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Old 01-28-2008, 03:47 PM
 
16 posts, read 41,161 times
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My partner has received a job offer in Dallas and now also in Houston - I have posted on the Dallas site and got lots of great information - hope you folks in Houston can be as helpful! We would love some insight into just how much of a life style change we can expect. I apologize for being an ingnorant East/West coaster from the start - we don't want to base this decision on some biased idea of Texas created by the mass media -which is why I am turning to Texans themselves. Hopefully you can set the record straight. Here goes!

My partner is French and she is black - I am a white New Yorker who has mellowed considerably since moving to LA . She is a scientist and I am a holistic healer (Reiki / Aura Soma Color Therapy) and a licensed Spiritual Practitioner (think therapist who focuses on Spiritual Principle when working with a client). Is there an alternative health community? is there any demand in Houston for this type of work, is it perhaps a growing field? I guess I am wondering if I can actually have a full practice in Houston. LA is pretty saturated with alternative healers so I am definitely up for moving to a burgeoning area and being part of the growth. Also are there any large New Thought Churches? Unity? Religious Science? Center for Spiritual Living? Any Zen or Buddhist Temples? I know the evangalist crowd is there - any strong alternative movements?

In LA I know that geography is everything. If I lived in 95% of this city I would hate it here. Too much posing, narcissism and the neighborhoods in general are way too homogenous - ethnicities don't mix it up much here. I am a NY city girl and my girl is from Paris - we need diversity where we live. We currently live in a more diverse, more bohemian / artist part of LA that is very neighborhood oriented - in the Los Feliz / Silverlake area. We walk to everything - health food store, movie theaters, grocery stores, restaurants and boutique mom and pop type stores. Tree lined streets with small houses. We are liberal to moderate in our politics. Eco-friendly without being militant. I commute on my bike in LA whenever I can. Is there a neighborhood in Houston that has what Los Feliz does in LA? We are definitely drawn to the affordable cost of living in Houston. And to be able to buy a house would be a dream come true for us. We can probably afford about $200,000 - $250,000 which would get us nothing in LA. What about in Houston? My research has turned up the Inner Loop - specifically the Heights and Montrose. We don't want to live in a gay ghetto - our current neighborhood is a mix of straight, gay, married, single etc. We want to raise a family - probably adoption will be the way we will go. I hate commercialized anything and you wouldn't find us living in a McMansion. I love older homes - our current residence is a 1920's mediterranian style apartment - high ceilings, built ins, molding, tile, hardwood floors etc. She would be working downtown and we both hate the idea of a long commute.

Which leads to my last question. While we are not overly demonstrative in public we do walk down the street holding hands and it is pretty obvious when we are together that we are together as a couple. Can we walk down the street holding hands and have it be a non issue as it is in LA? Can we be who we are - a loving, committed couple who acts and behaves just like heterosexual couple do? How accepted will we be?

Thanks in advance for any information you all can share! Peace.
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:49 PM
 
2,584 posts, read 7,834,413 times
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Houston is like several different cities smashed together. I don't know how else to describe it. There are areas that you would probably encounter stares and areas where it would be completely a non-issue. I do not doubt you could find all of the things you are searching for in this city. While most people would tell you Montrose is the Gayborhood, it really isn't as true as much anymore. The GLBT community has spread itself around quite a bit. One example is Westbury, which is right outside the loop. WAGL, the Westbury association of Gays and Lesbians, supposedly has over 600 members.

Houston - Best Of - Best Hidden Neighborhood - Westbury (2007) (http://bestof.houstonpress.com/bestof/award.php?award=605021&year=2007 - broken link)

The hood I live in is very eclectic and diverse as well. People run the whole range in there.

The battle of Glenbrook | Chron.com - Houston Chronicle
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Old 01-28-2008, 04:49 PM
 
Location: Houston
657 posts, read 2,285,290 times
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I would say to rent for 6 months and then look for a house bargain for 250,000 in The Heights or maybe further west in the Spring Branch area. Generally you ought to be ok holding hands, but you might get stared at from kissing. Houston's a pretty big city though, so most people have seen a lot and don't shock easily.
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Old 01-28-2008, 05:07 PM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,878 posts, read 18,171,817 times
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Wow, you've got quite the socio-challenged relationship there! Really, though, while Texas IS part of the Bible Belt, Houston is a pretty open, culturally diverse city. Most of us have seen it all and then some. I'd go with Premont's suggestion and rent for a while. I'd choose Montrose or the Museum District, or perhaps the River Oaks/Greenway Plaza area around Westheimer and W. Alabama. Westbury is a good area too, as modster suggested. Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:15 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,432,303 times
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Heights and Montrose, you're on the right track, but I think there are other areas that may fit, too, with that price tag, maybe on the southwest side of the loop. Not sure if you'll be able to find much in the Heights or Montrose for that amount. Montrose isn't really a gay ghetto anymore; it has gentrified, but that element is certainly still present.

