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IronTiger

Why do you live in Houston?

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As most of you know, nearly all of the HAIFers live in Houston or a nearby suburb.

I am not one of those people. I live in College Station, which, while "close enough" to Houston, is not really a suburb at all, despite the fact that many people from CS commute to Houston on a daily basis. I live in College Station because I go to school there (even though, technically, I am a legal adult). But I also visit Houston, too, for purposes of sightseeing, family, and other reasons. To say Houston is "pretty cool" is a bit of an understatement (well, not literally, everyone knows Houston is not very thermally cool at all, especially in the summertime).

You, on the other hand, live in Houston. It's a highly functioning and diverse city, and I've even heard of some HAIFers not even leaving the inner loop. They have everyone they can need...their home, work, and the shops (Wal-Mart, HEB, Randalls, Target, etc.) and services (banks, clinics, nightclubs, etc.) to function. But there's also the "pull" factor. Why do you live in Houston? Well, there's your job, obviously, but think of it this way: would you like it if say, you got reassigned to L.A., Chicago, Dallas, or New York? Still a big city, with everything you need, with your job intact, but would it be the same?

Probably not.

The question here is "Why do you live in Houston?"

Please discuss.

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Original circumstance beyond my control - my parents came to Houston for school and, as far as I know, intended to return (to Portland OR) after. That never happened. Jobs seem to be the pull.

School was going to be my out but I decided to stay. And I landed a job I love.

I honestly have a love/hate relationship with Houston but I have never lived anywhere else. I'll move along eventually, but while I'm here I'll enjoy the things about it I like and try to change the things I hate. For those unchangeable things, there's always bitchin' up a storm :P

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Born and reared here, educated here, work here, and since most of my family has passed away, my wife's family keeps us rooted here, and I can't imagine living somewhere that did't have 100 degree summers

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Work. And work alone.

Ditto. Given the choice, I would not choose the hotness or the flatness.

Edited by 20thStDad
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Moved here with my wife after college. Neither of us are from the Houston area. Like most we came here for a job. We stay because we have yet to encounter another city that makes big city living as accessible as Houston does. We get the diversity, the arts, the restaurants, etc all at an affordable price. And this is quite honestly the most live and let live city I've ever lived in. Are there dumb rednecks? Sure? But it's pretty easy to avoid them if you try.

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Mrs. Porchman....She was cute. She liked my shoes. (She's still cute, but she wants to intervene on the shoe choices).

Our courtship could have been a great concept for Continental. The hub-to-hub romance flight. If only there were dealsrolleyes.gif .

One night she and I opened the atlas and looked at other locations in which we might live. "Expensive", "cold", and "regressive" were the recurring comments. We're here for the long haul. (Darn! I forgot to play MegaMillions! I need to keep my living seasonly dream alive.)

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Oddly enough, the reason that I live in Houston is that I didn't do any homework in French 2 during my sophomore year of high school. For that class, homework counted so much that my ability to make A's on tests didn't make up for not doing it. I had no clue at the time that UT and A&M each required two semesters of high school. By the time the problem was revealed to me, it was too late to take the class over again. So I graduated under the minimum program and basically narrowed my preferences to UH, Sam Houston State, or Stephen F. Austin State. UH was the best, so that's where I went.

As for why I still live in Houston...well, one of the very underappreciated things about UH is that Houston's labor market allows students to make decent money and forego the traditional college experience. I was able to network professionally, develop a career, and actually make multiple real estate investments of my own. Those investments tie me down, and since I'm taking some accounting classes at HCC this semester, my status of a citizen of Houston is at least temporarily sealed. But if I get a good job offer elsewhere in Texas towards the end of the year, I'd probably take it (out of desperation, mostly).

Edited by TheNiche

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Having travelled all over the States, the one and only reason that I have retained residence in Houston is the people. There is nowhere else quite like Houston when it comes to hospitality. One only has to go back a year to see just how quickly we pitch in to help each other in times of need. This is home, and this is where my heart is. In good times and bad, I am still "Houston Proud".

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I agree with Random. There aren't many cities in the U.S. where you can live affordably so close to rich cultural areas. The quality of restaurants and variety of cuisine here are amazing. And the people are courteous and friendly, which goes a long way. Since I'm not originally from here, I do feel depressed - or maybe embarrassed - each time I fly in and drive home from the airport. It reminds me of the sprawl, the billboards, the concrete, the haze - just the general unattractiveness of the city. I think, "God, why on earth do I choose to live here?" But I would have a hard time giving up my life in Houston. Plus, even after 10+ years, the lack of zoning continues to offer uniqueness that can't be found anywhere else. Where else can you drive down what appears to be a generic residential street and find such a strange range of architecture, history, cafes, stores, bars ... It's a real-life dreamscape.

