Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Honoring Houston

I’ve been in Houston for the last 2-days for some meetings and have taken quite nicely to being back in my old city. Houston was the first town I moved to after college and it will always hold a very special place in my heart. This town taught me a lot about myself and I always look fondly back on the time I spent here.

In between meetings I have slowly visited all of my old haunts. While so much has changed, it seems like most has also stayed the same. I drove by the house I lived in Montrose and it looks exactly the same. Porch swing and all. My favorite place in the entire city, Rice University’s campus is essentially the same, with many more buildings, all well done in Rice’s classy architectural style. I ate at Café Express and had coffee at Empire Café, which used to be a weekly ritual for me and some of my old partners in crime. The townhouse I lived in is still intact in the Galleria, which is hard to believe given all the new construction over that way. I remember the rent there being $600 a month. Of course that was split between my roommate and I. The crippling effects of the major market crash in the 80’s that shook Houston to its core still had it’s privileges even in the late 90’s. Even then, I used to cringe when I wrote a $300 check every month. I thought that was a lot of money.

I had a meeting downtown in one of Enron’s old buildings which bring back all sorts of memories. When I lived here Enron owned Houston. My roommate traded energy there and I hitched my wagon to his star on several occasions and enjoyed some of the over-the-top parties they threw. Having experienced firsthand the powerhouse that Enron was makes what happened to them almost unfathomable.

Unfortunately many things about Houston remind me of Mark. I discovered a lot about this town with/through him. I remember climbing to the top of the Transco building with him and checking out the incredible view. Running around memorial park even when the air quality was so poor we were warned to stay inside. Driving down to the ship channel and visiting the San Jacinto Monument, which we had all to ourselves at dusk. I drove by the apartment complex he lived in today, it was hard.
For all it’s shortcomings, Houston treated me well. It provided the backdrop to my personal metamorphosis and wrapped its big greasy arms around me in a way that I will never forget. While I know I could never move back here, I will visit again and reminisce about the incredible times I had within these seemingly never-ending city limits

1 comment:

dcmasshole said...

My friend was just saying that he will have to do on line dating last night. I looked at him and said I'm the one who is a year older and I have to listen to your mid-life crisis. Then I proceeded to carpet bomb the bar for him.