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Polishing Houston's Grimy Image


MidtownCoog

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Where this stuff comes from I have no idea. I am a native and have no such fears. Of course, it's all "tounge-in-cheek"; I just wonder why Houston never writes things like this about other cities.

...a city with a huge inferiority complex, wrapped inside an identity crisis, surrounded by low self-esteem.

To top it off, the finish with a quote from an ex-New Yorker.

http://www.chicagotribune.com/sports/baseb...ll=chi-news-hed

Anti-registration? www.bugmenot.com

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Rich Maggi, 49, a transplanted New Yorker who has lived in Houston for the last eight years, said:

"This is the fourth-largest city in the country, but if you walk down the street of any city in America and asked people, nobody would think of Houston.

"Look," Maggi added. "The only thing that [stinks] in Houston is the weather."

The weather's fine, Maggi. The only thing in Houston that stinks (Howard "Half" Witt) will, I hope, be removing his skanky ass back to Chicago very soon.

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The reason that Houston doesnt write this crap about other cities is because unlike what the retard attempting to be a journalist wrote is that we have High self-esteem, we don't give two shits about other cities, and we are just fine with our identity.

I have notice so far, that Chicago is very childish when it comes to competition and they are very rude.

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Think about it: Say "Chicago" and most Americans will usually respond with "pizza" or "the Windy City." Mention "New York" and it's "the Big Apple."

Think about it: Say Chicago and most Americans will usually respond with "Gangsters" or "Stockyards and Slaughterhouses" or "Lake Effect Snow". Mention New York and it's "Mafia" or "Rats" or "Crime" or "Unfriendly", etc.

Mention Houston and it's "Space City" or "TEXAS!" or "BBQ" or "Chili" or "Friendly" or "Great Place to live and work and raise a family or start a business", etc.

Go 'Stros, beat the Sux! :D

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Reputations are hard to change, especially a city's reputation since most people will never visit or, if they do, won't stay long enough to really get to know all of the facets of a place. Like most sterotypes, they start out as an exagerated version of truth then fail to evolve as the initial truths do. So, we're typecast and it's just easier for people to rehash the same stuff and to find examples that they can use to plug in to the existing template. Plus, it has a lot to do with "yankees" looking down on "southerners", although Atlanta seems to get a little respect. The author's pointing out that "Diana" is at one museum is a real slam. We're just a bunch of National Enquirer readers who built a few museums just to imitate what real big cities do.

Like watching FOX world series coverage; they kept showing some guy in bib overalls waving a towel. Like we're a bunch of bubbas who finally get a world-class sporting event. I could see no reason to keep flashing on this guy. They did flash a nice skyline shot from, what looked like, Allen Pkwy though.

These authors who like to hear themselves write will just keep saying that "our kid sister's a whore" and, when we defend ourselves, we have an inferiority complex. While we probably don't care, it's bound to hurt our convention, tourist and business relocations here to some degree.

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The Houston Museum of Natural Science sold out when they hosted the Lord of the Rings Exhibit.

However, it should be noted that Lady Di is not at the Fine Arts Museum. That's a key difference.

Is the Lady Di or Lords of the Rings exhibit really any worse than Dynamation, which has hit just about every Science musem in the country and Europe?

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Like watching FOX world series coverage; they kept showing some guy in bib overalls waving a towel. Like we're a bunch of bubbas who finally get a world-class sporting event. I could see no reason to keep flashing on this guy. They did flash a nice skyline shot from, what looked like, Allen Pkwy though.

All right, someone at work just set me straight on the overall guy; he's the engineer on the "home run train".

They never mentioned who he was so he just looked like some He-Haw spectator. Maybe the announcers didn't know either.

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What is wrong with those people?! Does the Houston media do this to other cities? It's unbelievable and unfortunate to know that most of the people who read that and have never been to Houston will no doubt be ignorant enough to believe everything that crap head is saying. And so our image continues because of worms like this.

In case you didnt' see it, here's another Tribune slam that I posted in the stadia forum:

http://www.chicagotribune.com/travel/chi-0...1,3247966.story

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All right, someone at work just set me straight on the overall guy; he's the engineer on the "home run train".

