Photo by Adrian N on Unsplash

Well, this explains rush hour.

Houston is the fourth most populous U.S. city, and saw the ninth largest numeric population gain of any U.S. city in 2022, according to the U.S. Census Bureau's latest findings.

From July 2021 to July 2022, Houston added 11,223 new residents, bringing its total population to 2,302,878. By comparison, San Antonio (population just under 1.5 million) is the seventh largest.

Harris County also led the way with the highest numeric gains for housing units in the nation, at 32,694, coinciding with recent reports deeming Houston the most active real estate market within the last decade.

Together, Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land ranked No. 5 in the list of the 10 most populous U.S. metro areas (as opposed to the cities, themselves). Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington ranked one place higher at No. 4.

Texas cities and towns dominated every list in the new Census Bureau report. "Texas was the only state that had more than three cities on both the 15 fastest-growing large cities and towns by numeric change and by percent change lists," the report says.

Fastest-growing cities
Six out of the 15 fastest-growing cities in the United States are in Texas, and with one Houston suburb – Conroe – landing at No. 11. Conroe had an 6.3 percent population increase from July 2021 to July 2022, bringing the city's total population just over 101,400.

The north Austin suburb of Georgetown had the highest growth rate in the nation, at 14.4 percent, bringing the city's total population to more than 86,500 residents. Surrounding Austin suburbs Kyle and Leander landed in No. 3 and No. 4 with the same population growth rate of 10.9 percent.

The not-so-little Dallas suburb Little Elm zoomed all the way up to No. 5 with an 8 percent population increase, bringing the city's total population to more than 55,300 residents. New Braunfels, which is outside San Antonio, came in at No. 13.

The top 15 fastest-growing large cities in the U.S. are:

  • No. 1 – Georgetown, Texas
  • No. 2 – Santa Cruz, California
  • No. 3 – Kyle, Texas
  • No. 4 – Leander, Texas
  • No. 5 – Little Elm, Texas
  • No. 6 – Westfield, Indiana
  • No. 7 – Queen Creek, Arizona
  • No. 8 – North Port, Florida
  • No. 9 – Cape Coral, Florida
  • No. 10 – Port St. Lucie, Florida
  • No. 11 – Conroe, Texas
  • No. 12 – Maricopa, Arizona
  • No. 13 – New Braunfels, Texas
  • No. 14 – Lehi, Utah
  • No. 15 – Medford, Massachusetts
Largest population increases
When it comes to most populous cities overall, Texas takes five of the 15 top spots with Houston claiming No. 1 in the state. After Houston's No. 4 national rank with its population of over 2.3 million, San Antonio earned No. 7 with over 1.47 million residents, and Dallas at No. 9 with just under 1.3 million residents. Austin barely made it into the top 10 with over 974,000 residents, and Fort Worth ranked No. 13.

The top 15 most populous American cities are:

  • No. 1 – New York City
  • No. 2 – Los Angeles
  • No. 3 – Chicago
  • No. 4 – Houston
  • No. 5 – Phoenix
  • No. 6 – Philadelphia
  • No. 7 – San Antonio, Texas
  • No. 8 – San Diego, California
  • No. 9 – Dallas
  • No. 10 – Austin, Texas
  • No. 11 - Jacksonville, Florida
  • No. 12 - San Jose, California
  • No. 13 - Fort Worth, Texas
  • No. 14 - Columbus, Ohio
  • No. 15 - Charlotte, North Carolina

Greatest housing growth
The report also discovered that housing inventory skyrocketed by 1.6 million units between 2021 and 2022. Texas had the third fastest housing growth with a rate of 2.3 percent, versus Utah, which had the fastest growth at 3.3 percent.

In addition to Harris County, the only other Texas county that made the top five for the highest housing growth was Travis (No. 3).

The full report can be found on census.gov.

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It only takes 3 steps to get medical cannabis in Texas

Easy As 1, 2, 3

As the Texas Legislature convenes for its 88th session, many patients, physicians, and advocates are pushing for expansions to the Compassionate Use Program, the state’s medical cannabis program.

Since 2015, the program has expanded twice, allowing for more than 150 conditions to qualify for medical cannabis.

For thousands of patients in the state, medical cannabis provides a safe alternative to opioid medications and effective relief for symptoms like pain, insomnia, anxiety, nausea, muscle spasms, and more.

Texas Original, the state’s leading medical cannabis provider, makes the process of getting a prescription easy. Receiving a medical cannabis prescription starts with a few simple steps:

Step 1: Find out if you qualify
The first step is to find out if you qualify by scheduling an appointment with a doctor registered in the Compassionate Use Program.

Several registered doctors offer convenient virtual appointments through telemedicine practices so patients can meet with the doctor from anywhere in Texas.

To set your appointment, visit Texas Original’s website and fill out the form. Veterans, first responders, teachers, and medical professionals are eligible to receive a free first appointment for a six-month prescription. If you belong to one of these eligible groups, simply check the box on the form.

Step 2: Talk to a doctor
During your appointment, the doctor will review your medical records and confirm if you are eligible for medical cannabis, then discuss your treatment plan.

Once approved, your doctor will add your prescription to the online medical cannabis registry, where it can be accessed by licensed dispensaries.

Step 3: Receive a prescription
After your appointment, call 512-614-0343 to place your first order. Texas Original offers the state’s leading medical-grade cannabis products, including Texas’ first fast-acting medical cannabis gummies.

All products undergo rigorous testing and the results are published publicly on Texas Original’s website for patients to access anytime.

The dispensary team will help you select your products, then schedule you for a pickup at a location nearest to you or arrange home delivery.

