…, We Have a Problem
April 25, 2012 Leave a comment
Business travel used to excite me, but no longer does so – now I just look at it as time spent in beds which are more comfortable for others than for me, away from Sarah and Kacy. So Houston for me has been a bit of a blur – it’s almost all driving from hotel to work to restaurant to work to restaurant to hotel – I’m certain that there’s interesting things to do here, but I’m not doing any of them.
Except – the (kosher) food here is surprisingly good. Nothing is “fancy” – but they’ve been uniformly pleasant and tasty (2 pizza places, a shwarma place, and a vegetarian Indian place so far…). While the food is a treat, the two things which really have caught my eye are the freeways and the adult stores.
The freeways here are massive – One I’ve been taking (Tx 59) is 6 lanes of freeway in each direction with three lanes of frontage in each direction. For those playing along at home, that’s significantly bigger than the Capital beltway or Interstate 95 near Washington. And that isn’t even an Interstate. Adding to the effect are the number and chaos of the various flyover mixing-bowl lanes – I’ve seen several four and five-stack freeways, all done with a brutalist artless efficiency, as though the engineers agreed to give up their souls for the duration of the construction projects. I honestly can’t think of freeways anywhere else (that I’ve seen) which are as ugly as the ones here.
I had multiple people run Houston down to me before the trip, saying that it was a mess because there was no zoning. Now, living under the thumb of the Old Georgetown Act, “no zoning” sounds like a Libertarian paradise, but reality finds ways to intrude upon the noblest of visions. The way it does so here is the proliferation of adult stores. The funniest I saw is “Zone d’Erotica”, which is on the apropos Westheimer Road, but they’re everywhere. Or maybe Houston is actually just a hornier town than others.
So the verdict is that I can’t wait to be home.