- The roads are scary. The highway is 12 lanes wide but there are exit-onlys on the left and the right so you could be in the middle lane and suddenly you have to merge two lane to avoid exiting. Its crazy. I think one of their major highways is listed among the most dangerous roads in America.%0D\
Thats my experience from being there on business. Other than that I have no idea...
- Some friends recently visited from Baton Rouge and they said they really like Houston. I was kind of shocked because I have just heard horrible things about the city. They said it has everything you could want but you need a car and they also said the roads are great. Which also surprised me since R1 says they are a nightmare. I think they meant the roads are paved well. Still, not much of an endorsement. I still think it''s a dump.
- The stink! The stink! Some friends moved there and I visited for two days. The smell has something to do with oil refineries. It was awful. I''ve driven through there several times on I-10 and roll up the car windows to keep away the outside air.
- If you don''t like republicans or most things related with the state why would you move there?\
And why Houston?\
Seriously, go somewhere else.
- I lived there in the ''90s. The people are great, there are tons of hot men, fun bars and surprisingly good restaurants. %0D\
The humidity is awful, and I suppose the traffic is bad but I worked nights so was lucky enough to go against the flow.
- You will need to get a shotgun rack in your car OP. Hope you like Country Music too.
- Houston is actually really diverse. Like almost every red state in the country, when actually here it''s hard to believe there''s a Republican in the state, much less that it''s a Republican state. Most Republicans I know, including a Tea Partier, only know what Fox tells them, and it''s really not their fault. They don''t know any better, and they''re not bigots at all. I actually know more gay white men that are Republicans than any other demographic. So watch out. The fag hitting on you probably thinks Reagan was a great President.
- r7, fuck you twat. You libs only know what the lib media says. Nothing in this country is bipartisan when it comes to news. If you think there is then you are deluded.
- I"ve lived here for 20 years, moved here from New York to go to college. Like most big cities, there is the "city" part and then there''s the surrounding parts. If you stay within the city, it''s a pretty great place. The home to the second-largest number of Fortune 500 companies outside of New York. The biggest medical center in the world. The #1 hospital in the US -- MD Anderson Cancer Center. One of only a few US cities with four resident professional performing arts companies: Opera, Ballet, Symphony and legitimate theater (Alley). It''s a great place to make friends and make money, as there''s no class striation and no "old money" to speak of. And the restaurants are nothing short of amazing. If you''ve never been here, or just driven through on a highway, don''t judge because you don''t know what you''re talking about. It''s not Paris, or LA, or New York, or Rome -- and that''s fine. Gives me more reasons to travel.
- Oh and as far as "the Republicans" are concerned, the few I know are fiscal conservatives, including the Bushes (Neil is actually a pretty fun guy). They still know I''m a liberal dem and no one shuns me. I also have a lot of friends who are current and former professional athletes -- guys you would know -- who have tons of gays in their circles. If you go around looking to be offended and outraged by a right-wing tool, I''m sure you can find someone who can help you if you look hard enough. Or in the suburbs.
- Yes the suburbs have a lot of the Limbaugh crowd, but you''re going to find a whole lot of ethnic diversity in the city. Getting inside the west loop you will find a lot of the funkier areas like The Heights, Montrose, West University and midtown. There''s 1 rail line with 3 others being built and 2 others supposedly to follow. Yes it''s very sprawling, but people tend to stay in their general area unless they''re going into downtown to see a game or a play or something. I-10 was expanded recently, which helps the flow of traffic, but it can be hard to get over to exit on a 6 lane freeway. There supposed to be building a theme park named Earth Quest soon.
- It''s pretty clear from this thread that the rethugs in TX have trained their gays well.
- I was born there, spent most of my childhood in various great Houston neighborhoods (Memorial, River Oaks) and now live in Dallas. In my experience people in Houston are friendlier and more genuine than one typically encounters in large cities (definitely friendlier than folks here in Dallas).%0D\
Despite the humidity I prefer the tropical feel of Houston to the North Texas climate which is much hotter and drier in summer and colder in winter. Houston doesn''t really have winter. Fall is wonderful there because the humidity relents for a brief while and it''s neither hot nor cold. The restaurants are better in Houston as well. The traffic totally sucks in both Dallas and Houston so I can''t argue with that.
- Seriously, R12? Do you live here? Or are you conveying your disdain from afar? If so, shut up. I guess the "rethugs" have trained our openly lesbian mayor well, too.
- OP, don''t listen to these snarky up north queers. They''re going to shit on any place that''s not what they consider a "gay mecca". They measure their self worth mainly with being able to say they live in a certain city. \
If you pay any attention to these cuntwipes then you''re as stupid as they are pathetic.
- I fled a Houston childhood and never looked back. If you insist on moving to Texas, then go to Austin. But, really, why are you even thinking of this move? Do you live in Wasilla?
- R7, where in the world are you meeting all these gay republicans? I don''t think I''ve ever seen one in real life.
- OP here, thanks for the feedback. I''m curious: I went on Google Streetview to look at Montrose, the gay neighborhood, and it looks very shabby. The area around the gay bars looks like a dump. Am I getting the wrong impression?
