We are now a full five years beyond the 2015 featured in Back to the Future Part II, and we’re still asking: Where’s my hoverboard? But while we don’t have flying cars, robotic maids, or even a cure for cancer, we can get McDonald’s delivered to our front door, drag strangers on Twitter whenever we want, and consume hard seltzer in cans. We’ll take what we can get. Keeping that in mind—and with Thanksgiving upon us and 2020 waiting in the wings—we’re taking stock of all the things we’re thankful for in Houston right now:
The heat’s gone, for now
The summer of 2019, like so many before it, was marked by heat advisories, high electric bills, and cascades of sweat in mighty inconvenient places. Here’s to (what we call) fall and winter in Houston! Break out the hoodies and scarves, it’s time to brave the outdoors again—at least until April.
The mayoral election mess is almost over
After a year of annoying attack ads, terse tweets, and hammy speeches, the city is happy to be moving on. We can now get our souls ready for yet another divisive presidential election as we teeter close to civil war. Related: This might be the time to find a good therapist.
Houston sports is sort of sorted
The Texans have JJ Watt, Deshaun Watson, and DeAndre Hopkins. The Rockets have the Beard, Russell Westbrook, and Clint Capela. The Dynamo have DaMarcus Beasley, Memo Rodriguez, and Joe Willis. The Dash have Kealia Ohai, Rachel Daly, and Jane Campbell. The Astros have ... well, the Astros have a murderous crew of run-thirsty savages who look at the competition and laugh.
To reiterate, the Houston Astros
There’s a reason why they make this list twice. While the Texans have confounded us and the Rockets have teased us with glory, the Astros keep making our hearts smile. Most of us didn’t think that we could ever top the high of 2017’s historic championship season. But with Yordan Alvarez now on the roster and coming into his own, Minute Maid Park has become the baseball church we always hoped it would be.
We’re still hella charitable
Hurricane Harvey proved that Houstonians have an almost limitless capacity for supporting our friends and neighbors. Since the nightmarish days of the storm’s immediate aftermath, a lot of us just never stopped giving. Harvey reminded us that nothing is permanent, and that doing things for others brings about great joy. When Tropical Storm Imelda made an unwelcome visit in September, the cycle began again. Many people say the city's best attributes are its cuisine and its copious A/C, but Houstonians' generous hearts are the most special thing we have going.
Marijuana laws are getting hazier
With that new CBD law going into effect this past summer, will there be more loosening of restrictions in Texas? We doubt we’ll see dispensaries popping up anytime soon, but one thing is for sure, legal weed would be a boon to business in Houston—especially our taco trucks.
We’ve almost eradicated boredom in the Bayou City
Houstonians can visit a museum, stroll through a park, eat amazing food, and, oh, practice axe-throwing every day of the week. Heck, we even have a thriving downtown nightlife scene for the first time in years.
We’re all about fitness for what feels like the first time ever
Yoga studios, cycling classes, and other houses of self-imposed torture have opened up shop on nearly every corner inside the Loop. Once the fattest city in America, we’ve been left off recent lists entirely. Today’s Houstonians still love their barbecue and Tex-Mex, but they also can be found demanding vegan birthday cakes and scarfing down Impossible Whoppers—so what if they’re made of people?