Can't find threads on living in Houston - may move from SATX...


Gray Peterson
February 14, 2004, 05:57 AM

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Gray Peterson
February 14, 2004, 09:37 AM
Hey Pendragon, what was that all about? O.O

February 14, 2004, 09:45 AM
I think the problem may be nobody actually lives in Houston. From my experiance occasionally driving through, Houston is merely a spot on the map surrounded high rise office buildings and supported out of the swamp by a logjam of cars on the highways. :neener:

February 14, 2004, 12:41 PM

I posted this thread last night - there was an error but I checked and the thread was here so I thought it posted.

So it ended up opening the thread, but not containing my post - paraphrased below:


We are not attached to San Antonio. It is definately not what we were expecting - (it's "us", not "them"). I got a pretty good job after 2 months of looking, but the project was canceled last week and I am looking.

My brother - who still lives near Sacramento, works in sales for a tech consulting company in Houston - Stafford specifically (near Sugar Land - SW Houston more or less).

Anyway - he said they are very interested in me and there is a very high chance I can get a job there.

My Apartment will let me transfer my lease to a complex there so I think that despite being almost totally broke, I can find a way to swing it.

I was wondering about the quality of life - I have read about the smells and the air and I am wondering if that area is very bad. I also read that those areas are among the highest for CCW isuance.

Are there good ranges around there? How CCW friendly is the area? Will many jobs let you CCW discretely?

I am also wondering how it compares to SA - which we found to feel less like a "city" and more like a massive town that just sprawls forever.

I am wondering if anyone can contrast SA and that part of the Houston area

February 14, 2004, 02:20 PM
Houston is a cesspit. High crime, horrible traffic, tons of pollution.

There are nicer suburbs (pricey) but expect hours of hell to get anywhere in town.

No offense to any Houstonites.

February 14, 2004, 02:38 PM

February 14, 2004, 03:27 PM
Smells in the air? What air? A better description would be it's smells in the smells.
Great place if you like being a test subject for the petro-chemical industry.

Art Eatman
February 14, 2004, 06:42 PM
The west and southwest sides of Houston are better for residence than toward the east, although I'm unfamiliar with the actual Sugarland area. The prevailing winds won't bring you quite as much grunge, on the southwest side...

Lots of IPSC/IDPA clubs and several ranges. And the Katy Mills mall, west a bit on I-10, it anchored by a gigantic Bass Pro Shop. :) Toward town on I-10 is "Carter Country", a large gun store.

What can I say? It's a great big city...Harris County is now around 3.5 to 4 million, or thereabouts.


February 15, 2004, 01:17 AM

well, Sacramento had serious ait problems - but it was not really smelly that I recall.

I will probably just deal with it since I need a good job so badly. I am in IT support and the jobs are just going away, pay is dropping and requirements are going up - its just ugly. These guys may give me a shot at something different since they like my brother so much.

One good thing about SA is the air quality seems to be very nice. Of course, with the weather constantly changing and blowing by, how could it not be :)

Thanks guys and anyone else feel free to chime in.

Bob Locke
February 15, 2004, 02:22 AM
I grew up an hour east of Houston (Liberty), and I pretty much always cringed at the thought of going there. I'm just not a big city person, and Houston is less user-friendly than most I've been to.

Have two good buddies from high school who live there. One's a cop, in fact. They both seem to like it just fine.

I guess if you're going to be on the west side of the city it's a different ballgame, as I seem to recall most of the heavy refinery activity is to the east (Channelview, etc.). I'd stay out of Houston proper if at all possible. Some nice places within a reasonable (1/2 hour or so) drive of the city limits. Lots depends on where the job is located, though.

Good luck!

(But for my money and tastes, I'd be staying in S.A. because it's still my favorite large city in the country.)

February 15, 2004, 03:20 AM

A lot of people seem to really like SA - its ok and it does have some neat stuff, but the nice parts seem to be mostly gated and the city suffers from what look slike a serious lack of planning in a lot of areas.

We have drivin around a LOT and except for the land marks, one part seems a lot like the others.

We like Brackenridge with the train and the park - our son likes that a lot.
Walker Ranch is ver close to us and we take him there when we can.

Hard to say what is missing - hard to put my finger on it.

February 15, 2004, 09:30 AM
When I lived in Louisiana, I loved to go to Houston for vacation. Maybe it's different living there, but I enjoyed it.