Medical cannabis provides Texans an all-natural option that may help alleviate symptoms like pain, insomnia, and anxiety that are commonly associated with approved medical conditions.

If you or a loved one are ready to start your journey with medical cannabis, reach out to Texas Original to get started. Plus, enjoy a 20 percent discount on your first order at Texas Original.

Crave-worthy crepe cake maker from New York rises with first permanent Texas location in Galleria

layer cake

After years of pop-ups and a temporary location, Lady M has opened a permanent cake boutique at The Galleria. Shoppers will find it near the Apple store at space B3650.

The New York-based cake bakery selected Houston for its first Texas outpost due to the successful pop-ups and strong online sales from Houstonians. From there, the company had to choose whether to stay in The Galleria or open somewhere else.

“We leaned towards Galleria due to the offering that was presented to us,” Lady M CEO Ken Romaniszyn tells CultureMap.”We liked the tenant mix. We feel like we have a prime location near the elevator banks where there’s a lot of foot traffic.”

That prime location will sell Lady M’s signature Mille Crêpe Cake (made with 20 layers of crepes) as both whole cakes and slices. Flavors include classics like the Signature Mille Crêpes and Green Tea Mille Crêpes as well as chocolate, pistachio, tiramisu, and mango. Lady M also offers other sweets such as a strawberry shortcake cake, passionfruit cheesecake, and a berry tart.

Shoppers may pre-order whole cakes (two days advance notice required) or walk-in and purchase based on the available selection. Regardless of what they purchase, they can expect cakes with delicate flavors and light textures.

“One of the biggest compliments we get is ‘I don't like desserts, but I like Lady M.’ We really focus on the ingredients,” Romaniszyn says. “We don’t have to put a lot of sugar into our cakes to mask any bad stuff. We’re using really high end ingredients to bring out the flavor profile. I think that’s why we’re able to reach a broad base of dessert lovers and non-desserts.”

Having a permanent location means that Houstonians will get to experience Lady M’s full lineup, including new flavors like the Guava Mille Crêpes as well as bonbons, which are designed to travel better than a cake that needs to be refrigerated. Since the store has a couple of outdoor tables, it will also sell coffee and tea to people who want something to drink while they have their cake (and eat it, too).

To prepare for the store opening, Lady M established a central production facility in Houston. Not only will it ensure consistency, the bakery has enough capacity to support more boutiques in other parts of the city and state.

“We’re starting to look down the road to the suburbs,” Romaniszyn says. “We’re definitely looking to expand.”

Dallas, another city where Lady M has popped up in the past, is also on his radar. “I’ve made that drive and looked at some places in Dallas, Fort Worth, Carrollton, Frisco, some of those areas. It’s interesting up there, and it’s really growing. We’ll definitely look for something up there,” he says.

Lady M’s hours of operation are Monday-Thursday 11 am - 7 pm, Friday and Saturday 11 am - 9 pm, and Sunday 12-7 pm.

Lady M mille crepe chocolate

Courtesy of Lady M

Each Lady M cake is made of 20 layers of crepes.

Futuristic Korean eyewear brand opens largest store in U.S. with monstrous new Galleria flagship boutique

a (giant) head for style

Renowned Korean eyewear brand Gentle Monsteris already captivating shoppers with the grand opening of its largest U.S. retail location at The Galleria. Spanning an impressive 4,800 square feet, this flagship store transports shoppers into a futuristic universe, merging art and retail in a truly unique experience.

The choice of The Galleria as the location for Gentle Monster's expansive brick-and-mortar store comes as no surprise. Irma Castor, The Galleria's general manager, says she's excited about welcoming the brand to their diverse lineup of retailers. "The Galleria is the perfect location for Gentle Monster to open its largest brick-and-mortar in America," she says. "We are proud to add this renowned brand's first and only Texas retail space to our diverse retailer lineup and know our shoppers will enjoy the store's unique experience."

Stepping into the Gentle Monster Houston store feels like entering a surrealist dream. The space is full of engaging installations that blur the boundaries between art and retail – shoppers will get the sense that the store is part museum and part boutique.

Visitors will be greeted by The Probe, a mesmerizing six-legged hexagonal walking mechanical creature, and a show-stopping giant kinetic head installation that boasts hyper-realistic blinking and subtle head movements.

Standing at an impressive nine feet tall, the pale face of the Giant Head robot appears uncannily lifelike, with its human-like skin imitating facial expressions. Like all other installations, it was designed in-house by the Gentle Monster team to challenge viewers to think about the future of human-robot relationships.

As shoppers navigate the store, they will be immersed in a world of intense colors and metal structures, showcasing the avant-garde elements and dimensionality of the space. The sensory experience is anything but a run-of-the-mill shopping experience and is meant to get shoppers thinking about the future of retail.

In addition to the installations, the Gentle Monster Houston store will feature an extensive range of eyewear collections. Shoppers can explore the SS23 mainline, the best-selling collaborative Maison Margiela collection, and the recently launched BOLD2 collection. With its wide selection of fashionable eyewear, Gentle Monster ensures that visitors not only indulge in a visually stimulating environment but also find the perfect pair of statement eyeglasses or sunglasses.


Gentle Monster; The Galleria is located on Level 1, near The Galleria Financial Center and Forever 21: 5085 Westheimer Rd. #B2880, Houston (TX) 77056

Photo by Gentle Monster

Standing at an impressive nine feet tall, the pale face of the Giant Head robot in the Gentle Monster store appears uncannily lifelike, with its human-like skin imitating facial expressions.