The metropolis of Texas and the largest city in the country, Houston is a well-known city around the world. It is not only rich in diverse people but also in history and culture. The small town once located in the swamps of Buffalo Bayou is now a major metropolitan destination for millions of Americans and tourists each year.
Geography and Climate of Houston
Houston is the largest city in Texas, at 601.7 square miles. The majority of Houston is located on the Gulf Coastal Plain, with moderate grassland and woodland flora. Many parts of the city were originally built on woodland, marshes, swamps, or grasslands. Some of these landforms are still visible in the surrounding areas. The highest point above sea level is 125 feet northwest and the lowest is downtown at 50 feet. Due to its proximity to sea level and lack of elevation, Houston frequently experiences flooding. There are ground-level water sources that the city depends on, such as Lake Houston and Lake Conroe. There are also four major bayous that run through the city. The ship channel extends until it reaches the Gulf of Mexico.
Houston’s climate is best described as humid subtropical, with frequent tornadoes during spring supercell thunderstorms. Most of the year is marked by southerly winds that bring heat from the Mexican deserts and southeasterly winds that bring humidity from the Gulf of Mexico. Houston is extremely hot in the summer, with temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit for 100 days. High humidity helps increase the heat index.
In summer, the relative humidity is around 90% in the morning and 60% in the afternoon. The use of air conditioning in homes, cars and offices is necessary when the heat temperatures reach peaks. People will also see intermittent afternoon thunderstorms that are prevalent during this season. Unlike summer, Houston winters are mild. January is the coldest month, with temperatures ranging between 63 degrees Fahrenheit and 41 degrees Fahrenheit. Houston receives a lot of rain each year, averaging about 48 inches, which could lead to flooding in several parts of the city.
A brief history of Houston
Houston was originally founded by the Allen brothers, John Kirby Allen and Augustus Chapman Allen, in 1836. They planned to establish a city along the shores of the Buffalo Bayou after purchasing huge land which totaled 6,642 acres. They then decided to call it Houston after General Sam Houston, who was later elected President of Texas. He was famous for his Battle of San Jacinto in retaliation for the Battle of the Alamo. The city was incorporated into the Republic of Texas in 1837, just a year after the Allen brothers purchased the land. Houston played a crucial role in the Civil War. General John Bankhead McGruder chose the town as his headquarters and later staging area for the Battle of Galveston. In the early 1900s, discoveries of oil began to surface. The discovery of oil encouraged business people to invest in the area, leading to economic growth in the oil industry. The city has had its fair share of natural disasters, from hurricanes to floods. In 1962 NASA decided to move the Manned Spacecraft Center to Houston, and in 1969 the word “Houston” was the first word spoken from the lunar surface. Today, the city is considered a cultural and economic center of Texas and the country.
The urban and suburban landscape of Houston
Although the city is urban in principle, the city’s neighborhoods are suburban in appearance. It is not easy to accurately detect where the urban begins or where the suburb ends. Unlike the cities of New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, which are mostly urban, Houston is a remarkable combination of both lifestyles. Although millions of people populate the city, Houston has its own glamor where urban and suburban blend together. This attracts many Americans to the city where they can find both ways of life which is very rich and satisfying. Houstonians are aware of the importance of walking and access to transportation and how this gives a more urban feel to the city, which is why Houston has an All Transit Performance score of 6.24 out of ten . Unlike other major cities famous for generally having buildings with ground floors as retail stores or offices and upper floors as residential, Houston has always prided itself on having streets like Wertheimer, where you can find a variety of uses and designs side by side like a craftsman. bakery next to a tattoo parlor next to a historic bungalow next to an office skyscraper.