Any urban place is going to be dirty, a little smoggy, and have crime and traffic.

February 15, 2004, 09:50 AM
i'll play..
Houston, a large spaced out , entity...made up of a well-defined and recently revitalized downton area and many suburban sprawls that have been annexed during the last 10 yrs. Ongoing traffic hazzards are to be expected reflecting the actively growing metroplex and its corresponding populace. a divers range of activities you will find, depending on your likes..houston has a symphony, theater and opera houses. the houston medical xcenter area houses many leading institutions of patient care and many fine museums are centrally located within it. Htown is also host to a plethora of cultural festivals and such activities throughout the year. it is close to several national forests, lakes and parks if you like thew outdoors. anyways, 2-3 hrs to get away to san antonio, austin, and the hill country if thats not enough for you. shopping paradise with high number of stores and venues to spend money in. sporting events for NBA, NFL, Soccer, MLB and much more smaller interests are here . Clubs, bars and dancing spots are here too. you want arms, we got em too. outdoors, indoor whatever. hey i'm going to mardi grass galveston . i'll ckeck back later.

February 15, 2004, 10:44 AM
We have drivin around a LOT and except for the land marks, one part seems a lot like the others.

Some call San Antonio the biggest small town in America.

We don't have much in the way of museums, art galleries, night life.

A little historical stuff, a few night clubs, lots of hole in the wall mexican restaurants, about 5 gun ranges, two gun shows a month and 6 or 7 decent gunshops.

Houston has the big city feel and probably more amenities. It usually takes
about 2 to 3 hours to go 20 miles in Houston on a Saturday afternoon and thats what turns me off. The perpetual brown haze is a downside as well

Depends on what you are looking for in a town. Anything takes some getting used to.

February 15, 2004, 01:18 PM
Air quality/smell depends on what part of town you're in. Sugarland isn't that bad compared to say, S. Houston or Pasadena (where a lot of the refineries and chemical plants are).

Depending on how far you want to travel, there's quite a few ranges. American Shooting Center is on the SW side of town and is pretty good. The area is pretty carry friendly, the number of legal 30.06 signs I've seen in 2.5 years of carrying is in the single digits. FWIW, Art Eatmen mentioned the Katy Mills Mall, they're one of the places that post.

Traffic is bad, but there's ~4 million people here. If you can live relatively near to where your job is, you'll thank yourself later. I do my 20 mile commute in 25 minutes, but then I drive fast and start work at 6:30.

February 15, 2004, 01:20 PM
Wow, I am used to traffic - but that is unbelieveable and kind of scary of you are not exaggerating.

I definately see SA as the biggest small town in America - and there are aspects we like. We feel like we kind of got taken on our apartment - it was extremely misrepresented to us and between that and the job troubles and having virtually no ties to the city, we feel like we need to follow the money - and we were kind of looking forward to a big city experience. Sacramento is definately NOT a "big city".

Honestly, I could do a few years there and then go someplace else - maybe Nashville (??) or Austin or who knows. Anyplace thats not home with all the family and friends - well, one place is as good as another in a lot of ways.

February 15, 2004, 08:09 PM
My advice to you is that if you work in Stafford, either get a place in sugarland or get a place inside the loop. I live right off 59 and Shepard, it takes me 15 minutes to get to work in Sugarland. The drive home also takes 15 minutes. Going the opposite way from traffic is the key to managing Houston's traffic. Your other options are to live off I-10 or 288 and take beltway 8 to Stafford. It is a little longer but Pearland and Katy are much more "liveable" areas. If you are not driving 70 in Houston then watch out because everyone, including the cops, will be passing you, middle finger raised, and horn blowing. :) I ride a motorcycle everday and it isn't as bad as everyone says as long as you are aware and alert.

The beauty of living in town where I am is that downtown is 10 minutes away, the Galleria is 10 minutes away, the movie theater is 10 minutes away, the Village is 5 minutes away, and an indoor range is only 10 minutes away. I can get to every freeway within 10 minutes (plus all the HOVs) and American, the best outdoor range in the area IMHO, is only 20 minutes away.

If you want some more specific advice, pm me and we can talk.

