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Old 09-02-2012, 10:21 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,256 posts, read 25,748,959 times
Reputation: 8753

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Houston Snoozeston. 10 lane highways and big box stores, oh goody.
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Old 09-02-2012, 10:37 AM
 
Location: NYC
2,423 posts, read 2,797,997 times
Reputation: 1757
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueDat View Post
I'm curious: for those who put cities like Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta on their most boring list, did you do what many overseas visitors do: go downtown, walk around a bit in the simmering heat, see nothing of interest, head to the airport and write the city off?

I've run into so many Europeans, Australians, Canadians, and Asians who come here laboring under the illusion that there will be some hive of activity in downtown in [name your major American city that's not NYC, SF, Chicago, Boston or DC] and, they often end up mystified and disappointed. For a variety of reasons -- the rise of car culture, cheap gas, cheap land, urban sprawl, white flight, etc. -- most American downtowns declined to the point of despair. The low point was in the '70s and 80s and it's only now that downtowns in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc. are starting to come back and they are now not entirely deserted after 5 p.m.

The result is that many of the interesting aspects of these cities are often in the neighborhoods, not downtown. I'm not saying Houston and Dallas are Paris or Manhattan but that, if you know where you're going or have someone to guide you, there are lots of points of interest and history amid the sprawl.

There's the blues music roots of Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, which should be as well-known as Memphis' Beale Street but isn't (Deep Ellum, Texas) and the cowboy culture, country music and rodeos of Fort Worth (Fort Worth Stockyards). Or, there are things you wouldn't expect to find like the Bastille Day festivities in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood (home of Bonnie & Clyde and Lee Harvey Oswald) (Bastille on Bishop) and the Art Car Parade in Houston (The World's Largest Art Car Parade is in Houston - The Orange Show, Houston).

Houston is one of America's most international cities (it supposedly has the largest Nigerian population in the US), arguably the largest Asian population in Texas, as well as a large Latin American and Middle Eastern population. So, it's the home of I-Fest music and food fest Houston Festivals - iFest Houston International Festival and its accompanying indie film festival, Worldfest 45th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and two Chinatowns, including the large and growing New Chinatown Houston Attractions | Chinatown

Both Houston and Dallas areas have fantastic restaurants and unique museums, whether you're talking about The Rothko Chapel Houston Museum District Association Museums, Houston Texas Attractions Museums Houston Museum District Association, the Nasher Sculpture Center Nasher Sculpture Center - Home, The Kimbell (https://www.kimbellart.org/index.aspx), or the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame (National Cowgirl Museum)

But you're not going to know much of this just by sweating your way around the glass towers of downtown Dallas or Houston wondering why it's not Paris or Sydney.
Any large (and even mid) size city is gonna have some notable cultural tidbits, occasional public festivities and once a year parades that can be summarized in a short paragraph (as you just did). That's not enough to clear the "boring" threshold because if that is the standard then no large city should be considered boring. In every large city you can find some nice restaurants or interesting museums. And surely if you know a local you will get a much better experience. And yet if you are visiting a city's CBD -- its commercial heart - and it feels like a morgue surrounded by freeways, it's not unreasonable to conclude that the city is boring. You make it sound like Houston and Dallas have a ton of great neighborhoods outside of the CBD when we all know that finding a pedestrian outside of a shopping mall in either one is like finding a needle in a haystack.
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Old 09-02-2012, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Leeds, UK
22,256 posts, read 25,748,959 times
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Essentially, the likes of Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are just sprawling messes, more gigantic villages than large cities, cities that large should be a lot denser with a lot more to see and do. Even my city of 750k could rival the attractions of these boring sprawling southern US cities.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:14 PM
 
2,426 posts, read 3,841,827 times
Reputation: 1461
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Essentially, the likes of Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are just sprawling messes, more gigantic villages than large cities, cities that large should be a lot denser with a lot more to see and do. Even my city of 750k could rival the attractions of these boring sprawling southern US cities.
Good point.
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Old 09-02-2012, 12:40 PM
 
Location: American Expat
2,189 posts, read 4,970,727 times
Reputation: 1891
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Houston Snoozeston. 10 lane highways and big box stores, oh goody.
I like our wide highways. The city would be ok if it wasn't so run down. 75% of the city is just ugly and run down. Houston isn't a tourist destination. Of course there's not much to see, but you can fill a day or two with things to do. But it's a self inflicted problem. Like, there used to be an entertainment park, but they tore it down.

Quote:
Originally Posted by TrueDat View Post
I'm curious: for those who put cities like Houston, Dallas, and Atlanta on their most boring list, did you do what many overseas visitors do: go downtown, walk around a bit in the simmering heat, see nothing of interest, head to the airport and write the city off?

