Houston: Come for the Cockroaches, Stay for the Flooding. Actually the site they are talking about is here (watch out–there’s sound! But it’s fun to listen to). To quote myself from my maligned Austin Sucks essay,
I don’t mean to convince people that Houston is somehow superior to Austin. It is not. It is an ugly, noxious crime-ridden place populated by armies of SUV’s and high school gangs. But it’s cheap to live here and (for me at least) a place of plentiful jobs. No one feels a sentimental attachment to Houston; people just make their peace and feel a sense of triumph whenever they discover an interesting shop at a strip mall amidst the banality. The city that inspires love and passion also inspires disaffection and ultimately disappointment; a city that doesn’t inspire can still surprise, entertain and even fascinate. One sheds no tears at having to leave Houston, but one is always sure that this city–always the homely thing–will greet you with open arms the next time you return.
I once spent several years trying to persuade a Ukrainian girl to move to Texas, and eventually after failing at that, I had to admit to myself (and to her) that Houston is hell on earth.
On an unrelated note, I’ve noticed that the Houston Chronicle has started to require registration, which is a bummer (do they hate bloggers?). On a positive side, many articles are syndicated on yahoo and don’t require registration. That’s good, but these yahoo articles strip away all hyperlinks from the original article. That looks particularly strange when an article talks entirely about a website and then refuses to link to it. I once wrote an article about music sharing that was essentially ripped off by a Reuters reporter; it took several lines from my original article without attribution or linking. Later, this article was printed in dozens of publications around the world, including yahoo. I didn’t mind his borrowing of a line or two if the article could have linked to my original article. But the Reuters guy didn’t want to link to me (and in fact yahoo would have probably stripped the link anyway). Actually, the last laugh is on me; the yahoo/reuters link has gone bad, so the last place where the article is referred to will be in this post.