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Houston, TX. Downtown Sunday afternoon. Ghost town.

Odd place. Great ethnic diversity but few walkable areas. Nice around Rice University.

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Haven’t been but Downtown St. Louis looks like a ghost town too from pictures I’ve seen.

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My daughter’s dorm is just out of the picture to the left.
I hope you enjoyed your visit. There is some darn good good and foot in the 'Ham.

Downtown Houston is a lot like how Downtown LA was a decade ago: just skyscrapers surrounded by five-lane streets with no pedestrian scale or life. LA has improved a lot so it’ll be interesting to see if Houston follows it.

Houston has 6 miles of underground tunnels and a lot of shops and restaurants are located below ground. So it’s a bit deceiving…

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Funny, I was thinking that Houston reminds me of downtown LA as I drove around. Just without the nice landscape. Obviously greater LA with Santa Monica, Malibu is a different story. I can see how Houston Is the new immigrant gateway with its lower cost of living and established immigrant enclaves. Amazed by the amount of ethnic restaurants. Not a pretty place but vibrant.

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Correct about St. Louis. The immediate downtown is pretty barren. They have commercial districts scattered all around the city. Central West End, The Soulard, Laclede’s Landing, The Hill, and the Stadium area to name a few.

In Austin now. Had to see what all the hype is about. So far I am convinced that I am too old for this place. Will take some pictures tomorrow.

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Meanwhile rooftop party in Durham tonight yields these amazing views of parking decks and self storage

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Can not form an opinion about Austin yet. I think my expectations were some kind of progressive new urban city done right city on a hill. Seems a little junky, haphazardly planed due to rapid growth. The Domain however does the faux cityscape thing very well. North Hills could use a little more landscaping to soften it up.

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Think a Graduate Hotel like in Bloomington, Indiana would be perfect feel and fit at Highwoods property assemblage at 327 W. Hargett (old Goodwill). New build, but industrial / warehouse feel.


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I like Austin. Been numerous times. However, I feel like their hey dey was about 10 to 15 years ago. It’s gotten too big recently IMO. I like that Raleigh is growing, but not unbridled growth.

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When I went to Austin, being the cynic that I am I was prepared to find the place overrated… and it totally wasn’t. Socially it was all the great things people said about it. Lots of great food, great beer, live music, and big beautiful parks all over. Good urbanity in its core. And the natural scenery right in town and near it is something to be envious of. If the Uwharries were a bit closer… alas.

Planning wise it’s a mess though. I wouldn’t put it in the same category as Denver or Portland in that regard. We don’t want to get that large without transit. And we already do a better job with greenways.

6th street was impressive. The crowds get so huge there they have to close the street to car traffic at certain hours. It’s like the state fair here, just a wall of people. Begs the question though… why isn’t it just closed all the time? Why isn’t it a mall? I’m puzzled by that. Had they made stronger efforts to move away from the car early on, it would’ve done great things for them, because traffic is preposterous.

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I’ve been to The Domain a few times. It’s much further out from the core of Austin and it feels way more disconnected from it than North Hills does to DT Raleigh.

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Thanks. I have a conference at the Fairmont next November. I’m going to fly in few days early.

I think they close 6th Street (Austin) every Friday and Saturday night, and also for events. Otherwise, it is a regular road with cars.

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Austin was already famous for its traffic in the 90s when I was going a fair bit. I can only imagine it now.

They did a nice job in Oxford, MS as well. Oxford has some pretty strict zone about height downtown, working hard to keep that small town feel.

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From the roof deck bar, you can see why.

The three red brick buildings on the left are new, as is the red brick across the street - which actually the county annex. The courthouse & white brick are antebellum.

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I thought that they closed it on Thursday nights. Maybe that is the start of three days of closing it at a certain hour. I think that’s 10 PM.

I hope that’s the scale and style of buildings we get once the state decides to sell the lots between E. Edenton and E. Jones. Similar to Fairview Row in Five Points.

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