Houston is made up of many elements -- no, not just debilitating humidity and road congestion. In constructing the Houston Periodic Table of Elements, we used a mix of scientific theory (kinda, not really), some simple thermodynamics, and a late night of feeding some beers to friends to select the essential components of the city. With everything from food and booze to H-Town pride points and problems, we present to you our findings.
H - H-town - We’ll let HTX and HOU battle it out on their own Am - Astrodome - The only stadium where centerfield turned into an ankle-breaker Cs - Chop & screw - Reppin’ that slowed and throwed Eu - Endeavour - Both a space shuttle and a beer Mg - Magnolia City - Because Houston actually had trees at one point Re - Rodeo - The only acceptable excuse for a two-week bender Rh - Rothko Chapel - Ohmmmmm Sc - Space City - We have NASA, what do you have? Se - Screwston - Still the home of Krunk, though we've kicked our syrup habit
Ba - Barbecue - Aka the stuff that gives you meat sweats Bi - Biscuits & gravy - Aka the stuff that makes you nap immediately after brunch Bk - Breakfast taco - Screw Wheaties, this is the Breakfast of Champions Ce - Cheese enchiladas - If you like it then you shoulda put an egg on it Cf - Chicken-fried - Because was there really any other way to be fried? Cr - Crawfish - Twist. Pinch. Suck. Repeat. Ds - Dim sum - Do sum F - Fajita - Born here or not, we’re steak-ing claim Hs - Hot sauce - Houston’s ketchup K - Kolache - Bring them to the office to earn your co-workers trust Ra - Ramen - The soup that is giving pho a run for its money Rb - Ribeye - The cut of beef you want to order Pb - Po-boy - NOLA's not the only city that can stuff crawfish into bread Po - Pho - Pho sure a good idea Ta - Tamale - The last words you hear before being trampled by a hangry stampede at the bar Tm - Tex-Mex - The God-sent cuisine that brought us queso and fajitas Yb - Yardbird - A cool, Southern way of saying chicken Zr - Za’atar - A Middle Eastern spice that actually works here (Houston is international and stuff)
Dy - Discovery Green - A lush oasis in the midst of a concrete jungle Ga - Galleria - Where you’ll find endless shops, a mass of quinceañeras, and absolutely zero parking Gd - Galveston Island - Beaches, booze, and bivalves He - Heights - That zip code you got priced out of Ho - Hobby - The other airport Md - Med Center - The only thing saving us from an economic depression Mn - Midtown - Where you leave your credit card every weekend Mo - Montrose - That other zip code you got priced out of Mt - Miller Outdoor Theatre - The best dates are the free ones Np - NRG Park - Home of the Texans and that Beyoncé concert you spent an entire paycheck on Sg - Sugar Land - The place you promise yourself you’ll never move to but then you have kids Tc - Toyota Center - Home of the Rockets, and not the Aeros (RIP) Th - Theater District - Where you’ll see Hamilton in the year 2025
Ag - Aggies - Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they’re here to gig Es - Energy sector - We’re pulling for you, little guy Na - NASA - Proving nerds are cool since 1958 N - Natural Gas - The lighter side of the oil industry Ne - Nine/Eighties - The work schedule you wish you had O - Oil & Gas - The industry that employs 75% of the people you know Pm - Petroleum - Fueling both our cars and our economy Ru - Rice University - Home to the Owls, and more importantly, a sick, tree-shaded running trail U - University of Houston - Home to the Coogs, and more importantly, wait that’s it Xe - Exxon - The company that employs 75% of the people you know
B - Bayous - Those trickling swamps we call water Lr - Light rail - Wait, we have a light rail? Fm - Farm to Market - The road you take to mawmaw’s house Pr - Port of Houston - Pretty much the reason we’re a city at all
Bh - Berryhill - Cheap tacos and frozen margs FTW! La - Lankford Grocery - Come hungry, don’t forget your cash Ni - Ninfa’s - All hail Queen Mama Ninfa, O.G. of Fajitas Pa - Pass & Provisions - One side you can afford, the other you can’t Pd - Pappadeaux - Proving everything is better when smothered in Cajun butter sauce Rf - Reef - Boosting the Third Coast’s confidence since 2007 W - Whataburger - Fancy ketchup lovers unite
Al - Allen brothers - The actual guys that founded the city of Houston Be - Beyoncé - “H-town vicious, H, H-town vicious” Cu - Cullen - As in Hugh Roy Cullen, oil industrialist, philanthropist, and seriously rich guy Ge - George Bush - W. & H. Hg - Howard Hughes - Have you seen his house? Lv - Lyle Lovett - The “Cowboy Man” himself S - Sam Houston - He did not, in fact, found Houston, but he did defeat Santa Anna!
