My original plan was to resist the fanatical cult-like obsession most people here have with the state.
But there really is a lot to like here in Houston. Take the beef, for instance. It seems that red meat is a necessary but not sufficient means of hospitality. Everywhere you go, you can't avoid being offered steak.
Most bars here don't regularly serve food, but once a week, they will have a steak night. They just wheel out a grill and start cooking slabs of beef. It's an idea both simple and beautiful.
I have a friend who is a vegetarian, which is about the equivalent of being a communist here.
They also have feeder roads that run the entire distance of the highways, but just parallel to them. All I'd every known were on- and off-ramps. Remarkable!
It's important to note that there is a distinct country western theme here. Despite the city being very modern and metropolitan, it's still Texas. The other day, I was walking along a city street with a friend when she exclaimed:
I'm telling you, you don't have the opportunity to say that where I'm from.
But so what when you're home to the world's largest rodeo? The term "world's largest rodeo" is no joke. Imagine sitting in a giant arena, watching children cling desperately to the backs of sheep that are cantering through a giant pit of dirt (an event called "Mutton Busters").
It is mind-blowingly awesome (and around here, kinda viewed as normal - I recently mentioned how weird the rodeo is to a Houstonian friend, and he looked at me and asked, "What's weird about it?").
In Houston, there is also the issue of no-zoning. This means that virtually anything can be built anywhere.
You never know what you're going to get as you drive along.
As I mentioned before, my original idea was to resist falling in love with the great state of Texas. I am somewhat disturbed to report that despite maintaining a healthy sense of humor about this place, I haven't been entirely successful in sticking to the plan. I don't know. There's just something about standing up in the 7th inning stretch of an Astros baseball game and joining an entire stadium of fans in singing "Deep in the Heart of Texas..."