Despite its bad rep, many Houstonians love their city, and while there may be consensus on the difficulties of living here (a list we’ve dubbed “the twenty afflictions”) the reasons it’s worth it are diverse and abundant.
THE HEAT | THE HUMIDITY | THE HURRICANES | THE FLYING COCKROACHES
THE MOSQUITOS | THE TRAFFIC | THE CONSTRUCTION | THE SPRAWL
THE REFINERIES | THE RIDICULE | THE POLLEN | THE AIR
THE BILLBOARDS | THE FLOODING | THE IMAGE | THE PROPERTY TAXES
THE SHORT SPRINGS | THE LONG SUMMERS | THE POTHOLES | THE NO MOUNTAINS
Houston. It’s Worth It. (HIWI) began as an unofficial, unsolicited campaign for the city of Houston created by ttweak in summer 2004. The first phase of the campaign (“Tell Us Why”) was a website providing a forum in which Houstonians can voice their enthusiasm and passion for a city that is often misrepresented and misunderstood by outsiders. (Good food and good neighbors were the oft repeated reasons represented, along with “it’s not Dallas.”)
The next phase, in 2006, invited Houstonians to “Show Us Why” their city is worth it. Over 600 photos were received and exhibited at Houston Center for Photography, presenting multiple viewpoints of the city, including a great deal of humor. A selection of those photos became “Houston. It’s Worth It., The Book,” released in fall 2007. In September of 2009, one year after Hurricane Ike hit Houston, Galveston, and countless other communities in the Gulf Coast, HIWI published HIWI:Ike, The Book, a collection of photographs, blog entries, stories and reminiscences as remembered by some of the people who lived through it.
Ten years after its conception, HIWI is still going strong. And in the process, Houstonians have hopefully gotten to know themselves and their city a bit better and shown each other, and those who don’t live here, why we love the place.