Hilton Skyline: The Houston Horizon by Roy Cantu

1600 Lamar
Houston, TX 77010
713-739-8000

November 2010-Cattle, cowboys, and ranches are widely accepted stereotypes when the word “Houston” comes into one’s mind. Texas, in general, is imagined to be nothing more than people riding on horses greeting each other with the words “ Howdy, Partner!” but as how reality has it, Houston is a highly urbanized city with a population over 2 million and many unique buildings. One of these unique buildings, The Hilton Hotel, possesses a remarkable view of the entire city of Houston and makes the individual realize how beautiful and extraordinary the city of Houston has become.

It was a hot summer day in June and I had just gotten laid off from my job as a hotel receptionist and I didn’t have college until the fall. By being unemployed and a student on his summer break, I had nothing but absolute time on my hands. I was bored and anxious to do something so I decided to call my girlfriend, Isabel, and ask if she wanted to hang out and she accepted. I told her I’d pick her up in half an hour and once I arrived we began conversation on where we should go. The thought of going to the Discovery Green Park came into mind. I have heard many things about it and was curious to check the place out. So we decided to head downtown to the Discovery Green Park.

As we were on our way to downtown, I noticed the extremely tall buildings and the urban landscape that downtown Houston has unlike any other place in the city. It is unique and brings the sense of a “New York-like” atmosphere when you gaze towards the center of the Energy Capital of the World. While thinking this I suddenly remembered about my friend’s cousin, Vinny. He was from New York and I remembered how he was explaining his own standpoint on the city of Houston. “Houston is nothing but cowboys riding on horses across their ranches.” Knowing this was an ignorant statement, it got me thinking of how Houston is viewed by other places in the world. “Do people really think of us being country?” I thought. I’ve lived in Houston all my life and his ignorant statement made me look at Houston from a foreigner’s point of view.

As soon as we arrived at downtown, we headed straight for the Discovery Green Park. Luckily, I found a parking spot right in front of the convention center. As we were walking down the sidewalk I looked up and noticed a grayish tall building with the words “Hilton” at the very top. I am familiar with the Hilton hotels across the country but this honestly was the biggest and the tallest Hilton I have ever seen. After noticing the abnormally tall Hilton, the first thought that ran into mind was “I have to check this place out.” I asked my girlfriend if she wanted to go to the Hilton, and she kindly said “Yes.”

As we got closer and closer to the Hilton, I started noticing a row of fancy cars. There was Jaguars, BMW’s, Mercedes and just about every luxury car you can imagine parked outside of the hotel. We even happened to see a Ferrari Spider parked towards the entrance. The first impression I got immediately was that this Hilton had to be real expensive to stay in. There was a front door guy dressed in a velvet suit greeting and opening the door to the guest. “Welcome to the Hilton.” He invitingly said. He was welcoming and friendly and the other employees seemed to have the same traits. As soon as I walked in, it was like a warm feeling, kind of like the feeling you get when you walk into your own home after not being there for an extensive period of time. I noticed the spectacular Venetian glass chandelier they have in the lobby which glistened when the rays of the evening sun hit it beautifully from an angle. It looks stunningly amazing.

My girlfriend and I are walking, and then we see a sign that reads “Skyline 24th Floor” next to the elevator. I’m thinking to myself it’s simply the top floor of the building, I would have never expected anything relatively special of it. We decide to get into the elevator and go to the 24th floor to see what they meant about a “Skyline” and as soon as we got there we were surprised to see something we highly unexpected to see. It was extraordinarily beautiful and absolutely shocking. Our eyes widened in amazement, it was like a stranded man in the desert seeing water for the first time; it was the skyline view of the entire city of Houston.

I got face to face with the crystal clear glass and gazed at the spectacular view. I was witnessing one of the most beautiful things in my life and I suddenly became speechless. Both my girlfriend and I stared at amazement and a realization of my city was taking place in my head at that very moment. I realized I had taken my city for granted. My whole life has taken place in this city and I never actually thought about it in that type of way. What I am and who I am today, has been shaped by my experiences and lessons learned that have taken place in this unique city. My appreciation for Houston greatly increased in that special moment. The widely known stereotype for Houston as being a city of ranchers and cowboys doesn’t correspond to how Houston is in reality. From the skyline view you can see how industrialized and urbanized Houston is and becoming. You can clearly see how the stereotype of Houston is conflicted by the massive buildings and endless highways Houston possesses. Houston is anything but country and with its hardworking citizens and its close proximity to an abundance of natural resources; it has become the 4th largest city in the country and is often given the great title of the Energy Capital of the World.

MAP

LINKS
Discovery Green Park Website
Downtown Houston Landmarks and History
Hilton America Hotel Website
Hilton America Skyline View Sample
Energy Capital of The World Website

Author Bio:

Roy Cantu is a first year student at the University of Houston-Downtown, who has decided to pursue a bachelors in Psychology. After he obtains his bachelors in Psychology he wants to continue his education by becoming a licensed psychologist. In the meantime, he focuses in trying to maintain a B average in school and works full time at a computer company called Foxconn.

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