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Moved here with my wife after college. Neither of us are from the Houston area. Like most we came here for a job. We stay because we have yet to encounter another city that makes big city living as accessible as Houston does. We get the diversity, the arts, the restaurants, etc all at an affordable price. And this is quite honestly the most live and let live city I've ever lived in. Are there dumb rednecks? Sure? But it's pretty easy to avoid them if you try.

Ditto except for the wife part. It starts off as a pragmatic decision, rather than moving to a city just because you love it. But once you get to know Houston you really begin to appreciate what it has to offer and love certain aspects of the city.

I re-evaluate my choice of living in Houston every once and a while, but I stay here for the reasons Random mentioned and because the people here are just too nice. I don't see myself moving for awhile -- not until I either retire or encounter some life-changing event, like an incredible job opportunity somewhere else.

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Reading these responses is like reading horoscopes: no matter which month you were actually born, any horoscope will fit.

...People are "nice" everywhere. People are also a-holes - everywhere. Including this city. "The people are nice" rationale is never really a valid reason to live anywhere - because it does not differentiate places, when it comes down to it. I don't care what magazines, etc that "rank" cities on something like this - they're idiots, as well as the people who believe those rankings. Same thing goes with restaurants, theaters, night life etc - any big city will have remarkably good venues. You chose the good places to go, and you avoid the bad. Cities give you those kinds of options...

Let's move on to what really sets this city apart from many others:

No zoning (and the mess we wallow in)...

Weather that keeps property values down (if we had 68 or even 85 degree temps all year round, our homes would be double the value they are now)

The smell of the East End/Ship Channel/Pasadena (I know, its the smell of "money")

The ragin inferno, aka summertime.

The good news is that all of this means a lower cost of living. Which means you can invest more. Which means you can get the hell out of here, sooner rather later, especially around retirement time...

I hear a lot of Houston lover comments. But how much do you really love this city? Gonna retire here? You poor souls, those who do. The world is so much bigger than this place.

lipstick-on-a-pig1225026721.jpg

Love it for what it is. Minus the lipstick, please.

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Well jeez, Bryan, don't let the door hit you in the ass on the way out. :D

A hometown is what you make of it. Houston just makes it easier to do that than any of the nine cities I have lived in.

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Reading these responses is like reading horoscopes: no matter which month you were actually born, any horoscope will fit.

...People are "nice" everywhere. People are also a-holes - everywhere. Including this city. "The people are nice" rationale is never really a valid reason to live anywhere - because it does not differentiate places, when it comes down to it. I don't care what magazines, etc that "rank" cities on something like this - they're idiots, as well as the people who believe those rankings. Same thing goes with restaurants, theaters, night life etc - any big city will have remarkably good venues. You chose the good places to go, and you avoid the bad. Cities give you those kinds of options...

Speaking from experience, people are not nice everywhere. I had the unfortunate experience of living in central Indiana for several years, and I found the people to be cold and distant. It felt like a cultural backwater coming from the east coast. Then when I moved to Houston, people were welcoming and accepting without any preconditions. It was not just my imagination. Sure, there are some a-holes in the mix, but I've never had a problem.

Let's move on to what really sets this city apart from many others:

No zoning (and the mess we wallow in)...

Weather that keeps property values down (if we had 68 or even 85 degree temps all year round, our homes would be double the value they are now)

The smell of the East End/Ship Channel/Pasadena (I know, its the smell of "money")

The ragin inferno, aka summertime.

The good news is that all of this means a lower cost of living. Which means you can invest more. Which means you can get the hell out of here, sooner rather later, especially around retirement time...

I hear a lot of Houston lover comments. But how much do you really love this city? Gonna retire here? You poor souls, those who do. The world is so much bigger than this place.

Love it for what it is. Minus the lipstick, please.

Oh, please!! It's easy to pick apart any city into just the bad parts, and there aren't too many cities with 68 to 85 degree temperatures all year round. Maybe L.A. or San Diego, but they have their share of problems and deficiencies.

In the right neighborhood, Houston is more than just bearable. It's actually quite enjoyable. Maybe Clear Lake just isn't the right place for you...I wouldn't want to live there either. This city is a much bigger place.

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Reading these responses is like reading horoscopes: no matter which month you were actually born, any horoscope will fit.

