Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Just What Houston Needs

A soccer stadium! That's right, Houston is on its way to having yet another stadium. Now, I don't begrudge sports fans for loving sports. I don't begrudge anyone from having pride in the good ole home team. The way I see it is that the local government seems to care more about how Houston is perceived. Remember those stupid "Houston, expect the unexpected" commercials several years back put up by the Houston Image Group? Even back then the emphasis was that Houston be perceived as a "world class city" (regardless of whether it is or not). Well, if you don't want the neighbors to think you are low class without knowing you, then you would keep your front yard looking well, no trash or junked cars (or furniture) prominently displayed. So, how is a new sports stadium going to fix impressions like the following? This is from a blogger in Minnesota who visited Houston for a business trip. This is what she had to say;

"Hmmm. I'm in Houston right now, sitting in a decent hotel room, having eaten a decent meal...and wishing that I was at home. I'm here for a conference; I'll be giving a seminar on laws like ADA, FMLA, USERRA, etc. for my union. Again, I wish I was at home. Houston is hands-down the most depressing city I've ever seen. I've been to LA, Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City, Tulsa, Denver, Seattle, Boston, Providence, Atlanta, Orlando, Tampa Bay, and others that I can't remember right now. They have redeeming qualities to off-set their crappier aspects. Houston has none. It was a 1/2-hour ride downtown from the airport. Let me describe what I saw on my ride:

1. A used car lot every 100 feet. Complete with tacky, used car salesmen wearing jackets with those tan patches on the shoulders and elbows, bolo ties, and cowboy hats. Walking cliches.

2. Cars and campers parked on overgrown lawns (and by lawns, I mean weeds).

3. "Budget Best" motels. The type of motels that charge by the hour.

4. Grocery stores with attached liquor stores. And 50 people waiting to get into the liquor store

.5. White boys with cowboy hats driving pickup trucks with confederate flags on the hood/roof/painted into the back window/hanging in the back window and accompanied by a gun rack. At least one of these morons was getting a ticket from an African-American cop. hehehe. Talk about a "stop ME" advertisement...

6. Crappy, rusty car repair shops with crappy, rusty cars in various stages of disrepair missing various pieces of critical equipment.

7. A skid row rivalling LA's.

8. Battered, burned-out, boarded up industrial buildings.

9. Miles of nothing but gray cement surrounded by Nos. 1-8.

Like I said, depressing."

Not exactly a ringing endorsement. Although I think she exaggerated number 5. You don't typically see that unless you're out in the Katy area.


Shelby said...

Most people who comment about how ugly Houston is have only seen it as a stretch of road (I-45 or Highway 59) from IAH to downtown. (No kidding that's ugly!) That is a shame because Houston does have some classy, beautiful neighborhoods and quite a bit of culture. It tells me a lot that this guy is holed up in his hotel room and commenting on his computer, instead of going out and exploring the town he's visiting.

Shane, Amanda & Adam said...

Where was this person staying??? I agree, Houston isn't the prettiest city in the world, but it isn't all that bad. My guess is that they went through the slums by the airport and didn't go any further. Once you get out of that area, it isn't too bad. And really, what city doesn't have it's bad areas??? I know LA does, as does Chicago, NYC, and Denver.