They never mentioned who he was so he just looked like some He-Haw spectator. Maybe the announcers didn't know either.

Could very well be. It took the announcer until the 12th(?) inning to explain about the "Killer Bees" bzzzzz sound effect.

Announcer, as the caveman says in those Geico commercials: "Next time, do a little research."

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My, my. A thought provoking piece of criticism and analysis in the sports pages. I never would have thought to look for it there.

And taunting your opponent on the eve of a sporting event? Those big city Chicago journalists are so clever :rolleyes: .

Oh, no! They found out we have roaches. I guess I'll be tossing and turning all night tonight worrying about what the world thinks of us, now that they know we have roaches :angry: .

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It's not like the author of the article just made this stuff up.

Perhaps the reason there was a guy in overalls in the stands is because there really are bubbas here....like the one in stands.

The Super Bowl folks were certainly in no rush to bring the super bowl back to Houston.

There are problems, own up to them and fix them...otherwise articles like this will continue to be published about this area where folks happen to live.

But then I guess it's just easier to pretend everyone else just doesn't know what they are talking about and say THEY are the ones with the wrong attitude.

Grow up and make this place a decent place to live and fix it's third world image.

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MiDTOWNeR!

Who cares if there are real "bubbas here".

Should we go Nazi on them?

And FWIW, I have been trading email with the guy who wrote that article.

If you don't think this is a decent place to live then take the first flight out of here!

Edited by MidtownCoog
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MiDTOWNeR

What 3rd World Image? Every city in the world has its bad parts, no matter how big, or small. Its ok that you belive it is like that here, everyone can say there own opion. But, you know what they say, you are your tuffest critic.

Its kind of like, if (anyone) says "Oh, gosh I'm so fat!" in the mirror, and then someone later that day calls you a heffer, your defensive. Because, Were all Human. Most of us try to perfect ourselves, infact, it drives alot of people into mental health issues.

I bash Houston all the time for its negative parts, but I never think about the good. If we were so "3rd World", would we #4 in America? If it were so bad here, why would everyone move here? Its not bad at all, infact, if people tell you its bad so much, you might actually belive it.

I love Houston, for everything it has.

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I was watching WGN News (Chicago) the first day the World Series Was played in Houston and Alican Payne was showing how Latinos in Houston where hoping the White Sox Win because there coach is Latino. Well I did not know she was in Houston so when she started showing video I thought she was in Chicago and I was like ewe! Chicago looks like that! But it was Houston on some road that looks like it could be in a third world country. She showed all of the trailers with Mexicans selling tacos out of them, with old rundown buildings painted in Mexico style with all of the bright colors and dirt driveways. I mean it was a mess. Then she said nearly 10 thousand of these people live in Houston (what ever nationality the Coach of the White Sox is) Then she went on to say most of which have come to Houston to work in the oil industry (as if thats the only reason for them to want to live in Houston).

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Did I ever tell you about the old poor black guy in Bryan who lives in a shack, and eats bean out of a skillet on the front porch?

It looked like it was something out of Africa.

This is a true story.

That was funny :lol:

I never heard about that one, tell me more!

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What page? Just curious.

DON'T BELIVE ME? (j.k.)

Holy crud, this is gonna take some time to look up what exact page, once I get it, I'll let you know. I know its in the front somewhere.

Somewhere inbetween pages 34 and 89... I know that so far. Sorry, its just so much text, I just wrote down a bunch of quotes from the book, and When this subject came up, I just looked up my old notes, and wrote this one.

Edited by Montrose1100
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You know guys I have been here for almost 10 years now and this stereo type is not new, especially on the eastern seaboard. The fact is that people hate Houston. Before moving here I was told by everyone I knew that Houston was a cess pool, filled with rednecks, and was conservative to a fault.

It's really a strange thing that people have such an animosity to this great city, and I think that's why those of us who are native or have chosen to call it home don't give a ____ what the rest of the country thinks. Theres just no talking to an ignorant person who doesn't care to know the truth. The funny thing is that when I travel out of the country (especially Europe) people love Houston, in fact most of them want to talk about the city and find out what it's like.

