I’ve seen Houston from many angles through the years and tried to represent some of those perspectives here. Houston proper is a wide spanning metro that is composed of many diverse areas that mostly seamlessly transition into one another.
The Texas Medical Center and Downtown Houston are inevitably connected by the same grid system of roads, yet an area between the two is known as Midtown. It’s a funky little cross between revitalized (read gentrified) housing, medical or law adjacent businesses and some cool restaurants. There’s specifically a handful of trusty bars, restaurants, clubs and one record shop that land on my “24 hours or less to explore the city” list located in Midtown.
However, just North of Midtown lies Downtown. The metro area is subject to mostly business that flourishes in 40 plus hour 5 day workweeks. Houston has sports, arts and musical events hosted Downtown. But hands down, in my mind Downtown means business.
The JPMorgan Chase Tower is just one building in a skyline filled with plenty of stories. However, the property once called Texas Commerce Tower can boast that it is the tallest building in the city as well as the world’s tallest five-sided skyscraper. The building has an observation deck that pre Covid era, was a great way to escape the Texas heat if walking between buildings and not using the extensive underground tunnel that exists.
40 stories up provides perspective that is unlike any other that I can imagine. When my mother worked in Corporate America in the 90’s and occasionally brought me to her downtown office, I would comment about how cars and people looked like ants. We weren’t 40 stories up at that point. 40 stories hits differently. The view seems more expansive; even if just as clear as a lower floor, the angle and perspective allows otherwise unseen depth.
I have been thinking much about financing recently as I have looked at buying a house with my partner. There are clear discussions about value of property in the market, trying to forecast possibilities of the future of the economy and what we each are looking for in a home. I can only imagine trying to predict the real estate market as a profession, or in the shoes of lenders for mortgages. As we enter this part of our story and journey I am just mind-blown by it.
So, the track this week is almost a ballad of condolence for those who have the task of trying to predict where everything is headed. The song is “Blues for JP” by Woody Herman, which nods at JP Morgan Chase, the new namesake for the skyscraper.
I don’t know who we will choose as a lender, but everyone is trying to see as much as we can about what is offered and expected before we make that decision. I might find 40 flights to determine the move we will make, well before any actually relocate in the area.
I am going to call this week’s post to reflect and acknowledge the progress of from where we have come and utilize that as we appreciate Houston from a new perspective.
Look out for one another, y’all. And, get outside if you can.