The Texas Medical Center is the largest medical center in the world, and Houston is home to NASA’s Johnson Space Center. While the city has many attractions and cultural institutions, its job market is a major selling point. Its growing Oil and Gas industry, Aerospace industry, and Medical industry make it a desirable place to live for engineers, scientists, and other professionals. Because of the city’s relaxed zoning laws, the line between residential and business districts is often blurred. As a result, businesses are located in residential areas.
The 610 highway creates a circle inside Houston. This highway acts as a guide to neighborhoods and provides a geographic reference to destinations throughout the city. The Inner Loop includes downtown Houston and most of the city’s social and business centers. Apartments and townhomes are the most popular type of housing inside the loop. Single-family homes are available outside the loop. Houston is a cosmopolitan city with representations from many different cultures.
The city has a high crime rate compared to other U.S. cities. The city’s population grew rapidly in the 1960s and 1970s, but has recently declined. A surge in homicides following the Space Shuttle Challenger explosion also hit Houston. Because of the high rate of homicides in the city, many observers believe that the increase in crime is directly related to the migration of New Orleans residents to Houston following Hurricane Katrina. In fact, Houston’s murder rate increased seventy percent after the hurricane.
The city’s two major airports are located nearby, and in 2007 the combined traffic of the two hubs was 52 million passengers. The George Bush Intercontinental Airport, or Hobby Airport, was ranked the ninth busiest airport in the country and the sixteenth busiest in the world. Its second-busiest airport, William P. Hobby Airport, was known as Houston International Airport until 1967. It serves small to medium-haul flights and is the home of the Houston Astros and the Houston Korean Festival.
The Houston art community is vibrant and thriving. With a number of renowned museums, galleries, and performance venues, the city’s cultural scene is rich and diverse. The Houston Ballet, Houston Alley Theatre, and the Houston Grand Opera have international renown. The city is also home to Broadway’s main stop. The Museum District just outside of downtown offers inspiring experiences in exhibits, collections, workshops, and live performances. There is something for everyone in Houston.
A growing aerospace industry and shipbuilding industry prompted a population boom in the city during World War II. Astrodome, the city’s first indoor domed sports stadium, opened in 1965. A subsequent population boom brought people from the Rust Belt and Arab oil embargo to Houston, making it one of the most popular cities in the country. Its sports scene is also vibrant, with several professional teams and leagues. The city also hosts a number of annual events dedicated to sports.
The city’s weather is pleasant, and the average temperature in January is 63 degF (17 degrees Celsius). The city rarely experiences snowfall, and the coldest recorded temperature was five degF (-15 degrees C) on January 23, 1940. Rainfall is plentiful in Houston, and flooding is common in some areas. This is why weather in Houston is so pleasant in many seasons. You can enjoy outdoor activities and festivals, as well as the city’s rich cultural and historical heritage.