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Montrose, Houston, TX&sll=37.0625,-95.677068&sspn=41.682395,93.076172&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Neartown/ Montrose, Houston, Texas&ll=29.746895,-95.391299&spn=0.002818,0.007725&t=h&z=18&layer=c&cbll=29
- Ha ha, you don''t want to live by the bars. Unless you''re some meth prostitute or aging queen. The rest of Montrose is pretty nice, it can vary from block to block. The Heights is also good, although it tilts lesbians with cats.
- Houston is great. Don't be prissy, OP, live in Montrose. Come on, you queens, admit it: Houston is the only major city in the US with a lesbian mayor. It's the 4th largest city in the country! NYC, LA, Chicago, and then Houston: four points of the nation. And which of the top three cities has a lesbian mayor? Exactly none.
Houston is much hipper than you'd think. And it is ethnically and linguistically almost as diverse as Queens. I don't agree with the above poster who said the restaurants are great. I found the restaurants so-so. But I actually found Houston to be more liberal, in some ways, than NYC. Well, the progressive-type-people who live "inside the loop" - inside the highways that ring Montrose and downtown - are aware of being surrounded by conservatives, and consequently they are more liberal than New Yorkers who take liberalism for granted.
The place needs better public transportation! It does have itself a problem with meth labs, especially in the area of Montrose closest to downtown. But it's wildly affordable, it has lots of fun architecture, the oil millionaires have made a point of buying a lot of art, it has a big ethnic-Chinese Vietnamese community, lots of Indians-from-India, a black community with a long history in the area, Mexican Americans - it's totally a swell place.
The humidity is awful. Don't walk outside in July. But it's a Gulf Coast city, not really a Texan city, and though it's nothing like New Orleans, nonetheless, it has more in common with NO than it does with Dallas or Austin.
- I live in Katy, and like I said, the majority of Republicans I know are white, gay men. The one Tea Partier I know is a really nice guy married to a really nice Latino woman, and neither of them are even remotely bigoted. They''re socially liberal, but Fox News has brainwashed them into believing the reason they pay 50% in taxes ($90,000 of $200,000) is because of liberals. I''ve told them they''re not in the upper 10%, and I''ve told them that the reason they''re taxed so much is because the tax plan hasn''t been adjusted since it was instituted. At that time, making $200,000 (joint or not) may as well have been an easy 10 times as much. The reason liberals can''t adjust the proportionate income tax system is the same reason they haven''t been able to adjust Social Security. Neither the Democratic nor Republican Parties will allow it. They don''t believe me, because people on TV...
- Not the OP, but I appreciate hearing all the good stuff about Houston--I just accepted a job at one of the universities there and I''ll be starting in a few weeks. Can anyone give advice on areas to absolutely avoid for housing?
- Houston is a very laissez-faire place. Most people are open minded - lots of libertarian type republicans who like our mayor. She''s an accountant who happens to be a lesbian and is doing a great job cleaning up Bill White''s financial mess. %0D\
Houston is in the middle of a forest - LOTS of trees - close to the Gulf, awesome food of many cultures. Not snobby at all, but great people.%0D\
Learn to handle the heat and traffic - they are manageable. Superb fall, winter, and spring. Cheap flights from good airports all over the world.%0D\
NO INCOME TAX.%0D\
There''s more but come down and see it. Tons of hot gay guys too.
- Houston is the armpit of Texas. The only people who like it are the ones who grew up there. I can not overstate how miserable you are likely to be. Dallas is not much better; all strip malls, concrete, and some weirdly unexplainable pretentiousness. San Antonio is a filthy sty that is like a third world city outside of the Riverwalk tourist area. \
Austin is the only halfway decent place I could ever call home in Texas. I say this as a native Texan who lived in several parts of the state. No job is worth moving to Houston. Not one.
- Don''t live outside the loop! Or, maybe I mean: Stick to Montrose and the Heights, and you''ll be fine. For god''s sake don''t go moving into any suburbs!\
What university, by the way? Rice? U of Houston?
- Of course Neil is a pretty fun guy. He sucked Silverado Savings and Loan dry. I''d be a fucking riot if I did that.
- "Houston is much hipper than you''d think. And it is ethnically and linguistically almost as diverse as Queens"\
I''ll admit, that is true. But imagine queens S-P-R-E-A-D O-U-T over four hundred Miles - \
Houston is so distant and watered down that any culture immediately evaporates
and believe me, I lived there - great fish tacos though
- Enjoy the flying cockroaches!\
- Oh, I don't know, it's not as bad as you say, r 27. It has some swell museums. And the Rothko Chapel - which, actually, I don't like so much. And there's that gallery dedicated entirely to Cy Twombly, whom I adore. There's the Menil Museum, with its wonderful collection of surrealist art. Surrealism and Houston! A more apt combination than you might at first suspect!
And there are those wonderful middle-of-the-day out-of-the-blue heavy, brief rainshowers in October, or April, or August, just this sudden amazing downpour, and if you're driving your car at the time, it's like your in a capsule, it's weirdly and enjoyably isolating, and then afterwards, I don't know, it's like you were washed clean in the river, and you can start your day over again, a little.
Cheap rents! Cheap houses to buy!
And there's lots of Philip Johnson architecture. It's an architecture town, sort of an anthology of postmodern architecture from the 1980s.
You can hear the train going by at night, as if the city were a set for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE.
The chicken apple sausage at Baby Barnaby's!
I totally liked the place. And I'm the biggest Manhattan-snob who ever lived.
