11/19/14 10:45am

Minus the crew of bearded lookalikes with whom he toured the Galleria earlier this year, Houston Rockets guard James Harden shows off a pizzeria-ized Siphon Coffee in this just-released ad spot for Foot Locker. The coffee shop at 701 W. Alabama St., which normally features no boxed items on its menu, was transformed into a pizza spot for a day-long shoot on November 9th.


Rocket Redo
05/08/13 10:00am

That there’s some pretty bad Feng Shui going down in this commercial for Honda, which was filmed in Vancouver and shown on teevee and the web beginning last October. The man behind the wheel of the CR-V sure is driving some bad chi into the gullet of the far-from-the-prairie home at the end of the T-intersection, to the encouraging narration of Garrison Keillor. But isn’t the house kinda asking for it anyway, what with all that glimmering vortex-popping and all?

And gee, doesn’t the hole stabbing through the house look a heck of a lot like . . . that temporary sculpture that stood on Montrose Blvd. in Houston a few years back? Portal to another dimension? Naah — from here it looks more like a shortcut to Grant St.


10/03/12 3:28pm

It was inevitable that construction of the new East End Line would change the face of Thunderbolt Motors & Transmissions. No more head-in parking out front means customers may have a hard time replicating the closing image of the business’s (locally) famous teevee commercial, 2 versions of which feature a blonde urban-cowgirl type in a Caddy convertible waving her hat in the air as she pulls her (presumably backed-in) convertible onto Harrisburg from one of those spaces.

The 1977 original is shown above. In the commercial’s more recent remake, the head-in parking at 6847 Harrisburg is easier to make out:


09/27/11 6:36pm

COMMENT OF THE DAY: INSIDE THE KNOWLES FAMILY’S WALMART HOME FOR THE HOLIDAYS “That sitting area by the fireplace looks familiar — is that where they filmed the commercial with the band members/family opening up all their gifts from Wal-Mart?” [Hellsing, commenting on Is This the House Behind the House of Deréon? Beyonce’s Mom Tina Knowles Selling Farnham Park Mansion]

04/15/08 1:09pm

Lantern Village, 5815 Gulfton, HoustonDavid Kaplan of the Chronicle catches up with Houston-apartment legend Michael Pollack and fills in a few details of the Colonial House story:

According to media reports then, Pollack lived in a super-size Colonial House apartment called “the Dream Suite,” which had a colored water fountain inside and a king-size water bed.

The Dream Suite was real, but Pollack says he never lived there. His home was the Four Leaf Towers and later the Houstonian, he said.

His glamorous stud image was just an act, he maintains, designed to rent apartments.

“I was promoting day and night,” Pollack said. “To me, it was a job.” . . .

According to Houston City magazine, he’d show up at nightclubs in a chauffeured custom Cadillac limousine with a moon roof. He traveled with an entourage, including bodyguards in satin jackets adorned with Pollack’s silhouette.

There are more memorable Pollack TV spots to be dug up:

One commercial featured Pollack in a safari outfit and a tiger. He had a fear of cats, even little cats, and being next to the full-grown beast was terrifying, he recalled.

In 1986, Pollack left Houston because, he said, the local economy and apartment market looked increasingly grim.

Colonial House was foreclosed on in 1988. It was acquired by DRG Funding Corp., the lender that financed the complex’s redevelopment. Pollack moved back to California, working there a few years before settling in Mesa[, Arizona].

In Houston, the Colonial House era is no more. A year after the foreclosure, the mammoth complex changed its name to Lantern Village.

After the jump: Laundry tips from a longtime resident of today’s Lantern Village!


01/21/08 11:54am

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CLnLsrK5Tjs 400 330]

The brave work of Southwest Houston and Houston Apartment Renaissance scholars has been rewarded — a second mid-1980s Colonial House TV commercial is now available on YouTube!

No it’s not quite as iconic and over-the-top as the one with the VCR in the pool, but look at that fabulous indoor-outdoor furniture! Almost a quarter century later, we know Michael Pollack is alive and well, but does anyone know where that living-room mandala and dining-room set ended up?

12/10/07 11:02am

[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WC5mvVXGGjc 400 330]

This charming period piece from the abortive early-’80s Southwest Houston apartment renaissance surfaced on YouTube late last month, to the great acclaim of chief Michael Pollack fan Lou Minatti, who has hosted an online shrine to the iconic and once high-profile Houston developer on his website for several years. Why was Pollack such a big deal?

What Gallery Furniture’s “We really will save you moneyyyyyyy!” was to the north side of town, the VCR in the Pool was to the southwest.

And really, who can forget the charms of Colonial House, at the corner of Chimney Rock and Gulfton? Writes Minatti:

Built in the late 1960s, Colonial House was in terrible shape.

Gangs and prostitutes had moved in, while basic amenities such as air conditioning had quit working. Pollack moved in and the gangs moved out. Pollack’s crew gutted and rebuilt each of the 1,800 units in just three months. But after all that hard work, Pollack had an even bigger task ahead: How was our suave, sophisticated hero going to fill those apartments? That’s where his infamous TV ads came in.

Here’s a question: Doesn’t the bench-pressing dude on the Nautilus about five seconds in look a bit . . . familiar?

After the jump: Pollack claims it was all an act! Plus, what he’s up to these days — with pix!