10 Best Successful Houston Kickstarters

For around two years now I have been covering the best crowd-sourced projects by Houstonians, and this month instead of the usual roundup we're going to look back over some of those projects to see which were both awesome and successful. Stuff like...

Writer/director Dallas Box came highly recommended by local movie industry star Joe Grisaffi, and his upcoming short, Rotten looks amazing. It follows a couple that begins to serial murder in order to rekindle the sexual aspect of their relationship. Box says we can expect a very Lynchian approach, with dream worlds making up a big part of the short. The movie entered pre-production this month.

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The Changing Face of Houston: Sharpstown Then and Now

Photo by Matthew Rutledge
Frank Sharp's solution to connecting Sharpstown to Downtown today.

The Sharpstown area has changed a great deal over the decades since its creation, and those changes reflect the way Houston has continued to evolve, a city constantly in motion. Originally the vision of developer Frank Sharp, who also created Oak Forest, construction of Sharpstown began in the mid '50s and was completed in 1961. At the time, the neighborhood was recognized as the largest subdivision in the United States, with its own mall and a golf course.

It's easy for modern residents to forget how small Houston was half a century ago, but Sharpstown was considered a suburban escape from the hassles of living in the big city, while still conveniently only 15 minutes or so from the downtown area.

The development allowed for schools, recreation, and retail areas as well as nice post-war homes (a new concept at the time), making Sharpstown one of the nation's first master-planned developments, and the first such community in Houston.

Frank Sharp was concerned about easy transport between downtown Houston and his new neighborhood development, so he donated land to the state of Texas, which became the Southwest Freeway. This ensured that Sharpstown would be connected to the heart of Houston, and that deliveries to the new mall would also be reliable. Back then the mall was named Sharpstown Center, and offered shoppers perks such as air-conditioning, something that was not standard at the time.

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9 Types of Houston Drivers We Could Do Without

Photo by Lindsay Shaver
Houston is enormous, and has a vast road and highway system to get everyone from point A to B. We've also never really embraced public transit systems in the Houston area. Sure, we have the buses and a rail system that doesn't really do much as of yet, but Houston is definitely a city where most people are driving their own vehicles to get around.

This puts a lot of cars on the road, and Houston has the dubious honor of being one of the most dangerous cities in America for driving. All of us come across certain types of drivers who make commuting around town risky, and we'd probably collectively applaud if they were magically banished from Houston's roads.

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10 Real Houstonians We'll Need the Most in the Zombie Apocalypse

Night of the Living Dead
Many people have a zombie plan because they're a little insane. Me? I have a zombie plan for the whole city because I'm a lot of insane. It's all well and good to talk of fleeing north where the undead will freeze or fortifying an apartment building by destroying the stairs, but where's your pride and your sense of community? If we as a city have any hope of staying safe and sound in the event of a Brooks Level 3 or higher infestation of the living dead there are ten people that we definitely need to make sure are brought to the safe zones as soon as possible. These include...

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9 Things to Do in Houston That Will Make You Feel Like a Kid Again

Photo by Flattop341

It seems that, once people hit a certain age, they often grow nostalgic for the types of activities and places they once frequented when they were younger. I'm still waiting on someone to invent a DeLorean-based time machine, but until that happens those of us looking for a way to step back into the past can still indulge in many of the activities that we enjoyed at an earlier time in our lives. Fortunately for us, the Houston area has lots of old school delights to enjoy.

9. Dairy Ashford Roller Rink - 1820 S. Dairy Ashford Road

There's something timeless about roller rinks, and while their heyday is definitely a thing of the past, there are still a few of them scattered around. Dairy Ashford Roller Rink is one that's operating today, and offers private parties, times and areas for toddlers and their parents to skate, as well as later time slots for adults to skate on certain days of the week. If you spent time racing around an indoor oval on skates, then this place will likely bring those memories back to life.

Photo by Andy
Pictured: "Fun"

8. Joystix Classic Games & Pinballs - 1820b Franklin Street

Located downtown, Joystix is one of the few places that can give a person the feeling of walking into an authentic classic arcade. Joystix fixes, sells, and rents classic arcade games and pinball machines, but it also opens up its showroom for folks to have private parties or events. With more than 250 classic games in the huge showroom area, it really does feel like a person just stepped back into the 1980s.

