Where to move

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    Houston is a very sophisticated, under-represented city.  It’s the stepchild of Texas.  After Broadway in New York City, we have the largest collection of legitimate theater and musical troupes in the country.  We have the largest medical complex in the world which employs close to 100,000 in itself.  The Port of Houston is the largest in the world in terms of foreign tonneage.  We also have a HUGE eastern side of Houston that is involved in plastics, petrochemicals, etc. We also have a world class museum district.  MOST, but not all, of the people who embrace cowboy culture are tourists (in the same way that most of the people who go to Times Square for NYE are tourists).  

    I briefly worked in oil and gas.  Many, but not all, oil and gas companies are based in Houston and they are housed in shiny glass skyscrapers.  Please do a little research on the industry.  We do not have giant drills left and right like the Dakotas, Canada, and elsewhere.  There are many different components to an umbrella of industries: exploration, extraction, transportation, marketing, upstream, downstream, etc.  Just because a brain surgeon is a doctor doesn’t mean he can easily do child psychology.  Energy, like medicine, is an umbrella of many different industries connected and disconnected.  

    I am an urban planner who happens to do a lot of site design.  I study cities for a living, and as my professional opinion as a planner I find absolutely no connection whatsoever between one and the other.  It’s very sad that an outsider would lump Houston and North Dakota together.  I guess it means that my new home has a long way to go in educating outsiders benefits of living here.  


    landscapeplanner is right on the money with Houston. Do your research but it is a good place to be and there is a lot of hiring going on right now.

    I have more work than I can handle and know other firms are getting that way too.

    As far as the arts here in H-town landscapeplanner is on the money again. I am amazed at what oil money can do for the arts.

    On a side note landscapeplanner it sounds like you have been reading Cite Magazine. Cite 89 had some great articles on the port and The Medical Center. Listed some of the same facts you did.


    I’m still not sure at what you’re getting at. The subject of the thread is about a person that wants to know where they should relocate to find work and I echoed ND and Houston. What’s the common denominator between these two places? JOBS! (ding x 5).

    When did I say anything about the nuts and bolts of the oil industry or that everyone is a friggin’ cowboy in Houston? I know it’s not a one company town and that everyone in the oil industry is a not Roughneck, but thanks for sharing though.

    Who are you calling an outsider? I spent most of my life in Texas. I went to school in Texas. I worked in Houston and have (or had) built projects there. I know enough about H-Town to tell you where to go (and where not to go). I know my accent can’t be heard through this keyboard, but I even speak with a bit of a Texas twang.

    If you hadn’t notice the cowboy culture in Houston, perhaps you might want to get out a little more. Cowboy culture is not all about Stetsons and ropers; it’s also about, a flavor, an attitude, working hard, being square and so much more. Pfffpt! I really don’t need some dude from Chicago to lecture on anything about Texas. So you can put away your Houston Chamber of Commerce brochure and listen to someone that knows a thing or two about Tejas.

    Once again Ol’ Great Studier of Cities my point wasn’t to compare Houston to ND. That’s your thing. I don’t know, maybe you have your panties in a bunch because of my remark about designing McMansions in Houston, but if you were paying attention you would have realized that my point was: it’s better to work in a city that is not known for its great climate, public transportation, mountains, beaches, or “hipness” than to walking around forever looking for a job in LA paradise with nothing but lint in your pockets. ¿Comprendes?


    Oh let me guess…so now you want to co-sign on someone else’s silliness.

    Other than mentioning the humidity I have said nothing negative about Houston, not one thing. I’m telling folks that I would go there if I were looking for work. Has there been a major chemical leak there or something recently.

    I bet you two must hang out together, if not you should. Sheesh!   

    Andrew Garulay, RLA

    Two years ago we put out an ad to fill a position as an entry level or engineer in training for site design. We hired the person who was close enough to commute. It turned out that the kid is awesome, but we really found that out later. No one wanted to have someone move to the area for the job because we did not want to make matters worse for them if it did not work out.


    I’m guessing that there a lot of people who feel the same way. It would be great to get hired remotely, but I think you’d be more viable by being in the community.


    Treat your job search like a design problem. Is there potential for work to survive while you are looking for your LA job? Is there the type of work that you want to do? Is it a community that you want to live in long term? Then figure a way to position yourself to get hired.


    Patience and commitment are everything. There are not a lot of shortcuts out there at this time. Build that foundation one block at a time. You have a BSLA and an MLA. You need a network, a portfolio of built work (even if you are only part of the team), you need experience (of some sort or another), and you need to be available. Living in Moscow, ID is not that available and does not inspire thoughts of someone gaining experience no matter what your resume is saying that you are doing.


    Trust me, my resume got tossed in the trash after a few jokes by the Harvard LA who hires ivy league interns in my area (one of his people that I later met told me so). Two months later I was re-grading his site plans in an engineering office, but what good did that do me? Perception is everything.


    Our hire was working in an auto parts store, but he was close by and had a degree from a good school.His resume was not that impressive, but he interviewed well. Most of all, if we let him go he was still going to be living in the same house.It was a low risk hire and that is why it was made.


    Some famous bank robber was once asked why he robbed banks. His answer was “because that’s where the money is”.


    Sorry Craig didn’t mean to post under you and jump on a bandwagon. Just wanted to say that I like houston. And think the OP should consider it.


    No problem man. I like Houston as well. That’s big of you to apologize. I respect that.

    Oh and I’m sorry about the chemical leak and hanging out with landscaperplanner shots. I guess it was the “research” thingy that made my glutes contract.


    I yield the floor to you then, I can’t really compete against that.  

    Trace One

    Washington DC is the opposite coast, but it is the most depression proof city in the US. I kinda  like DC, despite the humidity – the museums are great, and the beach is pretty close.

    Just a thought, Roland, I know you are into the other coast for your relatives..

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