- Enjoy the bed bugs in NYC!%0D\
- R26, say what you want about Neil (and his crazy ex wife Sharon or his mousy, sweet new wife Maria), but he''s a solid guy and he''s invested in some of my deals so fuck you I like him. Some of us can reach across the aisle. And seriously, I don''t want or need your approval. I''m just telling you how things go down here. Stay outraged.
- R21, you live in katy. Enough said. You don''t live anywhere near Houston so stop trying to chime in. You''re a suburban fellow. Your opinions of the city are about as valid as that of a Des Moines resident.
- "Enjoy the bed bugs in NYC!"\
We save them for the tourists.
- Stupid comments.
- [quote]You''re a suburban fellow. \
HELL! Katy is RURAL!!!
- R22, school zones are important in terms of home resale value, which is probably why a lot of people live on the outskirts in places like The Woodlands, Sugar Land, and Katy. You''ll probably want to rent for 6 months to explore your options. Bellaire''s a good area if you can afford it.
- Defensive much R14? I based my comment on the posts apologizing for and praising republicans - you know the people who want to make being gay illegal. Guess you have been trained well. Now kindly fuck off, sugah.
- No, I''m not defensive, sugah. I''m happy. You are not, apparently. Come on down and we''ll take real good care of you. Even if you''re an insufferable douche.
- TSU, R25.
- Lifelong Texan here who regularly visits people in Katy. You do not want to live there, as it is 99% republican, concrete, and big box stores among the ricky, ticky, tacky, big boxy houses and mcmansions. It feels like the hottest place(real feel)in Texas. West U is a great area and was even better 15-20 years ago, before the chain stores came in. Laughing hilariously at r9, who is one of those queens living to get her picture in the social section, of The Houston Chronicle. The most difficult adjustment I have seen people make when they move here is to the humidity. It is the chief complaint I have heard from newcomers through the years.
- R22, agree with the advice to rent first - you can find a nice place on a 6 month lease and take our time finding the right neighborhood. The Heights is very livable and feels like a little city.%0D\
The city is littered with fascinating small places to eat, art, and good people. Enjoy!
- [quote]Montrose, the gay neighborhood, and it looks very shabby%0D\
The area around the bars on Pacific street is indeed shabby. It''s the old core of bohemia and is now populated by hustlers and addicts, not where you want to live at all. But Montrose is very large, especially if you stretch the definition to include the Museum District, Midtown, and the areas along Memorial and Washington. Hell, even River Oaks, West University Place and the Rice Village are great. Just stay anywhere inside the *western* half inside Loop 610, and you''ll be golden. %0D\
TSU: *do not live near TSU or U of H.* That''s a higher-crime area.
- You guys are fantastic for providing information!%0D\
Thanks for the advice, R42--I was planning on avoiding housing in the area because I don''t want to live in a student ghetto (with a 24/7 party all around).%0D\
What about public transportation? How bad does it suck and is it safe?
- it''s safe I guess, but shitty. You''ll need a car.
- [quote]student ghetto %0D
That's the least of UH/TSU's problems. TSU doesn't really have "dorms", but it does own some rather nice apartment complexes nearby that don't really promote a party atmosphere. UH does have a couple of dorms, but like TSU it's mostly a commuter school. No, the problem with that neighborhood is just that it's low-income/high crime. %0D
Look at a map of Houston and find the South Freeway (288) just to the west of TSU. You want to live *west* of 288. Trust. %0D
OK, public transportation: apart from the one light rail line (more are being built as I type), it's all bus-based. It's an extensive and very efficient system and very widely used... almost entirely by the city's millions of indigent. (Houston has a ***lot*** of homeless.) Seriously, everyone who can afford to drive, does. %0D
There are two pleasant bus routes patronized by a more middle-class ridership: the 81/82 Westheimer buses connecting Downtown to the Galleria; and the 34 Montrose Crosstown connecting the Heights to the Texas Medical Center and the light rail line. All other routes, to be candid, are loud and smelly. Sorry, they just are.
- There is a crosstown route (42 Holman) that connects the corner of Montrose and Westheimer to TSU and UH, but it goes through gang territory east of 288. The only time I''ve been anywhere near a gang fight was on an ill-considered ride on the 42, scared shitless.%0D\
UH and TSU are also served by the 68 Braes Bayou crosstown from the Texas Medical Center, going down somewhat safer thoroughfares, but it meanders and takes *forfuckingever*. Just drive; it''s a quick trip down MacGregor from Rice.
- The foul odor issue is valid, but it tends to be worse in areas closer to the Ship Channel and Galveston Bay (i.e., the east side). \
The homeless situation mentioned above bears repeating, if only because in this economy the very poor are increasingly desperate and aggressive in their panhandling techniques. This happens mostly downtown after dark and near the Galleria. \
Another thing to mention is that Houston is built on very low-lying land and crisscrossed by a network of bayous that drain into the bay. Thus when it rains, it floods, again especially on the east and north sides of town. These areas are largely poor, and the hardships inflicted by the frequent flooding are heartbreaking. But even the wealthier neighborhoods inside the Loop are prone to flash floods. It''s crazy.
