Heat, humidity, bugs, horrible traffic, being hermetically sealed inside any indoor space. And its in Texas. 'Nuff said
It's in Texas. No one cares about Texas. It's a shithole. Yes, even Austin.
Jesus freaks and homophobes. Grew up just outside of Houston.
Even when I go back now, I'm amazed at what a weird mix Houston is. On every major highway, for every megachurch you see (and there are a lot), you see an equal number of billboards for strip clubs.
The Jesus freaks there have also weirdly integrated it in to everything, even secular life. There's a fertilizer place right off I45 called "HIS Soil" and their billboard includes a picture of Christ with a bloody crown of thorns. Cheerleading for Jesus...Pole dancing for Jesus. I'm not making this shit up.
I live in Houston and have never seen Jesus-based businesses around here. However, I don't really frequent the low-income suburbs. I love it here. It's the best restaurant city in the United States. And it's got the Menil Collection and Cy Twombly gallery, which any city would kill to have. We already have too many people moving here due to our strong economy, so if you hate it, then please just stay away. Especially if you are poor.
Houston's slogan should be:
"At least we're not fuckin' Dallas!"
Kemah, TX (suburb of Houston, near Galveston)to those who don't know. I see a lot of churches but I don't personally know a lot of Jesus freaks. I have friends who attend church and consider themselves religious but they still like to party their asses off on the weekends and don't really let their religion infiltrate into daily lives. I hate the fucking mega-churches, with pastors arriving in their private helicopters, that have to hire police to control traffic on Sundays. It's hot as hell, yes, big bugs but the springs and winters make up for the miserable summers. Luckily I have a nice ocean breeze where I am so that does help. Up until very recently I was able to just leave my front deck and back deck doors open and had a nice cross breeze going through the house.
R6 -- Is there a Landry's on the water at a marina in Kemah? If so, I filmed a commercial at that marina years ago. We were doing it for a sailboat company; I was crew.
Yes, there is still a Landry's down here. Most of the locals don't go there, only the tourists.
The other weird thing about Houston: skyscrapers that stand alone on huge lots of land. Im from a part of the country where skyscrapers are typically found with other skyscrapers nearby. But in Houston they have them all by themselves with nothing around them. Its weird and kind of scary looking.
I've always found Houston to be very "live and let live." The city is such a melting pot of different cultures and nationalities that people pretty much mind their own business. I don't think people realize what an international city Houston really is.
The suburbs are probably a different story.
Fertitta ruined Kemah. It used to be a little fishing/boating town with a few cool little bars on water. Fertitta put in that damn tourist pit which I guess is good money-wise for Kemah but in the summer the traffic is hell for us locals.
[quote]I don't think people realize what an international city Houston really is.
What?!?!?! You're joking right? The whole time I was there the only time I saw a person of color in a restaurant they were clearing tables. I went for a friends wedding and the rehearsal dinner party was held at what the locals assured us was the BEST Chinese restaurant in the city. It was HORRIBLE! Imagine a frozen La Choy meal, and add a ton of salt - that's what they served us. Ive had better meals on airplanes. Maybe if one lives in the middle of Bumbfuck TX, then yes, Houston seems like a cosmopolitan, international city of excitement and glamor. But, trust me, its not.
Um, I live in LA and visit Houston frequently to see family members, R14.
You're willfully blind, nuts or just plain contrarian if you're not seeing vast number of people of color in Houston. Probably 7 out of 10 shoppers in the Galleria are Saudi or Iranian.
But hey, you had a sucky meal at a Chinese restaurant, so I guess you're the expert, right?
R14 there are tons of blacks, Vietnamese, Arabs, Indians, etc. in Houston. Where pit hole of a suburb were you in? Crackerville? The best Chinese in Houston??? What was it called because there are a shitload of mom and pop joints that are excellent so I don't think there is a "best" because there are too many to count. Houston has one of THE best dining scenes in the US right now.