Cd - Cold brew - The only way to drink coffee in during a Houston summer Db - Dive bar - Aka that place you drink one too many cheap Lone Stars Hf - Hellfighter - Bourbon barrel-aged nectar straight from the gods Kr - Karbach - Brewing your favorite IPA since 2011 Nb - No Label Brewing - No labels necessary Pu - Pumpkinator - Causing a frenzy on or around the ides of October Sb - Spring Bock - Exactly what you want to drink in the spring Sn - Saint Arnold - Houston’s oldest, baddest brewery is in it to win it Sr - Southern Star - Making the drive to Conroe actually worth it Tl - Tequila - The darling of Houston’s beverage scene that gets you every single time
Ac - Air conditioning - Something you pray never breaks down Ar - Art car - A parade at which you booze and gawk at insanely decorated art mobiles At - Astroturf - The game-changing synthetic turf invented in Space City itself Br - Brunch - Make Sundays Fundays Again Cm - Critical Mass - Either join them or loathe them Fe - Feeder - The thing other cities call a frontage road Fr - Free Press Summer Fest - A cool music festival at which you sweat your balls off In - Inner loop - That thing you never want to leave Ir - International - As in, Houston is extremely international Li - Lights in the Heights - Get the spiked cider ready Lu - Ladies who lunch - To find them, simply dine in River Oaks Os - Oyster season - One of three seasons in Houston besides mosquito and crawfish P - Pools - The only reason you still talk to your coworker is his Pt - Patios - Because who likes imbibing indoors? Si - Sizzurp - Like we said, we’ve kicked the habit Ti - Tailgates -Things Houstonians take to another level V - Viet-Cajun - It’s not the only way to do crawfish, but it is the best way to do crawfish Y - Y’all - A much easier way to say “you all” Zn - Zoo nights - The only way the zoo is bearable during the summer
As - Astros - We’ll get that World Series one day, won’t we? Cl - Clutch City - A much, much better nickname than “Choke City” Rg - Rockets game - Where you go to see the beard Tb - Texas Bowl - RIP Houston Bowl Te - Texans - Wonder who our QB will be next year?
Au - Gold digger - See: Ladies who lunch C - Carbon emissions - How about that greenhouse effect, eh? Ca - Car alarms - The sound you hear every damn night Cn - Construction - The never-ending locust plaguing our city Co - Commute - Get your podcasts ready, this one’s gonna be rough Er - Enron - [Slowly backs away] Fl - Flash flood - Turn Around Don’t Drown I - Ike - Est. 2008 Nd - Natural disaster - The reason you stock up at Costco No - No zoning - YOLO! Rn - Rain - It’s what’s for dinner Sm - Swampass - Why you check yourself before you wreck yourself
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Brooke Viggiano is a Houston writer who really hopes you realize she used all of the actual element symbols, otherwise that was a giant waste. Geek out with her @BrookeViggiano if you did.
The world’s biggest sporting event is about to return to Houston. A lot has changed since 2004, the last time we hosted the Super Bowl. Myspace was still a thing and Uber was five years away from being born. The Houston metro population was only 5.1 million compared to a cool 6.6 now. Our bayou looked how a bayou usually looks (ugly) as opposed to the gorgeous urban green space that Buffalo Bayou Park offers today. We didn’t have spots like Anvil, Hay Merchant, Underbelly, Uchi, or Pass & Provisions, some of the best bars and restaurants currently in Houston. Nor did we have all of those rad art installations Downtown or a dozen charging stations at NRG Stadium. The city has been busy building up and beautifying for the last 13 years, and we’re ready to show off the goods at at the Big Game. But every great pro of hosting has a con, so we’re taking a look at whether or not bringing this massive event to town is so super after all.
11 Cold-Weather Activities That Will Remind You Why Winter in Minnesota Is Actually the Best
Summer is easy to like. It’s got sunshine, water sports, and the built-in nostalgia of time off from school. But winter? That takes some more gumption to appreciate. While other parts of the country are either freaking out over a light snowfall or counting down the days ’til spring, living in Minnesota -- where temps are regularly below freezing and the average annual snowfall is more than 70 inches up north -- means you learn to relish the freezing weather rather than hide from it. With the right mindset, winter is secretly the best time of the year, with plenty of cold-weather activities in the Twin Cities and around the state to keep you active and engaged with your fellow Minnesotans. From dog sledding to ice sculptures to a truly epic foraged tasting menu, we have a little bit of everything here to help you brighten up the coldest months.
Things People in Houston Are Irrationally Passionate About
For the most part, Houstonians are a pretty laid-back bunch (largely because it’s kind of too damn hot not to be). We enjoy simple things -- patio beers with our dogs, driving everywhere, and unabashedly hating on Dallas. There are, however, a few things that can ruffle the city’s collective feathers. We’re talking about certain icons, institutions, and practices that locals hold near and dear, and those beliefs that will ignite a Houston-wide, fiery passion if brought into question. And we figure, the more “Hou” know about them, the better off you’ll be.
So the next time you talk to your fellow Houstonian over patio beers, keep in mind the things that people in Houston are irrationally passionate about: