Goodbye Houston is one year old today!

For thirty years I lived in Houston mostly without really paying attention. But then I learned I was leaving, with a year to adjust. First was a trial three month run in beautiful Copenhagen. Then, three weeks after returning from Copenhagen, I decided to get serious about Houston. What is this place, anyway? I went places I had never been, ate in more restaurants than in the previous many years, and explored. I reported what I found here, in this Goodbye Houston blog. I missed a lot. I never went to Basil’s, that unlabeled, leafy patio on the corner of Westheimer and Dunlavy. I never wrote about the public schools that matter, Longfellow Elementary, Lanier Middle School, Pershing Middle School, Bellaire High. These and Awty are the schools that educated my children. I didn’t get to much theatre or music.

Three quarters of the way through the year, we actually moved to St. Louis, and I got a new perspective on Houston. We’ve been back once already and will keep going back. I’ll keep writing about Houston, Texas food, culture, and life for the near future. Everyone said I should switch to Hello St. Louis, but I won’t. I live here, enjoy it first-hand, but it hasn’t worked its way under my skin the way Houston has. My other blogs now are about biology, teaching, researching and about bird behavior. It is enough!

What did I write about in the year? You can look through the site and see. A lot about Rice University, about the environment, restaurants, recipes, things like that. In all I wrote 152 different posts, including this one. I began at the University of Houston, and the house on North MacGregor where my grandparents used to live. In all, these simple pieces have been clicked on, perhaps even read, 12,493 times. The least read entry was called Why we shouldn’t trust our voting machines. I guess people don’t want to think about that. The most popular dozen included recipes for risotto, and chocolate cake and what to bring to a potluck. There were three on the environment, one on fishing in Galveston, another on biking on Brays Bayou, and a third on fire ants. Go Texan day and the rodeo were popular as was what is remarkable about Rice University. I wonder who made the entry on old homes and the one on office arrangements so popular? I suppose birders pick up the entry on Cooper’s hawks, and white throated sparrows, so I decided to start a new blog just for birds. Finally, the most popular entry of all was on a Wikipedia assignment for my animal behavior class. I know just who clicked on that one. It was a good assignment. In fact, I saw one of the students, Ben Ong, when I went back to visit this month. He proudly told me his article for Wikipedia had finally been voted a Good Article, and on Wikipedia had GA status. He was still working on this 6 months after the class ended. yea!

It’s getting cold here. It’s getting cold in Houston. It was even cold in Ecuador, at the cloud forest station we visited this week. Maybe I’ll get some of those gloves without fingertips and keep on writing.IMG_4048.JPG

Flying into Houston, over Lake Charlotte, yesterday.


No time to visit!


About Joan E. Strassmann

Evolutionary biologist, studies social behavior in insects & microbes, interested in education, travel, birds, tropics, nature, food; biology professor at Washington University in St. Louis
This entry was posted in Environment, Houston, Recipes and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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