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  • Amanda Lopez

THE HTOWN AESTHETIC

Houston is a fast-paced living space with many opportunities, many names, and a bountiful history. You can call us Space City and think of NASA and the space program. You can call us Clutch City because of our well-achieving basketball team The Rockets. Our other sports teams, past and present, may come to mind as well - the Oilers, Texans, and Astros. You can call us Screwston and slow your day down by listening to your favorite song chopped and screwed. You can also call us the Bayou City and remember the struggles we have faced during our Hurricane seasons. You can call us many names, but as a natural-born Houstonian, I offer the option of calling us The City that Reaches for the Stars. Every city has its yijing, its aesthetic feeling. There’s something special about my city.

Houston is well known for its Medical Center, its educational opportunities, and also various buildings and attractions such as the Astrodome, Minute Maid Park, Houston Graffiti Park, and our former theme park Astroworld. Many have seen our unforgettable “Be Someone” graffiti across 45, though it has been altered a few times, including our COVID-19 response “Wash your hands.”

Houston is aesthetically pleasing not only for its physical attributes, but for the spirit we possess as people. We are a loving community. Our neighbor is not only our neighbor, but our friend and brother. During Hurricane Harvey, countless acts of heroism were on display. In particular, I’d like to mention the human chain that was formed on I-10 freeway in order to save an elderly man from drowning in his vehicle. Our 2021 Ice Storm echoes that same compassion and acts of humanity. It touches my heart, and although I was physically unable to lend a hand, I was proud to be from Houston and to know that we love each other no matter our differences. And who can forget the saint that is Mattress Mack? He never fails to be there for his city.

Structurally, Houston is both flawed and genius. There are so many inhabitants here and traveling becomes a headache. The genius is what created the headache - a city so wondrous. The greatest aesthetic feeling I receive is when I am driving late at night when the traffic has died down, the roads are nearly empty, and I pass through downtown and notice the buildings, how they are aligned just so and how the lights become twinkling stars. By day, Houston is mad with people, people constantly moving trying to get from point A to point B, people trying to live and function, and at night when the lights go low and the hum is in the air, I realize I am one of those people trying to live in Houston.

I offered the idea of calling Houston The City that Reaches for the Stars, so it is only fair I offer my reasoning as well. To begin with, one of our nicknames is Space City because of NASA, so here we are reaching for the stars already. Then, one of our recognizable attributes (to a Houstonian, at least) is the Skyline with the shining lights. There is also our music scene: not only did we have DJ Screw, but most notably there is Beyonce, along with Megan Thee Stallion, Travis Scott, the Getto Boyz, UGK, Kenny Rogers, Blue October, Clay Walker, ZZ Top, etc. There are also many artists that choose to travel to Houston to make their music, such as Canadian-born artist Drake. Take into consideration the names of the majority of our sports teams: we have the Rockets, the Comets, and the Astros. Next, consider the names of some of the most recognizable landscapes/buildings – Astroworld and the Astrodome. Lastly, see all the opportunities we have as people and remember the education we could attain, the places of employment we could one day work for, or even the neighborhoods some may consider for retirement. In every aspect, Houston is always The City that Reaches for the Stars.


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