Archive for the ‘Houston’ Category

Houston is all right; I-45 is all blight

January 31, 2005

Kevin Whited is right that Joel Achenbach is wrong.

I wish, though, that visitors to Houston would have a better introduction to the city than I-45 between downtown and Bush Intercontinental Airport. I have never seen an uglier stretch of road, and it reinforces all of the inaccurate stereotypes.

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My last call at Slainte

January 20, 2005

I spent my last Thursday evening at Slainte today. Thomas Gray and I drank a toast to friends departed (Booth and Mako to D.C., David to Japan, Lori to her five-month-old), and left our old booth (the one under the stairs) behind.

No regrets. The place has been going downhill, and it’s been months since I’ve looked forward to going. Our favorite bartender, Jason, has moved to the Doghouse Tavern in Midtown. All the waitresses we flirted with are gone. Without the people, Slainte is just another over-priced downtown theme bar.

Voting results in my precinct

January 17, 2005

I have lived in Precinct 0200 of Harris County since summer 2000, and I was surprised by the voting shift between the November 2000 election and the November 2004 one:

2000           2004
PRESIDENT
Republican           51.1%          46.2%
Democratic           42.7           52.6
Naderite              5.5            0.4
Libertarian           0.1            0.7

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES
Democratic           50.3%          48.1%
Republican           46.2           47.5
Libertarian           3.5            2.1

(The precinct boundaries were the same in each election.)

I had been under the impression that the precinct was trending Republican, so the 15-point swing in margin to the Democrats in the presidential race surprises me. Have I been misreading what all the new townhouses mean?

And then compare the 15-point Democratic swing in the Presidential race to the 3-point Republican swing in the House race, which puzzles me even more. Precinct 0200 has moved from Sheila Jackson-Lee’s district to John Culberson’s district. Jackson-Lee is not well-liked, and I would have thought that a lot of people who hadn’t voted Democratic before because of her would start.

Can any of y’all help me understand what’s going on?

Houston: #1 again

January 6, 2005

After a brief stay in second place, Houston has returned to the top spot, being named by Men’s Fitness as the fattest city in America for the fourth year out of five.

I’ve done my part over the holidays. I’m afraid to step on the scale, so I can’t say for sure, but 10-12 lbs. of weight gain is not out of the question.

Was it worth it? Oh yes. Yes, it was. (Ask me again after I lose it, though.)

Tear down the Astrodome

December 31, 2004

The Houston Press reports on the possible fates of the Astrodome.

Houstonians are properly proud of the Astrodome. Billed as the “Eighth Wonder of the World”, it was the first air-conditioned sports stadium and an excellent example of the architecture of its time. The combination of audacity and publicity that went into building it is the trademark of this city. Even 40 years later, people the world over hear “Astrodome” and think “Houston”.

And it ought to be torn down.

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Snowing? In Houston!?

December 24, 2004

It snowed earlier today in Houston.

Yes, you read that right.

It was great—I’m only sorry that none of it stuck. And that the snow came today and won’t be back tomorrow.

Kenneth Lay: Houston hero

October 16, 2004

The Houston Alumni Organization probably wishes that this ceremony had never happened.

METRORail beware

October 10, 2004

I’ve finally seen one of those new International SUVs, parked in a driveway at Kirby and Stanmore.

Sweet Jesus.

When I say it was “parked in a driveway”, please be aware that I’m using a well-known euphemism for the sake of being understood; a euphemism that doesn’t really express how that behemoth dominated an entire River Oaks front yard.

If one of those things were to make an illegal left turn onto Main at the wrong time, I’d give even odds that the ensuing tow trucks would be for the train.

Tuesday night at the Meridian

July 22, 2004

After years of being a They Might Be Giants fan, I finally saw them in concert this week. I wish I hadn’t waited so long.

The show was at the Meridian, a new club in an old warehouse on Chartres Street. About 500 fellow TMBG and/or Homestar Runner geeks showed up, most of them younger than me (not surprising for a concert that lasted until midnight on a work night). I met four other people there and had a great time.

John Flansburgh and John Linnell are 20-year veterans at entertaining crowds, and it showed: The concert was fun from start to finish. You had to be there for all the jokes; I’ll just say that they were many and good. The music was at least adequate for most of the songs (though it looked to me as if John Linnell is sick of playing “Birdhouse in Your Soul”). The show didn’t have a particular highlight for me: I just enjoyed the songs and jumping up and down like an idiot for two hours.

(Other Houston bloggers there: Cybertoad and Irfan.)

Another beautiful day

July 9, 2004

I never thought I would savor a July day in Houston.

But there I was an hour ago, standing next to the Main Street Square fountains. Temperature: 84 degrees. Humidity: 50%. Sky: Sunny, but not glaring. Fountains: Doing the full 20-foot jet every few seconds.

Doesn’t get much better than that (and the whole spring was gorgeous, too). I’m heading back outside as soon as the sunscreen dries.