05/13/16 10:15am

This week’s video release from hometown country singer Robert Ellis takes viewers on a forlorn wandering tour of Houston’s downtown and surrounding thoroughfares, sans all of those pesky people and cars. Iconic cameos include the AIA’s future headquarters on the corner of Franklin and Commerce streets, the WALD warehouse sign at Live Oak and Rusk streets, and Bad News Bar on Main St.; the video also includes a hike down a dead-empty I-45 and associated entrance ramps, several frantic light-rail stops, and a dramatic reunion on the pedestrian bridge over Memorial Dr. at Sabine St. 

Video: Robert Ellis

Musical Background
04/19/16 11:00am

A scattering of drones took to the air across Houston yesterday as the rain slowed to do some sight-seeing around the brand new 9-county disaster zone declared by governor Abbott in the afternoon. Filling up during floods is standard operating procedure for Buffalo Bayou Park, as demonstrated prior to the park’s first planned official opening last spring. That’s not part of the sanctioned protocol for all of Houston’s bayou corridors, but it’s hard to argue about it in the moment —above is the overhead view of Brays Bayou venturing out into broader Meyerland.

More footage comes from northwest Houston, circling around White Oak Bayou at N. Houston Rosslyn Rd. in Inwood Forest —  west and downstream of some the areas that got the most rainfall:

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Drones Around Town
04/15/16 10:15am

If you missed the free Fallout Boy and Kendrick Lamar concerts during Final Four weekend, here’s your chance to catch both, condensed down to less than 5 minutes (no sound, though). This week photographer Geoffrey Lyon posted his time-lapse capture (from the upper levels of One Park Place) of Discovery Green filling up during the Friday and Saturday events held in conjunction with the college basketball championship finals; the park reached its maximum capacity on both that Saturday and the following Sunday and stopped admitting visitors. [KTRK; previously on Swamplot] Video: Geoffrey Lyon

Turned Up and Down Downtown
02/16/16 1:15pm

Leather-clad real estate agent Paul Gomberg, perhaps best known for the sales video of that Champion Forest house filled with excrement that made the rounds back in early January, is now starring in a less nose-threatening video tour — this one of a squeaky-clean 2011 mansion on Lake Conroe. The punchline this time: a suit-and-tie-clad 11-year-old that Gomberg chaperons around the property, who ultimately leaves the contract-ready agent hanging on the steps of the house pending parental permission to close the deal.

The house at 12386 Tramonto Dr., which first went on the market in October of 2014 for $1.6 million, was dropped to just below $1.5 million on Tax Day in 2015, two weeks before an early May relisting. The asking price dropped again last July to the current $1.35 million.

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Lake Conroe Listing Antics
01/27/16 11:30am

Here’s some hot and heavy demo footage of a frenzied excavator tearing apart the former Blanco’s Bar and Grill at 3406 W. Alabama St. this morning, as a worker hoses down the scene from off to the side. A reader captured the final show at the little blue honky-tonk, which housed live music for nearly 32 years before its November 2013 closure.

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Hosed on W. Alabama
01/12/16 1:15pm

AND NOW, WATCH THE RED LINE RUSH FROM BELL ST. TO BURNETT STATION AND BACK IN 49 SECONDS Take a break from the Downtown bustle, even if its just for a couple of seconds — frequent Swamplot photo contributor Jackson Myers captured this sped-up video of a light-rail ride from Bell St. up to Burnett Station, and even manages to hop in the conductor’s compartment for the return trip. Video: Jackson Myers via Swamplot inbox

01/07/16 10:30am

What better character to hawk a house slathered in animal dung than a leather-jacketed agent from Rockstar Real Estate Group? Rhinestone-loving Paul Gomberg, who operates under the umbrella of Keller Williams Conroe/Lake Conroe, posted a video tour yesterday of a house featured on Swamplot on Monday (which, as commenters noted, included captions such as “Feces galore!”).

Gomberg seems eager to share his delight for the house at 5623 Willow Walk Ln., calling it “one of the best listings he’s had in the last 2 weeks” (even while warning his cameraman to hold his nose against what his HAR listing calls the “foul stench” permeating the interior). Gomberg posted the tour to YouTube last night — despite the fact that the property appears to have been under contract since December 20, after only 1 day on the market.

