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About dragonfly

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  • Birthday 04/10/1950

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    Music, electrical engineering

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  1. For anyone interested : Hines Interests (Gerald Hines, 93) developed the Houston Galleria, and the adjacent 65 story Tranco tower and many scores of other large scale projects worldwide, and around Texas especially Houston. They develop and operate their own properties and sell them off variously after appreciation. When I first moved to Houston in '89 I pulled up into his driveway to pick up a lady friend baby sitting for him in one of the the high end (of course) Memorial Villages municipalities. The bizjournal piece says this project is the arrival of Hines in Nashville which you could say is another indication that Nashville has arrived. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gerald_D._Hines
  2. Oh OK. Was thinking I was making a contribution to the thread. I've probably said it before on here,in years past, but my dad got hired away from The Equitable in Atlanta by L&C in '55, so I may be the only one on here with that kind of memory of L&C before there was a tower, plus getting to see it (the lobby & my dad's department) when it opened. The "developers" were Guilford Dudley and the board. I'm just a bit aware of what was claimed for the building since I and my family were, you could say, linked to its advent, and my dad had a clay ashtray with the original design sticking up out of the corner, which was quite different from the final one. And the story of why that ashtray design got scaled back. If you guys are interested. But feeling a little standoffish right now with no need of discussion looming.
  3. The Gulf Oil building in Houston was built in '29 and is 430 feet, now with a different name. So the above should be qualified further as in the Southeast. Would be interested if the Louisiana Capitol bldg is taller than the old Houston tower. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/JPMorgan_Chase_Building_(Houston) BTW the Texas capitol bldg is just shy of 304 feet tall. Furthermore btw there was a very long thread on the Houston C-D forum as to whether Houston could be considered an outpost of the southeast. I gave one of the most comprehensive answers as to how the argument could be made in the affirmative, since I grew up in the SE, (Atlanta and Nashville), and all my immediate and distant family did too. It turned out to be a highly contentious debate. I would post a link but that may go against the rules here. Maybe I could cut and paste.
  4. I transferred into Vanderbilt engineering fall '69 from U Chattanooga which became UTC that very fall semester. By that time I had made it my business to have a good knowledge of metros around the country because of meeting people from them at college. i remember spending time in the UC library looking at population tables in the Information Please Almanac. So in 1970 Nashville metro was 600K and Atlanta was 1.3M+. Houston was 1.8M, smaller than Nashville present. I think Austin was about 350K and Charlotte somewhere between Austin and Nashville. Chicago was right at 8M metro (where my parents had relocated by then), Detroit at 5M. Los Angeles had surpassed Chicago in metro and city pop maybe around '66. I remember in the Vanderbilt engineering school seeing on a bulletin board in ca. '71 someone had posted an authoritative clipping with projected 1980 metro population for Nashville at 900K and it was well known at that time that Nashville was growing much faster than Memphis. So sure enough I was not going to let that memory go saved without checking those almanacs after 1980 for the census figures. The Nashville metro was 850K and Memphis was 910K in 1980. Austin was about 550K I think, as I was living there at the time, 1980. So currently, intriguing it is to understand that metro Houston (my domicile) is, at 7M approaching the 1970 population of Chicagoland where I spent my summers during college (@ Arlington Heights). The DFW metroplex is already there at 8M currently. And btw all those decades was sort of anticipating Nashville crossing that 1M metro population eventually (since I grew up there), which, turned out it had just reached in the 1990 census. Although I have seen somewhere that there was some controversy over what constituted the Nashville metro at that time.
  5. As fast as Austin is growing now, I'm pretty sure that Austin grew 35% between 1980 and 1985 when I was living there, if anyone remembers or can verify that. I think those years inclusive meaning a 6 year period, ending with the recession that forced me to move to Houston for work. Question: I looked around to see if Austin has a 5 star hotel, and could not determine so if you could tell me if one exists or is being built. They just broke ground on Nashville's second 5 star property, a Four Seasons 40 story located across the street from the riverbank. I will say this about Nashville and it is astonishing, but they have been in the top 5 hotel building metros for several years, in numbers of rooms under construction: https://www.nreionline.com/hotel/eight-busiest-cities-hotel-development/gallery?slide=5.