- Houston''s homeless population is less than San Francisco and LA, but like many cities, most of them probably need psychiatric help most of all. %0D\
Completely agree you need a car. Public transportation, though well organized, is only suitable if you go point to point and nowhere else. The city is VERY spread out - it''s ENORMOUS, and everyone has a car.%0D\
Live inside the Beltway - don''t limit yourself to the Loop, though you might enjoy it there. Apartment rents are very reasonable.%0D\
And, OP, did I mention THERE''S NO INCOME TAX!
- I haven''t been to Houston in years (I''m an Austin Queen)...but, during my youth when I was recently out gay friends and I used to go there every weekend, get shit faced drunk, and spend a night of debauchery in the Baths. Houston gay night life was awesome for a 20 something gay boy. Ahhh....the memories. Go to Mary''s if you go...the place is billed as a Leather bar but all types go there. No fluff; no potted fucking plants to bang your head on; no cookie smelling bartenders; to use an old expression: "It''s a Hoot." Oh yea...that was back in the 70''s when being gay was fun and couldn''t kill you with disease.
Gay Geezer Austinite
- OP...most of Texas has shitty public transportation. You will definitely need a car. Plus, get out of Houston proper and do some sight seeing. New Orleans isn''t all that far away and Austin is only a 3 hour drive away. Despite what most of the Texas hating trolls say, I''ve lived in Texas all of my life and I love the state. The culture and scenery are very diverse. The economy here is much better than say...oh, I don''t know...NEW FUCKING YORK. LOL Just sayin''
- Oh yea...almost forgot. No state income tax. I turned down a good job in California because State and federal taxes had me back at my same salary so the move would have been a wash financially. I''ve worked in the High Tech sector here in Austin for many years and have yet to be unemployed (Knocks wood).
- [quote]everyone has a car\
I don''t. I live in the Heights and work downtown, so my point-to-point commute on the bus is a breeze. \
However, if I have to go anywhere else beyond that Heights-downtown axis or to the Med Center, I curse my life. Especially if it''s hot; unbearable.
- [quote]Go to Mary''s if you go...\
Mary''s is gone. The Ripcord is still very much around. \
The most fun is to be had at the Brazos River Bottoms, a country-western gay bar.
- Great Houston story in The Guardian today:\
"Novel approach: reading courses as an alternative to prison... In Texas, offenders are being sent on reading courses instead of prison."
- What's with you pussies who don't like public transportation? I lived in Houston for five months, without a car. I was living in Montrose and working at U of H. I forget the name of the bus route down Westheimer to the U of H campus, but it was a 20-minute ride, it was safe and smooth and reliable, nothing smelled, it cost maybe 2 bucks - I can't recall! - and while I admit that there were in fact a fair number of blonde-headed, shaggy bearded, skinny homeless alcoholic white guys riding the buses around, well: The NYC subway system is also a homeless-shelter-on-wheels, and I am not fazed by homeless people on subways and buses. And why should you be?
I hate hearing people trash public buses, just because poor people and black people and brown people and broke students use them. If you want to live your life sealed in a car, without contact with another human being, except for when you walk into the mall - well, then, you'll have a superficial experience of Houston, and I'm sorry for you.
I admit that I was irritated that the buses stopped running well before midnight. Houston is a closed-at-10-PM kind of town, except for the bars. And the bus thing can be a challenge if you're making complicated moves around town, from one neighborhood to another. But it can be done. And I had a bicycle the whole time I was there, and that was bliss. Okay, I wasn't there in June/July/August, and I'm sure biking during those hot months would be brutal.
But the weather was less oppressive than I had been led to believe, and I for one would not have had as good a time there if I'd had my own car.
- [quote]Okay, I wasn''t there in June/July/August, and I''m sure biking during those hot months would be brutal... But the weather was less oppressive than I had been led to believe, and I for one would not have had as good a time there if I''d had my own car.\
It''s exactly because you weren''t here during June/July/August. Those months make you want to die in this place. During winter and spring this city is bliss. \
I''m R52 above in the Heights. I''m blessed with a number of routes from which to choose; the most direct routes head straight down Main past the Salvation Army shelter, so the bus is always full of men who are not exactly at their freshest. My only objection is the smell, especially in the summer. But it''s only ten minutes, anyone can put up with that for ten minutes.
- Vive la public transportation!
- One more question--what exactly is "The Heights"--I''m trying to use a property-finder search engine and I can''t pinpoint that district. %0D\
And thanks again, you guys are the best.
- The climate in Hoston is horrendous. It is unbearably hot and humid. Do not move there until you visit in the summer which lasts about 6 months.
- Houston Heights was a suburb to the northwest of what is now downtown Houston. It was annexed to Houston proper in the early 20th century. Anyway, these days it''s used broadly to mean anything north of Buffalo Bayou (some would say north of I-10), west of downtown, bounded on the west and north by Loop 610.
- Try zip code 77009 for the Heights.
- Here''s a map, OP. You''ll see the Heights centered on Heights Blvd. Zoom out to get an idea of where the neighborhood is in relation to downtown.\
(For some reason it says "West University Place, TX". No. West U is an enclave a few miles to the south, nowhere near the Heights.)
http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&source=s_q&hl=en&geocode=&q=Houston Heights&sll=29.79984,-95.376971&sspn=0.009887,0.01929&ie=UTF8&hq=&hnear=Houston Heights, West University Place, Harris, Texas&z=15
- Heights is 77007-77008-plus 77009 to the west of I-45.
