The Heights is definitely the most charming neighborhood in Houston. While there are other words that also describe it, many of those words are equally shared with other areas. Example: someone may refer to the Heights as "artsy" and, while true, that term can be applied equally to another neighborhood like the First Ward; it could be called "funky" but that applies at least as much, if not more, to Montrose. Of course we don't mind sharing these attributes with other neighborhoods. Houston is a great city with a little bit of everything. Whatever you want, you can find it here and loving the Heights is loving Houston, too. Whatever positive thing you can say about one neighborhood is even better when you can say it about two or three. But where "charm" is concerned, there really is no match for the Heights.
Clearly the old homes (and even some of the new ones) are the primary reason for the charm. I think the walkable nature of the Heights also adds to the feeling. Now that the weather has become more like Houston and less like, oh, Oklahoma or something, I have been doing my share of walking to absorb this charm before the heat really hits and melts it away. One of the best things about being out and about right now is the color. The Heights is totally in bloom.
The Heights in bloom adds another layer to our little charm cake. Because many of our backyards are small or non-existent, residents put a lot of color right out front for public consumption. This might seem kind of obvious- we all watch some HGTv. It's curb appeal, right? Back east, though, a lot of people's planting is in the back. People keep vining green beans out of the public eye, tidy rose bushes in prim back yard gardens or plant tiger lilies around their back deck. The front of the house is often simple, clean, practical (practicality is a very New England thing). Out back is where they enjoy getting their hands in the dirt and it can be a very personal thing.
So, as I walk the streets of the Heights I am really taken by the color. I appreciate all the hard work it takes for homeowners to offer me something prettier than just grass and bushes. I adore and appreciate flowers planted on the curb and the head of cabbage growing right out on the street for the whole world to see.
Vegetables grow in a small garden on the corner of my street.
It wouldn't be the South without azaleas. I would guess some of these bushes have been here as long as the homes.
While they're not the most "colorful," white flowers are so crisp and springy to me.
Many residents turn to bright snapdragons to give the yard, or even the curb, a little punch.
Fences are covered in flowering vines (although my own jasmine has yet to bloom).
Another Southern staple, crepe myrtles aren't in color yet but once they bloom we can enjoy their color all summer long.