...People are "nice" everywhere. People are also a-holes - everywhere. Including this city. "The people are nice" rationale is never really a valid reason to live anywhere - because it does not differentiate places, when it comes down to it. I don't care what magazines, etc that "rank" cities on something like this - they're idiots, as well as the people who believe those rankings. Same thing goes with restaurants, theaters, night life etc - any big city will have remarkably good venues. You chose the good places to go, and you avoid the bad. Cities give you those kinds of options...

Let's move on to what really sets this city apart from many others:

No zoning (and the mess we wallow in)...

Weather that keeps property values down (if we had 68 or even 85 degree temps all year round, our homes would be double the value they are now)

The smell of the East End/Ship Channel/Pasadena (I know, its the smell of "money")

The ragin inferno, aka summertime.

The good news is that all of this means a lower cost of living. Which means you can invest more. Which means you can get the hell out of here, sooner rather later, especially around retirement time...

The hot/humid weather doesn't seem to be an issue affecting property values or retirement trends in Florida (which, like Texas, has high property taxes). If you want to talk about weather adversely affecting desirability, we really need to talk about places like Buffalo, Detroit, Milwaukee, or Boston. There are very good reasons that the Sunbelt migration pattern is so prominent, and the region's namesake is one of them. (Another is air conditioning.)

As for the comments about people being nice, all I can say is that I've heard so many times from so many different generations and nationalities of people who have spent time here and elsewhere that Houstonians (and Texans or southerners, generally) are much nicer that it's hard to ignore the perponderance of evidence. That does not mean that there are no nice people anywhere but here; nor does it mean that we have found a way to cull out the assholes. But it does seem like the ratio varies from city to city (or region to region) and we got the long end of the stick. I mean hell, when was the last time you heard someone comment on how many nice people there are in New York City?

Houston has its problems (the flatness chief among them, IMO). That certainly does not mean that it is without its redeeming aspects.

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Born and raised here. Went to U of H for undergraduate degree, U of H Clear Lake for MBA. I lived in Canada for 1 1/2 years when a job sent me there. I have traveled extensively and seen a lot of other places and agree there are some really great places to live out there. But I always come home to Houston, and Texas. It seems my fate was sealed in 1834 when my ancestors chose to leave Ireland and head to Texas. I am a sixth generation Texan and despite all the reasons people give to not live here, I look past them all because this is my home and I will probably never leave it.

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The objective reasons are that the cost of living is one of the lowest for a major city, and the job market is really strong, but really I'm just too chickenshit to move to a strange city. I'm quite sure Houston is not the best place to live/work.

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It also depends on the type of job and what one uses as the basis for "low cost of living."

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We came for a job 10 years and 3 companies ago and stayed for the food and quality of life. I've had multiple opportunities to move to California, New York, DC and Florida but the cost of living here enables my wife to stay home with the kids. You can't get the mix of amenities, food, and cost of living anywhere else.

Having spent the 10 years prior to HS graduation in Pensacola, I was already used to the climate. It is actually a little dryer here than I remember Florida being. I here a lot of comments about the heat, but the worst of it is only 3 or 4 months and even then the evenings are frequently pleasant. The rest of the year is extremely pleasant. I'll take that over 3 or 4 (or more) months of winter that some northern locales have.

As for the flatness, I agree that it can be boring but on the other hand when we lived in Atlanta, we weren't able to find any houses with level lots. And, pretty geography impedes transportation. As much as people complain about traffic, Houston is not that bad when it comes to getting around since you usually have multiple routes you can take to get somewhere. Hilly places don't usually get as many options.

As for retiring here, we haven't decided but I have noticed there are senior communities going up on the west side of town. Add to that the cheap and plentiful golf course living and the top notch medical care and I think you are going to see a lot more retirees coming here as the baby boom generation hits its senior years.

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Reading these responses is like reading horoscopes: no matter which month you were actually born, any horoscope will fit.

...People are "nice" everywhere. People are also a-holes - everywhere. Including this city. "The people are nice" rationale is never really a valid reason to live anywhere - because it does not differentiate places, when it comes down to it. I don't care what magazines, etc that "rank" cities on something like this - they're idiots, as well as the people who believe those rankings. Same thing goes with restaurants, theaters, night life etc - any big city will have remarkably good venues. You chose the good places to go, and you avoid the bad. Cities give you those kinds of options...

Let's move on to what really sets this city apart from many others:

No zoning (and the mess we wallow in)...

Weather that keeps property values down (if we had 68 or even 85 degree temps all year round, our homes would be double the value they are now)

The smell of the East End/Ship Channel/Pasadena (I know, its the smell of "money")

The ragin inferno, aka summertime.

