Wait a minute, that's not just "Robertson Stadium," that's "John O'Quinn Field at Robertson Stadium." A lengthy name like that is what happens when a big-bucks alumnus donates $6 million to improve a facility that's named after a former UH regent. The public-relations people at UH would like you to call the place "The Mighty Quinn," but that seems a bit contrived. At any rate, the $6 million gift has resulted in new life for the 59-year-old stadium. The track that circled the football field is gone, and the field was lowered by nine feet so more seats could be added; permanent bleachers have been built in the end zones; and there's lots of new paint and landscaping. The place is far from luxurious, but it does offer a nostalgic feel for football games in the days before luxury boxes and carpeted stadium hallways. The skyline of Houston offers a dramatic backdrop to the game, and when the sun goes down and the temperature drops, the setting can be quite enjoyable.
Are you the CEO of an international corporation? Are you always looking for ways to spend that extra pocket change? Do you dream of supporting a vital component of our city's attempt at health consciousness? If so, the Houston Marathon could have used you. But you missed the chance to attach your name to an important local sport for the paltry sum of $800,000. Not exactly jumping the gun, local front-runner Compaq Computers eventually claimed the marathon's sponsorship, which lapsed in January when Methodist Health Care announced it was ending its support. The 7,000 annual participants of this well-organized event have included elite runners from all over the world, and the loop course -- famous for its hoopla, which includes belly dancers, bagpipers and cheerleaders -- travels over 26.2 diverse miles of our city's concrete, including the historic barrios of Houston's north side, the ritzy Galleria and Tanglewood areas, Memorial Park and downtown, and passes by throngs of spectators more than 200,000 strong. Thanks, Compaq: The next race is January 14, 2001.
Are you the CEO of an international corporation? Are you always looking for ways to spend that extra pocket change? Do you dream of supporting a vital component of our city's attempt at health consciousness? If so, the Houston Marathon could have used you. But you missed the chance to attach your name to an important local sport for the paltry sum of $800,000. Not exactly jumping the gun, local front-runner Compaq Computers eventually claimed the marathon's sponsorship, which lapsed in January when Methodist Health Care announced it was ending its support. The 7,000 annual participants of this well-organized event have included elite runners from all over the world, and the loop course -- famous for its hoopla, which includes belly dancers, bagpipers and cheerleaders -- travels over 26.2 diverse miles of our city's concrete, including the historic barrios of Houston's north side, the ritzy Galleria and Tanglewood areas, Memorial Park and downtown, and passes by throngs of spectators more than 200,000 strong. Thanks, Compaq: The next race is January 14, 2001.
Memorial City Mall
Mall management usually is ambivalent about walkers. Not Memorial City Mall. They encourage indoor exercise. Mall walkers can gain access beginning at 5:30 a.m. each day. Throughout the mall, plaques mark a walking course at one-eighth-mile intervals. The mall co-sponsors the Health Check Walking Club with Memorial Hospital-Memorial City. Prizes are awarded for mileage goals from ten to 5,000 miles. A list of 72 people who have achieved the 5,000-mile goal is on display. At the mall's center (not hidden away in a second-floor corner) there's a giant kiosk where you can weigh yourself and pick up a wide range of fitness information. Why power-walk in 100-degree weather when you can do it in a clean, climate-controlled mall? Reward your good intentions by pigging out at Cinnabon, Taco Bell or one of the other places at the mall's huge fast-food court.
Mall management usually is ambivalent about walkers. Not Memorial City Mall. They encourage indoor exercise. Mall walkers can gain access beginning at 5:30 a.m. each day. Throughout the mall, plaques mark a walking course at one-eighth-mile intervals. The mall co-sponsors the Health Check Walking Club with Memorial Hospital-Memorial City. Prizes are awarded for mileage goals from ten to 5,000 miles. A list of 72 people who have achieved the 5,000-mile goal is on display. At the mall's center (not hidden away in a second-floor corner) there's a giant kiosk where you can weigh yourself and pick up a wide range of fitness information. Why power-walk in 100-degree weather when you can do it in a clean, climate-controlled mall? Reward your good intentions by pigging out at Cinnabon, Taco Bell or one of the other places at the mall's huge fast-food court.
