NYT: 36 hours in HoustonThe New York Times focused last week's "36 hours in..." column to Houston. It's always interesting to see how outsiders perceive the city. In this case, pretty darn favorably (for a nice change of pace).
THAT'S right - you're not from Texas. It's O.K. According to Lyle Lovett, Texas wants you anyway. On the other hand, however, there's long been little love returned for Houston, the state's biggest city and the nation's fourth largest. Houston doesn't have a clear-cut positive reputation, like Austin (the laid-back slacker capital), or even a good nickname, like Dallas (Big D). As far as most of the country is concerned, it's got Enron and robber baron oilmen and heavy people, all in a climate requiring enough air-conditioning to power a rocket ship to Neptune. But Houston also has extraordinary museums, an innovative alternative arts and hip-hop scene, a rapidly growing cache of upscale hotels and haute cuisine and the neighborliness to take in tens of thousands of people displaced by Hurricane Katrina. And, of course, it has rocket ships; that is, NASA's Johnson Space Center. In the end, maybe that's what makes Houston such an unusual and wonderful place - there are so many different Houstons to see.Wow, too bad we don't have "a clear-cut positive reputation" like "Slacker Capital", huh? I'm sure employers are flocking to Austin based on that one. "Smithers, we need to build a new office/factory. What cities have a plentiful supply of slackers?"
I found this part particularly funny:
If for no other reason, go to Space Center Houston, about 25 miles south of downtown, just so at the slightest provocation - for instance, if you get lost on the way - you can say, "Houston, we have a problem." Repeat this until spouse or traveling companion begins to hit.Now you know why so many cars are weaving on 45 South.
You can see an overview of their trip in the map below. I'm betting that 'Space Center' icon was custom to this article and probably won't get too much reuse in other columns.
(thanks to RJ for the pointer)