- I''D sooner move to hell with that climate
- If you''ll be working at UH, and you want to take the bus to work, look for apartments that are on the bus lines running directly to UH. What''ll kill you in Houston is waiting to transfer buses in the heat. Look at route 68 Brays Bayou, which runs from UH to the Medical Center out to the Meyerland area. There''s a good variety of apartments on North Braeswood, from new complexes to some good older ones with lower rents. Also look at 42 Holman, which runs west as far as one block past Montrose Blvd.
- R60/R61, thank you very, very much!
- I never knew we had bus queens in Houston.
- I''m from Houston, and the happiest day of my life was when I moved away from that horrible place for good. I realize now that I never really went outside... ever. too damn hot!
Ahhhh, Northern California Weather...
- I''m from Houston, and the happiest day of my life was when I moved away from that horrible place for good. I realize now that I never really went outside... ever. too damn hot!
Ahhhh, Northern California Weather...
- Nothing better than buses.
Houston also has its one lone train line, of course, and it's a swell little train, but it's useless unless you're going straight from dowtown to the Medical Center and back. The city needs to put that train line down Richardson. Any progress with that?
I was there from late August to early February, and while it's true that the heat didn't really break until early November, nonetheless: I didn't mind it so much! Well, there is more variety of weather than you might imagine. It is not one constant blanketing wave of intense heat at all times. There's plenty of rainfall, the weather is in fact kind of moody, the fog is fun, and. . . I don't know, if you like steamy beach towns, Houston is kind of a giant steamy beach town, except with swamps. That doesn't sound very appetizing, does it?
In any case, the weather is so satisfying from November until April. 6 months of nice mild LA-type weather, except with more moisture in the air than LA.
Don't forget to get breakfast at Baby Barnaby's.
- [quote] The city needs to put that train line down Richardson. Any progress with that?\
Richmond. And no, the residents of the Afton Oaks subdivision adjacent to Greenway Plaza are still having a shitfit about the idea of the trees in the median needing to be torn down to build the train. The alternative is to build the rail down Westpark. \
They are actually building a new rail line as I type between downtown and UH. Not convenient to TSU, I''m afraid. They''re also extending the current line north from downtown to almost-the-Heights, parallel to 45. The idea is eventually to have it go all the way to Intercontinental Airport.
- Oh, oops, Richmond, yikes, sorry. I''m old, I forget.\
A train to U of H would be swell. Ditto one to the Bush Airport. I thought the city voted long ago to approve a line down Richmond. What''s their problem? If the city had more public transport, everybody would be happier.
- [quote]If the city had more public transport, everybody would be happier.\
No, residents of affluent neighborhoods don''t like public transportation because it brings in riffraff. As stated above, people who can afford to drive appear completely unable to conceive of the idea of sharing public space with the indigent. Whether down Richmond or Westpark, the rail line to the will serve (in the minds of the rich) only to bring in more homeless to loiter in the Galleria and panhandle on Post Oak.
Such is Houston.
- And if the train line ran down Richmond, it would be easy to take a shuttle from a Post Oak stop down to the Galleria, which would alleviate some of the parking and traffic congestion in the area. \
One of the reasons the transit system in Houston is so backwards is that Tom DeLay (you remember him?) fucked over a federal initiative to dump a bunch of money into Houston mass transit. He got the project canceled out of spite because the planners hadn''t gotten his blessing. I''m not fucking kidding. That was back in the late 80s or early 90s.
- [quote]And if the train line ran down Richmond, it would be easy to take a shuttle from a Post Oak stop down to the Galleria, which would alleviate some of the parking and traffic congestion in the area.\
Actually, the current plan is to build a line from Midtown down Westpark to the Hillcroft Transit Center, then another line between Hillcroft and Northwest Transit Center up Post Oak, right past the Galleria. No shuttles needed.
- Houston, just like every other place on earth, has its good and bad. It''s sweltering in the summer but stay inside, that''s why AC was invented. I''ve lived in several large cities and Houston is not any better or any worse than them. What it definitely has going for it is a great economy, inexpensive housing and no income tax and great diversity. The people are friendly. Dallas on the other hand is full of stuck up unfriendly snobs. No clue why because Dallas really does suck. I don''t even want to drive through there.
- Be sure you visit about the second week in August and spend lots of time outside.
- Here''s a taste of the Houston social set on Nantucket-- B52s and everything!
- And the glam, friend-to-rock-stars Lynn Wyatt on Nantucket:
- I thought Lynn Wyatt''s husband was in big trouble for financial shady dealing. What happened to that? Didn''t they lose their Houston mansion?
- That''s funny. I was just reading that on culturemap, too. Milton looks great; what is up with Jackson''s teeth? He doesn''t smoke but they are yellow/brown.
- Oscar Wyatt is still in prison, to my knowledge, but Lynn still lives in their mansion.
- Oscar''s been out of jail for a while. He still goes into the office a few days a week, but basically just slumps in his chair. He can speak, but he''s slurry. It''s a very disturbing sight. No, they didn''t lose their mansion; they sold it to Jim and Cherie Flores who did a total gut on it and even added on. The existing kitchen and servants quarters were in complete disrepair because the house was in Lynn''s name and she got a limited allowance to spend at her discretion. Of course, all her money went to clothes and travel etc (of course, traveling on the Coastal corporate jet is free). Anyway, the servants were living without heat or air conditioning while she was out cavorting with Elton John.
