There's a lot to like about Enron Field. (There's also a lot to dislike, but now's not the time to mention $5.25 beers. Or cold hot dogs. Or the cramped and hot upper deck. And now certainly is not the time to bring up the team's performance this year.) Enron is far more fan-friendly than the Dome; parking hasn't been the hassle some thought it would be; and it's just plain great to have baseball downtown. The best thing about the new stadium, though, is the potential for freebie souvenirs, in the form of foul balls and home runs. The stands at Enron are much closer to the foul lines than in the Dome, so lots of foul balls that would have been pop-up outs last year are going into the seats. And there are sections on the field level where fouls come screaming in with such regularity that you might want to wear a batting helmet. And of course, Enron's outfield dimensions are decidedly, if not infamously, cozy. Homers come with sometimes numbing regularity. At batting practice even the pitchers are popping dingers. If Enron Field needs a slogan, it might be "Bring your glove."
There's a lot to like about Enron Field. (There's also a lot to dislike, but now's not the time to mention $5.25 beers. Or cold hot dogs. Or the cramped and hot upper deck. And now certainly is not the time to bring up the team's performance this year.) Enron is far more fan-friendly than the Dome; parking hasn't been the hassle some thought it would be; and it's just plain great to have baseball downtown. The best thing about the new stadium, though, is the potential for freebie souvenirs, in the form of foul balls and home runs. The stands at Enron are much closer to the foul lines than in the Dome, so lots of foul balls that would have been pop-up outs last year are going into the seats. And there are sections on the field level where fouls come screaming in with such regularity that you might want to wear a batting helmet. And of course, Enron's outfield dimensions are decidedly, if not infamously, cozy. Homers come with sometimes numbing regularity. At batting practice even the pitchers are popping dingers. If Enron Field needs a slogan, it might be "Bring your glove."
Bob McNair, the man who returned professional football to Houston, has dubbed his new team the Texans. Forgive us if we don't immediately share the jingoistic joy of the moniker. Last time we looked, much of the city had little to do with Texas (aside from obvious geography): Haven't seen too many folks in the Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Pakistani communities (to name but four) opening Texas barbecue joints or installing mechanical bulls in their dim sum or pho restaurants. Given the city's lust for bland Midtown condos, publicly financed stadia, downtown water parks and planned communities, we suggest that the Developers would be a far more accurate and fair nickname. Development, after all, knows no racial or ethnic boundaries. These promoters of "progress" have blithely affected almost everyone: African-Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Anglos -- hell, even the homeless. Considering sports teams are usually beloved by all socioeconomic levels of a community, the Houston Developers, if they happen to win the Super Bowl, could do more for the spirits of the displaced and disadvantaged than 10,000 new downtown lofts.
Bob McNair, the man who returned professional football to Houston, has dubbed his new team the Texans. Forgive us if we don't immediately share the jingoistic joy of the moniker. Last time we looked, much of the city had little to do with Texas (aside from obvious geography): Haven't seen too many folks in the Vietnamese, Chinese, Korean and Pakistani communities (to name but four) opening Texas barbecue joints or installing mechanical bulls in their dim sum or pho restaurants. Given the city's lust for bland Midtown condos, publicly financed stadia, downtown water parks and planned communities, we suggest that the Developers would be a far more accurate and fair nickname. Development, after all, knows no racial or ethnic boundaries. These promoters of "progress" have blithely affected almost everyone: African-Americans, Asians, Mexicans, Anglos -- hell, even the homeless. Considering sports teams are usually beloved by all socioeconomic levels of a community, the Houston Developers, if they happen to win the Super Bowl, could do more for the spirits of the displaced and disadvantaged than 10,000 new downtown lofts.
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.
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.

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