Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Some Things Never Change

Life in Houston during this time of growth; with traffic, townhouses and high rises being built at every corner as I ask myself “why do I live here?” When its 100 degrees inside my car, I defensively drive down Richmond full of potholes alongside drivers with their heads buried in their phones, I wonder “what is good about this?” As I look down the street I see people in their imaginative summer regalia walking down the street, I wonder “what are they doing out there” “where did they come from” and for gods sake I know it’s summer but can they please put some clothes on?

It feels like the city is closing in on me. I scrupulously analyze the radius of my drive to save trauma, time and energy. I develop new rules to survive the day i.e.- never take Kirby to south side of 59 unless you have to, especially on a Friday, opt for Alabama VS Richmond when driving towards town, and my new favorite never go to the Galleria unless someone pays you. 

Despite my complaints, Houston is where I came from, this is where I belong and part of my purpose here is to ensure that Houston, it’s people old and new, be reminded that there is still a culture here that hasn’t changed. We are often criticized for tearing things down and building new but there are a few things that haven’t changed- so I went for a drive and came up with a little list to cheer myself up.

Nielsens on Richmond- 60 years later, same sandwiches, same service, same spread.

Southland Hardware- I was a traitor to Southland with my Home Depot credit card back in the 90’s but that was short lived. Home depot sucks.

Bellaire Broiler Burger- Still a favorite after 50 years if you venture out those parts- worth the trip. 

River Oaks Theater- Same seats, same smell, same popcorn, don’t eat it though. 

M and M Vacuum. When your vacuum cleaner breaks- go here- they will make you feel better even when they scold you for using carpet fresh. Just go and do what they say.

So when the heat, the traffic and the people start to wear on you, visit a favorite old institution, it’s like comfort food for a Houstonian yearning for familiarity and a reason to live. On the other hand maybe this is all a rationalization from a stubborn city girl who really needs Club Med and a cocktail.