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Old 07-29-2012, 01:55 AM
 
Location: Where Else...?
735 posts, read 558,075 times
Reputation: 627

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Quote:
Need we ask ourselves, does Houston need to have a Times Square or Vegas Strip somewhere in downtown to fit the classification of "congregate?"
Houston definately needs improvement in some areas (i.e. transportation, amusement, municipal, etc.) But it's improvements needs to be unique to the city. Not a replica of NYC or Vegas. If I want that, I'll go to those places.

 
Old 07-29-2012, 02:06 AM
 
819 posts, read 1,182,922 times
Reputation: 1022
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Palm View Post
Houston definately needs improvement in some areas. But it's improvements need to beunique to the city. Not a replica of NYC or Vegas. If I want that, I'll go to those places.
I agree that we can surely keep improving downtown among other things, Queen Palm. But there are those who say we don't "congregate" enough in Houston.

I actually think Houston's collection of diverse party spaces is kind of a unique happenstance as it is. There is a sudden contrast of street scale/texture between Rice Village, White Oak, Richmond Ave and downtown Houston compared to say L.A.'s Santa Monica, Sunset, Melrose, W. Hollywood, Robertson, La Brea and such. Those L.A. streets couldn't fit the super huge congregation Richmond Avenue decks of Deck Haus, Horn, Sam's Boat, Sam's Place, Concert Pub, Uptown Hookah, Rocca, British Arms and such comfortably, could they?

I love our city's collection of Inner Loop intimate, urban style party areas but we like doing some big patio deck stuff on Richmond Avenue now and then. Love those options here.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 02:22 AM
 
Location: Where Else...?
735 posts, read 558,075 times
Reputation: 627
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
I agree that we can surely keep improving downtown among other things, Queen Palm. But there are those who say we don't "congregate" enough in Houston.
We do. But it's mostly indoors. Yes. I understand where they are coming from. The lack of walking space, the size of the sidewalks here that have very little easments. This is just one of the areas the city needs to continue to improve on.

True.You don't see masses walking up and down sidewalks in and out of bodegas, bookshops, delis, coffee shops, and other sundry shops. Houston is different in that it is not built up in that fashion. What people consider those to be urban, vibrant enclaves is translated to strip malls here. Instead of foot pedestrians, it's substituted with cars in and out of parking lots. And let me just say, that having been practically all around the area, inside the loop, inside the beltway, and even outside the beltway, Houston is verrry vibrant, all over the metro area.

Quote:
I actually think Houston's collection of diverse party spaces is kind of a unique happenstance as it is. There is a sudden contrast of street scale/texture between Rice Village, White Oak, Richmond Ave and downtown Houston compared to say L.A.'s Santa Monica, Sunset, Melrose, W. Hollywood, Robertson, La Brea and such. Those L.A. streets couldn't fit the super huge congregation Richmond Avenue decks of Deck Haus, Horn, Sam's Boat, Sam's Place, Concert Pub, Uptown Hookah, Rocca, British Arms and such comfortably, could they?

I love our city's collection of Inner Loop intimate, urban style party areas but we like doing some big patio deck stuff on Richmond Avenue now and then. Love those options here.
Yes! and I do see alot of patio congregating......when the weather is balmy.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 03:14 AM
 
819 posts, read 1,182,922 times
Reputation: 1022
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Palm View Post
We do. But it's mostly indoors. Yes. I understand where they are coming from. The lack of walking space, the size of the sidewalks here that have very little easments. This is just one of the areas the city needs to continue to improve on.

True.You don't see masses walking up and down sidewalks in and out of bodegas, bookshops, delis, coffee shops, and other sundry shops. Houston is different in that it is not built up in that fashion. What people consider those to be urban, vibrant enclaves is translated to strip malls here. Instead of foot pedestrians, it's substituted with cars in and out of parking lots. And let me just say, that having been practically all around the area, inside the loop, inside the beltway, and even outside the beltway, Houston is verrry vibrant, all over the metro area.



Yes! and I do see alot of patio congregating......when the weather is balmy.
If the sidewalks can get fixed ala Upper Kirby...that would be a step in the right direction. Upper Kirby is kind of cool. There's some negative spacing here and there, but the section near Richmond Avenue has some real potential. Some of those block buildings could use a cool coffee bar or two, cool shops and such as opposed to mostly glorified photocopy service shops and things of that nature, lol. That upper crust nightlife is quite hectic there already...lots of revelers walking down Kirby to those new spots.

