Houston Makes Top 10 Ugliest Cities List: Five Reasons it's Not So

Categories: Spaced City

prettyhouston.jpg
Photo by Adam Baker
We're pretty, dammit

Houston has come a long way in the looks and self-esteem department.

Back when it was just a hamlet of a thing in the 1830s, people were already regarding Houston as something of a hot mess -- the lawlessness was legendary and draining off some of the swampland didn't actually nip all of the potential for swamp-type diseases in the bud.

But that was a long time back, and since then Houston has gotten over the awkward kid phase, and the gawky teenager era to become a lovely town in its own right.

Sure, everyone knows that the town is more striking than beautiful, but unlike some metropolises (ahem, Dallas) Houston knows that beauty is only skin-deep. but character will get you far, and with a little aging and a little love even the most awkward grown city can become a beauty if you choose to look at it right.

Obviously those bastards over at ucityguides.com are not seeing Houston through our eyes. According to them, Houston is one of the 10 ugliest cities in the world (even outranking Detroit and Los Angeles, the only other U.S. cities on the list.) And to add insult to injury, Dallas isn't even on the list.

We're not sure what they were thinking over there at the travel website, but we're more than certain they must have been thinking with a lot of stupid on their mind to even think of putting Houston on the list. So here are five reasons they are wrong:

1. Have they even been to Houston? Yes, like so many cities around the world, we have a high number of homeless people and poverty, but seriously have they even been to this city? This all sounds like a lot of ugly statistics being recited here (they didn't even bother to put up a picture of the place -- what afraid Houston will come off looking quirky, gritty and original even when you're showing her from her most unflattering angles?) without any real look at the many good things about the city.

2. Look at how pretty we are (it's all in the angles.) Yes, some people have complained about Houston's legendary lack of zoning, and yes, that lack of zoning has meant Houston has a sort of wild, galloping, over grown thing going on, but it totally works for the city.

We aren't holier-than-thou, like Dallas, waiting for people to look past their history as the place-a-president-was-killed "City of Hate," and see that there's a couple of decent restaurants and a few good stores. We aren't all slutty like Austin, laying it all out there on a platter and hoping you'll be tricked by all the cleavage. No, there are lots of amazing things to see, do and enjoy in Houston, but whether you're hitting up the Menil, checking out Discovery Green or walking (safely in the daytime) along Buffalo Bayou, there's plenty of awesome stuff to enjoy from certain angles.



Advertisement

My Voice Nation Help
23 comments
Puller58
Puller58

If you compare skylines, Houston is far behind New York, Chicago, Los Angeles for the downtown area, but when I drove through Denver, I was struck by how much it looks like Houston.

Elizabeth Bergt
Elizabeth Bergt

Well, there's a website I don't need to consult for my future travels.

Adam Socki
Adam Socki

they also said df was number 2. that city is beautiful

William Noack
William Noack

One mean list they don't know about -- the "Grinch List". There is documented proof of hidden corruption in the Houston area & beyond -- apparent felony crimes that nobody seems to want to touch. Is it because of whom all is involved or how powerful some of them are, or the politics of it, or what? --- Obama & Holder have ignored felony crimes by multiple judges & a big local employer...in a race & gender civil case. Multiple federal judges have discreetly allowed known, proven perjury to be used in court as "evidence" & a pretext for withholding the U.S. 7th Amdt right to a jury trial. Also, there was EEOC rubberstamping in the same case without any employer witnesses being questioned. The fed judges knew that, were presented proof the employer lied to labor officials as well as to the court, and simply shut things down, illegally; but, nobody has been arrested, despite pleas in which U.S. A/G Holder & Pres. Obama were asked for help. See documents from the case proving the corruption at http://stillsupremelyunjust.yolasite.com/. Another site, http://supremelyunjust.weebly.com/, has a page on the drop menu about what people can do to help -- it is called something like "What CAN You Do?" The 2nd site has a page on "Email Evidence" that shows the judges igored an apparent admission of illegal activity by the employer and that the judges tossed aside the Civil Rights Act of 1991 like it was nothing!

