TERMINAL B AT GEORGE BUSH AIRPORT WILL STAY CLOSED AFTER THE SHUTDOWN
A spokesperson for George Bush International Airport tells the Chronicle that due to “staffing issues,” the security checkpoint and ticketing counter at IAH’s Terminal B will remain closed indefinitely. The terminal’s entry area has been shut down since January 13, at which time the federal government shutdown was still in full swing. Flights will continue to depart from the terminal, but passengers scheduled to board them will check in at Terminals C and E before making their way to the gates. [Houston Chronicle]
THE GRAVESITE BREAKUP MYSTERY NEAR ALDINE MIDDLE SCHOOL Who, exactly, ordered the unannounced, interrupted, and apparently haphazard plant and gravestone removal at the unmarked Aldine Cemetery near Aldine Middle School last week? As of Friday, Mike Snyder writes, the local sheriffs were still trying to figure that out — as were some of the (living) family members of the buried, and unofficial Aldine historian Elizabeth Battle, who had been working to get the cemetery its own historical marker. Battle tells Snyder she’d been under the impression that “people . . . barreling in and destroying graves without contacting the descendants” wasn’t something that was likely to happen; University of Houston professor and periodic gravesite construction advisor Ken Brown notes that any disturbance of the 30-ish headstones, even by the property’s owner, should have required a court order. [Houston Chronicle] Photo of semi-cleared Aldine Cemetery on Aldine Meadows Rd: State rep. Armando Walle
The 5th link in Ricky Craig’s Hubcap Grill chain is opening next week to travelers through Terminal A at IAH. The former food truck expanded from its first permanent Downtown spot to a Shady Acres location in 2011, and a Kemah spot in 2014. Craig also recently converted Harborside Mercantile — which Craig opened in January in a renovated Galveston Strand spot, with Modular chicken rancher Joshua Martinez — into a cocktail bar version of Hubcap as well; following the seafood restaurant’s August shutdown, the remodeled joint reopened as a burger place in late October.
Photos: Ricky Craig
Food Truck Links
COMMENT OF THE DAY: TOO EASY “I was really interested in buying . . . when it wasn’t for sale.” [northside girl, commenting on On Second Thought: Yeah, It’s Available]
A few amendments appear to have been made to that giant “Property Not for Sale” sign on JFK Blvd. near Greens Rd. just south of IAH featured on Swamplot last month, notes reader Brett Jensen. Plastered over that simpler earlier sign (shown at right) are now indications of the property’s size, a revised phone number, a real-estate company name and contact, and what appears to be a complete reversal of the previous marketing strategy. An indication that that “don’t even ask” strategy was a flop? Or that it worked too well, and now a new owner of sign and land is simply trying a more practiced strategy to flip it?
Photos: Brett Jensen (for sale) and Katie Pearson (not for sale)
“I’ve often thought about calling the owner of the lot and asking how much the property is selling for,” writes Swamplot reader Katie Pearson of this not-for-sale sign on JFK Blvd. near Greens Rd., just south of IAH. “The five foot tall digits of the phone number are just so irresistible!”
Photo: Katie Pearson
3-year-old 11-building condo complex at the intersection of Beltway 8 and Hwy. 59; great feeder-road-U-turn access to IAH. Swimming pool — okay, it’s a retention pond — at the center. And bank-owned. Well, not anymore. Interra Capital Group bought 112 of the 128 flex-space industrial condo units at the High Ridge Business Park from the lender last month, and for the 60-some units still available, it’ll be lease only.
The New York sculptor behind those new splashy welcome signs on JFK Blvd. outside IAH passed away over the weekend after a short bout with liver cancer. Dennis Oppenheim explained the inspiration behind the Radiant Fountains sculpture and light show to the Chronicle‘s Douglas Britt last August: It was a sign he had seen as a child from the Bayshore Freeway in Oakland, California, which featured an animated version of the famous Sherwin-Williams “Cover the Earth” logo.
It was the world globe and then a bucket of paint dripping on top of it, and this captivated me. I told them [the Houston Arts Alliance] quite frankly that I would be extremely satisfied if I accomplished something like that, because it really did capture the ongoing traffic. I also said that it would be nice if these works were so … whatever … that people would turn around and come back to see them again.