R15 Im just telling you what I saw, or more precisely, what I didn't see. And I never said I was an expert. You should brush up on your reading comprehension skills. Making statements that are not based in reality does very little to help your credibility.
City of one of the worst serial killer(s) case in US history: Dean Corll and his cohorts David Brooks and Elmer Wayne Henley.
What's not to like?
[quote]Where pit hole of a suburb were you in?
I was in Houston, not a suburb. The wedding was at the opera house. This place was not a shitty mom and pop joint. It was tastefully decorated and all, but the food was horrible. The locals were scarfing it up like no tomorrow while the rest of us tried to be polite and say we were not really as hungry as we thought we were. It was a joke.
R17: Re-read your post at R14 and take your own advice, you obnoxious fuck.
If you ever have a serious medical problem, you'll want to be in Houston. It has the largest medical center in the world. That's why all the Arabs and rich Mexicans fly here for care.
I live in NYC and travel to TX often for work. The people are pleasant but I wouldn't want to live there. I plan on reading the new book by Gail Collins: "As Texas Goes...:How the Lone Star State Hijacked the American Agenda"
Not until she visited Texas, that proud state of big oil and bigger ambitions, did Gail Collins, the best-selling author and columnist for the New York Times, realize that she had missed the one place that mattered most in America’s political landscape. Raised in Ohio, Collins had previously seen the American fundamental divide as a war between the Republican heartland and its two liberal coasts. But the real story, she came to see, was in Texas, where Bush, Cheney, Rove, & Perry had created a conservative political agenda that is now sweeping the country and defining our national identity. Through its vigorous support of banking deregulation, lax environmental standards, and draconian tax cuts, through its fierce championing of states rights, gun ownership, and, of course, sexual abstinence, Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all. Like it or not, as Texas goes, so goes the nation.
Yes R20 calling a person names when you clearly have nothing else to offer really helps your credibility even more.
[quote]...Texas, with Governor Rick Perry’s presidential ambitions, has become the bellwether of a far-reaching national movement that continues to have profound social and economic consequences for us all.
How did things work out for Perry anyway?
Uh-huh. And what have you offered, R1/R9/R14/R17/R19/R23/R24?
Nothing but uneducated, moronic opinions and observations from someone who admits he doesn't live in Houston and only visited once!
If you hate the city and Texas so passionately, why the hell are you even on this thread anyway?
The fact that you equate one person of color being in the sole Chinese restaurant you visited with a city of two million having no diversity whatsoever tells us all we need to know about you.
You have no credibility. You don't know what you're talking about. And you don't express yourself well.
To quote your own post at R1: "'Nuff said."
The restaurants in Houston are fabulous and very reasonable. You have to go to NYC or LA to find the kind of variety you'll find in Houston.
The men are HOT in Houston, too.
[quote]If you hate the city and Texas so passionately, why the hell are you even on this thread anyway?
You're joking right? Didn't you read the thread title?
Get a load of Ms. R25.
Montrose is great. The heat being unbearable in the summer is true. Global warming may drive me out of here eventually.
The only people I've ever met who could tell me with a straight face that Houston was a great city were the inbred idiots who are born there and never moved away. It's a pit. And I grew up in Dallas, so I know a pit when I see one.
r29 How is it possible to make a video of Montrose and leave out the gays? There's not a single gay in it! Bah!
Simply put, Houston has the best and worst of everything.
The Texas Medical Center, mentioned above, is not a single institution but a vast district of the city where the best hospitals and medical schools in North America are concentrated. I now can't imagine living anywhere with lesser medical care.
Best restaurants evah (and some overrated stinkers, it's true) and great food shopping
Housing is dirt cheap.
