Curing everything, Metro analysis, #2 migration, #6 restaurants, #4 for blacks, see HT,CC!Time again to hit some smaller miscellaneous items. But first a quick anecdote I think you'll enjoy. My wife and I were watching the very good (albeit a bit twisted) Spanish movie "Volver"on DVD the other night (the Pedro Almodóvar movie with Penélope Cruz). Set in Madrid, at one point a character with cancer says "They offered to take me to Houston. They cure everything there." Not a bad reputation to have in the international community. Pretty cool, in fact.
OK, on to the list:
- If you're interested, Neal Meyer has put together a pretty comprehensive spreadsheet analysis of Metro's ridership stats from 1997-2007. The short overview: their ridership increased steadily until 2001, then started declining with the light rail construction, spiking up again temporarily after Katrina. The #2 Bellaire bus is their busiest bus route.
- A company recently ranked Houston #2 for migration, behind Chicago and ahead of Austin, LA, and Atlanta. LA surprises me, since the Census shows them losing domestic population, but this company's data is based on a relatively small survey. Thanks to Houstonist for the link.
- Houston was recently ranked as the 6th best restaurant city in the nation by Forbes Traveler, and the best in Texas. This is a topic I've covered before: Houston as dining out capital of America, and why we have such a great restaurant scene. Zagat says we eat out more times per week on average than any other major city in America, and at near the lowest average cost. Looking at their criteria, it looks like cost was mostly ignored while tourism was factored in, which is probably why we came in behind those other five cities. From the KHOU story:
"Only New York, Chicago, San Francsico, Los Angeles and New Orleans finished ahead of the Bayou City. Houston was followed by Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Boston and Las Vegas.
Here's what the Web site had to say about Houston restaurants: "San Antonio may have a far more manifest Mexican food culture, but Houston, which spirals forever outward, has far more breadth and depth — from one of the nation’s finest and most elegantly modern Italian ristorante, Tony’s ($110), to Robert Del Grande’s Café Annie ($110), where New Texas cuisine took hold, and Américas ($100), which pioneered Nuevo Latino food in this country. One of the best places to get the most important meal of the day is the funky Breakfast Klub, where the irresistible specialty is waffles and chicken wings."
- Black Enterprise magazine recently ranked Houston the fourth-best city for African Americans, behind DC, Atlanta, and Raleigh-Durham (???). Thanks to Houstonist for the heads up, and they have some of their own thoughts.