Houston tips - bring them on

Oh yeah. He’s been looking more frail in the last few years since his wife died, and he has a tic in his right eye (too many plastic surgeries), but he’s still on the job. I don’t know what we’ll ever do without Marvin.

I’ve only seen him once in person, BTW. He got a piano place to donate a piano to Pershing Middle School after a flood destroyed there’s 6 or 7 years back. In front of a real crowd he doesn’t have the stiff manner he has on the air. And he’s hilarious.

For the OP: he’s a consumer reporter and general advocate for people who get shafted by business and government. A big local celeb, and eccentric as they come. The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas was about him, and how he was instrumental in closing down said whorehouse (because of the government corruption involved, not because it was a whorehouse).

Never, never, never shoot at Houston cops.

You wouldn’t BELIEVE the firepower those guys carry in the trunks of their squad cars…

(Curious because my dad lives out there; just spent three weeks there recently, didn’t see anything really wrong with the town, except that it’s in Texas ;))

Safe to say that shooting at anybody, not to mention Houston cops, would be at the bottom of my “things to do” list

fatmac98 did answer why he wouldn’t consider anything in Katy

Katy lies twenty miles or so to the west of Houston, along Interstate 10, or as I like to call it, The Devil’s Highway. Traffic on I-10 never flows totally uncongested during daylight hours, and rush hour is a living hell going both ways. You never know what random crap is going to bite another half hour out of your day.

As many other posters have noted, Houston is a GREAT city for restaurants (and cheap ones at that.) Of course all that food comes at a price - Men’s Fitness magazine ranked Houston as the 2nd fattest city in America (last year it was #1, having been supplanted by Detroit this year.)

95% of the interesting things to do in Houston are inside the 610 loop.

flickster, you should come back to this thread after you’ve been here a month or two and tell us what you think of H-town.

Yes, but sometimes I-10 itself flows, and is great for boating. A few inches of rain and it becomes the second largest river in Houston.

Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with Katy except that it’s an all-too-typical sterile suburb. The actual village of Katy is quite nice. But yes, I-10 is to be avoided at all costs. Isn’t it currently the most congested highway in the US?

Heh. I guess I didn’t notice the difference, since I live in L.A., you know? Bad freeway traffic is just daily life. :smiley:

Basements – definitely a rarity in Houston. You’re built on a swamp there; basements just aren’t the best idea. We didn’t quite know what to make of a basement when we got one in the house after moving away from Houston.

My favorite restaurant in Houston is Café Adobe. I know kelly recommended the one in the loop, but it’s crowded, and I don’t think the quality is quite as high. I recommend the one in First Colony – just down the road from Alief.

I liked the Alief location (I used to live there) for being just far enough out to be in the quiet burbs, but still close enough in to get to anything city-ish in a short amount of time.

Galveston is a close visit – check out the beach, and Moody Gardens. Houston has some good parks – Memorial park is all around good for jogging (and check out the Arboretum), and downtown you have Hermann park, including a neat little outdoor ampitheater with concerts during the summer.

Worst things about Houston – while I almost want to agree with the construction, I’d have to say it’s the mosquitos and the humidity.

Best things – the great people, and the fact that every store or entertainment you want is somewhere in the metro area, and stores are open all the time.

A note about Houston being ranked near the top of “the fattest” cities in America: My recollection of the article was that they didn’t actually directly measure the fitness of the people. It’s a measure reflecting two things: how many restaurants there were per capita, and how many gyms/workout places. I don’t think they took into account that Houston has some really big gyms (like the 3-story one down on the SW freeway whose name escapes me at the moment, but it’s near Alief, or at least, was).

The traffic on the Katy Freeway (I-10 West of the City) is the owrst in town, and will only be getting worse as they start a decade long widening project. They built the raod for something like 100K cars and it gets 3-4 times that.

Katy itself is a great area, but only if that’s the only place you ever go.

Speaking of shooting, there’s a great range out Westheimer in the County park, if that’s your kind of thing.

Richmond @ Wilcrest? Right up the street (literally) from where I grew up (Wilcrest @ Bellaire). Let’s see… that’s not far from where I lived when I got out of college, and there’s all sorts of stuff out that way.

More restaraunts: Lupe Tortilla at I-10/Hwy-6. Really good, or at least it used to be. There’s a new Mexican place at Westheimer/Wilcrest that’s pretty good, but I don’t remember the name. It’s right by the Whole Foods there, though.