Horrific summer weather, and ug-LY year-round, but I don't really notice the ugliness until I've been away and come back
Extensive and efficient bus-based public transport* that's always packed with indigent freaks (*but not to Intercontinental Airport; both express bus routes have been discontinued for lack of interest, leaving only the local line that takes over an hour from downtown)
Vast swaths of shocking poverty away from the posh parts of town
As hard as they try to make downtown Houston happen as a residential and entertainment district, the sad reality is that it's simply too close to the poor areas of town for comfort. The homeless people on downtown streets are increasingly desperate and violent; fortunately, workers in the office towers inhabit a hermetic environment connected by tunnels and skywalks.
A mall was built in 2008 occupying three square blocks of former parking lots, and it's been a **huge** failure, still largely empty except for an energy trading company in the office tower part.
The Sundance Cinema downtown, connected to the tunnel system, is the best place in town to see a film, fussy and complicated enough to keep out the riffraff.
Houston is home to KJRM.
MD Anderson clinic tried to kill my father with poor quality experimental care. I'd rather be dependent on the only hospital in Bumfucke, Utah than on the Texas Medical Center. Remember, the vast majority of Texas educated doctors don't have a fifth grade vocabulary.
Yeah right R36, us hillbillies just don't understand that fancy doctoring that goes on in New York City. We rely on old fashioned country remedies.
[quote]I live in Houston and have never seen Jesus-based businesses around here.
Well it's lucky for you that there are several Lighthouse for the Blind facilities in the area
I'm guessing R37 is R25 after clearing her cookies.
R36 most of the doctors come from outside the US. Lots of Pakistani and Indian doctors. MDA has visitors from all over the world so they must be doing something right.
I'm the Kemah resident and I'll admit I rarely venture into Downtown Houston so I can't say how it's evolving but it does have tons on schizophrenic homeless on the streets from what I remember. I prefer to stay around here and toodle around on the golf cart. Saves tons of gas running errands in it.
[quote]A mall was built in 2008 occupying three square blocks of former parking lots, and it's been a **huge** failure,
Which one was that?
[quote]The Texas Medical Center, mentioned above, is not a single institution but a vast district of the city where the best hospitals and medical schools in North America are concentrated
[quote]What?!?!?! You're joking right? The whole time I was there the only time I saw a person of color in a restaurant they were clearing tables.
Well, we did take in an awful lot of the darkies from that whole Katrina thing, and I've always said it worked out quite well for them.
Nobody says the Texas Medical Center isn't big.
With 93,000 employees, 160,000 daily visitors, and 18,000 international visitors annually, it's the biggest...although 18,000 annual international visitors is certainly no justification for privatized medicine (Ochsner in Louisiana treats 4,000). But other cities have big medical centers too. Not as big as TMC, but very similar.
Houston lights up city hall like a rainbow to support gay pride week -
I've never set foot in the state of Texas, never even had a layover in an airport there. I'm strangely proud of this fact.
Listen to this dumbass -
actually, i took my WIFE to new braunfels for lunch and shopping. if you wanna be gay, be gay. no need to be gay in the streets. my children are brought up to not be gay. if you wanna be gay, no one needs to see you be gay. i don't live in houston, but i will rejoice when the diike period is over and she moves her fugly arse out of town!
the only thing good about gay people is that they can't reproduce.
It has basically all been said.
Houston is a very international city and it does have a wide variety of fantastic restaurants. I don't see how anyone could dispute that. It is also very affordable for a city its size.
The bad is the bad. Huge sprawl problem, terrible traffic and the city is simply ugly.
One thing it will always have going for it is that it is a much better city than Dallas.
There is a big religious contigent and a lot of megachurches but also a fairly active gay population and obviously a gay mayor. Especially if you are within the 610 loop it is progressive, once you go out to the many suburbs of the city it becomes more conservative minded.
Still not a terrible city to live in, you could do worse.
Other than Montrose, where do the A-gays tend to live?
A big Lesbyterian lived at Bayou Bend.
I liked it better than Islamabad.