I think Houston is stuck with this bs for a while which to me is ok. I hear over and over that Houston has an identity crisis which I find rediculous at best, in fact I find it the exact opposite. Imo Houston's personality of not caring what the outside world thinks is caused by these types of attitudes. Some see it as a huge problem, I see it as adding to the personality of the city. Although were still a sprawling sunbelt city everything from our feeder roads to our giant business districts are unique and I'm proud to be here.

I moved from a very self absorbed city (LA) to a city of genually nice people with a great attitude, you know the one that says "I'm confident enough in myself not to give a crap what you think about me". And no this is not a cop out for being insulted by another city, it's the truth. To many people on these boards take the above attitude as a defense mechanism when nothing could be further from the truth.

Again imo, Houston is by far the most underated city in the country and I'm beginning to like it that way. Long live Houston!!!!!

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MiDTOWNeR!

Who cares if there are real "bubbas here".

Someone else mentioned the bubba in the stands...as if it bothered them that the coverage was concentrating on this said bubba.

Should we go Nazi on them?
Perhaps not, but certainly go NAZI on someone who tries to say-hey, open your eyes, why would they criticize something that isn;t there to criticize...you are your own worst enemy if you do not choose to be open minded and considered that perhaps SOME of the criticism has merit.
And FWIW, I have been trading email with the guy who wrote that article.

Not sure I understand the point of that line.

If you don't think this is a decent place to live then take the first flight out of here!

Judging by your defensiveness, this is not the first time that you have heard less than stellar comments about Houston. It is often tough to see something from the outside in if you are very familiar with it. The impression I have from reading your's and others comments is that you feel the negative attitude toward Houston is completely baseless, as if the author and many others before he/she have no reason for their negative attitudes. The, if you dont like it then leave attitude is most likely responsible for this city not being able to get beyond the negative stereotypes and transform itself into a world class city with a fairly positive reputation. Folks here love to go on about Houston being the 4th Largest city...unfortunately in this case, that says nothing of the quality of life it exudes. A huge reason that Houston is able to claim its "4th largest" status is becuase of the huge area it has taken over including surrounding populations. It is not as if life inside the 610 loop would put Houston on the map as anything near the 4th largest city. I have lived in Houston for 3 years now. I will admit it is not as bad as I thought it was 3 years ago, however there is HUGE room for improvement, and the responses on here sound to me as though possible improvement is not welcome nor considered necessary and worthwhile-and that is a shame.

P.S. Why do so many areas of town smell of sewage?

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Midtower, I only respond like that when people like you poor-mouth their own city. Let the world think what they may.

For you, I see two options:

1. Fix what you don't like.

2. Hit the road.

I stil don't undestand why people would choose to live in a place they don't like.

Maybe you can explain it for us.

Not sure I understand the point of that line.

He said he really was joking and truly likes Houston. We have to stop taking these things so seriously.

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You know, it is interesting that, upon reading the article closely, you find almost nothing bad said in the article. The writer merely states that some Houstonians wish our image was better. He then adds some points that are either incorrect, or not bad in the first place.

For example, police on horseback are used to give the officer a better view than on foot or in a vehicle. All big cities, including New York and Chicago, use them.

100 accidents involving light rail does not mention that it is now a fraction of what it once was. Contrary to what was printed, the signage and education worked.

Enron. Like corporate corruption is unique to Houston. Or it means every Houstonian was involved.

Diana. What does this even mean?

Not much else is said. The main point, that some (too many) Houstonians have an inferiority complex...is absolutely TRUE. What I find most interesting in this entire thread is Midtowner lambasting those of us who do not have a complex over Houston. Frankly, I don't know which is worse...the people who read an article by a Chicago writer trying to impress Chicagoans and moan "Nobody likes us", or people like Midtowner, who believes everything an out-of-towner writes, and sees every glass as half-empty.