Jordan Gonzalez
Jordan Gonzalez

I used to live in Detroit, and it is pretty much the ugliest cluster of buildings I've ever seen...so that alone proves the authors of the list have no clue what they're talking about.

MrFred Martinez
MrFred Martinez

Sh*t, come see Denver. Coming from Houston these poor people in Denver are way far gone. They should be #1 on this list.

Lore Guilmartin
Lore Guilmartin

Well, Houston IS kind of ugly. But that's part of what makes it cool. It's the Steve Buscemi of American cities.

Joshua Otto
Joshua Otto

Neither, who cares what idiots think?!

William Pora
William Pora

get christina aguillera to sing to houston

DUMBGOP
DUMBGOP

Please leave the drugs alone. Houston (I'm a longtime resident) STILL demolishes historic building under the pretense of "progress"  or from a misplaced sense of economics (i.e.. YMCA) and the DOME has been seriously threatened; there is nothing commendable about endless traffic snarls and the attendant pollution that makes Houston one of the most polluted cities in America ;if your idea of "economically healthy" is having bragging rights to having one of the largest populations of low-wage workers, (But hey they have jobs!) then we're downright health zealots, but those folks don't contribute much in property taxes, which pays for everything. I won't comment on the food except to say, if jalapenos on everything is your idea of gourmet, far be it from me to deprive you of your high blood pressure, and flash-in-the-pan bistro dining is not real cuisine, but it keeps the masses happy for the two weeks a new place lasts. I love Houston. That's why articles like this make me want to throttle such terrible misrepresentations  We're not ugly; we're schizo.  We don't hide our crazies in the basement; we put them on the porch. But the folks driving by are laughing. Get a grip.

Rebecca Ellen
Rebecca Ellen

Newark is one truly ugly city. And stupid. I left Newark Airport to rent a car at Avis and it's right next door to a prison. Right in the middle of everything is a big, old, ugly ass prison.

RebeccaS
RebeccaS

I think Houston is beautiful. And I find Houston freeways to be among the simplest in the country to navigate, especially if you miss an exit. Try to get where you need to be when you miss an exit in LA, Seattle, Baltimore or even Dallas). I love it here.

Blanca Palomo
Blanca Palomo

That list is a joke, the person who wrote this list didn't know anything about this cities.

Julian Bajsel
Julian Bajsel

They're really gonna forget about Baltimore and Newark? Those are just two US cities off the top of my head, but this list is an international one. Lazy and misinformed writing if that's the best they could come up with. Internet traffic bait.

stonerbuddybongloader
stonerbuddybongloader

HTX has come aloooong way in just the past decade. I left it in early 2G's, and it was a mess. A haven of meth heads and just flat out hate. It earnedits nickname, 'hate-town'....Now, Ive been back for almost 3 years, and it is very different. A vibrant art and MUSIC (yes, MUSIC) scene, cuisine (which has always been there--hello, we WERE the fattest city in the nation), and just recently with the bike community taking over it has bcome much MUCH more health conscious.

HTX, youve come alooong way baby! 

Anse
Anse

I get tired of people complaining about our sprawl. Every city in America is surrounded by suburban sprawl. The entire San Francisco Bay area is surrounded by it. It may be prettier sprawl than most, but it's still there. The Chicago area isn't called "Chicagoland" for nothing. We're just on flat terrain in a hot climate and our bays are full of muddy river run-off. There's not a lot we can do except maybe build prettier buildings.

Anse
Anse

@DUMBGOP Historic preservation is a good thing if you've got buildings that have actual historical value. At this point, the best scenario is to hope for preserving the best examples we have left of the older architecture, and try to motivate developers to get more creative with new builds. We need fewer cheap-ass Perry Homes developments and more than have an eye to something closer to creative contemporary design.

Now Trending

Houston Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...