Houston feels like one of the last places where it’s still possible to attain theAmerican Dream. But is the city’s structure is as resilient as its character?

A symbol of Houston? Many would say the Astrodome, the indoor arena dubbed the Eighth Wonder of the World when it opened in 1965. But I might suggest Zone d’Erotica, a 24-hour sex toys boutique at the throbbing core of a district with some of Houston’s swankiest shopping malls, hotels, restaurants and homes.

The jarring placement is emblematic of Houston’s heedless, anything-goes-anywhere attitude to development. An entrepreneurial mindset has flourished, imbued with a chancer’s ethos in an oil town defined by cycles of boom and bust.

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