“Houstonians call I-610 the Loop. It divides the city into two parts: inside the Loop and outside the Loop. The city circumference is marked by Beltway 8, the last buffer before you hit the suburbs. When I was a kid, I lived a neighborhood cluster beyond Beltway 8, west of the city. If you want to picture what that looked like, imagine absolutely nothing at all. Then add some rice fields and some football fields and an H-E-B. Your typical Southern suburban Americana. Still, this was Houston, so there was some semblance of diversity. Even a few decades ago, my family could find just about everything we were looking for (beef patties, black barbers, family friends) outside the city’s inner core.”