James Glassman loves Houston—like, really, really loves Houston. If you go to the architectural project manager's blog, Houstorian.org, you'll see a rundown of the city's historic districts, a map of protected landmarks and a tab where you can design your own Houston-friendly apparel, complete with James Harden, Astrodome or "Keep Austin" logos. Did we mention Glassman loves this city?
So it only makes sense that the Houston native has authored a guide to Clutch City, The Houstorian Dictionary: An Index to Houston. "We’re about telling the story of Houston–and always searching for new ways to do it," says the author. His book consists of nearly 200 pages, on everything from James McIngvale (a.k.a. Mattress Mack) and Howard Hughes to Hall of Famer Craig Biggio ("B-G-O!") and the Art Car Parade. Native Houstonians and "Newstonians"—a term bestowed upon transplants to the city—will love the book.
"Houston has always been a little different than the rest of Texas," says Glassman. "It's a creative, funky, do-it-yourself city...we nurture the dreamers, experimenters and innovators."
A few years ago, Glassman began jotting down notes about what he thought was interesting or iconic about the city. (Example: "'Hot enough for you?'— Unfunny, ironic line spoken by a Newstonian during any hot day. Houstonians are allowed to smirk in response.") Even Houstonia gets a shoutout: "a dynamic and optimistic, Houston-centric magazine."
After the author's list started growing, he got the idea to collect it all together in a book. "As I wrote definitions, I found it leading to more entries. The list quickly got long," notes Glassman. "I wasn’t entirely certain when I was finished. I’m still adding to it!"
Houstonians and Newstonians alike can pick up their own copy of the book as of yesterday, when it premiered on bookshelves and online. Hometown boosters can stay connected with Glassman online at houstorian.org or by following him on Twitter.