  6. Since I'm out of state and don't need to read the Tennessean that much would it be bending the rules to ask y'all for a PM with some text from that article? My brother is in the Chattanooga and I would like to see what it says and discuss w him.
  7. Yes those folks are Hispanic and Black at the two Walmarts that sandwich my house in inner loop Houston, two miles either side of me. If that is germaine to the quote. In fact that is the case at every Walmart I've been to in Houston. One of those two near me is one of only two Walmart inner loop Big Box stores here, which if you knew the land prices you would know is quite a corporate achievement. Lowes and Home Depot can't make it work. Many Walmarts are easily accessed on the freeways from the low income and blue collar areas scattered all around Houston. Where are these people otherwise going to go to get the smorgasbord of stuff available at a Super Walmart? Where exactly? Houston is the best place in the country for a plethora of great paying blue collar jobs, and Walmart knows it and tailors their offerings. Seriously? "What you are looking for" -> you go to their website do a search, click on your items and then one at a time search the nearby stores to see which ones have them in stock and how many of each. You can put their app on your phone which is faster. You can even buy the Walmart logo shopping list pad, have it on your fridge and when the list gets to 4~5 items, do all this. If they don't have the Flo-Tec 35 gallon well pressure tank (actually none of them stock it) then you order it online and it comes 3 days later to the store. Walmart had that tank for $199 and the closest only equivalent was the same exact model at Lowe's for $249. Many of the things you get at Home Depot and Lowe's you get there cheaper much of it stocked at warehouses for free store delivery. Guess what - for a laugh I went to Target.com to do a search on "well pressure tank" and I got pictures of women of all sizes wearing tanks. I have to laugh again. The quality of the goods covers a wide range for very good reason. It is planned that way. Example: I needed a garden hose "Y" for a quick and dirty feeding of a soaker hose from both ends. Lowes and Home Depot only had the metal units for about $7 min and the application does not call for metal. Walmart had the plastic one for $1.00 and btw the metal one for $5.50 which was overkill. I got the plastic "Y" at the same visit as the shoelaces, the trail mix, the pack of pens, the power steering fluid, and the thumb drive. I had made note of which row and bay for each (off the website) so walked straight to each item. The types of people and the half minute walk from the car didn't bother me. I get this same story from some of the liberal musicians I hang with. With various attached themes such as presented from a social justice standpoint so-called or whatever other grievance - such as a problem with spectacularly successful enterprises. I've said it before and I'll say it again: elite urban dwellers' negative opinions on Walmart are driven by something other than extensive experience. Since I have a 3-unit property at the Olympic Peninsula I absolutely am dependent upon Walmart as are the residents within 5~25 miles who don't want to drive 40 miles to Olympia for their essentials, and would rather be doing productive work than drive. Walmart saves them time, fuel, and mechanical wear and tear and so is an economic engine writ large. The people there couldn't care less about elite opinion. I think I know of what I speak and BTW Walmart has no problem with quality, as my property manager buys stuff for all their properties there.
  8. Well ---- not THAT closely comparable. I've only seen the GH Mall from the outside but seemingly it has 3 anchors with one being upscale? The Houston Galleria has 4 with 3 upscale: Saks, Neiman's , Nordstrom, and Macy's, so I'm thinking 1/3 not so close to 3/4. Additionally it has 3,000,000 sf gross retail space. Green Hills has 861,000. The Galleria has 3 office towers (one of those with atrium integral to the mall retail space)and two hotel towers integral to its footprint and a sky walk to the 65 story Transco Tower.
  9. So I should probably qualify: not every building design has to go before neighborhood associations like mine, but I lived in Montrose, and I saw it at meetings there, and in The Heights it definitely is a requirement, so I'm not exactly sure how that works. Maybe if an an association is determined to vet the appearance of every building, the city defers to them. Which is definitely the case for the Heights. And deed restrictions can be lifted by the associations, example: my neighborhood (Timbergrove) was deed restricted to 1-1/2 stories which they lifted in 1999. The neighborhood also forbids garage sales, via deed restrictions.
