Who knew that I’d be “news worthy”… 😀
Instead he came back to Houston, where he’d grown up, and which he finds bigger and more interesting than Austin. He incorporated Hush Labs, an incubator for technologies to serve late adopters, the vast population left behind by broadband and Blackberries. For the time being, Hush’s first two employees work downstairs in Yoo’s townhouse — a classier, air-conditioned version of the garage startup.
Glad to see you are newsworthy! However, it is the reason for the article that I find at once irritating and reassuring. I am glad someone else is bothered enough by the final destruction of Rice Village to actually say something about it.
I grew up on North blvd, rode my bike to the Village, bought my clothes at Warp n Woof, my Halloween costumes at Variety Fiar, Toys at World Toy and Gift, and ate spring rolls at Nit Noi when they first opened before they turned into Jurassic Park.
I was fairly devastated when Weigarten Realy turned most of the Village into the burbs, but this Sonoma thing… Viva Italifornia indeed!
Oy! Please tell me you had some effect!
Well here’s a rant-
You know- I just can’t get upset over hearing about some Houston landmark going the way of the dodo. The old inner-loop Houston just does not exist anymore- The Rice Village was one of those rare areas that survived the “white flight” phenomenon of the 60’s and 70’s and retained a stable and native population. It really wasn’t that special, just remarkable by Houston standards. Which makes it pretty special in a city that gleefully mows down its past if there’s ever an idle bulldozer (ask me about that story…).
What’s so hard to realize is that this city is, by American standards, not really that new- it just hates itself. So it constantly tries to “re-invent” itself into something “better”. The Village was one of those rare spots that really was Houston as it would be. What is so painful for people like Katherine and I, who are several generations rooted to that area, is seeing how it hasn’t survived the re-population of the inner city by the same class of people who once fled the city in droves. Yes- we are suburban-snobs – because these new residents only see this area as “fashionable”, when it is HOME to us- part of our families. And I couldn’t stand to live there now.
The Village has been dead to me since they tore down World Toy & Gift. The beginning of the end. It hasn’t been the place we remember fondly since we were in high school. It really might as well be anywhere, except that in most places there would be city zoning to curtail this kind of neighborhood upset. They won’t be destroying the Village but any sort of development that massive is definitely going to destroy those first few blocks into the residential neighborhood. What’s truly worth mentioning is the strength of the civic associations in the immediate area that have been able to keep this kind of development from creeping outward more quickly.
I do have to say that that particular block is long overdue for some revamping, as even Waaaaaaay-Back-When, it was the ass-end of the shopping district and never really flowed the way the rest of the Village blocks did. This has to do with the fact that it was one of the only buildings with dedicated and semi-sufficient parking. What’s mystified me for so many years is that, given how many parking lots Houston has, there’s not one I can strain to think of that is human-friendly or remotely attractive.
A “European-style” pedestrian zone seems real great on a brochure but- hey- this is Houston- how far will you drive so you can walk around? There’s been this trend to attach this “New Urbanism” onto developments here without really paying attention to the context. We live in a brutal natural environment for the majority of the year and I don’t care how “new” and “urban” I feel- you won’t find me strolling a pedestrian plaza in the middle of August. A dedicated pedestrian zone is intended to facilitate pedestrian activity- it’s not just because it looks pretty- and it’s not going to make anyone more “creative”. Let the carpetbaggers have the Village- there’s nothing really left there, anyway.