We're the second fastest growing city in America, which means we've got lots of new folks living in and around the area.
A lot of what people know about Houston comes from popular media and doesn't really prepare them for living here. At least that's been our experience in dealing with the noobs.
Sure, we're the base of the energy industry, it's okay to walk around with a cowboy hat, our summers are wicked and all the usual things; but there's more.
Here we present to you new arrivals a list of the 10 things we wish we'd known before we decided to call H-Town home.
10.) Women have to rethink beauty options in this heat
The humidity will make frizzy hair that much frizzier, but worse, the humidity and heat will melt your makeup.
9.) No zoning laws
We come to this time and again. Anything from a high-rent condo to a gas station can get squeezed next to that duplex you just bought.
So confusing if you're addicted to your GPS like some of us.
7.) Swamp ass
Another heat-related phenomenon. As urbandictionary.com describes it, it's when "the ass crack and crotch becomes overly moist, sweaty, and stinky" due to sweating it out on a hot day. A/c is a must.
6.) Panhandling on roadway medians
What big city doesn't have people hitting you up for cash? One thing particular to here is that if there's a highway median, there's probably someone staked out there with a bottle of water, a sign ("Out of work, need money") and a hand ready to grab any spare change.
5.) Downtown parking rates fluctuate
Like free lunch, there's almost no such thing as free parking downtown before 6 p.m. If you happen to need a parking spot near Minute Maid Park on a game day, watch out. You'll be hit up for more than $30.
4.) Public transportation isn't there yet
It's happening. We've got more light rail line than ever, buses are looking to make a comeback, but relying on public transportation is still more trouble than it's worth, depending on where you live.
3.) No state tax, but property tax higher
There's some complicated algorithm that determines market value, so property taxes might be higher than you think.
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2.) The Galleria area during the holidays
It's like shopping in hell, if hell weren't that hot. Kill your Christmas spirit by venturing here in the deep holiday shopping days.
1.) We're home to deadly mosquito-borne viruses
West Nile isn't just a sub-region of Africa. It's the name of that potentially deadly virus that comes from mosquitoes that live here. Couple that with the fact there's a serious strain of dengue fever that's been making headlines in the past year, and it makes you want to avoid going out at dusk and investing in boxes of OFF!