- And remember that in Houston you can have Schweddy Balls all year round!
- What do we know about Lynn Wyatt''s son Brad? Early 40s and unmarried? Hmmmm.
- Whatever happened to Steve Wyatt? Wasn''t he the good-looking one who fucked Sarah Ferguson?
- Wow, I never, ever made the connection that Fergie''s Steve Wyatt was Lynn Wyatt''s stepson. \
I met Oscar''s son Carl (I guess from a previous marriage?) a couple of times at parties twenty years ago. He''s gay.
- Um, sorry, I meant Lynn Wyatt''s son. I was thinking ahead to my next paragraph about her stepson, and brainfart happened.
- Her first husband was a bi-polar murderer who offed a hooker and went to jail. True.
- Plus, in Houston, on West Gray, right before the gaping mouth of River Oaks, there are two Starbucks stores staring at each other across the street. And there''s another Starbucks at the east end of River Oaks near downtown. You can spend your day riding the bus back and forth on West Gray, going from one Starbucks to the other; or: You can just walk back and forth across the street.\
What other city has that?
- R90, there are *four* Starbucks stores at the corner of Post Oak and Westheimer alone. One standalone, one adjacent to the Barnes & Noble, one in the Galleria I and one in Galleria II. \
4 Houston Center downtown has two Starbucks stores, one on the third floor and one on the fourth. \
The two Starbucks you mention at Gray and Shepherd compete with the B&N Caf%C3%83%C2%A9 right next door. \
Multiple Starbucks are the norm here, even after all the locations they''ve closed.
- Oops, I mean to say, not "at the east end of River Oaks," but rather, "at the east end of West Gray." That's my favorite Houston Starbux, and it's the one that one of its baristas once described to me as "our New York-style Starbucks," and I wonder what she meant by that, except that it was kind of spare and stark and minimalist, maybe somebody's idea of what a Starbux looks like in Soho. . .
Anyway, there are wraparound windows in that particular Starbux, and you can sit there early in the morning and watch the fog clear, as the downtown skyscrapers become slowly visible, and the most immediately visible is the ExxonMobil Building, formerly the Humble Building, and when it was built in 1963, it was the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Wikipedia says the building has "cantilevered seven-foot-wide shades on each floor, jutting from the side of the building to provide shade from the daytime sun."
Those protruding cantilevered shades are very swell.
It's at 800 Bell Avenue, and it was designed by Welton Becket Associates.
I put a link here to a photo of the thing, and I hope it works.f
I love Houston architecture.
- I''d be embarrassed to tell anyone that I lived ANYWHERE in Texas. Ewwwwww.
- Welton Becket also designed the Cinerama Dome in Hollywood, yay, and the Capitol Records Tower at Hollywood and Vine, not to mention the Santa Monica Civic Center. We love Welton Becket.
- Why can''t you queens keep up?
- I once celebrated New Year''s Eve at a gas station outside of Houston. My friend and I were too hungover from New Orleans to make it to Austin so drank the worst wine either of us have ever had out of plastic cups and ate popsicles.
- Marvin Zindler -
- I miss Marvin. His famous sign off and "Slime in the Ice Machine!" and Dave Ward sublimely saying "Thank You, Marvin"%0D\
- I always got the vibe that Dave Ward thought Marvin was a jerk.
- I miss Marvin too. Houston owes him big for taking on the Hermann Trust and winning.
- " you live in katy. Enough said. You don''t live anywhere near Houston so stop trying to chime in. You''re a suburban fellow. Your opinions of the city are about as valid as that of a Des Moines resident."%0D\
How surprising you''re as ignorant as you are snobby. You think I don''t go to Houston? You think I don''t know anyone that lives in Houston? You think I don''t partake in our city''s culture? I happen to live in a part of Katy that still allows people to keep livestock with houses on 2-4 acre plots with no fences. We''re good neighbors here, and so we don''t need them. You act as if Katy is 30 miles outside San Antonio. It takes 40 minutes in traffic for me to reach the theater district, but you''d know that if you''d ever looked at a damn map.
- Debutantes run wild -
- "Cabaret for a Cure" - and gayfaces run amok -
- You queens pretending that having no income tax is a major plus are seriously deluded. That only works to your advantage if you never own property because the local property taxes are incredibly outrageous to be able to pay for schools and very limited government services (which usually suck). If you are a property owner, you end up paying about the same as in a lot of other states that just collect a personal income tax up front.
Everyone is hit with sales taxes that are astronomical. The bulk of it is a minimum collected by the state (for what, no one quite seems to know; the capitol building in Austin is nice). Each locality then gets to add their rates on top, so the total you pay on every purchase is regularly over 8% depending where you are at the time you buy something. 8.25% is the current cap, I think, and anywhere in Houston is going to have the max rate. It's a very regressive tax system that most affects those who often can afford it the least. Typical Republican bullshit, in other words.
And your summer utility bills in Houston will be breathtakingly expensive. And don't forget that it stinks, you have to drive everywhere (it regularly swaps the top spot in obesity rates with other equally charming places), the humidity will make you suicidal, and, in general, it's a shit-hole. Have fun!