Photo by Mike Fisher
A cheetah at the Houston Zoo is among the animals guests can see up close.

7. Houston Zoo - 6200 Hermann Park Drive

Houstonians are fortunate to have a great zoo to enjoy, and it offers a fun and educational experience to people of all ages. Like a lot of people from the Houston area, I've been visiting our zoo since I was a kid, and my visits now always manage to take me back in time. Walking around the 55 acre park is a relaxing way to spend a day, and offers visitors the chance to see all sorts of animals up close and personal.

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The Changing Face of Houston: Spring Branch Then and Now

Photo by Patrick Feller
Parts of Spring Branch still put residents close to the natural environment.
Spring Branch has a long history that would probably surprise many people new to the area. Like many of Houston's older neighborhoods, its character has dramatically changed over the years, and it has evolved with its own unique qualities.

It was originally settled by German immigrants fleeing oppressive conditions back home, who sought the opportunity to own land in the newly formed Lone Star State. Many of those immigrant families set roots in an area near Buffalo Bayou that they named Spring Branch, and operated dairy farms, sawmills, and other ventures as they acclimated themselves to the climate in this part of Texas, which was very different than what they were used to in Germany.

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10 Best Finishing Moves From Houston Wrestlers

Harlem Heat in WCW
Houston has been the home, however temporary, of some of the greatest performers to ever walk the squared circle. Every great wrestler needs a great finisher, so today we look at the ones that had been used to propel these men and women to victory!

Undertaker - Tombstone Pildriver
The pildriver has always been one of the most feared and dangerous moves in wrestling, and more often than not they are banned because of the capacity for severe injury. It was a piledriver from Owen Hart that broke the neck of Stone Cold Steve Austin and cut short much of Austin's potential. Houston's own Undertaker and his kayfabe (In character) brother Kane are among the few men still regularly using the move, likely owing to the relatively safety of the tombstone variety and the tremendous strength and control of the big men.

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The Changing Face of Houston: The Heights Then and Now

Photo by Chris Lane
Nice older homes display much of the appeal of The Heights area for residents.

I lived in the Heights area as a child in the late '70s, at that time one of Houston's well-known neighborhoods with a long history, and an area that had changed a great deal over the previous decades.

Today, the Heights is considered by many to be one of the most desirable Inner Loop communities and seems to exist in a continual state of metamorphosis. More than many cities, Houston and its neighborhoods seem to always be in a rapid state of change, and the Heights today reflects that trend.

The origin of the Heights is a tale of the type of entrepreneurialism that many Houstonians still consider a basic part of the fabric of the city. In the late 1800s a self made millionaire named Oscar Martin Carter, who had made his fortune in Nebraska and Colorado, saw the Houston area as the perfect place to create a new type of utopian community, perfect for the fast approaching 20th Century.

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The 2014 Best of Houston® Readers' Poll: Vote on Your Favorite Houston Places Now!

Live somewhere long enough and you develop a collection of favorite locations, places you can always count on to deliver a good times or good service. You have your favorite museum to explore, your favorite spot to grab a glass of wine, your favorite place to work out, so on and so forth.

In a few weeks, our Best of Houston® 2014 issue is going to drop and we'll have our list of favorites for you to read and check out. Of course, we also know that you feel very passionate about some of the subjects, which is why we're giving you the chance to let us know what your favorite spots are.

That's right, it's time for the 2014 Best of Houston® Readers' Poll.

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The 10 Best Guinness World Records Broken by Houston

Everyone loves a story of accomplishment, and Houston has them in spades. Quite a few Guinness World Records have been won either in the city or by our people, and today we celebrate the ten best.

Jason David Frank - Most pine boards broken in freefall
The former Tommy Oliver from Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers has gone on to an impressive martial arts and MMA career after his time on the show. He also has one of the most badass records in the world when he broke seven pine boards in the middle of a skydive. The previous record was two. That's right, when he was riding in a giant robotic dragon and spinkicking alien monsters, that was his warm-up.

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