Mrs. Septimus pointed this quote about Houston to me, from Lisa Kleypas, and it's true:
In a state of generally friendly people, Houstonians are the nicest, as long as you don't mess with their property. They have a high regard for property, that is to say land, and they have a particular understanding of it.
As the only major American city with no zoning code to speak of, Houston is an ongoing experiment in the influence of free market forces on land use. You're likely to see strip clubs and triple-X stores cozying up to circumspect office buildings and condos, and shade-tree mechanics and shotgun houses sidled against concrete plazas studded with glass skyscrapers. That's because Houstonians have always preferred real ownership of their own land over letting the government have control over how things ought to be arranged. They'll gladly pay the price for that freedom, even if it results in undesirable businesses springing up like mesquite trees.