Moving sucks. But moving away from Houston? Well, that sucks even more than just plain ol' moving.
Trust. I know.
By the time you read this, I will have packed up all of my stuff and headed on up to Dallas, where I will be, for the first time in my adult life, something called a "Dallasite." Go figure.
Such an idea is a rough one for a native Houstonian like myself; there are certain things about this city that have become almost synonymous to who I am as a person. Things like having an opinion on what should happen to the Astrodome, or where to go for decent Mexican food have become engrained in my psyche.
And now it will all be useless, since Dallas has neither an Astrodome nor decent Mexican food. But they do have a Texas State Fair, and plenty of hairspray, so all will not be lost.
Here are the things that I will miss most about this city -- and you will too, should you ever move away. Adios, y'all.
The never-ending battle over the Astrodome Seriously. The battle over what to do with the Dome is pretty much never going to end, and people are very, very divided over what to do with the aging eyesore. So while it may get old to have to hear about a) all the money they're either wasting by not tearing it down, or b) all the damage they're doing by not investing money into saving it, such heated discussions give our city an identity.
And the Dome may be the only time Houston has ever shown a vested interest in keeping an old building, so that discussion will be sorely missed should you venture off to another city.
Stalking JJ Watt Come on. We all know that in December, half of this city ordered Papa Johns on a regular basis, just hoping that JJ Watt would show up to deliver it. And why wouldn't you? E'rybody loves Mr. Watt, what with his nice guy demeanor and badass foosball skills and all.
But you know what you won't get to do once you move away from Houston? Order pizza with all of us dumb JJ Watt stalkers. That's right; in Dallas, Watt is never going to deliver your pizza. Your best bet is some mediocre Cowboys player, and there's really nothing exciting about that.
All of the green spaces Like Memorial Park? Yep, you should. And you probably like more than just Memorial Park, because Houston's got more parks than any other top 10 metro area, with 50,632 acres of parks and green space in total. There are obviously quite a few outdoorsy areas to choose from.
Plus you've got our bayou system, Discovery Green -- which has not only a grassy space to lounge out, but a steady lineup of events, too -- and that fantastic space around Buffalo Bayou, which you'd definitely miss if you lived in another city. Yes, even with the semi-sketchy lurkers that hang out down there sometimes. Even still.
Judging the bar hoppers on Wash Ave (or Midtown, or whatever) Come on. You know you do it. Drive down Washington or anywhere in Midtown past 6 p.m. and it's impossible not to get a little, teensy-weensy bit judgy about the misbehavior happening among the crowds of sudsy 20-somethings.
And should you move to a place like, say, Austin, the only thing you're going to be able to judge are the bar hoppers on 6th Street. While side-eying the people on 6th may be entertaining for a hot minute, it's still pretty much the equivalent of shooting drunk fish in a barrel, and is bound to lose the luster that judging people on Wash Ave still has.
FPSF, in all its overcrowded awesomeness Sure, it's balls hot when that festival happens and sometimes, when you're really unlucky and have had too much beer, the port-a-potties overflow. But would you really want to go without Free Press Summer Fest?
The sweltering, near-visible heat reflecting off the blacktop pavement while you push your way into the crowd, hoping for a glimpse of Macklemore, is what life is all about, man. You won't get that at ACL, what with the moderate temperatures and the cool night air and all. It's all about the swamp-ass in this city, baby.
Getting all country for a day (or a weekend, or weeks on end) during rodeo season Good luck finding another city where it's totally socially acceptable -- nay, encouraged -- to play urban cowboy/cowgirl for a few weeks out of the year. Rodeo Houston gives Houstonians' inner cowboys and cowgirls time to shine, as we all play some strange adult version of dress-up, complete with stiff boots and blingy jeans.
You may protest the ritual of dressing up during rodeo every year, but should you move away from a place where it's the norm, we promise you'll miss it. (Side note: I still plan to do this for rodeo season at the Dallas Observer, our sister paper where I'll be working. But something tells me those leopard cowboy boots just won't feel the same in the big D.)
Bitching about 610 Or I-10, or the Southwest Freeway...or the Gulf Freeway...or Westheimer...or essentially anything else in this city that even resembles a roadway. After all, bitching about traffic is kinda what true Houstonians do.
And ultimately, whining about the horrible commute in a city like San Antonio just somehow seems...well...disingenuous, considering that in San Anto, if there's traffic, it's because everyone's confused on what to do at the yield sign. Or because there's a herd of farm animals in the road. Either or.
Commiserating about the Montrose yuppie takeover Remember when Montrose was full of sorta sketchy people and even sketchier tobacco shops? Yeah, those were the days. It was hard to tell whether people were waiting for the Metro or were waiting for a "ride" from a mustachioed stranger. Ladies of the night were everywhere, and so were platform go-go boots and sex toy shops, and it was awesome. And then it all changed because of the yuppies.
It's those old school Montrose rants about the good old days that you'll miss if you leave Houston, considering no one in Denton or wherever the hell will have any idea what you're talking about should you bring it up. But they should, cause old school Montrose was the very best.
Potholes. Seriously. How else does one wake up first thing in the morning? There's really no better way to jolt yourself awake than driving down Studemont with a cup of coffee. Driving anywhere in this city is like playing an instant game of "dodge the pothole," but luckily, it puts your brain on mental alert as the coffee scalds the fog away.
All the Houston Drake love Houston gets all the Drizzy Drake love. Like, all of it. In fact, we get so much Drake love that there's even a Houston Appreciation Week, courtesy of Drake, not to mention all the zillions of name-drops our city gets in his songs.
So should you move outside of Houston, have fun with your lack of "ass like Houston" Drake references, while everyone else sits back and basks in the glow of Wheelchair Jimmy's love. Ain't no party like a Degrassi party, and that Degrassi party don't happen in Dallas.
Keep the Houston Press Free... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.