- LOVED Marvin.
- And R104, the yearly car fees/registration in Texas are among the highest in the nation. Just don''t call it a tax!!!!
Dom DeLuise''s character in The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was based on dear old Marvin. %0D\
The true story is that the chicken ranch was actually well liked by the people of La Grange. Marvin''s neice began working there to make money for college, and he had a fit. She wouldn''t quit, and so he did his expose. After that, an Eye Witness News van couldn''t come within 30 miles of La Grange without every cop car in the city pulling it over and issuing it a ticket for something or other.
- It doesn''t stink unless you live in Channelview with the cheerleader murder mom. The property tax really depends on the worth of your property. Mine''s not too bad. Sales taxes are not astronomical that I''m aware of. The weather''s pretty agreeable form October until May.
- I stayed at a b&b that had a lot of memorabilia from the Chicken Ranch. I slept in the madam''s bed. The owners collected the stuff.
- Sales taxes in Houston are 8.25%, lower than NYC and other major cities - at least no higher. The cost of living is much much lower than any other US city this size.%0D
You can average your utility bills. While air conditioning runs high in the summer, in the winter the bills are extremely low.%0D
There's an energy here - things are being built -high rises, office buildings, and homes. You don't sense the economic downturn, though Houston has 8% unemployment but is creating jobs.%0D
The no income tax is HUGE - there's also no estate tax. Gasoline is inexpensive compared to anywhere else, and food is dirt cheap, fresh, and ample. Restaurants are really reasonable compared to any other major city and range across the ethnic spectrum.%0D
Art and theatre are amazing and affordable too. Yes, it's humid, but it's also air conditioned - even the baseball field and football stadiums have a/c. Millions of trees and flowers. Things bloom all year round.%0D
There are pitfalls to every city, but this is place with good people, tolerant, and fun. If you don't like that, then please stay where you are.
- Houstonian here. I remember some neighbors I had who got transferred from New York because of his job. He was friendly enough but his wife would not come out, speak or anything. Finally one night I asked him about it and he said she was a New Yorker through and through and absolutely hated moving to Texas because she had been so brainwashed to believe the absolute worst. Kind of turned me off to insular yankees. I can''t imagine being that close-minded about anything. I would give any place a try before judging. It''s beyond by comprehension how someone can be so prejudiced about a place they haven''t ever been before. Yeah, we had Bush but we also elected Ann Richards who was one hell of a broad.
- I am judging Houston based on intimate knowledge of the entire city as well as a born and bred Texan who lived there well into adulthood. It''s a cesspool, and I''m glad I don''t live there anymore. I can barely stand to visit my family who still live in the state (albeit in much better parts, which is like being the thinnest kid at a fat camp).\
Ann Richards was voted out after one term and replaced by Bush, so fuck that argument. She was the best governor that state had (which is a real figurehead, do-nothing job) and the electorate booted her out. It made me physically ill and still turns my stomach when I think about it.\
I still caution OP to seriously reconsider the move. It''s a mistake. You in danger, girl!
R24 / R104
- Just for you post[R110], I think you should be crowned "Miss Houston 2010"!
- It''s disco night at Armandos bitches!
- Where, pray tell, do you live now R112? Let me guess, New York. The place where gay mayors remain permanently in the closet. I hope your family rolls their eyes every Christmas when you visit, along with the anorexic twink you are seeing who tagged along, all the while acting like you''re slumming. I imagine New York rolls its eyes too when you get back in town.
- I do not, nor do I have a desire to, live in NYC, though I did live in Westchester for a couple of years about a decade ago. \
Here''s a shout-out to Texas, if I must: people in the most backwards part of that state are still generally more open-minded and accepting than native New Yorkers. I was actually quite surprised that I encountered more overt racism in the Northeast than in the South. As an example, I''d never heard the term "darkie" in reference to a black person for the 20-odd years I lived in Texas. Most racism in the South tends to be more subtle because they have a complex about not wanting to be seen as a racist.
- No they aren''t R112. You are confusing the face people show you with how they really act and vote. It''s like how you are safer with the Jersey Shore people on gays, despite their jokes and stereotypes, than among sweet as sugar Mormons.%0D
- This thread is useless without kirker.
- Yes, it is rather humid, but the azaleas seem to like it...
The ghost of Miss Ima, Mistress of Bayou Bend
- Oh honey, Texans are sweet as pie to your face. They want to know how much money you make, if your family has money, what church you go to and how you vote. Don''t fool yourself that they are genuinely interested in you as a person.
- Don''t forget to visit Pasa-whatsthatsmell-dena
- Pasadena is like 20 - 30 miles away, so that''s irrelevant. That''s like saying I want to move to New York and someone chimes in with, "don''t forget to visit the Arthur Kill on Staten Island."
- I looooove the Arthur Kill on Staten Island.\
If I were a drag king, that''d be my name: Arthur Kill.
- It''s actually Pasa-get-down-dena
- I''d always heard it called "Stinkadena."