All that stuff you mentioned is here, either in those areas or someplace in Houston. There's some free spiritual rag I see all the time around town, at places like Whole Foods... can't remember the name... Centersomething... or Sunsomething It has listings of alternative healing, holistic, spiritual events. I'm agnostic so I haven't paid much attention. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? My neighbor is a painter who goes to the Houston Zen Center in the Heights. Google for Buddhist temples and the others... it's all here.

I wouldn't worry about the racially mixed thing. There are lots of interracial couples here. I don't know that Houston is L.A. accepting, but it is pretty live and let live on most issues, for the most part, and on others you just find your niche. It's a large, very diverse city, so there's a place for everyone... and I do mean everyone. For example, Mom2Feebs and I are the same age, I think, and yet we are polar opposites, living completely different lifestyles (she is one of those conservative Americans, as you can see under her username there).

Good luck!
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Old 01-28-2008, 07:36 PM
 
Location: Wexford PA / Clear Lake TX
8,217 posts, read 27,055,924 times
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Interracial thing, not too much of an issue.

Though I don't think the holding-hands thing is going to be all too widely accepted outside the ''gay coves,'' so to speak. There is a sizable gay population here, don't get me wrong, but you won't see too many showing any sorts of affection in public. This is not SF where it is commonplace. One of my childhood friends moved to the LA area (just outside West Hollywood) from here so he could ''be himself,'' which was a major complaint he had here.

Also, I used to work with/over a very diverse group of people, so I will also say if you're both boorish acting, uber-butch, w/ mullets, tattoos, Harleys, etc... work on/race your cars & drink lots of beer with the guys, and are proud of it, Galveston county just might be for you. And you won't have a problem because you'll put the fear in anyone who tries to give you any crap. You can get 2500 sq ft on a half acre of land for your price range, too.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:05 PM
 
Location: Houston
687 posts, read 1,901,750 times
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Is there an alternative health community? Yes. There are Reiki practicioners in Houston. I've taken a class myself. There's a Body, Mind & Soul bookstore (bmshouston.com), there's centerpointhouston.com, also a large unitarian universalist community, center for faith and healing initiative, center for healing of racism, Buddhist communities scattered throughout Houston, several Buddhist temples... Alternative is becoming mainstream here. M.D.Anderson Cancer Center has an entire program for complementary and alternative medicine. Patients may have yoga, meditation or acupuncture in conjunction with their treatment modality. You can hook up with like-minded people through the Body, Mind & Soul Bookstore. They will be able to help you with your more specific questions.

I would strongly recommend staying inside the Loop, given your life perspectives. Heights and Montrose neighborhoods are good options. Montrose still has a large gay (male) community, however, it has changed a lot, and the neighborhood is now very eclectic. However, home prices have really gone up, so I'm not sure what you can get in for your budget in either the Heights or Montrose. An option is townhouse in midtown, which will fit your budget.

PDA - hmm...really depends on where you are. I think would least likely to cause a second glance in Montrose. Elsewhere perhaps PDA would merit a second glance. In some places may be downright dangerous.
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Old 01-28-2008, 10:47 PM
 
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,432,303 times
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CenterPoint - Online Journal for Mind, Body and Spirit! That's the one. I was thinking that, then thinking I must be in error, as that's the name of the utility company! We've got The Jung Center of Houston in the Museum District, too.
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:15 AM
 
Location: Houston
687 posts, read 1,901,750 times
Reputation: 775
Also check out dawnmountain.org if you're interested in Buddhism, and groundenergy.com for Melanie Harrell, reiki practitioner. Melanie is very nice, and may be able to give you more insight on practicing reiki in Houston.

'll post other resources as I think of them.
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Old 01-29-2008, 10:43 AM
 
Location: San Antonio-Westover Hills
6,878 posts, read 18,171,817 times
Reputation: 5152
Quote:
Originally Posted by houstoner View Post
Heights and Montrose, you're on the right track, but I think there are other areas that may fit, too, with that price tag, maybe on the southwest side of the loop. Not sure if you'll be able to find much in the Heights or Montrose for that amount. Montrose isn't really a gay ghetto anymore; it has gentrified, but that element is certainly still present.

All that stuff you mentioned is here, either in those areas or someplace in Houston. There's some free spiritual rag I see all the time around town, at places like Whole Foods... can't remember the name... Centersomething... or Sunsomething It has listings of alternative healing, holistic, spiritual events. I'm agnostic so I haven't paid much attention. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? My neighbor is a painter who goes to the Houston Zen Center in the Heights. Google for Buddhist temples and the others... it's all here.

I wouldn't worry about the racially mixed thing. There are lots of interracial couples here. I don't know that Houston is L.A. accepting, but it is pretty live and let live on most issues, for the most part, and on others you just find your niche. It's a large, very diverse city, so there's a place for everyone... and I do mean everyone. For example, Mom2Feebs and I are the same age, I think, and yet we are polar opposites, living completely different lifestyles (she is one of those conservative Americans, as you can see under her username there).

Good luck!
GOOF! LOL! That's 'cause I filled my 20's with entirely too much. I am taking a break while I'm in my 30's. I figure my 40's and 50's ought to be pretty interesting though, especially if 40 is the new 20
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