Comment of the Day: Freeing Your Mind and Your Neighborhood from the Shackles of the Rat Race

COMMENT OF THE DAY: FREEING YOUR MIND AND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD FROM THE SHACKLES OF THE RAT RACE “Reading these comments . . . I am stunned at the level of hyper-consumerism displayed by those who claim to be enlightened and conscientious stewards of our urban landscape. Every post regarding anything in the inner loop unleashes a torrent of demands for more retail…but only the RIGHT kind of retail…and only the RIGHT size and location. There are always several nuanced posts about what type of consumer good is the RIGHT one to buy, what type of purveyor is the RIGHT one to patronize, and what type of building is the RIGHT one to house said consumer goods. It strikes me that there is precious little attempt at limiting over-consumption, simply demand for the type of consumption that befits one who is attempting to burnish one’s green or socially conscious bonafides. Several years back, as I tired of competing for attention with the products that I purchase or wear, I noticed that once I limited my consumption, the concern over what type and location of the stores around me waned as well. I certainly do not care if the clerk selling me a $3 bottle of wine wears a Hawaiian shirt or a blue one, especially knowing that the company selling the wine engages in the same cutthroat business practices as all of the other retailers . . . This is why it matters not whether Walmart builds in the neighborhood, or Whole Foods, or Trader Joe’s. I spend so little at any of them that they aren’t moving here for me. Any of those stores (minus Trader Joe’s) would fulfill my weekly shopping needs, and the 1 mile drive once a week that I make isn’t hurting the environment nearly as much as the apparent daily shopping trips to buy the RIGHT products that many of my neighbors apparently make.” [Dave, commenting on Trader Joe’s Is Now Looking To Open Stores in Houston]

22 Comment

  • Hey, it is the American Way. Buy, Buy, Buy. It is government policy to push Americans to consume. GDP growth is touted to be the end-all economic indicator. Over consumption and stretched credit led to the current depression – but the government wants us all to go back out and SPEND-SPEND-SPEND. Get housing starts back up. Come on folks you are not in the program.

    What is one of the largest growth industries in this Country? – Mini Storage. For all of the crap that folks buy that they cannot find room for in their homes. How stupid is that?

  • Wait. What other places have acceptable $3 wine?

  • So…you don’t have standards, and neither should we?

  • But, the businesses in and around our neighborhoods do affect our property value whether we shop there or not.

  • There are some people who will never be happy. That is why these comment sections exist – so we can b*tch and/or find amusement in the b*tches of others. Just like some people will never be satisfied with a birth certificate of a President or a photo (or lack of photo) of a dead terrorist, there are some who will never be satisfied with what is built around Houston. I, for one, am amused at the fact that Dave took the time to b*tch about people b*tching. So much so that I took time to comment. See? It’s a vicious, yet fun, cycle.

  • Well said, Red.

  • Yes, I shop a couple of times a week. (No house full of kids & pets so my needs are few. Of course, I carry my own shopping bags–no “paper or plastic” for me.) Generally I stop at a place convenient to my commute home–via Metro bus and/or train. Heights Kroger, Studewood Fiesta, Spec’s Warehouse & Revival Market are all handy. (This is also a good way to check out trendy restaurants; drop by early, have a light snack & a couple of nice drinks–and tip well.)

    The Whole Foods under construction is on the route but I’d prefer a new HEB. The Phoenicia downtown will fit in nicely–when does it open? Trader Joe’s would be a great addition.

    Apparently Dave actually drives a car to shop! tsk, tsk….

  • There are only two reasons to take public transportation in Houston… 1) your car is broken or 2) You have been found by the state of Texas to be mentally deficient to operate a vehicle.

  • …or you get yourself to the Fannin lot, hop the the busy light rail car, hop off at the Med Center, Midtown or Downtown.

    Thousands like this setup very much, and use it every day…and they don’t clog inner city streets, stew at lights, or gag-up for parking lot fees.

