Top 10 Ways to Identify a Native Houstonian

Photo by Marco Torres
Nothing quite encapsulates Houston like Z-Ro's Mo City Don freestyle.

Houston is home to a booming economy. Houston is the fourth most populous city in the United States. Houston is cool.

Houston is a lot of things, home to a lot different people and cultures. And while no string of facts and qualities can quite stitch together a complete story of this city that we love, we gave it our best shot.

Here are ten signs that prove you're from Houston.

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Houston Still Loves Hoes

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Houston still loves LJ Hoes.

Or at least Houston loves the Astro outfielder's last name. Even after Hoes got optioned down to the Astros' Triple-A affiliate in Oklahoma City in late May, baseball themed shirts reading, "Houston Loves Hoes" are still selling.

"I haven't been promoting it a lot," said Jeff Lange, the shirt's designer. "It was definitely surprising for sure."

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Which World Cup Teams Might Houstonians Root For? [Map]

Photo by Marcello Casal Jr

The U.S. plays its first game of the 2014 World Cup today against Ghana. Of course, Houston is in the good old US of A, and the Americans will have Houstonians rooting for them.

But this is one of the most diverse cities in the country (maybe even the world). With that in mind, we decided to look at what countries, other than the United States, will have fans rooting for them in the World Cup. Thanks in part to Rice sociologist Michael Emerson, we charted what World Cup-competing countries are represented here by using 2010 Census data to find the foreign-born populations in the Houston metropolitan area.

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World Cup

You Looking for @HiddenCash in Houston?

Photo by bfishadow
@HiddenCash will be dropping more than a couple of dollar bills in Houston Saturday.

We told you last week about a copycat of the Twitter account @HiddenCash showing up in San Antonio. Now Texas is getting the real thing. More important, Houston is getting the real thing.

@HiddenCash, a social media account, is, according to its Twitter bio, "an anonymous social experience for good." The account first started dropping hints for cash scavenger hunts in San Francisco in late May, with prizes normally $60-$200. @HiddenCash now has more than 540,000 followers.

Copycats, like @HiddenCashTexas -- based out of San Antonio, have been popping up in different places. @HoustonCgm set up a @HiddenCash-like scavenger hunt at Hager Park last week. But it wasn't until earlier this week that @HiddenCash announced it was expanding its operation to other cities, including Houston.

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Get Ready to Welcome the 346

Categories: Houston 101

It's getting crowded in our area codes.
In some circles, area codes are those self-identifying numeric IDs that really let people know where you're from. Anyone repping that 713? But seriously, when was the last time you actually met someone who gave you a 713 number?

The Public Utility Commission said Houston would require a new area code because the existing ones, 281, 832 and our favorite, 713, will run out of phone-number sequences by September. The PUC said a new area code will kick in within a few weeks, beginning July 1. "The 346 area code will overlay existing area codes 713, 281 and 832 in Harris, Fort Bend, Waller, Austin, Montgomery, San Jacinto, Liberty, Chambers, Galveston and Brazoria counties," the PUC said in a statement.

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Five Things You May Not Know About 45-Year-Old IAH

Photo by Alan Cordova

Time flies, doesn't it? This weekend, George Bush Intercontinental Airport celebrated its 45th birthday. It's an international hub for the Bayou City, bringing people from around the world to Houston (sometimes for things other than tourism, we imagine).

In honor of the airport named after the 41st president, here are five things you may not know about the place with the airport code IAH:

5. Charlotte and Phoenix see more domestic travelers than IAH.
You'd think having the fourth-largest metro population in the United States would mean Houston's largest airport would see lots of domestic travelers pass through. Yes and no. According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, approximately 29 million domestic flyers passed through IAH -- good enough for 13th among major U.S. airports.

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USS Texas Is a Reminder of D-Day Glory

Categories: Houston 101, Texas

Photo by Louis Vest
If you want to thank a veteran on the 70th anniversary of D-Day, the invasion of Normandy, head to the San Jacinto Battleground State Historic Site.

That's where the USS Texas rests as a museum ship. The 573-foot-long battleship is one of only six remaining ships to have been a part of both world wars.

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Sixteen Hard-to-Spell Words That Houstonians Know

Screenshot from Google Maps
Words are tricky. Not everything is spelled phonetically. Unique spellings just add a special character to a place, in a way, these are our words. Sometimes, the only way to learn how to spell words is by seeing them often enough.

We decided to think up a list of things only Houstonians know how to spell. Below are 16 words that people who aren't from Houston might fumble over, but that Houstonians know by heart.

16. Kuykendahl
How many ways can this one get misspelled? Kerkandahl? Kirkendall?

15. Humble
The "h" might be silent in Humble, Texas, but don't forget about it.

14. Pappas
Another Houston family name that's grown big in the restaurant business. People pronounce it "Poppas" and "Papas," but it's spelled "Pappas."

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California Man Allegedly Offers Pills to Teenager During Flight to Houston

Photo by Christopher Ebdon
Airplane travel can suck sometimes, especially when it ends with an arrest.

A man on a JetBlue flight from New York to Houston was arrested at Hobby Airport Tuesday after allegedly offering pills to a teenager. According to Houston Police Department spokesperson Kese Smith, the suspect has been charged with misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance.

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Marketing Houston's "Coolness" in New Campaign to Draw People With Big Brains to the City

Photo by Aaron Reiss
An iPad captures what Houston means to this woman.

Standing among NRG Stadium's club seats, in front of guests and media in an almost entirely empty arena, Paul Hobby couldn't help making a football analogy.

"When you have the lead, what do you do?" the Greater Houston Partnership chairman asked. "You run up the score."

In 2012 Forbes named Houston America's Coolest City. In 2013 the magazine called Houston America's Next Great Global City. GHP is ready to add the missing pieces to stoke the city's fire -- a fire GHP hopes can be "limitless." At least according to its new ad campaign.

GHP unveiled a new branding for Houston Tuesday at NRG Stadium whose goal is to bring "knowledge workers" --- skilled employees like engineers and scientists --- to Houston's ten-county region.

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