Sunday, April 24, 2011

Change of Address

A few weeks ago, I was driving home from who knows where and came across this:

House chained to a truck with a sign for a moving company

A couple of neighbors were outside watching and I thought I would park for a minute and see what was going on. I figured it would be pretty cool to see a house get hoisted up on a truck or something like that. At first it looked as though this old yellow truck was going to be the carrier. I soon realized that was wrong. There was no way this old tow truck was going to hoist up and carry a house. There was another truck tethered to the house by a chain, but it looked like it was just the cab section of an 18wheeler with some kind of winch on the back. Was a bigger machine coming, I wondered?

The guys working the job stopped the trucks and were finding old pieces of plywood and board around the house, putting them down on the ground on the other side. What was going on? Whatever they were trying to do, it clearly wasn't working.

They fiddled and made adjustments. I started to think I wasn't going to get to see anything worth bragging to my kids about.

But then they changed their tack, moving Mr Old Yellow over to the other side and confirming Mr Blue Cab was ready to rumble.

At this point, one of the guys who seemed to be in charge walked my way and I stopped him to see where the house was going.

"It's not being moved anywhere," he told me. "It's just changing direction."

"On this same lot?" I asked. Basically, it was just a change of address. The house was currently 933 Herkimer; soon it would have a new address on 10th St.

"Interesting." I muttered. "It has something to do with the historic district," he told me, but he didn't know what or why. I don't know what or why either. I can figure only 2 possible scenarios.

1) 10th is the border to a historic district. By giving the house an address on 10th, the property owners are ensuring it doesn't get torn down.


2) 10th is outside of a historic district, but the 900 block of Herkimer is in a HD. Moving the house to have a 10th St address means the house can be demoed.

Can anyone think of any other reason for the property owners to move the house? Does anyone know the borders of the district? Considering that area of the Heights is far more new homes than old, I was surprised to think there was a Historic Designation over there at all.
In any case, they rearranged the trucks in to a formation that seemed to be working. Both trucks hit the gas, causing Yellow to smoke and Blue to loose his footing.

But the house did move, sliding on huge steel beams and random pieces of plywood...

Eventually landing here, 90 degrees from where it had sat for the last ~80 years.

In the middle of typing this post, I got up from my computer and drove over to 10th @ Herkimer. The house is still there, has new piers under it and an orange tag on the front door. I'm guessing whomever owns this house is trying to save it. I still don't know the answer about the Historic District and moving the house. I was wondering if I could find HCAD records for the owners, see if it was a business like Bungalow Revival, but then I realized... I don't know the new address.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Keeping Love Alive

Not everyone may be aware that HISD planned to close Love Elementary as a cost saving measure. Love Elementary is one of the oldest schools in Houston and it's been on the radar of the booming population of young families in the Heights. If you're not aware of the threat of closure, you may also not be aware of the struggle to save this historic school in our neighborhood.

Parents started getting involved with the active PTO at Love before their children were even school age, hoping to have somewhere wonderful to send their kids when schools like Harvard and Travis are at capacity. Many just wanted to be able to help shore up the school they were zoned to. Love's Principal, Robert Chavarria, is an open and enthusiastic administrator, liked and respected by parents, teachers and students. He welcomed parental involvement and everyone saw great things coming for Love's future. Current and future school parents were completely blindsided when it was announced that Love was on the chopping block. They mobilized and called out to the entire neighborhood for help. Like every struggle against City bureaucracy, there were times when it seemed a little hopeless. The neighborhood fought on, though, and received a positive outcome this week as the school closure announcements were finalized, preparing for the May 12th vote.

Without coming right out and saying it, evidence in the HISD Press Release points that Love has been saved, listed as a school that will receive new students from the (unfortunate) closing of Stevenson Elementary in Cottage Grove.

"Stevenson Elementary (current enrollment of 357 students) would close. Students would be redistributed to Memorial and Love elementary schools."

Love Elementary
1120 W 13th

It really is amazing what we can do when we pull together! The thing about the effort to save Love Elementary that makes me most proud is what a community effort it was. It was not just parents of kids going to Love; it was parents from all over the Heights, many who already have school age kids in other schools or residents who don't even have kids yet! Everyone came together to show that our neighbors' struggles are our struggles. It was evidence of the understanding of a common future. Educating our kids is tantamount to our success as a society and having neighborhood schools for our children is of great benefit to everyone in the Heights. Schools are huge community builders. Through the efforts to save Love Elementary, we have once again woven the fabric of neighborhood tighter.

