.
Suburbanites will, of course, still commute to a large extent to the office towers in their suburb. But they will do so by car, and won’t care about the urbanist quality of life (in other words, nothing will change for them).” [anon22, commenting on Here’s the Freshest Satellite Photo of Downtown Houston You’ll See All Day] Illustration: Lulu
COMMENT OF THE DAY: HOW WE’RE REMAKING THE INNER LOOP “Can we just rename the Washington Ave area ‘Little suburbia’? It’s got a Target, Walmart, sonic, Kwik Kar, Chilis, Chick-fil-a, mega-Kroger, Petsmart, a McDonalds, 4 chain sandwich shops, 2 chain burrito places, and both an IHOP AND Denny’s. All pretty much off of a major 8 lane highway. Put a Best Buy & Bed Bath and Beyond and I’m pretty sure it would be a clean sweep. The only difference being that in the suburbs, the city of Houston doesn’t hand out money to build these kind of stores . . . oh wait . . . .” [DNAguy, commenting on Headlines: Dancing in Midtown; Drinking at UH] Illustration: Lulu
Spurred on by family members waiting patiently at the Carrabba’s on Kirby — and the promotional whizzes at GM and CBS Radio, who’ve furnished her with a brand-new vehicle to drive for 8 weeks — mommy blogger and new Chevy Traverse spokesmom Stephanie Click ventures out from her “own little world” in Katy to . . . the scary and purportedly trafficky Inner Loop!
Will she make it? How will her blogger-swag loaner car stand up to the rigors of multi-lane Houston driving?