There are lots of reasons to move to Houston that make perfect sense. If you work in oil and gas, you can double your lifestyle with high paying jobs and a low cost of living. It never snows here, we've got culture coming out of every orifice, a professional team in nearly any sport you could want, and the finest medical center in the country. I know I sound like a pamphlet, but that's all true.
That said, there are also some reasons you may not have considered that are just as compelling, if a little silly to say in sober conversation. Trust me, though, they are equally valid. What's Houston got for perspective residents?
10. Cheap Thanksgivings Thanksgiving dinner is always a tremendous pain in the ass. Most of us do not regularly cook for ten people at a time, and what with the prices in Obamastan who can even afford to buy that much food?
Um, we can, actually. In Texas has the lowest cost of putting a traditional turkey dinner on the table in the country. To feed a family of ten the staples costs just $46.79 in 2014, down 2.68 percent from last year. Not included in the cost is a container of Goode Co. sauce to put on your cold turkey the next day, which is something you absolutely do as a matter of course.
9. You Can Practice Any Second Language Here I know Texas has a reputation for "If'n you can't spake American go back to Mexco", and to be fair it's not inaccurate. However, if you have a mother tongue that you worry will rust from disuse then Houston, with its radically diverse population, is tops for meeting random people to practice with. We've got Spanish, of course, but also pretty much every major Asian language up to and including our own anime studios where we dub Japanese cartoons. There are meet-up groups for all the European languages, international folk festivals at regular intervals throughout the year, and even a FunAsia theater. I have personally seen two guys argue over the best place to get BBQ in Gaelic, so if preserving a language is something you care about this is the place to come.
8. The Humidity is Good For You Houston is a swamp, and that means in addition to the heat we get here the humidity can feel like being punched in the face by a fist wrapped in a towel that's been dipped in boiling water. I change my shirt three times a day in the summer because of it.
That said, the humidity has some tangential benefits. It's good for your skin, for one thing. It keeps acne at bay and the skin itself looking younger and fresher. It can be a blessing to people with sinus problems, and some recent data even shoes that higher humidity might be helpful in fighting the flu. You may be sticky in july, but at least you'll be pretty and healthy, too.
7. It's a Puppet Paradise People like to go on and on and on about how "weird" Austin is. Know what Austin doesn't have? An avant garde puppet theater scene. There is a pretty big and wonderfully insane community of people here in the city that put on black comedic puppet shows throughout the year, usually at 14 Pews. Or hey, maybe you don't want to be edgy. Maybe you want to use puppets to glorify Christ. Don't worry, no less than four Houston churches have Puppet Ministries in the for you to enjoy or participate in.
6. You Can Play in a Headless Statue Driving around the city you'll see plenty of statues born from the art of David Adickes. They're certainly enjoyable, but many of his works are just sitting around in the lot across the streets from his old studio on Summer Street. Giant Beatles statues are there, for instance, as well as some more of his famous large busts. Some of these are hollow and headless, and you're just not a real Houstonian until you've climbed inside one and peeked your tiny head out from the giant stone shoulders for a profile pic.
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5. We Have Not-Kolaches! You can't shake a stick without hitting a donut shop in Houston, and most of these are also home to the glory that is sausage and cheese filled kolaches. Or Bacon-filled. Hell, name a meat and we'll put it in a bun with cheese and serve it to you.
Except those are not actually kolaches. Kolaches everywhere else in the country are always filled with fruit because sometimes 49 other states can all be wrong. What we call kolaches are actually klobasniky, inventions of Czech settlers to Texas. Our wondrous meat buns are almost unknown outside the state, and that's a sad, sad thing. It's a delicious reason to move here, though.
4. There's a Shark Train! After extensive Googling I have concluded that if you love trains, but you also love massive flesh easting sharks then there is one, and only one American city where you can combine those two loves without sounding like a Batman villain. At the Downtown Aquarium you chugga chugga choo choo through a tunnel filled with huge sharks all without leaving the seat of the train. It's such a simple, amazing joy that you never really stop to think how utterly bananas the idea is, and if you live here you can do it every day.
3. You Can Have a Pedal Party Though I curse their names as I crawl behind them on Washington Avenue trying to get home with my Star Pizza, I will admit that the Pedal Party looks like a great time. For those who don't know, it's a large, bus-shaped bicycle powered by you and 15 of your friends that is mass transit for a pub crawl. You hit a bar, drink and eat, take your snacks with you, and hop on the big bike for the next stop down the road. Along the way you are allowed to drink beer and wine if you bring it. It's eco-friendly, safe, and a one-of-a-kind night out available only in Houston and Kemah.
2. You Can Live in a Haunted Hospital Jefferson Davis Hospital always topped the list of haunted places in Texas. Built over a Confederate soldier graveyard and later used for a variety or purposes like drug rehabilitation and a home for juvenile delinquents, it's a an imposing façade that's seen a lot of horror over the years (Contrary to popular rumor it was not an asylum and the building on the grounds was not a crematorium). In 2005 it was converted into the Elder Street Lofts, an art space that offers a stunning view along with the chance to see some of the ghosts that haunt the building. There are very few places in the country that so perfectly combine gentle living with screaming spectral terror so well.
1. See the End of the Universe Here (New and More Insane) Lewis Black has a bit where he talks about how the end of the universe is located in Houston. At the intersection of Shepherd and West Gray are two freestanding Starbucks sitting across the street from one another. There's one with a drive through on the northeast corner, and one without on the southeast corner. Both have been in business for decades without apparently harming the other.
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It really is completely insane that someone would build two Starbucks across the street from each other and then that they should both thrive. It's like the law of entropy itself took a lunch break. What a lot of people don't realize is that there are not actually two Starbucks at the intersection.
There are three.
The third is inside the Barnes and Noble built in 2009 located directly behind the drive thru Starbucks. Three Starbucks within 100 feet of each other, all successful. So move down here and see it because I'm willing to bet one day they'll put one upstairs in the River Oaks Theater and then a coffee priest will stand in the middle of West Gray and call open the bean demons to claim the Earth as their dominion.
You want to be here when it happens.