Congratulations to all the hard working teachers, administrators, PTO parents and community members who made this happen!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Heights Happenings: April 20- April 27, 2011

Friday, April 22, 9 AM- 5 PM: Easter fun at Fixer's Automotive
  • Fixer's has invited the Easter Bunny and your family to come by their shop photos and fun.
  • Moon walk, candy eggs, popcorn and more for the kids
  • Special drawings for automotive repair for adults
  • 147 E 11th

Saturday, April 23, 11 AM: Overture presents "Guiding Your Child's Musical Development" at Studio Nia Moves
  • Overture celebrates National Week of the Young Child with this free parent's workshop, "Guiding Your Child's Musical Development."
  • For caregivers of children from birth to age 5 (adults only - no childcare provided)
  • Nia Moves Studio, 3221 Houston Ave
  • Invite a friend, feel free to come without a reservation. Call 832.390.4010 or with questions.
Looking for family Easter Egg hunts this weekend?
  • Buchanan's on 11th will host a hunt on Saturday, starting at 8:30 AM
  • Heights Presbyterian Church is having a hunt Sunday at 10:30 AM. They are serving breakfast at 9:45 in the Fellowship Hall, the egg Hunt at 10:30 on the lawn and worship at 11:00 in the Sanctuary.
  • St. Mark's Methodist on Pecore's Easter Sunday schedule: 6:30 AM- Sunrise Service on Lawn; 7:30 AM- Breakfast; 10:00 AM- Easter Egg Hunt; 10:50 AMTraditional Worship. If choose to participate in the hunt, St Mark's asks you to please consider bringing a non-perishable food item to donate to the food pantry.
  • St. Andrew's egg hunt is after their 10:30 service. They are also having breakfast at 9:30 with greening of the cross for kids. There is childcare available for the 10:30 service.


Thursday, April 21, 3:30 PM: Oak Forest Neighborhood Library reopening

  • Join Dr. Rhea Brown Lawson, Director, Houston Public Library

    1349 West 43rd St.

Thursday, April 21, 5 PM: My Houston 2040 Happy Hour and Discussion
  • Air Alliance Houston, Citizens Transportation Coalition (CTC), and Houston Tomorrow agree that we can build a better Houston today by thinking about the Houston we want in 2040.
  • This happy hour will include discussions with two passionate speakers who share an interest in active transportation: Catherine Burst of the Houston Parks Board will talk about legislative changes needed to allow creation of new hike and bike trails in private utility line corridors and Complete Streets. Gina Mitteco, Pedestrian-Bicycle Coordinator for the Houston-Galveston Area Council, will share her vision for a regional Houston bikeway network.
  • Rudyard's upstairs, 2010 Waugh Dr, Houston, 77006 (map)

Friday, April 23- Saturday, April 24: Cavatore Italian Restaurant's "Adult Egg Hunt"
  • Go to Cavatore for dinner and your table will be offered an egg from the basket. Every single egg in the basket will have a price, anywhere from a glass of wine to a free dinner. They will have one $100.00 gift card each night.
  • Easter weekend schedule: Friday and Saturday dinner only from 5:30 PM to 10:00 PM
  • 2120 Ella


I recently received an email from Heights resident Nadia Lauterbach, a Designer with her own residential studio in the neighborhood. She has recently started a blog about architecture, design, travel, art, decoration, that kind of thing. The most recent post is about the Victorian Architecture of the Heights and I thought I would share it with my own blog readers. Nadia says "I know there are several blogs bouncing around about the Heights, but I thought this one might be a little different since it is someone with an architecture degree, as well as a homeowner, doing the writing. I plan to do a whole series about the Heights on different topics." Sounds interesting and I can't wait to see more!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Heights Happenings: April 14- Apr 20, 2010