    No broken car, not mentally deficient.

    Mr. Absolute fails again.

  • > There are only two reasons to take
    > public transportation in Houston…

    Hey Common, let me guess: you’re a GOP -voting, caucasian male, correct?

    In actuality, Houston’s public transit system is clean, modern, and efficient, and often practical too. I have some friends who are on a 2-yr energy-biz contract and live downtown, but don’t have a company car.

    They take one of the express buses from downtown to the Addicks park & ride, where I pick them up and give a ride the rest of the way (to Cullen Park).

    When I first suggested this route, I warned them that their white Texan colleagues would consider this trip to be practically suicide. Sure enough, that’s what happened.

    6 months later, my route is still the best way to go — and one of their colleagues who warned them to reconsider was rear-ended on I-10 by a pickup truck.


  • People just love being snooty about Walmart, and then buying overly expensive weird crap in giant crowds in Central Market.

    Which is fine. But Walmart serves a purpose too.

  • Shopping need not simply about I, me, mine. Shopping for the stuff you need or want is an opportunity to mix and mingle with your community while they’re getting the things they need or want. I would like pleasant places in which to do this that enhance the experience (the opposite of the Bed, Bath & Beyond experience). For me it’s about quality of the shopping experience both in terms of the goods I buy and the places in which I buy them. That’s why I don’t want a Wal-mart in my neighborhood.

  • @ Patrick,

    Now Swamplot is about race?

    I for one could give a sh-t about you, your skin color or your friends who live downtown without a car while making a pay check off big oil.

    People like you are the problem in this country, if soemone doesn’t share your values or way thinking they are racest.

    Get a life you loser!

  • @cross

    Get with the program dude, white people suck.

    Even though they make up 95% percent of the yupsters who shop at Revival Meats and read this blog.

  • I love watching class insecurity.

    What we have here is a snob-fest where upper-middle class white people attempt to solidify their social status by looking down on the habits of middle class white people.

    “Not having a car” is a class signaling marker in white society – it means you make enough to live some place where everything is convenient. It’s how white people in the Heights prove that they are different from white people in Tomball

  • Well…there are 15 Wal-Marts in the greater Houston area, 5 Whole Foods and 1 Central Market. Perhaps those who patronize the latter two are looking for something different.

    And while not quite public transport, I loved my former firms’ vanpool. Being able to catch a few winks on the way to work did wonders for my evening social life and was a godsend for my sleep-deprived parental coworkers.

  • “I don’t want a WalMart in my neighborhood” doesn’t make any sense appended to that comment. Just don’t go to the goddamn WalMart if you don’t like it. Stop trying to make other people’s choices for them.

  • Well, it’s all out in the open on this thread. It’s all about eminent domain and the most subsidized industry/lifestyle in human history when they’re up, and instinctively playing the victim when anybody dissents.

  • And more power to them, let them shop wherever they like is what I say. Personally I’m loving the new Silber Walmart, I find it pleasantly different from Whole Paycheck.

  • From Patrick:
    > There are only two reasons to take
    > public transportation in Houston…
    Hey Common, let me guess: you’re a GOP -voting, caucasian male, correct?
    Patrick, at first I was going to reply to Common about his silly quote, but yours is even worse. Not liking plubic transportation is his own deal. wtf does it have to do with white or GOP or male?
    I’m a GOP voting caucasian male. I also live in Montrose ( while being straight! Myths busted!). And to blow your mind and Commons, I RIDE THE RAIL FROM TIME TO TIME. I have the benefit of living a few minutes walk from it or else maybe I wouldn’t but I find it kinda cool (almost fun?) to zip on the rail to Herman park, or Reliant, or downtown…

  • From Patrick:
    > There are only two reasons to take
    > public transportation in Houston…

    Hey Common, let me guess: you’re a GOP -voting, caucasian male, correct?

    You say this as if it’s something to be deeply ashamed of.

  • Erm….well….Donald Trump, perhaps?