11.13.2007

Transplanted

Houston is a strange sort of place, and we're still strangers. But the strange thing is, everyone else is something of a stranger, too. Not just to us, but to the place itself.

It was bittersweet leaving our dear community in Los Angeles, but we knew it was inevitable. Even if we hadn't left, people were leaving all around us, and many more would soon go too. It was only a matter of time. The very nature of our community was transient. A stage of life on the way to something else.

And that is precisely how Houston, as a city, feels. It's not really home to anyone. Nobody lives here because they want to live in Houston, they live here because Hewlitt-Packard is here, and NASA, and the oil companies. And because Hewlitt-Packard, and NASA, and the oil companies pay enough to send their children to nice private schools.

There are lots of reasons to live in Houston, but Houston itself doesn't seem to be one of them.

It's a weird contrast to Los Angeles. Lost Angeles (I'll let the typo remain) is the promised land and hell all rolled into one. Some love it, some hate it, but it's always one or the other, and usually both. Los Angeles may induce apathy, but never toward itself.

Houston, on the other hand... well, I suppose it makes sense. There's a certain sort of person who dreams of living in the big city, and there's a certain sort of person who dreams of living in Texas. Houston, being both, is satisfactory to neither.

So folks settle for Houston, and make the best of it. The city feels remarkably calm and clean compared to Los Angeles. I hear such horrible things about the inner city, but where's the graffiti? Houston just isn't nearly so rough around the edges, and it feels a little soulless by comparison. Soul-less... but very pleasant and attractive.

Strangely, the one place in the city that looks most loved, most truly home to its residents, is the artsy-hippie community nestled in the notorious fifth ward. But that place is well loved precisely because of it's transient gypsy happy-wanderer feel. They may stay for the rest of their lives, but even so they're really just passing through.

It's just like all the rest of Houston, just a little more explicit, that's all. The rest of the city approaches with a much different aesthetic, but in the end, everybody's just passing through, and making the best of the time they spend in Houston.

And I think that's okay.

Because whether we're thinking about it or not, we're all just wandering wayfarers on this earth.

And I think it might be a little bit easier to live lightly in a place that knows its place.

1 comment:

Robbie said...

I have to agree about Houston. I would never intentionally choose to live there, but 9/10 of my dad's relatives, (sisters, still living, neices and nephews, cousins, etc...) live there or in the surrounding areas and have their whole lives. They have chosen to live there. Go figure