A fun city called Houston!
All right, I think is time for a fun in Houston only Blog. Trust me, it’s not because I don’t have tons of things to say about what I am learning or doing, it’s just that I have been asked a lot about life Houston and Texas in general so I though I would just go ahead and share it with everyone.
I really don’t know were to start. I guess to make this simple and put it in perspective: Houston is the largest city, from the largest state in the United States. That means that pretty much there is something for everyone, no matter their age or their personal interests. From cultural events to a very active night life, there is not a day that I have not found something fun going on. Moreover, Houston is a melting pot of nationalities; as a result, if you are feeling adventurous you can try something completely new and learn a little bit more about different music, food and lifestyles. (the city with more restaurants per capita by the way!!)
(love, good friends, good times )
One thing I think I must share about Houston is that it is expected that you drive 40-45 minutes from home to work and vice versa. Long distances are something normal, since it basically takes you an hour to cross they city and don’t even ask how long does it takes you in rush hour. This has its pros and cons. It is amazing because when the weekends come, driving 3-4 hours to Austin, San Antonio or Dallas (which by the way are awesome and completely different styles from one another) the drive is really not that bad. In the other hand, the fuel for my car is taking a considerable amount out of my budget.
That being said, personally I think I have the best setting. It takes me 10-15 minutes to get to downtown, I just jump on the highway go one exit and I am there. I rarely encounter much traffic (that one exit is the one that can be problematic) but I am lucky that being so close, I don’t live in the middle of the city traffic, chaos and pollution.
I can’t believe that I almost forget to talk about the weather. If you are coming to Houston, remember that it is really hot down here. We have had eleven days over 100 degrees and heat warnings were part of the early morning news. Personally I love it, but hey, I am from Ecuador. If you are not used to the sun you better be very careful. It is easy to get dehydrated or really sun burnt. I have seen a couple of tomatoes walking around and trust me; it does not luck nice or healthy.Nevertheless, if you are careful enough, a long work day can end up with a couple of hours in the pool (with the sun still shinning until 7:00pm…awesome)
Another emblem from Texas should be their huge trucks. I can’t explain it nor understand it, but the bigger your truck is it seems that the better off you survive on the highways. They apparently own all their routes and will squeeze you (if they have to get you out of their way…alright, maybe not squeeze you but you get the point). Fortunately, my car is not that small and thankfully, I learned to drive in South America (which translates that I really know what crazy driving is), so I am set. (please note the picture with only trucks/pickup’s driving out downtown houston)
Since everything I have said is wonderful things about this place, I think I have to keep it real. The one thing that is just not that fun is the fact that every time that I am asked if I am a Buckeye I always get a conflictive response back, granted sometimes joking but trust me sometimes it is real. I understand they feel threatened about our football team but really? One, it is still baseball season! and two, I don’t want to argue…I am scared about their big trucks, are you kidding me?
Another thing I don’t like but I actually find kind of funny (and please don’t take it personally if you are a country music lover i.e. Brittany, Jim, Isaac, etc) are the cowboy boots, hats, big… huge… out of proportion belt buckles or intense country music (what’s up with those lyrics?)… I am sorry.. but it is really weird… it looks so funny.. or is it that I am so unused to it? Anyway, I appreciate the unique style.. Lets leave it like that!!
Anyway, Houston and Texas in general are a great place to be. Its fun, diverse and unique and I can guarantee there is something fun for everyone out there.
Some cool facts about Houston!:
- Houston has professional teams representing every major sport.
- Houstonians eat out more than residents of any other city. Houston has more than 11,000 restaurants.
- Houston has a Theater District second only to New York City in terms of a concentration of seats in a single geographic area. Located downtown, the 17-block Theater District is home to eight performing arts organizations with more than 12,000 seats.
- Houston has more than 500 cultural, visual and performing arts organizations, 90 of which are devoted to multicultural and minority arts.
- More than 90 languages are spoken throughout the Houston area.
- Houston is home to the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. The largest rodeo in the world, it attracts more than 1.8 million visitors each year. ????? ha ha
- Houston has a young population; 37 percent of Houstonians are 24 years old or younger and 34 percent are between the ages of 25 and 44.
- Houston boasts more than 40 colleges, university and institutions – offering higher education options to suit all interests.
- Houston is home to the Texas Medical Center, the largest medical center in the world, with a local economic impact of $10 billion. More than 52,000 people work within its facilities, which encompass 21 million square feet. Altogether 4.8 million patients visit them each year.
- Home to 18 Fortune 500 companies
- The Port of Houston ranks as the nation’s largest port in international tonnage and second in total tonnage.
- Houston has the most affordable housing of 10 most populated metropolitan areas; Houston housing costs are 39 percent below the average of 26 U.S. urban populations of more than 1.5 million.
- Houston has the second lowest cost of living among major American cities.
source: City of Houston