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Category : Know Your Neighborhood

Photo Blog: Sunsets Around Houston

There’s something about the sunset, don’t you think? Here on the west side of Houston at Alta City West, we can’t get enough of the breathtaking sky – there’s a reason every country singer from George Strait to Jason Aldean has sang about what it looks like to look up, don’t you think? When the sun hits the Texas skyline just right, you’re left with a beautiful sunset at the end of the day… and that’s what we’re showcasing in this week’s photo blog. We’ve taken some of our favorite images from Instagram that highlight that beautiful sky-light! Got a pic you’ve snapped? Be sure to share with us, too!

Taken by @ashleyschwenkel

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Just a beautiful sunset today in Texas #htown #texas #houston #cmonboardhouston #sunsetinhouston

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#houston #houstonsunsets #sunsets #sunset🌅 #artistfound #mydadmadethatbirdhouse

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h o u s t o n | o r i g i n a l . . . 📸☁️🌷

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#texassunsets#sunsets#lmttexas #lmt#magical#houstonsunsets#htx#htwon#houstonsunset#houstonsunsetchasers

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And then there was yellow #sunsets #nofilter #houstonsunset #houstonsunsets A post shared by SomewhereOvertheRainbow (@loveyandsalene) on

Staying Cool in Houston This Summer

“Beat the Heat!” You hear it every year, and you often only realize it when it’s too late: when you’re sunburned, sleepy, and sick of the sun. Before the temperature gets too hot, we at Alta City West want to help you plan ahead! Yes, it’s fun to enjoy the summer, but staying cool should be at the top of your priority list once those temperatures rise.   Below, we’re detailing a few of our favorite ways to stay cool and beat the heat in Houston this summer: there are water activities and indoor spots, family fun and nights out with friends… and all of them will keep you cool without so much as breaking a sweat. Well, ok, maybe just a little sweat…   Option 1: The Pool. Ok, maybe we’re cheating by saying this one – but you can’t beat the pool here at Alta City West. There’s a reason we love to call this place home, and the pool is the at the top of that list. Come on out to barbecue, enjoy the cabana areas, and throw your own pool party! 🙂 Option 2: The Water Park. Been to Typhoon Texas Waterpark yet? Located in Katy, TX (only a short way west of us here in Houston), this water park has got it all! Fun for the whole family with pools, slides, and a whole lot more. Go ahead, and make a day of it. Option 3: The Outdoors. Cooling off is also a lot of fun when you’re outdoors! Whether you like lake swimming or beach days, Houston has got options for you. We recommend a weekend drive out to Galveston, where the beachs are beautiful, and the bay is calling your name! However you choose to stay cool, just be sure to lather up with sunscreen, and stay hydrated. It’s hot out there – but enjoying the heat can be fun, especially afterwards, when cooling off is the refreshment you need!

Photo Blog: Favorite Craft Beers

When it comes to craft beers, there’s no place like Houston! In the mood for a hoppy IPA? Want a crisp Hefeweisen? Looking for a thick, creamy Stout? No matter your flavor, Houston’s got you covered. Here at Alta City West, we’re counting down just a few of our favorite craft beers that you can find around here – with this awesome photo blog! Got your own favorite craft brews? Be sure to share them with us, so we can see and share, too. Cheers!

@8thwonderbrew dropping off some killer glassware for the #halfbirthday celebration – come take one home #HoustonBeers

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This weather is too good not to come have a beer! #burgerjointhtx #beerme #houstonbeers #supportlocalbreweries A post shared by The Burger Joint (@burgerjointhtx) on
Just Tapped!! Buffalo Bayou Tropikal Rotundone Saison #buffalobayoubrewery #buffalobayoubrewing #saison #craftbeers #localbeer #houstonbeerscene A post shared by Down The Street Bar, Houston (@downthestreettx) on

Our Bourbon Barrel Aged #AnodyneWheatWine is now available on tap. The holidays just got a little more interesting.

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Photo Blog: Spring in Houston

Love spring as much as we do? What’s not to love?! From the flowers blooming to the sun being out, picnic in the parks with friend, to quality time with family – you can’t beat a spring day here in Houston. Over in our southwest corner of the city here at Alta City West, we have a lot to love. We’re looking at some highlights on today’s photo blog… just a few of the reasons why springtime is the best time! Have pictures that you can share with us, too? We’d love to post some on our social media, so comment and send along! #HappySpring

When after dinner walks turn into bickering from two kids who can’t agree, but hey look at that sunset 🌅

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No. 3; #instatravel #SpringTimeInHouston #parks #sugarland #texas #lakeside A post shared by Travel Fixes (@travel_fixes) on

Arlo decided to stop and smell the flowers on our walk today 🐶🐾🌺🌸

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House gardener and his dog assistants at your service. #greenthumb #springtimeinHouston @texmariner84

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The jasmine on our patio smells like heaven! #springtimeinhouston A post shared by Indika (@indikausa) on

Houston Community Spotlight: Plant it Forward

While Houston  has had a long history of welcoming new people, Plant It Forward takes Houston hospitality and kindness to a whole new level.