In Houston, locations are defined as either inside or outside the Interstate 610 loop. The interior is characterized by pre-WWII commercial and residential communities, while the exterior is made up suburbs and enclaves. Houston’s skyline was voted the fourth most impressive in the United States; it is the third highest in the country and one of the top ten globally. The city contains a seven-mile network of tunnels and walkways that connect downtown buildings to shops, restaurants, and convenience stores. It’s perfect for pedestrians who can avoid summer heat or rain showers by walking from building to building. The famous 75-story, 1002-foot JPMorgan Chase Tower, along with a series of skyscrapers, form the city’s landscape. It is the tallest building in Texas, the tenth tallest in the United States, and the 30th tallest skyscraper in the world.
Energy, biomedical research, shipping channel, and aeronautics are Houston’s main industries. This is represented by large corporations like Chevron’s US Headquarters, ConocoPhillips International Headquarters, Exxon-Mobil’s US Operational Headquarters, and Shell Oil’s US Headquarters. Other companies such as Marathon Oil Corporation, Apache Corporation, and Citgo also have offices in Houston. The Port of Houston is the tenth largest port in the world and ranks first in international business in the United States. The city is located at one of the country’s peaks in petroleum equipment and petrochemical industry due to its large man-made shipping channel. There are commercial and trade offices for forty foreign governments in the city and 23 active foreign chambers of commerce and trade groups. In Houston, twenty foreign banks from ten countries provide financial assistance to the international community. The city of Houston is now considered one of the best economies due to its local economy, career prospects, affordable living prices, and quality of life. The past few years have seen an increase in technological innovation, which has created job opportunities, businesses and investments.
Houston is undoubtedly one of the most diverse cities in the country. This is due to its various academic institutions and large, labor-intensive industries. The influx of immigrants to Texas has made Houston one of the youngest populations in the country. In the city, about 90 languages are spoken. The city is proud to be home to the third largest Hispanic-Mexican-American community and one of the largest Indo-American and Pakistani communities in the country. There is also a huge Asian immigrant population, including the largest Vietnamese-American community in Texas and the third largest in the United States.
Transportation in Houston
Houston’s freeway system spans 575.5 miles of interstates and highways in ten counties. Millions of passengers pass through Houston’s two commercial airports each year, the larger being George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the smaller being William P. Hobby A Airport.
Culture, food and tourism in Houston
The arts and tourism sector is still on the rise. Beginning with the downtown core, the theater is home to nine major performing arts groups and six performance venues. The city is also home to several resident companies like the Houston Grand Opera, Houston Ballet, Houston Symphony Orchestra, and Houston Theater & The Alley Theater. The town is a major attraction for many music and theater lovers and a permanent home for a large number of local artists or art groups.
October is the best month for art lovers nationwide when the city holds the Bayou City Art Festival, which is considered one of the top five art festivals in the country. Another famous attraction is the Museum Quarter, which contains 18 museums. The district is home to several renowned cultural organizations and exhibitions that attract nearly 7 million people each year. The neighborhood consists of several unique attractions like the Houston Zoo, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston Museum of Natural Science, Museum of Contemporary Art Houston, Houston Holocaust Museum, and Space Center NASA’s Lyndon B. Johnson.
There are many cultural and tourist events throughout the year that honor and represent Houston’s diversity, with over 500 institutions dedicated to music, theater and the visual arts, with over 9 million people visiting each year. With 337 parks and green spaces covering 56,405 acres, Houston ranks 10th among the most populous cities in the United States, with the most green areas. Houston is famous for having one of the best food scenes in the country. It has over 10,000 restaurants, over 600 vegan restaurants, over 150 farm-to-table restaurants, and over 700 food trucks that offer cuisine from across the country and around the world.
NASA’s Johnson Space Center, which serves as the training base and residence for the nation’s astronauts and mission control, is located on the city’s borders. For decades, JSC has been the global pioneer of NASA human spaceflight operations.
Houston has consular representation from 91 countries, 18 sister city affiliations with cities on five continents, 15 foreign governments with trade and commerce offices in the city, and 35 foreign chambers of commerce and trade organizations. More than 70 international destinations are served nonstop from Bush Intercontinental Airport, connecting more than 3.5 million travelers to the city each year.