That's where you'll see hot players getting a ho-d (diving horizontal to deflect a disc), throwing a hammer (humming a Frisbee like a baseball) or hucking the disc (tossing a Frisbee 50 yards or more). The Rice fields are home to Enfuego (for men) and Spin (for women), teams affiliated with the Ultimate Players Association, a national organization that sponsors competitive Frisbee tournaments. It's where Cloud Nine, the Rice men's Ultimate Frisbee team, practices. And it's where members of the Houndz, a nationally competitive team, also hang out. If your Frisbee wobbles like a flying saucer, this is no place to play.
That's where you'll see hot players getting a ho-d (diving horizontal to deflect a disc), throwing a hammer (humming a Frisbee like a baseball) or hucking the disc (tossing a Frisbee 50 yards or more). The Rice fields are home to Enfuego (for men) and Spin (for women), teams affiliated with the Ultimate Players Association, a national organization that sponsors competitive Frisbee tournaments. It's where Cloud Nine, the Rice men's Ultimate Frisbee team, practices. And it's where members of the Houndz, a nationally competitive team, also hang out. If your Frisbee wobbles like a flying saucer, this is no place to play.
Let's face it: When you think of apartment complex tennis courts, the image of a lumpy concrete slab with a woefully uneven, dilapidated span of chain-link fence serving as the net probably comes to mind. Most complexes tend to throw in a tennis court as a means of justifying why your rent is going up for the fourth time in three years, but at the Westchase Ranch Resort Apartments in west Houston, athletic-minded renters have the opportunity to play on some of the finest, best-maintained courts in the city. Tennis pro Nick Ware rides herd over eight tabletop-smooth courts surrounded by quality windscreen netting that effectively diminishes even the highest gusts. What's more, Ware provides personal and group instruction, and the center hosts several tournaments per year. The center is so good it might even make homeowners consider returning to apartment life.
Let's face it: When you think of apartment complex tennis courts, the image of a lumpy concrete slab with a woefully uneven, dilapidated span of chain-link fence serving as the net probably comes to mind. Most complexes tend to throw in a tennis court as a means of justifying why your rent is going up for the fourth time in three years, but at the Westchase Ranch Resort Apartments in west Houston, athletic-minded renters have the opportunity to play on some of the finest, best-maintained courts in the city. Tennis pro Nick Ware rides herd over eight tabletop-smooth courts surrounded by quality windscreen netting that effectively diminishes even the highest gusts. What's more, Ware provides personal and group instruction, and the center hosts several tournaments per year. The center is so good it might even make homeowners consider returning to apartment life.
The experts -- assuming people who join canoe clubs can be called experts -- agree: For shoulder-powered, water-top locomotion, Armand Bayou is where it's at. Declared a coastal preserve by Texas Parks and Wildlife, the Armand Bayou watershed near Clear Lake City is one of Houston's last unchanneled bayous, an incongruous chunk of wild wetland that seems, from the water, a million miles from the encompassing suburbs. Subsidence continues to drop the streambed, and the banks are lined with trees drowned by the murky water (turf dry enough for mid-trip take-outs is few and far between). Ospreys, egrets and herons are populous, armadillos scuff through the underbrush, and the surface roils with prehistoric carp and jumping shad. Our most recent trip north, toward the mouth of Armand Bayou proper, turned up four alligators, including one we swear was 12 feet long (which means it probably was about five). Alternate trips from the put-in at Clear Lake Park include the Big Island Slough veering off to the east of the bayou, and in the southerly direction, Horsepen Bayou is navigable up into the University of Houston-Clear Lake campus before Armand dumps into Mud Lake near NASA Road 1.

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