What's interesting is that there are actually people who walk our slim sidewalks between said strip malls here in H-town as well. Like, when you have a bite to eat at El Ruchi's patio at the corner of Winrock/Westheimer, there is quite a bit of foot traffic that can be noticed. But the fast wide auto-oriented layout of Westheimer kind of obscures that. When eating at the patio, you take in that vista...and it's kind of a different type of urbanism. People loiter, people are walking to those lap dance palaces and pool halls along Winrock...there are people eating at the sidewalk tables of Little Napoli, people catching the METRO and such.

I notice this along the Bellaire/Hillcroft axis...along Ranchester where throngs of families and individuals walk to Chinatown for their groceries or catch the METRO 2 bus...Gessner itself has quite a few people in pedestrian transit between Bellaire and Harwin, headed to the taquerias and Fiesta Market. Westchase in the hidden street of Meadowglen...there's office people who walk to get food/coffee at Carillon Square, residents who walk all over to points like Gessner, Westheimer and Richmond Ave. When we lived in Westchase, we did walk to places like Yao's, Big Lots, Kroger, Sherlock's Pub, Marini's Empanadas and such.

But other cities have tighter, indeed, more pedestrians on their wider, more walkable sidewalks and denser building arrangements compared to Houston's more open, auto-centric format.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 05:34 AM
 
64 posts, read 68,055 times
Reputation: 48
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
I just came from Agora Ka. Drove around town for a bit.

People congregate EVERYWHERE in Houston. Washington Ave's, Rice Village's Morningside sidewalks are FULL of partiers, downtown...the Montrose establishements were virtually filled to the brim with people eating food outside the trucks over at Catbirds, practically every seat was taken at Agora where we were sitting...across the street at Brasil there were a LOT of people sitting in the patio...steady stream of pedestrians walking between Agora to Brasil to Poison Girl...Underbelly had a lot of people sitting in the patio...same as Royal Oak Bar.

Need we ask ourselves, does sprawling Houston need to have a Times Square or Vegas Strip somewhere in downtown to fit the classification of "congregate?"

Maybe we can place Rice Village, City Centre, Sugar Land Town Center, Washington Ave, the Heights, Richmond Ave, the gazillion bars along Westheimer, Bellaire and etc. off limits and force everyone downtown for entertainment so that we can show the world that we "congregate" in Houston.

And downtown Houston is far from dead. There are a lot of people who "congregate" there on a weekend night at those patio bars and night clubs along Main, Travis, Caroline and Bayou Place, among other streets. Downtown Houston's nightlife has stabilized. Maybe the "scene" will return, maybe not...but there is steady nightlife there now. It's Houston, there is no one area that is overcrowded, but well-balanced.

Indeed, I remember back when downtown Houston's nightlife exploded back in the late '90s-early 2K before rail construction...I mean it looked like Manhattan around many, many blocks from Thu-Sat night! You could barely walk those wide sidewalks along Main, Congress, Travis, etc.

Yet at that time...there was this backhanded dismissive reference from the Houston Press:

"A-crowd" flocks to downtown's (Houston's) revitalized party scene -- and hot spots such as Spy and Jones Bar -- leaving the once-hopping complex (Shepherd Plaza) in the dust. "Houston is not like other cities, where there are multiple locations that are hot," says Von Butler, a former club promoter who worked with the Voodoo Lounge in its early stages." (Houston Press, 8/20/98)

So when we had a hot, massive party scene downtown, there was dismissal of that.

Now that Houston has "multiple locations that are hot"...all of a sudden, by inference, downtown Houston sucks (though that is not true at all)?

So what is it really about H-town? Damned if it does, damned if it doesn't?
LOL is there pink elephants and unicorns in your world worldlyman

Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
I agree that we can surely keep improving downtown among other things, Queen Palm. But there are those who say we don't "congregate" enough in Houston.

I actually think Houston's collection of diverse party spaces is kind of a unique happenstance as it is. There is a sudden contrast of street scale/texture between Rice Village, White Oak, Richmond Ave and downtown Houston compared to say L.A.'s Santa Monica, Sunset, Melrose, W. Hollywood, Robertson, La Brea and such. Those L.A. streets couldn't fit the super huge congregation Richmond Avenue decks of Deck Haus, Horn, Sam's Boat, Sam's Place, Concert Pub, Uptown Hookah, Rocca, British Arms and such comfortably, could they?

I love our city's collection of Inner Loop intimate, urban style party areas but we like doing some big patio deck stuff on Richmond Avenue now and then. Love those options here.
ummm I think its called living in a city Why would LA have huge houses with patios on its main streets, must be a southern thang know what I mean

Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
If the sidewalks can get fixed ala Upper Kirby...that would be a step in the right direction. Upper Kirby is kind of cool. There's some negative spacing here and there, but the section near Richmond Avenue has some real potential. Some of those block buildings could use a cool coffee bar or two, cool shops and such as opposed to mostly glorified photocopy service shops and things of that nature, lol. That upper crust nightlife is quite hectic there already...lots of revelers walking down Kirby to those new spots.

