I have never been more proud of being from Houston than I am right now. The city is always ranked as one of the friendliest. The city has a fierce pride and can-do spirit. The fourth largest city in America, Houston is one of only four cities in the country with permanent companies in all four performing arts: opera, theater, symphony and dance. It's been through boom and bust yet inexplicably lives in the shadow of their fellow Texans in Dallas.
But one thing Louisianians are about to find out, how good it feels when Houston says "We got your back."
To my mates in Tempe that's what a skyline looks like.
Salon writes this about my hometown:
In the unincorporated areas and the city proper that together make up the sprawling greater Houston area, population 4.5 million, lies a case study in what is wrought by living according to the commandment "There shall be no zoning." Sublime, helter-skelter juxtapositions are everywhere. Right next to an eight-lane freeway, a Discount tire store huddles near a traveling carnival; children spin themselves silly on blinking rides that rival NASA's anti-gravity chambers, under the vacant gaze of an overly made-up model looming down from a billboard advertising an all-night porn store. And don't miss the 20-story office building right across the street from a neighborhood of brand-new monster houses, with no niceties like landscaping buffering the commercial district from the residential one. Neighborhood deed restrictions impose some conformity, but those rules end at the property lines -- then, hallelujah! Anything goes!
Hey I used to live next to one of those 20 story buildings. I thought it was cool. Salon goes on to mention the "goofy" theme song that "Houston Proud" ran during the years of the 80's oil bust. I remember that song , and I was a kid, and dammit I loved that song! I miss my home!
I can't find the lyrics or a MP3 for the song but it goes like this if I remember:
Houston Proud. Proud of the things we are together. Proud enought to stand and sing it loud. We believe there is no place better, that's why we call it home. And we're all Houston Proud!
You can go Enron on us, you can talk about the 90 degrees and humidity. But if you knew the people like I did, you wouldn't be surprised at all that they opened the Dome. You wouldn't be surprised at all they were the first city to step up.
"Houston is kind of an odd city. We have the sprawl of Los Angeles without the old-world charm," says Mickey Herskowitz, a Houston Chronicle sports columnist. "It's really a city still groping for an image." He remembers a contest to come up with a slogan to describe Houston in the 1990s. No one could figure out what made Houston special, so they settled on "Houston Proud."
"Yeah, we're proud," Mr. Herskowitz says now. "We just don't know why."
I think I know why. Thank-you Houston.