- If I lived in Houston, I''d want to be in that spot right up above the University of Houston/Downtown, just beyond where the light rail ends - there''s a kind of funky space near some freeway interchanges, and it''s got a couple of big old industrial buildings, and there''s an unexpected coffee shop down a side street. Maybe it''s around Vine Street? I like industrial waste. Don''t believe what anyone tells you - the East side of tow is the fun, desolate part, especially if you go directly east of downtown. But I''d say anything from Montrose Blvd through downtown and then east is where all the fun is. River Oaks, blech; the Heights is just Park Slope with flash floods (okay, whatever, it''s called the "Heights," which means it''s higher than the floodlands, but don''t believe it, the whole city is just waiting to be washed away one of these days); and for god''s sake you want nothing to do with the Galleria. You might as well live in the Paramus Mall in Jersey. And of course the suburbs are OUT OF THE QUESTION.
- Hey wise Houston queens--R22 here again. \
So I''m coming to Houston next week for my housing search, and as advised I''ve been concentrating my search in the 77007-09 zip code area. I called a realtor (Coldwell Bank) yesterday and inquired about a couple of rental properties. The conversation went like this:\
Realtor: So what areas are you looking at:\
Me: The 77007-09 area.\
R: (long pause) Have you seen those areas, been through the neighborhoods?\
Me: No, I''m not in Houston yet, so I''m having to start my search remotely.\
R: (another long pause) I''m not trying to insinuate anything bad, but you might not want to live in those areas once you see them. Let me make some suggestions.\
The cost per month went WAY up after she starting making her suggestions. So are the aforementioned zip codes trashy, crime-ridden areas, or is she just trying to make a fast buck? Please be kind, this is my first foray into Texas housing!
- Trying to make a fast buck. And snobby. And uncool.
- She''s full of shit R127. It looks to me like The Heights and River Oaks are in those zipcodes (on Google maps). River Oaks is where "Terms of Endearment" was filmed. A lot depends on your price range. I would think you could find something in The Heights or a bit more to the south in Montrose or even further to the south the West University area. If you work downtown there is one light rail line that goes from downtown to the medical center and Rice University.
- Go to www.har.com and search away. You can look by ZIP code or map.
- Thanks to everyone for their advice--and thanks for the har.com tip. I now have a shortlist of properties to look at next week. \
See you in Houston, girls!
- Austin Is Overrated, Try Houston Instead, Says Most Insightful Travel Writer To Ever Grace The Web -
- Good grief. This is bumped from 2010?
- Hey, it's unheard of for someone to rate Houston over Austin. Let us enjoy the strange moment.
- What is Sherman/Denison area like?
- I like Texans as a whole and have had an unusually high number of lovers from thar.
My concern are the bugs--how big? do they congregate in your homes?
Do the fucking roaches fly into your face or land on your shoulder?!!!
- There is an incredible Mexican restaurant in Houston great for brunch which has beautiful windows to large patio at the rear with strolling mariachis. I cannot think of the name?
- Houston- Pot holes GALORE. Dingy, smoggy, the ninth circle of hell actually. Pretty Pine trees and green, green, green. Backed my car into a ditch there. It takes 30-45 minutes to go from one side of town to the other. All the freeways are giant circles around each other. The area surrounding Rice University is quaint with some nice architecture, but the pot holes and trash ruin it. If you walk outside in August, you feel as if you've been sucked into a vat of heat.
- Usually not R136 but it does happen sometimes usually when you've just swatted or sprayed them. I think they get disoriented. They do crawl into houses sometimes but if you keep it exterminated they will be sluggish and die. They are actually lost and prefer living outside in the trees.
- Oh, TSU is like the lowest ranked college in the world, I believe.
- Maybe R140 but they have UT and A&M which are fairly respected. I know several people whose kids go to North TX State and TX Tech, which are also pretty good. My Dad graduated from NTS in journalism.
- Houston Rising—Why the Next Great American Cities Aren’t What You Think -
- R137, there are more fabulous Mexican restaurants in Houston than you could ever count, but the reference to windows makes me think you mean Café Adobe on Westheimer at Shepherd.
- [quote]They're socially liberal, but Fox News has brainwashed them into believing the reason they pay 50% in taxes ($90,000 of $200,000) is because of liberals.
How is that possible? I'm in NYC and my tax rate is around 40%.
- Houston is not Republican. WTF?
- Texas' urban areas trend Democrat. Houston's mayor is an out lesbian. Dallas County had an out lesbian sheriff (I'm not sure if she's still in office.) There are still plenty of Republicans here, as shown by our congressional representation. But Democrats still get into office locally.
- R142, Joel Kotkin is obsessed with the suburban cities of this country, and he loves to distort facts (e.g., always citing rates instead of raw numbers, etc).
- That article could have been written in the 1950s. The attitudes behind it certainly date from that time.
Dallas and Houston have been going hell for leather into light rail and increasing their central densities.
If gas prices stay high, cities will return to higher densities.
- OP, you do realize there are crazy Democrats, too, don't you?
- I wish we could hear from R22/R127 again and find out where he ended up.
[quote]If I lived in Houston, I'd want to be in that spot right up above the University of Houston/Downtown, just beyond where the light rail ends - there's a kind of funky space near some freeway interchanges, and it's got a couple of big old industrial buildings, and there's an unexpected coffee shop down a side street. Maybe it's around Vine Street?
Three years after this was posted, the light rail now continues to the north beyond UH-D. There are indeed some nice lofts in that neighborhood, around DiverseWorks, the St. Arnold Brewing Company, and Oxheart, seriously one of the finest restaurants in the country.
- Should Houston be kept a secret?