Kingdom of Boredom: Katy, Texas

Katy is located 30 miles west of downtown Houston off of I-10

Katy City Offices: (281-391-4800)

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“You’ll Love Katy”…Well, I Guess That Depends

January 2004–Located just 30 miles west of Houston, the fourth largest city in the nation, lays a peaceful little town by the name of Katy. According to the city of Katy website, the town has a recorded population of 12,325 in the year 2001. With this fact in mind, Katy seems like a great, average populated town to live in that is far enough away from the madness of the city but still close enough to make it accessible. With the motto “You’ll Love Katy”, well…who wouldn’t love it? If you are someone around the age of 20 like myself, then maybe you wouldn’t. Having just emerged out of the grueling seven years I spent as a teen, I have realized that Katy is not the same to me as it used to be when I was much younger.

The history of Katy begins in 1895 when three men laid out the town site and named it after the M-K-T Railroad that passes through it. “The City of Katy was formally incorporated in 1945. Katy has always been a traditional family style community; however, it also played a major role as a rail hub, a rice farming and agricultural center, and one of the largest gas fields in this part of Texas” (Katy Website). What is it like growing up in this kind of area? Just picture going to work in the afternoon and as you get out of your parked car you can look out and see the old railroad tracks, and just passed that, a field full of cattle. I feel like a true Texan each time I do this. For those of y’all that get your jollies from some visual history, you can visit old town Katy and tour the historic buildings from the earliest settlers as well as getting a crack out of what was once called “downtown”.

Katy seems like a wonderful town when you read up on it or are just driving through on your way east towards Houston or west towards San Antonio. For most of the residents who own their own home and have a real job, it is wonderful. What about the younger generation though? Is it that wonderful to us? I have lived in Katy almost all my life and I don’t necessarily think so. Sure, it was fine when I was growing up in elementary and Jr. High when I couldn’t really go out at night. Any young boy or girl can adequately occupy themselves by playing with their Ninja Turtles, Barbie’s, or my personal favorite, Lego’s. Cops and robbers is also another very popular role playing adventure that many children take part in. As long as there are young kids your age, one place is as good as any other. I wish playing with my Lego’s could still do it for me, but by the time I was in high school I found myself not being able to find anything of interest to do. Sure all this extra time allowed me to spend a sufficient amount of hours on my studies and do my homework, but who seriously wants to do any of that? If I think about it, two main places jump out at me as somewhere to have fun: Katy Mills Mall, and the movie theatre. Now how exactly are you supposed to have an interesting life by going to the mall and movie theatre every day? Yes, a good movie every once in a while is great, and a chance to walk around the mall and see what new items are out for sale is fun too, but please, not every day. When you are friends with the people behind the concession stand at the theatre and have friends that can get you discounts at every store in the mall, you know you’ve been to those places a few too many times. There are, however, a few bars and night clubs with live music that are around, but if your not 21 like I am not, then what is the point really. You can’t drink and it isn’t exactly the most fun thing to be around a bunch of people that you don’t know who are drunk.

If you are my age, there is basically one reason why you are living in Katy. That reason is because you are going to school in the Houston area and it is cheaper to stay at your parent’s house than it is to go out and get your own apartment. Sure it is nice to have a roof over your head that you don’t have to worry about paying for, and some nice home cooked meals but everyone knows what it is like living with your parents. Every time I want to go out I have to tell them where I am going, who I am going to be with, and what time I plan to be back. I know it is the parent’s job to worry about the kids, but please, I am 20 and I can take care of myself. Since I have moved back home, its back to the daily assigned chores. Living away from my parents while attending the University of Texas at Austin for the past two years is something that I miss tremendously.

Also, this town has basically no night life. Katy seems to shut down by at least 11’oclock at night and the only traffic you might see would be a wave of cars coming from the last movie showing at the theatre. If you and some friends are outside this late then you have to keep it quite because chances are there is some old couple living just a couple houses down that are just itching to call the cops to report a disturbance, this being their only form of excitement in their life. The local cops just love to ruin your night. Actually, I think it is their job. If you are lucky you might run into one of your friends at the late night drive through window at Jack in the Box. Oh, and tell me this…what kind of town has the parking lot of Burger King and Taco Bell as the local hang out for high school kids and street racers? I don’t get it. Maybe all this is why I was such a good student in jr. high and high school…I had all the time in the world to finish my homework and study with nothing but the TV to distract me.

