English for Everyone
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Episode 10:

Major Cities in the U.S. - Houston

Transcript of the Episode:

Welcome to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! I’m your host, Caren Hayden, and I’m here to help you improve your English.

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Today I’m going to talk about a major city in the United States - Houston, Texas. I will tell you all about my hometown and why I love living here! Stay tuned!

 

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The city of Houston was founded in 1836, and quickly became a significant port city in the United States. It is now the 4th largest city in the country, with a population of over 6.5 million people, if you include the greater Houston metro area. Houston is located in southeast Texas, near the Gulf of Mexico, about an hour from the beach. Some common nicknames for Houston are: H-Town, Bayou City, and Space City.

 

I was born and raised in Houston, and I think it’s a great place to live. It’s not necessarily a tourist destination, but there are many famous and interesting sights that tourists can visit. Some of my favorite areas of Houston are: The Heights, Montrose, Chinatown, and The Rice Village. There are also tons of parks and public recreation facilities, like Hermann Park, Memorial Park, and the Houston Arboretum.

 

Houston is known for The Texas Medical Center, which is the largest concentration of healthcare and research institutions in the world. Besides healthcare, one of the biggest industries in Houston is the oil and gas industry, as there are 25 Fortune 500 companies that have their headquarters in Houston. Another famous sight in Houston is NASA’s Johnson Space Center, where human spaceflight training, research, and flight control are conducted. Finally, the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo is not only the world’s largest livestock show and rodeo, but an extremely popular event that starts every February.

Do you like discovering new restaurants? Well, Houston is a mecca for foodies, meaning there are tons of excellent places to dine out. Of course, tex-mex is extremely popular, which is a version of Mexican food that has become a staple in Texas. Because of Houston’s diversity and large international population, you can find almost any type of cuisine, from Chinese to Persian, to Italian, French, or Vietnamese.

 

People half-jokingly say there are only two seasons in Houston. There is summer, and then there is August. Houston can get horribly hot during the summer months, and it is extremely humid. Many days in August are 100 degrees Fahrenheit, or about 38 degrees Celsius, and the humidity can range from 70 to 90 percent, making it feel much hotter. On the other hand, the winters are usually pretty mild, and snow is rather rare. Hurricanes are also pretty common in Houston. In August of 2017, Hurricane Harvey caused severe flooding and billions of dollars of damage. Many people’s homes were flooded, and at least 88 people were killed in Texas as a result of the hurricane. So, Houstonians have to prepare for hurricane season every year, which lasts from June to November.

While Houston is a large metropolis, the public transportation is not very good, which means you definitely need a car if you live in Houston. Things are very spread out in the city, and driving for 30 minutes or an hour to get to work, a friend’s house, a restaurant, or a store is quite normal. The traffic, as you can imagine, can be a challenge during peak rush hour times when people are either going to or coming home from work.

If you are interested in sports, Houston has many options for you to enjoy. The most well-known professional sports teams in Houston are: the Houston Astros baseball team, the Houston Rockets basketball team, the Houston Texans football team, and the Houston Dynamo soccer team.

There are also several public and private universities in Houston. Some better-known institutions are: The University of Houston, Rice University, The University of St. Thomas, and Baylor College of Medicine. There are also several community college systems in town.

I hope you have learned something about my hometown, Houston, today. Maybe one day you can visit! Have you ever been to Houston? Which places were your favorite? I’d love to hear about your experiences. You can leave me a comment on the show website.

Thank you so much for listening to the English for Everyone ESL Podcast! Don’t forget to subscribe to the podcast on iTunes. You will find the transcript of today’s show and some helpful links about today’s topic on the show website: www.englishforeveryonepod.com. [Stay tuned for the slower version of today’s episode].

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[slower version, same transcript]

Bye Bye!

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Music is Where’s My Jetpack by Computer Music All-Stars found on www.freemusicarchive.org