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Old 02-16-2012, 12:56 PM
 
338 posts, read 331,772 times
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I am married with 2 kids, living in NYC. My wife and I are both professionals, we commute into Manhattan from Queens. I dislike urban life, hates commuting, we never visit Manhattan except for work, we always drive to nearby Long Island for food or shopping and we also generally dislike public transit.
I would much prefer living in a tiny town than a big city like Houston, but in our lines of work we must stay somewhere near a reasonable size city to find decent jobs, hence our possible move to Houston. The only thing I like about NYC is its diversity in terms of food. I really like the authentic Turkish, Italian, Chinese etc foods that we have available in the city. I also like the fact that people keep to themselves and don't bother others and people's social life don't revolve around a church (we are politically conservative and dislikes hipsters but are not religious; more like libertarian). Any advice on whether Houston will work out for us? Maybe the weather can be a bit tough? Any advice on where to live? (prefer medium to high end neighborhood, short commute to CBD).

Edit: short commute means <=30 min. I understand 'short' is a relative concept.

Last edited by yiplong; 02-16-2012 at 01:11 PM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:32 PM
 
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I moved from NYC (Brooklyn) 4 years ago and there is no comparison. The commute is shorter for me(NYC 2.5 hours, Houston 45 minutes with traffic) and quality of life is better. Unless you live in the city, you will drive everyday, so really investigate this in terms of where you will end up working. People are nicer and it takes a minute to get used to not always being on the defense. In Houston, people discuss relgion more freely but are not obtrusive. Best advice look on HAR.com for houses and to get a feel of nighborhoods and then take a trip or two down here for a long weekend to get an idea of what's its like. Make sure to include a weekday in that trip so you can experience rush hour traffic. Good luck!
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
I dislike urban life, hates commuting.
I ... like the fact that people [in NYC] keep to themselves and don't bother others. we are... more like libertarian). Maybe the weather can be a bit tough? Edit: short commute means <=30 min. I understand 'short' is a relative concept.
If you dislike urban life and commuting, you will probably not like Houston. It's all about urbanism and driving around in vehicles. Commutes under 30 minutes are possible, but they are more the exception than the norm. I wouldn't count on that as a likelihood, unless the job is everywhere (like a convenience store or a Wal-Mart).

People in Houston (and TX and the south) often mess with others and try to get their opinion, especially about politics. If you have a different view, watch out! Be prepared for lots of attitude and hostility. I'm sure there are some around who might consider themselves libertarian, but that word is so close to the dreaded (to some) "liberal", that you'll probably get confused for that, and be the recipient of lots of attitude and hostility.

The weather is pretty brutal from May through October. Lots of 90+ degree days, and lows in the 70s. I've lived in the south most of my life, and I still find it hard to live with. I can't imagine what a transistion it would be if you are from the north.

Last edited by Sunderpig2; 02-16-2012 at 01:54 PM..
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Old 02-16-2012, 01:41 PM
 
Location: plano
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I moved to Houston from NJ suburbs of NYC. I think you will find it a large adjustment but overall a good one. I agree with poster above. Houston is very diverse, over 65 countries have a consulate in Houston. The restaurants offer a great variety of ethnic foods. The no zoning means lower restaurant food prices and home prices to the good, the look isnt visually appealing but its flat and green.

Enjoy your big change!
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Old 02-16-2012, 03:52 PM
 
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It's good to hear from people who moved down to Texas from the NE. Nothing beats personal experience. This idea is still in its early planning stage, so nothing concrete will happen for a while. We are looking all over the place for someplace less stressful/expensive to live than NYC. I think Texas looks promising.
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Old 02-17-2012, 02:14 AM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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Trading one big city for the another? If you can complain about NYC, I'm sure you'll find things to complain about concerning Houston also.

Visit a couple of times. Feel the vibe, then decide.
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Old 02-17-2012, 06:07 AM
 
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You for won't get authentic Turkish or Italian food in Houston. Mexican and Salvadorean is another story however. This is an area of town called "chinatown" (which is really a misnomer since it looks like the rest of Houston is is still majority Mexican) where you can find authentic Asian food. As far as city vs commute, you need to decide which is more important. Tomball is very rural but puts you over an hour outside the city. Baytown is ugly but somewhat closer and still rural-ish. People say I am usually negative, but I think Houston might actually fit your needs. The summer is simply brutal. I am from Mississippi, but it has me worn down by the end of August with 2 more months of heat to come!
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:13 AM
 
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I think the definition of 'urban' vs 'suburban' may be a bit different depending where one is from. Judging from Google street view, even places 4 miles from downtown Houston appear down right suburban by NYC standard, whereas a person from Houston would no doubt be considered the area to be urban. It appears many of NYC's suburbs are more densely built up than Houston itself.

