03/14/19 4:30pm

WHAT ARE THE BEST SWAMPLOT COMMENTS YOU’VE EVER READ (OR MADE)? Here’s another request for longtime readers: Help us identify the greatest reader comments ever posted on Swamplot! Why is your help needed? A whopping 133,000 or so reader comments appeared on this site over the course of 12 years, making it tough to find all the gems. Fortunately, Swamplot’s regular Comment of the Day feature highlighted some of the best (all 1,500 or so of them, over the course of 12 years). But a lot of great comments missed their day in the spotlight for various reasons — often because too many other great choices came in on the same day. For many, absorbing the comments and back-and-forth from our diverse readership was the whole point of reading Swamplot. Can you help us surface the best, to help show why? Add your links to the comments section below, or send us your picks privately, in an email. We hope to create a more definitive list from what you gather. Illustration: Lulu

03/11/19 3:00pm

Hey, recovering longtime Swamplot readers! A special request: We’re putting together a list of this site’s best stories, and we need your help. If you were asked to give a quick snapshot of Swamplot by providing examples of this site at the top of its form, what individual posts would you point to?

We’re asking: Which were your favorites? Which ones were especially funny? or made you angry? or changed the way you looked at Houston? or voiced something previously unspoken about a part or aspect of the city that you were already familiar with? or sparked really interesting discussions? Or maybe have a special resonance now — beyond the immediate goings-on pictured and outlined in our original writeup. We want to know what stood out to you.

How to find stories . . . if your memories are hazy? There’s a search box near the top of this page (near the bottom on mobile) where you can type in keywords that might tickle your memory. Or use the Google. Or click on the tags that show up to the right of each story (at the bottom on mobile) to surf by topic. Or if you’ve got a ridiculous amount of time on your hands, go right ahead and scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the “Next Page” button — and keep repeating until you get back 12 years.

Let us know your picks in the comments section below, or — if you’re a little more shy about it — in an email to our tips line. We’d like to publish a list of what you come up with.

Photo of Hardy Yards: Marc Longoria

Project Swamplot
03/07/19 6:00pm

As of today this site’s daily publishing schedule is coming to a halt. Swamplot has been covering Houston’s real estate landscape for 12 years. That’s longer than the runs of most successful teevee sitcoms, all but one U.S. presidency, and a lot of great Houston restaurants. It’s been long enough to cover 3 hurricanes, several boom-and-bust cycles, a half-dozen or so 100-year floods, and the rise and fall of Tuscanization. More than a few high-school freshmen when Swamplot started in 2007 are now armed with PhDs and ready to launch their careers. It’s time for us to move on as well.

We’re proud of what Swamplot has accomplished: the reporting it’s assembled; the commenters, readers, contributors, and tipsters it’s attracted; the conversations and reconsiderations it’s fostered; the groups of people from different walks of life it’s brought together in some way; the coinages you’ve come up with; and the community that’s been built here around the notion that our local built and natural environments are worth our attention and our jokes.

Houston has always been a funky town. It’s rarely been served well by those who ignore that, or who promote it with a chip on their shoulder, or who build in it without recognizing the profound handicaps and weirdnesses that continue to shape it. In Swamplot’s dozen years of documenting the odd details of its growth and destruction, we’ve noticed a gradual but steady change of attitude — one that we hope we’ve helped to effect: People here, we get a sense, now pay more obvious attention to the things that make Houston unique, bizarre, wacky, frustrating, and lovable. If Swamplot has, in any way, played a role in altering your sense of this place — by reporting on things normally paid little attention to, by presenting things in ways you wouldn’t otherwise expect to see them, by dangling in front of you the comments and perspectives of people who see this city very differently from the way you do, or by striving each day to highlight the absurdities that underly and shape so much of the Houston experience — well, then hanging out with y’all for some or all of this time has been well worth it.

Beginning next week, we’ll have a few announcements and questions to post here about Swamplot’s past, present, and future — so please do come back and visit to see what’s up. For now, though, we want to thank you — our readers, commenters, tipsters, photographers, advertisers, sponsors, and contributors — for making Swamplot what it’s been, and maybe making Houston a little bit better place for us all.