The good news is that all of this means a lower cost of living. Which means you can invest more. Which means you can get the hell out of here, sooner rather later, especially around retirement time...

I hear a lot of Houston lover comments. But how much do you really love this city? Gonna retire here? You poor souls, those who do. The world is so much bigger than this place.

Love it for what it is. Minus the lipstick, please.

So either you must be making a fortune living in Houston or you must be considered unemployable by the rest of the nation.

Here's a thought... Maybe a lot of people actually like the weather most of the year in Houston. Maybe zoning means nothing to 99% of the population. Maybe people don't smell the ship channel in north, west, or south Houston. The negatives you mentioned are obviously not enough to keep people from moving to or staying in Houston - this includes you if you really do live in Houston.

There are many things that set Houston apart from other cities, but for some reason you only choose to bring up the negatives. I don't get it. Why do people who can't find good reasons to live in Houston stay here. And I really can't understand how it is possible to dislike the city you live in and yet still have an interest in what goes on in it or care about it as you obviously do. It's evident by the number of post you have made at this website that you are interested in Houston. You're mudslinging doesn't add up.

I mean, I wouldn't want to live in El Paso for whatever reason. So I wouldn't move there. If for some reason I was forced to live there at gunpoint or because of a great job or to be near family or something, I think I would probably be doing ANYTHING in my spare time EXCEPT going to a website that was dedicated to the city of El Paso. I probably wouldn't care if they were building towers, stadiums, shopping venue office parks or anything else. I'd probably be going to a website that was about something I liked. O wait, then I couldn't complain or argue - so how could that be fun, right?

So more interesting than the question 'why do you live in Houston' would be 'why do you come to HAIF if you hate Houston?' It would be like being a red neck homophobe and only tuning into LOGO, and then going to their website to complain that there are too many gay shows on their network. Change the channel already. Logo is not the only channel on T.V.

Edited by Coaster
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So either you must be making a fortune living in Houston or you must be considered unemployable by the rest of the nation.

Here's a thought... Maybe a lot of people actually like the weather most of the year in Houston. Maybe zoning means nothing to 99% of the population. Maybe people don't smell the ship channel in north, west, or south Houston. The negatives you mentioned are obviously not enough to keep people from moving to or staying in Houston - this includes you if you really do live in Houston.

There are many things that set Houston apart from other cities, but for some reason you only choose to bring up the negatives. I don't get it. Why do people who can't find good reasons to live in Houston stay here. And I really can't understand how it is possible to dislike the city you live in and yet still have an interest in what goes on in it or care about it as you obviously do. It's evident by the number of post you have made at this website that you are interested in Houston. You're mudslinging doesn't add up.

I mean, I wouldn't want to live in El Paso for whatever reason. So I wouldn't move there. If for some reason I was forced to live there at gunpoint or because of a great job or to be near family or something, I think I would probably be doing ANYTHING in my spare time EXCEPT going to a website that was dedicated to the city of El Paso. I probably wouldn't care if they were building towers, stadiums, shopping venue office parks or anything else. I'd probably be going to a website that was about something I liked. O wait, then I couldn't complain or argue - so how could that be fun, right?

So more interesting than the question 'why do you live in Houston' would be 'why do you come to HAIF if you hate Houston?' It would be like being a red neck homophobe and only tuning into LOGO, and then going to their website to complain that there are too many gay shows on their network. Change the channel already. Logo is not the only channel on T.V.

I disagree. If I lived in a place I didn't really like, I would be doing everything I could to find the interesting things going on in it, and new developments making it better, something, anything to break up the monotony. In fact, I don't like Houston for the most part: poor transit, poor bike infrastructure, lots of sprawl, heavy bigot quotient...but I'm damned sure going to try to make the best of it.

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I disagree. If I lived in a place I didn't really like, I would be doing everything I could to find the interesting things going on in it, and new developments making it better, something, anything to break up the monotony. In fact, I don't like Houston for the most part: poor transit, poor bike infrastructure, lots of sprawl, heavy bigot quotient...but I'm damned sure going to try to make the best of it.

We're definitely on the same page here..

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I disagree. If I lived in a place I didn't really like, I would be doing everything I could to find the interesting things going on in it, and new developments making it better, something, anything to break up the monotony. In fact, I don't like Houston for the most part: poor transit, poor bike infrastructure, lots of sprawl, heavy bigot quotient...but I'm damned sure going to try to make the best of it.

How exactly would you do that? Be careful, you might have to say something nice about Houston to make your point.

