San Diego is beautiful. All the nice things they say about it are true.
That being said, Houston has some flaws. We are flat, we are ugly. We are hot. We have so many bugs that they have formed their own insurgency and will occasionally ambush a Orkin truck.
We do have one thing that California does not. A working economy.
Nobody moves to Houston for the beautiful beaches, the awesome sunsets or the laid back lifestyle... but we are the 3rd Largest city in America. If Harris County was a state it would be right smack in the middle populaton wise... we have more people than 25 of the states. People must be coming here for SOME reason...
The reason is, Houston has JOBS. Good Jobs. Lots of them. Those stinky chemical plants and refineries, they pay REAL WELL. So do companies like EXXON/MOBIL, Anadarko Petroleum, BP, Continental Airlines, Lockheed-Martin, all the aerospace companies, and lets not forget the medical center
) with M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, Baylor Medical Center, St. Luke's Hosptial, University of Texas Medical Branch, the Port of Houston, and what used to be called Compaq (till HP bought it).
Yeah, Galveston is one of the most pathetic beaches I have ever seen, and yeah when you go down to Galveston you can even see the off shore oil rigs in the distance (if you look hard enough). But those rigs pay REALLY well, and more than one Texan child has gone to Disney World on trips financed by Daddy working on those rigs, or flying people out to the rigs, or designing the rigs, etc.
So yeah, if you want to lounge around on the beach, hang out a trendy coffee shop, and sell T-Shirts to toursits, go to San Diego. Yeah, you'll be broke, have high taxes and high prices and have a heck of a time finding a job, but you will be broke in a very nice climate and have a great tan.
You want to get hired, go to church, build a career, work hard, get rich, and be able to afford a big house, ((http://www.txrealestatecafe.com/
) a mess o' kids, a dog, maybe even make enough $$$ that you can stay home and be a full time Mom while hubby works, and still have a decent lifestyle... come to Houston.
We are the most family freindly city I have ever seen. The Church aspect is a big part of it. We have Lakewood http://www.lakewood.cc/site/PageServer
which I believe is the largest single congregation in the world, and and we have Second Baptist http://www.second.org/global/default.aspx
a church that is so big they hold their Christmas services in Minutemaid Park Baseball Stadium, but in Houston they are #2...
and Fellowship of the Woodlands if you live in the northern suburbs http://www.fotw.org/
I really like it there. Have a lot of respect for Kerry Shook.
In any case here its not the geeky kids that go to youth group at church... the wierd ones are the ones that DON'T go to youth group. I had chances to move to Florida or Washington D.C. but I stayed here becuase I think it is a good place to raise kids.
And we aren't nearly as culturally dead as the folks in Yankee land would have you think.
Heck, even the public schools work here.... well I'll be honest, MOST of them do. There are a few that are HORRID. Depends on where you live. We are renting a house in a really good school district, and my kids school is great. http://www.hisd.org/
You REALLY want to be in a magnet school. We are zoned for a mangnet school and LOVE it.