Friday, August 8, 2008

Way Down In The Trose

Public splaces* are good and so is the occasional minstrel troup who inhabit them. Below for your relief from the heat is a video of the boys playing a diddy about Houston's own Montrose neighborhood. Personally, I love the lines about "those thrift store girls" and "girl turn your damper down". Enjoy!

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*Public Space & Place.... The DeMenil and adjoining park and Rothko Chapel area

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Sunday Afternoon

What with all the tension in this world, it is good to know a legal way take the edge off. In this case, the very simple yet effective Vodka Martini serves as my opiate. Here at a friends rather comodious house, I demonstrate how to make a Martini. Just click the clip below to see how to create the Yummy Stuff. After a drinky like the martini you are definately ready for a big city nappy poo! Drink up, have fun and survive.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Lottery and Gas Prices

In this urban place you have got to be able to take a chance, think quick and run the numbers. Below a little video clip demonstrating all three.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

P.O. Box, Cy Twombly & The 1990's in 2008

I keep a P.O. Box, just in case, in this case I am waiting on a check to come in.
The cat in the box from quantum physics, has the check arrived? Don't know until you look.

Answer: empty P.O. Box, no check, oh crap, no money for the weekend. Guess I'm going to look at art, it is free after all. Maybe there is something for me here.

Untitled (Say Goodbye Catallus, to the Shores of
Asia Minor), 1994

The images to the right, and above interspersed with the P.O. Box disappointment are from the Cy Twombly Gallery here in Houston, Texas. A monumental painting that spans the entire wall, titled "Untitled" or "Say Goodbye Catallus, to the Shores of Asia Minor"....huh? An untitled, titled painting what gives? I have given up wondering where my check is and now why and what does this painting mean, and what ultimately does it mean to me? Catallus, as we all well know (with a little help from Wikipedia : ) is an ancient Roman poet, Cy Twombly an American painter, but why are we saying Goodbye, where are we going? This painting is about a journey, a travel by sea, to some place else, An Odyssey, a canvas filled with tumult and confusion mixed with peaceful some what blank spaces. Lyrical and beautiful, this painting, and I know one thing, my check will arrive from it's journey to my P.O. Box any day now, but I will be wondering about the trip from the shores of Asia Minor for a long time to come.

Just something I spied from P.O. Box to Twombly Gallery
Oh, and the 90's are alive and well to some home builders. New construction, picture taken March of 08, right here in the Montrose, is complete with red brick, brick columns and white arch keystones. Hey, I hear there is this new thing called the interweb and www dot com something and it is really going to be big.

Friday, March 21, 2008

A Sign of the Times

The fall of 2007, reads the sign above, most definately an unintentional double meaning. It is now almost spring of 2008 and the above development sits vacant and unbuilt, two things are at work here:

1. 2007 saw the fall of the real estate market across the board and

2. if the developers could build and sell their design above they would most certainly have dropped a slab and started to it.

So what are we talking about right here, right now, just this, a total melt down of the underlying assets that make up the real estate market. Not the paper, the mortgages, the stuff people on CNBC like to talk about, but the real assets, the land, the house, those people who live in these spaces that these instruments represent. Climb on board and fasten your seat belt because this is about to get a lot worse. "Spectacular" reads the sign below, and in the past few years, a builder could get by with a rendering, a fancy sign and this sort of BS. Not now. The only thing that will be spectacular about upcoming housing market trends is how fast and how precipitous the fall of home values will be. How do I know.... I don't, but the builders you see laying down new slabs and putting up frames through out the city are just whistling past the cemetery, hoping that no one says boo. Well...BOO!

P.S. Does that look Spectacular? You tell me, Pre-construction pricing is still available, I'm sure, but only for a limited time...Say 2010.

Sunday, September 2, 2007

Sarah Wants to Drink, Gossip, AND Smoke

The night started out simply enough, Sarah and I, old chums that we are, just out for a drink after dinner. Labor Day Weekend with its usual stuff, a little gossip, a martini, then the urge to smoke. But what with this new city ordinance, you gotta go outside the bar to smoke. Well we caught it all here on video, easy enough, Sarah in the starring role, me supporting with the fancy camera work. Little did we realize the perils that lurked just outside. Still piecing the footage together for that one, copious amounts of urban survival PSA stuff to come. So enjoy this little appetizer before the rain, sirens and flashing lights made their way into our night.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Let's Walk Backwards A Bit

Diogenes was walking backwards across the Agora, affecting a studied indifference to all who laughed at him. Finally, when he had collected a large following he stopped and announced, "You are laughing at me walking just a little distance backwards while you all lead your entire lives arse-about."

"And what's more," he asked, "can you change your way of living as easily as this?" Whereupon, he turned on his heel and walked off in normal fashion.

I'd like to look back just a bit, the past always seems clearer than the future. When you are in survival mode it is good to remind yourself of the positive things you've done. It was a time not so long ago, as a slightly younger man, and I was building my first new construction house. These pictures are from a friend of mine, the year 2003. I was building with a business partner in Angleton, Texas, and we were, for the area, innovating. Angleton is a bedroom community populated by people dominated by Dow Chemical, blue collar to be sure. Our concept was to give them the good stuff, the things no one else would do in a house in this price range. Instead of rolled vinyl in the Kitchen we installed tile, oh yeah and granite countertops, the whole house was brick with no hardiplank, we built out the closets, featured the front porch instead of the garage, all things that seemed normal enough but no builder down there was doing. It was exciting, difficult and fun all at the same time. The product was a definate win, and the house sold immediately. I can't wait to turn around to the future.