What's interesting is that there are actually people who walk our slim sidewalks between said strip malls here in H-town as well. Like, when you have a bite to eat at El Ruchi's patio at the corner of Winrock/Westheimer, there is quite a bit of foot traffic that can be noticed. But the fast wide auto-oriented layout of Westheimer kind of obscures that. When eating at the patio, you take in that vista...and it's kind of a different type of urbanism. People loiter, people are walking to those lap dance palaces and pool halls along Winrock...there are people eating at the sidewalk tables of Little Napoli, people catching the METRO and such.

I notice this along the Bellaire/Hillcroft axis...along Ranchester where throngs of families and individuals walk to Chinatown for their groceries or catch the METRO 2 bus...Gessner itself has quite a few people in pedestrian transit between Bellaire and Harwin, headed to the taquerias and Fiesta Market. Westchase in the hidden street of Meadowglen...there's office people who walk to get food/coffee at Carillon Square, residents who walk all over to points like Gessner, Westheimer and Richmond Ave. When we lived in Westchase, we did walk to places like Yao's, Big Lots, Kroger, Sherlock's Pub, Marini's Empanadas and such.

But other cities have tighter, indeed, more pedestrians on their wider, more walkable sidewalks and denser building arrangements compared to Houston's more open, auto-centric format.
Great observation of your city worldlyman, luckily for me I don't notice these types of things in San Diego since its not uncommon, but hey maybe Houston is slowly becoming a real city
 
Old 07-29-2012, 07:53 AM
 
70 posts, read 44,535 times
Reputation: 49
for Truth173:

One of the tell-tale signs of a classic small-town/village HICK is that they always have a giant chip on their shoulder about their small-town/village. Deeply insecure and/or ashamed of where they come from but equally determined never to admit it and deal with it a more healthy way, they instead are in the habit of quickly taking personal offense at the slightest criticism or lack of gushing enthusiasm about their precious locality, and almost always it's the same drearily predictable fallback: the 'ole "Love it or leave it" challenge.

When you are in a TRULY top-notch place, the inhabitants are much more confident and self-assured, such that not only do they very seldom engage in such hyper-defensive drama-queen reactions, they are often genuinely CURIOUS and NTERESTED in hearing what those criticisms are in detail, and even when they disagree, they are MATURE enough to simply agree to disagree. Perhaps a few might give you the finger, but then they'd just go about their lives, not keep whining on and on about the perceived affront.

In other words, people who DO live in REAL cities, do *not* get their panties into a wad just because some random stranger on some random internet forum, whether a longtime resident like yours truly or a visiting tourist, offer some less than flattering feedback. It's the village hicks who tend to do that.

Heh, your hysterical, incoherent responses merely prove my point: there are far too many small-town hicks living in "big city" Houston---which is the reason that despite how good Houston might look on paper (even if one does not compile a farcical list of 100 rinky dink "newspapers" to compensate for the glaring lack of ONE decent MAJOR DAILY newspaper, rotfl), in reality the preponderance of all these hopelessly provincial hillbilly types means that it will likely retain the stench of a classic hillbilly small town for the forseeable future...EVEN IF it happens to contain 4 million people, have lots of shiny flashy skyscrapers, etc.

Last edited by E922; 07-29-2012 at 08:05 AM..
 
Old 07-29-2012, 08:47 AM
 
70 posts, read 44,535 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by Redlionjr View Post
Wait a min, You've been living in Houston since the 80s? Youve been complaining since the 80s and still haven't moved? Lol, what is keeping you here then? Don't say job and cheap living, bump that the 80s and it's 2012 and you haven't been able to find something that fits you better? When I felt I outgrew Waco when I was going to school there and after I finished. It took me a good year to set in motion my move out of Waco and into Houston. That was in 2009. Man you have no excuse of staying in a city you hate. I wouldn't high paying job or not. But dang the 80s. Lol, you were better off lying and saying you just moved here.
Actually I was overseas or out of state for about 14 of those 32 years...I keep coming back mainly because my parents are here, and once in a while a well paying job comes up so I take it and stay as long as I can stand it, before I'm off again. After my parents pass, if my finances and investments don't suddenly go up in smoke, I will probably only return to visit siblings and old friends...WINTER time only, lol. Oh and for the Houston Marathon, which is a nice easy flat race, perfect to BQ.