Thursday, April 14, 6 PM-9 PM: The Bayou Village School in the Heights potluck dinner and open house
  • Housed in two adorable cottages at 747 E. 18th Street, Bayou VIllage School is a Waldorf inspired school offering Pre-K and Kindergarten program for children ages 3-6, a part-time 3rd/4th grade class for homeschooling children, a Homeschooling enrichment program and an After School Arts Enrichment Program.
  • The school will host a potluck dinner and special guest presentation by Kathryn King, a visiting Waldorf educator from Austin. Discussion will follow. This event is open to the public. Anyone working/living with children and/or with an interest in learning more about Waldorf education is welcome to join us.
  • Free childcare will be available. Reservations can be made by contacting the school at or 713-499-0598. Suggested donation is $10/ individual or $15/couple.
                                    • Saturday,
Saturday, April 16, 10 AM- 9 PM: 19th St Spring Fling

Saturday, April 16, 11 AM- 3 PM: Friends of Love's Heights Fun Fest

Saturday, April 16, 5 PM- 10 PM: Open House to benefit the Campaign for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Monday, April 18, 8 PM- 11PM: Viewing party for Zelko Bistro's premiere on the Food Network

Wednesday, April 20, 9 AM and 7 PM: Public hearings on City Council Redistricting

Friday, April 29, 7 PM: Kolanowski Studio Presents Sara Hickman: 2010-11 Official State Musician of Texas
  • This is Sara's last public show as State Musician of Texas! Plus, she's hot off her role as Harry Connick, Jr's sister in a movie due out later this year.
  • Sarah also plans to debut a couple of new songs at this show.
  • $20
  • Payment and reservations must be made in advance. (713) 802-0232

Saturday, April 30, 10 AM- 4 PM: St. Andrew's Episcopal Church invites chalk artists of all ages to express themselves at Sidewalk Art Fest

Saturday, April 30th, Noon- 6 PM: 2nd Annual Noah's Kitchen Chili Cookoff and bake sale

No comments:

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Heights Happenings: April 6 - April 13, 2011

Wednesday, April 6, 7 PM- 10 PM: Sons of Perdition (view trailer here) at 14 Pews
  • Sons of Perdition is an award-winning documentary which takes viewers inside the lives of three teenage boys after they escape from the Fundamentalist Latter Day Saints compound on the Utah/Arizona border, the oldest polygamist community in the United States.
  • The film is directed by Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten and produced by Julie Goldman, Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten.
  • Talk-Back after film with award-winning director Jennilyn Merten
  • $8, 800 Aurora St
Friday, April 8, 4 PM: Hand rolled cigars and Cuban music at Heights Cigar Lounge
  • Manny Lopez and crew from El Cubano will be at the shop hand rolling cigars
  • Live Cuban beats created by KonClave
  • 240 W 19th
Saturday, April 9, 8 AM - 2 PM: Heights Odd Fellows Garage sale
  • Odd Fellows Lodge, 115 E 14th St
  • Clothing, household items, costumes, furniture, Audubon art prints, books and other media, lamps, appliances, electronics
  • These are art car types, so there is bound to be some interesting stuff!


Saturday, May 21, 5:30 PM- 10 PM: Great Taste of the Heights
  • One of my FAVORITE Heights events, GTotH features good food, live music, drinks and fun. Great family event, too!
  • On line sales coming soon, so check the website. Presale passes will be $20, or $25 at the event


Thursday, April 7, 5 PM- 7:30 PM: Soccer Festival with the Houston Dynamo
  • The Houston Parks and Recreation Department (HPARD) invites you to join the Houston Dynamo and Texas Children's Health Plan for a free community soccer festival!
  • Meet Dynamo Diesel, Dynamo Players and Dynamo Girls and enjoy inflatables, prizes, face painting and giveaways! Come support your hometown major league soccer team!
  • First 100 children will receive a Dynamo game ticket
  • For additional information:
Saturday, April 9, 10 AM- 6 PM: 5th Annual Midtown Art in the Park
  • A boutique style fine art festival that features live music, fun food, artists demonstrations and more all under the old oaks of Baldwin Park. This year's festival features 75 fine artists, local bands Days Drive and The Selfless Season, The Ensemble Theatre’s Tribute to Michael Jackson, the sweet sounds of Clory, Life Painting on stage by Nubia Seibert
  • Visitors can register for one of 3 Painting Parties with Happy Hour Studios sponsored by Central Bank
  • The famous Midtown Graffiti Art Wall will be reinstalled
  • Elizabeth Baldwin Park - Midtown Houston, 1700 Elgin @ Chenevert
Saturday, April 9, Noon - 5 PM: PRETTY LITTLE THINGS - Vintage pop-up shop
  • LadyLux Vintage has assembled an eclectic group of vendors of vintage and repurposed items. Shoppers will find great deals on fabulous vintage clothing, home decor, accessories, and jewelry.
  • DJ Mark will be spinning some fun tunes, making this the afternoon party you won't want to miss!
  • Heights Beatniks will be one of more than a dozen vendors
  • Hosted by Griff's Irish Pub, 3416 Roseland (Montrose area)


