It’s true. I know some of you all won’t believe us, but it is actually true. According to several sources, based on population alone, Houston is the third largest Hispanic market in the country, surpassed only by Los Angeles in California and New York City in New York. In fact, 44 percent of our city’s residents are actually Hispanic. That’s almost 4 1/2 out of every 10 Houstonians, emphasis on the almost. As in that number is almost guaranteed to keep climbing.
As we might say at Casa Los Metiches, that’s a whole lot of Mexicans! But wait, before you start writing that angry email about how not all Latinos are Mexicans… I know. It was supposed to be a joke. It usually is at our place. Even if a very poor joke at that.
Pero bueno, last year a couple of our East Coast friends from NYC and Philly were actually stranded in Houston for a few days. Como buenos Tejanos – you didn’t think we were just going to leave them hanging did you? – we drove them around a couple of times just to get them out and about, y por qué no, to explore a little bit of our great city también. There’s so much to see here, you know if you’ve ever been.
We took them to my favorite Mexican restaurant, Taquería Alteño (they serve the best quesadilla grande there and play live conjunto or ranchera music on the weekends); we visited the local panadería, El Bollillo Bakery, and had the best conchas in town accompanied with a little hot chocolate from La Abuelita (you know that stuff is good); and we also took a little detour to the local farmer’s market off of Airline Drive, where we picked and ate fresh fruit samples with our hands and pigged out on street tacos from a local mobile vendor. They were so good!
Afterwards one of our guests turned to me and said, “is there anyone who doesn’t speak Spanish here?” Everyone else also chimed in sharing some of the things they had seen that they had really enjoyed. There was the food. The friendly local culture where everyone says “hello,” “good bye,” and still holds the door open for one another. The very affordable prices (especially in real estate and day to day necessities) in comparison to their homes on the East Coast. And of course, our wide open spaces.
I confirmed to them then something I’ve known about myself for a very long time now. Houston is my home. I’m happy here. I don’t want to leave and I do consider my city to be pretty damn great!
Happy to hear I’m not the only mexicano (okay, Latino) who feels that way!
¡Levanten las manos Houstonianos!