Tuesday, September 06, 2011

What makes Houston Houston?

Lisa Gray at the Chronicle (who I don't always agree with) had a great article a week ago with quotes from people on "what makes Houston Houston?".  Long time readers know this has been a regular theme of mine.  Here are just some of my related posts:

Here are some of my favorite excerpts from the story. Bold highlights mine.

Rachel Dvoretzky: "Friendly, energetic, unpretentious, hard-working. ... Always international, but not cosmopolitan."
Margaret Luellen Briggs: "A friend from NYC once told me, 'People always say New York is a great place to visit, but they wouldn't want to live there. Well, Houston is the flip side. It's a terrible place to visit, but a great place to live.'"
Ann Rosenwinkel: "Everything is at hand. From Starbucks, you don't even have to cross the street to get to pornography just around the corner from the most beautiful and rarefied art museums. In Houston, we can't isolate ourselves from the riffraff, from the pain and richness of human experience because we've chosen not to. Dr. John Lienhard called cities 'human exoskeletons,' and it's not surprising he's a Houstonian."
Gary Woods: "Competent governance."
John Gonzales: "We have to remember that Houston was a miserable place all those many decades ago when Sam Houston walked our streets. Back then, if you didn't die in a homicide, yellow fever might have killed you. And if you lived through that you could at least look forward to rats gnawing on your face at night. But Houstonians didn't care. We moved on. We moved on after the Civil War stunted our growth. We moved on after Carla, Alicia, Enron, Allison, Ike, the Challenger disaster, Dean Corll, the floods of the 1930s, the oil bust of the 1980s, polio scares, tornadoes, the odd petrochemical plant explosion. We just shake it off and move on. And that can be a good thing and a bad thing."
David Nathan: "... There's a great BBQ joint, taqueria and Chinese food place within 10 minutes of anywhere..."
Igor George Alexander: "Well, Houston is the only city in the USA that I know of where you can choose whether you want to go out to eat in a Southern Nigerian-style restaurant or a Northern Nigerian-style restaurant. But, mostly what makes Houston Houston is the lack of zoning."
Susan Buchanan: "Houston is always a surprise. Visitors are surprised by both the diversity of the population and the depth of the opportunities for work, entertainment and education. Natives are surprised because we turn around and there's something new."
Herman Kluge: "It always galls me when out-of-towners arrive, take a look around and exclaim, 'OMG, Houston has CULTURE! Well, of course we do, Bucko. Plus we're a friendly bunch and can find food that's fit to eat."
Deborah Mann Lake: "We don't riot after our teams win or lose. In fact, we don't riot at all. Maybe it's too hot. Maybe it's because we'd rather have fun. But it's definitely a Houston trait."
Dene Hofheinz Anton: "The FIRST indoor all-purpose sports stadium still stands. Our Eighth Wonder of the World, as the Rev. Billy Graham called her. Let's put her back to work for all of us!" (like this or this)
Michael Emerson: "No zoning, every backyard a fence, social mobility, heat and humidity, strip malls, friendly people."
Sherrie Edwards Glass: "Maybe it is because we like each other."
Just makes you proud to be a Houstonian, eh?  Your own thoughts welcome in the comments.

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At 9:46 AM, October 05, 2011, Anonymous Anonymous said...

most people in Houston are friendly until they get in their cars!

At 10:15 AM, October 05, 2011, Blogger Tory Gattis said...

I have personally noticed that sad decline. Houston drivers used to be very polite, but not so much anymore. Same as LA, Chicago, NYC, or any other big city. It's a little sad. Guess it happens to every city that suffers such congestion for so long.


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