I wouldn't want to live in suburbs 1 hr from the city. If I hate sitting on the commuter train for 1 hr, imagine how much I will hate driving for 1 hr. At least on the train one can read or doze off. I can deal with suburbs relatively close to the city such as Katy or Sugar Land. It seems like their commute should be about 30 min. (let me know if I am wrong) I wouldn't necessarily object to living in Houston itself as long as I am away from bad areas, have good school for my kids and the area isn't too crazily built up (no big apartment buildings, factories, terrible traffic jams, insufficiency of parking space or otherwise undesirable). Cost shouldn't be a concern. I understand one must pay for quality. Any suggestions?

What about seafood? I am a big seafood lover. Are there oysters, crabs, shrimp, scallop and fresh fish at Houston markets? I guess shrimp should be fairly common, it seems shrimping is big business down there?

Last edited by yiplong; 02-17-2012 at 08:35 AM..
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Old 02-17-2012, 08:46 AM
 
Location: plano
5,955 posts, read 7,498,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
I think the definition of 'urban' vs 'suburban' may be a bit different depending where one is from. Judging from Google street view, even places 4 miles from downtown Houston appear down right suburban by NYC standard, whereas a person from Houston would no doubt be considered the area to be urban. It appears many of NYC's suburbs are more densely built up than Houston itself.

I wouldn't want to live in suburbs 1 hr from the city. If I hate sitting on the commuter train for 1 hr, imagine how much I will hate driving for 1 hr. At least on the train one can read or doze off. I can deal with suburbs relatively close to the city such as Katy or Sugar Land. It seems like their commute should be about 30 min. (let me know if I am wrong) I wouldn't necessarily object to living in Houston itself as long as I am away from bad areas, have good school for my kids and the area isn't too crazily built up (no big apartment buildings, factories, terrible traffic jams, insufficiency of parking space or otherwise undesirable). Cost shouldn't be a concern. I understand one must pay for quality. Any suggestions?

What about seafood? I am a big seafood lover. Are there oysters, crabs, shrimp, scallop and fresh fish at Houston markets? I guess shrimp should be fairly common, it seems shrimping is big business down there?

I agree with your urban points, Houston is not even urban by NYC suburban standards. There are many good areas close to the city which may appeal to you. Katy and Sugar Land are longer commutes than you estimated during rush hour by 15 minutes or so. Katy is a huge area, if you arent referring to the city proper, I too recommend a trip down to see things.

You will see big differences, Houston has no zoning which can be both good and bad but certainly is different. With no zoning, areas near downtown that once were questionable go through a renewal when demand is there as it has been for a few decades now. The Seafood is awesome, it is what I miss most living in DFW now after decades in Houston. Gulf seafood is hard to beat in my view although we generally eat it at a restaurant rather than buy and fix it home.

Houston is very different from NYC but I believe you may enjoy it if you are prepared for change. A great affordable city with awesome job growth in this tough economy.
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Old 02-17-2012, 09:43 AM
 
613 posts, read 856,165 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yiplong View Post
I think the definition of 'urban' vs 'suburban' may be a bit different depending where one is from. Judging from Google street view, even places 4 miles from downtown Houston appear down right suburban by NYC standard, whereas a person from Houston would no doubt be considered the area to be urban. It appears many of NYC's suburbs are more densely built up than Houston itself.

I wouldn't want to live in suburbs 1 hr from the city. If I hate sitting on the commuter train for 1 hr, imagine how much I will hate driving for 1 hr. At least on the train one can read or doze off. I can deal with suburbs relatively close to the city such as Katy or Sugar Land. It seems like their commute should be about 30 min. (let me know if I am wrong) I wouldn't necessarily object to living in Houston itself as long as I am away from bad areas, have good school for my kids and the area isn't too crazily built up (no big apartment buildings, factories, terrible traffic jams, insufficiency of parking space or otherwise undesirable). Cost shouldn't be a concern. I understand one must pay for quality. Any suggestions?

What about seafood? I am a big seafood lover. Are there oysters, crabs, shrimp, scallop and fresh fish at Houston markets? I guess shrimp should be fairly common, it seems shrimping is big business down there?
This was a point I made over in a thread on Chicago. When those of us who have lived in places like NYC and Chicago say "urban", it has a completely different meaning from what people around here would think.

You are absolutely correct, Houston is not urban in the slightest bit. There is a CBD which has an urban feel (and is a quasi-ghost town after 6pm) but step a mile outside of the CBD and it is no longer particularly urban. Most of the neighborhoods inside-the-loop look and feel like what folks from NYC and Chicago would consider to be suburbs.

I live in West University which is about 4 miles from the CBD, near Rice University and the Rice Village area. When in West U., it feels like we live in a small town in mid-America. Previously we lived in an area between Montrose and River Oaks, about 2 miles or so from the CBD. Walking around the neighborhood, if you didn't know you were in a large city you would never have guessed.
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