A Letter from Love Elementary's PTO President

As you probably know by now, we within the Love Elementary community have been deeply involved in a campaign to save our school from closure due to massive cuts to the budget of HISD. Closure of our exemplary community school will not only affect the hundreds of families, teachers and staff from our school, but all of the schools in the Heights.

The information that has been shared with us, indicates that EVERY school in the Heights will be affected by this. If this proposal moves forward, the 428 students at our school will divided between the 3 schools in relatively close proximity.Though nothing seems to be decided yet, the schools as of now are: Harvard, Field and Sinclair. And again, this will not only affect Love, Field, Harvard and Sinclair, but ALL Heights area schools. Many who attend these 3 schools will be rezoned to others. Many who choose these schools, but who are not zoned to these schools will have to return to their zoned schools and all of schools will be rezoned
If this proposal is allowed, approximately 143 Love students will be coming to these 3 schools next year. What does that mean for YOUR school?

We all know that the Heights is experiencing a baby boom, and with the help of city officials, and Heights community leaders, we are gathering the demographic data that reflects the fact that ALL elementary schools in the Heights need to stay open.
We already have the support of many heights community members rallied behind us, but now we need YOUR help. We need the administration to know that all of the schools in the Heights area are united in this campaign to keep our schools open.

Members of the HISD board and administration will be coming to our school for a community meeting next Thursday, April 7. We urge you to attend this meeting and share with your school's community. If you would like to say a few words or write a letter, please let us know. We will be putting together a packet for the HISD representatives with Demographic and other data, petitions, and letters of support.

Here is our online petition:
We also have a special facebook page for this campaign:

Thank you! Please let us know if you have any questions,

Bronwyn Lauder, President, Love Elementary PTO
*Views expressed in this letter are the personal views of Mrs Lauder and not the views of Love Elementary

Houston Arts and Media Fundraising to complete Comedy Documentary

  • Houston Arts and Media has launched a drive to finish Stand Up Story, a documentary history of the stand up comedy boom in Houston. The story is centered around the nationally famous Comedy Workshop Annex that flourished here from 1978 to 1990, producing scores of internationally known comedians such as Bill Hicks, Sam Kinison, Janeane Garafalo, Brett Butler and many others.
  • The return to full production status is led by the launch today of a project on Kickstarter, a website designed as "a new way to fund & follow creativity". That recipe will hopefully prove to be a perfect vehicle for Houston Arts and Media. The project features a short fundraising film that includes portions of interviews with Janeane Garafalo, Comedy Workshop owner, Paul Menzel, and others. Donors to a project receive awards at various funding levels. The top level for Stand Up Story receives a private show by two of the comedians featured in the movie.
  • The Kickstarter project can be accessed at
  • Over a dozen interviews with comedy alumni from the club have already been shot including some done by Dos Dogs Productions, Wildcatter Productions and other local media professionals prior to the project being taken over by HAM. A website dedicated to the movie is also up and running at
  • Houston Arts and Media continues to work on several other projects such as an eight-part feature length documentary series called the Birth of Texas that covers the diverse history of the state from 1820 to 1845. The one completed title in that series, Houston: A Nation's Capitol, is an award winner at WorldFest 2011. Other HAM endeavors include partnering in the city website, and the current exhibit, Bayou City Noir: The Photography of Marvin Zindler, at the Museum of Printing History. They also continue with Neighborhood to Neighbor, an ongoing oral history gathering project that has already placed the stories of scores of Houstonians in the Houston Public Library’s Houston Metropolitan Research Center and Rice University’s Woodson Research Center. Material from these interviews will also enhance the first of HAM’s books, the two-volume Historic Schools of Harris County.
  • Parties interested in supporting these efforts through donations or volunteerism should contact Houston Arts and Media via e-mail at Contact: Phone: 713.686.9244

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