February 15, 2004, 08:14 PM
but the nice parts seem to be mostly gated and the city suffers from what look slike a serious lack of planning in a lot of areas. That is also a problem in Houston. But then again, how can you plan for 20 gazillion people? In my travels around this terrible stretch of pavement I have seen a lot of million dollar houses which would have sold for a quarter million anywhere else in the deep south.

BTW, I think what you're missing in San Antonio is that SA is a military oriented city. Randolph AFB is the real cultural center of the northside and Lackland AFB is the center of the southside. You really have to see SA from the air to appreciate what a cool place it is.

February 15, 2004, 08:23 PM
Well, since I've lived in TX all my life live just south of Houston now and have spent a lot of time in SA, I guess I'll chime in on this one.
Houston has a lot to offer but mainly the thing that drives Houston is that is all business all the time. Which makes Houston a much easier place to get a job and keep a job than SA. And now that the clutz of a mayor is gone maybe things in city govt. will start acting a bit more rationally. There are a lot of fun things to do but mainly they compliment the business enviroment that pervades Houston. If you live and work in Stafford/Sugarland area the traffic congestion of the big city may not be a problem for you.

SA has always seemed to me to much of a party/tourist town. It's more like the business enviroment is for the party enviroment. I once had several close and extended family members living there, now only one. All others moved away to better jobs in other TX cities. In construction, the business I am in, the money is much better in Houston, which is not to say good money can't be made in SA it's just harder to come by.

On the south side off 288 is a very nice private shotgun club which I belong to. I would highly recomend joining it especially if you live anywhere between Sugarland and Pearland. Of course there is ASC out on the west side, several pistol and rifle ranges and loads of huntin' and fishin' stuff stores of which Carter's is probably the best.

February 15, 2004, 10:13 PM
Houston has a lot to offer but mainly the thing that drives Houston is that is all business all the time.


We have a winner!

I think you are right - I am about starving to death here and I apply for every job in sight and hear nothing but crickets (or is that the fire ants? :what: ).

I need a more business/job/hi-tech area - I thought SA being lower tech, it would be easier for a tech guy to be a "big fish in a small pond" - I was wrong. Very few jobs and lots of people I worked with at Citibank were grossly underemployed - but happy to have jobs.

Well, if there is any way to swing this, I am gone.

February 15, 2004, 10:54 PM
Having lived in Houston for 14 years and going back to Houston a couple of times per month,perhaps i can offer my $.02 worth.
1. jobs are going to be easier to find and keep,thats a function of the fact that Houston is the 4th largest city in the U.S.
2.Houston has bad traffic,this a fact plan for it .Live in town work out of town go against the flow of traffic. Or live close to where you one time when I lived in houston my commute was 32 miles one way but as I always went against the traffic tim was about 35 to40 min.
3.Crime,u bet again prudent planning.CCW,SA,watch where you live.If you ever have to nail a BG the chances are that you will not have a DA looking to fry you,most likely get a "Atta Boy" from the local cops.
4.Cost of living sales tax is high just like like San Antoino,Dallas,Austin ect.if you buy cost of houseing is low relitive to the rest of the country.
5.Southeast part of town=refineries smells ect. wind is normally from the South or North west not much of a problem there will be a couple of days a year you will smell anything from the southeast-not really a problem.
6.Very Gun Friendly enough ranges and gun stores.
7.From Sugarland area about a 11/2 to 2 Hour drive north gets you into woods and lakes.
8.Check out the greater Houston Gun Club pvt.Club mainly Skeet and Trap and live birds on the south side Pearland area also had at one time pistol and rife ranges. will be close(about 11/2hours)to beaches.
10.After you get settled start looking for an area you think you would like.
I will suggest the Woodlands/Conroe from what I know of you.
Houston is a great city and if I was ever going to live in a large city again it would be my top pick.By the way there are no zoneing laws in houston how is that for leaving people alone.Also the Ft Bend County(Sugarland) scools are some of the best in the State.If you have kids in school you do I repeat do not want them in HISD
Also live where you work The Traffic if you have to fight it will kill you.
Sugarland to the Galeria area with no traffic is about 20 min downtown about 10 min more repeat this during times of no Traffic.
Sugarland to Downtown in rushhours will run in excess of 2 to 21/2hours.
I you think I can help E-Mail me

February 16, 2004, 12:00 AM
I lived in Houston for 15 years, and although I made some good friends down there I have to say there's not much about it I miss. Even now when I visit, I know I sound like every other whiner who visits: "What humidity!" I mean c'mon, who wants to go around all day with your shirt sticking to you, and your face looking like a glazed donut? :p

One August morning I was listening to a talk show, and the talk show guy was talking about the humidity and said "When you go out this morning to pick up your paper, it'll be like walking into the mouth of a big dog!" Best description of Houston humidity I've ever heard. geegee

Sam Adams
February 16, 2004, 12:08 PM

Say it ain't so!!