I left Houston in 1986 for Seattle. I visited again in 2003 and did not recognize most of the areas I lived in--Champions, Tomball, League City, Braeswood... I mean, I'd turn down a street I knew since childhood and could not tell where the hell I was.
MY GOD r46, that picture has been everywhere on the Internet in a positive way... WHY did you have to choose that heinous post to highlight the picture?
We're obviously VERY proud of our out Mayor Parker and the pride lights at City Hall this year.
R33 must be the lesbimayor. There are a minimum of two dozen cities in the US with better medical facilities, including way smaller ones like Baltimore, Seattle and Boston.
M.D. Anderson is the best cancer hospital in the country.
[quote]The Texas Medical Center, mentioned above, is not a single institution but a vast district of the city where the best hospitals and medical schools in North America are concentrated
I've lived in Houston and I enjoyed the time very much.
Houston didn't have zoning laws and that was why highrise buildings are as likely to be next door to a single family dwelling and in a cluster with other highrise buildings. I don't know if this is still the case, but I found the lack of zoning laws in line with the independent thinking of most Texans.
I like Houston and Texas, even though I live in Santa Monica.
That should have read: Mass. General, Brigham and Women's, Tufts New England Medical Center, Lahey Clinic, Beth Israel Deaconess, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, etc.
Houston is behind only NYC, LA and Miami in number of hot gay men.
Houston can be fun, but it's definitely a place where you need a car to get around. The skyscrapers are impressive, though it's one of those cities where it's hard to get a sense of what's where.
R41, it's called Houston Pavilions. It's along Dallas at Main, occupying three square blocks of former parking lot.
There are quite a few restaurants there now, but apart from the House of Blues, the rest of the retail space has been vacant since it opened almost four years ago. It's not connected to the tunnel system and was thus doomed from the start.
Naturally, Texas being DL's favorite punching bag, our resident cunts weren't going to miss an opportunity to bitch about Houston. Here's the actual deal.
R14 is a loon. One can't possibly base an opinion on a city from a two-day visit (then again, one also can't possibly critique a restaurant based on one dish, which is why restaurant critics visit a venue at least a half-dozen times before writing a review, but that didn't stop the silly bitch from proclaiming her Chinese meal on par with frozen La Choy).
R33 and R49 have the most sensible comments on this thread. Yes, the city's lack of zoning is shocking for anyone visiting from out of town, and that includes elsewhere in Texas (Houston is alone in not having zoning laws). Yes, the suburbs outside the loop are overwhelmingly white and Republican, and you enter scary meth lab/racist hellholeland within an hour's drive north or east, but life inside the loop is generally quite lovely aside from the ghastly summer weather. The inner-loop area is predominantly Democratic and tolerant, with (as mentioned) a lesbian mayor and before that a male Democratic one. It has a number of gorgeous neighborhoods aside from wealthy River Oaks: the Heights, the Museum District, Upper Kirby, Montrose, etc. The city has some of the best cultural venues in America outside of NYC -- yes, even better than L.A., with its overrated Getty Center and trying-too-hard LACMA and Frank Gehry architectural atrocity.
R36, I'm sorry MDA wasn't able to save your father's life, but it's asinine to *blame* them for it. The experimental treatments he received there were likely not available anywhere else in the country, and while they may not have worked on him, I personally know three people MDA has saved when hope appeared to be lost, including one with stage-four lung cancer.
For all you holier-than-thou New Yorkers and Californians with superiority complexes: New York, you have a Republican mayor and a state assembly that's been controlled by total asshole Republicans for decades. They blocked the passage of same-sex marriage literally until a half-dozen were successfully bribed by progressive Wall Street billionaires. You've been successfully electing Republican mayors for decades now, most noxiously Rudy Giuliani, the corrupt motherfucker who turned the city into a veritable police state. California, two words: Prop 8. And yes, I've previously lived in both states as well as Houston.