Photos: Russell Hancock (aerial); Bill Barfield (sign) via Swamplot Flickr Pool

So Long
01/23/19 3:00pm

THE TIPLINE IS STANDING BY Indoor petting zoo opening up in one of those abandoned Sears stores? To cover this city well, Swamplot needs your tips. So if you see something interesting going on in your neighborhood, let us know! Taken some nice pics from around town? Send them to our Flickr group. If you’ve uploaded a video to YouTube you think we might be interested in, send us a link. While you’re at it, be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and sign up to be on Swamplot’s email list.

12/24/18 11:30am

A HOLIDAY SIGN-OFF Swamplot is checking out early today in the spirit of Christmas Eve. We’ll be gone tomorrow, too, but don’t let that detract from any merry plans you’ve got scheduled for the holiday. If you’re really aching for a dose of Houston real estate reporting, our archive remains online 24-7 for a quick peek. And we’ll be back to our regularly scheduled coverage on Wednesday, at which time we hope you’ll rejoin us for the year’s final stretch of news coverage. Photo: elnina via Swamplot Flickr Pool

11/06/18 11:15am

GONE VOTIN’ Swamplot’s stepping out this morning to head to the polls. If we’re not back soon, that’ll tell you something about today’s turnout. (And if we are, well . . . that might tell you something, too.) Just over 1,000 locations are open across Harris County from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. today. If in doubt about which one’s yours, you can look it up here.

10/23/18 3:30pm

WRITE HEADLINES FOR SWAMPLOT! Swamplot’s longtime Headlines writer is moving on to body-copy opportunities elsewhere. So we’re on the hunt for a new freelancer to put together our regular morning roundups of Houston real-estate-related headlines. We’re looking for someone who can quickly comb through local coverage from a wide variety of sources, identify notable details, and reframe the gist of each link to meet Swamplot’s editorial standards and the demands of our discerning readers — then assemble it all into a neat package by early each weekday morning. This is an ideal gig for a smart and dependable writer who’s familiar with the lay of the land here and who’s looking for a little productive structure to kick off each day. You’ll need to be comfortable working independently, but also be available for collaboration with a small editorial team. (Please note: If you’re in the real estate biz, this would not be a good role for you.) To apply, just send us an email with “Headlines writer” in the subject line. Introduce yourself in a single paragraph and add another paragraph explaining why you’re interested in this work. Attach a resume and relevant writing samples if you’ve got them on hand (but they aren’t required). If we’re interested in what we see, we’ll follow up quickly.

07/03/18 5:30pm

HEADING FORTH INTO INDEPENDENCE DAY With tomorrow being America’s 242nd birthday and all, Swamplot is taking a mid-week recess to celebrate — but only for the day. After that, we’ll resume all news gathering and news publishing activities with a bang on Thursday, bringing you up to to speed on what’s gone down — and up — in the time we took off. Photo: Derek Key [license]

05/25/18 4:30pm

TAKING OFF FOR MEMORIAL DAY In observance of this Memorial Day, Swamplot is tacking an extra off-day onto its usual weekend schedule. Come Tuesday, we’ll start getting our feet wet again with stories of Houston’s spacial scene. Feel free to pass the meantime by sending us a tip about something you’ve seen, heard, or smelled around town — or by reviewing the literature on such phenomena we’ve covered in the past. Photo of Memorial Dr.: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool

02/16/18 4:30pm

OUT OF THE OFFICE FOR PRESIDENTS DAY Looks like it’s just about time for an executive day off. Swamplot will take pause on Monday to contemplate those who’ve occupied the oval room in the house this house looks a lot like. On Tuesday, we’ll be back with more news about what’s going where in Houston’s man-made milieu. Photo of Ross Sterling’s mansion, 515 Bayridge Rd., Morgan’s Point: HAR

12/29/17 1:00pm

2017, CHECKING OUT What a swampy lot of a year this has been for Houston, eh? Swamplot is taking off early today just to help get the thing over with. Here’s to a better 2018 for all of us, whatever your elevation or watershed. Check back with us on Tuesday, for more tales of what’s notable around town. Photo of Buffalo Bayou Park on a wintry day not too long ago: Marc Longoria, via the Swamplot Flickr pool