The house, currently listed at $125,000, originally sold for $280,000 in 2012, when it looked like this:

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Video Shitshow
06/19/15 10:15am

When an unidentified arsonist wearing a face mask last Thursday spread what appears to be gasoline onto the railroad-track-facing back porch of the Cross Track Ice House at 200 Magnolia St. in Old Town Spring — just 2 miles southeast of the new ExxonMobil campus — footage of the scene and the fire’s initial moments from a security camera aimed at the porch somehow survived the blaze.

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Whodunit?
05/07/15 12:00pm

Remember that incident last July when real estate investor and renowned neighbor-dismemberer Robert Durst — the Rice Village’s best-known resident — decided to spread his own bodily fluids in the CVS at 6011 Kirby Dr.? Thanks to the enterprising and patient reporting team at KPRC, surveillance video of the episode is now available for all to see. Together with the shocking scene included at the end of the HBO documentary The Jinx — in which Durst, retreating to the bathroom from an interview while wearing a still-live mic, appears to confess to multiple murders — the footage paints a portrait of a man prone to urination surprises. Durst pleaded no contest to charges of criminal mischief for the CVS episode, after he allegedly exposed himself to a cashier and then peed on a display of candy.

The newly released footage isn’t the clearest (and mercifully, any potentially offending images are blurred out) but it does reveal a few things, including where Durst stood when he began urinating — in case that matters to future customers of that CVS Pharmacy.

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Where It All Went Down
04/27/15 2:45pm

THE MCCONAUGHEY IS STRONG IN THIS ONE A mere 6 months after Jim Carrey, Metro is out with its own riff on last year’s series of commercials for the Lincoln MKC emceed by a dusk-cruising Matthew McConaughey. But there’s no Texas Longhorn blocking the road for Metro’s version (above), meant to uh . . . re-introduce the transit agency’s newly reimagined bus service, scheduled to kick off in 4 months. Mixed into the atmospherics is a bus driver’s subtle diss of folks’ reliance on some of the old, less popular routes axed in the bus-map redo: “Where’re you really going on the road less traveled? Probably nowhere really great.” [Metro] Video: Metro

04/15/15 5:00pm

A POST OAK PARK GOODBYE TIMELAPSE David Weihs “had a little time” on his hands yesterday afternoon — his last day at work in his current job is this Friday, he writes. Also at his disposal: a Galaxy S5 and a little everyday movie-making technology. So in an hour he put together this collection of views from the tenth floor of the Five Post Oak Park office building at 4400 Post Oak Pkwy. [Reddit] Video: David Weihs

04/02/15 12:45pm

Westheimer Rd. During Cigna Sunday Streets HTX, Lower Westheimer, Montrose, Houston

Lower Westheimer is, of course, one of those select “walkable” areas of Houston, but last weekend’s first corporate-sponsored Sunday Streets made it especially so — even in the absence of a traditional neighborhood festival. The Montrose road was blocked off to automobile traffic from Taft to Woodhead for 4 hours.

Video footage of the event from a DJI Inspire 1 piloted by Adam Brackman shows rare scenes of introduced free-range human bipedal and bi-pedal activity in not-so-native habitat — from a few new angles:

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Straight Up from the Street
03/24/15 12:15pm

Note: We’ve added a long-form aerial demolition video (our first ever) to the bottom of this story.

A few days before demo crews began tearing down the strip center at 2905 Travis St., the lone encroachment on the Midtown Superblock’s otherwise longstanding perfect record of vacancy, reader and neighboring property owner Adam Brackman captured this aerial tour of the site, which never veers from the Downtown (north) view.

What’s happened to Superblock since? Pics sent in from another reader show last week’s demo in progress:

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Vacant Lot Porn
02/09/15 11:45am

AND NOW, AN INCREASINGLY ABSTRACT VIEW OF WHAT IT’S LIKE TO WORK AT THE ROTHKO CHAPEL Alberto Sosa’s latest animated video interview of a starting-level employee in the Houston art world features visitor services and volunteer coordinator Yma Luis — and thousands of drawings. [Glasstire] Video: Alberto Sosa

01/12/15 11:15am

Still from the Internet Show, Showing Memorial Dr., Houston

Sure, you might vaguely recognize the Houston street scene shown above, but maybe you’re unclear about what kind of modem you need to make the hard right turn from Memorial Dr. onto the information superhighway? “Maybe you’ve read or heard about the internet, but you’re still not exactly sure what it is? Well if that’s the case, don’t worry. In no time at all you’ll be able to impress everyone with your amazing techno-savvy.” Just by watching this hour-long 1995 PBS program sponsored by Compaq (and Viewers Like You) all about this crazy new Internet thing:

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Houston in the Early Internet Era