Welcome to Houston Angle where travel writer and Houstonian Vikk Simmons explores the city’s nooks, crannies, and angles.
Houston. I admit I’ve had a love-hate relationship with the city for a long time. I’m Vikk Simmons, a transplanted Army brat and Houston Angle is my baby. I’m also co-author of Exploring Houston with Children, Exploring the Arts and Culture of Houston with Children, and Exploring Texas: Weekend Adventures.
I’ve traveled Houston roads longer than I care to admit and have stored up a mountain of impressions, thoughts, memories and yes, even likes and dislikes, all waiting to be shared.
And so it goes
I’ll admit at the age of 13, plucked from my Philly home town, I was not happy to be here. I mean, it was June. It was hot, humid-humid-humid, and to a teen stripped of her friends, boyfriend, and loving grandmother, it was horrid. They call it H-Town nowadays but I don’t think it’s because I thought it was hot, humid and horrid.
For 13 years I’d been planted and transplanted over and over from the shores of the Schuykly River in Philadlephia, to the snow drifts of Buffalo, NY, to the heat of Weatherford, Tx, to the alps of Germany, and back again to Philly. You’d think I’d be used to shuttling around but adopting Houston as my home proved to be my greatest challenge. I admit, I was immune to its charms for years.
We came, like many, because of NASA. My dad worked on Project Apollo through the early stages of the space station. We were here for the early splash down parties when astronauts were local celebrities and rockets to the moon still gripped the imagination of a nation.
Over the years the Cowtown became the Bayou City and then evolved into Space City. Now many call it H-Town. Perhaps that’s all it needs. Yes, H stands for Houston. But in it’s landscape it also holds the western cowboy era that still permeates the city and holds court during the annual big Rodeo. The H continues to stand on the back of the oil and gas industries but the city branched out starting with the new technology brought about the age of space. Today Houston is as diverse as any big city in the world and ranks 3rd in the nation in population. Houston is big and wide in landscape and people. Today the number of different cultures coming together in this city that began as a swamp at Allen’s Landing is kaleidoscopic.
And yes, the H still reeks of heat. But if there’s any city that can escape the heat, it’s Houston. People, we have air conditioning EVERYWHERE. It’s hot; it’s humid. It’s all those things and more, but most of all, it’s my city and this is my take on H-Town.