Uh, instead of surgically removing what part of his liver had cancer, they injected his liver with poisonous graphite. That's Texas medicine for you. Criminal incompetence. You can hear stories of people whose lives were saved anywhere. But there is no justification whatsoever for Texas' overweening pride in the Medical Center. It's big, and that's the extent of its specialness.
Giuliani and Bloomberg are both far to the left of your lesbian mayor.
To any of you other Houstonians out there, is the Galleria still the shopping destination for every resident foreigner or visitor to the city? I swear the last time I was there, about 20 years ago, it looked like I was in a foreign country except for the employees.
R65 - yes, locals are now shopping at City Center (the old Town & Country - that has been redone).
[quote]Uh, instead of surgically removing what part of his liver had cancer, they injected his liver with poisonous graphite. That's Texas medicine for you. Criminal incompetence.
Uh, I assume they had a sound rationale for doing so. You make it sound like they intentionally set out to kill the man. Also, like it or not, your father requested this treatment, even knowing the risks (which are ALWAYS explained in experimental medicine), and if it was being done in the first place, it meant they had exhausted every single conventional treatment that could have worked.
Again, I'm sorry your father didn't make it, but that's not grounds to assert that either MDA or the Texas Medical Center is a "criminal," or even "subpar," operation. They are world-recognized for a very good reason.
And Giuliani "far to the left"? Hah!! He's not even far to the left of Dick Cheney!
R65, it's still true. Remember the Galleria 3 that opened in 1986, the addition with the Macy's that seemed so upmarket back then? That end of the mall is now a complete failure, mostly vacant, because of the stupid way they built it so you have to go through Saks to get to it.
There's now the Galleria 4 that connects over Alabama St. to the south, with Nordstrom and the second Macy's as anchors. It's hugely successful.
That said, now that there's an Apple Store down the street at Highland Village (and now that both the Borders and Barnes & Noble there have closed), there's no longer any compelling reason to go to the Galleria if you're local.
R68, I'm sorry, but Dallas eclipsed Houston on the fashion front a long time ago. NorthPark -- which has the unofficial flagship Neiman's *and* a full-size Barneys store -- reigns supreme as the state's best mall. The Houston Galleria is an also-ran these days.
R69, Houstonians no longer claim the Galleria has any supremacy in any area, because we no longer go there.
I honestly don't see that much difference between Dallas and Houston but, while in Dallas, I did notice that Dallas seemed to have a lot more of the shallow, "keeping up with the Joneses" types. I visited my step-brother and his wife there and it's pretty all she talked about and a bunch of friends of theirs showed up later for drinks and they were the same. "so and so got a boat so such and such went and got a bigger one". It was rather distasteful.
Dallas people are scum.
R71, Houston is EXACTLY the same (at least in the suburbs or outside the loop). Suburbs like The Woodlands are filled to the brim with materialistic fundie assholes obsessed with conspicuous consumption; along with the northern Dallas suburbs like Frisco and Plano, it's one of the biggest markets in the country for Escalades (which capture the essence of those areas to a fucking T).
[quote]Frisco and Plano, it's one of the biggest markets in the country for Escalades (which capture the essence of those areas to a fucking T)
They lived in Frisco R73 and do, indeed, drive an Escalade and an equally huge Ford F150 loaded to the hilt. They have since relocated to Houston so I get to hear more of the wife's bs now. Fun times (not). They are in debt up to their eyeballs and have borrowed money from my mother and step-father.
Is the Bookstop still there?
Bookstop's actually from Austin, and Barnes & Noble snapped it up over a decade ago.
[quote]Is the Bookstop still there?
Assuming you mean the location at the Alabama Theatre, no, that's now a Trader Joe's. B&N opened a big new store on West Gray in 2009 and closed Bookstop. It sat empty for a couple of years.
The Whole Foods that was adjacent to Bookstop moved over to Kirby; it's now a Petsmart. There's also a **very** busy new Whole Foods on Waugh at West Dallas.