Comment of the Day: The More Houston Changes, The More It Stays The Same

COMMENT OF THE DAY: THE MORE HOUSTON CHANGES, THE MORE IT STAYS THE SAME Sand City“The problem is that Houston is in a constant state of flux. The Houston you know at 20 is unrecognizable at 50, no matter what year you were born. There is no classically recognizable Houston or Houstonian — the only thing most Houstonians share as a character trait is a mutual lack of interest in the past. When I wrote a novella about Houston, I made it ground zero of a global amnesia plague. Seemed appropriate.” [AMP, commenting on Novel Approaches to HoustonIllustration: Lulu

5 Comment

  • Comments like this are bathroom inspiring. Who cares? Houston works because it changes and barely looks back. I have lived here for that 30 year run, and it’s still the same place it was before. I don’t really care about what buildings were somewhere before, dating ALL the way back to 1940. That just means to me functionally obsolescent finishes, lack of air conditioning, and irritating parking. I don’t care about looking back to times past as superior. They weren’t.

    If you want to go to a city that dwells on the past, enjoy the rust belt. Get a coat, you’ll need it.

  • “…the only thing most Houstonians share as a character trait is a mutual lack of interest in the past.”
    This is not unique to Houstonians in the slightest.

  • My Dad grew up in the Heights in the 40’s and he’ll be the first to tell you there are a lot of people looking through rose color glasses. He can point to specific houses and recall abusive drunken parents, murders, hold ups and one juvenile delinquent after another. I appreciate preserving history but it wasn’t all neighbors barowing sugar and people waiving from porches. I’m glad for many of the changes.

  • To be fair though, I’d bet that the majority of Houston barely changes in any given 30yr time period though. I can go back to Pasadena and it still looks exactly the same.
    Lack of nostalgia is not a unique trait as others have mentioned though. There’s much more diversity and a lack of shared history and infrastructure in general though.
    On the bright side, those large growing and evolving cities means that the countryside is filled with scores of small cities slowly being abandoned and frozen in time.

  • I actually think Houston may be heading into a new era where change does not come at the flip of a switch anymore. We are like a young family that can finally afford to buy nice furniture. Developments like CityCentre and River Oaks District are big investments that will not get torn down after a decade or two. Amenities like Discovery Green and Buffalo Bayou are also built to last. The number of tear downs in the hot inner loop neighborhoods are dwindling rapidly. The once blank canvas outside the beltway is now getting very full of suburban development. Even downtown is filling out with a lot of new office and residential development, including big projects at the old post office and Halliburton site. Give it another ten or twenty years, but we may just yet be the setting for a novel or two (if people still read novels then).