As a college student, yes, I like to party and living in Austin for two years didn’t help my situation there. Now that I’m living back in Katy again I sure realized that the parties…well, they are as lame as the people who throw them. I would call it more like small gatherings than a party, and because of this they die very quick. I am not used to showing up to parties in Austin until about midnight. Here in Katy I remember getting ready for one party and my friend Stephen and I headed over their around 11:30 and it was already dead, with nothing to drink and no people to talk to. I guess I wasn’t surprised; most parties that I have heard of in Katy were over before midnight. Maybe it is due to the fact that Katy is a high school town and nobody can buy alcohol or the kid’s parents want them home at a certain time or they don’t even have their own car to travel back and forth. There are four high schools already with the fifth being built at this moment. Also, if you ever went to a party while you were in high school you may remember that it wasn’t quite a group of mature individuals. Most kids at this age have just been introduced to alcohol and do not know their own limits and are experimenting rather fearlessly. This usually ends in disaster or some form of disappointment.

Maybe that is another problem with Katy. The town just keeps growing and growing and the rate at which it is growing is incredible. With the older crowd looking for that luxury lifestyle just a short distance outside the big city, lured in by the cleanliness of our area, and captivated by the motto “You’ll Love Katy”, this town keeps getting bigger and bigger. A couple years ago I used to drive my classic mustang on the back roads just outside my neighborhood. Nowadays back roads are becoming less and less common. A street that once used to be the boundary of a subdivision is now little more than a road that separates the new subdivisions from the old. It almost seems that there is a new apartment complex going up every week and new strip centers are being built to convenience the new subdivisions that are being flooded with new residents.

Now traffic generally is not bad in Katy, but if you have ever driven down Mason or Fry rd. during rush hour then you know that you just about want to shoot yourself or the person driving in front of you. These streets are nothing but traffic light after traffic light. Cars get so backed up on these roads that driving down them usually means a near sickening trip of getting stopped at every light, where green lights seem to go by in a flourish and red lights last an hour. Most of you know that there is an overwhelming abundance of bad drivers in Texas in general, but I think most of those drivers originate from the Katy area. I’ve seen so many accidents, and it is usually contributed by someone who thinks they can drive while at the same time talking on the phone or putting on make-up. Sure, everything in Katy is still a 15 minute or less drive, but what is worth driving to. Even though the distance from Katy to Houston is only 30 miles, the time it takes you to get there relies heavily on the time of day and if there are any accidents on the road. During rush hour it can take anywhere between and hour and an hour and a half to make the 30 mile journey. One day it actually took me about two hours to get to the University of Houston campus due to a few wrecks along the away caused by the rainy weather. Imagine that in that same amount of time I can drive to Austin which is 150 miles away. That kind of gives you a perspective of the amount of traffic between Katy and Houston. It can get unreal at times.

Apart from everything else, drainage is a huge problem in the old Katy area. When Katy receives a few inches of rain, it always floods to some extent. It usually doesn’t take much for the water to get over the curb and into your front lawn. After flooding occurs, there are all sorts of debris that you have to pick up and you have to inspect for any forms of water damage to your home. Residents of Katy have to be real cautious at every sight of even a slight thunderstorm.

Now I have had my fair share of pleasant experiences here in Katy, I admit. I’ve had an absolute blast growing up here, but it is the general lifestyle that I am living now that just doesn’t appeal to me anymore, and I know of many who agree. My best friend, Ryan, still lives here and I know he agrees. We are sticking it out together patiently awaiting the chance for us to make our move and escape the clutches of Katy. Lucky for rest of my friends, most them that I graduated with from high school have moved out of Katy to go to college in another city as I once was. Oh how I am envious of all of them now. So now whenever I see or hear the motto “You’ll Love Katy”, I think to myself…”Who asked me”?

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Links

City of Katy Website

Katy’s Online Information Source

Katy Mills Mall

Cinemark Katy

Katy Independent School District

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