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Old 05-26-2008, 03:20 PM
 
11,385 posts, read 17,455,905 times
Reputation: 5282

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We're coming up in the world. 46 years ago we were brought Major League Baseball and four years ago we were brought light rail. Now, these two great developments shall go hand in hand as we embark on a journey on steel toward the ol' ball orchard - or that might be grove, considering it's Minute Maid Park.



So let's get on board and get rolling.



Okay, we're already th....oh, wait, last time the Astros played here, there was no rail. Well, there was a little railroad that went around Astroworld, but that's history too.



The train's kind of empty but picks up people as it makes its way toward downtown...









Some more people joined us for the ride from Hermann Park and Midtown.









I dee-double-dog-dare you to light up a cigarette in front of the Greyhound station.



And soon we're downtown. We made good time, as traffic really wasn't that heavy and the train didn't have to stop at red lights on the way up. Let's hope for grade separations in the future, but as it is I'll take it.



The alternative is to pay an arm and a leg to park anywhere even a little bit close to the ballpark. I'll take $2.50 at the South Fannin Park & Ride any day over this.



Almost there...



*Are we there yet?*



Yes, we are.



Sort of. We've got a few blocks of walking. That's OK. Walking is good for you, and it's cheap.





We have people coming to the same conclusion. See, this city can be walkable if you want it to be. Heat and humidity be damned. By the way, there's a nice breeze coming through here. Not stagnant or anything at all. Sorry tstone. You're still my boy though.



And we're inside...



They leave your ticket intact nowadays and just scan it.









Lance Berkman strikes out, and at the same time I whiff on an attempt to take close-in shots with this thing. But I'll do my best to put y'all in the moment, OK?



Uh-oh, the Astros' bullpen is not very good!



And a meeting of the minds...



...could not put the 'Stros on top.



But that's baseball.



http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros361-1.jpg (broken link)

80 years ago this building was Union Station and you could hop on a rail from there. But now it's part of the ballpark, so we've gotta go back to Main Street.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros364-1.jpg (broken link)

More walking.

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros365-1.jpg (broken link)



Step in time to the music. Turns out the "Sanford & Son" theme makes great walking music.





Bonus - this abandoned warehouse is close-in to all downtown amenities. Wonder why it's still on the market.

















And here we are.







This cat here should have taken the mound by the end of the seventh inning - not Dave Borkowski - and he'd work for the league minimum. The result would've been the same.



All aboard...let's go home.



Hope y'all had a great holiday weekend.

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Old 05-26-2008, 03:31 PM
 
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
7,686 posts, read 8,919,243 times
Reputation: 6576
wow ..... what a GREAT photo diary!!!!!!
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Old 05-26-2008, 04:33 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker;)
4,085 posts, read 8,497,255 times
Reputation: 1857
Wow, you've really improved! Great shots, fresh perspectives, very nice!
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Old 05-26-2008, 05:45 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
6,492 posts, read 9,568,022 times
Reputation: 3823
Great photos - cool post. Thanks.

The guy with the music needs to call it a day. I noticed that street musicians really became more noticeable after Katrina. Unfortunately, Houston isn't a tourist city so I'm sure it doesn't pay well. I'm all for new residents but trying to create a bit of NOLA in Houston doesn't do a whole lot for me. NOLA is NOLA and Houston is Houston. Plus, the thing is that I get tired of being accosted by panhandlers daily - regardless of whether they entertain me with music or not. Very cool photo diary of Houston as it is!

I did a digital photo project on homelessness for a university several years ago (which at that time - not one of those persons actually asked me for anything or even tapped me on the shoulder -- I approached them) and I did pay those who let me take their photo - I asked permission and paid them $5 to allow me to take their photo for my project. When I took a photo of one gentleman and thanked him - he replied ... it's a living.
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Old 05-26-2008, 06:04 PM
 
11,385 posts, read 17,455,905 times
Reputation: 5282
I feel you, but that particular guy has been around for years, before Katrina. And before the storm, people panhandled downtown.

All the same though, thanks much.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:28 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
6,492 posts, read 9,568,022 times
Reputation: 3823
Oh I know they've always panhandled downtown as long as I can remember but more from a distance -- but the past couple of years - they are much more aggressive - like actually touching you. That tap on the shoulder from behind or the in your face asking for a handout.

And really 4.04 for unleaded reg? Where was that at -- I paid 3.79 this afternoon.
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Old 05-26-2008, 08:59 PM
 
11,385 posts, read 17,455,905 times
Reputation: 5282
Quote:
Originally Posted by texas7 View Post
Oh I know they've always panhandled downtown as long as I can remember but more from a distance -- but the past couple of years - they are much more aggressive - like actually touching you. That tap on the shoulder from behind or the in your face asking for a handout.

And really 4.04 for unleaded reg? Where was that at -- I paid 3.79 this afternoon.
Regular unleaded gas tops $4 in Houston | LOCAL NEWS | KHOU.com | News for Houston, Texas (http://www.khou.com/news/local/stories/khou080526_tnt_houstongas.2f9e4b01.html - broken link)

As for the aggressive panhandlers, I don't know...I have a way of commanding respect out there. I even smoked a Marlboro in Tranquility Park, in...well, tranquility. (yeah, yeah, trying to quit). Being 6'3" and 220-ish doesn't hurt. I once got accosted in the parking lot of a gas station in Lake Charles by one such character, and once I got out of the car and stood up he turned the aggressiveness down a notch. I then calmly informed him that I did not have anything of use for him and that he ought to consider moving along. He did.
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Old 05-26-2008, 09:33 PM
 
11,385 posts, read 17,455,905 times
Reputation: 5282




http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros264-1.jpg (broken link)







http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros292-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros294-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros302-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros312-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros308-1.jpg (broken link)













http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros354-2.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros372-1.jpg (broken link)

http://i52.photobucket.com/albums/g1/jfre81/astros382-1.jpg (broken link)

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Old 05-26-2008, 10:16 PM
 
Location: Southeast Texas
564 posts, read 1,324,169 times
Reputation: 183
Looks like a great time--other than the last four innings of the game. Bleck! They'll be starting construction on the East End rail line some time next month. I don't know at which end they'll start but I believe the western end runs near MMP. I imagine parking will be affected.
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Old 05-26-2008, 10:18 PM
 
11,385 posts, read 17,455,905 times
Reputation: 5282
It will run down Texas and I think will have a stop right in front of the ballpark. It'll be a little hairy during construction, but worth it in the end.

And yes, the Astros have a good chance this year if they can find some relievers...
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