Images, like stereotypes, evolve over decades, not days. They are formed by perceptions over time, not ad campaigns. People still imagine the mob on every corner in Chicago, 75 years after Capone went to prison. We have mosquitos and cockroaches, but Chicago's rats are legendary. It may be hot here 3 months of the year, but have you been to Chicago in January? By the way, more people die from the heat in Chicago every summer than Houston...lots more.

The point is, it's pretty good here. Quit worrying what others think. Fix what needs to be fixed and don't worry about the rest. And midtowner, if you're going to complain about Houston's problems, at least complain about a PROBLEM. Houston is widely praised by city planners for not getting hemmed in by suburban towns like Detroit, Chicago and even Dallas. It still has its tax base intact, and a vibrant downtown. That is a plus, not a minus. And what would you rather be known for, being the murder capital, like Chicago, or fast-dealing corporate crooks, like Lay and Skilling?

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Maybe I'm wrong in thinking that Houstonians don't care how the outside world views there city, I've just always taken it that way.

To me the stereotype of Houston and for that matter Texas is just that, a stereotype. As we all know stereotypes are often wrong, they certainly are where Houston and Dallas are concerned. I don't mean to come across as just let the way we are lie as we certainly have room for improvement just like every other city.

I really get tired of these same conversations about how bad Houston sucks. News Flash... IT DOESN'T!!! We have everything here you could possibly want yet all some people do is delicate flower and moan about what we don't have. Holy crap, get a grip on reality!

I'm sorry were not New York or Chicago. Were a thriving big city that has so much to offer. Yes there is room for improvement on several fronts but these things take time and money. Oh and make no mistake, it would be just as easy to bash these cities as it is to bash Houston, the difference is that they have the media on there side. Personally I like the fact that my city doesn't smell like urine and month old trash.

Imo, those of you that do all of this bitching need to grant the rest of us the lack of your precense on this board, or at least on this subject matter. Try to grow up a little and offer constructive ways that we might improve instead of simply bashing the city.

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Here's an interesting experiment for you all. Try to find the true motivation for this rather intense anti-Houston mindset because some of the negative remarks placed on this city when viewed in contrast to the negatives found in other cities seem pretty trivial.

The article's title is "Polishing Houston's Grimy Image".

It suggests that Chicago and other cities like it aren't grimy. If you believe that, then I'm sure you're not really paying attention or you simply don't know. In a nation filled with run down, struggling and dirty cities, Houston is far from what you'd call your prototype for "grimy". Not even close.

So where did this perception of grimy come from? Does anyone know?

Is it billboards running down feeder roads hugging our freeways? Is that really grimy? Especially when you look at cities like Chicago, New York and even Boston, where entire neighborhoods are swamped by aging structures that are completely abandoned or destroyed by graffiti and neglect. The billboards are unsightly, sure, but the decayed neighborhoods, however, speak to something worse. Why is the focus so much on billboards and not completely destroyed neighborhoods? Should Chronicle writers flip the script and comment, rather arrogantly, on how revolting and suffocating these age old urban paradises have become for the average person not living in some trendy highrise near the city's core? Do they laugh as they type on their computers about the deplorable housing situation in the Bronx, in Brooklyn's core neighborhoods, in parts of Staten Island? Do they take pot shots at Philadelphia for having a severe litter and sewage problem? Do they point a mocking finger at snooty San Franciscans, who think it speaks well of them to spend nearly a million dollars for what would be considered a shack in Texas, just because they get to say they can see the Golden Gate bridge every day? Or how about Washington DC for having a school system that has deteriorated so much that it faces the very real possibility of half of it's HS seniors dropping out within the next decade? Or should they say, yes, we have neighborhoods that still rely on ditches for drainage and our billboards are overbearing. We suck. You win, oh great one. You win. Show us how to be civilized?

Well?

Again, where did this perception of grimy and eternal suckitude regarding Houston come from? And, as Velvet J often asks, how do we fix that image? Or do we even bother?

My gut is that so many people from the nation's media strongholds have a strong desire to be seen as elite, from what they wear to what they say, and if there's some uncertainty about it, they certainly aren't above condemning and ridiculing others along the way. It's juvenilistic but it's very human. It's how many people prove their self worth... by debasing and lambasting others.

