Zoës Kitchen Doubling Down on Houston; Houston’s Park Walkability

Photo of the Pearl: Russell Hancock via Swamplot Flickr Pool


16 Comment

  • And even then, the “parks” accessible to most Houstonians are half-flooded, mosquito-ridden fields bathed in the distinctive aroma of rotting plant matter, with a tree or two casually tossed up there to accent the poorly-maintained Soviet-era building that may or may not be included. What point is there in having a park within walking distance if you’d never want to go there ten months out of the year?

  • Re: Abrupt Closure of Jerry Built Burgers
    I’m sorry to hear that people have lost their jobs suddenly but, despite living about 10 minutes away from the Holcombe store, I never visited once in their five-year history. There are just too many burger places in town all competing: good for consumers, bad for investors.

  • Cane Island development gives me the heeby-jeebies

  • I ate at the one on Holcombe once. Their burgers were pretty good, but not exceptional.

    I will miss the glowing bull on the building’s façade, though.

  • I live within 10-minutes walking distance of three parks: Cherryhurst, Ervan Chew (or Dunlavy), and Mandell. Based on my experience of them, nothing TMR said is true. They are well-used enhancements of the neighborhood that are used throughout the year.
    That said, TMR’s reference to Soviet-era buildings in the context of Houston’s parks is incomprehensible, so I’d allow that s/he might be talking about parks in a city somewhere in the former USSR.

  • Houston isn’t park poor per se. The problem is that the City focuses too much effort on a handful of big signature parks that are very nice, and generally neglects neighborhood parks, which are too few and not well kept.
    Harris County does a much better job on parks. It’s weird actually: The Harris County Commissioners Court is by any measure an old boys club: all men, mostly older, mostly white – and yet they have a much more fair and equitable approach to parks in poorer minority areas than the more diverse Houston City Council

  • TMR: Which parks specifically are you referring to? None of the parks close to our home exhibit the conditions you mentioned. In fact, Houston has relatively decent weather 7-8 months out of every year. And I thought Texan’s were “Tough!”

  • @ZAW… In county vs city its republicancs >>democrats. Pretending to have the feels for your poorer constituents for political gain is not nearly as effective as being responsible apparently.

  • Houstonreader – spend some time in COH OTL neighborhood parks. It’s not pretty, unless it happens to be named after a currently-prominent politician. ZAW is dead on – unless the park’s got a dedicated conservancy, there isn’t going to be much more than nominal money spent on it, long term, and maintenance won’t go beyond periodic mowing.

  • @ZAW You’re completely right. The amount of money that gets dumped into a handful of high profile parks is a little frustrating for those of us wanting to see something come to our neighborhood. I will admit though that those big parks often have a lot of private money pumping them up as well, so we can’t fault them for that.

  • @TMR: I don’t know what OTL refers to. Your original comment is exaggerated.

  • The eater Houston writers might want to do a little more background checking before they interview people and quote them in this article about Hunky Dory’s and Bernadine’s. Many, many problems in the Heights and Houston Press called him out BIG TIME in a article from 07/2013.

  • A 10 minute walk is about half a mile. For everyone to live within a 10 minute walk from a park, we would need a park every mile or so. Is this really the correct measure for optimum park density?

  • @HoustonReader, OTL in this case means “outside the loop”
    ZAW’s comment is spot on. A great many parks in non-gentrified areas get a once a month mowing and that’s about it. But given that the COH’s finances are in such dire shape, it’s hard to expect more.

  • The frustrating thing about the park situation is the lack of effort and foresight that goes into them. Many are nothing more than old, clear-cut lots that had a couple of red oaks planted, perhaps some athletic fields installed, playground equipment added, and a parking lot put in. Almost no parks outside the major ones have anywhere you can escape the city, even for a moment. It truly detracts from quality of life and the argument that Houston is a nice place to live, rather than a nice place to buy lots of things to live with.

  • I’ll be specific: Dunlavy Park got a new splashpad and jungle gym several years ago; Cherryhurst has gotten its playground mulch replenished. I don’t visit city parks outside the loop and make no comment on them, but my experience of the parks that I do visit contradicts what is being said here, especially TMR’s hyperbole.