I agree that life is too short to stay in Houston FOREVER, especially when there are much nicer places in the world as well as in the States: Vancouver, Santa Fe, Boulder, Ann Arbor, Big Sur, Montreal, Melbourne, Tel Aviv, Quebec City, Amsterdam, Prague, Sydney, Seattle, Portland, Melbourne, Auckland, Denver, Istanbul, Florence, Doha, Dubai, Bangkok, Seoul, Rio de Janeiro, Buenos Aires, Barcelona, Krakow, Copenhagen, Katmandu, Kuala Lumpur, Chiang Mai, Ho Chi Minh City, Johannesberg, Lisbon, Reykavik, etc.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 08:54 AM
 
70 posts, read 44,535 times
Reputation: 49
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
Houston is the "Fattest?" You are the type to believe Establishment Media when it comes to those rankings that bash Houston but when it's another sector of Establishment Media that praises Houston as the "coolest" then we can downplay that as not-so "credible" bias, right?
OPEN YOUR EYES and LOOK AROUND: aside from Memorial Park in the morning and evenings where all the runners flock, yes Houston has one of the highest percentages of fat people I've ever seen...though yes I admit that it's about typical of most southern cities. When I was living in Prague, my friends from Houston would come visit and they would always comment that the (drop dead gorgeous) Czech women were "anorexic"---LOL, easy to understand if you've grown up surrounded by fat people.

The Men's Fitness "Fattest City in the US" rankings may not be perfect, but I'd trust a fitness magazine to measure who's fat or fit much more than frickin' FORBES magazine to determine who's "cool" or not...that's like asking the bespectacled computer nerd or be-suited Jehovah's Witness who's "cool" or not.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 09:22 AM
 
Location: ITL (Houston)
8,968 posts, read 8,686,183 times
Reputation: 3290
Quote:
Originally Posted by E922 View Post
OPEN YOUR EYES and LOOK AROUND: aside from Memorial Park in the morning and evenings where all the runners flock, yes Houston has one of the highest percentages of fat people I've ever seen...though yes I admit that it's about typical of most southern cities. When I was living in Prague, my friends from Houston would come visit and they would always comment that the (drop dead gorgeous) Czech women were "anorexic"---LOL, easy to understand if you've grown up surrounded by fat people.

The Men's Fitness "Fattest City in the US" rankings may not be perfect, but I'd trust a fitness magazine to measure who's fat or fit much more than frickin' FORBES magazine to determine who's "cool" or not...that's like asking the bespectacled computer nerd or be-suited Jehovah's Witness who's "cool" or not.
Houston is fat, but that Men's Fitness magazine had the dumbest criteria to determine their rankings, so I wouldn't go by what they say.
 
Old 07-29-2012, 10:14 AM
 
Location: Center City
3,977 posts, read 3,297,916 times
Reputation: 5068
Quote:
Originally Posted by worldlyman View Post
But there are those who say we don't "congregate" enough in Houston.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Palm View Post
We do. But it's mostly indoors. Yes. I understand where they are coming from. The lack of walking space, the size of the sidewalks here that have very little easments. This is just one of the areas the city needs to continue to improve on.

True.You don't see masses walking up and down sidewalks in and out of bodegas, bookshops, delis, coffee shops, and other sundry shops. Houston is different in that it is not built up in that fashion. What people consider those to be urban, vibrant enclaves is translated to strip malls here. Instead of foot pedestrians, it's substituted with cars in and out of parking lots. And let me just say, that having been practically all around the area, inside the loop, inside the beltway, and even outside the beltway, Houston is verrry vibrant, all over the metro area.
Great description of Houston's urbanity, QP (+1). This debate around the idea of having people "congregate" more in Houston strikes me as funny. People don't choose to create a vibrant street scene. It's the structure (and infrastructure) of a city that determines its street vibrancy. For example, here is some scenes of the city I now live in:









The fact that the streets are dense with housing and filled with high-rise condos and apartments leads to a street vibrancy. To use your worlds, you do see "masses walking up and down sidewalks in and out of bodegas, bookshops, delis, coffee shops, and other sundry shops." This is not because people choose to do this - it's because people walk out their doors and create it.

Houston will likely never have such density (at least in my lifetime). Further complicating things, Houston's climate is not really conducive for that type of development. This is neither good nor bad - it's just how Houston is.

While I've found this discussion at times interesting and at times silly, the whole premise of this thread is about Houston's attractiveness to tourists, or rather its limited tourist appeal. I personally believe Houston's lack of what I'll call "street vibrancy" plays a major role in why tourists don't beat a path to Houston's door. Whether or not his makes Houston a better or worse place to live, however, depends on the value one places on living in a city favored by tourists.
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