HOUSTON - I like destruction. It fascinates me. Perhaps that's why I became a weatherman.
Watching the 1996 block buster hit "Independence Day," there was nothing cooler than when the President asks his military brass which city would be reached first, and the reply was, "Houston, Texas!"
Aside from the fact that they were about to nuke the city I love so much, there was just something about hearing my city's name boom across the movie screen. A sense of pride if you will -- not only of being only the third city in world history to be nuked -- but just the fact that we were included too.
That and the fact that it wasn't Dallas.
Or how about when Tom Hanks, with a terse, authoritative sentence declares, "Houston, we have a problem'' in Apollo 13?
Let's bring it back to real life.
July 20, 1969: "Houston....the Eagle has landed.'' The first word ever spoken from another cosmic body in the Universe and the city we all call home was and is forever more distinguished as the first word spoken from the moon.
Growing up in the Houston area I never really appreciated what I had in front of me -- partly because I was in my mid 20s still living with my parents. The house was getting small if you know what I'm saying. This past Sunday I ran across this tweet from a guy named Anthony Austin:
When I moved to Jacksonville, Florida in December of 2011 to continue to hone my craft in tv weather, the above tweet hit home. I missed Houston -- A LOT. I missed my family, friends and the big city life. Heck, even when I'd come back for a visit, I'd sit in traffic and smile thinking to myself, ''now THIS is home.''
Jacksonville was a beautiful city with glistening white sand beaches and abundant sun and warmth but it just wasn't the same. The food choices were limited. The sports teams lacked. The city felt lost amongst its bigger sisters known as Orlando and Miami. It had a major identity crisis.
Houston is a great city. It's big. I like big. In fact, we're on pace to pass Chicago as the third largest city soon -- perhaps by the end of the decade. It's getting bigger by the car loads, too. It was once said that the official bird of Houston was the ''construction crane" -- a testament to the "manhattenization" of buildings going up on every corner and our thriving economy.
Driving down the North Freeway every morning, I admire the architecture that makes up Houston's big shouldered skyline. It's a host of styles that compliment each of the dominating buildings. I look up at the buildings and smile, my face lit up like a transformer in a 100 mph wind and think, ''this is my city!" It's a skyline that once was ranked by Forbes as the 8th tallest skyline in the world.
Houston has all the major sport teams you could want. We have the Astros, Rockets, Dynamo and J.J. Watt.
Growing up near The Woodlands, I can't speak much for the food here. I'm a finicky eater and fancy the more chain style restaurants than I do hole-in-the-walls but from what I understand, no city has the selection of food like we do here in Texas.
If you're one of the 120,000+ people that move to Houston every year and you're thinking to yourself, ''my goodness, I'm not so sure about all this," give it a chance. Let Houston grow on you like the whiskers of a beard. It'll consume you, the culture, not the beard -- unless of course you're ZZ Top then by all means. Sure, it has its problems but what city doesn't?
We have beaches, miles and miles of jogging paths and endless parks. We have sports, bars and night life, fabulous restaurants and endless warmth. We have culture and thousands of acres of green space. We have a world-renowned zoo and of course the Houston Museum of Natural Science. We have it all and then some.
My point is, some may overlook us. The people in Dallas see us as the step child, a pimple on the forehead of an otherwise beautiful body that is Texas. It doesn't matter. We're here, we're proud and it's my home. We're the epicenter of culture and business and I'm darn lucky to be woven into its fabric and I want everybody to be as proud of Houston, Texas as I am.
It's so great to be home.
(© 2016 KHOU)