Edited by Coaster

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How exactly would you do that? Be careful you might have to say something nice about Houston to make your point.

???

What do you mean? You take an interest in the things you're most interested in, attend the events you're most excited about, support the venues and stores that suit you best, few and far between though they may be. There's a lot of crappy pizza places in Houston, but I'm happy to support Star Pizza and I'm sure many others have their own favorite place. Houston is really bad about historical preservation for the most part, so when I see an opportunity to scream at a developer like Weingarten for trying to tear down the River Oaks theater, well, I'm going to take that opportunity. You make the best of the situation you're in, even if you think that the place you live is generally culturally-limited and wrong-headed. I'm pissed that the city's bike infrastructure is so horrible, but I still ride in Critical Mass every month to promote cycling and cyclist awareness.

Edited by kylejack
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So either you must be making a fortune living in Houston or you must be considered unemployable by the rest of the nation.

Good guess. Given what he does for a living (not gonna say), I'd imagine that he's actually pretty well unemployable outside of about a three-mile radius.

Bryan, if you don't like Houston, you could always take some community college classes at San Jac and do a career change. ...just thought I'd put something out there a little more constructive and positive instead of perpetuating the flame war you're trying so hard to ignite.

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I'm pissed that the city's bike infrastructure is so horrible

:wacko: not this again. where are you having trouble riding your bike?

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You make the best of the situation you're in, even if you think that the place you live is generally culturally-limited and wrong-headed.

You could just change your situation to one that is more favorable and then complain less. Win-win.

I'm pissed that the city's bike infrastructure is so horrible, but I still ride in Critical Mass every month to promote cycling and cyclist awareness.

And thank you so much for that! :) I was already aware of unicycles and tricycles, but could never have conceived that there might be such a thing as a bicycle. My universe of options regarding man-powered wheeled vehicles was expanded! It was as though I had witnessed the son of god, clad in spandex, pedaling right past me, confirming that there is indeed a purpose in life. I've been saved! Hallelujah!

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???

What do you mean? You take an interest in the things you're most interested in, attend the events you're most excited about, support the venues and stores that suit you best, few and far between though they may be. There's a lot of crappy pizza places in Houston, but I'm happy to support Star Pizza and I'm sure many others have their own favorite place. Houston is really bad about historical preservation for the most part, so when I see an opportunity to scream at a developer like Weingarten for trying to tear down the River Oaks theater, well, I'm going to take that opportunity. You make the best of the situation you're in, even if you think that the place you live is generally culturally-limited and wrong-headed. I'm pissed that the city's bike infrastructure is so horrible, but I still ride in Critical Mass every month to promote cycling and cyclist awareness.

I agree with you even though I actually like it here, and moved back here to be closer to the coast. However, the other poster doesn't appear to do what you and sevfiv do (at least from looking at his posting habits).

As much as I love Houston, even I don't know if I will stay here my entire life. There are way too many variables, such as job prospects, how well the retirement account does, whether the home values in the Heights keep going up, allowing me to cash out with enough equity to buy somewhere else. But, Houston is good enough to retire in for me. Moving to the sticks or to colder climes at the EXACT time in one's life that they need good medical care and warm weather makes no sense to me. My parents are in their 80s. The house is paid, the AC works, and the doctors and hospitals are less than 5 miles away. My mom wouldn't even consider moving back to North Carolina, because it is 'too cold'. That tells me a lot about cold weather and old people. It is easy to talk smack when you are in your 20s and 30s about how great cold weather is. Get back to me when you can't get out of bed due to the cold aggravating your arthritis.

Though every city has its pluses and minuses, you have to go with what works for you. Houston works for me because I have family here, the Gulf nearby, and year round warm weather. The cost of living allows me to live comfortably working at a job that pays less, but demands less as well. It works for me. But, just as I am not interested in convincing the hip and cool that Houston is a great city, neither am I interested in convincing the terminally depressed who live here that it is great. If Houston doesn't work for you, for god's sake, LEAVE! Life's too short to be stuck in Clear Lake your whole life, and frankly, I don't want to hear you whine about it. There may not be any jobs in Seattle, but I'm sure they'd love to have one more depressed resident. Maybe I'll even come visit when it is not the rainy season.

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And thank you so much for that! :) Iwas already aware of unicycles and tricycles, but could never haveconceived that there might be such a thing as a bicycle. My universeof options regarding man-powered wheeled vehicles was expanded! It wasas though I had witnessed the son of god, clad in spandex, pedalingright past me, confirming that there is indeed a purpose in life. I'vebeen saved! Hallelujah!

