Wednesday, September 22, 2010

You can't do wrong doing right.

Art as advertisement.  Magazine Street. New Orleans.
Not every night on the town in New Orleans ends in a dance.  There's plenty of song and syncopation, and sometimes even some tap dancing.  New Orleans isn't synchronized though.  It moves by serendipity.

While in Houston last week, I visited a bar called Sherlock's that the hotel staff recommended.  "They have three floors and it's always busy."  It was a long room in the strip mall that did, in fact, have three rooms connected by a step or two between each.  The music was a combination of canned top 40 hits from the 80s and 90s.  The clientele was a bunch of blowhards in chinos with their oxford shirts unbuttoned and tie-less.  Nobody danced, nobody mingled.  Groups sat at tables to see who could talk the loudest.

There was no there there, just a collection of warm bodies going through the motions and paying their tab as they went.  Houston really put me in a funk that I haven't shaken yet, five days later.

I'm not a talker by nature.  I keep to myself though I love to go out.  The day after I arrived in New Orleans, I went to my usual watering hole and everyone asked where I had been.  I answered simply, "Houston."  Everyone commiserated.  I didn't buy a drink all day.  Sympathetic souls took up a collection.  "This guy just got back from Houston, can you chip into the pool so that he forget the past week?"

It didn't work.  I'm not one to overindulge in Dixie beer or sympathy.  A man's got to do what a man's got to do.  Before last week, the last time I was in Houston was 15 years ago.  I hope it will be more than 15 till I go back.  I'll take New Orleans any day.  Houston may be the 4th biggest city in America in population but it is last in appeal in my book.

If Houston is for you, and no offense to Houstonians, especially those I ran into at Sherlocks, more power to you.  You have more thickly skinned souls than I do.

Thanks to the Institute of Official Cheer for our footage today of what an ideal New Orleans night is like when the stars are aligned.  You won't find that in Space City, Houston's official, apt nickname.

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