Top things I miss the most after leaving Houston, Texas

    As promised here is my companion piece to the post about things I’m glad to leave behind in our move from Houston to Washington, DC. This time I pine for the things I find myself missing already.

  1. World-class medical facilities. Yes, I know that other cities have good doctors and hospitals, but no other can boast of the world’s largest medical center, all within a couple miles from home. First-rate women’s hospital? Check. Pediatric urologist? Check. Pediatric ophthalmologist? Check. When I contract some rare disease on our future exotic family travel adventures, I’ma come back to Houston for treatment.
  2. Chiles Rellenos at Taco Milagro. I have certain dishes I’ll always miss from the places I’ve lived. In western New York it was the pad thai at Mamasan’s; in California, it was the veggie burger and fries at Bishop Burger (now closed, I’m told) and the Sweet Basil Tofu at Thai-rrific. Not only is Taco Milagro where I discovered my passion for sipping tequila, but one of their signature dishes is vegetarian. The chiles rellenos at Taco Milagro are poblano peppers stuffed with cheese (worth falling off the dairy-free wagon), dried apricots and nuts, smothered in a tasty sauce and served with rice and beans. Absolute heaven. Especially with a fine tequila.
  3. Central Market. Is there another grocery store in the country that can hold a candle to this cathedral of food? Fresh produce for miles, an extensive and comprehensive bulk foods department, world-class bakery featuring store-made whole-wheat tortillas (sometimes still warm!) and chocolate cherry bread, excellent prepared foods and a decent floral department.
  4. Low cost of living. As we just moved to one of the most expensive housing markets in the nation, I will look back and remember that in Houston a quarter of a million dollars (in 2002) got us a very nice three-bedroom ranch with pool close in to where we work. In DC, that won’t even buy you a decent studio apartment.
  5. Reasonable traffic. What? Anyone who lives in a mansion in Pearland or Katy fights horrendous traffic on a daily basis. So how can I count this among the things I miss about Houston? Two reasons. I lived close in (see above) and didn’t have to get on the crowded freeway everyday. And everyday trips to run errands did not involve logistical planning to figure out whether parking is available, or free, or what combination of Metro stations or bus routes are involved. If I needed to run an errand, I got in my car, drove a short distance, parked, shopped and returned home. Simple.
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