Wednesday, February 14, 2018
Sunday, January 28, 2018
|Eagle Street view of Sears|
|The Sam Houston painting in the stairwell|
Tuesday, July 26, 2016
Wednesday, September 11, 2013
A lot of people never forget where they were at a moment in history. Some of those moments for me included the death of Princess Diana, the Challenger and Columbia disasters, and the Boston Marathon bombings.
Of those moments in history, one that sticks with me are those events of September 11, 2001. The year had been rough so far.
Tropical Storm Allison struck in June, and the lingering effects caused damage campus wide at The University of St. Thomas. Guinan Hall, our dormitory, was shuttered due to structural damage. We were relocated to a neaeby hotel and shuttled back and forth by bus.
On the morning of Sept. 11, I woke up to my clock radio. Instead of music, the station switched over to the national news. Word came across the wire that a plane had struck a building in New York City.
I thought nothing of it at first, so I turned on the TV. As a reporter covered the first crash, a second plane blew up behind him. I had a class at 9:35 that I needed to get ready for.
My room mate was awake by then and was glued to the TV. As I was about to dash out the door, I watched in horrof as one of the towers collapsed.
On the shuttle to campus, we were all quiet. Some of us shared our shock at what we'd witnessed. I made it to class and our professor dismissed us so that we could go pray or be with our families. Eventually all classes were canceled.
I went to Crooker, the student center, and watched the events unfold on the television in the coffee shop upstairs.
I sat there in awe as I watched footage of the second tower collapsimg. Then there were the subsequent plane crashes at the Pentagon and in Pennsylvania. I spent the day shell shocked by the events I witnessed.
The events of that day still stick with me. Any time I see the footage, I can't help but shed a tear. When I read about alll the innocent lives lost, it upsets me.
Our University of St. Thomas community was affected by the events of 9/11. We were later informed that a fellow alumni Barbara Olsen was among those lost in the tragedy. She was on the plane that crashed into the Pentagon.
Tuesday, January 08, 2013
So many changes in my life recently. Not only have I moved into a new place, but I have a new store to work in. Both decisions were difficult ones, but I felt it was time to move ahead.
I have often railed both for and against urban renewal and gentrification. My apartment complex is a good example of urban renewal.
For many years the name Skylane Apartments was synonymous with crime. In recent months, three have been purchased and are now in the process of being renovated.
I'll admit I had my reservations about moving into a former Skylane. The owner reassured me most of the bad element was gone. After my experience at my last complex, I wondered what awaited me inside.
The apartment was airy and clean, no carpet in sight. Unfortunately the last tenants got color happy. When I moved in though, the apartment was bright and new again. Even then I still had my reservations.
I had to figure out a new route to work. Before I was a short 10-minute walk from my job. Now I was a bus ride and a walk up Montrose. I would also be further from the night life.
The latter was less of a drawback. I hadn't gone out much since the search for a new place began. To be honest I am growing tired of the scene, but I like to see my friends occasionally.
Monday, August 27, 2012
Tuesday, August 21, 2012
I joke that the reason I keep up with real estate news in Houston is because I want to know when the bulldozers come my way. Today I noticed that may very well be a reality soon.
I came home from the gym and found a Post-It note frrom my landlord stuck to my door. On it was his phone number and a note asking me to call him. I hated these little note from him.
Monday before last he came around with memos informing us fire insurance inspections would be Wednesday. I scrambled to tidy up, but I was too busy working to do anything major.
The inspection went ok I guess. Then last Monday I was informed that my apartment
failed its inspection. This time I had more free time to clean the place up.
The inspectors returned Friday armed with a camera and a clipboard. Rumors swirled that my landlord planned to sell the place. I figured as much, but I wanted confirmation before I jumped to conclusions.
I called my landlord this afternoon to see what he wanted. Normally I would have waited, but I needed to talk to him. My window unit has leaked all over and it no longer cools the apartment.
I'll admit I'm not the best at keeping house, but I try my damndest to keep this place tidy. My landlord and I have been at odds over the cleanliness of the apartment. That was, at least to him, part of the reason the inspection failed.
My landlord informed me that he planned to sell the building. According to him the new owner had some concerns about the unit. Mainly the mildew and mold in my bathroom. As much as tried to keep my calm, but I lost it.
I explained that I couldn't afford to rent a Rug Doctor or that I couldn't afford a can of Killz to paint over the mold. In so many words I told him that I have done my part by keeping the place neat and clean. I told him it was his turn to do his part.
We also discussed how long I had before I had to get out. My landlord said that I should stay put because it would be a while before he closed the deal on the property. He also openly admitted in a round about way he was taking advantage of my paying weekly.
Since I started getting paid weekly, I made an arrangement to send a rent check weekly. In hindsight I realize what a bad idea this was. My landlord thinks this will look good to the new owner so that I can go on staying here. After seven years, I think maybe it's time to go.
I moved in here in July of 2005 after looking at some less desirable locations. My job at the time afforded me the luxury of an efficiency apartment. Commuting from my parents' house was no longer feasible and the location was ideal. I could walk to the light rail platform and several bus stops were in close proximity.
Having shops, clubs, and restaurants in walking distance was an added bonus. I love my apartment don't get me wrong, but living inside The Loop has its drawbacks. There are dozens of apartments like mine and they all have their problems. Some nowhere near as bad as mine.
My air conditioner has leaked every summer. The first I knew of it was when my downstairs neighbor complained to the landlord. Each time the weather gets really cold, my closets sweat. The bathroom and living areas do too, but not as bad as the closets. Damp Rid has helped alleviate this problem somewhat.
My landlord asked me to clean the bathroom ceiling, but it hasn't worked in the past. Bleach can only do so much. Getting a new floor sounds like something that may not happen for a while or not at all. My problem now is where do I go?
Rent inside The Loop has crept up considerably since I've moved here. My job is currently walking distance from home, but I know if I want to change careers I'll need transportation.
It's so frustrating not knowing what's going to happen next. Honestly I don't want to stick around to find out. Ideally I'd like to get out of here, but I don't know that I can afford a new place.
My goal was to get a vehicle, change careers, and find another place. That may have to change though if I want to move out. I hate change, but if it's for my personal well being, I have to start soon. Follow up: I came home from work Thursday afternoon to find a note taped to my door that I had 30 days to vacate my apartment.