Houston is too crowded, too humid (though probably equally as hot as SA), too expensive and too crime-ridden to seriously consider - just my opinion. It is like New York City, though with better gun laws. Hey, do you want Sheila Jackson Lee (who thinks that we already landed on Mars, among other choice gems of hers) to be your Congress Critter? Oh, and it is humid as a swamp.

The SA economy is turning around, and the building of both the Toyota plant and PGA village will bring a bunch more economic activity here in the next couple of years - without bringing in so many more people that we will become an overcrowded mega-city like Houston, much less the Hellish humidity.

There's also much more open space close to town around here than Houston.

Oh, and did I mention the Houston humidity, where you step outside on any given day in the summer (February through December) and find that within 5 minutes your freshly starched shirt sticks to you like you put in on in the shower?

David, please stay. Life is full of challenges and temporary setbacks, but one who refuses to give in to those things and who makes the most of any adversity can overcome anything. I know a bit of your present circumstances, and I know that things will be much better before long - you are not the kind to be blown around by a stiff wind. SA may not be the greatest place on Earth, but it is pretty close :D , and is certainly closer than Houston. Houston may have a better job market - for now - but it isn't, IMHO, a better place to raise a family.

Good luck to you, whatever you decide.

Sam Adams
February 16, 2004, 12:29 PM
I need a more business/job/hi-tech area - I thought SA being lower tech, it would be easier for a tech guy to be a "big fish in a small pond" - I was wrong. Very few jobs and lots of people I worked with at Citibank were grossly underemployed - but happy to have jobs.

You may wish to also consider Austin - not too far up the road, and VERY big into high-tech. The city is fairly well laid out, it has a smaller population than SA (let alone Houston), and is a pretty good place to live, all things considered. Since you lived in the PRK, you will doubtless find it easy to ignore the great number of idiotic liberals </oxymoron> that are attracted to UT-Austin and the government.

Back to SA vs. Houston - the building of the Toyota plant and PGA village will spur economic activity here in SA. Anyone who believes that SA's economy is almost entirely dependent upon partying and tourism is not only wrong now, but will be even more wrong as time passes. PGA Village will bring in a lot of money from retirees and spur the services that they use - which, in turn, will spur even more activity in other areas of the economy. Toyota will not only directly employ about 4,500 people in a couple of years, but its suppliers that basically must locate themselves close by will probably employ 10,000-12,000 people (again, directly). Add to that the services that must be built/enhanced to handle all of those folks (schools, hospitals and medical facilities, construction, food and merchandise shopping, etc., etc.) and you have the makings of a boom. Something like 150,000-200,000 folks will live in SA in 10 years who otherwise wouldn't have...and that is without ANY other big company than Toyota deciding to build here. There are rumors that Honda is also considering a move here, which will further stimulate the economy. This makes sense - if one of the top 5 largest businesses in the world decides to go someplace, lots of smaller businesses are going to give that place a look. All of those people, and the businesses that they work in or support, will require lots of IT work. Other, existing businesses, will need to continue to upgrade, or be passed by (which, of course, applies anywhere).

Trade with (primarily) Mexico will continue to provide a further jolt to the economy here - its effect will only grow.

As to why SA's bright future should impact you NOW - the longer that you are in one particular place, the more people you know and the greater your chances of doing well. Staying here for the long term will be of great benefit to you. Regarding being a big fish in a small pond - I'd say that this is about impossible in Houston or any other mega-city. You are better off in this regard in either SA or in Austin.

Again, the best of luck to you and your family - no matter what your decision.

February 19, 2004, 11:39 PM
Thanks everyone for your help.

We have not ruled out going to the area, but the job I was hoping for has fallen through - and other opportunities have since come to light in SA.

February 20, 2004, 04:44 AM
Be glad...go to for research. They have already closed a major artery into downtown from the south to downtown and are going to close a big part of I10/610. Big traffic mess.

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