Opening Day Delays for Grand Texas Parks; Mourning a Menil Collection Tree

Photo of “Open House”: Marc Longoria via Swamplot Flickr Pool


15 Comment

  • Grand Texas Water Park ….. all hat and no cows

  • Grand Texas….more mediocre than grand. I feel sorry for the thousands of trees that were and will be bulldozed for this half a$$ed park. Houston deserves better.

  • My daughter and I played on that oak by the Menil. This just reinforces our family motto: “Everything dies.”

  • W/re to the Forbes article on how Houston survived the recent oil bust… The last part of the article can’t be stressed enough. While energy will, and should, remain important to the economy of this city, business and political leaders need to develop strategies for diversifying the economy. The recent snub by Amazon should have been a clarion call that greater investment need to be made in attracting newer types of industries. Not just in money, but in thought and strategy.

    Pittsburgh is an example of a town that got it right by pivoting from steel to finance. Detroit… well, that’s the direction I fear we’re heading.

  • The Forbes article was good at describing how Houston has hedged its exposure to oil. Oil prices high? Good for upstream business. Oil prices low? Good for downstream. Both components are strong in Texas. Also, doing anything just to please Amazon is both demeaning and futile. We should stick to our knitting and reinforce our strengths.

  • I’d say the opposite probably; amazon didn’t snub us because of a lock of strategy by city hall, it was because of a general lack of quality of life factors and labor pools. Companies like amazon aren’t just looking for cheap labor and right to work laws like a lot of transplants are; they’re looking for densely packed and highly educated/creative labor pools. Houston has always been dependent on importing our creative talent/educated labor pools and once you go beyond engineering/medical I don’t see Houston being able to provide a value added factor there.
    I’d say the only thing city hall should focus on is education and services to ensure Houston can maintain a 1.) well educated and 2.) mobile workforce. These are two areas that have always been Houston’s weakness and should remain our primary focus in drawing businesses.

  • Avoid Amazon. They bring a lot of crap jobs and demand a lot of tax dollars. Houston can do better.

  • I guess I wasn’t clear. I only used Amazon as a recent and convenient example of how Houston lags behind its peer cities in fostering new and innovative industries. I wasn’t necessarily lamenting the loss of the HQ2 project. And if you read the whole Forbes article, they also made the point that we got lucky. The most recent oil bust was unlike those of the past because it wasn’t preceded by a larger national or global recession. I’m not just asking that city hall or the mayor’s office to do something. I think it’s incumbent upon all community leaders (business and especially education) to make an effort to create a broader business portfolio.

    And before someone accuses me of advocating for the abandonment of the energy industry, let me redirect you to the third sentence of my first post.

  • In the Amazon case most commenters get the pursued and pursuer confused. Amazon is looking for a taxpayer handout. Simple.

  • @memebag. Your family motto is: Everything Dies?? Uh, remind me not to have Christmas with your family. Morbid. I think the Menil could have done a much better job educating the public on their decision to kill this tree. I can’t help but think they could have done more to save it. The quote from the Menil wasn’t great PR. All that money on that museum full of the ugliest art I’ve ever seen. The thing I like about the Menil is the Renzo Piano building. I loved the Byzantine Frecos, but alas their back in Cyprus. Sad about the tree, but oh so Houston.

  • Houston just doesn’t have the climate, geography, and “quality of life” sexyparts that attact corporate relocations these days. I propose we rename the city “Southeast Austin” and see how many companies we can trick into coming here.

  • Barks has it right. Ignore the Amazon marketing and virtue signal garbage. It’s about getting the best deal for investors. (in other words-tax payer funded crap). There’s nothing wrong with that. Keep it up! Just don’t do it Houston.

  • if we play our cards right, we could be the Pittsburgh of the South.

  • @Rich: I walked past that tree nearly every day and it was practically dead. The only leaves on it were from parasitic vines. It was regularly visited by an arborist, but there was really nothing that could be done. If you need a reason to hate the Menil, go for it, but short of casting it in a giant block of lucite there was no other option for preservation.

  • There are tons of great areas of Houston to live. No way Amazon would have a problem getting talent. You’re telling me a big space near midtown couldn’t have attracted a ton of talent from young creative types that live all around the area? Not buying it.