  10. Well close but not exactly. I live in Houston. There is no zoning. And it works greatly. I watch Nashville, how the city bureaucrats can tell you what to do with your land, expecially when it comes to height, which is a way to have the value of your land negated/impacted by people behind a desk giving out waivers when it suits, and the city council although I would assume predicated on public hearings. So far as deed restrictions go, Houston defers enforcement to the neighborhood associations, (or business associations in commercial districts, who even have taxing authority via assessments for aesthetic infrastructure ) which are de-facto quasi-official bodies. Building codes perform the same function as elsewhere, as do the permitting rules. Then there are the ordinances about where alcohol cannot be sold (e.g. by distance to schools and churches). By and large builders and property owners are to get the approval for the appearance of a design from the neighborhood association before permits are issued. Also subdivision is permitted after public hearing to rule affirmative on it. So far as height goes, there have been several cases where highrise developers and neighborhood associations end up in court to battle it out; nothing stops a developer from suing the association or vice versa, the most famous case was the Stop Ashby Highrise campaign because of its longevity. These fights are always involving the more expensive neighborhoods and their associations, with interested outside individuals piling on because they hate or love developers. https://www.houstonchronicle.com/business/columnists/sarnoff/article/Court-reverses-Ashby-high-rise-ruling-in-favor-of-8337576.php
  11. Franklin Pike 1890's supposedly. Recall that there was a passenger rail line between Franklin and Nashville, now you see why.
  12. They have red brick like many of those old industrial buildings I see ogled on here. Plus they actually have some nuanced contours so are not just boxes. And have quite functional lobbies and half basements shared between towers. Compared to the below Houston West Loop abortion, those towers are pretty refined. My terminology for that actually fits, there was to be in 2002 a twin to the one shown. wonder why it never got built.
  13. Well I lament greatly because I was the first occupant of a room on the 4th floor of tower 3 when it opened in 1970. There are 4 rooms per suite, 2 double and 2 single plus a studio style kitchen which was unique to towers 3 and 4. I was in the larger double with a dividing wall between two sleeping/study spaces. A few years ago after end of semester my sister and I found that room open and what a feeling 45 years later; wish I had taken a photo of the built-in desk where I struggled maddeningly with differential equations. A couple of stories. There were a couple of older guys with binoculars down on the sidewalk along West End, looking up at Tower 3. I thought it pretty odd and so I went down to talk to them. So turns out they were the architects that designed the buildings. Another one: one of the suite guys pulled some really smelly hamburger meat out of the fridge and was not sure what to do with it. So I grabbed it and with pretty good (actually excellent) timing heaved it out the window facing West End; it smacked right onto a car windshield, half on the glass and half on the roof, right over the driver. I could say the diff eq studies paid off but I won't go that far. Thinking back, it could have done some damage, but at that point of impact very unlikely. We thought we were daring and cute back then. BTW I'm pretty sure I heard B.W. Stevenson pre-fame, playing at The Good Woman, the pub in the basement of tower 4 back then. Have tried to verify this on the "I Grew Up In Nashville" FB page, but it's hard when you're talking about a deceased songwriter that far back and a very small venue. You might know his song "My Maria", a classic acoustic flavored rocker covered by tons of others including Brooks and Dunn (the original is best in my view). Aside - sitting thru a tropical storm here in Houston. My house flooded during Harvey and with Tropical storm Allison in 2001. Keeping fingers crossed.
  14. This photo from the Vanderbilt Magazine Winter '18-'19. I receive the hard copy of this publication.
  15. OK you guys live in a large metro, I live in a very large metro. You want to be a convert to Walmart, buy a piece of property somewhere on the Olympic Peninsula of WA like what I have. These people (the locals) absolutely depend upon Walmart. It is like a godsend, hell, my a--. It saves them many hours per week from having to travel long distances, just to make it thru the weeks. Target cares not a whit for these people living in those counties. I know this may be off topic, but as a property owner with 3 living spaces in two buildings on Harstine Island, I'm one of those people when I'm there, 19 miles from the Shelton Walmart, and I need every amenity and all the help I can get to maintain and remediate that property. I can go at midnight for something needed urgently, and the Supercenters out there have expanded hardware and paint to help people like me. I went one night to buy a desperately needed space heater for $18.95 and I would have paid 4x that amount. Yeah living in a comfy urban pad where I'm at I would never have otherwise learned this without personal experience. There are many things in the world city dwellers maybe know little about.
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