This past January, Gerrit got traded from the Pittsburgh Pirates to the Houston Astros. We found out the same time it was announced through MLB, and a couple days later we booked a flight and started looking for places to live.
I had never been to Houston, and Gerrit had only visited once in college when UCLA played a series at Minute Maid Park. Luckily, two of our closest friends, Jameson (Gerrit’s former teammate in Pittsburgh) and Claire showed us the ropes in Houston right away and helped us fall in love instantly. We were only in town for two days before heading back home to pack up for Spring Training, and they gave us the lay of the land so we could find a neighborhood to call home.
It has been one week, and we are really loving this welcoming and friendly city. Houston is enormous, but it does not lack in charm, sophistication, and has one of the most eclectic food scenes with seemingly never ending options.
Quick geography for those not local:
A loop around this city on Beltway 8 covers 88 miles. It is home to one of the world’s largest medical centers, rodeo, commercial port, and the NASA space center. It has bayous, rivers, and other waterways that run over 2,500 miles.
If you’re from the area, you know the most significant marker in Houston is “the loop” or the “inner loop”. The 610 loop creates a circular barrier within Houston and Houstonians label places either within or outside the loop. Inside the loop is where I’ve explored the most so far.
Houston is also recognized for the arts and entertaining, shopping (the Galleria is enormous; I wish I liked to shop), sports, and world-class attractions and events. I’m excited to check out the museum district, south of downtown and with 20 museums within a 12 block radius. Houston’s theater district has 9 performing arts organizations in a 17-block area.
Our first week of food:
We have been lucky to have some wonderful dining experiences so far. I’ve had friends recommend everything from Mediterranean to Indian, Greek, Sushi, and, of course, Tex-Mex and BBQ, and I cannot wait to try them all. Here were my first stops:
There are also tons of great coffee shops here as well. Siphon and Agora are two of my favorites.
Around the Park:
The sports scene in Houston is a lot of fun. We made it to our first Rockets game on Gerrit’s day off and were able to cheer on a couple former UCLA Bruins on the team.
Hoggbirds Rooftop Lounge is a fun stop before heading to a game or concert downtown. I went here with our friend, Charlie before going to a House of Blues concert.
Beyond dining, Minute Maid Park is electric, and we are thrilled to be a part of this Astros organization and experience the city of Houston.