This is the best article I've seen by a non-Houstonian about what there is to like here. The writer was inspired to visit by the Houston: It's Worth It campaign, and the best evidence that he gets it is right here:
"Zoning, schmoning. There is a kind of urban anarchy here that gives the city a real punch." (From No. 815.)
It's true: The greater metropolitan area is truly a geography of nowhere, a crazy quilt of strip malls and strip clubs and gas pumps and houses. But the sneaky thing about Houston is that the city's heart isn't to be found in one place; it's in a thousand small places and subtle pleasures. Trouble is, most outsiders don't have the time to assemble the scattered pieces. Only with time does mishmash become mosaic.
(I'm the same way. Take a map of inner-loop Houston and draw a red line along I-45 to downtown, then TX-288 to the South Loop. I'm very familiar with everything to the left of the line, and mostly unfamiliar with everything to the right. Houston's a big place, and that's just how it is.)
The point is, in every part of Houston there's something worth seeing, eating, or doing. It's just that much of it is a bit of a secret unless you're with someone who already knows about it.
One other point:
[W]alking is the way to meet a city, and in this, Houston thwarts the pedestrian. The place is simply too diffuse and too auto-oriented. It's also not easy to find reasonably priced lodging that both has character and is in a place where a wanderer can ramble from the front door.
Via Kevin.Posted by Charles Kuffner on December 13, 2004 to Elsewhere in Houston | TrackBack