Most cyclist accidents are caused by inattentive motorists, so projects to make bikes more noticeable are at the top of my list. Not to mention its a lot of fun.

:wacko: not this again. where are you having trouble riding your bike?

I almost got right-hooked coming back on Westheimer from the Hatch Chile Festival on Saturday. If I had a small bike lane the motorist might have noticed me before he bumped me rather than after. Thank goodness his wife was in the passenger seat screaming at him that there was a bike.

Edited by kylejack

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I almost got right-hooked coming back on Westheimer from the Hatch Chile Festival on Saturday. If I had a small bike lane the motorist might have noticed me before he bumped me rather than after. Thank goodness his wife was in the passenger seat screaming at him that there was a bike.

the great thing is with the grid in houston, there are plenty of alternatives that are more relaxing. it's unfortunate that not everyone utilizes them.

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The weather brought me here. The economy, traffic, "internationalness", food, people (yes, people. If you doubt it try New York), and no rigid zoning laws make Houston less sterile than most US cities. I like it for that.

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the great thing is with the grid in houston, there are plenty of alternatives that are more relaxing. it's unfortunate that not everyone utilizes them.

Gray is worse. Alabama is better, but a little out of my way. Too many stop signs and blind corners on the little neighborhood streets, though they can be fun when I'm not in a hurry. I do think its funny, though, that you ask me where I have trouble riding and when I tell you your response is essentially "well don't ride there." My underlying point, though, was that I am making the best of an imperfect situation.

Edited by kylejack

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Though every city has its pluses and minuses, you have to go with what works for you. Houston works for me because I have family here, the Gulf nearby, and year round warm weather. The cost of living allows me to live comfortably working at a job that pays less, but demands less as well.

That's a good way of putting a finer point on the COL thing. I can make a very respectable living here in a traditionally cutthroat business without having to be miserable working 60+ hour weeks, and without the pressure to climb the management ladder or get out. I still wish that I had gone to Manhattan when I was younger and motivated to scrap by, just to have had the NY experience for a while. The grind of business there to keep my head above water would have just burned me out. It is very easy to maintain work/life balance here. Very important for slightly lazy people like myself who prefer to be near the coast! I would never be truly happy being landlocked. Dallas is too far. Lakes aren't the same.

I'm not saying I wouldn't leave, but it would need to be for a damn good reason, and a bigger salary or title no longer qualifies as good reason. And since I take the sun over cold and damp any day, well, it's working out for me ok. Houston gives me all the freedom I need to be my own bad self.

Edited by crunchtastic

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Gray is worse. Alabama is better, but a little out of my way. Too many stop signs and blind corners on the little neighborhood streets, though they can be fun when I'm not in a hurry. I do think its funny, though, that you ask me where I have trouble riding and when I tell you your response is essentially "well don't ride there." My underlying point, though, was that I am making the best of an imperfect situation.

There's no such thing as a perfect situation if you want to ride freely across this or any other city. If you're going to ride you have to accept some inconveniences. There's a cost/benefit to everything. It could start raining while you are out. One of the benefits of biking is that you get to slow down a bit and become more a part of your environment. Every time I bike I notice something new, be it a cafe, store, cool house, or maybe just a nice shady spot to rest. If you're in a hurry, take a car. If you're going to bike, take the back roads where you can. It's much safer and sometimes just as or almost as quick as trying to ride a major artery. But if you are going to ride a major road, then take the sidewalk where you can.

Frankly, I don't care if they stripe every road with bike lanes, sometimes it's just safer and easier to ride the sidewalks. I never even consider riding the lanes on Westheimer and where I'm at it's 4 lanes in each direction going 40+ mph. If you're expecting grade separated bike lanes and no interaction at all with cars during your ride then you'd better stick to the park trails, not only in this city but in every city.

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Houston gives me all the freedom I need to be my own bad self.

I think you should repost that in the Houston slogan thread! "Houston - all the freedom you need to be your own bad self." :D

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There's no such thing as a perfect situation if you want to ride freely across this or any other city. If you're going to ride you have to accept some inconveniences. There's a cost/benefit to everything.

Of course I am, and that is why I try to make the best of it. Some cities are much more bike-friendly, like Austin for example. Austin doesn't have the job market that Houston does, so here I am.

It could start raining while you are out. One of the benefits of biking is that you get to slow down a bit and become more a part of your environment. Every time I bike I notice something new, be it a cafe, store, cool house, or maybe just a nice shady spot to rest. If you're in a hurry, take a car. If you're going to bike, take the back roads where you can. It's much safer and sometimes just as or almost as quick as trying to ride a major artery. But if you are going to ride a major road, then take the sidewalk where you can.