This collection of local, urban farms provide work for refugees to help them land on their feet in the U.S.

“Houston is a desert when it comes to fresh, locally grown food. We import almost all of the food we consume,” the organization explains on their site.

“Through Plant It Forward Farms, refugees can become active and contributing citizens that help Houston realize its potential as a leader in sustainable living.”

Plant it Forward provides fresh produce to some of Houston’s finest local restaurants, like Downhouse, Oxheart, and many more, winning the hearts of chefs and customers alike.

Plant it Forward even hosts a variety of events at their farms and in cooperation with local businesses, getting the community involved in sustainable living and providing a place for Houstonians to gather and meet new people. Their Facebook page provides more information on upcoming events.

So how can you get a taste of Plant it Forward’s garden-fresh produce, or lend a helping hand to this local gem? Plant it Forward sells produce at farmer’s markets and farm stands  across the city. Or you can get in on their farm share program and have your produce delivered directly to your door in a weekly box of farm fresh goodies.

If you’d like to get your hands dirty on the farm or selling produce at one of the Plant it Forward farm stands, volunteering is a great way to do your part for the community this spring.

However you choose to enjoy Plant it Forward’s amazing program – eating delicious food at a local restaurant, having produce delivered to your home, or going to one of their annual farm celebrations – you too will be paying kindness forward to refugees and Houston’s vibrant, up-and-coming sustainability movement.

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Neighborhood Spotlight: Brunch at The Egg and I

Brunch – that magical time encompassing both breakfast and lunch – originated in 19th Century England, but thankfully it is still practiced in 21st Century Houston. For many, the best brunch spots are the closest brunch spots, as on the weekends we prefer to sleep in and take it easy! Luck for us, the best brunch joint in the neighborhood, The Egg and I, is just down the Street from Alta City West.

The Egg and I specializes in… well, eggs! But non-egg centric seasonal specials include Chia Coconut Oatmeal, Honey Smoked Salmon Frittata, and the Oatmeal Pancake (gluten free!) topped with berries and raspberry agave. Their season juice is sure to put some spicy nutrition into your belly as the fresh pair and citrus is sweetened with agave and ginger and then spiced up with jalapeño!

No brunch would be complete without a plethora of egg dishes. Among the classic and creative benefits (like crab!) you’ll also find vegetarian options. They also have scrambles and omelets (see photos below).  Those seeking comfort food will find solace in Southern classics like biscuits and gravy and grits.

Each menu item is detailed with allergen information and dietary concerns, appeasing the the gluten-free, allergen-sensitive diners among us. The gluten-free menu can be found here.

At the Egg and I juices (orange, tomato, grapefruit, apple and cranberry) are fresh squeezed, and the coffee is bottomless and always served fresh.  You just can’t beat a local restaurant where everything is made to order!

The Westeimer location is open from 7:00 am until 2:00 pm, so get it while it’s hot!

What are your favorite spots in the neighborhood? Let us know and we’ll cover it in our next Neighborhood Spotlight!

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Where to Hike your Heart Out in Houston

With weather in the low 80’s and high 70’s this late winter, now is the perfect time to hike your heart out in Houston!

The Terry Hershey Sam Houston Parkway is just two miles down the road from Alta City West. At the Parkway you can run, hike, walk and bike! You can take the 2.9 mile loop or get more adventurous and veer off towards the Buffalo Bayou Park. On this trail  you’ll find hills, trees (some fallen) and green lushness – without the traffic that usually dominates the cityscape. The entire parkway expanse is about 10 miles, so if you want to go the distance, you may want to take a bike! Bring your dog and your kids and you’ll find plenty of other people out on the path!

Memorial Park sees 4 million visitors each year. You can hit the three mile loop by yourself or take the kids to the park. The Park’s official website indicates  that “thirty miles of hiking trails provide a respite from urban life, while local sports enthusiasts flock to the Park’s many amenities and facilities.” Amenities include a tennis court and a lighted path for walking at night. If you veer off the trail, you can find local restaurants (like Smoothy King) nearby.

Upcoming events include The Brunch Run on April 1st. A $20 entrance fee will get you a tee-shirt, 4 miles of exercise, and entrance into the after party.

Brays Bayou Hike and Bike Trail is where you can go Hike and Bike your heart out in Houston!  This paved trails even has a Bros Bakery on the trail! For those really into a long run, this path can stretch over 30 miles round trip! You can run, walk or bike right next to running water. There’s few shady trees on this path, so be sure to take advantage of the cooler winter weather.

Still need more green space and outdoor activity space? Try one of Houston’s many parks!

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Farmer’s Markets in Houston

Besides better-tasting meals, there’s many benefits to buying fresh, locally-raised produce and goods. For starters, it supports the community we live in and provides the freshest seasonal fruits and veggies. Often times, farmers even have better prices that your local grocery store – that’s a win-win! Try out some of Houston’s best farmer’s markets from the list below.