Video: Andrew Vrana
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WOULD MAKE A MORE PROPER HOUSTON WELCOME “All that said, I still regret that we didn’t put up two enormous inflatable gorillas, standing on either side of JFK Blvd., like the statues of [Isildur] and Anárion flanked the river Anduin in The Lord of the Rings.” [RWBoyd, commenting on Here’s Your Splashy New Welcome Sign, Houston]
COMMENT OF THE DAY: WELCOME TO THE FUTURE OF HOUSTON “This is the kind of thing that every kid who lives here will remember 40 years from now. ‘Remember that weird light show thing they had at the airport?’” [Cap’n McBarnacle, commenting on Here’s Your Splashy New Welcome Sign, Houston]
Backsplash from a stream of strange particles falling from the sky, or is that just some mucky stuff bubbling up from underfoot? Either way, what better way to say, “Welcome to Houston”? The night lights are now on at “Radiant Fountains,” the new collection of pipe-assembly sculptures by New York artist Dennis Oppenheim, commissioned by the Houston Arts Alliance, working with Houston Airport Systems — whose offices are nearby — under the city’s 11-year-old “percent for art” policy. Recently completed on JFK Blvd. near Rankin Rd., they’re meant to greet newly arrived passengers from IAH. Andrew Vrana from Metalab — the local architecture firm that coordinated the installation — captures an early glimpse of the splashy action on video:
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In this edition of our occasional photo feature, a new shipment of street art opens around town. First up: this bit of spray-painted enthusiasm for BP cleanup efforts, installed in an impromptu outdoor gallery at the corner of Missouri and Commonwealth in Montrose.
What’s next to see?
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COMMENT OF THE DAY: BRING THOSE TV CAMERAS TOO CLOSE AND ZZZZAP!!!! “It’s actually a bug-zapper to bring Wayne [Dolcefino] … he is attracted to the glow of money being spent on anything other than polyester suits and Golden Corral.” [PaxMcKatz, commenting on IAH’s New Welcome to Houston Sign: We Hope Your Splashdown Was Pleasant]
Newly arrived visitors driving along JFK Blvd. at Rankin Rd. will soon encounter a landscape-appropriate welcome to our marshy city after they land at Bush Intercontinental Airport: three 60-ft. pipe assemblies festooned with animated LED light arrays on cables. New York artist Dennis Oppenheim sees the lights as
representing a giant twenty five foot tear drop falling into a pool, creating the upward sensation of a splash, which rises to sixty feet and consists of a multitude of colored lights cascading and sparkling toward the top and beyond, emerging in bright, spherical globes; representing giant droplets.
No stuck-in-the-muds here! Andrew Vrana of local architecture firm Metalab, who’s coordinating the installation, tells Swamplot the sculptures will have an 18-ft. diameter at the base and a 50-ft. diameter at the top. He says all 3 should be in place and complete “later this spring.”
Metalab’s blog has pix of a few of the pieces:
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John Nova Lomax, in the second installment of his 3-part version of his and David Beebe’s IAH-to-Downtown slog, passes by this rough-and-tumble strip mall just down the street from the Aldine ISD’s W.W. Thorne Stadium, — and figures out why the street is called Aldine Bender:
In one corner lurks a closed down bar called Sassy’s. The doors of this place were open even though it was abandoned. Someone had pulled much of the furniture out of it and left it on the sidewalk out front.
Flanking Sassy’s were a donut shop and not one, but two different Spanish-language chapters of Alcoholics Anonymous. And the piece de resistance was an abandoned Pontiac, complete with flat tire and faceprint in the windshield. A faceprint that went inward toward the dash, not outward from the driver’s seat. Perhaps the rival AA chapters got into a parking lot fracas…
- Sole of Houston: Airline Drive, Part 2 [Hair Balls]
- Imagined History of that Med Center Fountain Plaza [Swamplot]
- Previously in Swamplot: Snuff Is Not Enough: South Post Oak Lubricated Walking Tour, A Walk Down Cheezy Street: Richmond Avenue, Past Its Prime, Southeast Side: A Tour of the Houston Heartland, Long Point, Long Walk, Long Story, Telephone Road Walking Tour: Not How They Sang It Was, Shade, Subs, Plexes and Suds: A Bissonnet Story, Lonely East Side Walking Tour, Walking on Bellaire
Photo of 1215 Aldine Bender Rd.: John Nova Lomax