One thing to remember is that the Alief area is middle class/lower-middle class, not a ritzy suburb. If diversity’s not your thing, that area of town will be quite distressing. Just go to the movie theater on the Beltway @ Westpark sometime to find that one out.

Houston is flat as a board… as in there are NO hills anywhere. Several years back, they had to close down an overpass on a street to have a soapbox derby. That’s how flat it is there.

The humidity’s pretty crazy as well- lots of buildings look kind of dirty, but it’s really mold growing on them. The heat’s not that bad though- it’s cooler than D/FW!

If you’re a gardener, it’s pretty nice- you get a couple of freezes a year, and the rest of the time it’s fine. My mother has Aloe Vera and Kalanchoes growing in her outdoor flower beds, and they’ve been there for 3 years without any special treatment in the winter or summer.

From what I’ve heard from friends who have had children go through the Alief school system, they are best avoided. Apparently their administration is a bunch of power-mad, incompetent jerks who enjoy making unreasonable policies and giving parents the run-around.

Hats off to everyone that has responded so far, the information has been wonderful.

We won’t have to worry about the community school systems as our youngest will graduate HS prior to relocation. From the real estate searches I’ve been running it looks like the best area for us will be someone in the Rosenberg, Katy, Sugar Land triangle (unless we venture out even farther for a home with some acreage). We have a 3/4 acre lot at present and it would be nice to at least stay in the range.

One additional question on commuting from Katy - Does heading south on 99 then east on 1093 get you any relief from the congestion on 10?

Thanks again for the responses. I will follow up and let you know how everything goes.

99 (Grand Parkway) is supposed to be a fairly nice drive, although I’m a few years out of date on that. 1093 is Westheimer road, which has lights every ten feet or so, so it’s not the fastest way to go a long distance. (It does, however, have plenty of lanes for the traffic level it gets - through the Alief area there are a couple of spots where it’s five lanes each way.)

I currently live in Katy and work around Westpark and FountainView. I would suggest avoiding the 99 to Westheimer route from Katy. 99 is great, but Westheimer (just west of Hwy. 6) has been reduced to one lane in each direction for construcion. I tried to take it into work about a month ago and tacked an extra 30 minutes onto my already 75 minute commute. The new Westpark Toll is nice, and will be even better when they have linked it up to Hwy 6. But, I haven’t decided if it is worth $2.25 for me to go to work in the morning.

Wow, there’s a tollway on Westpark now? Where’s it run to and from? Man, you move out for a few years, and they move everything around on you.

Nothing can help the Katy commute. As someone has said, 1093 is Westheimer Road, quite possible the busiest non-freeway type road in town. Great for entertainment and shopping purposes, not so good for commute times.

Knowing what I know about Houston, I would go Richmond/Rosenberg before Katy. Either way the commute will be a be-otch, which is why I live in closer in to the city rather than the 'burbs. Of course I work in the city too.

One thing that you may want to think about is living “opposite” traffic. Houston is pretty much a suburb city (but that is changing). Think of the city as a wagon wheel with 8-9 spokes (depending on whether or not we consider Stinkadena a suburb, or a shitburb). You will be working pretty far out towards the burbs, and are looking to live way in the burbs. If you were to move closer in to the city, and drive out to work, you would be in good shape. . . of course you’d have to give up on that 3/4 acre.

I second what fatmac says, although I don’t commute anywhere near Alief, so I can’t give specific advice. I live in the Rice U. area, and commute NNW 30 miles, almost to Tomball. I drive at highway speeds all the way to work, and only get slowed down for a couple minutes on the way back. Meanwhile, the folks going the other way are going nowhere fast.

We have a guy here who commutes from Sugarland via Hwy 6, and says that’s not too bad either. Hwy 6 moves pretty well. He’d be going right past Alief.

I don’t remember what Rosenberg looks like. Richmond is kind of a dump.

Speaking of dumps, agreed that Pasadena and everything else on the east side sucks from an aesthetic or human health point of view, remember that that’s where most of the money that keeps this place humming is generated.

so true, so true.

Hey, me too. Nothing like driving out Hwy 290 at 9am and seeing a parking lot full of people trying to get into the city while you’re driving 65 mph. If I had to live in the burbs and commute all the way in to downtown, I think I’d flip my wig.