Asian Life in Houston
(Updated Tuesday, Apr 1, 2008, 05:14:31 PM to reflect the 100 most recent valid responses.)

Which Houston area offers the best environment for Asian Americans?
Katy/West Houston | 26%
Sugar Land/Ft Bend Cty | 32%
Westside Chinatown | 7%
W Univ Pl/Inner Loop | 24%
The Woodlands | 11%

What's the best thing about living in the Houston area?
No Cold Winters | 3%
Many Good Asian Restaurants | 32%
Reasonable Cost of Living | 54%
Southern Hospitality | 11%

What's the worst thing about living in the Houston area?
Hot Muggy Summers | 56%
Pollution & Dominance by Big Oil | 25%
Rednecks in Outlying Areas | 19%
Asian Community Political Squabbling | 0%

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[This page is closed to new input. --Ed.]
Does anyone know when the Chinese New Year celebration is taking place?
I miss it every year.
A    Saturday, January 04, 2003 at 15:09:21 (PST)    []
What do you Houstoners have to say about being rated the LEAST FIT CITY in the US? For what? The third year in a row now? And don't tell me its because you have better food. =P
TSJ    Friday, January 03, 2003 at 15:44:12 (PST)    []
Hey H-Town Azn Dude:

Do you work in the Allen Parkway/Waugh Drive area? Your IP Address is like mine!!!
Hank Lewis    Monday, December 23, 2002 at 06:58:45 (PST)    []
Attention Houston News Watchers:

While Nydia Han has left KTRK-13 for Philly, the new 24 hour Local Houston Newschannel, News24Houston, has signed on with 4 Asian Americans in front of the camera:

Gai-Linn Tatrai is the daytime Anchor. She's of Japanese and Chinese ancestry and is from Pennsylvania originally.

Kristi Nakamura, Roxana Saberi and Mary Estacion (Japanese-American, Malaysian-American, and Filipina American) are all on camera reporters who fill in on assignments.

These four women, along with Jeff Fisher (hapa) and Elizabeth Lee at KHWB 39, Lisa Faronda & Shern-Min Chow-Hartney at KHOU-11, Jeff Lyu at KTRK-13 and Patti Shieh-Davis at KRIV-26 round out the Asian Americans on camera in Houston Local News.
H-Town Azn Dude    Wednesday, December 18, 2002 at 11:10:23 (PST)    []

That area is becoming more diversified because of the new subdivision Shadow Lakes and the gated community of Royal Oaks being built out there. There have also been a number of older neighborhoods around Dairy Ashford/Bellarie as well as empty properties in that area which have been bulldozed and now have new housing being constructed on them as I am writing this.

Alief is still very heavily a Vietnamese area of Town--one of the mottos of the Alief-Elsik football team is that they still have more "Nguyens" than losses. Some parts are gritty--some of the older strip malls are falling apart because the new Hong Kong City Mall on Bellaire and Boone has taken away a lot their business. That, however has only led to more new construction close to it in order to keep up with the times.

One thing a lot of people do not realize about Houston's Chinatowns, including Westside Chinatown on Bellaire, is that it was originally built by Taiwanese-American investors from New York in the late 1970s who saw the huge potential of opening an Asian-Themed Supermarket in what was the mostly White and Latin area of Sharpstown. They bought an old Kroger Store that had closed during the union strikes of the late 1970s and opened up the Diho Supermarket--the first full-scale Asian Supermarket in Houston (there had been others which were the size of Convenience Stores prior to then.)

Eventually, these same investors bought land half a block down Bellaire where they built the Metropole Center--the first Asian Strip mall in Houston and relocated Diho Supermarket over there. However, Diho Plaza attracted a new Asian Supermarket known as the Welcome Foodmart which took over Diho's old space.

The two Supermarkets still occupy those adjacent Strip malls and draw heavy business--much of which comes from Asian families who live in San Antonio, Beaumont and elsewhere in the State who come to Houston to do all their specialty shopping on the weekends.

People in So-Cal do not realize that we actually have an Asian Supermarket Chain--the Hong Kong Supermarket which operates 4 locations--Harwin@ Gessner, Bellaire in the Hong Kong City Mall, Veterans Memorial Drive and Sugar Land. White, Black, and Latin Families often shop in the HK City Mall location because it has the largest fresh seafood counter in Houston and has some of the best prices on fresh vegetables and fruit this side of HEB.

I teach at HCC in the evenings and have about 30% Asian students in my class, many of whom are So-Cal transplants whose families relocated to the Houston area in order to escape the high cost of living. Some of the kids had been skeptical about Houston at first, but after being here they realized that they got a good deal in the bargain and were often happier here than they were in So-Cal. Their parents had sold houses priced at over $400,000, came here with around $200,000 and had enough to buy a new house and start a business, something they were unable to do in So-Cal due to the cost of living there.

While Houston does have its problems, it has become a model city on race relations and diversity, especially when compared to LA, Chicago and Atlanta. Keep your eye on us--Gordon Quan will be our next Mayor when Lee Brown steps down next year, I guarantee it.
Hank Lewis    Monday, December 16, 2002 at 12:24:43 (PST)    []
I'm not saying Alief is a garden paradise but merely that it changed from what it used to be.

I know. I was there in the early 80s too and lived in the area until about 2001. It's not as safe as it used to be but I think it has gained a very appealing cosmopolitan grit to it. Certainly more interesting if not better than the white bread place I remembered.
worldlyman    Monday, December 16, 2002 at 02:53:50 (PST)    []

hahaha, it's not that bad. but i can see it getting worse, but not at a fast pace. it's going to be interesting to see if the nicer areas around alief will be affected. for example those new houses that are going to be built near elsik.

btw, hastings rule!
Mr. Hann    Wednesday, December 04, 2002 at 18:53:38 (PST)    []
One other comment on my family friend, the Honorable Gordon Quan--he is not just a councilman, he is the Mayor Pro Tem of the Council--meaning he chairs the council and can take Mayor Brown's place if need be.

I personally hope Gordon runs for Mayor and wins. He's a fellow Longhorn and an all around great guy.
Hank Lewis    Friday, November 15, 2002 at 12:23:45 (PST)    []
ABC World News Tonight broadcast from Houston this evening and featured a story about how immigration has changed Houston. It focused in particular on the impact of Asian immigrants. Gordon Quan, Houston City Councilman, was interviewed for the story. On the whole, it was pretty positive in tone. It also confirms what everyone on this site has been saying about Houston as an emerging center for Asian Americans.
JJP    Thursday, November 14, 2002 at 20:48:58 (PST)    []

Alief has now become a ghetto. Alief Elsik used to be one of the most modern and expensive high schools in the country when i attended back in 83-85'. It is not a safe area by all means.
Vietdude    Thursday, November 14, 2002 at 16:57:50 (PST)    []