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Jason Holliston
 
Thursday, October 23, 2003  
Everything's Bigger

Late last night I returned from a three day trip to Houston, Texas, my first trip to the extra-large state, not counting layover airports. I was there on business for the company I work for. My impression of Houston was good people and good food, but too damn hot for my Oregon blood. It hit 89 degrees on the last day I was there, with a bit of extra humidity thrown in for good measure. In October. To me, that's just not natural.

The city is interesting, even though I didn't get to see a whole lot of it. Houston is capital letters BIG. It's the ultimate expression of urban and suburban sprawl. There didn't seem to be any real attempt at zoning, with skyscrapers jutting upwards in clusters in many directions. It's just about the opposite of Portland, where you have a traditional commercial downtown in the center, residential areas circling it, gradually getting newer as they get farther from the skyscrapers. Of course there are plenty of smaller commercial districts in the suburbs here, but nothing like what I saw in Texas. It's an interesting comparison of approaches to how to manage (or not manage) a cities growth.

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