I've run into so many Europeans, Australians, Canadians, and Asians who come here laboring under the illusion that there will be some hive of activity in downtown in [name your major American city that's not NYC, SF, Chicago, Boston or DC] and, they often end up mystified and disappointed. For a variety of reasons -- the rise of car culture, cheap gas, cheap land, urban sprawl, white flight, etc. -- most American downtowns declined to the point of despair. The low point was in the '70s and 80s and it's only now that downtowns in Houston, Dallas, Los Angeles, etc. are starting to come back and they are now not entirely deserted after 5 p.m.

The result is that many of the interesting aspects of these cities are often in the neighborhoods, not downtown. I'm not saying Houston and Dallas are Paris or Manhattan but that, if you know where you're going or have someone to guide you, there are lots of points of interest and history amid the sprawl.

There's the blues music roots of Dallas' Deep Ellum neighborhood, which should be as well-known as Memphis' Beale Street but isn't (Deep Ellum, Texas) and the cowboy culture, country music and rodeos of Fort Worth (Fort Worth Stockyards). Or, there are things you wouldn't expect to find like the Bastille Day festivities in Dallas' Oak Cliff neighborhood (home of Bonnie & Clyde and Lee Harvey Oswald) (Bastille on Bishop) and the Art Car Parade in Houston (The World's Largest Art Car Parade is in Houston - The Orange Show, Houston).

Houston is one of America's most international cities (it supposedly has the largest Nigerian population in the US), arguably the largest Asian population in Texas, as well as a large Latin American and Middle Eastern population. So, it's the home of I-Fest music and food fest Houston Festivals - iFest Houston International Festival and its accompanying indie film festival, Worldfest 45th Annual WorldFest-Houston International Film Festival and two Chinatowns, including the large and growing New Chinatown Houston Attractions | Chinatown

Both Houston and Dallas areas have fantastic restaurants and unique museums, whether you're talking about The Rothko Chapel Houston Museum District Association Museums, Houston Texas Attractions Museums Houston Museum District Association, the Nasher Sculpture Center Nasher Sculpture Center - Home, The Kimbell (https://www.kimbellart.org/index.aspx), or the National Cowgirl Hall of Fame (National Cowgirl Museum)

But you're not going to know much of this just by sweating your way around the glass towers of downtown Dallas or Houston wondering why it's not Paris or Sydney.
Food? Seriously? Who visits a city because of its food? This city ( Houston) IS boring. It's a work city, if you will. It's not a party city or a tourist city. I've been here long enough, and I accept it now. Of course it's big enough to find something to do, but when you're talking about tourism, Houston, or perhaps even Dallas, don't have anything to offer to tourists. You gotta offer something unique to attract tourists. NYC has Times Square, Statue of Liberty; Los Angeles has Hollywood; etc.
I can find those museums listed in any other large city.
Like I said, you can fill one or two days if you know where to go. It's just nothing special, and I don't understand why people can't accept it. Not every city must be a tourist magnet.
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Old 09-02-2012, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Houston, Texas
2,175 posts, read 4,647,550 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Glucorious View Post
Food? Seriously? Who visits a city because of its food?
I do.
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:04 AM
 
11 posts, read 20,283 times
Reputation: 36
Agreed about Houston. It's the most populated city in Texas, or one of the most populated, but I couldn't really tell you about exciting things there. I think NASA is located there, but that's about all I know. You never really hear anything about Houston.
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Old 09-05-2012, 06:15 AM
 
5,823 posts, read 10,722,593 times
Reputation: 4613
Wrong, I remember (a lonnnng time ago) the famous words : "hello, Houston, do you hear me ? this is Neil Amstrong, we just landed on the moon, it's a small step for man but a big step for humanity!"
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Old 09-05-2012, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
19,397 posts, read 29,012,200 times
Reputation: 10673
Quote:
Originally Posted by dunno what to put here View Post
Essentially, the likes of Dallas, Houston and Atlanta are just sprawling messes, more gigantic villages than large cities, cities that large should be a lot denser with a lot more to see and do. Even my city of 750k could rival the attractions of these boring sprawling southern US cities.
You have to understand how cities with land o plenty were built in the post world war 2 car culture era. Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on who you are), sunbelt cities experienced it's greatest growth during this era which is basically after 1945. If Chicago experienced it's greatest growth after 1945, it would look like Schaumburg and if Houston boomed in the 1800s, it would look be far denser and far more vibrant. It sucks that this is how the cities were built and they are now starting to work on those mistakes. As far as being boring. I guess. For me, I can find things to do on a daily basis. But I know it's not an exciting vibrant city. There's a reason why they call it a great place to live but a terrible place to visit. It pretty much is. They are constructing some great parks and public works in the area. Honestly, if you were to visit Houston, just stay inside the loop.

Last edited by Spade; 09-05-2012 at 04:46 PM..
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Old 09-06-2012, 08:32 PM
 
Location: 60630
13,146 posts, read 19,483,127 times
Reputation: 12800
Junsele Sweden
Schweinfurt Germany
Billings North Dakota
Olive Branch Mississippi
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