Yes I know all this, but please note that riding your bike on the sidewalk is illegal in most places in Houston (any place where there is a business on either side of the road within 100 ft). That's not to say I don't do it anyway when road conditions are bad and sidewalk conditions are good, but I'm always aware that I might be ticketed, and I never ever do it when I see pedestrians on the sidewalk.

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Of course I am, and that is why I try to make the best of it. Some cities are much more bike-friendly, like Austin for example. Austin doesn't have the job market that Houston does, so here I am.

Yes I know all this, but please note that riding your bike on the sidewalk is illegal in most places in Houston (any place where there is a business on either side of the road within 100 ft). That's not to say I don't do it anyway when road conditions are bad and sidewalk conditions are good, but I'm always aware that I might be ticketed, and I never ever do it when I see pedestrians on the sidewalk.

I know we covered this somewhere already, but tell me again why Austin is much more bike-friendly than Houston. Are you talking the entire city of Austin, or just a neighborhood you used to bike? I'm in Austin every month or two and haven't noticed any greater effort put into Austin's bike network or any great advantage to bike mobility there. Plus, the real problem, aggressive or inattentive drivers, isn't any better in Austin than it is in Houston. Also, check the regs...I think the law is 300 ft of continuous commercial, not 100ft from any business. At any rate, live a little and ride the sidewalk if the street is dangerous. I'd much rather explain that I'm trying to avoid an accident in the unlikely event I'm stopped than ending up a statistic.

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Maybe I meant to say 100 yards, not sure. But either way, most inner loop areas I travel in are not going to be eligible for sidewalk riding.

Edit: Yeah, you're right, here it is:

Section 45-302

No person shall ride a bicycle upon a sidewalk inthe City of Houston within a business district or where prohibited by sign. Abusiness district is defined as "the territory contiguous to and includinga roadway when, within 600 feet along such roadway, there are buildings in usefor business or industrial purpose which occupy 300 feet collectively on bothsides of the roadway". Also, bicyclists are required to yield topedestrians and give an audible signal to pedestrians when riding on approvedsidewalks. (In general, bicyclists are permitted to ride on sidewalks unlessprohibited by local ordinances, although experienced cyclists usually agreethat it is much safer to ride on the street and follow the laws as they applyto any other vehicle.)

Edited by kylejack

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???

What do you mean? You take an interest in the things you're most interested in, attend the events you're most excited about, support the venues and stores that suit you best, few and far between though they may be. There's a lot of crappy pizza places in Houston, but I'm happy to support Star Pizza and I'm sure many others have their own favorite place. Houston is really bad about historical preservation for the most part, so when I see an opportunity to scream at a developer like Weingarten for trying to tear down the River Oaks theater, well, I'm going to take that opportunity. You make the best of the situation you're in, even if you think that the place you live is generally culturally-limited and wrong-headed. I'm pissed that the city's bike infrastructure is so horrible, but I still ride in Critical Mass every month to promote cycling and cyclist awareness.

It's really telling that one of your interests is to scream at a developers like Weingarten. Now I get it, you stay in Houston because you like to complain. You won't move away because there wouldn't be enough to complain about in other cities and you must enjoy being miserable. Just kidding.

I agree that unless you are some kind of sadist, you have to focus on the positive and make the most out of every situation even if it is not all good. But, obviously nothing in Houston is bad enough or culturally limited to extent that you don't fit right in to the point that it would make you leave or you would have left already. I just think that if people are going to go online and make lists out of everything they the don't like, they should 'fess up and admit that none of those thing are important enough to make them leave.

The people who say they dislike Houston yet choose to stay are living proof that the positives out weigh the negatives. For all the unhappiness they are 'forced' to endure, there are enough things in this city to keep them 'interested' however far and few between - I guess it must be just enough to make life bearable.

The negatives outweighed the positives in L.A. for me so I don't live there anymore. But when I did live there I could see no good reason for going on to the internet everyday and telling all the people who like it what a dump their town was. What would be the point?

This is not putting lipstick on a pig. This is just exposing hypocrisy. BTW- I'm not talking about the people who come here just to argue about things like whether or not light rail should be constructed or what to do with the Astrodome - I'm talking about the ones who show up just to say "Houston sucks".

BTW, Bicycles suck. I hate bicycles. I don't own one and I have no interest in bicycle culture or bicyclist. Can someone please direct me to a bicycling enthusiast website so that I can write a lot of post complaining about bicycle issues. That sounds like a fun and productive thing to do with my leisure time.

