Several years ago, when Bill White was still the mayor of Houston, Toni Lawrence, an ebullient sixty-something former city councilwoman and current armchair historian, decided it was time to set right a historical wrong.
I was in my thirties when I learned that my grandmother had left me her engagement ring. The ring, from Tiffany circa 1929, is breathtaking: the art deco setting, anchored in a platinum band, holds a substantial emerald as deep in hue as an Irish hillside, flanked by two dazzling, emerald-cut diamonds. Though the stones hardly rival the Chiclet-size rocks I’ve seen on the hands of other Texas women, the effect is nevertheless striking.
Menger Bar, Menger Hotel, San Antonio
If anyone deserves a drink, it’s the traveler. Which is why the hotel bar is such an important amenity. It’s the place where, weary from her journey, a wandering soul marks the end of her drive/flight/walk from the office and toasts her impending vacation/sabbatical/happy hour. At a hotel bar anything can happen. You might wind up in conversation with someone you don’t know, someone from another town, another state, another world.
On a recent weekday morning, while reading on the lawn of Market Square Park (301 Milam, 713-223-2003)—a micro-oasis of red-brick paths and art installations on the northern end of downtown Houston—I took an informal tally of my fellow park dwellers: one 6-year-old ballerina-in-training led by her parents, two retirees with matching pedometers on their waistbands, two dog owners, three dogs, one bench sitter, a dozen office workers in line for breakfast gyr
Houston's original city center is benefiting from a renewed liveliness thanks to a rolling influx of bars and restaurants near Market Square Park, a community-minded micro-oasis that got its own face-lift in 2010. Though hardly the first, the current revival—which I've written about for the December 2013 issue—seems poised to stick.
The Astrodome's ship has all but sailed: Houston voters last week decided, by a margin of 53 to 47, not to turn it into a convention and events center. While there's still the chance that a private investor will attempt to redevelop the space, or that the city will hold another vote before the building's as-yet-unscheduled demolition, the fate of the building is probably decided, and it probably doesn't look good.
Still, if the Astrodome were to be redeveloped, what would that look like? The city has solicited proposals in the past, though none have progressed very far—and the fact that Harris County Sports and Convention Corporation Executive Director Willie Loston told KXAN that they range "from the sublime to the ridiculous" may be a part of why. So when Architect's Newspaper announced the winners of their Astrodome redevelopment proposal contest, we took note: maybe there's a good idea in that bunch?
"Good" might be too strong a way to put it for some, but "sublime to ridiculous" is still at play here. Feel free to take a look at their four winners and determine where they fit:
It's been more than 1,500 days since Houston's Scarborough High School won a football game. That's 44 losses in a row, stretching back to September 2009. The seniors on the team have never won a high school football game; they were in eighth grade the last time the Spartans notched a win.
But for a team that hasn't won a game since before the iPad was invented, the Spartans remain calm and, you could even say, oddly confident. They're convinced that a win is coming and the streak will be broken.
Okay, Houston, we should talk, because you're not going to like what you see here. Deadspin, the sports news and gossip arm of the Gawker network, balances its coverage of breaking stories with stuff like "Tuesday Night Fights," where they snark on street-fight videos on YouTube. And last night's edition featured two drunk H-Town bros brawling in broad daylight at the Texas Crawfish Music Festival in Old Town Spring.
The video, if it's not clear from the fact that it's footage of two guys trying to punch each other out in the midst of a festival, is pretty NSFW . But perhaps even sadder than the footage is the commentary that Deadspin ran along with it, by Texan Tashina Richardson:
Yeah, we're gonna get another hour or two or three or ten of Johnny Manziel this and Johnny Manziel that. Then he'll finally touch the football against Rice, sometime around 2 p.m. on Saturday (the game itself, Rice at Texas A&M, kicks off at noon).