That, my friends, is insecurity, and just because someone pretends to be culturally and socially elite, it doesn't mean that they aren't going through some severe psychosis.

I think all of us living in the cultural hinterlands would better survive these types of outbursts if we'd have some pespective. Seriously.

If Fifth Ward is the worst of our neighborhoods (and actually Settegast is the real culprit in Fifth Ward), then, frankly, I'm relieved to be in Houston relative to many other places. I've seen the USA, and it ain't even close. There are severly screwed up cities in this country. Severely.

OTOH, I look forward to working with people, hearing their objective and constructive viewpoints, on how we can improve Houston so that it's the best for its residents. That should always be the focus, not the words of someone who is unaware, prone to lying and is probably just kidding around to begin with.

As I jokingly said to a rather nice guy visiting from Chicago during the Series (he'd said with a smile, "Heck of a cowtown ya got here!"), "We may have a cow town, but at least our cows didn't burn up the city by knocking over a lantern."

So in other words, suck it up. You're not as bad as you think.

Edited by The Great Hizzy!
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Nice ball bustin' Hizzy. Like I said, which is worse, the elitist journalist (usually sports or travel writers) who trashes a city he's never visited, or the local who is constantly whining that the grass is greener in all of the cities he's never lived in?

I'm a bit weary of both of 'em. <_<

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Yeah, looking back, I went on a tangent that's really not about beisbol! But thanks for the shout out.

No I didn't mean it like that. I mean't your words could be put to better use somehwhere else because we all are aware of what you are saying on this forum. It's some other people who do not like to recognize some of the faults in their own cities that we can clearly see, but they don't like to reccognize them. It's like point the finger at someone else so the attention is off of you.

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Midtowner, I just want you to know you have a supporter here. I understand what you are saying. It's clear others don't because they began to use the scapegoat of " if you don't like it leave". I'm surprised no one has pulled out the ol' reliable, "but Houston is so diverse".

It is so interesting and a bit sad that so many here cannot seem to recognize that those of us here that criticize the city actually love it or like it. Maybe there is something in the water here, because it's like you stated, our citizens don't seem to even recognize there is much room for improvement. It's like we are slow or something.

Some say those of us that criticize the city are insecure but IMO people or places that can't seem to take even the slightest bit of criticism is insecure.

I'm with you Midtowner (and that does not mean I love Houston any less, to my detractors).

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Funny how neigther of you say whats "wrong" in your opinion.

Oh, Midtowner did say it smells funny.

Wow. That's brilliant.

But true...At least I can call a spade a spade.

You would not believe me if I said what was wrong anyway....Does it smell like sewage to you?

Edited by MiDTOWNeR
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Midtowner, I just want you to know you have a supporter here. I understand what you are saying. It's clear others don't because they began to use the scapegoat of " if you don't like it leave". I'm surprised no one has pulled out the ol' reliable, "but Houston is so diverse".

It is so interesting and a bit sad that so many here cannot seem to recognize that those of us here that criticize the city actually love it or like it. Maybe there is something in the water here, because it's like you stated, our citizens don't seem to even recognize there is much room for improvement. It's like we are slow or something.

Some say those of us that criticize the city are insecure but IMO people or places that can't seem to take even the slightest bit of criticism is insecure.

I'm with you Midtowner (and that does not mean I love Houston any less, to my detractors).

Quote Velvetj: " It is so interesting and a bit sad that so many here cannot seem to recognize that those of us here that critisize the city actually love it or like it. Maybe there is something in the water here, because it's like you stated, our citizens don't seem to even recognize there is much room for improvement. It's like we are slow or something"

What exactly does this mean? Are you saying that were all a bunch of idiots? What I don't understand is that you do nothing but critisize Houston and then say that we don't understand what many of you "less ignorant" do. You then say that you and these others (the less ignorant) love or like Houston in the same breath. This makes no sense. How can you say you love it here when nothing but negatives come out of your mouth?

I'm curious if you travel much? I'm also curious (as coog and Red have asked) what our problems are and what you would do to solve them. And lastly I'm curious what you find so positive about Houston that makes you stay here, or in your words Love it or like it here?

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