This Year's Hot Headlines

Top 10 stories of 2017: Hurricane Harvey, World Series celebs, and Guy Fieri

Top 10 stories of 2017: Harvey, World Series celebs, and Guy Fieri

Guy Fieri Jeff Bagwell Irma's
Guy Fieri dined with Astros legend Jeff Bagwell during his trip to Houston. Guy Fieri/Twitter
Houston, Hurricane Harvey, flood photos, Interstate I-45
I-45 flooded during Hurricane Harvey. Courtesy of ABC13/Instagram
Astros Justin Verlander celebrates with Kate Upton after Game 7 of ALCS
CultureMap readers couldn't get enough news about Kate Upton and Justin Verlander. Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images
Ken Hoffman column mug
Ken Hoffman joined CultureMap this year. Photo by Trish Badger
Post Oak Poker Room table
Legal poker arrived in the Galleria area. Photo by Eric Sandler
Guy Fieri Jeff Bagwell Irma's
Houston, Hurricane Harvey, flood photos, Interstate I-45
Astros Justin Verlander celebrates with Kate Upton after Game 7 of ALCS
Ken Hoffman column mug
Post Oak Poker Room table

Editor's note: As the year comes to a close, we look back at the 10 most popular stories of 2017. Between Super Bowl, Hurricane Harvey, and the World Series, Houston dominated the national news cycle, all the while introducing the nation — and world — to our greatest asset: our citizens. It's been a year of sheer bliss and agony, of life, and death, but we have rallied in a way that only we can. We've worked, rebuilt, and celebrated — and you can argue that we're stronger than ever. HoustonStrong.

Here, then, are our most-read stories of 2017:

1. Guy Fieri films Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives at six Houston restaurants. The Mayor of Flavortown snuck into Houston to shine the Triple D spotlight on six deserving Houston-area restaurants: the Original Irma's, Cuchara, Cool Runnings, Cafe Lili, The Original Marini's Empanada House, and  Q-Shi, the Spring restaurant that blends barbecue and sushi.

2. Harvey Survivor's Guilt: Untouched by hurricane, everything is fine — but it really isn't. UHD professor Abby Koenig's moving personal essay about the guilt she felt for surviving Harvey unscathed connected with CultureMap readers. Strong reactions on social media, both for and against, propelled it to a strong second place finish. 

3. Incredible photos as Hurricane Harvey hits Houston especially hard. This photo essay collected images from social media, CultureMap staffers, and our content partners at ABC13 to show the extent of the storm's destruction.

4. Where to watch the solar eclipse in Houston. Space Center Houston, Levy Park, and the Childen's Museum led our picks for places to watch the historical event. 

5. World Series celeb spottings: JLo and A-Rod celebrate; Justin and Kate go shopping. World Series fever wasn't just limited to the action on the field. We also followed the activities of superstars Kate Upton and Jennifer Lopez, who visited Houston during the games.

6. CultureShock! Why Ken Hoffman left the Chronicle for CultureMap — in his own words. "The Houston Chronicle was my dream job," Hoffman writes. "Until something dreamier came along. At least better for me: the offer to join CultureMap."

7. Date night: Supermodel Kate Upton and Astros pitcher Justin Verlander enjoy a cozy H-Town dinner. We spotted the celebrity couple enjoying a quiet dinner at Tiny Boxwood's. Upton ordered the catch of the day (grouper with coconut rice) while Verlander enjoyed the Black and Blue (buffalo filet, blue cheese risotto, berry balsamic reduction).

8. Hurricane Harvey winners and losers: Storm brings out the best, worst, and most clueless instincts. People like Sylvester Turner, Ed Emmett, and J.J. Watt rose to the occasion, but Joel Osteen, "price gougers," and the Texas Rangers came up short, Clifford Pugh opined. 

9. Joel Osteen's delayed response to Hurricane Harvey creates social media firestorm. With thousands of Houstonians displaced from their homes by Harvey's floodwaters, many people on social media wanted to know why Lakewood Church wasn't doing more to help. After considerable pressure, pastor Joel Osteen opened the congregation's doors to serve as a pickup and drop-off point for relief supplies.

10. Shuffle up and deal: New club brings legal poker to the Galleria area. The Post Oak Poker Club brought a safe, legal, casino-style environment to the space that ounce housed Mo's...A Place for Steaks.