Edited by Coaster
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Coaster you seem really angry! :unsure:

Who do you think just comes to this forum just to say that Houston sucks? BryanS has nice contributions. The post you read isn't the extent of his post history.

Edited by kylejack

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Yeah Coaster needs to take that anti-bike nonsense somewhere else...maybe to the trails at memorial with your dog...

I guess I took the question a little differently. i CAME here for the job, no doubt. I looked for a job here because 1) I wanted to move after living in the same place for 23 years, and 2) I had a few friends here already. i STAY here because I like my job enough, it's only a 4 hour drive back to the families (great thing with 1.6 kids), and I'm not motivated enough to look for a new start in the job world. There aren't other companies that do exactly what I do. So yeah, the weather and landscape suck, I wouldn't choose those ever, but there are other things that factor in to being somewhere.

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Gray is worse. Alabama is better, but a little out of my way. Too many stop signs and blind corners on the little neighborhood streets, though they can be fun when I'm not in a hurry. I do think its funny, though, that you ask me where I have trouble riding and when I tell you your response is essentially "well don't ride there." My underlying point, though, was that I am making the best of an imperfect situation.

no it sounds like you're making a situation worse than it has to be by choosing to ride on busy streets and then complain that you were almost run off the road. usually when i'm in a hurry i'll drive myself instead of taking the bus or biking however you choose to take a slower mode of transportation.

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In just about every city I've ever lived in, you come across those that don't "mesh" with the city. And that's fine - and that's to be expected. In fact, as much as I like Houston, I can understand how Houston more so than most cities would not agree with a lot of people. What I don't get are those that say, "If it wasn't for a job I wouldn't stay." Now, assuming those aren't just greedy assholes working a job for love of the greenback but rather to support their families, that ought to be one BIG plus for the city. And evidently by your decision to stay it would appear that would be the most important thing in your life. If it isn't, then leave. And not for my benefit, or the the benefit of the "love it or leave it crowd" but for yourself. Don't force yourself to be in a city where you are unhappy. If you can't find a job to support your lifestyle in a city of your choosing, then think about thanking Houston for what it has given you.

I lived in Brownsville, TX for a number of years and would never move back. But during my time there I learned to appreciate what made the area special and shut up about the things I didn't like. Because let's be hoenst, it's just my opinion and those things I didn't "get" suit other people just fine. I mean, what made my opinion right and other people wrong? And arguing those points just made me look like a stubborn, uptight asshole.

And BryanS - as far as retiring in Houston, I could easily see myself doing that for the reasons I state above. Big city living at affordable prices. Your "poor souls" and "world is so much bigger than this place" comments just reek of elitism. To me, a poor soul would be someone living in a place where they're unhappy just to make a buck. Those living in a place they enjoy strike me as being very fortunate.

Edited by Random
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no it sounds like you're making a situation worse than it has to be by choosing to ride on busy streets and then complain that you were almost run off the road. usually when i'm in a hurry i'll drive myself instead of taking the bus or biking however you choose to take a slower mode of transportation.

Yes, I will complain when I am almost run off the road. It is a traffic violation and if a cop saw him do it he would and should have been cited. Like I said, I ride in Critical Mass partly to raise motorist awareness of cyclists and partly because its fun. I sold my car a long time ago, so yes, I choose to ride a bike because I like to ride a bike and because it has virtually no carbon footprint. Like I said, a decent street for bikes is out of my way, so Westheimer's fine, as long as people are paying attention and driving like they are supposed to.

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I lived in Brownsville, TX for a number of years and would never move back. But during my time there I learned to appreciate what made the area special and shut up about the things I didn't like. Because let's be hoenst, it's just my opinion and those things I didn't "get" suit other people just fine. I mean, what made my opinion right and other people wrong? And arguing those points just made me look like a stubborn, uptight asshole.

Ditto, McAllen. I've had consulting work in Cameron County since then, however, and I envy you. It's the poorer side of the RGV, but it has more character, IMO.

I didn't like it, I knew enough to understand and articulate why I didn't like it, and I managed (somehow) to take a couple of high school final exams by e-mail so that I could move to Houston a week sooner for no other reason than that I did not like my environs. I still remember the date: 05/24/2002, and I departed "home" at 10:32 AM. But that's exactly the thing; I didn't like my situation, so I changed it!

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I am also baffled by the behavior of perfectly able-bodied adults who choose to live in misery here in Houston when there are so many nice places on earth. Even in a depressed economy Houston is not the only city in America where one can find a job.

Edited by Mister X

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